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The Hindi Public Sphere 1920–1940Language and Literature in the Age of Nationalism$

Francesca Orsini

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780198062202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198062202.001.0001

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(p.384) Appendix

(p.384) Appendix

Source:
The Hindi Public Sphere 1920–1940
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

(p.384) Appendix

Biographies

What follows is a series of short biographies of the main Hindi personalities mentioned in the course of the book. Information was collated from a variety of sources, all quoted in the Bibliography. The choice of names was partly dictated by the available information, and partly by the intention of giving as wide as possible a picture of the possible ways of being a ‘Hindi intellectual’ in this period. Accordingly, I have focused on family background, education, occupation and source of income, social and caste position, mobility and link with the land, literary saṃskāras in the family, participation in the literary sphere, political activism, bilingualism, and relationship with other Indian linguistic areas.

List of Biographies

  • ‘Bachchan’, Harivaṃś Rāy
  • Bakhśī, Padumlāl Punnālāl
  • Baṛathvāl, Pītāmbardatt
  • Benīpurī, Rāmvṛkṣa
  • Bhārgava, Dulārelāl
  • Bhaṭṭ, Badrínāth
  • Chaturvedī, Banārsīdās
  • Chaturvedī, Mākhanlāl
  • Chaturvedī, Śrīnārāyaṇ
  • Chauhān, Subhadrākumārī
  • Dās, Babu Śyāmsundar
  • Dev, Acharya Narendra
  • Dīn, Lala Bhagvān
  • Dvivedī, Mahāvīr Prasād
  • Gauṛ, Kṛṣṇadev Prasād
  • Gauṛ, Rāmdās
  • Goyal, Rāmeśvarī
  • Gupta, Maithilīśaran
  • Gupta, Śivaprasād
  • ‘Harioudh’, Ayodhyāsiṃh Upādhyāy
  • Jośī, Hemchandra and Ilāchandra
  • ‘Kauśik’, Viśvambharnāth Śarmā
  • Kumār, Jainendra
  • Lakhanpāl, Chandrāvatī
  • Mālavīya, Kṛṣṇakānt
  • Mālavīya, Madan Mohan
  • Miśra, Śyāmbihārī and Śukdevbihārī
  • ‘Navīn,’ Bālkṛṣṇa Śarmā
  • Nehrū, Rāmeśvarī
  • (p.385) ‘Nirālā’, Sūryakānt Tripāṭhī
  • Ojhā, Dr Gaunrīśaṅkar Hīrāchand
  • Pālīvāl, Śrīkṛṣṇadatt
  • Pāṇḍey, Rūpnārāyaṇ
  • Pant, Sumitrānandan
  • Parāṛkar, Bābūrāo Viṣṇu
  • Parivrājak, Svami Satyadev
  • Poddār, Hanumānprasād
  • Prasād, Jayśaṅkar
  • Prem, Dhanīrām
  • Premchand (Dhanpat Rāy)
  • ‘Ratnākar’, Jagannāth Dās
  • Raykṛṣṇadās
  • Sahajānand Sarasvatī, Svami
  • Sahāy, Śivpūjan
  • Sahgal, Rāmrakh Siṃh
  • Sampūrṇānand
  • ‘Sanehī’, Gayāprasād Śukla
  • Sāṅkṛtyāyan, Rāhul
  • Śarmā, Padmasiṃh
  • Śarmā, Rāmjīlāl
  • Śāstrī, Hariharnāth
  • Sītārām, Lala
  • Śraddhānand, Svami (Mahatma Munśīrām)
  • Śrīvāstava, G.P.
  • Śrīvāstava, Navjādiklāl
  • Śrīvāstava, Pratāp Nārāyaṇ
  • Śukla, Devīdatt
  • Śukla, Rāmchandra
  • Sundarlāl, Pandit
  • Ṭaṇḍon, Puruṣottam Dās
  • Tivārī, Veṅkateś Nārāyaṇ
  • Tripāṭhī, Rāmnareś
  • ‘Ugra’, Pāṇḍey Bechan Śarmā
  • Vājpeyī, Ambikāprasād
  • Vājpeyī, Kiśorīdās
  • Varmā, Bhagavatīcharaṇ
  • Varmā, Dhīrendra
  • Varmā, Mahādevī
  • Varmā, Babu Rāmchandra
  • Varmā, Rāmkumār
  • Varmā, Vṛndāvanlāl
  • Vidyālaṃkār, JayChandra
  • Vidyārthī, Gaṇeś Śaṅkar
  • Viyogī Hari

‘Bachchan’, Harivaṃś Rāy (1907–2003)

Birthplace: Mohallā Mutthiganj, Allahabad.

Education

Educated at the local Municipal school; High School examination in.1925;. BA from Kayastha Pathshala and Allahabad University in 1929; dropped out of the MA course in English literature in 1930 to join Civil Disobedience. Enrolled again years later and awarded MA in 1939 (at 32) from BHU; BT from Teachers’ Training College, Allahabad in 1939; Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 1954.

Occupation

Teacher, lecturer in English, Hindi officer; poet.

Career

Until 1934 worked irregularly for Chāṁd, Bhaviṣya, Abhyuday Press, Pioneer Press, Prayāg Mahilā Vidyāpīṭh, Allahabad Middle school and Agravāl (p.386) Vidyālay, where he taught Hindi between 1934 and 1938. First married in 1927 and widowed in 1936. Started writing poetry as a child and shot to fame in 1935 at kavi sammelans with the intoxicating poems of Madhuśālā, one of the few collections of Hindi Khari Boli poetry to be truly popular. From 1939 to 1952 he taught in the English department of Allahabad University. Remarried in 1942. After returning from Cambridge in 1955, he was first appointed Hindi producer at Akashvani Radio Centre in Allahabad, then appointed Hindi officer at the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi in 1955 through his personal contacts with Jawaharlal Nehru. Took part as Indian representative in several international poetry meetings and official trips. Awarded Padmabhushan in 1976. Translated several Shakespeare plays.

Selected Works

Poetry: Terā hār (1932); Hindi translation of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyyat (1935); Madhuśālā (1935); Madhubālā (1936); Madhukalaś (1937); Niśā nimāntraṇ (1938); Ekānt saṅgīt (1939). Autobiography: Kyā bhūlūṁ kyā yād karūṁ (4 vols).

Bakhśī, Padumlāl Pannālāl (1894–1971)

Birthplace: Khairagarh, a small town in princely Central India.

Education

Educated at the local Victoria school with Pandit Raviśaṅkar Śukla, who later became Chief Minister of the Central Provinces; failed Matriculation once and obtained a BA in 1922 from Allahabad University.

Occupation

Editor, teacher.

Career

In 1916 became a high school teacher in a town near Khairagarh and contributed occasionally to Hindi journals with articles and translations. His seriousness and wide readings attracted Mahāvīr Prasād Dvivedī, who chose young Bakhśī to replace him as editor of Sarasvatī in 1920, where he remained from 1920 to 1925 and again from 1927 to 1929. As his assistant Devīdatt Śukla recalled: ‘After Dvivedī left we more or less stopped receiving articles, and we had to write two, three articles for each issue ourselves.’ Bakhśī had to face strong opposition in the world of Hindi letters, though his translations and reviews were recognized as being a class of their own. Despite his efforts, Bakhśī resigned in 1925 and once again in 1929 and went back definitely to teaching English in Khairagarh and writing. In 1959 he became head of the Hindi department of Rajnandgaon college.

(p.387) Selected Works

Essays: Viśva-sāhitya (1925).

Baṛathvāl, Pītāmbar Datt (1902–44)

Birthplace: Jaharkhel (Garhwal).

Education

First, traditional Sanskrit education at home, then in Hindi and English at Srinagar Government High School, and at Kalicharan High School and DAV college in Lucknow; BA, MA and LL.B. at BHU. The very first Hindi D.Litt. from BHU in 1934.

Occupation

Lecturer.

Career

A disciple of Śyāmsundar Dās, he worked for several years as director of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā. University search for old Hindi manuscripts. First appointed to teach Hindi literature at BHU in 1931, in 1938 he became lecturer at Lucknow University, where he taught until his early death.

Selected Works

Criticism: The Nirgun School of Hindi Poetry (in English); Gosvāmi Tulsīdās (1925) and Rūpak-rahasya (1931) with Śyāmsundar Dās.

Benīpurī, Rāmvṛkṣa (or Rāmbṛkṣa) (1902–68)

Birthplace: Village Benīpur, district Muzaffarpur (Bihar).

Education

Left school in 1920 before taking Matriculation in order to join the Non-Cooperation Movement; passed Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan viśārad exam.

Occupation

Editor, political activist.

Career

Tulsī's Mānas awakened Benīpurī's interest in literature and poetry, and he entered the literary field through journalism. Edited many Hindi journals, amongst them several for children: Tarun bhārat (weekly, 1921), Kisān mitra (weekly, 1922), Bālak (monthly, 1926), Yuvak (monthly, organ of the Bihar Socialist Party, 1929), Lok saṅgrah (1934), Yogī (weekly, 1935), Jantā (Congress Socialist Party weekly, 1937), and Chunnū-munnū (monthly. (p.388) 1950). He was a founding member of the Bihar Socialist Party (1929). and was at first critical of, but then active in, the Bihar Provincial Kisān Sabhā; he also took part in the 1930 and 1942 campaigns and went to jail. Very active in Hindi literary life in Bihar, he was among the founders of the Bihar Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan and its general secretary between 1946 and 1950; was also propaganda secretary of the All-India Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan in 1929. He edited Vidyāpati's poems, wrote a commentary on Bihārīlāl's Satsaī, and a biography of Jay Prakash Narayan. Noted for his floral language and strong sentimentalism.

Selected Works

Sketches: Patitoṁ ke deś meṁ (1930–2), Māṭīkī mūrateṁ (1941–5). Short stories: Citā ke phūl (1930–2), Lāltārā (1937–9), Qaidī kī patnī (1940), Gehūṁ aur gulāb (1948–50). Historical plays: Ambapālī (1941–5), Sītākī māṁ (1948–50).

Bhārgava, Dulārelāl (1895–1975)

Birthplace: Lucknow.

Background

Born in the Nawal Kishore family of publishers, originally from Sasni (Aligarh). His father Babu Pyārelāl was more devoted to Urdu and Persian, but Dulārelāl's first wife (who died in 1916) converted him to Hindi.

Education

Only up to Intermediate.

Occupation

Editor and publisher.

Career

In 1922, with the help of his uncle Biṣṇunārāyaṇ Bhārgava, he launched the literary monthly Mādhurī, which started a new era in Hindi literary journalism. Himself a poet in Braj Bhasa, with Mādhurī Bhārgava helped a Braj Bhasa resurgence; in 1927 he was awarded the first Dev Puraskār for his Dulāre-dohāvalī amidst strong controversies. An enterprising editor and publisher, he ventured out on his own with the monthly Sudhā and the publishing house Gaṅgā-Pustak-Mālā, devoted only to contemporary Hindi literary works. He published all the most distinguished Hindi writers of the period and gave them high rewards in cash while he kept the copyright. His star seems to have waned at the time of Independence.

(p.389) Selected Works

Poetry: Dulāre dohāvalī (1927).

Bhaṭṭ, Badrīnāth (1891–1934)

Birthplace: Village Gokulpura (Agra district).

Background

Son of the famous Sanskrit and Hindi scholar and commentator Rāmeśvar Bhatt.

Education

Educated up to BA.

Occupation

Editor, writer, university lecturer.

Career

Started working for the Indian Press, Allahabad, at Mahāvīr Prasād Dvivedī's behest, in 1916; he was chief editor of the children's journal Bālsakhā (1917–19) and contributed regularly to Sarasvatī, where he wrote in favour of svacchand poetry in Hindi as early as 1913. Also contributed to a famous humour column in the newspaper Pratāp called Golmālkāriṇi sabhā. He became the first Hindi lecturer at Lucknow University. Married outside his caste in 1921. Wrote only in Khari Boli, mostly humorous and historical plays.

Selected Works

Plays: Chuṅgī kī ummīdvārī (1919), Chandragupta nāṭak (1920), Tulsīdās nāṭak (1922), Durgāvatī (1925), Vivāh vijῆāpan, Miss amerikan (1929).

Chaturvedī, Banārsīdās (1892–1981)

Birthplace: Firozabad.

Background

Born in an Ārya Samāj family.

Education

Educated up to Intermediate at Agra college; literary education under the guidance of Braj Bhasa poet and scholar Satyanārāyaṇ Kaviratna.

Occupation

Editor.

(p.390) Career

First started teaching Hindi at Farrukhabad in 1913, then from 1914 to 1920 taught at the Daly College for Indian princes in Indore (where he met Sampūrṇānand). Engaged over the issue of the ‘pravāsī bhārtīy’, the Indian indentured labourers, especially in Fiji, in 1924 he was sent to East Africa with an Indian National Congress delegation. As secretary of the literary branch of the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Indore in 1918, he met several important literary and political figures. Between 1920 and 1921 he was in Santiniketan with C.F. Andrews, and from 1921 to 1925 he taught at the Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad; in 1927 he was on the editorial board of Āryamitra (Agra) and Abhyuday (Allahabad), where he met M.P. Dvivedī, P.D. Ṭaṇḍon, Pandit Sundarlāl, and G.Ś. Vidyārthī. From 1927 to 1937 he edited the monthly Viśāl bhārat (Calcutta), the Hindi venture of Ramanand Chatterjee, the renowned editor of the Modern Review and the Bengali Prabasi. Viśāl bhārat became famous for its virulent public campaigns, e.g. against Ugra's Cakleṭ and ‘obscene literature’ (ghāsleṭ sāhitya) and against Nirālā's abstruse style. In 1937 he retired to Tikamgarh (MP), where he directed a local literary institution financed by the local raja and edited the monthly Madhukar (1940–52). Nominated member of the Rajya Sabha after Independence (1952–64), his house in Delhi became a centre for Hindi literary people. Thanks to his contacts with Tagore and Gandhi he wielded a certain authority in the Hindi literary world. Known as a prolific correspondent.

Selected Works

Biographies: Satyanārāyaṇ kaviratna (1906); Bhāratbhakta Enḍrūz (1922). Political and Literary Essays: Pravāsī bhāratvāsī (1918); Rāṣṭrabhāṣā (1919); Hṛdaytaraṅg (1920); Fijī kī samasyā (1927).

Chaturvedī, Mākhanlāl (1889–1968)

Birthplace: Village Bavai (dist. Hoshangabad, CP.).

Background

Born in a poor family of Radhavallabhan affiliation.

Education

Primary education in the village along with Sanskrit at home; Middle examination in 1903 and Normal school examination (for vernacular teachers) in 1904; taught himself English in 1906.

Occupation

Editor.

(p.391) Career

First appointed teacher at Khandwa Middle School at a salary of Rs 8 per month in 1904, he started editing Prabhā (1913, monthly) and writing nationalist poetry under the pen-name ‘An Indian Soul’, ‘Ek bhārtīy ātmā’. He left teaching to join the terrorist movement and became a supporter of Tilak. In Kanpur came in contact with G.Ś. Vidyārthī, met Gandhi in 1917 and resolved to dedicate his life to the welfare of the country. In 1919 he was sent to Jabalpur, where he edited the monthly Karmavīr with Mādhavrāo Sapre, Viṣṇudatt Śukla, and Lakṣhmaṇ Siṃh Chauhān. He organized a Provincial Political Assembly in Khandwa and took part in the Nagpur flag satyagraha in 1923, and when Vidyārthī was jailed in 1924 he went to Kanpur to edit Pratāp; he was arrested in May 1925 for the first time. In 1926 he was elected to the Legislative Council on a Congress ticket from Mahakoshal. Active in the Madhya Pradesh Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan, he presided over the 1943 All-India Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan. In 1967 he returned the Padmabhushan honour when the Government of India postponed the term by which Hindi was to become the only national language.

Selected Works

Play: Kṛṣṇārjun yuddh (1918); Poetry: Himkirīṭinī (1941); Sāhitya devtā (1941); Himtaraṅginī (1949); Mātā (1952).

Chaturvedī, Śrīnārāyaṇ (1893–1990)

Birthplace: A village in Etawa district.

Background

Chaturvedī's family, of Ramanuja Vaiṣṇava affiliation, had settled in Etawa district. His grandfather was Sanskrit pandit at the first high school in Etawa, founded after 1857 by A.O. Hume. His father, Chaturvedī Pandit Dvārkāprasād Śarmā, moved to Allahabad in 1892 because of his government job and settled in the same Ahalyapur mohallā where Bālkṛṣṇa Bhaṭṭ, M.M. Mālavīya and, later, P.D. Ṭaṇḍon also lived. After writing two biographies of Robert Clive and Warren Hastings in Hindi, his father was dismissed from government service and survived on his writing.

Education

Educated first at a local pāṭhśālā, where Pandit Sundarlāl was his teacher, then at the Government High School, where Amarnāth Jhā was his schoolmate. After the Matriculation exam he enrolled at Ewing Christian College, where he moved from Science to Arts. After some hesitation he then joined the Teachers’ Training College in Allahabad, where Mackenzie was (p.392) principal; later sent by the UP government to London for higher studies in psychology and pedagogy.

Occupation

Civil servant.

