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- Famous Personalities /
Gems of Hindi Literature & their Exceptional Work
- Updated on
- Sep 14, 2021
This Blog Includes:
Jaishankar prasad, ramdhari singh dinkar, mahadevi verma, bhisham sahni, dharamveer bharti, best hindi books to read, contemporary hindi literature books , hindi literature books for upsc.
The world of Hindi literature has evolved from different dialects through various eras. The origins of Hindi literature is deeply rooted in the Indo-Aryan language called Awadhi and traces its way back to the 11th Century. The themes of Hindi literature are majorly comprised of religion and philosophy along with folk stories of the Indian continent. These genres have taken various shapes owing to changing times and issues. It is essential to acknowledge and celebrate Hindi Diwas and know the various writers and poets who have abundantly contributed to Hindi literature. Let’s check a few of the gems of Hindi literature and their acclaimed journeys.
Jaishankar Prasad is one of the prominent poets and writers of Hindi literature and Hindi cinema. Born on 30th January 1889, he has written various dramas, poems, etc. in Sanskrit-Hindi and Khadi dialects. Jaishankar Prasad is one of the four pillars of Chayavaad (Shadow period) of Hindi literature. He began his journey using the pen name ‘Kaaldhaar” and his notable works include stories like Gram, Ek ghunt (A sip), poems such as Lahar (The wave), Prem pathik (The Love Wanderer); and dramas like Chandragupta, Dhruvaswamini, Skandagupta, etc.
Famous by his pen name ‘Dinkar’, Ramadhir Singh is considered one of the eminent personalities in Hindi literature. His contributions towards patriotic compositions were notable during India’s Independence struggle. He is the recipient of many reverent awards the Padma Bhushan Award (1959), Sahitya Akademi Award, and has also been claimed as the most deserving title for Rashtrakavi (National poet) of India. Dinkar was elected thrice for the Rajya Sabha and was a member from 3 April 1952 to 26 January 1964. His famous works include the Hindi epic ‘ Rashmirathi’, poems like ‘Kurukshetra’, ‘Krishna Ki Chaetavani.
Jab log Tumhaari Ninda khulkar karne lage, tab tum samjho tumhaari lekhni safal hui. – Ramdhari Singh Dinkar.
Former editor and proofreader, Kamleshwar gained popularity in the 1950s for his short stories which initiated his journey to excellence in Hindi literature. His writing genres mostly cover literary criticism, culture, and sociology. His story ‘Raja Nirbansiya’ (1957) became literarily acclaimed followed by Kitne Pakistan, Aagami Ateet, Kaali Aandhi, etc. Kamleshwar then began scriptwriting and dialogue writing after moving to Bombay in the 1970s. He went on to receive the Filmfare award (1979) and the Sahitya Akademi Award (2003).
One of the most important figures to note while celebrating Hindi Day is Mahadivi Verma. She is hailed as the ‘Modern Meera’ and is one of the four pillars of the Chhayawadi (Neo-Romanticism) era in Hindi literature. Her work included compositions directed for social wellbeing and upliftment of women in the society which was admired by many people. Mahadevi Verma not only wrote poems and stories but also was a painter and a translator. Her notable works include narratives like Meri Parivar (1962), Srinkhala ke Kariye (1972); poems like Neerja (1993), Agni Rekha (1988). Mahadevi Verma was the recipient of many awards including the Padma Bhushan (1956) and the Padma Vibhushan Award (1988).
Born in Rawalpindi, Bhisham Sahni was an important and active member of the Indian National Congress. Apart from being a lauded writer, Sahni was also an actor and social activist. His notable works include Tamas (Darkness) which was then converted into a television screenplay. His compositions have powerful messages on the account of India’s independence and the partition. Sahni’s writing styles were widely acclaimed for their grace and details. He was honoured with many awards like the Colour of Nation Award, the Soviet Land Nehru Award, the Padma Bhushan Award, etc.
Born in Allahabad, Dharamveer Bharti is known for his distinctive writing and story-telling styles. Apart from writing poems, screenplays, stories, he was also a social-thinker. His noteworthy works include prose like Gunaho Ka Devta, Suraj ka Satwan Ghoda; poems like Toota Pahiya, Thanda Loha, etc. Bharti had popular collections of stories like Ankahi, Neel Lake, etc. His book ‘Andha Yug’ received global recognition and was published by the Oxford University Press. He was also given many awards like the Maharana Mewar Foundation Award, the Kaudiya Nyas, Vyasa Samman, and the Padma Shri Award.
Other phenomenal gems of Hindi literature are-
- Vishnu Prabhakar
- Sri Lal Shukla
- Panishwar Nathu ‘Renu’
- Bisham Sahani
- Munshi Premchand
- Harivansh Rai Bachchan
- Kashi Nath Singh
- Babu Devakinandan Khatri
Must Read List of Indian Novels!
- Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan ( Buy Here )
- Nirmala by Premchand ( Buy Here )
- Yama by Mahadevi Verma ( Buy Here )
- Kamayani by Jaishankar Prasad ( Buy Here )
- Tamas by Bhisham Sahni ( Buy Here )
- Kashi Ka Assi by Kashi Nath Singh ( Buy Here )
- Maila Aanchal by Phanishwar Nath Renu ( Buy Here )
- Rashmirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar ( Buy Here )
- Raag Darbari by Sri Lal Shukla ( Buy Here )
- Kitne Pakistan by Kamleshwar ( Buy Here )
- Maila Aanchal by Phanishwar Nath Renu ( Buy Here )
- Aapka Bunti by Mannu Bhandari ( Buy Here )
- Mrityu: Jaanen Ek Mahayogi Se by Sadhguru ( Buy Here )
- Dark Horse: Ek Ankahi Dastan by Nilotpal Mrinal ( Buy Here )
- Badle Apni Soch To Badlenga Jeevan by Bhupendra Singh Rathore ( Buy Here )
- Banaras Talkies by Satya Vyas ( Buy Here )
- October Junction by Divya Prakash Dubey ( Buy Here )
- Gunaho ka Devta by Dharamveer Bharti (Buy Here)
- Savarkar: Ek Bhule-Bisre Ateet Ki Goonj 1883-1924 by Vikram Sampath ( Buy Here )
- Aughad by Nilotpal Mrinal ( Buy Here )
- Main Apradhi Janm Ka by Surendra Mohan Pathak ( Buy Here )
- Aadhunik Sahitya ki Pravritiyan by Namavar Sinha ( Buy Here )
- Jaayasee Aakalan ke Aayaam by Sadanand Shaahee ( Buy Here )
- Kabeer by Param Anand Srivastav ( Buy Here )
- Kabeer ke Sabad by Dr. Sukadev Sinha ( Buy Here )
- Khadi Boli ka Prarambhik Swaroop by Nilesh Jain ( Buy Here )
- Mahaabhoj Mulyankan ke Paripekshy by Sadaanand Shaahee ( Buy Here )
- Mohan Raakesh aur Ashadh ka Ek din by Gireesh Rastogi ( Buy Here )
- Niraala Rachita Raam Kee Shakti Pooja Bhaashy by Dr. Surya Prasaad Dikshit ( Buy Here )
- Prasāda Aura Skandgupta by Dr. Rēvatīramana ( Buy Here )
- Triveni by Acharya Ramachandra Shukla ( Buy Here )
These were a few of the many esteemed gems of Hindi literature. It is essential to treasure and read their wise and creative work and incorporate their names on occasions like Hindi Day. If you are inclined towards creative writing or literature, reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu who will assist you in choosing the perfect course and university as per your requirements. Sign up for a free session today!
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History of Hindi Literature
Hindi Literature has this vast heritage behind it. But the form of present standard Hindi Literature in Hindi Language is of comparatively recent origin, not earlier than the first decade of the nineteenth century. It is built on the basic structure of a western Indo-Aryan dialect spoken in and around Delhi known as Khari Boli—an epithet originally used in a derogatory sense implying rough and crude speech.
Hindi has evolved as a distinct literary form of its own, out of several denote several dialects which had used in India since centuries.
Since centuries, many languages that are prevalent in India are :
- Braj-bhasha in which Surdas sang,
- Avadhi in which Tulsidas wrote,
- Rajasthani in which the earliest secular literature in the form of heroic ballads appeared in north India and in which Mirabai sang,
- Bhojpuri, the mother tongue of Kabir,
- Maithili which in the hands of Vidyapati attained immense grace and power.
The early period of Hindi literature is known as Adikala. This period comes up to mid-fourteenth century. It may be noted that while the origin of Hindi is traced by scholars to the period between the 7th and 10thcenturies AD, it was only in the late 12th and early 13th centuries that Hindi literature could be said to have crossed the stage of infancy. The Adikala period was embellished by the Siddhas, the Jain poets, the Nathapanthis and the heroic poets. Chand Bardai’s Pritviraja Rasau was the earliest representation of the tradition of secular writing in Hindi (of the Rajasthan dialect). One of the pioneer experimenters in Hindi was Amir Khusrau.
From the middle of the fourteenth century to the middle of the seventeenth century Bhakti kavya dominates Hindi literature. Kabir is the outstanding poet of the Nirguna School which believed in a formless or abstract God. Guru Nanak is another great poet of this school. The Saguna School believed in a God with attributes, a human incarnation, and this school is represented by the Vaishnava poets singing in praise of either Rama or Krishna. If the great champions of Krishna are Surdas and Vidyapathi, Tulsidas sang of Rama.
There was another school of writing called the Ritikavya kaal. Literally the word ‘riti’ means ‘a way’. In Hindi it refers to the special form giving predominance to the erotic element.
Historic poetry and epics were also written in this period. Muhammad Jayasi composed his Padmavat (Padmawat), a romantic epic, in the Hindi meter and dialect, but based on Persian masnavi style and written in Persian characters.
The second half of the nineteenth century saw Hindi literature enter the modern period. “Hindi had to face the difficult task of cutting a new broad channel into which the waters of its many tributaries could flow and which could be perennially fed from the vast reservoir of Sanskrit. This feat was performed by ‘Bharatendu’ Harishchandra and Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi”, says Krishna Kripalani. Bharatendu Harischandra is regarded as the father of modem Hindi literature. He deliberately chose the Khari Boli as the medium of prose and dramatic works, even as he used Braj-bhasha for his poetry. His writings reflect the urges and impulses of an age in which the old and the resurgent were inextricably woven together. His writings had an immense influence on other writers who enriched and modernized Hindi.
Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi brought a new vigor to literary activities and rejuvenated prose writing. Writers like Maithili Sharan Gupta reflected in their work a simultaneous growth of the old and the new. In his poetry rad1tional style in all its vitality is combined with the force of new ideals. He revived the epic tradition. It was an age when social, political and economic problems were taken up. Notable names of this school are Makhanlal Balkrishna Sharma ‘Navin’, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’.
Then came the romantic upsurge which came to be known as Chayavada. Jayashankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ and Sumitranandan Pant were the leaders of this movement. Jaishankar Prasad’s Kamayani published in 1936 presents the psycho-biological journey of man through time and space. Mahadevi Varma is another major poet of the Chayavad School of Hindi Literature. Nature was given importance by these writers who wrote according to their inner urges.
After Chayavad came two rival trends. One was progressivism—Pragativada—or people’s poetry inspired by Marxian ideology. Yashpal, Nagarjun, Rameshwar Shukla and Naresh Mehta belong to this school. The other was Prayagavada or experimentalism, looking upon experiment or constant quest as the basic element of life and literature. Vatsyayam (Agyeya) initiated this movement. His Sekhar Ek Jivani is a noteworthy work. Others in this school are Dharmavir Bharati, Girija Kumar Mathur and Lakshmi Kant Verma.
In the field of fiction in Hindi Literature, the name of Premchand stands out. Munshi Premchand brought contemporary realism into the Hindi novel and short story. His imaginative insight into the life of the common folk, especially in the villages, and his simple and direct delineation of that life had a great influence on many other writers of the time. The ‘Progressive’ school owed much to Premchand. The post-Premchand novel is characterized by historical, psychological and progressive factors. Novels of ‘local colour’ are being developed.
In the field of drama, the first original drama in the real sense was Gopal Chandra’s Nahusa Nataka. But it was Gopal Chandra’s son ‘Bharatendu Harischandra’ who affected a compromise between the technique of Sanskrit and Western drama to evolve Hindi prose-drama in the real sense.
In the field of literary criticism, Acharya Ramchandra Shukla synthesized ancient Sanskrit poetics and modem Western criticism.
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The Hindi Language has its roots in the classical Sanskrit language. The language acquired its current from over many centuries, and numerous dialectical variations still exist. Hindi literature may be traced back to medieval times when poets composed in dialects such as Braj Bhasha and Avadhi. Prose was a late-comer to the Hindi literary scene and the first work of prose in Hindi is generally agreed upon as being the fantasy novel ‘Chandrakanta’ written by Devaki Nandan Khatri.
As far as Hindi poetry goes, four prominent stages may be identified in Hindi poetry. These are Bhakti (Devotional e.g., Kabir, Raskhan), Shringar (Eulogizing Beauty e.g., Keshav, Bihari), Veer-Gatha (Extolling Brave warriors) and Adhunik (Modern).
The development of Hindi literature can be divided into following periods.
Adi Kaal (before 1400 AD)
In ancient period of Hindi or Adi Kaal (before 1400 AD), Hindi literature was developed in the states of Kannauj, Delhi and Ajmer. Delhi was ruled by Prithviraj Chauhan and his court poet was Chand. Kannauj’s last Rathore ruler was Jayachand, who gave more patronage to Sanskrit (which was no longer the common man’s language). His court poet was Harsh (Whose major poetic work was Naishdhiya charitra). Mahoba’s royal poet Jagnayak (or Jagnik) and Ajmer’s Nalha were other literary figures in this period. However, after Prithviraj Chauhan’s defeat, most literary works belonging to this period were destroyed in Muhammad Gori’s campaign. Very few scriptures, manuscripts from this period are available and their genuineness is also doubted.
