Birthday: September 23, 1908
Died At Age: 65
Sun Sign: Libra
Also Known As: Ramdhari Singh
Born Country: India
Born in: Simaria
Famous as: Poet
father: Babu Ravi Singh
mother: Manroop Devi
siblings: Kedarnath Singh, Ramsevak Singh
Died on: April 24, 1974
place of death: Begusarai
education: Patna College
awards: Jnanpith Award
Sahitya Akademi Award
Who was Ramdhari Singh Dinkar?
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was an Indian poet and freedom fighter who is remembered as one of the most prominent Hindi poets. He is regarded as the greatest Hindi poet of 'Veer Rasa'. His nationalist poetry written before independence earned him the tile of ‘national poet’. As a Hindi poet, he composed several poems and was also a regular participant in Kavisammelan. Born in a poor Brahmin family in Begusarai district in Bihar, Dinkar had a hard childhood. Most of this childhood was spent in extreme poverty which was reflected in his poetry. As a student, he loved politics and history and later developed keen interest in Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. Many legendary poets, including Rabindranath Tagore, served as his inspiration and Dinkar continued to write as well as translate. His first poetry was published in 1924 in a local newspaper called ‘Chhatra Sahodar.’ Dinkar also had a political career and served as a member of Rajya Sabha from 1952 to 1964. In 1959, he earned the Padma Bhushan for his distinguished service in the field of writing. He died in April 1974 at the age of 65.
Childhood & Early Life
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was born on 23 September 1908, in Simaria village, British India (currently in Begusarai district, Bihar) to Manroop Devi and Babu Ravi Singh.
As a student, he studied history, philosophy, Hindi, Sanskrit, politics, English, Maithili, Urdu, and Bengali. He read the works of Iqbal and Rabindranath Tagore, and translated the works of Tagore from Bengali to Hindi.
In 1920, Dinkar founded Manoranjan Library. Following his graduation from Mokama High School, he enrolled in Patna College in 1929.
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Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s first major poetical work was ‘Vijay Sandesh,’ which was published in 1928. This work consisted of ten poems based on the peasant's satyagraha led by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
On 14 September 1928, his poem on Jatin Das was published. During this time, he also wrote ‘Meghnad-Vadh’ and ‘Birbala’, both of which have been lost. A year later, the poet composed ‘Pran-Bhang’. He soon came with his first collection of poems called ‘Renuka’ that was published in 1935.
In 1946, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar came with a narrative poem titled ‘Kurukshetra’ that was based on Mahabharata’s Santi Parva. Some of his works in the late 1940s include ‘Dhoop Chhah’, ‘Saamdheni’, ‘Baapu’, and 'Mitti ki Or'.
He started the next decade with his major composition, ‘Rashmirathi’, a Hindi epic that centered on the life of unmarried queen Kunti’s son, Karna. It is regarded as the best Hindi version of Mahabharata.
His works in 1954 included ‘Dilli’, ‘Neem ke Patte’, ‘Neel Kusum’, ‘Samar Shesh Hai’, and ‘Reti ki Phool’. A year later, Dinkar came up with his major composition ‘Sanskriti ke Char Adhyaya’. Divided into four vast chapters, the poem stressed on the spirit of unity in India despite the nation being a land of several cultures.
This was followed by ‘Kavishri’, ‘Seepee aur Shankh’, and ’Naye Subhaashit’, all of which were published in 1957. The following year, the poet came up with ‘Kaavya ki Bhumikaa’ and ‘Venu Van’.
During the early 1960s, he wrote ‘Parashuram ki Pratiksha’, ‘Koylaa aur Kavitva’, ‘Mritti Tilak’, and ‘Atmaa ki Ankhe’.
He ended the decade by releasing his analytical compositions, ‘Saahityamukhi’ and ‘He Ram’. The latter consists of the metaphors that have been written on the lives of great men like Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.
Dinkar’s love for the nation was also showcased in his works in the 1970s. These works included ‘Bhaaratiya Ekta’. He spent his last years writing ‘Dinkar ki Daayri’, ‘Vivah ki Musibaten’, and ‘Dinkar ke Geet’.
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His major works also include ‘Krishna Ki Chaetavani’, a poem based on the epic ‘Mahabharata.’ Another one titled ‘Urvashi’ earned him the Jnanpith Award in 1972. The poetry was based on love and connection between man and woman on a spiritual level.
Political Career & Other Positions
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar entered politics during the time of India's struggle for freedom from British rule. He initially supported the revolutionary movement, but later became a Gandhian. However, he still supported violence to a degree, and therefore, regarded himself as a “bad Gandhian.”
From 1934 to 1947, he served as sub-registrar and deputy director of the publicity department in the service of the Government of Bihar.
After India’s independence in 1947, he was elected to Rajya Sabha and served in the house from 1952 to 1964.
From 1965 to 1971, Dinkar served as the Hindi advisor to the Government of India.
Apart from politics, the poet held significant positions in various colleges and universities. He served as the head of Muzaffarpur College’s department of Hindi from 1950 to 1952. During 1964 and 1965, he was the vice chancellor at Bhagalpur University.
Family & Personal Life
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar got married in Bihar’s Tabhka village of Samastipur district. However, the name of his wife is not known.
On 24 April 1974, he died in Begusarai, at the age of 65.
Since his death, the legendary poet has been remembered and honored by the nation from time to time. On 30 September 1987, then-President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma paid him tribute to mark his 79th birth anniversary.
In 1999, Dinkar was one of the Hindi writers to be featured on a commemorative postal stamp that was released to celebrate ‘Linguistic Harmony of India’.
The government of India also released a book on his birth centenary. The book was authored by famous writer and poet Khagendra Thakur.
Dinkar Chowk in Patna has been named after the legendary poet. This intersection also has the famous Dinkar statue.
On 22 December 2013, Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, laid the foundation stone of Rastrakavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar College of Engineering. The engineering college is in the district of Begusarai where the poet was born.
In May 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the golden jubilee celebrations of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar's famous works ‘Parshuram ki Pratiksha’ and ‘Sanskriti ke Chaar Adhyaye’ at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.