Career

After a first stint as a teacher and the Training College, he was appointed to teach in a government school, but joined the Kanyakubja High School in Lucknow instead, and turned it into an Intermediate College. After his sojourn in London he travelled around Europe, America and Japan, and returned in 1928. Appointed Inspector of Schools of Faizabad and Gorakhpur division, he became a highly placed education officer administering a large area of eastern UP. During the provincial Congress ministry he was appointed Education Expansion Officer by Sampūrṇānand. Actively defended and supported the use of Hindi in the education department and in the radio; in 1940 he even launched a journal to this aim, Ākāśvāṇī, One of the leaders of the pro-Hindi group in the Hindi—Hindustani controversy, he was also a brilliant cultural organizer and was instrumental in starting kavi sammelans for Hindi propaganda. Entertained excellent relations with the Indian Press, which published all his books, and after his retirement he became the very last editor of Sarasvatī (1955–79). His houses in Daryaganj and in Lucknow were meeting places for Hindi literary people and were known as the darbār. He wrote poetry under the pen-name ‘Śrīvar’.

Selected Works

Poetry: Choñch mahākāvya (1917); Education: A History of Rural Education in India (1930); An Educational Survey of A District (1935); Śikṣā vidhān paricay (1935); Biography: Samrāṭ pañcham jārj (1936); Memoirs: Manorañjak saṃsmaraṇ (1965).

Chauhān, Subhadrākumāri (1904–48)

Birthplace: A village near Allahabad.

Family

Bom in an educated but not affluent orthodox Rajput family which practiced

pardā.

Education

Educated at Crosthwaite college until Middle examination in 1919; she then joined Annie Besant's Theosophical School in Benares but dropped out in 1921 for. the Non-Cooperation movement. In 1920 she passed the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan prathamā examination.

(p.393) Occupation

Poet, political activist.

Career

Started writing poetry at the age of six, continued throughout her education and political involvement and was published in the major Hindi journals; her poem ‘Jhānsī kī rānī’ was one of the most famous poems of the whole nationalist movement. In the year of her Middle school examination, she was married to Lakshmaṇ Siṃh Chauhān, who later became a Congress activist and editor, and moved with him to Jabalpur. She was involved in Congress propaganda among women both in the town and in the district, and was one of the few middle class women who did not observe pardā. First arrested during the flag satyagraha in 1923, she was jailed again in 1941 for individual satyagraha. A mother of four, she did not observe chuāchūt and was known for her simple, straightforward manners; her style was equally simple, and she wrote a lot for children, too. Elected member of the Legislative Assembly in 1936. Twice awarded the Seksāriyā prize.

Selected Works

Poetry: Mukul (1930), Bikhre motī (1932); Tridhārā, Sabhā kā khel; Short Stories: Unmādinī (1934) and Sidhe-sādhe (1946).

Dās, Babu Śyāmsundar (1875–1945)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Born in a Khatri family; his father was a small cloth merchant who had moved from Amritsar; at his death the burden of the family and of business debts fell on young Śyāmsundar, who ‘never lived in a house he owned’.

Education

Received first a traditional guru education, then studied English at the local Hanuman seminary; after passing the Anglo-Vernacular Middle examination in 1890, he enrolled at Queen's Collegiate School, where he passed the Entrance examination in 1892; Β A degree in 1897. Refused an offer to enrol for an MA and tried unsuccessfully to enrol in the new Teachers’ Training College in Lucknow.

Occupation

Teacher, cultural activist, literary scholar.

(p.394) Career

After a brief spell at a local press, he became at first Assistant Master, then Assistant Headmaster, at Besant's Central Hindu School in Benares, at a monthly salary of Rs 40. In 1909 he left to work for the State Office of the Maharaja of Kashmir, but returned to Benares in 1912. From 1912 to 1921 he was Headmaster at Kalicharan High School in Lucknow, but after successfully fighting back attempts to turn it into a ‘national school’ during the Non-Cooperation movement, he resigned. In 1922 he was appointed Head of the newly formed Hindi department at BHU, where he set up the syllabus with Ramchandra Śukla. One of the founding members of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā (1893), most of his life and activity was devoted to setting up and managing the manifold enterprises of the association: he was chief editor of the monumental dictionary Hindi śabdasāgar (1908–29), which employed altogether seventeen people; he was involved in the campaign for the official recognition of Hindi, in Hindi propaganda, in the search for Hindi manuscripts and in all the publication series. He also wrote several textbooks, readers, and manuals for the whole span of the school curriculum. He was on excellent terms with the Indian Press in Allahabad and for some time had all the Sabhā books published there.

Selected Works

Literary criticism: Sāhityālochan (1922); Gadya kusumāvalī (1925); Rūparahasya (1926); Bhāsā-rahasya (1935); Autobiography: Merī ātmakahānī (1957).

Dev, Acharya Narendra (1889–1956)

Birthplace: Faizabad.

Background

Born in a wealthy and cultured zamindar family of Faizabad which cherished both Persian and Sanskrit, had received English education for three generations and had branched out in law. His father was active in public life and wrote textbooks in English, Hindi, and Persian as a hobby; the family library was open to the public.

Education

At first educated privately at home, he read Tulsīdās and other Hindi authors before going to school in 1902; he matriculated in 1906 in Allahabad and lived in Mālavīya's Hindu Boarding House with Pandit Sundarlāl at the time of the Swadeshi agitation. After his BA he did an MA in archaeology and ancient history at Benares Queen's College (1913), where he studied Pali, Prakrit, and epigraphy, LLB in 1915.

(p.395) Occupation

Political activist, educator.

Career

Narendra Dev was attracted to extremist politics (the ‘garam dal’) and to the educational ideas of Lala Hardayal and Sri Aurobindo while in Allahabad. Attended all Congress sessions between 1905 and 1908, and rejoined only in 1916. First politically active in Annie Besant's Home Rule league, of which he founded a branch in Faizabad (1915). He dropped his legal practice in 1920. Called to Benares Κāśī Vidyāpīṭh, he taught ancient Indian history, Indian philology, and modem Indian history there, and became first Vice-Chancellor and then Chancellor in 1926. Active during the Non-Cooperation movement in Faizabad in the last phase of the Avadh peasant movement. Personally close to Jawaharlal Nehru. A founding member of the Congress Socialist Party (1934), he was one of its chief leaders in UP. Elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1937, he was put in charge of a-committee to reorganise education. Edited the socialist monthly Sanghars from Lucknow from 1939. Confined in 1939–40 during the individual satyagraha, he was arrested in 1942, when Kāśī Vidyāpīṭh was banned and students and professors dispersed in the countryside. After Independence, he became Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University and BHU.

Selected Works

While in jail, he translated Poussin's French translation of the Abhidhammakosa into Hindi; his own Bauddha-dharma-darśan was published posthumously; Political Essays: Samājvād kā bigul (with others, 1940); Socialism and the National Revolution (1946).

Dīn, Lala Bhagvān (1876–1930)

Birthplace: Village Barvat, district Fatehpur.

Background

Born in a Kayastha family which had moved at the time of the 1857 rebellion from Raibareilly to Rampur, where they became the bakhśi (treasurer) of the local Nawab. His father was an ordinary clerk and was away from home on government errands most of the time.

Education

Educated initially in Urdu and Persian until he moved to Bundelkhand with his father after his mother's death in 1887; he attended a madrasa at Nargaon Cantonment and in 1893 he was admitted to the English school in Fatehpur, where he passed the Entrance examination in 1900. Thanks to a monthly (p.396) scholarship of Rs 8 from the provincial government he could enrol at Kayastha Pathshala, Allahabad, but had to leave after the First year examination.

Occupation

Teacher, literary scholar, poet.

Career

First employed as a teacher at the Kayastha Pathshala, then briefly as Persian teacher at the Zenana Mission Girls’ High School before joining the State School in Chattarpur, where he taught until 1907. His Hindi saṃskāra came from his grandfather, who was a passionate devotee and read him Tulsīdās’ Rāmcharitmānas. In Chattarpur he further developed his interest in Hindi literature and in Braj Bhasa poetry thanks to the local public library and learnt prosody from a local pandit; his Braj Bhasa poems were published in the journals Rasikmitra and Raiskvaṭikā and he himself edited a Braj Bhasa poetry journal from 1905. He learnt the Bundelkhandi language and loved wandering around its hilly regions. Thanks to Śyāmsundar Dās, he obtained a place as Persian master at the Central Hindu School in Benares, and worked as editor of old Hindi texts for the Nāgari Prachārini Sabhā and on the dictionary Hindi śabdasāgar. Around 1915 he started a Hindi Sāhitya Vidyālay to prepare students for the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan examinations. In 1921 he joined BHU as Hindi lecturer, and taught chiefly rīti poets. Married thrice, the second time to the renowned poet Bundelābālā, and then to her younger sister. Wrote both in Khari Boli and in Braj Bhasa, and was especially skilled at samasyā-pūrtis. Considered one of the few able commentators of Keśavdās.

Selected Works

Poetry: Vīr panñcaratna (1918), Navīn-bīn (1926); Literary criticism: Alaṃkārmñnjusa (1931), Vyangyārthamañjusā (1927); ed., Tulsī-granthāvalī (1923) with R. Śukla and Brajratnadās; commentaries on Rāmchandrikā, Kavipriyā, Rasikpriyā, Tulsīdās’ Kavitāvali and Bihārī satsai.

Dvivedī, Mahāvīr Prasād (1864–1938)

Birthplace: Village Daulatpur, district Rai Bareilly.

Background

His grandfather was a learned pandit who recited the Purāṇas to the Bengal army troops; his father was a soldier who took part in the 1857 rebellion and thereafter fled to Bombay, where he worked at the service of a Vallabha Gosvami.

(p.397) Education

First educated at the village paṭhśālā; in 1877 enrolled at the District School in Bareilly to learn English: he had to take Persian as a subject since Sanskrit was not taught there. After moving to Bombay with his father he leamt Sanskrit, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, and English.

Occupation

Telegraph master, editor, literary scholar.

Career

In Bombay Dvivedī initially joined the railways as a clerk and was transferred to Nagpur and Ajmer. After passing an examination he became telegraph signaller, and after a series of transfers and promotions he became head clerk with the District Traffic Superintendent in Jhansi. Meantime he continued studying Sanskrit and old Hindi texts with scholars, and his reviews started being published. One such review of an Indian Press primer caught the attention of its publisher, Chintamani Ghosh, who asked Dvivedī to come and edit the monthly Sarasvatī. Dvivedī resigned from his job and joined the Indian Press, although he continued living in Juhi, a village near Kanpur. Under his editorship, the prestige and the importance of the journal grew immensely, and Dvivedī is credited with having formed and standardized modem Hindi prose. His collaboration with the Indian Press resulted in a long series of books and textbooks; in fact, he indirectly guided the Hindi literary policy of the Press as far as books and assistants were concerned, and he was ever grateful to the publisher, Chintamani Ghosh, for the respect he was given. For the Indian Press he translated Bhartṛhari, Kālidāsa, Jayadeva, Jagannātha, etc. into Hindi. His clear and stem views on language and literature earned him enormous prestige in the Hindi literary world, and to have been published in Sarasvatī became the seal of recognition. Dvivedī assembled a stable group of contributors, was at the centre of a large network of Hindi scholars and writers arid inspired many of the younger generation. Before he retired he chose his own successor, young P.P. Bakhśī, and also the editor who succeeded him, Devīdatt Śukla. After he retired in 1920, Dvivedī remained a highly respected figure. He moved back to his village, Daulatpur, where he looked after the family fields, opened a public library and an infirmary and served as head of the village panchayat until his death. He also edited his many articles into a number of books. At the XIII Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Kanpur in 1923 he presided over the welcome committee, but he generally kept away from Hindi associations and was particularly critical of Śyāmsundar Dās, although he left his books to the Nāgarī Prachārinī Sabhā and endowed it with a prize. His last years in the village, without modern amenities, children, or family, were spent in hardship and failing health.

(p.398) Selected Works

Hindī bhāsā kī utpatti (1907); Sampattiśāstra (1907); Hindī mahābhārata (1908). Collections of articles: Kālidās kī niraṅkuśtā (1912); Kālidās aur unkī kavitā (1920); Sukavi saṃkirtan (1924); Sāhitya sandarbha (1928), Sāhitya sīkar (1930).

Gauṛ, Kṛsṇadev Prasād (‘Beḍhab banārsī’) (1895–1965)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

His father was head clerk (munsarim) at the tribunal in Benares and contributed occasionally to English and Urdu newspapers.

Education

Educated first at Queen's College in Benares and then at Allahabad University, where he acquired an MA in English; he also obtained a Master's degree in political science from Agra University, a BT from BHU and passed the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan uttamā examination with first class honours.

Occupation

Teacher, writer.

Career

He wrote the first articles while still at school, first in English and then in Hindi, and contributed to K.P. Jaiswal's weekly Pāṭaliputra (Patna). Later he wrote humorous articles and poems under the pen-name ‘Beḍhab banārsī’ and contributed humorous columns to several papers; in 1920 he edited the humorous weekly Bhūt, and in 1937 Khudā kī rāh par, both ended over personal quarrels despite popular success. In 1938 he launched Taraṅg, which also closed down due to financial difficulties. He taught English at DAV college in Benares for many years, was a member of Jayśankar Prasād's circle and defended Chāyāvād poetry. From 1928 to 1930 he was literary secretary of the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan, and from 1945 to 1948 general secretary of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā.

Selected Works

Poetry: Beḍhab ki bahak (1954?), Kāvya kamal; Short Stories; Banārsi ekka (1930). Gāndhī kā bhūt, Ṭanāṭan.

Gauṛ, Rāmdās (1889–1937)

Birthplace: Jaunpur.

(p.399) Education

First in Benares and Allahabad; in 1903 BA from Muir Central College, Allahabad.

Occupation

Teacher, publicist.

Career

One of the the very few authors of scientific articles and books in Hindi, he taught chemistry in several institutions, including BHU, which he left because of the Non-Cooperation movement. Arrested in 1921, he was fined and sentenced to one year in prison. Later he headed the Science Department of Gurukul Kangri. He was also involved in Śivaprasād Gupta's Jnanmandal Press and instrumental in founding the Vijñān Parisad in Allahabad. He wrote in favour of women's education from the pages of Gṛhalakshmī, and wrote poetry under the pen-names ‘Ras’ and ‘Raghupati’. At Śivaprasād Gupta's request he compiled a massive compendium of Hinduism, Hindutva (1938). Also prepared a good critical edition of the Rāmcharitmānas.

Selected Works

Philosophy: Vaijñānik advaitavād (1920); Hindutva (1938).

Goyal, Rāmeśvarī (1911–36)

Birthplace: Jhansi.

Background

Born in a nationalist family, the daughter of a railway officer and of the famous Congress activist and woman poet Pistādevī, who was herself the daughter of the principal of the DAV college in Dehradun.

Education

Studied at Indraprastha College in Delhi; BA from Crosthwaite College and Master's degree from Allahabad University.

Occupation

Poet, teacher.

Career

While still a student, her poems started appearing in Sudhā from around 1928, and she was greeted as a promising talent. Also edited the girls' journal Sahelī for a short while. She became principal of the Āryakanyā Pāṭhśālā in Allahabad and was also an active Congress campaigner. Married (p.400) Prakāśchandra Gupta in 1935. At her death there was a large public commemoration in Jhansi, and hersister in Benares opened a school in her name, which still exists.

Selected Works

Poetry: Jīvan-svapna (1937).

Gupta, Babu Maithilīśaraṇ (1886–1964)

Birthplace: Village Chirgaon, near Jhansi.

Background

Bom in a merchant family with literary tastes.

Education

Educated at home in Sanskrit and Hindi, and at the local village school. Later taught himself Marathi and Bengali.

Occupation

Poet.

Career

Free from financial worries and the need to work. Gupta devoted himself to poetry: his first Khari Boli poems appeared in a Calcutta magazine, Vaiśyopkārak, and then in Sarasvatī, where under the guidance and inspiration of M.P. Dvivedī he wrote on historical and mythological themes and illustrated plates of Ravi Varma's paintings. His first long poem. Raṅg meṁ bhaṅg (1910) was followed by the great success of Bhārat-bhārtī (1912), which sealed his reputation as nationalist poet and as one of the most popular poets of the time. Sāket, a mahākāvya retelling the Rāmāyana story, was equally popular and was awarded the Maṅhgālāprasād prize in 1932. A friend of Rāykṛsnadās and Jayśaṅkar Prasād's, Gupta spent long periods in Benares and was a regular presence at Hindi literary gatherings. His fiftieth birthday was celebrated with the first ever public felicitation for a Hindi living poet in 1936. Hailed as rāsṭDrakavi, he became member of the Rajya Sabha in independent India. His brother Siyāśaraṇ Gupta was also a well-known writer.

Selected Works

Poetry: Raṅg mem bhaṅg (1910); Bhārat-bhārtī (1912); Sāket (1932); Hindū (1927); Gurukul (1929); Dvāpar (1936). Javbhārat (1952), Visṇupriyā.

Gupta, Babu Śivaprasād (1883–1945)

Birthplace: Benares.

(p.401) Background

Bom in one of the three most established merchant families of Benares, the Śāh family of Raja Motīchand, originally from Azamgarh, hence the name of ‘Azamagarh gharānā’; related to Bhagvān Dās.

Education

Studied for a Β A at Allahabad University, but was prevented by illness from taking the examination.

Occupation

Philantropist, political activist.