Some Sittha and Nathpanthi poets’ works belonging to the period are also found, but their genuineness in again, doubted. Siddhas belonged to Vajrayana, a later Buddhist cult. Many argue that the language of Siddha poetry is not earlier Hindi, but Magadhi Prakrit. Nathpanthis were yogis who practiced Hatha yoga. Some Jain and Rasau (heroic poets) poetry works are also available from this period.
In Deccan region in South India, Dakkhini or Hindavi was used. It flourished under the Delhi Sultanate and later under the Nizams of Hyderabad. It was written in the Persian script. Nevertheless, the HIndavi literature can be considered as proto-Hindi literature. Many Deccani experts like Sheikh Ashraf, Mulla Vajahi used the word Hindavi to describe this dialect. Others like Roustami, Nishati etc preferred to call it Deccani. Shah Buharnuddin Janam Bijapuri used to call it Hindi. The first Deccani author was Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz Muhammad Hasan. He wrote three prose works – Mirazul Aashkini, Hidayatnama and Risala Sehwara. His grandson Abdulla Hussaini wrote Nishatul Ishq. The first Deccani poet was Nizami.
In later part of this period and early Bhakti Kala, many saint-poets like Ramanand and Gorakhnath became famous. Earliest form of Hindi can also be seeni n some of Vidyapati’s Maithili works.
The medieval Hindi literature is marked by the influence of Bhakti movement and composition of long, epic poems. Avadhi and Braj were the dialects in which literature was developed. The main works in Avadhi are Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavat and Tulasidas’s Ramcharitmanas. The major works in Braj dialect are Tulsidas’s Vinay Patrika and Surdas’s ‘Sur Sagar’.
Bhakti poetry had two schools – the Nirguna school (the believers of a formless God or an abastract name) and the Saguna school (the believers of a God with attributes and worshippers of Vishnu’s incarnations). Kabir and Guru Nanak belong to the Nirguna school, while Vaishnava poets like Surdas, Tulsidas and others belonged to the Suguna school.
In Ritikavya or Ritismagra Kavya period, the erotic element became pre-dominant in the Hindi literature.
Modern Period of Hindi Literature: (after 1800 AD)
Due to Maratha, british and Afghan influences, the Hindi of Central India was affected. Avadhi and Braj had lost their prestige as the language of the learned. Khari dialect became the chief literary language. Some mediocre literature was produced during early 18th century. Some examples are ‘Chand Chhand Varnan Ki Mahima’ by Gangabhatt, ‘Yogavashishtha’ by Ramprasad Niranjani, ‘Gora-Badal ki Katha’ by Jatmal, ‘Mandovar ka Varnan’ by Anonymous, a translation of Ravishenacharya’s Jain Padmapuran by Daulatram.
The college president John Gill Chirst hired professors to write books in Hindi and Urdu. Some of these books were Premsagarby Lalloolal, ‘Naasiketopaakhyan’ by Sadal MIshra, ‘Sukhsagar’ by sadasukhlal of delhi and ‘Rani Ketaki ki Kahani’ by Munshi Inshallah Khan.
By this time, Hindustani had become public’s language. To distinguish themselves from the general masses, the learned Muslims used to write in Urdu (infested with Persian and Arabic vocabulary), while Khadiboli became prominent among educated Hindus. (Literary Hindi) was popularized by the writings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Bharatendu Harishchandra preferred Braj dialect for poetry, but for prose, he deliberately used Khadiboli. Other important writers of this period are Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, Maithili Sharan Gupt, R.N. Tripathi and Gopala Sharan Sinha. The rising numbers of newspapers and magazines made Khadiboli popular among the educated people.
The person who brought realism in the Hindi literature was Munshi Premchand, who is considered as the most revered figure in the world of Hindi fiction and progressive movement. Before Premchand, the Hindi literature revolved around fairy of magical tales, entertaining stories and religious themes. Premchand’s novels have been translated into many other languages.
Jainendra Kumar, Phaneshwar Nath Renu and Ajenya (Satchidananda Vatsyayan) are the other popular figures of this time. Jainendra Kumar explored the human psyche in novel like Sunita and Tyagapatra. Renu’s Maila Aanchal is one of the major works of this period. Ajneya bought experimentalism (prayogvaad) in the Hindi literature. His most famous novel is Shekhar Ek Jivani (1941).
In 20th century, Hindi literature saw a romantic upsurge. This is known as Chhayavaad and the literary figures belonging to this school are known as Chhayavaadi. Jaishankar Prasad, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ and Mahadevi Varma are the major Chhayavaadi poets.
Hindi Literature today
Most of the Hindi literature being produced today is largely mediocre. English is fast replacing Hindi as the choice of new Indian writers, as it allows them to reach a wider audience.
Prominent Figures of Hindi Literature
- Kabir (15th century) is known for his Granthavali which contains verses with love as the dominant motif. He was a major figure of the bhakti (devotional) movement.
- Goswami Tulasidas (1532 A.D -1623 A.Ds) is the greatest Hindi poet of the medieval period. His Ramcharitamanas which is a retelling of the Ramayana continues to be popular in India and the Caribbbean.
- Raskhan was another prodigous poet.
- Bihari (1595-1664) became famous by writing Satasai (Seven hundred Verses).
- Munshi Premchand (1880-1936) was a great novelist. Of his novels, Godan (The Gist of a Cow, 1936) is considered the best. In this book he sketches rural life in an unparalleled manner. Doctors, Lawyers, Land-owners, farmers, and every part of the pre-independence India find voice nithis writings.
- Maithili Sharan Gupt (1886-1964) was a pioneer of Khadiboli poetry and the author of the apic Saket in modern Hindi literature.
- Jaishankar Prasad (1889-1937) was a leader of the literary movment called Chhayavaad.
- Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ (1899-1961) wrote twelve collections of poetry, six novels, many short stories, essays and criticism and also translated from Sanskrit and Bengali.
- Sumitranandan Pant authored twenty eight published works including poetry, verse plays and essays.
- Yashpal (1903-1976) is renowned for Jhutha Sach (The False Truth, 1958-1960), which is regarded as one of the best Hindi novels ever written.
- Hazariprasad Dwivedi (1907-1979), novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar, penned numerous novels, collections of essays and a historical outline of Hindi literature.
- Mahadevi Varma was one of the four pillars of the great Romantic movement in modern Hindi poetry, Chhayavada, the remaining three being Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Jaishankar Prasad and Sumitranandan Pant. Her mysticism led to the birth of a movement called Rahasyavada. She has been compared with Mira Bai, the great 16th century devotional poetess, in her lyrical mysticism.
- Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ (1908-1974) emerged as a rebellious poet with his nationalist poetry in Pre-independence days.
- Nagarjun (b. 1911), is a major Hindi poet who has also penned a number of novels, short stories, literary biographies and travelogues. The most popular practicing Hindi poet in the last decades of the twentieth century, Nagarjun is considered as the only poet, after Tulasidas, to have an audience ranging from the rural sections of society to the elite. His poems are usually centred around regional topies.
- S.H. Vatsyayan (1911-1987), (Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana), was popularly known by his pen-name Ajneya or Agyeya, was a pioneer of modern trends not only in the realm of poetry, but also fiction, criticism and journalism. He was one of the most prominent exponents of the ‘Nayi kavita’ (New Poetry) in Hindi, and edited the ‘Tar Saptaka’s. Amongst the most well-known of his poetry anthologies are ‘Aangan ke paar dvaar’, ‘Chakranta-Shila’, ‘Kitni naavon mein kitni baar’, “Hari ghaas par kshan-bhar’, ‘Indradhanu raunde hue ye’ etc. His major prose works include ‘Shekhar: Ek Jeevani’. Agyeya was an extensive traveler, and in course of his travels held visiting positions at various institutions around the world, e.g. UC Berkeley. He received numerous honours such as the Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpith Award, Bharatbharati Award and the International Golden Wreath Award for poetry.
- Vishnu Prabhakar (b. 1912), with several short stories, novels, plays and travelogues to his credit, won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, Ardhanarishvara (The Androgynous God or Shiva).
- Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’ (1921-1977) is one of the great Hindi novelists of the post-Premchanda era. His masterpiece is Maila Anchal (The Soiled Border, 1954), a social novel that depicts the life of a region and its people, the backward and the deprived. His short story ‘Maare Gaye Gulfam’ has been made into a film. Another of his short story ‘Panchlight’ (Petromax) is beautiful in its depiction of human behaviour. One can find many parallels between his and Premchand’s writings only that if Premchand is a sea than he is a pond, talking in context of depth and expanse.
- Shrilal Shukla (b. 1925) became renowned for his objective and purposive satire.
- Mohan Rakesh (1925-1972) was one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani movement of the 1950s. He made significant contribution to novel, short story, travelogue, criticism, memoirs and drama.
- Dharmavir Bharati (1926-1977) was a renowned Hindi writer and known to many as the editor of the magazine Saaptahik HIndistan. Amongst his famous works are ‘Suraj ka saatva ghoda’ (The Seventh Steed of the Sun), and the lyrical play ‘Andha-Yug’. The former is a short novella with seven relatively independent plots, but each woven together in an integrated whole. It has at places scathing wit, and may be read as meta-fiction or an an allegory. The latter is a moral allegory that draws its rubric from the Mahabharata but converys a timeless message about degeneration of values in human society. He also wrote some very insightful essays, and some prominent essay anthologies are Thele par Himalaya and Pashyanti.
- Raghuvir Sahay (1929-1990) together with Mohan Rakesh, Bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, is the founder of the Nai Kahani (New short story) in Hindi literature. He is best known for his short stories.
- Nirmal Verma (b. 1929) together with Mohan Rakesh, Bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, is the founder of the Nai Kahani (short story) in Hindi literature. He is best known for his short stories.
- Narendra Kohli (b. 1940) known for his plays, saties, short stories andnovels, he is best known for his works on Ram katha (Abhyudaya), Mahabharat (Mahasamar) and Vivekanand (Toro Kara Toro).
- Harishankar Parsai is known for his works of satire that attacked the hypocrisy and corruption rampant in various walks of life.
- Jainendra is an extremely influential figure in the 20th century Hindi literature. His works are known for powerful depiction of female characters. His major works include ‘Sunita’, ‘Dashartha’ etc. He has also written numerous short stories.
Hindi Literature Writers
Kabir (1398-1468 or 1440-1518):.
Kabir was born to Julaha (Muslim weavers) parents. Kabir is known for his voluminous Kabir Granthavali which contains various verse forms with love as the dominant motif. He employed the bhakti (devotional) sensibility to resist the world-view which imposed the degradation on him and his fellow low-born. His devotional couplets dohas have played a vital role in moulding the Indian ethos.
Goswami Tulasidas (1532-1623):
Tulasidas is the finest powet of Hindi literature has produced to date. His works, of which Ramcharitamanas (The Lake that is the Story of Rama) is unarguably the greatest, the relevant at three levels-aesthetic, moral and social. His lofty idealism continues to inspire his readers, even today.
Bihari achieved immortal fame by writing just one book Satasai (Seven Hundred Verses). His name finds mention in the Imperial Gazeteer alongwith Tulsidas and Surdas. He wrote in Brijbhasha (a dialect spoken in the Brij region of Uttarpradesh) about love. To him God was love, love God. His couplets have been compared to barbs, for they srike deep.
Munshi Premchand (1880-1936):
Premchand was the foremost novelist in Hindi and Urdu. His last completed novel in Hindi, was Godan (The Gift of a Cow, 1936). The greatness of Godan lies in its unparalleled and indepth depiction of the Indian nanguages as well as many foreign languages. Premchand’s other epic novels include Rangabhumi (The Theare or Arena, 1925) and Karmabhumi (Arena of Action, 1932) where the focus is on the nationalist struggle of the country.
Maithili Sharan Gupt (1886-1964):
Maithili Sharan Gupt is considered as one of the pioneers of ‘Khari Boli’ (plain dialect) poetry and the author of the first ever epic in modern Hindi literature. In his literary career spanning 57 years, Gupt has written sixty works, comprising forty nine collections and seventeen translations of poetry and drama. He was perhaps, the only poet in Independent India to be honoured with the title ‘National Poet’. In saket (Ayodhya, 1932), the poet draws on the mythological tale of Rama, falling back heavily on Tulasidas’s epic Ramcharitamanas. Also evident are influences of Valmiki’s Ramayana, Bhavabhuti’s play Uttara Rama Charita, Kalidasa’s Raghuvamsa and the Mahabharata of Vyasa.
Jaishankar Prasad (1889-1937):
Jaishankar Prasad is one of the pioneers of the Hindi literary movement called Chayavada. Lehar (Wave), his last collection of poems was published before his great poem, Kamayani (1936), and clearly demonstrates his lyrical and narrative mastery. Along with Ansu (Tears), an earlier long poem and Kamana, an allegorical play, Lehar forms a prelude to Kamayani, an allegorical epic poem. His unique sense of history and remarkable insight into the spitirual malady that plagues modern civilization set Jaishankar Prasad apart from his poetic peers.
Suryakant Tripathi (1899-1961):
He acheved fame through his pen-name ‘Nirala’ (the unique), deriving inspiration from the best minds of theIndian Renaissance, then flourishing in Bengal. Nirala was a born genius and sans formal education, studied Indian classics, philosophy and culture. Deeply rooted in Indian culture, he stood agains the Establishment, gaining recognition as a poet of revolt. Besides twelve collections of poetry, which included Apara (The Earthly knowledge, 1947) Nirala also penned six novels, many short stories, essays and criticism, and also translated from Sanskrit and Bengali. Renowned for his prose, Nirala is also associated with bringing in free verse in the modern era.
Sumitranandan Pant (1900-77):
He is an author of twenty eight published works including poetry, verse plays and essays, was honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan (1961), Jnanpith (1968), Sahitya Akademi and Soviet Land-Nehru Awards for his immense contribution to the Hindi literary scene. His poetry epitomized the Indian thought of Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram (the true, the good and the beautiful). A preminent of the chayavada movement was on the decline, Pant was the poet who effortlessly made the transition from aesthetic mysticism to the temporal, doing so in terms of the Marxist ideology. This phase later gave way to the larger humanism of Aurobindo. Thus in his later writings, Pant the aesthete emerged as a thinker, philosopher and humanist. His finest work, by far, I Pallava, acollection of thirty two poems written between 1918 and 1925.
