Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' (रामधारी सिंह 'दिनकर') (September 23, 1908 April 24, 1974) was an Indian Hindi poet, essayist and academician, who is considered as one of the most important modern Hindi poets. Dinkar emerged as a rebellious poet with his nationalist poetry in pre-Independence days. His poetry exuded veer rasa, and he has been hailed as a "Rashtrakavi" ("National poet").
In his early days, Dinkar supported the revolutionary movement during the Indian Independence struggle. But later, he became a Gandhian. However, he used to call himself a 'Bad Gandhian' because he supported the feelings of indignation and revenge among the youth. In Kurukshetra, he accepts that the war is destructive, but says that it is necessary for the protection of freedom.
Dinkar was three times elected to Rajya Sabha, and he was the member of this house from April 3, 1952 CE to January 26, 1964 CE, and was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1959.
Dinkar was born in a poor Bhumihar Brahmin family in Simariya village of Begusarai district in Bihar. As a student, Dinkar's favorite subjects were history, politics and philosophy. He studied Hindi, Sanskrit, Maithili, Bengali, Urdu and English literature. Dinkar was greatly influenced by Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore, Keats and Milton. Shri Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', called the "Rashtrakavi" evoked the spirit of nationalism on account of his inspiring patriotic composition. A philosopher-poet, Shri Dinkar rose upon the Hindi literary scene like the proverbial 'Sun'.
His works are mostly of 'Veer Rasa', or the 'brave mode'. Urvashi, of course, is an exception. Some of his greatest works are "Rashmirathi" and "Parashuram ki Prateeksha". He is hailed as the greatest Hindi poet of 'Veer Rasa' since Bhushan. Hindi writer Rajendra Yadav, whose novel 'Sara Akash' also carried a few lines of Dinkar's poetry, has said of him He was always very inspiring to read. His poetry was about reawakening. 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.
The theme of Urvashi revolves round love, passion, and relationship of man and woman on a spiritual plane, distinct from their earthly relationship. The name Urvashi is derived from the name of an Apsaras of the same name (Urvashi), a celestial damsel of the court of Hindu mythological god, Indra.
Once Bhushan said, "bakhanu Shiva ko ki bakhanu Chhatrasal ko".[meaning that shall I praise Shive or Chhatrasal.(for both are equally great)]. O king of poets, allow me to twist your words a bit- "Bakhanu Dinkar ko ki bakhanu main Bhushan ko".
"Badhkar vipatti par chha ja, mere kishor mere taza,
Jeevan ka ras chhan jane de, tan ko pathhar ban jane de,
Tu swayam tej bhayakari hai, kya kar sakti chingari hai?"
(Rashmirathi, sarg 3)
"Re rok yudhhishthir ko na yahan jane de unko swarg dhir,
Par phira hamen gandeev gada lauta de arjun bheem veer"
"Kshama shobhti us bhujang ko jiske pas garal ho.
Uska kya jo danthin, vishrahit vineet saral ho"
"Jisne shramjal diya use peechhe mat reh jane do,
Vijit prakriti se sabse pehle usko sukh pane do"
Awards and honours
He got awards from Kashi Nagri Pracharini Sabha, Uttar Pradesh Government and Government of India for his epic-poem Kurukshetra. He got the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1959 for his work Sanskriti ke Char Adhyay. He was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1959 by the Government of India given by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad. He got the felicitation of Doctor of literature from Dr. Zakir Hussain, Chancellor of Bhagalpur University (who later became the President of India, then he was the Governor of Bihar). He got annointed as Vidyavachaspati by Gurukul Mahavidyalaya. He was felicitated as Sahitya-Chudamaniby Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur on 8 November, 1968. Dinkar was awarded the Jnanpith Award in 1972 for Urvashi, a work of poetry, published in 1961. He also became a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, in 1952.
In 1999, Dinkar
was one of the Hindi writers used in a set of commemorative postal stamps released by Government of India
to celebrate the "Linguistic Harmony of India.
" marking the 50th anniversary since the Indian Union
adopted Hindi as its official language. As a tribute to the great patriotic poet Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinakar’, the Cabinet Minister
of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi
released a book on his birth centenary titled, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinakar’: Vyaktitva aur Krititva
The book is written by well known critic and writer Khagendra Thakur
and published by Publications Division
of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
. Rich tributes were paid to him on the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary in Patna
on 23rd September
, 2008 and Bihar
's Chief Minister
, Nitish Kumar
unveiled his statue at the Dinkar Chowk
and offered floral tributes to the late poet.