Career

The foremost Congress patron in Benares, he was at the centre of several enterprises in the fields of education, literature, journalism, art, politics, etc. In 1914 he undertook a world tour (narrated in Pṛthvī pradaksiṇā) which took him to Europe, America, Japan, China; on his way back to India in 1916 he was detained in Malaysia for anti-British activities and was released only through the intervention of, his uncle Raja Motīchand, Benoy K. Sarkar, and M.M. Mālavīya. In 1917 he founded the publishing house Jnanmandal with a detailed plan to print books of scientific and historical interest in Hindi; the daily Āj and the nationalist college Kāśī Vidyāpīṭh (1920) followed, the former as a limited company, the latter as a trust under the pledge that it would never receive government aid. Śivaprasād Gupta was the main patron of Congress activities in Benares, and his generosity toward students, educational institutions, families of jailed Congressmen, Congress funds, revolutionaries, and literary people in need was discrete and unparalleled. A great patron of Hindi, he supported the introduction of Hindi in education and in public administration and always ready to provide nationalist-minded literary people with work; his private secretary was Paripuūṇānand, Sampūmaṇānd's younger brother. In 1920 he became an active Congressman and; despite his sympathies for revolutionaries, a follower of Gandhi. During the following decade he was President of the Provincial Congress Committee, All India Congress treasurer, and President of the UP Kisan and Labour Conference (1927). Convicted thrice during Civil Disobedience, he suffered an attack of paralysis in jail. Erected the Bhārat Mātā temple with a huge marble outline of India in 1936.

Selected Works

Travelogue: Pṛthvī-pradakṣinā (1924)

‘Harioudh’, Pandit Ayodhyāsiṃh Upādhyāy (1865–1947)

Birthplace: Nizamabad, district Azamgarh.

(p.402) Background

Family originally from Badayun, moved to Nizamabad in the fifteenth century, and lived on zamindari, Śanskrit scholarship and priestly duties.

Education

Vidyārambh at five, first at home in Sanskrit and from 1872 at the tahsil school in Nizamabad, where he studied Urdu and Persian. In 1879 he passed the Hindi Middle school examination. After a short spell at Queen's College in Benares to learn English, he passed the Normal school (vernacular teachers’) examination in 1887 and the kanungo examination in 1889. Taught himself Bengali.

Occupation

Kanungo, poet, teacher.

Career

Appointed master at Nizamabad tahsil school in 1884 (he had married in 1882), he was noticed by the Education department officer and became a kanungo in 1889; over the years he rose from registrar kanungo to inspector kanungo, for fifteen years touring the neighbouring districts, and then eleven years in Azamgarh. Pensioned by the government in 1923, he was then appointed to teach in the Hindi department at BHU, apparently not too successfully, as Śyāmsundar Dās complained that he would teach only Hindu saṇgaṭhan or his own poetry. Finally he was moved to teach in the Girls’ branch of the University (!). His literary education had started at home and then with a local scholar at Azamgarh, who subscribed to Bhārtendu's Hariśchandra chandrikā and Kavivacansudhā. A great friend of Babu Rāmdīn Siṃh of the Khadagvilas Press of Bankipur, ‘Harioudh’ was also in contact with George Grierson. He wrote both in Braj Bhasa and in Khari Boli and was often called to attend or preside over kavi sammelans. He was President of the XIV Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Delhi in 1924. His long poem Priyapravās was widely appreciated and became the object of a controversy when it failed to win the Dev Puraskār in 1927, which went instead to Dulārelāl Bhārgava. His poems were published regularly in all the major Hindi journals. A fervent sanatan dharmi, he was given the title of ‘Kavisamrāṭ’ by the Bhārat Dharma Mahāmaṇḍal in 1912.

Selected Works

Novels: Ṭheṭh hindī kā ṭhāṭh (1899), Adhkhilā phul (1907); Translations: Rip van ṛinkal and The Merchant of Venice as Venis kā bāṁkā (1928). Poetry: Priyapravās (1914), Chokhe-chaupade (1924) and Chūbhte chaupade. Edited Kabīr-vachanāvalī (1921) for Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā. Textbooks: Bāl-pothī (p.403) (5 vols). Vernacular Reader (4 vols), etc. Educational books: Upadeś kusum. Nīti nibandh.

Jośi, Hemchandra (1894–?) and Ilāchandra (1902–82)

Birthplace: Almora.

Background

Bom in a cultured Kanyakubja Brahmin family originally from Jajmau (Kanpur), settled in Nainital; one ancestor had been chief minister to the Raja of Kumaon.

Education

After his MA, Hemchandra went to Europe for further study; he was awarded a D.Litt. from Paris University on economic and political thought in ancient India according to the Ṛgveda. Ilāchandra studied up to high school and taught himself French.

Occupation

Publicists and writers.

Career

Hemchandra acquired a remarkable collection foreign literary works, from which Ilāchandra got his literary educȧtion; the latter ran away to Calcutta after his high school. Both brothers were later instrumental in introducing contemporary world literature and literary trends into Hindi, and they acquired a certain reputation for their ‘modern’ and sophisticated tastes; Hemchandra sent reports and reviews from Europe to Hindi journals. Ilāchandra started writing poetry at an early age, and by the age of 16 he had published with the main Hindi nationalist journals. In 1919 he became a regular contributor of articles and short stories to Prabhā, and from 1927 onwards lo Sarasvatī and Sudhā. In 1929 an article in English on ‘Recent Hindi literature’ published in the Modern Review caused a stir for its mordant criticism of contemporary Hindi literature before the English-speaking audience. Until 1936 IIāchandra led a peripatetic life between Calcutta, Allahabad, and Lucknow; he worked for a while on the editorial board of Chāmd, then became co-editor of Sudhā (1929); together with Hemchandra he edited the journals Viśvavāṇi (1930) and Viśvamitra (1931) in Calcutta. In Allahabad he aso edited Saṅgam and Sāhityakār for some time, before being offered in 1936 a job as radio producer. Hemchandra contributed to the Vyutpatti koś (Etymological Dictionary) of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā. Ilāchandra is credited with having introduced the psychological novel into Hindi, e.g. Ghṛṇāmay (1929), Sanyāsī (1940).

(p.404) ‘Kauśik’, Viśvambharnāth Śarmā (1891–1942)

Birthplace: Ambala Cantt., but originally Gangoh (district Saharanpur).

Background

Son of a military storekeeper, he was adopted by his uncle, a lawyer in Kanpur who acquired landed property outside the city.

Education

Educated in Persian and Urdu at school upto Matriculation, and at home in Hindi and Sanskrit.

Occupation

Writer.

Career

Initially wrote Urdu poetry, then shifted to Hindi around 1909 and published short stories in the Kanpur weekly Jīvan and a few essays in Sarasvatī. After meeting M.P. Dvivedī he was prompted to translate from Bengali and to write original stories; ‘Rakṣābandhan’ was his first story published in Sarasvatī. A prolific author, his short stories appeared regularly in all the major Hindi journals and in book form from Ganga Pustak Mala. Also wrote a life of Rasputin. His humorous column ‘Ḍubejī kī chīṭṭhī’ appeared in the monthly Chāṁd.

Selected Works

Short Stories: Galp-mandir (1919), Chitraśālā (1924), Maṇimālā (1929), Kallol (1933). Novels: (1929), Bhikhāriṇī (1929). Misc.: Saṃsār kī asabhya jātiyom kī striyāṁ (1924).

Kumār, Jainendra (1905–88)

Birthplace: Koriyaganj (district Aligarh).

Background

Having lost his father at a very early age, he was brought up by his mother and her brother, the renowned Mahatma Bhagvān Dīn, who had founded a Gurukul in Hastinapur in 1911 and was later involved in Congress activities in the Central Provinces.

Education

First at his uncle's Gurukul, where his name was changed from Ānandī Lāl to Jainendra Kumār. Matriculed from Punjab in 1919 and enrolled in a BSc (p.405) course at the Central Hindu School in Benares, but left (prompted by his uncle) because of Non-Cooperation. He later attended some courses at the nationalist Tilak School of Politics in Delhi.

Occupation

Writer.

Career

A restless and indecisive youth, after leaving school he moved to Jabalpur, where his uncle was in jail and where Karmavīr under Mākhanlāl Chaturvedī had become a sort of ashram for boys who had joined Non-Cooperation. There he started writing reports and helped in his mother's shop. He was arrested during the flag satyagraha in 1923. Not until he published his first novel, Parakh (1929, awarded the Hindustani Academy prize in 1931) did he find any stability. Later he grew close to Premchand and along with him supported Hindustani in the Hindi–Hindustani controversy. Greatly influenced by Sharatchandra, he enjoyed a similar reputation in Hindi for his depiction of women's characters and his psychological studies.

Selected Works

Novels: Parakh (1929), Sunītā (1935), Tyāgpatra (1937), Kalyāṇī (1939), Sukhadā (1953), Vivarta (1953), Vyatīt (1953), Jayvarddhan (1956).

Lakhanpāl, Chandrāvatī (originally Sukla) (1904–9)

Birthplace: Bijnaur.

Background

Born in an Ārya Samāj family, the daughter of Jaynārayāṇ Śukla, who had translated some Upaniṣads into Hindi and wrote original works on sociology.

Education

Educated up to MA in Benares and at Crosthwaite College, Allahabad.

Occupation

Teacher, writer, political activist.

Career

After marrying Satyavrat Siddhāntalāṃkār, Vice-Chacellor of Gurukul Kangri, she taught at the Mahādevī Kanyā Pāṭhśālā and later became Acharya of the Kanyā Mahāvidyālay in Kangri (later Dehradun). She took active part in the Civil Disobedience movement, was chairwoman of the (p.406) Manilā Congress Committee in Dehradun and became a Congress Dictator; she toured the villages until she was arrested and given a one-year sentence. In 1932 she presided over the UP Political Conference in Agra.

Selected Works

Essays: Mādar inḍiyā kā javāb (1927?); Striyoṁ kī sthiti(1932, awarded the Seksāriyā prize in 1934); Sikṣā manovijñān (1935, awarded the Maṅgālaprasād prize).

Mālavīya, Kṛṣṇakānta (1883–1941)

Birthplace: Allahabad.

Background

A nephew of Madan Mohan Mālavīya.

Education

BA Honours from Allahabad University.

Occupation

Teacher, writer, political activist.

Career

From 1910 to 1935 he edited and managed the very influential political weekly Abhyuday, and from 1911 to 1924 the miscellany monthly Maryādā; in 1930, when most editors were in jail, his young son Padmakānt edited Abhyuday, and took over from him after 1935. Kṛṣṇakānt Mālavīya wrote favourably about the Russian Revolution and communism; he was an active Allahabad Congressman and Hindu Sabha member and was general secretary of M.M. Mālavīya's Independent Congress Party and campaigned for him in the 1926 elections. A municipal councillor in Allahabad, he was also elected to the Legislative Council in 1932 and to the Legislative Assembly in 1936. He went to jail four times between 1920 and 1932, altogether for two- -and-a-half years. He wrote several books, mostly on world politics, and controversial ‘useful’ books on sexual relations and the family. Known at the time as the ‘Kuṁvar Kanhaiyā’ of Allahabad.

Selected Works

Useful books: Sohāg-rāt (1927), Manormā ke patra (1928).

Mālavīya, Pandit Madan Mohan (1861–1946)

Birthplace: Ahalyapur mohallā, Allahabad.

(p.407) Background

Son of a well-known vyās, an expositor of the scriptures. He changed his name from Mallai to Mālavīya.

Education

Educated first at local Sanskrit pāṭhśālās and then at Muir Central College; BA from Calcutta University in 1884. He had to drop out of the MA course and start teaching Sanskrit at the local Government High School.

Occupation

Lawyer, political activist.

Career

Early public activities included founding the Prayāg Hindu Samāj, with his Sanskrit professor Aditya Ram Bhattacharya and Raja Rampal Singh of Kalakankar (1880); establishing the Bharti Bhavan library (1889) and the Hindu Hostel (1903); and campaigning for cow-protection and for Hindi in the Nagari versus Persian script issue. In 1897 he wrote Court Script and Primary Education, and in 1900 he headed the delegation to Antony MacDonnell to press for the recognition of Nagari as an official script in UP. Called by Rampal Singh to edit the first Hindi daily, Hindosthan (1877–9), he then went back to study law. His successful career at the Allahabad High Court started in 1893; after Non-Cooperation he only took on a few political cases, as when he defended the accused of Chauri Chaura in 1922. He was also instrumental in starting several influential papers: the weekly Abhuday (1907) and The Leader (1909), and the Hindi monthly Maryādā (1910). Elected municipal councillor and vice-chairman of Allahabad municipality, in 1903 he was nominated and then elected to the UP Legislative Council; from there he was returned to the Vice-Regal-Council, from which he resigned in 1920, though he was initially opposed to Non-Cooperation. After 1920 he was active in politics mainly as a Hindu leader and an ally of landed and industrial magnates. In 1923 he reorganized the All India Hindu Mahasabha; in 1926 he contested elections under the separate banner of the Indian Nationalist Party, and in 1935 with the Congress Nationalist Party. After his life-long dream of building a Hindu University in Benares was realised in 1916, he moved there as Vice-Chancellor of BHU.

Selected Works

Essay: Court Character and Primary Education in the N.W.-P. and Oudh (1897).

(p.408) Miśra, Śyāmbihārī (1873–1947) and Śukdevbihārī (1878–1951)

Birthplace: Village ltaunja, district Lucknow.

Background

Born in an eminent and scholarly Kanyakubja Brahmin family which lived off zamindari and moneylending.

Education

After vidyārambha at home, both were educated first in Urdu in the village, then at the Church Mission High School in Basti. and finally in Lucknow. Śyāmbihārī first failed his Middle examination, then passed the Entrance exam in 1891 from Jubilee High School, Lucknow. In 1893, he passed Intermediate, in 1895 he was awarded a first class Β A [honours] in English from Canning College, Lucknow, and a Master's degree from Allahabad University in 1896. Śukdevbihārī passed his Middle school examination from the Jubilee High School in 1893, and in 1899 was awarded a BA and a gold medal from Canning College. LLB in 1897.

Occupation

Collector and administrator.

Career

Śyāmbihārī became first a deputy collector, then a secretary and dīvān to several princely states; he also served as police superintendent and Collector. From 1924 to 1928 he was Honourable Member of the Council of Slates, and in 1928 was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur; in 1933 the Maharaja of Orchha gave him the title of Raoraja, and in 1937 Allahabad University conferred upon him an honorary degree. Śukdevbihārī worked first as a lawyer, then as a sub-judge, and finally as dīvān of Chattarpur state, where he invited Hindi writers from time to time. In 1913 he presided at the Kanyakubja Conference in Sitapur. In 1927 he was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur. In 1930, travelled extensively in Europe, and retired in 1931. Both brothers were examiners and members of the senate in several universities. Closely connected to the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā, they were in charge of the search for Hindi manuscripts for many years. Their fame relies largely on two works: Hindī navratna (1910–11), an anthology with introductions to the ‘nine gems’ of Hindi literature, and Miśrabandhu-vinod (1913), a voluminous compilation of about five thousand Hindi writers and works, based on Śivsiṃh Seṅgar's Śivsiṃh saroj (1878) as well as on the catalogues of manuscripts produced by the search; the latter work was criticized by M.P. (p.409) Dvivedī and Rāmchandra Śukla. Authoritative critics and reviewers, they also wrote history books in Hindi from English sources, and original historical novels.

Selected Works

Literary history: Hindī navratnā (1910–11); Miśrabandhu-vinod (1913).

‘Navīn’, Bālkṛṣṇa Śarmā (1897–1960)

Birthplace: Village Bhayanam, district Shajapur (Gwalior state).

Background

His father was a poor Vaiṣṇva Brahmin who moved to Nathdwara (Rajputana).

Education

After passing the Middle school examination in English in Shajapur, he moved to Ujjain and attended the high school at Madhav College. After Matriculation, he moved to Kanpur in 1917 to enrol in a BA course at Christchurch College. Left in the final year to join Non-Cooperation.

Occupation

Poet, political activist.

Career

First attended the Lucknow Congress in 1913, where he met G.Ś. Vidyāthī Māhanlā Chaturvedī and Maithilīśaraṇ Gupta; Vidyārthī was especially friendly. Once he moved to Kanpur he became part of the ‘Pratāp family’ and was introduced to Bhagavatīcharaṇ Varmā, Kauśik, Lakṣhmīdhar Vājpeyī, etc. He wrote both nationalist and love poetry, worked at Pratāp, edited Prabhā from 1924 and Pratāp after vidyārthī's death in 1931. One short story, ‘Santu’, was first published in Sarasvatī in 1916. Involved in all Congress campaigns with Vidyārthī, Navīn was a follower of Gandhi's and later of Subhash Chandra Bose's. For several years he was member of the UP Provincial Congress Committee. He was also a member of the Constituent Assembly, where he was active in favour of Hindi; elected MP in 1952.

Selected Works

Poetry: Kusum (1936); Apalak (1952); Urmilā (1957).

Nehrū, Rāmeśvarī (1886–1966)

Birthplace: Probably Lahore.

(p.410) Background

Born in the distinguished Kashmiri Brahmin family of Divan R.B. Raja Narendranath of Lahore, once president of the Hindu Mahasabha and MLA. One forefather had been advisor to Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Education

Educated at home in Persian and Arabic, and later in English.

Occupation

Political activist, editor.

Career

Married in 1920 to Brajlal Nehru, a nephew of Motilal Nehru's who was Accountant General of the Punjab and later became economic advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir government. From 1909 to 1923 she was founder-editor of Strī-darpaṇ with Umā Nehru, Shyamlal Nehru's wife. In 1909 she also founded the Prayāg Manilā Samiti and campaigned against pardā; both she and Umā were involved in the AIW (Associaton of Indian Women). She was also a member of the Age of Consent Committee in 1926–7, and in 1930 went to the Round Table Conference in London as representative of Indian women. In 1931 she was in Geneva at the League of Nations and toured Europe in 1932. In 1934 she turned to Harijan uplift and in 1935 was elected vice-president of the Harijan Sevak Sangh. In 1937 she visited Australia. From 1938 she continued with Harijan uplift activities in Central India. In 1942 she was put under home arrest (nazarband) and subsequently jailed when she violated its rules. The author of several unpublished books, her novel Sūryadev kā āgaman was serialized in Manormā. After Independence she was engaged in social work.