Yashpal is renowned for “Jhutha Sach” (The False Truth, 1958-60): regarded as the finest Hindi novel written on the chaotic Indian scenario which followed closely on the heels of the partition. A Marxist till the very end, Yashpal’s ideology immensely influenced his writings. He has forty two books to his credit, excluding translated works.
Hazariprasad Dwivedi (1907-79):
He is a famous novelist, literary historian, essayist, critic and scholar, penned numerous novels, collections of essays and a historical outline of Hindi literature. His principal works include Kabir, and banabhatta Ki Atmakatha (The Autobiography of banabhatta, 1946), a literary depiction of the life and times of the classical poet. The latter is in the mode of a fiction within fiction. The author pretends to have accidentally found the entire work, his own role in creating it being ‘minimal’.
Mahadevi Verma (1907-87):
Mahadevi Verma was educated in Allahabad, where she founded the ‘Prayag Mahila Vidyapitha’, promoting the education of girls. An active freedom fighter, Mahadevi Verma is regarded as one of the four pillars of the great Romantic movement in modern Hindi poetry, Chayavada, the remaining three being Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Jaishankar Prasad and Sumitranandan Pant. She is renowned for her book of memoirs, Atita Ke Chalcitra (The Moving Frames of the Past) and Smriti Ki Rekhayen (The Lines of Memory). Her poetic canvas boasts Dipshikha (The Flame of an Earthen Lamp, 1942), a book comprising fifty one lyrics, all of which carry the maturity of expression and intense mystical quality peculiar to this great artist. Her mysticism led to the birth of a movement called Rahasyavada. Mahadevi Verma has often been compared with Mira Bai, the great 16th century A.D. devotional poetess, in her lyrical mysticism and deep devotional offerings to the Almighty.
Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ (1908-74):
Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ emerged as rebellious poet with his nationalist poetry in Pre-Independence days. After the country’s Independence, has was often referred to as the national poet of India, though officially the title belonged to Maithili Sharan Gupt. He belongs to the generation immediately following the Chayavadi (romantic) poets. Dinkar is renowned for his personal lyrics, apart from a few historical and nationalist compositions. His verse play, Urvashi, (1961) is a dramatic departure from his earlier poetry of social concern, as it deals with love and passion, the earthy and the sublime, and man-woman relationship transcending the physical. A Jnanpith Award winner (1972), the book is the culmination of a poet’s spiritual journey. It is a landmark document involving introspection and philosophical delving into the Kamadhyatma, the Metaphysic of Desire.
Nagarjun (b. 1911):
Nagarjun is major Hindi poet who has also penned a number of novels, short stories, literary biographies and travelogues. His Pratinidhi Kavitayen (A Collection of Representative Poems, 1984) was written over four decades. It contains almost eighty Hindi poems as well as a small section of poetry in Maithili, his mother-tongue, where he is better known as Baidyanath Mishra ‘Yatri’. Nagarjun creates poetry out of the most mundane things in life, employing the language of everyday speech and thus bringing poetry as an art form closer to the common man. The most popular practicing Hindi poet in the last decades of the twentieth century Nagarjun is considered as the only poet, after Tulsidas, to have an audience ranging from the rural sections of society to the elitist gatherings.
S.H. Vatsyayan (1911-87), (Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayana):
He is popularly known by his pen-name ‘Ajneya’ or Agyeya, was a pioneer of modern trends not only in the realm of poetry, but also fiction, criticism and journalism in Hindi. An eminent freedom fighter, Ajneya has to his credit sixteen volumes of poetry, three novels, travelogues and several triggered new trends in Hindi poetry, known a ‘Nai Kavita’. He edited many literary journals and also launched his own Hindi weekly, Dinaman, thus establishing new standards in the firld of Hindi journalism. Ajneya was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpith Award, Bharatbharati Award and the internationally reputed Golden Wreath Award for poetry. His famous works include Amgan Ke Par Dvara (The Door Beyond the Courtyard) and a cycle of poems, Chakranta Shila.
Vishnu Prabhakar (b. 1912):
With several short stories, novels, plays and travelogues to his credit won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, Ardhanarishwara (The Androgynous God or Shiva). His biography of the eminent Bengali novelist, Saratchangra Chatterjee, Awara Masiha (Vagabond Prophet, 1974) is however considered not only, to be his magnum opus, but also one of the three best Hindi biographies written so far. Awara Masiha, a subtle combination of fact and fiction, took Prabhakr around fourteen years to finish.
Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’ (1921-77):
He is popularly known as Renu, is one of the great Hindi novelists of the post-Premchand era. An active political activist, oneo f Renu’s masterpieces is Maila Anchal (The Soiled Border, 1954), a social novel that depicts the life of a region and its people, the backward and the deprived. A trailblazer in the post-Premchand period, the novel radically changed the structure and narrative style in Hindi novels. The distinct feature in the novel is that it does not possess a structure plot or story in the conventional sense. After Premchand’s Godan, Maila Anchal is regarded as the most significant Hindi novel.
Shrilal Shukla (b. 1925)
Shula, an IAS officer, is renowned for his objective and purposive satire in contemporary Hindi fiction. In 1957, he published his first novel, Sooni Ghat ka Sooraj (The Sun of a Desolate Valley) followed by a series of satires Amgada Ka Pamva (Angada’s Foot) in 1958. His Raag Darbari (Melody of the Court, one of the ragas, 1968) is the first satirical novel of its kind in Hindi spanning a wide spectrum of post-Independene rural India, specifically Avadh. It was Shrilal Shukla who took wit, irony and sarcasm to great heights in Hindi literature. Raag Darbari is generousy peppered with folk witticisms of Avadhi, the powerful dialect in which Tulasidas, Malik Mohammad Jaysi and many Sufi poets made their mark.
Mohan Rakesh (1925-72):
He was one of the pioneers of the Nai Kahani movement in Hindi in the 1950s. rakesh made significant contribution to various genres, like nove, short story, travelogue, criticism, memoirs and drama. His Ashadha Ka Ek Din (One Day in The Rainy Month of Ashadha, 1958) is a historical play suggestive of the personal dilemma of a present day writer. Ashadha Ka Ek Din is one of the first major original plays that revived the Hindi stage in the 1960s. Among his other plays is, Adhe Adhure (The Incomplete Ones) is extremely popular with the modern middle-class audiences, and Lehron Ke Rajhamsa (The Swans of the Waves), a close study of the renuniciation of the Buddha, and its effect on his own people.
Dharmavir Bharati (b. 1926):
He is a renowned poet, fictionist and editor. Essentially a romantic humanist, Bharati is famous for his poignant treatment of first love, his lyricism and humanistic vision. One of his famous works is Andha Yuga (The Blind Age or The Age of Darkenss), one of the most celebrated modern Hindi plays. Bharati has been honoured with some of the highest literary and state awards, including the Padma Shri.
Raghuvir Sahay (1929-90):
He was a versatile Hindi poet, translator, short-story writer and journalist. The editor of the weekly Dinaman, Sahay’s five books of poems includes Log Bhool Gaye Hain (They Have Forgotten, 1982) which won him the Sahitya Akademi Award. The poet of the common man, Sahay dealt with topics hitherto unexplored by other Hindi male poets. His treatment of women in his works in extraordinatily sensitive. His Atmahatya Ke Viruddha (Against Suicide, 1967) comprises 36 poems. A powerful democratic sensibility and great concern for the dispossessed, especially women, is the hallmark of his works. The marginalization of the average person, hypocrisy of the powers that be, and the brutish violence that has crept into the system are some of his principal themes. But perseverance and going on with life clearly emerge as his mottos.
Nirmal Verma (b. 1929):
Verma together with Mohan Rakesh, bhisham Sahni, Kamleshwar, Amarkant and others, is credited with introducing an destablishing the Nai Kahani (the modernist new short story) in Hindi literature. His technical wizardry and cosmopolitan sensibility render Nirmal verma a one-of-a-kind artiste. Although he has published four novels, six collections of essays and cultural criticism, it is his short stories that beautifully bring out his ethereal sensitivity, lyricism and profound compassion. Kavve aur Kala Paani (Crows and the black waters, 1983) translated as The crows of Deliverance comprises seven of Verma’s latest stories, which deal with the spiritual ills that afflict his characters, mostly from the urban middle class.
- Adikal – middle of the 10th century to the beginning of the 14th century (the early period)
- Bhaktikal – 14th to 17th century (depending o their devotional attitude, i.e. the Devotional period)
- Ritikal – 18th Century to the middle of the 19th century (on the basis of their subject, i.e. the Scholastic Period)
- Adhunikkal – middle of the 19th century to the present day onwards (the Modern Period)
Types of Oral Songs
Types (e.g.) Ballads, Lyrics, Hymns, Travelogues, Rituals song, Mavagi song, Festival song, Folk Song, Nautanlei, Natak, Dashawatar, Yakshagana, Marsiya, Mourning Song, Lullabies, Kirtan/Bhajan
A ballad is a story in song, usually a narrative song or poem. It is a thythmic saga of a past affair, which may be heroic, romantic or satirical, almost inevitably catastrophic, which is related in the third person, usually with foreshortened alternating four-and three-stress lines (‘ballad meter’) and simple repeating rhymes, and often with a refrain.
A lyric (from the Greek) is a song sung with a lyre. Now, it is commonly used to mean a song of no defined length or structure. A lyric poem is one that expresses a subjective, personal point of view.
A hymn is a song specifically written as a song of praise, adoration of prayer, typically addressed to God.
Folk music, in the original sense of the term, is music by and of the people. Folk music arose, and best survives, in societies not yet affected by mass communication and the commercialization of culture. It normally was shared and performed by the entire community (not by a special class of expert performers), and was transmitted by word of mouth. During the 20th century, the term folk music took on a second meaning: it describes a particular kind of popular music which is culturally descended from or otherwise influenced by traditional folk music. Like other popular music this kind of folk music is most often performed by experts and is transmitted in organized performances and commercially distributed recordings. However, popular music has filled some of the roles and purposes of the folk music it has replaced.
A lullaby is a song sung to children before they go to sleep. The idea is that the song will lull the child to sleep.
History of Hindi Literature
The various dialects of Hindi have evolved from the different forms of Apabhraṁśa. Apabhraṁśa in turn has evolved from Prakrit and Prakrit from Sanskrit. Apabhraṁśa poetry is comprised of the heroic ballads as well as the religious literature of the Siddha and Jain poets. These trends were further developed by the early Hindi poetry. However, some critics are of the opinion that it is difficult to draw a line between Apabhraṁśa and Hindi. Critics and scholars like Sivasingh Sengar, Mishra bandhus, Rahul Sankrityayan, Ramchandra Shukla and Ramkumar Verma have expressed the view that the beginning of Hindi literature can be traced to the 7th or 8th century. Now, however, it has been accepted that the Apabhraṁśa literature is actually the old Hindi literature.
The Hindi poetry begins with Ādikāl, the first of the four stages of Hindi literature. The poetry of Ādikāl (the initial period) is a continuation of the Apabhraṁśa poetry.
Ādikāl (The initial period)
Scholars have assigned various nomenclatures to this period. According to Ramchandra shukla, this period may be called ‘Vīragāthākāl (period of heroic ballads). According to Mishrabandhu, this period may be called ‘Ārambhikakāla’ (the initial period). Rahul Sankrityayana has called this period ‘Siddha-Sāmanthakāl’ (period of the Siddhas and feudal lords). According to Ramkumar Verma, the period may be called ‘cāran̙akāl’. The name ‘Ādikāla’ (the initial period) given by Hazariprasad Dwivedi is the most appropriate and popular.
Who was the first poet of Hindi? There are different opinion in this regard. According to the first view, Pushya or Pun̙d̙a, who lived in the 7th century, was the first Hindi poet. According to Rahul Sanskrityayana, the first Hindi poet was Sarhapa, who was one of the eighty four Siddhas and who lived in the 7th or 8th century. He has also included Kanhapa, Hemchandra, Gorakhnath, Swayambhu and Abdurrahman along with Sarhapa in the fold of early Hindi poetry. According to a third opinion Salibhadra Suri, a Jain poet was the first Hindi poet.
This age is marked by several trends (i) The secular poetry including the famous heroic ballads (ii) the religious poetry including the literature of the Siddhās, Nāthpanthīs and the Jain poets.
The bulk of the secular poetry consists of the ‘Rāso’ poems which are representative of this age. ‘Rāso’ poems are heroic ballads which narrate the epical stories of heroes. The word ‘Rāso’ is probably derived from Krishna’s ‘Rāsalilā’. The major ‘Rāso’ poems of this period are Chand Bardai’s ‘Prithvīrāj Rāso’, Dalapati Vijays ‘Khumān̙a Rāso’, Jagnik’s ‘Paramāla Rāso’, Narpati Nalhas ‘Bīsaldeva Rāso’ and Jajjal’s ‘Hammir Rāso’.
Out of these, the most well known is ‘Prithvīrāj Rāso’, the biography of king Prithvīrāj Chauhān the last Hindu king of Delhi, who fought the onslaughts of the invader Muhammad Ghauri. The historical authenticity of the incidents described in this work as well as in the other ‘Rāso’ poems, however is doubtful.
The major religious literature of the Siddhas reflects their beliefs. The Siddhas belonged to a Buddhist sect Vajrayāna, Practising tantrika rites. They criticized dogmatic religion and elaborate ritualism prevalent at that time. The major works of the Siddhas include Sarhapā’s ‘Dohākośā’ and Sabarapā’s ‘Caryāpada’. The other Siddhas who produced literature during this period were Dombipā and Kanhapā.
The Nāthpanthīs practiced ‘hat̘hyoga’. Gorakhnath is said to be the first preacher of this cult.
The works of the Jain poets reflected the Jain way of life. Their major works are : Salibhadra Sūri’s ‘Bharateshvara Bahubalī Rāsa’, Devasena’s ‘Srāvakācāra’, Vijayasena Suri’s ‘Revantagira Rāsa’. Some of the other poets are Asagu, Jina dhamma Suri and Sumati Gomi.