Major poetic works
Dinkar's first published poetical work was Vijay Sandesh (1928). His other works are
- Pranbhang (1929)
- Renuka (1935)
- Hunkar (1938)
- Rasavanti (1939)
- Dvandvageet (1940)
- Kurukshetra (1946)
- Dhoop Chhah (1946)
- Saamdheni (1947)
- Baapu (1947)
- Itihas ke Aansoo (1951)
- Dhup aur Dhuan (1951)
- Mirch ka Mazaa (1951)
- Rashmirathi (1952)
- Dilli (1954)
- Neem ke Patte (1954)
- Suraj ka Byaah (1955)
- Neel Kusum (1954)
- Chakravaal (1956)
- Kavishri (1957)
- Seepee aur Shankh (1957)
- Naye Subhaashit (1957)
- Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'
- Urvashi (1961)
- Parashuram ki Pratiksha (1963)
- Koylaa aur Kavitva (1964)
- Mritti Tilak (1964)
- Atmaa ki Ankhe (1964)
- Haare ko Harinaam (1970)
His anthologies of poems are
- Lokpriya Kavi Dinkar (1960)
- Dinkar ki Suktiyan (1964)
- Dinkar ke Geet (1973)
- Sanchayita (1973)
- Rashmilok (1974)
- Urvashi tatha anya shringarik kavitayen (1974)
Major prose works
Dinkar’s major analytical and other prose works are:
- Mitti ki Or (1946)
- Chittaur ka Saakaa (1948)
- Ardhanaarishwar (1952)
- Reti ki Phool (1954)
- Hamaari Saanskritik Ekta (1954)
- Bhaarat ki Saanskritik Kahaani (1955)
- Raashtrabhaasha aur Raashtriya Ekta (1955)
- Ujli Aag (1956)
- Sanskriti ke Chaar Adhyaay (1956)
- Kaavya ki Bhumikaa (1958)
- Pant, Prasad aur Maithilisharan (1958)
- Venu Van (1958)
- Dharma, Naitikataa aur Vigyan (1959)
- Vat-Peepal (1961)
- Lokdev Nehru (1965)
- Shuddh Kavitaa ki Khoj (1966)
- Saahityamukhi (1968)
- He Ram! (1968)
- Samsmaran aur Shraddhaanjaliyan (1970)
- Meri Yatrayen (1971)
- Bhaaratiya Ekta (1971)
- Dinkar ki Daayri (1973)
- Chetana ki Shilaa (1973)
- Vivah ki Musibaten (1973) and
- Aadhunik Bodh (1973).
Translations into English and other languages
- Dinkar's Urvashi: a saga of human love and Vedanta. Trans. by Krishna Kuamr Vidyarthi. (New Delhi: Siddharth Publications, 1994. 165 p.)
- Reflections on men and things (essays). (Ajmer: Krishna Brothers, 1968. 80 p.)
- Kurukshetra. Trans. by R.K. Kapur. London: n.p., 1967.
- [Rasmirathi] Sun charioteer. Trans. by R.D. Dunda, D. Nelson and P. Staneslow. (Minnesota: Nagari Press, 1981.)
- Voices of the Himalaya: poems. Trans. by the author, Kamala Ratnam, V.K. Gokak and others. (Bombay: Asia Publishing House, 1966. vi, 70 p.)
- Himalayas Xotros Poems (Spanish), Collection of thirty poems, Publisher - University of Conceyeion, Chile.
- Sinig Potos [Blue Lotus] (Russian), Collection of sixty poems, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Russia.
Biographies and works on Dinkar
- Khagendra Thakur, Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’: Vyaktitva aur Krititva, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- Vijendra Narayan Singh, Bharatiya Sahitya ke Nirmata: Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2005, ISBN 812602142X.
- Shiv Balak Rai, Dinkar, Universal Press, Shiv Charan Lal Road, Allahabad.
- Shivchandra Sharma, Dinkar aur unki kavya kritiyan, Janwasi Press, Kolkata.
- Murlidhar Srivastava, Dinkar ki Kavyasadhana, Shri Ajanta Press, Patna.
- Kameshwar Sharma, Digbhramit Rashtrakavi, Rashtriya Prakashan Mandal, Patna.
- S.Kapil, Dinkar Aur Unki Kavya Kritiyan, Ibha Prakashan, Munger.
- Kantimohan Sharma, Kurukshetra - Mimansa, Sahitya Prakashan Mandal, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.
- Nemichandra Jain Bhavuk, Dinkar ki Kavyasadhana, Antah Prantiya Kumar Parishad, Jodhpur.
- Dr. Satyakam Verma, Jankavi Dinkar, Bharatiya Prakashan, Model Town, Delhi.
- Dr. Savitri Sinha, Yugcharan Dinkar, National Publishing House, Delhi.
- Vijendra Narayan Singh, Dinkar: Ek Punarmulyankan, Parimal Prakashan, Allapur, Allahabad.
- Vijendra Narayan Singh, Urvashi: Uplabdhi Aur Sima, Parimal Prakashan, Allapur, Allahabad.
- Gopalkrishna Kaul and Hariprasad Shastri, Dinkar: Srishti aur Drishti, Vatayan Prakashan, Gaziabad.
- Dr. Savitri Sinha, Kavi Dinkar, Radhakrishna Prakashan, Delhi.
- Murlidhar Srivastava, Yugkavi Dinkar, Bihar Granth Kutir, Patna.
- Ramashankar Tiwari, Dinkar ki Urvashi, Chaukhambha Vidya Bhavan, Varanasi.
- Vachandev Kumar, Urvashi: Vichar Aur Vishleshan, Bihar Granth Kutir, Patna.