The Nationalist Poet, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was also a freedom fighter and a Member of Parliament. Dinkar was born on September 23, 1908. When it comes to Hindi literature, one cannot ignore the phenomenal work of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. He is considered one of the most successful and popular modern Hindi poets.
As a mark of respect for him, his portrait was unveiled in the Central Hall of Parliament of India by the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh in his centenary year, 2008.
On the occasion of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s birth anniversary, let’s have look at his life:
Born in a poor Brahmin family of Begusarai, Bihar, Dinkar was the middle child of his parents. As a student, his favorite subjects were history, politics, and philosophy. He studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Maithili, Bengali, Urdu, and English literature. Dinkar was greatly influenced by Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore, Keats, and Milton. He translated works of Rabindranath Tagore from Bengali to Hindi.
Career and Work:
His first poetry was published in 1924 in a local newspaper called ‘Chhatra Sahodar.’ On 14 September 1928, his poem on Jatin Das was published. During this time, he also wrote ‘Meghnad-Vadh’ and ‘Birbala’, both of which have been lost. A year later, the poet composed ‘Pran-Bhang’. He soon came with his first collection of poems called ‘Renuka’ that was published in 1935.
In 1946, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar came with a narrative poem titled ‘Kurukshetra’ that was based on Mahabharata’s Santi Parva. Some of his works in the late 1940s include ‘Dhoop Chhah’, ‘Saamdheni’, ‘Baapu’, and ‘Mitti ki Or’.
His works in 1954 included ‘Dilli’, ‘Neem ke Patte’, ‘Neel Kusum’, ‘Samar Shesh Hai’, and ‘Reti ki Phool’. A year later, Dinkar came up with his major composition ‘Sanskriti ke Char Adhyaya’. Divided into four vast chapters, the poem stressed on the spirit of unity in India despite the nation being a land of several cultures.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar entered politics during the time of India’s struggle for freedom from British rule. He initially supported the revolutionary movement, but later became a Gandhian. However, he still supported violence to a degree, and therefore, regarded himself as a “bad Gandhian.” Apart from politics, the poet held significant positions in various colleges and universities. He served as the head of Muzaffarpur College’s department of Hindi from 1950 to 1952. During 1964 and 1965, he was the vice-chancellor at Bhagalpur University.
Awards and Honours:
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar received awards from Kashi Nagri Pracharini Sabha, Uttar Pradesh Government, and also an award by the Government of India for his epic-poem Kurukshetra. He got the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1959 for his work Sanskriti ke Char Adhyay. He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1959 by the Government of India. He was awarded the LLD degree by Bhagalpur University. He was felicitated as Vidyavachaspati by Gurukul Mahavidyalaya. He was felicitated as Sahitya-Chudamaniby Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur on 8 November 1968. Dinkar was awarded the Jnanpith Award in 1972 for Urvashi. He also became a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, in 1952. Dinkar’s fans widely believe that he truly deserved the honour of “RashtraKavi” (poet of the nation).
The legendary poet died on April 24, 1974.