A special mention has to be made of Amir Khusro whose poetry is said to be among the first examples of the early Khariboli.
Bhaktikāla (The period of devotional poetry) (1350 – 1650 AD):
Bhaktikāla is said to be the golden age of Hindi literature. In this period, devotion was the main underlying emotion of all poetry. The influence of successive Islamic dynasties, firstly of the sultanate period, then of the mughal period on the Bhakti movement has been widely debated. The mughal period was comparatively peaceful and the overall feeling of peace and communal harmony was a major contributing factor in the rise of the Bhakti cult, But the origin of the Bhakti movement goes bote to the “Srimadbhagavatgita”. The wave of Bhakti got a thrust with the teaching of Nayanar and Alwar Saints. Later the Philosophies of Sankara Ramanuja, Nimbaka, Madhva and Vallabhacharya gave a strong base to the philocophical aspect of Bhakti.
The Bhakti movement was against ritualism, superstitions, casteism, untouchability etc. The two main streams of the Bhakti poetry of this period are Nirguna and Saguna. Nirguna form of Bhakti believed in a god who is formless and without attributes. Saguna god had attributed and had incarnations (avatāras) such as Rama and Krishna. But both the sects advocated devotion to a supreme god and a simple way of life.
The Nirguna poetry advocated Bhakti to an Absolute God in the form of mystical devotion, universal brotherhood and universal religion. The nirguna sect evolved into two sects – one was Jnanamarg, the other Premamarg. The Jnanamarg poets opposed the ritualistic orthodoxy and dogmatic form of religion, transcending the bonds of communities, place and time. The great saint-poet Kabir belonged to this cult. The other poets include Guru Nanak, Dadu, Raidas, Malukdas, Sundardas etc.
Kabir (1398 – 1518 AD) was the most significant poet of the Nirguna school who preached a religion that is universal in its appeal and above Hindu and Muslim dogmatic faiths. The mystic quality of his poetry, the spontaneity and simplicity of style and the synthesis of Hinduism and Islam made him the most famous mystic saint of India. Kabir was not only one of the most prominent personalities of the Bhakti cult, he had a profound impact on Indian philosophy. This contribution makes his poetry and personality eternally relevant.
The other poets of this school included Guru Nanakdeva, the founder of the Sikh faith, whose liberal humanism is reflected in his ‘padas’, compiled in Guru Granth Sāhib, the sacred book of the Sikhs. Dadu, Raidas, Malukdas, Sundardas etc. are the other poets of this school.
Premmarg or Premakhyanak school of poetry was influenced by the mystical cult of Sufism. The Premmargi poetry is a synthesis of Islam and Hindu thoughts. The long narrative style of poems. Masnavi, which originated in Persia, has an allegoric meaning which transported the devotees to spiritual heights. The devotion of ātma for the parmātmā (divine) is metaphorically portrayed in these narrative poems. The most well known poet of this school is Malik Mohammad Jayasi, whose epical poem ‘Padmavat’ is a blend of fiction and history, narrating the story of Ratnasena, the king of Chitor, his queen Nagmati, Padmāvati, the princess of Sinhala and Alauddin Khilji, the invader. The other works of this style is Hamāsvalī by Asait, Mr̙gāvatī by kutuban, Madhumālatī by Manjhan.
Sagun̙a Bhakti: The Sagun̙a school of bhakti developed into two streams Ramabhaktidhara and Krishnabhaktidhara. The Sagun̙a school is related to the Vaishnava thought and devotion. The Vaishnava philosophy had its mooring in the Srimadbhagavatgita and its background in the teachings of Ramanuja, Nimbarka Madhva and Vallabha.
Krishnabhaktidhashākhā: The attractive cult of Krishna was the source of inspiration of many Hindi poets. The most significant of the bhakta poets was Sūrdāsa who was the disciple of Vallabhāchārya. Sūrdāsa described the incidents in the life of Lord Krishna, his infancy, boyhood, adolescence and youth with rare intensity, divine joy and sublimity. His depiction of Vātsalya rasa – parental affection is unmatched in Hindi literary history. His main works are Sūrsagar, Sūr Sārāvali and Sāhitya Laharī. Sūrdāsa was one of the as̙t̘achāp poets, a group of eight poets who were in the same tradition as Sūrdāsa.
One of the most prominent poets of the Krishnabhakti school was Mīrābāi, whose mystical lyrics reflect an intense longing and yearning as well as a divine ecstasy of being one with the divine. Raskhān was another notable poet of this school.
Rāmbhaktishākhā: This school of poetry gave a human dimension to the character of Rama, idealizing his persons to inspire a dormant public. The most prominent poet of this school was Tulsidāsa, who wrote the epic ‘Rāmacharitamānas’, whose timeless popularity continues even to this day. His other works include ‘Vinaypatrikā’, ‘Dohāvali’ and ‘Kavitāvali’. Agradās and Nābhādās are the other poets of ‘Rāmabhakti Shākhā’.
Rītikāla: After the Bhakti age, the next literary trend in the history of Hindi literature is known as the Rītikāla. Poetry in this age (1650 – 1850 A.D) was written with the base of Indian Poetics. The various poetic qualities (gun̙as) styles (rītis) figures of speech (alankāras), poetic emotions and sentiments (rasas) description of heroes and heroines (nāyaka - nāyikā bhedas) were described by the poets. Most of these poets were patronized by the kings and as a consequence, the poetry written by these poets was either to praise the king or to entertain him. Therefore the tone of the poetry of this age is monotonously erotic. This is symbolic of the decadent feudal values of the times. The poetry of the ‘rīti’ era has been classified into three streams – ‘rītibaddha’ or poetry written to describe some poetic concept, ‘rītisiddha’ or poetry that does not overtly describe such a concept and ‘rītimukta’ or poetry that is free of the ‘rīti’. The major poets of this era are Keshavadāsa, Bihārī, Deva, Ghamānanda, Bhūshan̙a, Padmākara, Bodhā, Ālam, Thākur etc. Biharī’s ‘Satsai’, Matirām’s ‘Lohit Lalām, Bhushan̙’s ‘Shivarāj Bhūshan̙’, ‘Shiva Bāvanī’, Keshav’s ‘Rāmachandrika’ are the major works of this age.
Modern Age: After the ‘Ritikal’, Hindi literature entered the modern age. The development of Hindi literature in this age was manifold because the Hindi prose writing, which was negligible in the previous ages, developed into several significant genres in this age.
Bhāratendu age: Bharatendu Harishchandra was a towering figure who ushered in the modern age in Hindi literature. With the establishment of the British Empire and the resulting colonial exploitation, nationalism and cultural resurrection became the main trend of literature of this age. But the literature of this age is not totally free from the values of the earlier period. The notable works of poetry of this age are Bharatendu Harishchandras ‘Prem Mālikā’, ‘Prem Sarovar’, ‘Venu - giti’, Badarīnārāyan Chaudhari Premghan’s ‘Jirna Janpad’, ‘Anand Arunodaya’ ‘Mayanka Mahima’, Pratāpnārāyan Mishra’s ‘Prem Pushpāvalī’, ‘Man ki lahar’, ‘Shringār vilās’, Jaganmohan Singh’s ‘Premsam Pattilatā’, ‘Shyamlatā’, Ambikadatta Vyāsa’s ‘Pāvas pachāsā’, ‘Sukavi satsai’ etc. This was the beginning of poetry writing in the Khariboli dialect.
Prose writing in Hindi began with the modern age. In the Bharatendu era, novels were written as a medium of social and national awakening. The significant novelists of this age were Kishorilal goswami, Shraddharam Phullauri, Lala Srinivas Das, ‘Radhakrishna Das’, Balakrishna Bhatta, Lajjaram Sharma etc. The first novel in Hindi is said to be Shraddharam Phullauri’s ‘Bhagyavati’ written in 1877. According to Ramchandra Shukla, the first original Hindi novel was Srinivas Das’s ‘Parikshāguru’, published in 1882. The notable novels written during the Bhartendu age were, Shraddharam Phullauri’s ‘Bhagyavatī Srinivas Das’s ‘Parīkshāguru’, Radhakrishna Das’s ‘Nisshāya Hindū’, Balakrishna Bhatta’s ‘Nutan Brahmachārī’ and ‘Sau ajān ek sujān’ and Lajjārām Sharmā’s ‘Dhūrta Rasiklāl’. The novels of Devakinandan Khatri, such as ‘Chandrakāntā Santati’ also became very popular.
The modern short story began to be written before the Bhāratendu age. The early short stories include Inshaalla Khan’s ‘Rānī Kettī kī Kahānī’ or Udaybhān charit’, Lallulāl’s, ‘Sinhāsana Battīsī’, ‘Betāl pacchīsī’, Rājā Shivprasād Sitārehind’s ‘Rājā Bhoj kā Sapnā.
In this initial phase, stories were either based on Sanskrit stories or popular folklore or the tradition of short story in Urdu and Persian. But with the advent of Western culture and the increase in individual freedom, national awakening, cultural movement and growth of press, there was a revolution in prose writing. Kishorilal Goswami’s short story ‘Indumati’ was published in 1900 in ‘Saraswati’ which was different in content and style from the traditional short stories. Kishorilal goswami’s ‘Gulbahar’, Master Bhagvāndīn’s ‘Plague kī Churail’, Ramchandra Shukla’s ‘Gyārah varsha kā samay are the well known short stories of this era. Banga Mahila’s ‘Dulaiwali’, was also an important short story of this period.
The Hindi essay also evolved during this period. The essays of Bharatendu Harishchandra, Balakrishna Bhatta, Pratap Narayan Mishra, Badri Narayan Mishra, Badri Narayan Chaudhari, Bal Mukund Gupta, Jagmohan Singh, ‘Ambika Dutta Vyas, Shrinivas Das, Radhacharan Goswami etc. were published in Journals like Kavi Vachan Sudhā (Edited by Bharatendu Harishchandra), Hindī Pradīp (Edited by Balakrishna Bhatta), Brāhmana (Edited by Pratap Narayan Mishra) and Ānand Kādambinī.
The Hindi drama also began in the Bhāratendu age. Bhāratendu, Harishchandra’s ‘Chandrāvalī Nātikā’, ‘Vishasya Vishamaushadham’, ‘Bhārat durdasha’, ‘Andher Nagarī’, Srinivas Das’s ‘Randhīr’ and ‘Premmohinī’, Kishorīlāl Goswāmī’s ‘Dukkinī Bālā’ and ‘Padmāvatī’ were some of the major plays written in this period.
Dwivedi age: This was the formative stage in the development of Hindi language and literature. Kharībolī in this period gained acceptance and supremacy the language of prose and poetry. Mahāvīr Prasād Dwivedī, through his famous journal ‘Saraswatī’, inspired a whole generation of illustrations poets and prose – writers. Dwivedi contributed in purifying and refining the Kharībolī dialect. The poetry of this age is didactic and a vehicle of social reform and cultural upliftment. The galaxy of poets of this age was led by ‘Rashtra Kavi’ Maithili Sharan Gupta whose works like ‘Saket’ ‘Yashodharā’, Bhārat Bhārati’, ‘Pancavatī’, ‘Dwāpara’ etc. went a long way in giving standard and refinement to Hindi poetry. His inspired poetry reflected Indian values and culture and revived the tradition of classical epics. The other major works of this era are Ayodhyā Singh Upādhyāya Hariaudh’s ‘Priyapravās’ ‘Chokhe chaupade’, Ramnaresh Tripathī’s ‘Pathik’, ‘Milan’, etc.
The novelists of the Bharatendu age continued writing well into the Dwivedi age. In fact the Dwivedi age in a way is an extension of the previous age. The notable novels of this age were Lajjārām Sharma’s ‘Adarsha Dampati, Kishorilal Gowwami’s Līlāwatī wa ‘Ādarsha satī’, Ayothyāsingh Upadhyaya Hariaudh’s, ‘Adhkhilā phool’, Brajnandan Sahāy’s ‘Saundaryopāsak’, ‘Gangaprasad Gupta’s ‘Nurjahan’, ‘Patnī’, Jairamdas Gupta’s ‘Kashmir Patan’ etc. Prechand, who carried Hindi novel to great height, also began to write in this period.
During the Dwivedi age, Premchand emerged as the initiator of realism in Hindi literature and became a pioneering figure in modern Hindi short story writing. His important short stories include ‘Pancha Parmeshwar’, ‘Eidgāh’, ‘sadgati’, ‘Thakur kā kuān’, ‘Shatranj ke khilādī’, ‘Poos kī rāt’, ‘Kajan’ etc. Jayashankar Prasad was another major short story writer of this period. The other writers include Sudarshana, Vishwambharnath Sharma Kaushik, Juraladutta Sharma etc.
The second phase of Hindi essay began in the Dwivedi age with the journal ‘Saraswatī’ published by ‘Nagarī Pracharinī Sabhā’. The essayists of this age were Mahavīr Prasād Dwivedī Mādhav Prasād Mishrā, Govind Narāyan Mishrā, Chandradhar Sharmā gulerī Purna singh, Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthī, Soyārām Sharan Gupta, Ganga Prasād Agnihotrī, Ramchandra Shukla etc. The essays written by these essayist reflect cultural revival, social awakening and nationalism.
During the Dwivedi age, the Hindi drama continued to grow. Plays with social, cultural and historical themes continued to be written.
Chāyāvād age: Hindi literature touched the heights of literary beauty and grace with Chāyāvād, which is often referred to as the golden age of modern Hindi literature. The four pillars of Chāyāvād were poets of exceptional talent who gave a new direction to Hindi poetry and thoroughly transformed it in content and style. This poetry, romantic in tone in symbolized by intensity of feelings, aesthetic subtlety and poetic excellence. The background behind its emergence and development was the freedom movement the cultural renaissance spirit of human freedom and the noble ideal of humanism.
The stalwarts of Chāyāvād were four poets – Jaishankar Prasād, Sūryakānt Tripātī Nirālā, Sumitrānandan Pant and Mahadevī Verma. Jaishankar Prasad, a poet of subjective love, romance and spirituality, came to the limelight with his lyrical ‘Aansoo’, followed by ‘Jharnā’, ‘Kānan-Kusum’, ‘Lahar’ etc. His most significant work was the epical ‘Kāmāyanī’ which was the culmination and the climax of his poetic merit. In ‘Kāmayanī’, the journey of man is portrayed through ‘Manu’, the eternal man.