‘Nirālā’, Sūryakānt Tripāṭhī (Suraj Kumār Tevārī) (1899–1962)

Birthplace: Village Garhakola, district Unnao, in the heart of Avadh.

Background

His father was a petty officer in the army of the small princely state of Mahishadal in Bengal and owned some land and mango groves in the village.

Education

Little formal education; failed Matriculation. Taught himself literary Hindi through journals, chiefly Sarasvatī and Maryādā. Fluent in Bengali and Sanskrit.

(p.411) Occupation

Writer, publicist.

Career

After his father's death in 1917, and the death of his wife, brother, and sister-in-law in the influenza epidemic of 1918, he had to provide for himself, his two children, and his nephews. His life was marred by professional instability and the lack of financial security. After a short term in the prince's service, in 1921 he was appointed editor of the Ramakrishna Mission's Hindi periodical Samanvay in Calcutta, thanks to a recommendation by M.P. Dvivedī, whose village was near Nirala's ancestral village. In Calcutta he became acquainted with Hindi literati and joined the ‘Matvālā maṇḍal’ in 1923; his first slim collection of poems, Anāmikā, appeared in 1922 (reprinted in Parimal, 1929). After his first break-up with Matvālā in 1924, he took up freelance translation work in Calcutta, then joined Matvālā again but also wrote political and topical articles for other magazines. A second break-up with Matvālā's owner was caused by the latter's predilection for ‘Ugra’, but after a long illness Nirālā returned there, for the first time with a proper salary. A friend of Pant's and Prasād's, he was nonetheless irked by the enthusiastic reception of Pant's Pallav(1926) and entered into a bitter argument with him. His popularity among students increased, while he fought against Chāyāvād detractors. For the lack of the formal qualifications, he was at first rejected for a job at Sudhā, but then worked in Lucknow from 1930 to 1940, for Dulārelāl Bhārgava's Sudhā and Ganga Pustak Mala. In the 1940s he manifested the first signs of mental instability but continued writing. From 1945 onwards he lived alone in Allahabad. The most experimental and wide-ranging of the Chāyāvād poets, and also the author of original sketches, stories, and short novels, he is now considered one of the most prominent Hindi literary figures of this century.

Selected-Works

Poetry: Anāmikā (1922, later Parimal, 1929), Gītikā (1936), Anāmikā (1937), Tulsīdās (1938), Kukurmuttā (1942), Aṇimā (1943), Belā (1943), Naye patte (1946). Novels and Sketches; Apsarā (1930), Alkā (1933), Chāturi chamār (as Sakhi, 1935), Kulli bhāṭ (1939), Billesur bakarihā (1942).

Ojhā, R.B. Mahapandit Gauriśankar Hirāchand (1863–1947)

Birthplace: Rohira village (Sirohi state, Rajputana).

Background

Born in a Brahmin family which had moved from Mewar to Sirohi state in the sixteenth century.

(p.412) Education

Educated first at home in Hindi, after his yajñopavīt he underwent the traditional Sanskrit education in the Vedas, mathematics, etc.; at 14 he moved to Bombay in search of higher educational facilities, and learnt Gujarati for six months before being able to enrol at Elphinstone College; he matriculated from there in 1884. Meanwhile he continued the study of Sanskrit and Prakrit with the famous scholar Pandit Gaṭṭūlāl. Enrolled at Wilson College in 1886, a spell of ill-health interrupted his studies, but until 1888 he remained in Bombay to study epigraphy and ancient history.

Occupation

Museum curator, historian.

Career

In 1888 he was appointed head of the history office of Udaipur state; in 1890 he became director of the newly-opened museum library of Victoria Hall, and in 1908 he was appointed director of the Government Museum in Ajmer, where he remained until his retirement. In 1893 he published the first Hindi book on the subject of ancient scripts (Prāchīn lipimālā), which earned him the recognition of scholars and the membership of several scholarly societies; a revised edition came out in 1918. In 1902 he wrote a biography in Hindi of Colonel James Tod and started writing notes on the translation of his Antiquities of Rajasthan. Also started publishing an Itihās granthamālā. An early member of the Nāgarī Prachārinī Sabhā, he edited its journal, the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Patrikā, for several years and published his books with the Sabhā. Edited Pṛthvīrāj vijay and Karamchand vaṃś and authored several books on various Rajput dynasties. In 1911 he was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur, and in 1928 that of Mahapandit; in 1927 he was President of the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan, and in 1933 of the Historical branch of the Baroda Oriental Conference; in 1933 he was also presented a huge felicitation volume, Bhārtīy anuśīlan, and in 1937 he was awarded the title of Sāhitya Vāchaspati by the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan and an honorary D.Litt. from BHU. He always wrote only in Hindi.

Selected Works

Historical works: Solāṅkiyoṁ kā itihās (1907); Rājputāne kā itihās (1923–26); Madhyakālīn bhārtīy saṃskṛti (1928).

Pālīvāl, Śrīkṛṣṇadatt (1895–1968)

Birthplace: Village Tanora, Agra district.

Background

Bom in a moderately affluent peasant family.

(p.413) Education

MA in Economics from Allahabad University in 1920; dropped out to join the Non-Cooperation movement. Private study of religious scriptures.

Occupation

Political activist, editor.

Career

Started writing for Brahmoday, then went to Kanpur where in 1918 he joined G.Ś. Vidyārthī's ‘Pratāp family’; he edited Prabhā under the name of Devadatt Śarmā, and Pratāp between 1921 and 1923. Early influenced by Tilak, then by Satyadev Parivrājak, he was involved in the Mainpuri Conspiracy case but was acquitted for lack of evidence. An active Congressman, he moved to Agra, where in 1925 he founded the nationalist weekly Sainik (also daily from 1935), which was closed down and fined several times by the censors. In 1923–6 he was member of UP Legislative Council, and in 1928–31 he was member (and later chairman) of the Agra District board. A leader of the Civil Disobedience campaign in Agra district, he was elected on a Congress ticket to the UP Legislative Assembly in 1934 and was the first UP Congress Dictator in 1940, and again went in jail between 1942 and 1945. The leading Congress leader of Agra district, in 1946 he was elected unopposed to the Central Assembly, and was also President of the UP Kisan Congress.

Selected Works

Political works; Sevā mārg (1920); Mārksvād aur gāndhīvād. Translated Hall Caine's The Eternal City into Hindi.

Pāṇḍey, Rūpnārāyaṇ (1884–1958)

Birthplace: Lucknow.

Background

Born in a poor Brahmin family in Lucknow, the son of a Sanskrit scholar.

Education

Orphaned at a young age, he was educated by a local scholar. Studied Sanskrit at Canning College and passed the prathamā examination, but had to start working before he could take the madhyamā exam. Taught himself English. Bengali, Marathi. Gujarati, and Urdu.

Occupation

Translator, editor.

(p.414) Career

One of the first professional translators and editors in Hindi. Started by translating the Purāṇas and the Śrīmadbhāgavat from Sanskrit; then, from Bengali, Kṛttibās’ Rāmāyaṇa and several Bengali novels and plays, among which Bankimchandra's essays, Tagore's Āṁkh kī kirkirī (1919) and Rājā rānī (1925), and most of Sharatchandra's novels: all in all, he translated sixty books and wrote fifteen original works. In search of employment, he worked with several journals first with Nāgarī-prachārak. Nigamāgam-patrikā (the journal of Bhārat-Dharma Mahāmaṇḍal, which awarded him the title ‘Kaviratna’). then with Prasād's Indu, with the Indian Press in Allahabad, with Kanyākubja, and finally with Mādhurī, where he remained, with some gaps, from 1923 to 1935. Stability and fame as an experienced editor brought him some wealth and a lavish style of living. He contributed regularly Braj Bhasa poems and articles to the main literary journals. Also edited Śivsiṃh saroj and wrote commentaries on Tutsī's Rāmāyaṇa and on Śivrāj bhūṣaṇ.

Pant, Sumitrānandan (1900–77)

Birthplace: Kasauni, district Almora.

Background

His father was treasurer of Kasauni state and owned a tea estate; after his mother's early death, he was brought up by his father and grandmother.

Education

First at the village school; in 1912 went to Almora government school to learn English, and in 1918 to Jaynarayan High School in Benares; in 1919 he enrolled at Muir Central College, Allahabad, for a BA, but dropped out in his second year.

Occupation

Poet.

Career

Born in a cultured family, with literary-minded elder brothers, he wrote poetry copiously from an early age. In Benares he first read Sarojini Naidu, Tagore, and the English Romantic poets; thereafter he wrote Ucchvās and Granthi (1920). In Allahabad his poems started to be published in Sarasvatī (the first Chāyāvād poet to be published there) thanks to Bakhśī's personal encouragement, and his poetry collections were published by the Indian Press. He got early recognition, especially after Pallav (1926). From 1931 to 1941 he lived in Kalakankar as a guest of the local Maharaja and edited (p.415) Rūpābh (1938), a literary journal which acted as a bridge between Chāyāvād and later, Progressive and Experimentalist, poetry. Pant himself moved on to various styles, first under the influence of Gandhi, then of the Progressives, and lastly of Aurobindo Ghosh, a trajectory not untypical of Hindi intellectuals. In 1942 he founded a cultural centre in Almora, Lokāyān, established contacts with Uday Shankar's troupe and wrote poems for one of Shankar's ballets. On that occasion he toured south India and visited Aurobindo for the first time. From 1950 to 1957 he was advisor to All-India Radio. Awarded the Sahitya Akademi Puraskar in 1961.

Selected Works

Poetry: Ucchvās (1920), Granthi (1920), Pallav (1926), Vīṇā (1927), Guñjan (1932), Yugānt (1936), Yugvāṇī (1937), Grāmyā (l940), Yugpath (1948), Kalā aur būṛhā chāṁd (1958) Play: Jyotsnā (1934).

Parāṛkar, Bābūrāo Viṣṇu (1880–1955)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Born in a Maharashtrian family; his father had moved to Benares, studied there and become Head Pandit in various government schools in Bihar.

Education

Mostly in Bihar, first in Sanskrit and then in English; Intermediate exam from Tejnarayan College in Bhagalpur. After his father's death he paid for his studies with private tuitions, but after his mother and sister died in a plague epidemic he had to eventually give up his studies.

Occupation

Editor and publicist.

Career

After the death of his mother and sister he went to Calcutta in search of occupation. His first job was with the newspaper Hindī baṅgvādsī in 1906; then in 1907–10 he worked for Hitvārtā, the Hindi edition of Hitvādī, and wrote chiefly political articles and editorials. Meanwhile he attended courses in Hindi and Marathi at the Bengal National College, where he came in contact with Aurobindo Ghosh, its principal, and with his brother Rasbehari Ghosh. In 1910–15 he worked as assistant editor for the daily Bhāratmitra with Ambikādatt Vājpeyī. Between 1916 and 1920 he was convicted for political reasons, and in 1920 he returned to Benares, where he joined (p.416) Śivaprasād Gupta's nationalist daily Āj and made it, together with Śrīprakāś (1890–1971), one of the best Hindi papers. He was arrested and fined Rs 1000 for an article in Āj in 1930. When Āj was shut during Civil Disobedience, he edited and published the underground cyclostyled bulletin Rāṇbherī. Edited the Premchand smṛti arik for Haṃs in 1937. He presided over the First Sampādak Sammelan at the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan, and Brindaban, and was President of the XXVII Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan in Simla, at the height of the Hindi–Hindustani controversy.

‘Parivrājak’, Svami Satyadev (alias Sukh Lāl) (1879–1961)

Birthplace: Ludhiana.

Background

Born in a Thapar family of great religious eclecticism: his great-grandfather had embraced Sikhism, his grandfather was a Shaiva. Although himself a sanātan dharmi, his father sent him to a DAV school and wanted him to join the railways.

Education

Matriculated in 1897 from the DAV school in Ludhiana and gained entrance to the DAV college in Lahore, where he became close to Lajpat Rai. Later he graduated from Central Hindu College, Benares. In 1905–7 he spent two years in the United States at the universities of Chicago and Oregon, studying political science and economics.

Occupation

Preacher, publicist.

Career

After reading Dayānand's biography at school he decided to become a sanyāsī and underwent five years of religious education in Dehradun, Kanpur, and Kāśī. In the 1890she became an Ārya Samāj preacher (prachārak); his first article in Hindi appeared in Sarasvatī. When he decided to go to the United States to cure his eyesight, he collected money for the passage by preaching in Gujarat. From America he corresponded with M.P. Dvivedī, and his reports in Sarasvatī became very popular. In the United States he also did fund-raising for his ‘downtrodden country’. On his return he first settled in Almora and then in Dehradun, where he was appointed headmaster of the local DAV school. He soon left, however, to launch various educational and publishing enterprises in Calcutta and Benares, and published some (p.417) nationalist tracts; between 1913 and 1914 he worked as Hindi preacher for the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan and toured north India. Between 1913 and 1918 he also toured continuously to preach svadeśī and svarājya. In 1918 he was sent to south India to help the Hindi propaganda programme there. In 1923 he left for Germany for further eye treatment, but despite several trips he became blind. He also became attracted to Nazism and wrote favourably about it, and about Hindu sangaṭhan, in Hindi journals. After his return he opened an ashram in Jwalapur (Hardwar). Overall a highly original and colourful figure, who inspired many younger minds.

Selected Works

Miscellaneous and political essays: Rāṣṭīry saṁdhyā (1911), Hindi kā sondeś (1914), Satya nibandhāvalī(1914), Sañjīvan būṭī (1915), Manusya ke adhikār (1922), Hamārī sadiyoṁ kī gulāmi (1922), Saṅgaṭhan kā bigul (1922), Qurān meṁ parivartan (1924); Bhārtīy samājvād kī rūprekhā (1939). Travelogues: Amrīkā digdarśan (1911), Meri jarman yātrā (1924).

Poddār, Hanumānprasād (1892–1971)

Birthplace: Shillong (Assaṁ).

Background

Born in a family of Marwari merchants which moved to Calcutta in 1901.

Education

Educated in Calcutta in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and English.

Occupation

Publisher.

Career

In Calcutta he came in contact with Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh and took part in terrorist activities from 1910 onwards; in 1916–18 he was jailed for treason and was banned from Bombay. In jail he turned to spiritual matters. Began writing for Hindi journals in 1914. In 1915, after meeting Gandhi, he took the oath of ‘serving the country’ (deś-sevā). Since 1914 he had started writing articles for Hindi journals. He moved to Bombay in 1918, where he became an ardent follower of Tilak until in 1921 he again turned to religious preaching. With Seth Jaydayāl Goyiṅkā he set up, first in Bombay and then in Gorakhpur, the religious monthly Kalyāṇ (1926), which became the Hindi journal with the highest distribution ever and a powerful vehicle for reconfiguring modern Hindu identity. In 1927 he set up the Gita Press in Gorakhpur, and in 1928 the English version of Kalyāṇ, Kalyana (p.418) Kalpataru, came out. In 1929 Gandhi gave a speech at the Gita Press, and Poddār organized the 1929 Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting there. In 1932 he launched Harijan sevak with Viyogī Hari and Seth Ghanshyam Das Birla. After Independence he took part in the movement to restore Krishna's ‘birthplace’ in Malhura. Penned several books and booklets on Hindu culture.

Selected Works

Essays: Hindū-saṃskṛti kā svarūp; Sinemā manorañjan yā vināś-sādhan; Strī-dharma-praśnottarī (1926); Bhakta-bālak (1930); Bhakta-nārī (1930).

Prasād, Jayśaṅkar (1889–1937)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Born in a cultured and distinguished Agrawal merchant family which sold scented tobacco for snuff and known as ‘Sūrhghnī sāhū’; his father and elder brother were connoisseurs of art and literature. At his father's death in 1901 the family split and business went almost bankrupt. Much of Prasād's life was spent trying to recover the business from debts.

Education

First educated at home by a Braj Bhasa poet; in 1899 he was enrolled at Queen's College, Benares, but attended only up to the 7th grade. After his father's death he started helping with the business at home, and continued to study on his own. He taught himself Sanskrit, which he read widely, Pali, some Urdu, and English.

Occupation

Writer, merchant.

Career

Prasād started writing regularly at fifteen. Much of his life was spent in Benares, apart from a few pilgrimages; a great friend of Rāykṛṣṇadās, and later through him, of Maithīlśaraṇ Gupta, he soon attracted a group of younger writers like Kṛṣṇadev Prasād Gaur and Vinod Śaṅkar Vyās. Unhappy with M.P. Dvivedī's policies on Khari Boli poetry, Prasād launched his own sophisticated journal, Indu (1909–27), in which he published Rāykṛṣṇadās' poems and his own. Hardly a public person, Prasād was only loosely attached to the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā, but nonetheless visited the library assiduously. Although he wrote a lot and regularly in Braj Bhasa, he published only in Khari Boli after 1918. Deeply engaged with ancient history, he wrote copiously about it in the form of learned essays and highly original literary plays. Recognized as the first Chāyāvādi poet after the (p.419) success of Āṁsū (1925), he was published widely in the most prestigious journals. His last few years were devoted to writing his magnum opus, the poetic epic Kāmāyanī, on the origin of man and civilization after the deluge. He also wrote several short stories and two novels.

