Kusumagraj

Kusumagraj

Vishnu Vāman Shirwādkar (विष्णु वामन शिरवाडकर) (February 27 1912 - March 10 1999), popularly known by his pen name, Kusumāgraj (कुसुमाग्रज), was an eminent Marathi poet, writer and humanist in India. He was born in and spent most of his life in the city of Nasik in Maharashtra, India.

Life

At his age 20, Shirwadkar participated in a nonviolent resistance march --satyagraha-- in support of compelling Brahmin priests in charge of a local prominent temple in Nasik to provide free access to the temple to people who belonged to the suppressed "untouchable" (Harijan) community. In the past, the priests had not allowed free temple access to that community under the Hindu caste system, which used to be observed much more vigorously then in India. Throughout his life, he either participated in or led many movements in Nasik to counter social or political injustice of some or other kind. In 1950, he founded in Nasik an Organization for Social Good --Lokahitawādi Mandal. While temperamentally he ranged from reclusive to exclusive, he had a keen social sense and championed the cause of the downtrodden without jumping himself into ground level activities. But his main claim to fame was his genius as a poet and writer.

In 1987, Kusumagraj was presented with the Jnanpith Award --a prestigious literary award in India-- in recognition of his literary achievements, and in particular his writing of the play, Natasamrāt. (In 1974, he had received Sahitya Academy Award for "Natasamrāt".) He received Rām Ganesh Gadkari Award of All India Nātya Parishad in 1985. Pune University conferred on him the honorary degree of D.Lit. in 1986. In 1988, he received Sangeet Nātya Lekhan Award. Indian Govt had decided to confer Padmabhushan to him in late 1980s, but he rejected the offer, saying that he had already received the highest award, Jnan Peeth, in his field, and there was no point in overcrowding the list of Padmabhushan awardees.

An organization named Kusumāgraj Pratishthān'' was formed in Nasik in 1990 with the objective of encouraging various cultural activities and helping the needy belonging to traditionally suppressed communities.

Writings

Collections of Poems

  • Vishākhā
  • Himareshā
  • Chhandomayi
  • Jeewanalahari
  • Jāichā Kunja
  • Samidhā
  • Kinārā
  • Marāthi Māti
  • Swagat
  • Wadalwel
  • Rasayātrā
  • Muktāyan
  • Shrāwan
  • Prawāsi Pakshi
  • Pātheya
  • Meghdoot (Marathi Translation of Kalidas' "Meghdoot", which is in Sanskrit)

Edited Collections of Poems

  • Kāwyawāhini
  • Sāhityasuwarna
  • Phularāni
  • Pimpalapān
  • Chandanawel
  • Rasyātrā, poems chosen by Shankar Vaidya and Poet Borkar, and with a long scholarly introduction by Vaidya.

Collections of Stories

  • Phulawāli
  • Chhote Āni Mothe
  • Satāriche Bol Āni Iter Kathā
  • Kāhi Wruddha, Kāhi Tarun
  • Prem Āni Mānjar
  • Appointment
  • Āhe Āni Nāhi
  • Wirāmachinhe
  • Pratisād
  • Ekāki Tārā
  • Wātewaralyā Sāwalyā
  • Shakespearechyā Shodhāt
  • Roopareshā
  • Kusumāgrajānchyā Bārā Kathā
  • Jādoochi Hodi (for children)

Plays

  • Yayāti Āni Dewayāni
  • Weeja Mhanāli Dharateelā
  • Natasamrāt
  • Doorche Diwe
  • Dusarā Peshwā
  • Waijayanti
  • Kounteya
  • Rājmukut
  • Āmche Nāw Bāburāo
  • Widushak
  • Ek Hoti Wāghin
  • Ānand
  • Mukhyamantri
  • Chandra Jithe Ugawat Nāhi
  • Mahant
  • Kaikeyi

One-Act Plays

  • Diwāni Dāwā
  • Dewāche Ghar
  • Prakāshi Dāre
  • Sangharsh
  • Bet
  • Natak Basat Āhe Āni Itar Ekānkikā

Novels

  • Waishnawa
  • Jānhawi
  • Kalpanechyā Teerāwar

References

  • http://www.kusumagraj.org/pratishathan/vishai.htm

External links

  • http://www.kusumagraj.org (Marathi website)
  • http://www.kusumaavali.org (Marathi website)

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