Sūrkānt Tripāthī Nirālā’s poetry was Nersatile, rebellons and romantic in nature. His first poem ‘Juhi ki Kalī’, marked for its sensuousness and boldness, was a major breakthrough. His ‘Ram kī Shakti Pūjā’ is a classic for its powerful style and grand narrative. His collections ‘Anāmikā’, ‘Parimal’, ‘Gītikā’, ‘Tulsīdās’, ‘Naye Patte’ etc. are significant because of the lyrical quality and social commitment Nirālā’s major contribution is in terms of form and technique. His poetry is is a break from the conventional style of poetry as he was the initiator of the free verse.
The poet of nature, Sumitra Nandan Pant, is best know for his deep insight into nature. His major contribution is in the realm of language and style. His language is known for elegance, artistic excellence and craftmanship. His collections include ‘Pallav’, ‘Gunjan’, ‘Yugānta’, ‘Yugnānī’ etc.
Mahadevī Vermā’s poetry is an exploration of the mystic, this mystic quality and intensity is ever present in her collections ‘Neehār’, ‘Rashmi’, ‘Neerjā’, ‘Yāmā’, ‘Sāndhyageet’, etc.
The other currents of poetry running along with the Chāyāvād movement were ‘Rāshtrīya dhāra’ and the ‘Swacchandatāvādī’ school. The ‘Rashtrīya’ or nationalistic school was marked by social commitment and sentimental idealism. The major poets of this stream were Makhanlal Chaturvedi and Ramdhanī Singh Dinkar. The ‘Swacchandatāvādī’ poetry also called ‘Halāvād’, was marked by sensuousness and individualism. The poet of this school who achieved the highest popularity was Harivansharai Bacchan. Whose ‘Madhushāla’ is the climax of this school. The other poets of this school were Rameshwar Shulka Anchal and Bālakrishna Sharmā Navīn.
The Hindi novel attained maturity and depth in the novels of Premchand whose writing became the medium of social change and awakening. His novels include ‘Sevāsadan’, ‘Premāshram’, ‘Nirmala’, ‘Rangabhūmi’, ‘Kāyākalpa’, ‘Gaban’, ‘Karmabhūmi’ and ‘Godān’. The other novelists of this age, influenced by Premchand were Vishwambharnath Kaushik, Srīnath Singh, Shivpūjan Sahay, Bhagvati Prasad Vajpayee, Chandī Prasād Hridayesh and Raja Rādhikā Raman Singh.
The Hindi short story also flourished during this period. Many of Premchand’s major short stories were written during this era.
Among the essayists of this period are Jaishankar Prasād, Mahadevī Verma, Makhanlal Chaturvedī, Hajarī Prasād Dwivedī, Shyam Sunder Das etc.
The Hindi drama gained maturity with the plays of Jaishankar Prasād who wrote plays based on historical background highlighting India’s glorious past. Among his plays are ‘Rajshri’, ‘Ajātshatru’, ‘Skandagupra’, ‘Chandragupta’, ‘Dhruvaswāmini’. The other playwrights of this period were Harikrishna Premī, Lakshmī Nārāyan Mishra etc.
Pragativād: (The Progressive movement) - Hindi literature witnessed major changes between 1936-42. On one hand, poetry was influenced by Marxism and this culminated in the rise of Pragativād. On the other hand, war, conflicts and the advent of modernity resulted in ‘Prayogvād’ or experimentalism. ‘Pragatvād’ was committed to Marxist ideology, humanism and socialism. The literature produced by the ‘Pragativādī’ authors depicted the condition of the downtrodden and the underprivileged, poor villagers, urban labourers and farmers. Their pathetic condition and exploitation was powerfully portrayed by the Pragativādī poets. The major poets of this school and their works are Nāgārjuna (Yugdhārā), Trilochan (Dhartī) Shivmangal Singh Suman (Pralaygān) Rangeya Rāngeya Rāghav (Ajeya Khandahar) and Bhārat Bhūshan Agrawāl (Muktimārg).
Prayogvād: (Experimentalism) – The Prayogvādī movement in Hindi began with the publication of ‘Tār Saptaka’, edited by S.H. Vātsyāyana ‘Agyeya’, Prayogvād was influenced by existentialism and Freudian Psychoanalysis. The Prayogvādī poet explored the despair, cynicism and disillusionment in the wake of the second world was as well as the tension and conflict inherent in the modern world. The Prayogvādī poet had a major breakthrough by way of experiments in technique, form and style.
During this period, the major works were Agyeya’s ‘Bāvrā Aherī’, ‘Harī ghās par ks̙an̙ bhar’, ‘Ityalam’, ‘Indradhanu Raunde hue ye’, Gajānan Mādhav Muktibodh’s ‘Chand Kā muh Terhā hai, Girijā Kumār Māthur’s ‘Dhoop ke Dhān and ‘Shilāpanth Chamkīle’. The other poets of this school are Naresh Mehta, Nemichandra Jain, Shamsher Bahādur Singh, Dharmavīr Bharti etc.
The novelists of the Pragativād and Prayodvād period are Ilachandra Joshi, Agyeya, Jainendra Kumar, Bhagvati Charan Verma, Yashpal, Vrindavanlal Verma, Amritlal Nagar. These writers contributed to the genre of short story also.
In this period, the Hindi essay bramched out into different genres like letter - writing, articles and editorials in journals and newspapers, preface of books, memoirs etc.
In this period, the development of drama was inclined towards realism and the major play writes were Bhuvaneshwar, Mohan Rakash, Jagdishchandra Mathur, Lakshminarayan Lal etc.
After Prayogvād, the Hindi poetry was given various nomenclatures. ‘Nai Kavitā’ , as it was popularly called, is in fact an extension of Prayogvād. The poetry of this era reflected the breakdown of the established value system, the uncertainty and doubt prevalent in the mindset of people, the restlessness, the emptiness and the disillusionment of the timer. The significant poets of this period are Shamsher Bahadur Singh, Sarveshvar Dayal Saxena, Kunwar Narayan, Raghuvir Sahay. A significant work of this era is Dharmavir Bharti’s ‘Andhā yug’, in which he interpreted mythology from a modern viewpoint and the futility of war.
The significant novelists of the post independence period are Bhishma Sahani, Nirmal Varma, Krishna Chander, Phanishwarnath Renu, Mohan Rakesh etc. Krishna Baldev Vaid, Shiv Prasad Singh, Amarkant, Rajendra Yadav, Giriraj Kishar, Krishna Sobti, Mridula Garg, Mannu Bhandari etc.
These novelists also contributed to short story writing. Kamaleshwar, Shivprasad Singh, Ganga Prasad Vimal, Ravindra Kaliya, Shailesh Matiyani, Shami, Ramdarash Mishra, Gyanranjan, Govind Mishra, Hridayesh, Uday Prakash, Abdul Bismillah, Usha Priyamvada, Chitra Mudgal etc.
The Hindi essay in this period, became a powerful medium of expression. Among the post-independence essayists are Yashpal, Vasudev Sharan Agrawal, Ram Vriksha Benipuri, Ramdhani Singh Dinkar, Nand Dulare Vajpayee, Namvar Singh, Harishankar Parsai, Thakur Prasad Singh, Vidyaniwar Mishra, Kubernath Rai etc.
Hindi drama, however was overshadowed by the popularity of novels and short stories. But playwrights like Jagdishchandra Mathur, Lakshmikant Verma, Ramkumar verma, Udayshankar Bhatt, Upendranath Ashq, Vishnu Prabhakar wrote important plays and short-plays.
Sat̘hottarī Kavitā: Sat̘hottarī Kavitā was the poetry after the sixties. The euphoria of independence was followed by bitter disillusionment of the harsh realities of life, the chaotic socio-political situation, the corrupt system and the confused middle-clan, all were reflected in Sat̘hottarī Kavitā. The degradation of human life in a materialistic system and the dehumanization and desensitizing of the human psyche is sensitively portrayed by the author. The major poets of this age are Gudāmā Pandey Dhūmil, Lilādhar Jagwī, Vijendra, Riturāj etc.
Samkālīn Kavitā: The Samkālīn Kavitā or contemporary poetry is characterized by multiplicity and variety. The contemporary life in all its manifestations is depicted by the contemporary poet. The human situation in the modern and post-modern world, the urbanization the decay of moral fabric, the industrialization has been effectively expressed in contemporary poetry. The major poets of today are Liladhar Jaguri, Rajesh Joshi, Vishnu Khare, Arun Kamal, Bhagvat Rawat, ALok Dhanva, Liladhar Manddoi, Naresh Saksena, Kedarnath Singh etc.
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Hindi Diwas: 9 writers who gave their life to Hindi literature
Every year on September 14, Hindi Diwas is observed to celebrate the rich history of the Hindi language. On this day, in 1949, Hindi, written in Devanagari script, was adopted by Constituent Assembly of India as the official language of Union of India. The other official language is English. The reason behind adopting Hindi as one of the official language was to simplify administration in a country with multiple languages. Our country has a maximum number of Hindi-speaking regions and stands fourth in the world after English, Spanish and Mandarin
Hindi literature is a reservoir of beautiful tales expressed in the most natural way. There’re many contributors that have changed the world of Hindi literature with their remarkable work. On this Hindi Diwas, we list down a few notable writers everyone should know about.
Kabir popularly known as Sant for his intellect and literary works was a spiritual poet born in India. Kabir was the first Indian saint to bring communal harmony among both Hindus and Muslims through his couplets. Kabir has advocated in his philosophy that life is interplay of two spiritual doctrines, the personal soul (Jivatma) and God (Parmatma).
Notable works: Kabir Bijak, Kabir Parachai, Sakhi Granth, Adi Granth (Sikh), Kabir Granthawali
One of the most celebrated writers in the history of writing, Premchand was born in Uttar Pradesh on July 31, 1880. Most of his work was either written in Hindi or Urdu.
Notable works: Godaan, Nirmala, Gaban, Kaphan, Rangbhoomi, Sevasadan, Mansarovar
Amrita Pritam was a novelist, poet, and essayist. She predominantly wrote in Hindi and Punjabi. She was born on August 31, 1919, in Gujranwala.
Notable works: Nagmani, Rasidi Ticket, Main Tumhe Phir Milungi, Kaili Kamini Aur Anita, Kaal Chetna
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Father to Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan , Harivansh Rai was a prominent part of the literary movement that took place in India in the beginning of the 20th century. He was born in Prayagraj on November 27, 1907.
Notable works: Madhushala, Dashdwaar Sopaan Tak, Nisha Nimantran, Do Chattenein, Milan Yamini
Dharamvir Bharati was an author, playwright, and poet in India. Born on December 25, 1926, in Prayagraj, Bharati has won several awards including the Padma Shri.
Notable works: Gunahaon Ka Devta, Sapna Abhi Bhi, Manavmulya Aur Sahitya, Gyarah Sapno Ka Desh, Pashyanti
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
Dinkar was an essayist, novelist, and poet. He was born in Simariya on September 23, 1908. He is one of the most important literary figures when it comes to modern Hindi literature.
Notable works : Rashmirathi, Urvashi, Sanskriti Ke Char Adhyay, Prashuram Ki Pratiksha, Samanantar, Amrit Manthan, Hare ko Hari Nam
Mahadevi owned her with her contributions to Hindi literature. Born in Farrukhabad on March 26, 1907, Verma has been honoured with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan.
Notable works: Nirja, Gillu, Path Ke Sathi, Atit Ke Chalchitra, Yama, Deepshika, Sansmaran
Born in Varanasi on January 30, 1889, Jaishankar Prasad was one of the most eminent personalities in Hindi theatre and modern Hindi Literature.
Notable works: Kamayani, Dhruvswamini, Kankal, Titli, Skandagupta, Lahar, Mamta
Tripathi was a well-known novelist, story-writer, essayist, and poet. Born in Midnapore on February 21, 1899, Tripathi’s simplicity in his writing style was well-applauded by many.
Notable works: Kukurmutta, Billesur Bakariha, Nirupama, Chaturi Chamar, Apsara, Gitika, Prabhavati
Also read : Assam reports increased COVID-19 tally with 564 new cases
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Embrace the Beauty of Expression, Discover the World of Hindi Language!
Hindi is a direct descendant of Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha. It has been influenced and enriched by Dravidian, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, Portuguese and English. It is a very expressive language. In poetry and songs, it can convey emotions using simple and gentle words. It can also be used for exact and rational reasoning.
The Hindi literary tradition is primarily one of verse and is also essentially oral. Prose was a late-comer to the Hindi literary scene, and the first work of prose in Hindi is generally agreed upon as being the fantasy novel Chandrakanta written by Devaki Nandan Khatri. The earliest works were composed to be sung or recited and were so transmitted for many generations before being written down. As a result, the earliest records of a text may be later by several centuries than the conjectured date of its composition.
The Medieval period (Bhakti Kaal)
Hindi literature may be traced back to medieval times when poets composed in dialects such as Brij-Bhasha and Avadhi. The medieval Hindi literature is marked by the influence of Bhakti movement and composition of long, epic poems. Avadhi and Braj were the dialects in which literature was developed. Bhakti poetry had two schools – the Nirguna school (the believers of a formless God or an abstract name) and the Saguna school (the believers of a God with attributes and worshippers of Vishnu’s incarnations).
In Ritikavya or Ritismagra Kavya period, the erotic element became pre-dominant in the Hindi literature.
Modern Period of Hindi literature (after 1800 AD)
Due to Maratha, British and Afghan influences, the Hindi of Central India was affected. Avadhi and Braj had lost their prestige as the language of the learned. Khari dialect became the chief literary language. Some mediocre literature was produced during early 18th century. Some examples are Chand Chhand Varnan Ki Mahima by Gangabhatt, Yogavashishtha by Ramprasad Niranjani, Gora-Badal ki katha by Jatmal, Mandovar ka varnan by Anonymous, a translation of Ravishenacharya’s Jain Padmapuran by Daulatram (dated 1824).