Selected Works

Poetry: Jharnā (1918), Āṁsū (1925), Lahar (1933), Kāmāyanī (1936). Plays: Viśākh (1921), Kāmnā (1927), Janmejay kā Nāgayajña (1926), Skandagupta (1928), Chandragupta (1931), Dhruvasādminī (1933). Short stories: Chāyā (1912), Pratidhvani (1926), Ākāśdīp (1929), Āṁdhi (1931), Indrajāl (1936). Novels: Kaṅkāl (1929), Titlī (1934).

‘Prem’, Dhanīrām (1904–79)

Birthplace: Village Dariyapur, district Aligarh.

Education

First at the Atrauli DAV school, then at the Dharma Samaj College and Aligarh Muslim University. Medical degree in 1929 from the National Medical College in Bombay. In 1931 he went abroad to Edinburgh for further medical studies.

Occupation

Medical doctor, writer.

Career

Jailed for one year in 1921 in Aligarh during Non-Cooperation, he established a branch of the Ārya Kumār Sabhā there. Lived and worked as a doctor in England for a few years; after his return, he practised in Bombay and Allahabad and edited Chāṁd and Bhaviṣya in the 1940s. The author of very popular ‘social’ short stories and one-act plays, he also wrote two films for Ranjit Movie Company. Do badmāś and Bhulbhulaiyā.

Selected Works

Short stories: Prāṇeśvarī (1931), Vallarī (1932), Prem samādhī, Veśya kā hṛday (1933); Political works: Raṅg aur briṭiś rājniti, Rūs kā jāgaraṇ; Biographies: Vīrāṅganā paṇnā, Devī jon (Joan of Arc).

Premchand, (Dhanpat Rāy) (1880–1936)

Birthplace: Village Lamhi, district Benares.

Background

Born in a Kayastha family of clerks and kanungos; his father was a postal clerk in government service.

(p.420) Education

First in Urdu and Persian with a maulvi in a neighbouring village; then at the Mission School in Gorakhpur where his father was posted, and finally at the prestigious Queen's Collegiate School in Benares, where he passed Matriculation in 1898. Refused free tuition, he had to give up studying. In 1902–4 he attended the Government Teachers' Training College in Allahabad and obtained a ΒA only in 1919, at the age of thirty-nine, from Allahabad University.

Occupation

Writer, teacher, editor.

Career

His first teaching job was at the Mission School in Chunar in 1899, for Rs 18 a month. After a series of temporary posts and teachers' training, he joined government service. After a brief spell in Allahabad between 1905 and 1909 he taught at the District School in Kanpur and contributed regularly to D.N. Nigam's prestigious Urdu literary journal Zamānā; his first story was published in 1907. In 1906 he married Śivrānī Devī, a child-widow; it was his second marriage. From 1909 to 1915 he was appointed sub-deputy inspector of schools in the ‘backward’ district of Hamirpur. His first collection of short stories (in Urdu), Soz-e-vatan (1909), was proscribed; thereafter he changed his pen-name from Navāb Rāi to Premchand. Between 1913 and 1915 he gradually switched from publishing in Urdu to Hindi; his first Hindi story, ‘Saut’, was published in Sarasvatī in 1915. In 1913 he had the first serious bout of an illness that would grow chronic; in 1915 he was allowed to go back to teaching, after he tried unsuccessfully to take over Zamānā. Attempts to leave government service for other teaching posts failed and he finally resigned following Gandhi's visit to Gorakhpur. After a short spell at the ‘national’ Marwari school in Kanpur and at the Kāśī Vidyāpīṭh school in Benares in 1921–3, he started his own printing press, the Sarasvati Press. This did not become a source of independent livelihood, as he had hoped, but of endless financial troubles. In the years to follow, his earnings would chiefly go to pay for the press and for the journals he edited, the monthly Haṃs (1930) and the political weekly Jāgaraṇ (1932). As a consequence, he had to move to Lucknow and worked first as a literary consultant to Dulārelāl Bhārgava at the Ganga Pustak Mala (1924–5), then as Mādhurī's editor and in the publication department of Nawal Kishore Press (1927–32). Meanwhile he contributed short stories to the leading Hindi journals and wrote several novels. In 1934 he attended the XXIV Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in (p.421) Delhi with Jainendra Kumār, and in the same year he was hired as a scriptwriter in the Bombay movie industry; neither the job nor the environment suited him. In 1934–6 he became very actively involved in the Hindi–Hindustani controversy in favour of Hindustani. He was also among the founding members of the Bhārtiy Sāhitya Parisad, a new all-India writers' association, and handed Haṃs over to it in 1935. He presided over the first Progressive Writers' Association in Lucknow in 1936, shortly before his death.

Selected Works

Several collections of short stories; Novels; Sevā-sadan (1919), Vardān and Premāśram (1921), Raṅgbhūmī (1925), Kāyākalpa (1926), Nirmalā (serialised in Chāṁd 1925; published 1927); Gabaṅ (1931), Godān (1936). Plays: Saṅgrām (1923), Karbalā (1924). Translated A. France's Thais and Gailsworthy and Sharar's Fazānā-e-āzād (1925).

‘Ratnākar’, Babu Jagannāthdās (1866–1932)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Born in a distinguished and wealthy family from Panipat district, whose ancestors had been officers at Akabar's court and who had moved first to Lucknow and then to Benares with the decline of the Mughals; the family was known as ‘Dillīvāl Agravāl Vaiśya’. His father was a literary connoisseur and a scholar of Persian and Braj Bhasa, distantly related to, and a contemporary of, Bhārtendu Hariśchandra. Poets regularly visited the house.

Education

First in Urdu; BA in 1891 at Queen's College, Benares, with Persian as second language; only started a Master's degree in Persian. Privately studied medieval Hindi poetry, Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsa, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, Ayurveda, astrology, music, history, archaeology, etc.

Occupation

Poet, private secretary of the Maharaja of Ayodhya.

Career

In 1900 he was first appointed Chief Secretary in a small princely state, and (p.422) in 1902 Private Secretary to the Maharaja of Ayodhya; after the Maharaja's death in 1906, he became Private Secretary to the Maharaja's wife. Mostly occupied with managing work, he had little time for literary pursuits until he retired in 1920, although he was a member of the Kāśī Kavi Samāj. A representative of the old Indo-Persian elite, he first started writing poetry in Persian, then switched to Braj Bhasa and became the most respected Braj Bhasa poet of modern times. After his retirement he became quite active in the Hindi literary scene, regularly attending literary gatherings and kavi sammelans. He presided over the XX Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan in Calcutta in 1922, and in 1925, the first All-India Hindi Kavi Sammelan in Kanpur. His Braj Bhasa poems in a variety of metres, and especially of śṛṅgāra rasa, were regularly published in Hindi journals. He also edited and wrote commentaries on several texts by rīti poets; his commentary to Bihārīlāl's Satsaī, Bihāri ratnākar (1922), was widely praised.

Selected Works

Poetry: Hiṇḍolā (1894); Gaṅgāvataraṇ (1927); Uddhavaśataka (1931).

Raykṛṣṇadās (1892–1980)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Born in the ‘Rāy’ family, one of the most established merchant families of Benares, related to Bhārtendu Hariśchandra and Rādhākṛṣṇa Dās. His father was a lover of Sanskrit and of poetry.

Education

Educated first at home, then at Queen's Collegiate School.

Occupation

Poet, art collector, and art historian.

Career

One of the central literary figures of Benares, a connoisseur of poetry and art; at his salon on Ramghat scholars, musicians, writers, and art lovers assembled for half a century. He wrote poetry in Braj Bhasa and Khari Boli from early on, spurred by M.P. Dvivedī and Maithilīśaraṇ Gupta, and published it in Sarasvatī. A great friend of Jayśarṅkar Prasād, he helped edit his monthly Indu (1909). Very fond of travelling and of exploring artistic and archaeological sites, he assembled a large collections of artefacts which he donated first to the Nāgarī Prachāriṇi Sabhā and then to BHU. He also started a publishing house, Bharti Bhandar, in 1927, with the aim of encouraging (p.423) cooperative publishing and higher royalties for writers; it was ceded to the Leader Press of Allahabad in 1935 (by then, a Birla concern).

Selected Works

Prose poems: Sādhnā (1919), Chāyāpath, Saṃlāp, Pravāl (1929). Poems: Bhāvuk Brajraj. Short stories: Anākhyā (1929), Sudhāṃśu. (1929) Art history: Bhārat kī chitrakalā (1939), Bhārat kī mūrtikalā (1939).

Sahajānand Sarasvatī, Svami (Navrang Rāi) (ca. 1889–1950)

Birthplace: Village Deva, tahsil Syedpur, district Ghazipur.

Background

Poor Bhumihar zamindar family.

Education

The first of his family, and one of the first in the village, to become literate, and an exceptionally bright and studious pupil, he first attended the Upper Primary School at Jalalabad in 1899, and after passing the Hindi Middle examination from Ghazipur in 1904 he was awarded a scholarship to continue. Enrolled at the German Mission high school in Ghazipur to study English, he left just before the Matriculation exam in order to become a sanyāsī. The following years were spent on pilgrimage and studying Sanskrit grammar and the śāstras in Benares.

Occupation

Preacher, political activist.

Career

After several years of wanderings and pilgrimages, in 1914 he was called to give speeches and preach at the Bhumihar Brahman Mahasabha in Ballia in support of the Bhumihar claim to Brahmmhood. This-was-the first step of his subsequent career as an activist. He wrote pamphlets and two caste histories to prove the claim: Bhūmihār brāhmaṇ parichay (1916), Brahmaṛ sivaṃ śavistāra, and a manual on ritual for Bhumihars, but refused to forge a history of Bhumihars in Sanskrit ślokas. Thereafter he resumed his spiritual vocation for a while, but kept abreast of political events. After a meeting with Gandhi in Patna and attending the Nagpur Congress in 1920, he became an active Non-Cooperator in Baksar. used to travelling on foot as a sanyāsī, he toured villages for nationalist propaganda. During his first jail sentence in Ghazipur, Faizabad, and Lucknow, he met other nationalist leaders and ‘discovered’ the Gītā, on which he later wrote a commentary. A founding member, and later president, of the Bihar Provincial Kisān Sabhā (p.424) (1929), he also established an ashram at Bihta, near Patna, for Bhumihar boys, which became the centre of his peasant activities. During Civil Disobedience, kisan activities were suspended, to be resumed after it. In the years between 1933 and 1935 he held 120 meetings among peasants, focusing on tenancy reform and rent remission. He also conducted independent enquiries into peasants’ conditions in Gaya, Darbhanga and Purnea, was involved in local struggles, and had tense relations with the Bihar Congress leadership. Several close collaborators were Congress Socialist Party members, while he gradually grew closer to the Communist Party of India. By 1944, however, he parted company with the Communists, and tried unsuccessfully to move the BPKS near Congress again.

Selected Works

Autobiography: Μerā jīvan saṅgharṣ (1985?)

Sahāy, Śivpūjan (1893–1963)

Birthpace: Village Unvans, district Shahabad (Bihar).

Education

First in the village gurudvara and with a maulvi, then in 1903 at the Kayastha Jubilee School in Arrah; matriculated in 1912.

Occupation

Publicist, writer.

Career

The typical uncertain, impecunious, and itinerant freelance Hindi journalist and writer. As a student he started contributing articles to various Bihar journals and was linked to the Arrah branch of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā, one of the earliest to be founded. In 1913 he worked for a year as Hindi copyist at the civil court in Benares, then moved to Allahabad, where he wrote and translated; in 1916 he was appointed teacher at his old school, and in 1918 at the Arrah Town School. He kept up literary reading thanks to the Sabhā library. In 1920 he gave up government service and started teaching in a ‘national’ school in Arrah. In 1921 he edited the journal Mārvāṛī sūdhār from Arrah and opened a public library in his own village. His literary guru Īśvarīprasād Śarmā advised him to go to Calcutta, where in 1923 he became part of the ‘Matvālā maṇḍal’ with Munshi Mahādev Prasād Seth, Navjādiklāl Śrīvāstava, and Nirālā, on a voluntary basis; he contributed to other Hindi magazines in Calcutta at the same time. In 1925 he moved shortly to Mādhurī. under D. Bhārgava, but did not like the professional environment and the (p.425) hierarchy there. In 1926 he joined the Pustak Bhandar at Laheriyasarai (Darbhanga), the most important Hindi publisher in Bihar, then moved to Kāśī; in 1930 he moved again to Sultanganj (Bhagalpur) to edit Gaṅgā, a literary journal, but that, too, did not last long. Bewteen 1931 and 1933 he was back in Kāśī, where he rented a room in Jayśaṅkar Prasād's compound and edited the weekly Jāgaraṇ; in 1933 he returned to Laheriyasarai to edit the children's journal Bālak until 1939. In 1939 he was finally appointed Hindi professor at Rajendra College in Chapra (until 1949) and became involved with the Bihar Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan; in 1950 he became the first director of the Bihār Rāsṭtrābhāsā Parisad in Patna. Awarded Padmabhushan in 1961, and D.Litt. by Bhagalpur University in 1962.

Selected Works

Sketches: Dehātī duniyā (1926); Essays: Bihār kā bihār; Vibhūti; Grām sudhār; Annapūrṇā ke mandir meṃ.

Sahgal, Rāmrakh Siṃh (1896–1952)

Birthplace: Village Rakhterha, near Lahore.

Background

Son of a forestry officer.

Occupation

Editor and publisher.

Career

Spent his youth in Jaunpur. At the time of Jallianwala Bagh he was in Jalandhar, where he married Vidyāvatī Devī, who had been educated at the Āryakanyā Mahāvidyālay and later taught at Crosthwaite school in Allahabad. He took part in the Non-Cooperation movement and worked with the Congress in Allahabad; in fact, he was on the first Congress delegation that toured the Avadh countryside at the time of the peasant agitations in 1920, and was in contact with Chandrasekhar Azad and his group. In 1923 he launched Chāṁd, with little financial means but with great vision and business skills; it became the journal with the highest sales in the province. After the special issue Mārvāṛī aṅk a Marwari youth from Calcutta assaulted him. Helped financially by Seth Rāmgopāl Mohtā from Bikaner, he also established a Mātṛ Mandir for lone mothers and widows in Allahabad, which was also used as a secret meeting place for women revolutionaries like Durgā Bhabhi and Suśilā Didi. His foray into political journalism, Bhaviṣya (1927 ca.) lasted only six issues; after being ousted from Chāṁd in 1933, (p.426) Sahgal tried establishing a new publishing house in Dehradun, then revived Karmayogī in Lucknow in 1938, and the monthly Guldastā in 1940. His last days were spent in dire financial straits.

Sampūrṇānand (1891–1969)

Birthplace: Benares.

Background

Ordinary, educated Kayastha family.

Education

Primary education at Harish Chandra School, then at Queen's College, Benares; B.Sc. from Allahabad University in 1911. Teacher's Training TL from Allahabad in 1916.

Occupation

Teacher, political activist.

Career

Started teaching at the ‘national’ Prem Mahāvidyālay after he vowed that he would never work in government service until svarājya came; he also refused an offer to go abroad because he was ‘too orthodox’. After a year at his old school in Benares, he left for the Teachers’ Training college. Thanks to a recommendation from the principal, Mr Mackenzie, he was offered a post at Daly College, Indore, where he taught from 1916 to 1918 and met Banārsīdās Chaturvedī. In 1918–21 he became principal of Dungar College, Bikaner. He took part in the 1918 Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Indore, where Gandhi was president, and started contributing to Hindi journals. Resigned in order to join Non-Cooperation in Benares and soon became secretary of the District Congress Committee. Briefly edited Māryādā in 1921 before going to jail. From 1922 onwards he was member of AICC and professor of philosophy at Kāśī Vidyāpīth, along with Narendra Dev, Śrīprakās, and Acharya Bīrbal. Involved in the publication work of Jnanmandal, he published Antarrāṣṭrīy vidhān (1924) and Samājvād (1936, awarded the Mangalāprasād prize). In 1923 he was elected to the Municipal Board and became the chairman of the education committee. In 1926 he was elected member of the provincial Legislative Council from Benares city. The first Congress Dictator during the salt satyagraha in Benares, he was arrested in 1932, and again during the individual satyāgraha in 1939 and in 1942. Three times president of UP PCC, he was also a founding member of the Congress Socialist Party in 1934. Elected again to the UP Legislative (p.427) Assembly in 1935, he became the Education minister in the Congress government in 1937–9, and again in 1946. After Independence he was Chief Minister of UP and Governor to Rajasthan.

Selected Works

Political works: Bhārat ke deśī rāṣṭra (1918); Antarrāsṭrīy vidhān (1924); Samājvād (1936).

‘Sanehī’, Śukla, Gayāprasād—‘Triśūl’ (1883–1972)

Birthplace: Village Harha, district Unnav (UP).

Education

Educated until Middle examination in Hindi and Urdu.

Occupation

Teacher, poet.

