Born on 23 September 1908, in Simaria village of Begusarai district of Bihar, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s father’s name was Babu Ravi Singh and mother’s name was Manroop Devi. During his student life, Dinkar faced a lot of problems related to the economic conditions of his family. When he was a student of Mokama High School, he was unable to stay till school closed at 4 p.m. as he had to leave the class after the lunch break to catch the steamer back to his home.
History, politics and philosophy were his favourite subjects in the school. At school and later in the college, he studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Maithili, Bengali, Urdu and English literature. Greatly influenced by Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore, Keats and Milton and translated works of Rabindranath Tagore from Bengali to Hindi, Dinkar used to read and analyse their works.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar had a very interesting as well as inspirational life story. Let us read about 5 uncommon things about the Rashtrakavi.
1. Dinkar and Patna:
During the adolescence of Dinkar, the Indian freedom movement had already begun under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. After his matriculation in 1929, he took admission in Patna College to study intermediate. This was the period when movements all over the country had started becoming aggressive. In 1928, the Simon Commission, against which nationwide demonstrations were being held, arrived. Demonstrations were held in Patna too and Dinkar too signed the oath-paper. Thousands of people came in the rally at Gandhi Maidan in which Dinkar also participated.
2. Extraordinary genre meets the unique style of writing:
Among his variety of genre, he also wrote social and political satires aimed at socio-economic inequalities and exploitation of the underprivileged. He often delved into Hindu mythology and referred to heroes of epics such as Karna. He was a poet of anti-imperialism and nationalism, says well-known Hindi writer Kashinath Singh. His Kurukshetra is a narrative poem based on the Santi Parva of the Mahabharata. It was written at a time when the memories of the Second World War were fresh in the mind of the poet. Krishna Ki Chaetavani is another poem composed of events that led to the Kurukshetra war in the Mahabharata. His Samdheni is a collection of poems reflecting the poet’s social concern transcending the boundaries of the nation.
His Rashmirathi is considered as one of the best version of Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Few lines from Rashmirathi….
“हो गया पूर्ण अज्ञात वास,
पाडंव लौटे वन से सहास,
पावक में कनक-सदृश तप कर,
वीरत्व लिए कुछ और प्रखर,
नस-नस में तेज-प्रवाह लिये,
कुछ और नया उत्साह लिये”
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3. His first published work:
In 1924 his first poem was published in a newspaper called Chhatra Sahodar (Brother of Students). Chhatra Sahodar was a local newspaper established under the editorship of Narsingh Das. On 14 September 1928, on the martyrdom of Jatin Das, one of his poems was published. In 1928, the peasant’s Satyagraha under the leadership of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel proved successful in Bardoli of Gujarat. He wrote ten poems based on this Satyagraha which was published in a book form under the title Vijay-Sandesh (Message of Victory). This composition is now available. Right in front of Patna College, the office of “Yuvak” functioned. To escape the outrage of the government, Dinkar got his poems published under the pen name “Amitabh.’’ In 1930, he composed a poem called Pran-Bhang (The Breach of Vow), which was mentioned by Ramchandra Shukla in his history. So the journey of his poetic career should be deemed to have begun with Vijay-Sandesh. Before this, his poems had become a frequent feature of the magazine Desh, published from Patna and of Pratibha, which was published from Kannauj. Dinkar’s first collection of poems, Renuka, was published in November 1935.
4. Designations of Dinkar:
Dinkar’s readers believe that he truly deserved the honour of “Rashtra Kavi” (poet of India) due to his extraordinary selections of genres of poems. He was conferred with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1959 for his work Uravshi. He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1959 by the Government of India. He received awards from Kashi Nagri Pracharini Sabha, Uttar Pradesh Government and also an award by the Government of India for his epic-poem Kurukshetra. He was awarded the LLD degree by Bhagalpur University. He was felicitated as Vidyavachaspati by Gurukul Mahavidyalaya. He was felicitated as Sahitya-Chudamani by Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur on 8 November 1968. Dinkar was awarded the Jnanpith Award in 1972 for Urvashi. He also became a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, in 1952.
5. Posthumous recognition of Dinkar:
In the year 1987, on 30th of September, to mark his 79th birth anniversary tributes were paid to him by the President of India of that time, Shankar Dayal Sharma.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was one of the Hindi writers featured on a set of commemorative postal stamps in 1999, released by Government of India, marking the 50th anniversary since the Indian Union adopted Hindi as its official language. The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, laid the foundation stone of an engineering college in the district of Begusarai named after the Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar.
The government released a book on Dinkar’s birth centenary authored by Khagendra Thakur.
At the same time, a statue of Dinkar was unveiled in Patna at the Dinkar Chowk, in Rajendra Nagar area and a two-day national seminar was organised in Calicut University.
On 22 May in the year, 2015 Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated golden jubilee celebrations of Dinkar’s notable works Sanskriti Ke Chaar Adhyaye and Parshuram ki Pratiksha at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.We, at PatnaBeats encourage all our readers to go through his books like Rashmirathi and Samdheni which are few of his best works.
Quote of the day:“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream.” – C.S. Lewis