In 1857, East India Company established Fort William College at Calcutta. The College President John Gill Christ hired professors to write books in Hindi and Urdu. Some of these books were Premsagarby Lalloolal, Naasiketopaakhyan by Sadal Mishra, Sukhsagar by Sadasukhlal of Delhi and Rani Ketaki ki kahani by Munshi Inshallah Khan.
By this time, Hindustani had become the general public’s language. To distinguish themselves from the general masses, the learned Muslims used to write in Urdu (infested with Persian and Arabic vocabulary), while Khadiboli became prominent among educated Hindus. Khadiboli with heavily Sanskritized vocabulary or Sahityik Hindi (Literary Hindi) was popularized by the writings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Bhartendu Harishchandra and others. Bhartendu Harishchandra preferred Braj dialect for poetry, but for prose, he deliberately used Khadiboli. Other important writers of this period are Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, Maithili Sharan Gupt, R N Tripathi and Gopala Sharan Sinha. The rising numbers of newspapers and magazines made Khadiboli popular among the educated people.
The person who brought realism in the Hindi literature was Munshi Premchand, who is considered as the most revered figure in the world of Hindi fiction and progressive movement. Before Premchand, the Hindi literature revolved around fairy or magical tales, entertaining stories and religious themes. Premchand’s novels have been translated into many other languages.
Jainendra Kumar, Phaneshwar Nath Renu and Ajenya (Satchidananda Vatsyayan) are the other popular figures of this time. Jainendra Kumar explored the human psyche in novels like Sunita and Tyagapatra. Renu’s Maila Aanchal is one of the major works of this period. Ajneya bought experimentalism (prayogvaad) in the Hindi literature. His most famous novel is Shekhar Ek Jivani (1941).
In 20th century, Hindi literature saw a romantic upsurge. This is known as Chhayavaad and the literary figures belonging to this school are known as Chhayavaadi. Jaishankar Prasad, Sumitranandan Pant, Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’ and Mahadevi Varma are the major Chhayavaadi poets.
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7 classics of Hindi literature you must read right now
To mark Hindi Diwas, celebrated on Septmber 14, we dig into the vast reservoir of Hindi literature to give you a taste of what you've possibly ignored forever. Here's a list of 10 classics in Hindi that will make you fall in love with the language.
It's a reservoir that can never go dry, and neither is it possible to ever do justice to any list of top classics. Still, here's a humble attempt at making you appreciate the range of the language, and also at the same time evoke the deep feelings of joy, pain and love their authors have evoked in their readers. Gunaahon Ka Devta (by Dharamveer Bharti) One of the most-touching romantic novels ever, it was first published in 1949. Gunaahon Ka Devta is a complex love story that defies the general concepts of romantic relations, taking it way ahead in the realm of human existence. Chander and Sudha, the lead pair, love each other since childhood but do not get married to each other. The books traces the love lost and found in the process and beyond. RashmiRathi (By Ramdhari Singh Dinkar) First published in 1954, Rashmirathi is a novel take on the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharat. The character of Karna, the son unmarried Kunti (Pandu's wife) had with Lord Son, is portrayed as the hero in the poem. It is interesting to read the perspective of what is otherwise an unsung hero in Vyas's Mahabharata. From the injustices meted out to Karna as a 'shudra-putra' to the self-righteousness of the Pandavas and even Kunti, Dinkar points them all out in his poetic style. Madhushala (By Harivansh Rai Bachchan) One of the most-quoted works of Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Madhushala was first published in 1935. Madhushala has gems of philosophical wisdom using the symbol of alcohol and alcoholisms. Interestingly, the poet was a teetotaller. Nirmala (By Munshi Premchand) First published in 1928, Nirmala is one of the many novels where Premchand takes a dig at the evil practices plaguing Indian society. The USP of Premchand's works is the usage of colloquial words and referrences. Nirmala is the story of a young woman married to a widower and her struggles thereafter. Raag Darbari (By Sri Lal Sukla) Raagdarbari, first published in 1970, is a commentary on the disconnect between what we practice and what we preach. Rangnath, a history student visits his village and stays there to notice the stark differences between the ideals he learnt at university and the practices of his uncle, the village head and his practices. Kitne Pakistan (by Kamleshwar) Hindi writer-scriptwriter Kamleshwar won the Saahitya Academy in 2003 for Kitne Pakistan. Kamleshwar creates a fictional court where different historical characters are brought to the witness's box and asked to narrate their version of history. Through Kitne Pakistan, Kamleshwar address the struggles and pains of partition. Interestingly, it is not just about India-Pakistan but also brings forth historical personalities like Alexander and Akbar. Maila Aanchal (Phanishwar Nath Renu) Phanishwar Nath Renu wrote Maila Aanchal in 1954. Based in rural regions of Bihar, Maila Aanchal showcases the various struggles of less-privelaged classes -- both physical and ideological. Have you read all of the books? Are they on your bucket list or do you have more names to add? Share your views in the comment box below.
Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues. ...view detail
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Allahabad and the Golden Age of Hindi Literature
- AUTHOR Akshat Lal
- PUBLISHED 13 September 2020
The city of Allahabad occupies a special place in Hindu scriptures as the prayag (confluence) or Triveni Sangam, that is, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati. While the Ganga and Yamuna still flow here today, the Saraswati, named after the goddess of knowledge, rests here as an invisible force.
It was probably the influence of Goddess Saraswati that inspired Allahabad to become the cradle of the Hindi literary world, attracting writers, poets and scholars to celebrate knowledge and enlightenment through their work. Their contribution, among others, is acknowledged in modern times on 14th September, observed as Hindi Diwas or Hindi Day, which celebrates the adoption of Hindi as one of the two official languages of India, the other being English. The date was chosen as it was the birth anniversary of Beohar Rajendra Simha, a scholar, an artist and a Hindi activist, due to whose efforts the Constituent Assembly of India gave Hindi the status of an official language in 1949.
Our story, though, focuses on Allahabad, a city steeped in spirituality, history – and Hindi literature. While the city has produced many great Sanskrit and Urdu-Persian writers, among the first litterateurs of Khari Boli, the dialect spoken in and around Delhi in medieval times, Munshi Sadasukh Lal is most notable. Born in 1746 CE, in Delhi, Lal became the tehsildar (district administrator) of Chunar, a town in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh. In 1811 CE, he settled in Allahabad and published the story of Srimad Bhagwat and Vishnu-Purana under his name 'Sukhsagar' in Hindi. Lal also initiated social reforms in Allahabad through the Hindi language and through literature.
Bharatendu Era & Balakrishna Bhatt
Once the capital of the Mughals and the British, Allahabad became the centre of Hindi literature in the late 19th and 20th centuries. This was a period when modern Hindi was taking shape. Born in Benaras, Bharatendu Harishchandra (1850 – 1885) laid the foundation of the first phase of the modern period of Hindi literature, which is known as the ‘Bharatendu Era’. He is therefore known as the ‘father of Hindi literature and Hindi theatre’.
In this era, the orthodox thinking of traditional literature was replaced by the nationalist thinking of modern India. In the Bharatendu era, Khari Boli experienced a revival and found a special place in Hindi literature.
It was during this time that Pandit Balakrishna Bhatt was born, in the Yahiyapur locality of Allahabad, in 1844 CE. His contribution to Hindi literature is invaluable. A famous Sanskrit teacher, he was inspired by Harishchandra and founded the Hindi Vardhini Sabha in Allahabad in 1876, and began to publish the famous monthly magazine Hindi Pradeep in 1877.
Bhatt, who remained the editor of the magazine till his death, laid the foundation of modern education, literature and journalism in Allahabad. He also wrote a number of essay collections, plays and novels, and translated Sanskrit and Bengali plays into Hindi.
Hindi Nationalism & Madan Mohan Malaviya
The foundation of Hindi nationalism in India was laid in Allahabad, and Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya is notable among its pioneers. Born in Yahiyapur in Allahabad in 1861 CE, Malaviya enrolled in Muir Central College, Allahabad, after completing his elementary education from Sanskrit School and then graduated from Calcutta University.
He was associated with the Indian National Congress since its inception in 1885 CE and remained a staunch Congressman and nationalist till his death in 1946. Malaviya has also left an invaluable legacy to the Hindi language. It was due to his persistence that Hindi became the official language in court proceedings. Malaviya was elected chairman of the first session of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in Benaras in 1910 and it was due to his efforts that it opened a branch in Allahabad. The early decades of the 20th century was a time when, thanks to the influence of the British, English was gaining ground in India and institutions like the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan played an important part in asserting the status of Hindi.
– Along with Motilal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and then Jawaharlal Nehru, Malaviya was an influential part of the freedom movement and was always devoted to the nation’s interest.
Malaviya went on to co-found the Banaras Hindu University along with Annie Besant in 1916 and also established several institutes in the service of Hindi in Allahabad, including the Bharati Bhavan Library. Located in Chowk-Loknath in Allahabad, this famous library of Hindi literature holds an important place in the freedom movement. It was founded by Malaviya along with Balakrishna Bhatt and Brijmohan Lal Bhalla.
Another individual who worked to promote the Hindi language and connect it with nationalism was Purushottam Das Tandon, a noted Congressman from Allahabad. Tandon was a lifetime member of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and is still considered the 'soul of the institution'.
Sridhar Pathak was born in Agra in 1860 CE but owing to his interest in literature, he settled in the city that represented the heart of Hindi literature – Allahabad. He was a poet and his verse was themed on nationalism, social reform and even nature. Composing in Khari Boli, Pathak’s works include historical compositions like Bharatotthan, Bharat-Prashansa, George-Vandana and Baal-Vidhwa . He also translated famous works such as Kalidas’s Ritusanhar and Oliver Goldsmith's The Hermit and The Traveller into Hindi. Pathak was elected chairman of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan in 1914.
Allahabad: A Centre of Publishing
An important reason Allahabad became the centre of Hindi literature was because it was a publishing hub, taking over the mantle from Lucknow, and attracting Hindi and Urdu writers from all over the country. In the 19th century, Lucknow was a major publishing centre in North India and the most prominent publishing house then was the Naval Kishore Press. However, when the capital of the province of Allahabad was established in 1858 CE, the Government Press arrived in Allahabad. And, with that, the famous Pioneer Press was set up in 1864 CE. Celebrated English writer Rudyard Kipling also worked at this press for a while.
Soon, many small and big printing presses opened in the city, and this boosted Hindi literature. Among the publishing companies that were set up was the Indian Press established by Chintamani Ghosh in 1884 CE. Publishing in both English and Hindi, it printed all the works of Rabindranath Tagore from 1908 to 1914, including his Nobel Prize-winning Gitanjali .
Madan Mohan Malaviya's Leader Press and Abhyudaya are also notable among the publishing institutions in Allahabad. It was from the office of Abhyudaya that Maryada magazine was published, in which the first article of the inaugural issue was written by Purushottam Das Tandon in 1910. Magazines like Allahabad's Grihalakshmi and Chand also gained prominence in India as they were aimed at a female readership.
Sunderlal's controversial and much-talked-about book Bharat Mei Angrezi Raj (English Raj In India) was printed at Onkar Press in Allahabad and it created strong ripples in the British administration. Another famous publisher was Panini Office in Allahabad’s Bahadurganj locality.
The second phase of modern Hindi is known as the Dwivedi Era, named after Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi (1864 – 1938). Born into a family of a soldier in the English company Bahadur in Rai Bareilly, he studied Persian, Sanskrit and Hindi, while he worked in the railways in Jhansi for a few years. Many of his compositions were published and he was counted as a noted Hindi writer. After that, Dwivedi settled in Allahabad and was engrossed in the service of literature. He was the first Hindi writer to receive the title 'Acharya'.
In the year 1900, the Indian Press published India's first Hindi monthly magazine, Saraswati, whose popularity and prominence grew after Dwivedi took over as editor in 1903. By 1920, Saraswati occupied a lace of prestige.
Dwivedi gave the magazine a literary and nationalistic tone, and it contributed to the rise of writers such as Singh Upadhyay, 'Hari Oudh', Maithilisharan Gupta and even Nirala. Although Dwivedi was spreading nationalist sentiments through Saraswati , his main objective was to promote literature. His biggest contribution was to promote Khari Boli for prose and poetry.
Dhanpat Rai Srivastava 'Premchand' was born in Lamhi village in Benaras in 1880 CE. He did his elementary education in Urdu and Persian and started his life as a litterateur in 1901. His first famous Hindi story Saut was published in the December 1915 issue of Saraswati and the final story Kafan was published in 1936.
Premchand was given the title 'Upanyas Samrat’ or ‘King of Fiction’ by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the famous Bengali litterateur, and is to this day regarded as the ‘father of modern Hindi stories’. He laid the foundation of the ‘realistic tradition’ in Hindi literature, highlighting maladies in society and the troubles of the lower class. Premchand's Hindi-Urdu stories were indicative of changes in society and they served as a mirror to society.
Although Premchand lived in Benaras, Kanpur and Lucknow for a long time, Allahabad occupied a special place in his heart. Both his sons, Shripat Rai and Amrit Rai, who later established their own identities in Hindi literature, lived in Allahabad, and this is why Premchand would visit Allahabad frequently.
Premchand, who gave us classic compositions like Namak Ka Daroga, Godan and Gaban , used to say, “Banaras and Allahabad are the most prolific lands for creation. I will be at peace only when I get to take my last breath here. In Allahabad, not only do two rivers embrace, but there is also a shared experience of Hindi and Urdu. A successful creator must either be born in Allahabad or spend a large part of his life in Allahabad.” Alas, he did not breathe his last in Allahabad and he passed away in 1937, in Benaras.
Saraswati Press, which Premchand established in Allahabad, and his magazine Hans, were taken over by Premchand’s eldest son Shripat Rai, who helped them flourish and attain new heights. His second son, Amrit Rai, too was devoted to Hindi and emerged as a modern storyteller and a progressive writer.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
Famous poet and writer of Hindi literature Subhadra Kumari Chauhan (1904 – 1948) was born in Nihalpur in Allahabad. Her father was a zamindar or landlord and he placed a premium on education. Chauhan was married into a family in Jabalpur, in Madhya Pradesh, in 1919, and in 1921, she became the first woman to join the Non-Cooperation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi.