Careers

Became a Middle School teacher at 16 but continued to study old Hindi, Urdu, and Persian literature. He began publishing poetry in Manoharlāl Dīkṣit's Braj Bhasa poetry journal Rasikmitra around 1904, and believed that training was necessary for poetry. His Khari Boli poem ‘Kṛṣak-krandan’, published in G.Ś. Vidyārthī's Pratāp in 1913, attracted M.P. Dviveī's attention, and he asked Sanehī to write for Sarasvati a poem on ‘evil practices’ like dowry. This was the first of a long series of poems on social issues and on Puranic characters and episodes in Sarasvatī. At Vidyārthī's urge, Sanehī started writing nationalist poems under the name ‘Triśūl’, while he kept writing on traditional Braj Bhasa themes for Svami Nārāyaṇānanda's Kavīndra. After Kavīndra closed down, ‘Sanehī’ himself edited the poetry journal Sukavi (1928–50).’Triśul's identity remained a mystery until Sanehī left his teaching job in 1921 and moved to Kanpur. Oneof the most famous nationalist poets of his day, he was instrumental in reviving kavi sammelans for nationalist purposes, and was extremely popular in them.

Selected Works

Poetry: Prem-pachīsī, Kṛṣk-krandan (1913), Rāṣṭrīy mantra (1921), Rāṣṭrīy νīṇā (1922), Triśūl taraṅg (1931), Kalā meṁ triśūl.

Sāṅkṛtyāyan, Rāhul (Kedārnāth Pāṇḍe, alias Baba Rāmodar Dās) (1893–1963)

Birthplace: Village Pandaha, district Azamgarh.

(p.428) Background

His maternal grandfather was in the army.

Education

Formal education only upto the Urdu Middle Standard examination; later he underwent Sanskrit education in Benares, Ārya Samāj education at the Ārya Musāfir school in Agra, and Buddhist education in Sri Lanka.

Occupation

Scholar, political activist.

Career

After running away from his grandfather's home he started an itinerant life: travelled first to Benares, then to Calcutta, back to Benares and then off as an ascetic in the Himalayas. He then became a temple mahant under the name Rāmodar Dās; travelled to south India. In 1914 he was in Agra, then as an Ārya Samāj missionary in Lahore. Politically active since 1920, he was first a volunteer in Chapra with flood refugees, and thereafter a Non-Cooperator in Baksar, where he received his first jail sentence and became president of District Congress Committee. After a trip to Nepal he travelled for the first time to Sri Lanka in 1927 for nineteen months, then again was underground in Nepal and went over to Tibet. His first trip to Europe, the Soviet Union, and Asia dates from 1932–3. Active in Kisān Sabhā campaigns in Bihar in 1936, he was jailed during the Congress ministry and, in a famous case, was refused the status of ‘political prisoner’; he once again joined the Bihar Congress in 1940 and was jailed between 1940 and 1942. In jail he underwent a new conversion to Communism and became member of the Communist Party; several trips to the Soviet Union followed. The prolific author of over 150 books on ancient Indian history and archaeology, political science, Buddhism, and Communism; the editor and translator of Sanskrit and Tibetan texts; the author of several travel books and of a four-volume autobiography, Rāhul became quite a legendary figure and exercised great allure in the Hindi literary sphere for his vast scholarship and unusual familiarity with Central and East Asia. He was also the author of several children's book and of a few novels. In 1939 he presided over the Bihar Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan, and in 1947 over the All India Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan and the Progressive Writers’ Conference; he severed contacts with CPI in 1947 over the question of Urdu.

Śarmā, Padmasiṃh (1877–1932)

Birthplace: Nayak Nagla, district Bijnaur.

(p.429) Background

Bhumihar family of peasant farmers.

Education

First in Urdu and Persian; Sanskrit (Aṣṭādhyāya) at the pāṭhśālā of Pandit Bhīmsen Śarṃa, a disciple of Dayānanda's, in Etawa. He then studied kāvyāśastra with Pandit Jīvārām Śarmā, and spent two years at the Oriental College in Lahore, where he met Nardev Śarmā. Further studied grammar in Jalandhar with Pandit Gagādatt Śāstrī and philosophy in Benares with Kāśīnāth Śāstrī.

Occupation

Scholar.

Career

From 1902 onwards he was preacher for the UP Ārya Pratinidhi Sabhā, and on the editorial board of the journal Satyavādī, edited by Munśirāṃ (later Svami Śraddhānand). In 1904 he taught at Gurukul Kangri, and in 1909–17 at Jvalapur Mahāvidyālay, where he edited the journal Bhāratoday; for some years he was also secretary of the managing committee of the Mahāvidyālay. A close friend and correspondent of M.P. Dvivedī, he regularly contributed learned essays to Sarasvatī. He did not agree, as a purist, with Lala Hansraj's mixed style for Hindi textbooks. In 1918 he was called to work in the publication department of Jnanmandal, Benares; there he published a famous commentary on Bihārī's Satsaī, the Sañjīvan bhāṣya (1922), which was awarded the first Maṅgalāprasād prize. A close friend of the Urdu poet Akbar Ilahabadi, Padmasiṃh Śarmā is considered the first comparative critic in Hindi. Banārsīdās Chaturvedī and Hariśaṅkar Śarmā were among his disciples. He presided over the XVIII Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Moradabad in 1928. In his last years he cooperated with the Hindustani Academy, Allahabad: his speech ‘Hindī, urdu, hindustānī’ was published in 1932.

Selected Works

Literary criticism: Sañjīvan bhāṣya (1922); Pad-parāg (1929); Hindī, urdu aur hindustānī (1932).

Śarmā, Rāmjīlāl (1876–1931)

Birthplace: A village near Hapur, district Meerut.

Background

Poor but cultured Brahmin family; his father was a scholar of Sanskrit grammar.

(p.430) Education

English until 5th standard in the village, Sanskrit with a pandit.

Occupation

Publicist, publisher.

Career

Orphaned at a young age, he moved with his family to Hapur in order to get a job. In 1899 he moved to Meerut, found work as a proofreader at the Ārya Samāj press of Pandit Tulsīrām and published two tracts: Ṭake ser mukti and Ṭake ser lakṣmī. He became an Ārya Samāji and began taking an interest in public affairs. Later he moved to Ajmer for another proofreader's job, and then to Allahabad in 1905, where he was employed by the Indian Press at a monthly salary of Rs 30. Between 1905 and 1913 he worked in the literature department of the Indian Press, writing children's books: e.g. Bāl manusmṛti (1907), Bāl gītā (1908), Bāl viṣṇupurāṇa (1909), Bāl purāṇa (1911); and textbooks like Bālvinod and Bālābodhinī (1912). He also translated I.C. Vidyasagar's Sītā vanvās (1909). In 1913 he started his own press, the Hindi Press, which published his own textbooks and the children's journals Vidyārthī (1913) and Khilaunā (1924). After meeting M.M. Mālavīya he started contributing to Maryādā and Abhyuday. He was involved in the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan from the start, and became general secretary from 1923 to 1928; the managing committee led by him tried to oust Harihar Śarmā and take over the Daksiṇ Bhārat Hindī Prachār Sabhā. Gandḥi and Mālavīya had to intervene in the dispute.

Śāstrī, Harihar Nāth (1904–53)

Birthplace: Village Vajirapur, district Ballia (Eastern UP).

Background

The only son of a sub-inspector of police. Avatār Lāl, from Bihar, he was orphaned at a young age.

Education

Received his first schooling in Chapra, where he passed the High School examination. Went to Benares for further education; in 1921 he joined Kāśī Vidyāpīṭh.

Occupation

Political activist.

(p.431) Career

Before joining the Vidyāpīṭh he stayed for a short while at the Gandhi ashrams in Patna and in Lahore, where he worked as a teacher and social worker under Lajpat Rai's influence. Was jailed during Non-Cooperation in 1921. After graduating from the Vidyāpīṭh, he worked first as member of Lajpat Rai's Lok Sevak Mandal among untouchables in Benares. Trained with trade union leaders in Bombay at Lajpat Rai's heed, he was sent to work among labourers in Kanpur and lived in the workers’ quarter at Gwaltoli. Edited the journal Mazdūr. By 1929 he became general secretary of the Kanpur Mazdur Sabha, in 1931–7 was its president. Between 1933 and 1935 he was president of the All India Trade Union Congress, and was also in charge of its UP branch (1929). A founding member of the Congress Socialist Party, he was general secretary of its UP branch in 1934 and opened a branch in Kanpur in the same year. Member of the UP PCC, he was elected MLA in 1937–9. He resigned after Independence on the issue of the Communists’ hold over its executive and over AITUC.

Sītārām, R.B. Lala (Avadhvāsī) (1858–1937)

Birthplace: Ayodhya.

Background

Family of Rāmānandī affiliation, originally from Jaunpur.

Education

First taught by Baba Raghunāthdayāl, then learnt Urdu and Persian with a maulvi and acquired Hindi proficiency by reading religious texts. Underwent some formal education, too, and acquired a BA in 1879 before taking an LLB.

Occupation

Civil servant, teacher, translator.

Career

First edited the newspaper Avadh akhbār and later taught at Benares Queen's College before becoming headmaster in Sitapur; was later appointed science teacher in Faizabad and then returned to Benares. In 1895 he was appointed Deputy Collector until he retired in 1909. All along he maintained a very close relationship with the Education Department, which he served as examiner and member of the Textbook Committee. He was appointed to write several volumes of Hindi Selections (1923) for the first University course in Hindi literature at Calcutta University, and was also involved in (p.432) the Hindustani Academy, Allahabad. He wrote several textbooks, and poetry under the pen-name ‘Bhūp’.

Selected Works

Translations: Meghadūta (1883); Kumdrāsambhava (1884); Raghuvaṃśa (1885), Ṛtusaṃhāra (1893); Śṛngāraṭilaka, Uttararāmacharitmānas, Mālavikāgnimitra, Mṛcchakaṭika, Mahāvīrcharitra, Mālatīmādhava, Hitopadeśa, etc. as well as some Shakespeare. Historical work: Ayodhyā kā itihās.

Śraddhānand, Svami (Lala Munśirām) (1856–1926)

Birthplace: Taiwan, district Jalandhar (Punjab).

Background

Bom in a Khatri family, the son of a devout Śaivaite.

Education

Educated in several towns in UP: Benares, Banda, Mirzapur, Benares again and Allahabad; he enrolled at Government College, Lahore for law.

Occupation

Educator, activist.

Career

Munśīrām came early under the influence of Svami Dayānand Sarasvatī, and became president of the Jalandhar Ārya Samāj while starting his law practice. After an extensive fund-raising tour he established a Kanyā Pāṭhśālā in Jalandhar in 1890, which became the Kanyā Mahāvidyālay in 1896, partly thanks to the support of Ārya Samāj women preachers, newly organized into the Strī Samāj. The Kanyā Mahāvidyālay was a pioneering institution in female education and an important instrument of Hindi propaganda in the Punjab. Textbooks were written and an original curriculum was developed. In 1900, in opposition to the compromising and pro-English policy of DAV colleges, Munśīrām founded Gurukul Kangri, first in 1900 in the Vedic pāṭhśālā at Gujranvala and then in 1902 on donated land on the banks of the Ganges near Hardwar; he was its principal from 1902 to 1907. A Mahāvidyālay section was opened in 1907 for Vedic studies, Ayurveda, and humanities (Hindi medium). Initially not involved in politics (unlike DAV college Lahore with its revolutionary circle), the Gurukul grew progressively political. In 1919 Śraddhānand started the nationalist daily Vijay under the editorship of his son. Prof. Indra Vidyāvāchaspati (1889–1960), and an Urdu (p.433) daily, Tej, and became involved in Non-Cooperation and Khilafat propaganda. He took saṃnyās in 1917. One of the animators of śuddhi activities within the Ārya Samāj, he held regular śuddhi conferences at the annual Gurukul anniversary celebrations, registered a Bhārat Śuddhi Sabhā in 1911, and renewed activism with the new Hindu Mahasabha in 1923. He was killed by an enraged Muslim in 1926.

Selected Works

Political writings: Jāti ke dīnom ko mat tyāgo (1918); Khatre kā ghaṇṭā (1926). Autobiography: Kalyāṇ mārg ke pathik (1924).

Śrīvāstava, GJP. (1891–1976)

Birthplace: Chapra, Saran district.

Background

His father was a railway clerk, often transferred on duty.

Education

Initial education in Urdu with a maulvi at Chapra; then he followed his father to Gonda and passed the Matriculation exam from there in 1909. In 1910 he took the Entrance examination at Canning College, Lucknow; BA in 1913 and LLB in 1915.

Occupation

Writer, lawyer.

Career

He started by contributing humorous stories to Īśvarīprasād Śarmā's journal Manorañjan (Arrah, 1912). A well-known humorous writer, he wrote for all major Hindi-journals,-especially Chāṁd and Sudhā. Also translated R.C. Dutt's The Lake of Palms (1926). He was awarded a Coronation medal by the government in 1937, and made a public notary of Gonda district.

Selected Works

Short Stories: Lambīdāṛhī (1914), Mār-mārkar hakīm (1917), Mordānī aurat (1920), Ulaṭpher (1926), Dumdār ādmī (1927); Vilāyatī ullū (1932). Novels: Dilki āg urf diljale kī āh (1933).

Śrīvastava, Munshi Navjādiklāl (1888–1939)

Birthplace; A village near Ballia (eastern UP).

(p.434) Background

After his father became a sadhu he had to provide for the family from an early age.

Education

Taught himself Hindi, Urdu, Bengali.

Occupation

Publicist.

Career

Forced by need, he moved to Calcutta and first worked as a postman. Thanks to contacts with various printers and journalists he taught himself Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali. Before joining the ‘Matvālā maṇḍal’, with Mahādev Prasād Seṭh, Śivpūjan Sahāy, and Nirālā, he worked as a clerk for a soap-and oil-factory; for Matvālā, he looked after the accounts and wrote a popular humorous column called ‘Matvāle kī bahak’. When Mahādev Prasād Seth wanted to move the journal to Mirzapur, he returned to the soap factory and started his own Mast Matvālā, but could not support it for long. Left Calcutta for Allahabad, where he edited Chāṁd from 1933 to 1935 after Rāmrakh Siṃh Sahgal's departure. After a few other unsuccessful ventures in Calcutta he died in severe penury. A public appeal was launched to raise a subscription for his family.

Śrīvāstava, Pratāpnārāyaṇ (1904–78)

Birthplace: Kanpur.

Background

Born in a wealthy family whose ancestors were officers during the Nawabi period.

Education

First at the Kanpur Ārya Samāj school, where Bhāgavatīcharaṇ Varmā was his classmate; Matriculation in 1921 and BA in 1925 from Christchurch College; in 1927 LLB from Lucknow University.

Occupation

Writer.

Career

While still studying for an MA in 1928, he was offered a post as judge in Jodhpur state but soon returned to Kanpur. In 1924 he started his first novel, (p.435) Vidā, an ‘original social novel’, which received wide acclaim when published in 1929 by the Ganga Pustak Mala with an enthusiastic foreward by Premchand. He then published a series of novels mostly about upper middle-class characters, each time selling the rights to the publisher; none however achieved the success and critical acclaim of the first. A solitary figure, he built a house and lived by writing and by renting out part of it.

Selected Works

Novels: Vidā (1929), Pāp kī aur (1930), Vikās (1938–9), Vijay (1937–8), Bayālīs (1942?).

Śukla, Devīdatt (1888–1970)

Birthplace: Village Baskar, district Unnao.

Education

Moved in 1908 to Benares to study Hindi and Sanskrit; failed the Intermediate examination.

Occupation

Editor.

Career

While studying in Benares Śukla had two articles published in the Hindī bangvāsī and in Bhārat jīvan, the old Benares weekly. Having failed his Intermediate examination, he applied in vain to Bhāratamitra in Calcutta and Abhyuday in Allahabad and started working in Benares as an ordinary clerk, first in the office of the Traffic Superintendent and then in that of the Superintendent of Police. He moved to a teaching job in a small town near Kanpur, then to the Education Department of Alwar state. In 1914–18 he travelled further away with a fellow villager to a job in Mahasamund (Central Provinces), but one article in Maryādā (in favour of the joint family system) and two (translated) articles in Sarasvatī attracted Dvivedī's attention. After he was recalled home to look after the family property, Śukla visited Dvivedī—who lived nearby and knew his uncle—for advice. Dvivedī offered him three potential posts: Śukla chose the one least paid but closest to Divedī, at the Indian Press. His understated style of work and writing, and his readiness to undertake any kind of writing or translation work, won him Dvivedī's favour and that of the publisher, and he rose steadily in the firm, acquiring experience in all aspects of publishing. So much so that when P.P. Bakhśī finally resigned from the editorship of Sarasvatī in 1928, Dvivedī suggested Śukla's name instead of looking for a more glamorous editor (p.436) elsewhere. A typical self-made Hindi publicist, Śukla's presence in the Hindi world was a quiet one: he did not try to use his position in the Press to wield power, nor did he seek self-aggrandizement but took a quiet pride in his work. Until his retirement his abode in Allahabad was a tile-covered room on top of a house in the ‘Black Town’, where he cooked his own meals. A few photographs show him at home dressed in only a dhotī, and one in meditation covered in ashes—he was a śākta guru—quite a different identity from that in the office.

Śukla, Rāmchandra (1884–1941)

Birthplace: Village Agona, district Basti.

Background

His father was a sadar kanungo, educated at Queen's College, Benares, up to Entrance examination and was fluent in Urdu, Persian, and Sanskrit.

Education

Vidyārambh in Rath, district Hamirpur; in 1898 he took the Middle school examination in English and Urdu from the Anglo-Jubilee School in Mirzapur, and in 1901 the Final examination. At the Kayastha Pathshala in Allahabad he failed both first year (F. A.) in 1901 and the leadership examination in 1902.

Occupation

Literary scholar, university teacher.

