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When it comes to Hindi literature, one cannot ignore the phenomenal work of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. Popularly known by his pen name Dinkar. A Hindi poet, essayist, nationalist, academic and patriotic till date, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar is considered one of the most successful and popular modern Hindi poets. Due to his nationalist and patriotic poems, before India gained its independence from the British Raj, he was considered as a nationalist poet.
On his birth anniversary, today, let's turn the pages of history and know more about the poet.
1. Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was born on 23 September 1908 to parents Manroop Devi and Babu Ravi Singh in Simaria, Bengal Presidency in British India, (now a small village in the Begusarai district of Bihar).
2. He completed his primary education from a village school, Baro. There he studied Hindi, Maithili, Urdu and Bengali languages during his school days.
3. During his college time, Dinkar studied subjects like political science, history and philosophy and developed a keen interest in these subjects.
4. As a student, he had to face various hardships due to his poor financial condition. He used to walk bare-footed to his school. While he studied at Mokama High School, he had to leave his classes right after recess. So that he could catch the steamer and reach his home.
5. Though he wanted to stay in the school hostel so that he could attend all his classes, his poverty couldn't allow him to do so.
6. He was deeply influenced by the literary work of Rabindranath Tagore, Mohammad Iqbal, John Keats and John Milton. He often translated the Bengali works of Rabindranath Tagore in Hindi.
7. When Dinkar entered his adolescence and began studying at Patna College, Patna University, the freedom struggle against the British Raj grew aggressive day by day. When protests were held against the Simon Commission, Patna was untouched. Several youngsters took out the protest at Patna college and Dinkar too signed the oath paper.
8. When British officials mercilessly lathi-charged Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, revolutionists and nationalists were agitated and so was Dinkar.
9. Radical thoughts germinated in the mind of Dinkar and he penned his thoughts in the form of poems. The Simon Commission and the demise of Lala Lajpat Rai evoked his poetic thoughts and energies.
10. It was in the year 1924 when his first poem was published in a local newspaper named Chhatra Sahodar meaning brother of students. To escape the wrath of the British officials, he published his literary work under the alias name 'Amitabh'.
11. He had written many poems on the peasants' satyagraha movement in Bardoli Gujarat. He also wrote a poem on the martyrdom of Jatin Das and got it published under his pseudonym
12. In November 1935, his first collection of poems named Renuka was published. According to Banarasi Das Chaturvedi, Hindi speaking people should celebrate the release of Renuka. The book was later presented to Mahatma Gandhi as well.
13. Some of his notable literary works are Rashmirathi, Krishna ki Chetavani, Hunkar, Parshuram ki Prateeksha, Meghnad-Vadh, Kurukshetra and Urvashi.
14. Though he usually wrote about bravery and inspiring poems, Urvashi is an exception in his work. The book is all about love, passion and relationship between a man and woman on a spiritual foundation. The book later fetched him the prestigious Jnanpith Award.
15. Dinkar was popular not only among those whose mother tongue was Hindi but also among those who were non-Hindi speakers. According to Harivansh Rai Bacchan, Dinkar should get four Jnanpith Award for his poetry, languages, prose and contributing to the Hindi language.
16. The Uttar Pradesh Government honoured him at the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha for his phenomenal work in the Kurukshetra poem.
17. In 1952, he was elected as the Member of Rajya Sabha.
18. In 1959, he was honoured with the Sahitya Academy Awards for his notable work in Sanskrit ke Char Adhyay. In the same year, he received the Padma Bhushan Award from the Government of India.
19. He died on 24 April 1974 at the age of 65. He was honoured posthumously on many occasions.
20. In 1999 his image was featured on a commemorative postal stamp released by the Government of India. Not only this, but several roads and public places have been named after him.
21. His admirers consider him no less than Rashtra Kavi meaning the national poet.