Chauhan’s poems were ripe with patriotism, among which is one titled Jhansi Ki Rani, which has immortalized her name. She was also an inspiration to other women writers, among whom was Mahadevi Varma, another famous Hindi poet, and showed her the path to feminism. Chauhan’s biography, titled Mila Tej Se Tej and written by her daughter Sudha Chauhan, was published by Hans Prakashan of Allahabad.
Chhayawaad (Neo-Romanticism) and Allahabad
The modern period of Hindi literature, which follows the Dwivedi Era, brought the era of Chhayawaad or Neo-Romanticism. Just like the romantic era in English literature, where human sentiment and love of nature were given prominence, Neo-Romanticism in Hindi literature developed around the love of nature, female love, humanisation, cultural awakening and imagination.
The four pillars of Chhayawaad were Jaishankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Sumitranandan Pant and Mahadevi Verma. Three of these four poets, Nirala, Pant and Verma gained their literary popularity from Allahabad.
Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’
Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' was born in 1899 CE in Medinipur, Bengal. His name tops the list of leading poets of Neo-Romanticism in Hindi literature. After working as an editor in Calcutta and Lucknow for a few years, Nirala lived in Allahabad from 1942 until his death in 1971, as an independent writer and engaging in translation work. He was an excellent storyteller, essayist, novelist, translator and a poet, but his fame came mainly from his poetry, which were imbued with philosophical depth.
His first essay, Bang Bhasha Ka Uchchaaran (the Accent of the Bangla Language), was published in 1920 in Saraswati magazine in Allahabad, and first collection of poems titled Anamika was published in 1923. Parimal, Geetika, Bela and Geet-Kunj were his major published poetry collections. His most renowned novels include titles like Apsara, Alka, Nirupama and Jasmine . His complete published and unpublished works were published in four volumes in 1963 and was titled Nirala Rachnavali .
Nirala considered Mahadevi Verma a younger sister and was very fond of her. Even today, in literary meetings in Allahabad, anecdotes of these two literary giants are narrated.
Sumitra Nandan Pant
Sumitra Nandan Pant is another prominent name among the major Chhayawaad poets. He was born in Kausani village in Almora district, in present-day Uttarakhand, in 1900. Around 1920, He attended Muir Central College in Allahabad and continued to live in that city for the rest of his life.
After taking part in the Non-Cooperation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi, Pant along with Raghupati Sahai 'Firaq' joined the Progressive Writers' Association, and in 1936, brought out a progressive monthly journal called Rupabha . From 1950 to 1957, he was associated with All India Radio as its chief advisor.
Pant was a humanist. He composed progressive poetry and never bowed to his critics. His major collections of poems include popular titles such as Pallava, Yuganta and Lokayatan . Pant was a dear friend of Harivansh Rai Bachchan. They even jointly published a collection of poems titled Khadi Ke Phool . Pant earned the moniker ‘Sukumar (tender-hearted) poet of nature’. He was also the first Hindi poet to receive the Jnanpith, Sahitya Akademi and Soviet Land Nehru awards and is remembered as the ‘Wordsworth of Hindi Literature’.
Mahadevi Verma is another popular and prominent poet of Neo-Romanticism in Hindi literature. She was born in Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh in 1908. She was married at a very young age when she had just begun her education, and she always remained a solitudinarian. That’s why she is known in Hindi literature as the ‘Meera of the modern era’.
Verma studied in Allahabad and it was here that she befriended Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, who inspired her to write. Later, Verma acquired a Master’s degree in Sanskrit from the University of Allahabad and went on to make a significant contribution to the development of the Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth. Verma was also the principal of this school.
As a leading Chhayawaad poet, she had a deep understanding of human emotions and the complexity of life. Along with her commitment to promoting Hindi literature, she was also inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and the social reforms brought about by the freedom movement and continued working in that direction.
Verma began to edit the reputed Hindi magazine Chand from 1923. She also laid the foundation of the feminist movement in Hindi literature. The result of her efforts was that for the first time in India, the Mahila Kavi Sammelan or Women Poets' Conference (15th April 1933) was held at the Prayag Mahila Vidyapeeth, under the chairmanship of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan.
A glimpse into the famous literary soul of Allahabad can be seen in Verma's famous poem Atripta . Among her major poetic works are collections such as Nihar, Rashmi, Deepshikha, Sandhya-geet and Agni Rekha . Verma's prose, essays, speeches and memoir are read even today. She was the brightest ray in the golden age of Hindi literature in Allahabad, and it is almost impossible to find a poet like her in the contemporary age of Hindi Literature.
Ram Kumar Verma
Dr Ram Kumar Verma was a famous Hindi writer, satirist and comic poet who was born in 1905. He is also considered the father of single-act playwriting in Hindi literature. He acquired a Master’s degree in Hindi from the University of Allahabad and completed research work in Hindi from Nagpur University. He was connected with many Hindi committees of the time and also his writing style was unique which ushered a new age of simplistic writing in Hindi literature. After that, he took up the post of lecturer in the Hindi Department of the University of Allahabad and also headed the Department of Hindi for many years.
Dr Verma was awarded the Dev Award for Hindi for his collection of poems, Chitrarekha . He worked hard for the development of Hindi literature in the country and abroad as well. He is counted among the famous poets of mysticism and Chhayawaad. He died in Allahabad in 1990.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Harivansh Rai Srivastava was born in 1907 into a simple Kayastha family, in a village called Babu Patti near Allahabad. ‘Bachchan’ was his nickname, which was a common local term used to refer to kids, and it stuck even after he became famous in the literary world. He acquired a Master’s degree in English from the University of Allahabad and completed his research on the poetry of WB Yeats at the University of Cambridge, England.
Bachchan was a professor of English literature at the University of Allahabad and also penned Hindi poetry that brought him fame during this time. He was most noted for his poetic composition Madhushala (1935), which is still read and heard in the Hindi world. He published many more poems, among are Madhubala (1937), Madhukalash (1937), Nisha Nimantran (1937) and Satarangini (1945).
A prominent poet of the post-Chhayawaad era, Bachchan’s love for Allahabad in his poetry as is his stirring depiction of the banks of the Ganges-Yamuna. His works are characterised by beauty, love of nature and a rustic undertone.
Bachchan was not only popular in Allahabad’s academic and literary circles but he also became a part of political meetings due to his proximity to the Nehru-Gandhi family. After India's Independence, he was chosen as an expert on Hindi by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. In 2003, Bachchan breathed his last in Mumbai, while living with his son, actor Amitabh Bachchan.
He wrote his autobiography in four volumes, with the last part being titled From Dashdwar to Sopan . In Allahabad, ‘Dashdwar’ was the name of the house where he lived after becoming a professor of English literature at the University of Allahabad. He stayed in this house after leaving his family homes in Chak and Katghar in Allahabad.
Upendra Nath ‘Ashk’
Upendra Nath 'Ashk' was a well-known Hindi fiction writer and novelist. Born in Jalandhar, Punjab, in 1910, Ashk emerged first as an Urdu writer but later started writing in Hindi at the behest of Munshi Premchand in 1932. He continued to write in Hindi and became popular as a Hindi writer.
Ashk emerged as a great Hindi writer in the post-Premchand era. Girti Deeware, Shaher Mein Ghoomta Aaina, Sitaro Ka Khel etc are his major novels. He self-published many collections of stories, dramas, memoirs, single-act play collections, criticism, etc. He passed away in Allahabad in 1996.
Born in the vicinity of Atarsuiya in Allahabad, in 1926, Dharmveer Bharti studied at the University of Allahabad and completed his research on Siddha literature under the supervision of renowned Hindi writer and historian, Dr Dhirendra Varma.
Bharti co-edited Sangam magazine with Ilachandra Joshi and was later appointed a teacher at the Hindustani Academy of Allahabad. In the last phase of his life, Bharti edited the famous weekly magazine Dharmayuga .
Bharti's novels Gunahon Ka Devta, Suraj Ka Saatva Ghoda, Prarambh Ka Samapan , etc are evergreen works. His play Andha Yuga is counted among the classical plays of Hindi literature. Bharti will always be remembered for keeping the tradition of Khari Boli alive in Hindi literature. Bharti breathed his last in Mumbai in 1997.
From the Dwivedi Era to the post-Neo-Romantic era, Allahabad was the centre of Hindi literature. It was, in fact, the cradle of growth of Hindi and ushered in the golden age of Hindi literature. The literary history of Allahabad is very complex and it is almost impossible to compile a list of litterateurs. Allahabad also has a very long list of Urdu literary giants, including celebrities like Akbar Allahabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri, who shed new light on Urdu literature in India and also refined the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb (composite culture) of Allahabad.
The noted contemporary Hindi litterateurs of Allahabad include Amarkant, who was recently conferred the Jnanpith Award; Upendra Nath Ashk's son, Neelabh Ashk; poet Kailash Gautam; Dudhanath Singh; Nandal Hitashi, among others. Sadly, this glorious tradition is on the wane. Where literary stalwarts used to meet every evening in each other's homes, in a publishing house, or at the historic Indian Coffee House, and where landmark seminars in Hindi were organised at the university, there is now a lack of composite identity. Noted Hindi publishing houses have either closed down or are on the verge of shutting. Only a handful, like Lok Bharati Publications and Hindustani Academy, have survived.
The irony is hard to miss. While Allahabad was once a confluence or ‘prayag’ of literary minds, which powered the evolution of Hindi literature, this tradition is fast ebbing at a time when this great city has been renamed Prayagraj.
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Hindu Literature: Origins, Authors and Most Important Characteristics
The Hindu literature It is one of the oldest. It is estimated that the first record emerged more than 4000 years ago in what is now India and in some regions of Pakistan. It is also known as Sanskrit literature because most of the pieces are written in Sanskrit, ancient language consisting of several types of scriptures.
In general terms, Hindu literature talks about wisdom, religion, worship and social norms, themes that were treated throughout the writings. It should be noted that the oldest writings found are compiled in a book called Vedas (from the term"truth"), and these became the basis of the Hindu religion.
An essential feature of this literature is the linguistic, mythical and religious richness through which it widely collects the history of a region since its genesis, taking into account different types of language as well as the manifestation of other cultures and practices that nourished it. plus.
The first manifestations of Hindu literature were intimately related to religion. Then, while the genre was developing, the works began to cover other topics, even in contrast to the doctrinal material characteristic of the first expressions of this literature.
- 1 Origins and history
- 2.1 1- Adikal Literature
- 2.2 2- Literature Bhakti Kal
- 2.3 3- Ritikal Literature
- 2.4 4- Adhunikaal Literature
- 3 Main characteristics
- 4 Social context
- 5 Contemporary Hindu literature
- 6.1 1- Valmiki
- 6.2 2- Kalidasa
- 6.3 3- Chanakia
- 6.4 4- Dhanpat Rai Srivastav
- 6.5 5- RK Narayan
- 6.6 6- Rabindranath Tagore
- 7 References
Origins and history
The first manifestations of Hindu literature are known from the emergence of the Vedas , a series of ancient writings (arose between 1600 and 700 BC), which were preserved because they are the basis of what would later be Hinduism.
The Vedas They contemplate a series of rituals, precepts, myths and chants that were originally transmitted orally. Later, these would be written to be used in rituals headed by the ancient priests.
Then, the post-Vedic period was characterized by the presence of new doctrines that served to contradict some of the postulates that were raised in the Vedas .
It should be noted that it was at this time that the two most important works of Hindu literature were composed: Ramayana and the Majabharatá .
He Ramayana is a relatively short text that focuses on compiling the philosophical and theological teachings of Prince Rama, who suffers a series of misadventures with the intention of saving his wife who is in the hands of the demon Ravana.
On the other hand, Majabharatá It is considered as the second longest work in universal literature, since it contains more than 200 thousand verses.
This work contemplates a mixture of narrations, myths and advice made in different styles and by different authors. Currently it can be considered as a kind of Bible for Hindus.
After this stage the Brahminical period was consolidated, which served as a kind of transition between Veda and the Hindu religion. In this historical moment we also talk about the division of society by castes and the principles of interaction between them.
In this current, the most Laws of Manu , a book where the main rules of conduct, the functioning of karma and punishments are indicated.
The four main stages of Hindu literature
There were four main stages in the formation and development of Hindu literature, from its beginnings to the present. The characteristics of each of these stages are detailed below.
1- Adikal Literature
The main expression of this literature was poetry, focusing in turn on religiosity and heroic stories.
2- Literature Bhakti Kal
It was developed between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. At this stage begins the process of highlighting the importance of God consciousness, although records of epic poems have also been found.
Thanks to the Islamic presence at that time, it is possible to find the influence of religion in various artistic expressions.
3- Ritikal Literature
Period developed between 1600 and 1850 d. C. Ritikal literature emphasizes the power of love and other emotions throughout the poems made at the time.
4- Adhunikaal Literature
It was developed from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. It is divided into four phases: Renaissance, Dwivedi Yug, Chhayavada Yug and the contemporary period.
Different styles and literary genres are explored, such as drama, comedy, criticism, the novel, short stories and non-fiction.
Despite the convergence of different styles, languages and religious manifestations, it is possible to point out some general characteristics of Hindu literature:
- The vast majority of the texts speak of gods and the benefits that men get when they are granted a favor from them. Likewise, they also relate the punishments they must assume for improper conduct. This reflects the importance of religious content.
- The elements that interact with man, both inanimate objects or not, have their own personality and qualities.
- The stories seek to leave some kind of value teaching for the reader.
- There is an intention to explain the origins of the world, so it is usual to find stories that talk about it.
- There is an accumulation of fantastic facts in which beings with supernatural and extraordinary qualities intervene.
- The protagonists of these stories have special and very unique features: they are gods or divine reincarnations, they have great beauty, courage and admirable moral behavior.
- There is an emphasis on the fact that the balance of the Universe depends on the respect that is given to all the living beings that live together. Any action taken against any of them will affect the next life.