Career

In Mirzapur Śuklajī developed literary taste and a knowledge of Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, and English thanks to Kedārnāth Pāṭhak andBadrīnārāyaṇ Chaudhrī ‘Premghan’. He first joined the collector's office, and then the local Mission School as drawing master. At Śyāmsundar Dās’ call he moved to Benares in 1908 to work on the Hindī śabdasāgar for the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā and was involved in various Sabhā projects, including the Nāgarī prachāriṇī patrikā, where he published several scholarly articles and translations. He translated J. Edison's Pleasures of the Imagination (Kalpanā kā ānand, 1905), Samuel Smiles’ Plain Living and High Thinking (Ādarś jīvan, 1914) and Arnold's The Light of Asia in Braj Bhasa verse (Buddhacharita, 1922). In 1921 he was appointed, with Lala Bhagvān Dīn, as the first Hindi lecturer at BHU; after Ś. Dās’ retirement he became Head of the Hindi department. He edited the three volumes of Tulsī granthāvalī (1923, with Lala Bhagvān Dīn and Brajratna Dās), the complete works of Jāyasī (1924), and Sūrdās’ Bhramar gīt (1925) and wrote several textbooks. His history of Hindi (p.437) literature (1923–9, rev. edn. 1940) is still the standard reference work in Hindi. His essays are collected in Chintāmaṇi (2 vols, 1939, 1945).

Sundarlāl, Pandit (1886–1981?)

Birthplace: Village Khatauli, district Muzaffamagar.

Background

Born in an average Kayastha family, the son of Pandit Totārām, a. renowned Ārya Samājist and petty government servant.

Education

Educated first at Saharanpur, then at DAV college, Lahore, where he befriended Lala Hardayal. In Allahabad to study law, he was rusticated in 1906 in a famous political incident and was prevented from taking the LLB examination. He was called ‘Pandit’ by M.M. Mālavīya and Tej Bahadur Sapru because of his keen interest in, and mastery of, religious scriptures.

Occupation

Political activist, publicist.

Career

He first came under the political influence of Lala Lajpat Rai and helped collect funds for Aurobindo Ghosh and other Bengali revolutionaries in 1905–7. At the 1906 Calcutta Congress he came in contact with Motilal Nehru and became a full-time political worker. In 1909 he founded the political fortnightly Karmayogī (18,000 copies), which was forced to close down in 1910 when he was sent to jail. In jail he took saṃnyās as Someśvarānand, and remained a bachelor and a brahmachārī. He was also implicated in the Delhi Conspiracy Case with Hardayal in 1913 and went underground between 1912 and 1916. In 1919 he briefly edited R. Sahgal's weekly Bhaviṣya, and in 1920 a daily by the same name—which was also forced to close down in 1921. He presided over the UP Provincial Political Conference in Kanpur in 1929, and between 1931 and 1932 he was put in charge of Congress activities in the Central Provinces; in Jabalpur he worked with Mākhanlāl Chaturvedī and Lakṣmaṇ Siṃh Chauhān. He was an excellent public speaker. In the language controversy he fought for Hinduṣtani.

Selected Works

Songs: Vaidik rāṣṭragīt (1911, proscribed). History: Bhārat meṁ aṅgrezī rāj (1929, banned).

Ṭaṇḍon, Puruṣottam Dās (1882–1962)

Birthplace: Ahalyapur mohallā, Allahabad.

(p.438) Background

Born in a Khatri family, the son of an ordinary government clerk affiliated to the Radhasoami sampradāy.

Education

First in Hindi with a local maulvi; Middle examination in 1894, Entrance in 1897, Intermediate in 1899 from Kayastha Pathshala with Ramanand Chatterjee as principal. Β A in 1904 from Muir Central College, and LLB 1906 and MA in History in 1907.

Occupation

Lawyer, political activist.

Career

Ṭaṇḍon came early under the cultural influence of Bālkṛṣṇa Bhaṭṭ and the political influence of Madan Mohan Mālavīya. After two years of legal practice he joined the High Court in 1908 as Tej Bahadur Sapru's junior and practised until 1920, when he stopped because of Non-Cooperation. Interested in politics from the time of the pre-1900 Nagari campaign, he first took part in a Congress session in 1906 as a delegate. Also edited Abhyuday (1910–11) and Maryādā, and wrote especially on women's education and Hindi. He was given charge of the Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan right after the first meeting in Benares in 1910, and for years, until the present building was erected, the Sammelan office was in his own house. Between 1914 and 1918, at Mālavīya's heed, he worked as Law minister in Nabha state. In 1918 he presided over Mālavīya's Kisān Sabhā; in 1921 he was jailed for the first time. In 1921 he was also elected chairman of Allahabad Municipality, and was instrumental in establishing the Prayāg Mahilā Vidyāpīth and the Hindī Vidyāpīṭh (1925); the latter, however, did not flourish. In 1923 he presided over the XIII Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan in Kanpur. Refused to join the Hindu Mahasabha. From 1925 to 1929 he accepted a job as secretary of the Ārya Samāj Punjab National Bank in Lahore, where he became member of Lajpat Rai's Servants of the People Society and took over as president in 1928 after Lajpat Rai's death. While in Lahore he was not politically active, but after 1929 he was made President of the Allahabad District Congress Committee during Civil Disobedience and the no-rent campaign and was arrested again after a public meeting. Elected MLA from Allahabad City in 1936, he was made Speaker of the Legislative Assembly during the Congress ministry, and again in 1946. Convenor of the UP Report on Agrarian Conditions in 1936, he was one of the chief supporters of zamindari abolition. At first reluctant to sever Gandhi's relationship with the Sammelan over the Hindi-Hindustani issue, he eventually kept firmly on the Hindi side and accepted Gandhi's resignation. After Independence he took over Mālavīya's mantle (p.439) as Nehru's chief opponent in the Allahabad and UP Congress; in a famous incident he was elected Congress President in 1951 defeating Nehru, but had to resign under the latter's pressure.

Tivārī, Veṅkateś Nārāyaṇ (1890–1965)

Birthplace: Kanpur.

Education

MA in history from Allahabad in 1910.

Occupation

Editor, political activist.

Career

Joined Gokhale's Sevants of India Society (1910–30) and was active in the Allahabad Congress. From 1914 to 1918 he was general secretary of the UP Provincial Congress Committee, and was member of the UP Legislative Council in 1927–30. In 1921–2 he was sent as secretary of a government of India deputation to British Guyana. He was particularly active during Civil Disobedience and the no-rent agitations in the countryside. He edited Abhyuday and Maryādā from 1916 to 1917 and again in 1918, and then became the editor of the Leader Press’ Hindi weekly Bhārat, Allahabad, in 1928–30. A contributor to the Indian Press from 1907, after 1920 he contributed regularly to Sarasvatī. Elected MLA in 1937 and again in 1946, he became Parliamentary Secretary (Chief Whip) in the UP Congress ministry of 1937. When Sampūrṇānand refused to establish Urdu as the second official language in the province, raising a storm of protests from the Muslim League, Tivārī wrote a long series of articles in the Hindi press to support him, showing that the ‘people's language’ was Hindi and not Urdu. In 1953 he became editor of the daily Jansattā in Delhi.

Tripāṭhī, Rāmnareś (1881–1962)

Birthplace: Village Koiripur, district Jaunpur.

Background

His grandfather had some land at village Sultanpur, in a small princely state, and worked there for a trader; his father joined the army of Nabha state and rose to the rank of havaldār.

Education

First in Urdu at the village until the inspector of schools Rāmnārāyaṇ Miśra (one of the founders of the Nāgarī Prachāriṇi Sabhā) urged him to study Hindi instead. After the Upper Primary examination in the village he went to (p.440) Jaunpur to study English at a high school, against his father's wishes, but had to stop after the 9th standard.

Occupation

Publisher, poet.

Career

His first literary exposure was through the Hindi journals subscribed to by the school: Hindī baṅgvāsī and Hindī kesarī: Chandrakāntā was the first novel he read. After a short spell as a teacher in a pāthśāla, he fled to Calcutta for further study. At first he worked as bookseller for the Ārya Samāj preacher Tekchand. Prevented by illness from studying, he was cured only after a long sojourn in Shekhavat (Marwar); there, with the help of Marwari friends, he opened a public library with over 5000 Hindi, Sanskrit and English books, and could study at length. After his father's death in 1915 he returned from Marwar and settled in Allahabad in 1917. He had already written Braj Bhasa poetry under a teacher's guidance; in Allahabad he started the first of his fortunate publishing ventures, Kavitā-kaumudī: an elegant and extremely well-produced seven-volume anthology of Hindi, Braj Bhasa, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bengali, and folk poetry. In 1918 he became member of the Home Rule League, and in 1920 he took part in the Non-Cooperation movement and toured the Jaunpur area for the Tilak Swaraj Fund. In 1921 he was fined and jailed for a year. After some indecision, in 1924 he started his own publishing house, Hindi Mandir, and in 1931 he acquired his own press which published literary books, children's books and textbooks, particularly for Sāhitya Sammelan Hindi examinations; he was also involved in the Hindi propaganda scheme in Madras. From 1919 to 1930 he toured all over north India collecting folk songs and produced a three-volume Grām-gīt (1930), the first work of its kind in Hindi. A good wrestler and swimmer, he took a five-year brahmacharya vow under the influence of Gandhi and Satyadeva Parivrājak. In 1931 he started editing a children's journal, Bānar, which became very popular. Tripāṭhī himself was a respected Khari Boli poet. After selling all his titles to the Sasta-Sahitya-Mandal he retired to Sultanpur, where he had been granted some land; there he built a house and planted an orchard.

Selected Works

Poetry: Milan (1928); Mānasī (1927); Svapna (1929); Pathik (1932, Hindustani Academy prize); as editor, Kavitā-kaumudī (seven volumes, 1917–24); Grām-gīt (1930). Novels: Vīrāṅganā (1911); Vīrbālā (1911), Laksmī (1924).

‘Ugra’, Pāṇḍey Bechan Śarmā (1900–67)

Birthplace: Chunar, district Mirzapur.

(p.441) Background

Born in an extremely poor and troubled Brahmin family. His father was an addicted gambler and his elder brother a wayward fellow who acted in Rāmlīlā groups.

Education

Only a little primary education in Chunar, as he was expelled from school for rowdy behaviour. Later he partly resumed his education in Benares under B.V. Parāṛkar and Śivaprasād Gupta's tutelage.

Occupation

Writer.

Career

Orphaned early, he grew up under the ‘tutelage’ of his elder brother, who took him along to play in his Rāmlīlā group in Ayodhya, a difficult experience he later wrote frankly about in his autobiography. After a brief spell in Benares he found himself in Calcutta, where he worked for some time as a shop-clerk. At the time of Non-Cooperation he returned to Benares, joined the movement, and went to jail. In 1920 he wrote a long nationalist poem Dhruvadhārṇā, and contributed regularly nationalist stories to Āj. While in Benares, he learnt prosody from Lala Bhagvān Dīn. The special issue Vijayāṅk he edited of the Gorakhpur paper Svadeś was proscribed, and he landed in jail again. Once in Calcutta for a Congress session, he remained there at the Matvālā office; the owner Mahādevprasād Seṭh was ritually linked to Ugra's family. There he started writing sensational social novels that, according to a contemporary, ‘sold like peanuts’. It was because of his collection of stories about male homosexuality, Chakleṭ, that Banārasīdās Chaturvedī launched his campaign against obscene literature. When Matvālā faced closure, Ugra moved to Bombay to work for silent films, but earned mostly. debts. From Bombay he moved to Indore, where he edited the journals Vīṇā and Svarājya for some time, and the monthly Vikram from Ujjain. From 1945 to 1948 he was again in Bombay, then in Mirzapur until 1950, and after a year in Calcutta he moved eventually to Delhi.

Selected Works

Novels: Chand hasīnoṁ ke khutūt (1927); Budhuā kī beṭī (1928), Dillī kā dalāl(1928); Chumban. Shortstories: Chakleṭ(1927);Śarābī(1930);Ghaṇṭā; Sarkār tumhārī āmkhom mem (1937); Jījījī (1943). Plays: Mahātmā Isā.

Autobiography: Apnī khabar (1960).

Vājpeyī, Ambikāprasād (1880–1968)

Birthplace: Kanpur.

(p.442) Background

Born in a family of Sanskrit scholars; his father, however, studied only a little mahājanī and went to Calcutta in search of work, first as a clerk and then as a middleman. The family remained in Kanpur.

Education

First in Urdu and Persian with a view to getting a job in the law courts; when one cousin established a school nearby in 1889, he joined it before going to Benares, Calcutta and eventually back to Kanpur District School; matriculated in 1900; one teacher's Hindi primer turned him from Urdu to Hindi.

Occupation

Publicist, political activist.

Career

After some hesitation he first joined Allahabad Bank as a clerk for three years; then, thanks to a relative, he entered the editorial board of the popular Calcutta paper Hindī bangavāsī and left after learning the rudiments of journalism. Between 1907 and 1910 he taught Hindi to Bengalis and Europeans in Calcutta and edited the journal Nṛsiṃh, under Tilak's influence. In 1911 he was offered the editorship of Bhāratmitra, and soon launched a daily edition on the occasion of the Delhi Darbar. He was gradually joined by B.V. Parāṛkar, Yaśodānandan Akhaurī, and other literary people, but broke with the managers in 1919 over ideological differences. In 1916 he had established the Calcutta branch of Tilak's Home Rule League; in 1917 he was vice-president of the welcome committee of Calcutta Congress, and in 1921 he went to jail during Non-Cooperation with C.R. Das, Maulana Azad, and others. Between 1920 and 1930 he edited from Benares the political paper Svatantra, which became very popular; it closed down when asked to furnish a security of Rs 5000. Between 1904 and 1919 he worked on a project for a Hindi grammar: Hindī kaumudī. In 1928 he was made undergraduate examiner for Hindi by Calcutta University, and graduate examiner in 1930. In 1939 he presided over the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Benares at the height of the Hindi-Hindustani controversy. For years he was member of the AICC and, after 1947, of the UP Legislative Assembly.

Selected Works

Linguistic works: Hindī kaumudī (1919); Hindī par fārsī kā prabhāv (1937; in English as Persian Influence on Hindi in 1936). Political works: Bhārat-śāsan-paddhati (1923–4); Hinduoṁ kī rāj-kalpanā. Others: Samachārpatroṁ kā itihās (1953).

(p.443) Vājpeyī, Kiśorīdās (1898–1981)

Birthplace: Ramnagar, district Kanpur.

Education

Started in 1915 on a traditional Sanskrit curriculum in Brindaban with Kiśorīlāl Gosvāmī, author of popular novels who had opened a press and edited the journal Vaiṣṇava sarvasva. Sanskrit Śāstrī degree in 1919.

Occupation

Teacher, scholar, activist.

Career

After his śāstrī degree he moved to the Punjab in 1919, at the time of Jallianwala Bagh. There he started teaching Sanskrit at a Sanatan Dharma High School in Karnal district, and his love for the ‘national’ language blended with that for ‘national freedom’. His manual of poetics with nationalist verses as examples was proscribed by the government (Rasa aur alaṃkār, 1931) Involved in Sammelan activities, he published his first Hindi articles on poetry and on grammar (of which he became an expert) in Mādhurī. He then decided to quit teaching and become a full-time literary journalist: after an unhappy encounter with Sudhā's Dulārelāl Bhārgava he joined Chāṁd in Allahabad. Later he resigned after Sahgal had criticized Madan Mohan Mālavīya. After a short spell at Mādhurī's publication department, working on the critical edition of Śrīmad bhāgavat, he went back to teach at Hardwar Municipal school (1929–30), where he was expelled for taking part in the Civil Disobedience movement. During the movement he did political work in Agra with Kṛsṇadatt Pālīvāl and then returned to his job in Hardwar. In 1938 he conducted a public campaign against the naked Naga babas at Hardwar's Kumbha mela. Another public campaign against bribery in government offices cost him his job during the Congress ministry, and only Tandon's intervention reinstated him. Active in Hindi propaganda in Punjab and Kashmir, he organized the 1942 Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan annual meeting at Bhaini Sahab in the Punjab.

Selected Works

Linguistic works: Rasa aur alaṃkār (1931); Hindī śabdānuśāsan; Acchī hindī. Autobiography: Sāhityik jīvan ke anubhav aur saṃsmaraṇ.

Varmā, Bhagavatīcharan (1903–81)

Birthplace: Safipur village, district Unnao; childhood in Patkapur mohallā, Kanpur.

(p.444) Background

His father was a lawyer in Kanpur.

Education

First at the local Ārya Samāj school, then at the Theosophical School; Intermediate in 1924; Β A and LLB from Allahabad University (Holland Hall) in 1928.

Occupation

Lawyer, writer, scriptwriter.

Career

After his father's early death and the death of his mentor in 1920, he had to look after the family under great financial pressure. He came early under the influence of G.Ś. Vidyārthī and published his first poem in Pratāp in 1917; among his friends were V. Śarmā ‘Kauśik’, B. Śarmā ‘Navīn’, and Ramāśankar Avasthī. Urged by Vidyārthī to read V. Hugo, he also wrote articles on Marx, Mazzini, and prominent French revolutionary leaders for Prabhā in 1922–3. Fame as a Chāyāvādī poet came early, and he was published widely in Hindi journals; public recognition first came at the kavi sammelan during the XIII Hindī Sāhitya Sammelan meeting in Kanpur in 1923. His first novel Patan (1929) was a flop, but subsequently he became one of the best known and widely read Hindi novelists, and was also a good short-story writer. Once in Allahabad he came in contact with K.K. Mālavīya. After finishing University he tried his hand unsuccessfully at law practice in Hamirpur, then again in Allahabad. Once, short of money, he wrote a collection of poems for Ganga Pustak Mala in one day (called Ek din)! After the success of the novel Chitralekhā and of the film based on it, he was hired by a movie company in Calcutta as a scriptwriter; later he moved to Bombay but finally settled in Lucknow after 1997, earning comfortably from royalties.