Brahmanism was a religion of transition between the Veda period and the settlement of Hinduism. However, some of its postulates would have a great impact on Hindu literature.
During the period (1st century BC, approximately) a caste classification was established that is still maintained today.
This categorization is done as follows: priests and students of literature (brahmins), warriors, businessmen and peasants (including slaves) and the invisible, considered subhuman.
The social dynamic gave way to the creation of new texts that would indicate the functioning and behavior of the members of each caste.
These precepts were exposed in the so-called Dharma-sastras , which are books of norms and social laws.
Although the country suffered the Islamic invasions (which also contributed to the enrichment of the arts) and British, this social system would continue to be part of the national and cultural identity, while rejecting the presence of other more Western models.
Contemporary Hindu literature
The current current presents a significant change in relation to the ancient literature. One characteristic is the need for independence and rebellion against the British, led by the pacifist precepts proposed by Mahatma Gandhi.
At that point there is evidence of a return to Hinduism and Buddhism, religions that have millions of faithful so far.
Also, thanks to the influence of the West, Hindu literature was opened to new expressions and styles.
Not only would it be limited to poetry, but it would also be diversified into non-fiction, drama, satire, and the making of short stories.
The 6 most representative authors of Hindu literature
Among the most important authors of Hindu literature include the following:
Writer of The Ramayana , one of the most popular books of India and of Hindu literature in general.
Writer of religious and devotional literature, author of the Sanskrit play Sakuntala .
Brahmin and writer of the Sanskrit text Artha Shastra , one of the most important treaties on how a State should function.
In this it states that practices such as the use of poison against the enemy or the death penalty for serious crimes are valid.
4- Dhanpat Rai Srivastav
Also known as Premchadn, he is considered one of the most prominent writers of Hindu literature.
In his works they include short stories, essays and translations. He is the author of works recognized as Panch Parameshvar, Igah Y Sevasadan
5- RK Narayan
He stood out for writing fiction and nonfiction books, among which stand out: Swami and his friends, Hamish Hamilton, The dark room Y Waiting for Mahatma.
6- Rabindranath Tagore
Bengali writer who left an extensive legacy of works that revolutionized Hindu and Bengali literature. It was characterized by spontaneous prose, considered by some as sensual.
He was the author of titles such as The king and the queen, The new moon or Harvest . Thanks to his works he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.
- Characteristics of Hindu literature. (s.f) In Scribd. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Scrib on es.scribd.com.
- Great writers of the Indian literature. (2013). In Absoluteviajes. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Absolutviajes at absolutviajes.com.
- Indian language (s.f) In Indian Mirror. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from IndianMirror at indianmirror.com.
- Hindi literature. (s.f) In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Encyclopedia Britannica on britannica.com.
- Hindi literature. (s.f) In Wikipedia. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Wikipedia on en.wikipedia.org.
- Hindu literature (2009). In the guide. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Laguía in lengua.laguia2000.com.
- Indian literature (s.f) In Wikipedia. Retrieved: February 7, 2018 from Wikipedia on es.wikipedia.org.
Top 10 Famous Hindi Writers Of India and their Books
The multiple culture and heritage of India has served as an inspiration to writers to produce some classic literature in this century. These Hindi literature classics are worth reading and it can be reread, any number of times. The writers were able to use the language eloquently and yet arouse deep feelings in the minds of the readers. That is why, their works are considered Classics and they have withstood the test of time. Hindi literature has recorded the pre-independence and post- Independence era, in an appreciable manner.
In This Content
Famous Hindi Book Writers Name List
Vishnu Prabhakar is a Hindi writer whose works were in lines of patriotism and carried messages for Social Upliftment. He won both, the Sahithya Academi Award and Padma Bhushan for his novel Ardhanarishvara, which means the Androgynous God or Shiva. He hails from Uttar Pradesh and is known for his humanitarian values.
9. Amrita Pritam
Amrita Pritam, is an acclaimed writer and poet from Punjab. She is clearly one of the top writers and is the first Punjabi woman novelist and poet. Her Novel Pinjar written in 1950 was made into an award winning movie Pinjar in 2003. The novel was based on the violence against women and the suffering a protagonist has to undergo. She is the first woman to receive Sahitya Academi Award. She received the Padma Sri Award in 1969 and Padma Vibushan in 2004. She participates in social works, actively.
8. Sri LalShukla
He was a Provincial Civil Service (PCS) Officer of the State Government of Uttar Pradesh and then he became an IAS officer. He is known as a famous Hindi Novelist and his novel Raag Darbari has been translated into English and 15 other Indian Languages. His work dwelt upon the negative aspects of life in a sardonic manner and also portrayed the degrading moral values in Indian Society,Post-Independence. The detective novel he wrote named, Aadmi Ka Zahar written by him, was serialized and published in the weekly magazine, Hindustan. He has won the Sahitya Academi Award and also received the Padma Bhushan in 2008.
Yashpal fought for India’s Freedom from British rule. He was arrested then, at the age of 28 and sentenced to prison for 14 years. His novels revolved around moral values and description of his travel via Eastern Europe. He worked as an editor for Viplav for a number of years. His novel Jhutha Sachhas been the best novel ever. He won the Sahitya Axademi Award for Meri Teri Uski Baat in 1976. Postage stamps were issued by the Government of India to commemorate his centenary.
6. Panishwar Nathu ‘Renu’
He was the person, who was responsible for bringing out regional voices into Hindi literature. Maila Aanchal was his first novel. In his novel Khari Boli he used local Hindi,which was a new kind of experiment in Hindi literature. His short story was filmed, and it resulted in a blockbuster success called Teesri Manzil in 1966.
Kamaleshwar Prasad Saxena was not only a writer in Indian literature, but he is also a noted script writer and critic. He started his literary career in Allahabad. His Hindi novel Kitne Pakistan won him the Sahitya Academi Award in 2003 and it was translated in English as, Partitions. He was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2005. He has written over 300 stories and written scripts and screenplay for over 75 feature films, which includes Musam, Aandhi, Rang Birangi.
4. Bisham Sahni
Tamas is one of the famous novels that give you a powerful account of the Partition of India,which was written by Bhisham Sahni. He was well-versed in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi and hence was able to reflect the feelings of these people in his novel and entered the minds and hearts of the people. His masterpieces include Amritsar Aa Gaye Hain and Chief ki Davat. His accolades include Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Sahithya Academi Fellowship in 2002.
3. Krishna Sobti
Krishna Sobti is the Grande Dame of Hindi literature and she won the Sahithya Academi Award in 1980 for her novel Zindaginama. She dared to experiment new writing techniques and through her judicious use of language she presented an exhilarating picture of women. Her works presented the turmoil in the society and the man-woman relationship that is affected by the declining values. Her most popular novel was Mitro Marjani.
2. Dharamveer bhart
The most famous novel written by Dharmvir Barti is Gunahon Ka Devta, which is an evergreen classic. It is a love story which is relevant, to date. The characters are created with great detail and it has a hypnotizing effect on you. It is worthy to be read and reread over and over again.
1. Munshi Premchand
Munshi Premchand the author of Godaan is the most celebrated writers, who started writing under the pen name Nawab Rai. Later he was called Munshi Premchand, Munshi, being an honorary prefix. He is called Upanyas Samrat (Emperor among Novelists). Gaban, Nirmala, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, and many other novels written by him, are the most sought after Hindi literature. He has translated many foreign literary works into Hindi.
Hindi is the second most spoken language. To preserve and promote this language and the cultural spectrum, we need to read the Hindi literature. The novels written by these famous writers, are good for the starters and for people who wish to know and enjoy Hindi Literature.
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- > 15 Best Hindi Novels By Renowned Authors You Absolutely Must Read
Jun 18, 2020 at 02:30 PM
15 Best Hindi Novels By Renowned Authors You Absolutely Must Read
If you are bored of watching digital content in this lockdown and are planning to read books, and if you haven’t read Hindi literature, this is the time you should totally give it a try.
1. Gunaho Ka Devta by Dharamvir Bharati
2. Kitne Pakistan by Kamleshwar
Kitne Pakistan is a must-read if you want to know more about ‘partitions’ around the world.
3. Kashi Ka Assi by Kashinath Singh
Kashi Ka Assi has five stories related to the Assi ghat and Varanasi. These stories refer to the political and social system of the 1990s, but they are also accurate from today’s perspective. The language of this book enhances the beauty of the stories.
Check Out – best hindi literature books
4. Maila Aanchal by Phanishwar Nath ‘Renu’
Maila Aanchal is one of the most significant novels in Hindi literature. It is also one of the greatest examples of Anchalik Upanyas (regional novel) in Hindi.
5. Aapka Bunti by Mannu Bhandari
This is the story of a 9-year-old Bunty. He is dealing with the divorce of his parents. The book gives a poignant description of how a small child fights against things like these odds from his limited worldview.
6. Rag Darbari by Shrilal Shukla
If you want to read a satire, pick Rag Darbari . It is a novel that exposes the valuelessness of modern Indian life, through the narrative of the village. How a man uses the village school, the village panchayat and the local government offices for his political purpose.
7. Nirmala by Munshi Premchand
Premchand needs no introduction, his work is considered the best of Hindi literature. Nirmala is a story of a young girl who was is married to a middle-aged man. The poignant story of mismatched marriage and dowry system, this novel has a special place in the history of women-centered literature.
8. Volga Se Ganga by Rahul Sankrityayan
Rahul is called the Father of Indian Travelogues. Volga Se Ganga is a collection of 20 historical fiction short stories. This book begins in 6000 BC and ends in 1942 which means these stories travel over a span of 8000 years and a distance of about 10,000 km.
9. Pinjar by Amrita Pritam
Pinjar tells the journey of a girl, Puro, abducted by a man, Rashid. When she runs away from Rashid’s house to her parents, they refuse to take her back because she was considered impure/profane for them. Pinjar is considered one of the best literature written against the backdrop of Partition of India.
10. Tamas by Bhisham Sahni
Tamas is a novel woven around a story that happens over five days. Tamas is an important novel portraying the ruthless and sordid narrative of our social mindset before the partition of the country and the horrific communal riots that occured as an inevitable outcome.
11. Poocho Parsai se by Harishankar Parsai
Poocho Parsai se is a one of its kind unique piece of literature. Though this book is a total satire, it is also very informative. You will find answers to many question from diverse topic like world, diplomacy, politics, policies etc. albeit through satire.
12. Ashadh Ka Ek Din by Mohan Rakesh
Ashadh Ka Ek Din is considered the first Modern Hindi play. The plot of the play revolves around Kalidas and his lover Mallika. This play is euphoric and the complexity of the love will hit you when you expect it the least.
13. Topi Shukla by Rahi Masoom Raza
Topi Shukla is a story about two children belonging to different religions. This story depicts the love between a child and an old grandmother and shows how hatred has been filled in people’s minds on the basis of religion. This story was written in 1969, but remains accurate even today.
14. Joothan by Om Prakash Valmiki
Joothan is an autobiography of Om Prakash Valmiki. If you want to know about the caste system in detail and how society deals with people of one particular section, then Joothan is a must-read. The lead actor of Article 15 Ayushman Khurana has said in an interview that in order to prepare for this role, he read the book Joothan and he couldn’t sleep for several nights.
15. Shekhar: Ek Jeevani by Sachchidananda Hirananda Vatsyayan ‘Agyeya’
This ‘incomplete’ trilogy is in two parts with an unpublished third part. The beauty of this book is how Agyeya narrates the story. This book is about a complex personality and his experiences in a brutally honest tone.
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Bollywood Meets Literature: 5 Classic Books That Featured In Hindi Films
In the era of social media and audiobooks, the smell of fresh pages of books is intriguing to most of us. Even our bollywood industry portrays certain characters that inspire us to read books. Check out the classic books featured in our Hindi films.
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Your skin and body like you are unique. While we have taken all measures to ensure that the information provided in this article and on our social media channels is credible and expert verified, we recommend you consult a doctor or your dermatologist before trying a home remedy, quick hack or exercise regime. For any feedback or complaint, reach out to us at [email protected]
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English Hindi Dictionary | अंग्रेज़ी हिन्दी शब्दकोश
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literature - Meaning in Hindi
- साहित्यक रचना
Literature word forms & inflections, definitions and meaning of literature in english, literature noun.
- "her place in literature is secure"
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- "he took a course in Russian lit"
- "one aspect of Waterloo has not yet been treated in the literature"
- "the technical literature"
Synonyms of literature
Literature is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose, fiction, drama, poetry, and including both print and digital writing. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to include oral literature, also known as orature much of which has been transcribed. Literature is a method of recording, preserving, and transmitting knowledge and entertainment, and can also have a social, psychological, spiritual, or political role.
किसी भाषा के वाचिक और लिखित (शास्त्रसमूह) को साहित्य कह सकते हैं। दुनिया में सबसे पुराना वाचिक साहित्य हमें आदिवासी भाषाओं में मिलता है। इस दृष्टि से आदिवासी साहित्य सभी साहित्य का मूल स्रोत है। साहित्य - स+हित+य के योग से बना है। सुप्रसिद्ध साहित्यकार गोलेन्द्र पटेल ने साहित्य के संदर्भ में कहा है कि "आदिकाल में दर्शन और कविता के बीच द्वंद्व था, आज साइंस और साहित्य के बीच द्वंद्व है लेकिन साइंस तन को स्वस्थ करता है और साहित्य मन को"
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What is literature meaning in hindi.
The word or phrase literature refers to the profession or art of a writer, or the humanistic study of a body of literature, or creative writing of recognized artistic value, or published writings in a particular style on a particular subject. See literature meaning in Hindi , literature definition, translation and meaning of literature in Hindi. Find literature similar words, literature synonyms. Learn and practice the pronunciation of literature. Find the answer of what is the meaning of literature in Hindi. देखें literature का हिन्दी मतलब, literature का मीनिंग, literature का हिन्दी अर्थ, literature का हिन्दी अनुवाद।
Tags for the entry "literature"
What is literature meaning in Hindi, literature translation in Hindi, literature definition, pronunciations and examples of literature in Hindi. literature का हिन्दी मीनिंग, literature का हिन्दी अर्थ, literature का हिन्दी अनुवाद
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