Selected Works

Poetry: Madhukaṇ (1932), Prem-saṅgīt (1937), Μānaν. Novels; Patan (1929). Chitralekhā (1934), Tin varṣ (1946), Ṭeṛhe-meṛhe rāste (1946), Bhūle-bisre chitr(1959).

Varmā, Dhīrendra (1897–1973)

Birthplace: Bareilly.

Background

Born in an Ārya Samāji Kayastha family of zamindars.

(p.445) Education

First traditional Sanskrit education; his father wanted to send him to Gurukul Kangri but he finally enrolled at DAV college in Dehradun in 1908 before moving in 1910 to the Queen's Anglo High School in Lucknow (where he was Dulārelāl Bhārgava's classmate). Intermediate in 1916 from Muir Central College; BA in 1918 and MA in Sanskrit in 1921, where he was one of Gaṅgānāth Jhā's favourite students and was awarded a two-year government scholarship for a D.Litt. In 1934 he went to Europe to study phonetics and was awarded a D.Litt. from Paris University for a thesis on Braj Bhasa.

Occupation

University teacher.

Career

Appointed as the first Hindi lecturer at Allahabad University in 1924, he set up the Hindi department there with Devīprasād Śukla (1924–9), and later with former students Rāmśaṅkar Śuka ‘Rasāl’ and Rāmkumār Varmā. He designed a different curriculum from BHU, more open to modern and contemporary literature, to linguistics and the history of language, and to comparative Indian literature, and he encouraged research in all these subjects. He was linked to the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan, for which he was examiner, and was a secretary of the Hindustani Academy. In 1935 he became Reader, and in 1945 Professor; until his retirement in 1959 he was Head of the Hindi department and authored several textbooks. He wrote critically about Hindi's claim to rāṣṭrabhāṣā status, and his silence during the Hindi-Hindustani controversy was greatly resented in the Hindi camp.

Selected Works

Linguistics and literary criticism: Brajbhāsā vyākaraṇ (1937); Aṣṭachāp (1938). Memoirs: Merī kālij ḍāyrī (1951). Essays: Hindī rāstra yā sūbā hindustānī (1930); Vichār-dhārā. Ed. Hindī sāhitya koś (1975).

Varmā, Mahādevī (1902–87)

Background

Born in a Kayastha service family originally from Farrukhabad; her father was the first in the family to learn English, after running away from a prospective clerical job to gel a BA from Ewing Christian College and an MA in English from Allahabad University. Quite anglicized, he taught Indian princes, first in Darbhanga, then in Bhopal, and finally at the Daly College for princes in Indore: he later became minister of the nearby small state of (p.446) Narsinghgarh. He educated all his daughters and later supported Mahādevī's choice of living on her own. Her mother was not educated but was well versed in the religious oral tradition of Vallabha devotion.

Education

Liberally educated at home in literature (both Sanskrit and Braj Bhasa), music and drawing, and composed poetry first as a child. In 1918 she was sent to Crosthwaite College, Allahabad, where she stayed throughout her studies until her BA in 1929 (in 1925 Allahabad University stopped being co-educational), choosing English, philosophy, and Sanskrit as subjects. Subhadrā Kumārī Chauhān and Rāmeśvarī Goyal were her school friends there. She acquired an MA in Sanskrit from the same university.

Career

Started writing as a child, and from 1922 onwards, while still at college, she published her poems in Chāṁd and attended selected poetry readings of the Sukavi Samāj; in the beginning she used to write samasyā-pūrtis, then switched to pragīt under Pant's influence. Mahādevī got early recognition in the Hindi literary sphere, and her collection Nīrjā (1934) was awarded the Seksāriyā award. With Rāmkumār and Bhagavatīcharaṇ Varmā she was considered part of the ‘small triad’ of Chāyāvād. The unpleasantness of the Lucknow kavi sammelan she presided over in 1937 alienated her from public appearances. Married around 1913, she refused ever to live with her husband afterwards, and he complied. In 1930, she took to wearing khadi and teaching in two villages outside Allahabad, about which she wrote in Atīt ke chalchitra and Śṛrīkhlā ki kaṛiyāṁ. After a women's kavi sammelan marking the opening of the Mahilā Vidyāpīṭh College in 1932, she was chosen to become its principal. Between November 1935 and July 1938 she edited Chāṁd; her Vidusī aṅk was especially praised. She was also instrumental in setting up a ‘writers’ parliament’ in Allahabad, Sāhityakār Saṃsad, with government funds. Thanks to the Vidyāpīṭh she was on good terms with most Congress leaders in the province.

Selected Works

Poems: Nihār (1930), Raśmi (1932), Nīrja (1934), Dīp-śikhā (1942). Sketches and essays: Atīt ke chalchitra (1941), Śṛṅkhalā kī kaṛiyāṁ (1942), Smṛti kī rekhāeṁ (1943), Sāhityakār kī āsthā (first edn. 1940).

Varmā, Rāmchandra (1889–1969)

Birthplace: Benares.

(p.447) Background

Born in a Chopra family originally from village Akalgarh, district Gujranvala (Punjab), where all Chopras were called ‘Divan’ from the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Occupation

Publicist and translator.

Career

From a very early age he became acquainted with Babu Rāmkṛṣṇa Varmā, the owner of Bharat Jivan Press, started contributing articles to Bhārat jīvan, and met Hindi literary people there. He edited Hindī kesarl from Nagpur in 1907–8, then started working at the great dictionary project for the Nāgarī Prachāriṇī Sabhā; later he also edited its concise version, the Saṅkṣipta hindī śabdasāgar (1933). Closely connected with the Sabhā, he also helped editing the Nāgarī prachāriṅī patrikā between 1913 and 1916. Edited the daily version of Bhārat jīvan after the First World War started, and took it over at Rāmkṛṣṇa Varmā's death. An extremely prolific translator from English, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Persian and compiler of over sixty Hindi books on a wide range of literary, political, historical, and generally ‘useful’ subjects. Rāmchandra Varmā exemplifies the kind of strenuous work that was required in order to make ends meet as a Hindi writer. He also edited a Hindi-Urdu dictionary (1936).

Selected Works

Translations: Bernier's travels, S. Smiles’ Thrift and Self-Help, Muhammad Husain Āzād's Darbār-i-Akbari (as Akbarī darbār, 1924–9), Svami Rāmdās’ Dāsbodh; Chatrasāl (1919); Sāmyavād (1919); Ham svarājya kyoṁ chāhte haiṁ; Mevār patan (1928); Hindū-rājya-tantra (1928); Bhāratīy strītyāṁ (1927); Sāmarthya, samṛddhi aurśānti(1927); Goroṁ kā prabhutva; Dharmoṁ kā ītihās; Prāchīn mudrā (1924), Grāmīṇ. Samāj; also translated Sharatchandra's collected works (1936–9).

Varmā, Rāmkumār (1905–?)

Birthplace: Sagar District (Central Provinces).

Background

His father was a Deputy Collector, constantly on transfer.

Education

At first Hindi education at home with his mother Rājrānī Devī, herself a poet. Primary education at various schools in Central India. In 1920 he passed the (p.448) Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan prathamā exam with first class marks; while still studying for the Entrance exam he left school in 1921 and started singing and composing songs for prabhat pheris, selling khadi, and giving public speeches. In 1925 he went to Allahabad University; BA in 1927 and MA in Hindi in 1929. Later Ph.D. from Sagar University.

Occupation

Poet, university lecturer.

Career

Published poems from an early age and was very fond of the Rāmcharitmānas. His poem ‘Deś-sevā’ fetched him the Rs 51 Khanna prize in 1922, and R.S. Sahgal asked his poems for Chāṁd. Immediately after his MA he was appointed lecturer in the Hindi department of Allahabad University. Widely published in all major Hindi journals, he was considered one of the three ‘minor Chāyāvādīs’ with Mahādevī and Bhagavatīcharan Varmā. His collection Chitrarekhā won the Dev Puraskār in 1935. Authored plays and several textbooks.

Selected Works

Poems: Vīr hamīr (1922), Chittāuṛ kī chitā (1929), Añjalī (1931); Chitrarekhā (1935), Jauhar (1941). One-act plays: Pṛthvīrāj kī āṁkhem (1938), Reśmī ṭāī (1941), Rūp-raṅg 91951). Literary criticism: Sāhitya samālochnā (1929), Kabir kā rahasyavād (1930), Hindī sāhitya ka ālochnātmak itihās (1939); ed., Ādhunik hindī kkāvya (1939).

Varmā, Vṛndāvanlāl (1889–1973)

Birthplace:. Ranipur, a qasba near Jhansi.

Background

Born in an established but declining Kayastha family, whose ancestors had once been in the army of Maharaja Chatrasāl and ministers of the state. His father was a registrar kanungo.

Education

First at Lalitpur district school, then after the Middle school examination he enrolled at the high school in Jhansi, where he distinguished himself in English and sports. After a short spell at the kanungo office he joined the Victoria College in Jhansi, and moved to Agra in 1913 to study for an LLB.

Occupation

Lawyer, writer.

(p.449) Career

A voracious reader with a vivid imagination as well as a passionate sportsman, he started writing very early; his first plays were bought by the Indian Press in 1905 but not published. Thanks to the uncle who sponsored his education, he became acquainted with Bhārtendu's works; as school prizes he read Ivanhoe and Talisman. He also read Tod, Max Müller, Darwin, and plenty of European literature. In Agra he became acquainted with G.Ś. Vidyārthī and Badrīnāth Bhaṭṭ; with the latter he wrote a humorous column in Pratāp called Golmālkāriṇī sabhā. Actively involved in public life, he wrote reports for Pratāp and campaigned for C.Y. Chintamani's election in 1920 in conflict with local Congress activists. Initiated the cooperative movement in Jhansi in 1924, and in 1936 was elected chairman of the district board. He took part in Congress and Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan meetings. Was a close friend of Vidyārthi and M.Ś. Gupta. He wrote occasionally for most Hindi journals but did not take up writing seriously until 1927 when he became the most popular and original historical novelist in Hindi. He specialised in writing about central India, especially Bundelkhand. A keen hunter and wanderer, he explored the region around Jhansi at length. His works, which span almost four decades, include among others: Gaṛhkuṇdār (1927), a romance with a caste conflict in the fourteenth century as backdrop; Virāṭā kī padminī (1929), another romance set in the eighteenth century; Musāhibjū (1937), a short novel set around 1800, at the time of the British treaties and annexations; Jhansī kī rānī Lakṣmībāī (1946, initially banned in Central India); Mādhavjī Sindhiyā (1948); Mṛgnainī (1950), one of his most famous works, set in fifteenth- to sixteenth-century Gwalior; Bhuronvikram (1955) was an unusual leap in the late Vedic period; Ahilyābāī (1955); Mahārānī Durgāvatī (1961); and, published posthumously, Kīchaṛ aur kamal, on tweifth century Kalinjar, and Devgāṛh kī muskān, set in the eleventh century (both 1973).

Vidyālaṃkār, Jaychandra (1896–1977)

Birthplace: Kijkot, district Lyallpur (Punjab).

Background

Born in an Ārya Samāj family in which every member was involved in the nationalist movement: his brothers Dharmachandra, Devachandra, and Indrachandra Nārang founded a publishing house in Allahabad, Hindi Bhavan; his sister Pārvati Devī took to teaching at an Ārya Samāj school for girls after she was widowed in 1908, and in 1910 she became a public preacher; later she became headmistress of the Vedic Dharma Girls’ School in Amritsar and kept contact with revolutionaries in Bengal, the United Provinces, and Punjab.

(p.450) Education

Graduated from Gurukul Kangri.

Occupation

Historian, college teacher.

Career

Taught first at Gurukul Kangri, then at Gujarat Vidyāpīṭh; in 1921 he was appointed lecturer in history at the National College founded by Lajpat Rai: Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev were among his students. Afterwords he taught at Bihār Vidyāpīṭh from its inception. His Bhāratvarsa kī kahānī (1924) was written especially for children; Bhārat kā bhaugolik ādhār (1925) was found objectionable by the police during the Patna Conspiracy Case because it would help revolutionaries identify easy targets in India's communication network; his monumental Bhārtīy itihās ki rūprekhā (1934) won the Maṅgalāprasād prize. In 1936, with Rajendra Prasad's help, he founded the Bhārtīy Itihās Parisad and was on the editorial board of the monumental Bhārtīy itihās in twenty volumes, presided overby Jadunath Sarkar. He went to jail in 1942.

Selected Works

Historical works: Bhāratvarsa kā itihās (1924); Bhārat kā bhaugolik ādhār (1925); Bhārtīy itihās kī rūprekhā (1934); Bhārtīy vaṅmay ke amar ratna (1936).

Vidyārthī, Gaṇeś Śaṅkar (1890–1931)

Birthplace: Kanpur.

Background

Born in an average Kayastha family, his father was a schoolmaster in an Anglo-vernacular school in Gwalior district.

Education

In 1907 he passed the Entrance examination from Christchurch College, Kanpur, and was admitted to the Kayastha Pathshala, Allahabad, where he met Pandit Sundarlāl, but had to leave after a few months owing to financial difficulties.

Occupation

Editor, publicist, political activist.

(p.451) Career

His first job was at the currency office in Kanpur at a monthly salary of Rs 80. He resigned in 1909. After a short spell of teaching at Rs 20 he was introduced to M.P. Dvivedī and was hired to assist him on Sarasvatī in 1911 for Rs 25 per month; meanwhile he accepted an offer from Abhyuday in 1912 and moved to Allahabad as assistant editor at Rs 50 a month. After a year's experience there, he returned to Kanpur in 1913 to found the weekly Pratāp in the populous Philkhana mohallā with no financial support whatsoever. The first special issue, Rāṣṭrīy aṅk, in September 1914, offered 60 pages of articles for 4 annas. The Pratap office became a meeting place for political activists (even revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh) and Hindi literary people. A ‘Pratāp family’ was established with Gayāprasād Śukla ‘Sanehī’ (Triśul), Ramāśaṅkar Avasthī, Śivnārāyan Miśra (the manager), Bālkṛṣṇa Śarmā ‘Navīn’, Kṛṣṇadatt Pālīvāl, etc. Further literary friendships included M.Ś. Gupta, V. Varmā, Premchand, Mākhanlāl Chaturvedī and many others. In the 1920s, the Pratap Pustak Mala published political biographies, socialist propaganda, nationalist pamphlets, and song-books. Direct political involvement started when he became a founding member of the Kanpur branch of Annie Besant's Home Rule League in 1916 (Tilak's photo hung above his desk). He then took part in, and reported on, the 1916 Lucknow Congress and organized an Ek-lipi-ek-bhāṣā Sammelan there. Thereafter he became a follower of Gandhi. He gave full coverage to Champaran's enquiry and supported the Kanpur mill strikes in 1919. He was jailed after a libel case following his reports on the Munshiganj police firing on a peasants’ meeting. In 1920 he took over the monthly Prabhā from M. Chaturvedī. He became convenor of Congress District Conference in Kanpur in 1921, with delegates from villages and wards of the city, and as President of Fatehpur Political Conference in 1923 he was prosecuted for his seditious speeches; at the news of his arrest, most bazaars in Kanpur shut down. While in Naini central jail (1923–4 [Jel-ḍairī]) he became a fervent reciter of the Rāmcharitmānas. In 1925 he was secretary of-the welcome committee of Kanpur Congress. Despite his opposition to Council entry he was selected as Swarajya Party candidate for 1926 elections and was elected with an overwhelming majority. During 1927–9 he was member of the Legislative Council. Involved in political and propaganda work in the district, in 1929 he founded a Congress ashram in Narwal village. As president of the UP Political Conference in Farrukhabad, he urged the adoption of an economic resolution. Killed during the 1931 Kanpur riots.

Viyogī Hari (Hariprasād Dvivedī) (1896–1988)

Birthplace: Chattarpur state (Bundelkhand).

(p.452) Education

Orphaned at young age, he was educated first at home in Sanskrit and Hindi; in 1915 he matriculated from Chattarpur High School, but had to break off his studies at Intermediate College.

Occupation

Poet, literary activist.

Career

His keen interest in Indian philosophy was cultivated under Babu Gulābrāt's tutelage, who at the time was divan at Chattarpur. A protegé of the Rani, Viyogī Hari toured India's pilgrimage places with her. In 1915 met P.D. Tandon in Allahabad and was persuaded to stay and work as volunteer for the Hindi Sāhitya Sammelan and the Sammelan patrikā and became one of Ṭaṇḍon's closest assistants. Involved in Sammelan work, he wrote textbooks and annotated anthologies for the Sammelan examinations and helped Ṭaṇḍon to found the Hindī Vidyāpīṭh in 1925. On a pilgrimage to south India in 1921, he took saṃnyās and changed his name to Viyogī Hari. He was particularly fond of Tulsī's Vinaypatrikā, and wrote a commentary on it and poetry in Braj Bhasa. In 1932 he left literature to work for the Harijan Sevak Sangh in Delhi and edited the Hindi version of Harijan sevak. Later he was involved in the bhūdān movement. He wrote about forty books in all.

Selected Works

Poetry: Braj mādhurī sār (1923); Vīr satsaī (1928 awarded Maṅgalāprasād prize); Viśvadharma (1930).