Who was Bharatendu Harishchandra?
Bharatendu Harishchandra (9 September 1850 – 6 January 1885) was an Indian poet, writer and playwright. He was an author of several dramas, life sketches and travel accounts; he used new media such as reports, publications, letters to the editor, translations, and literary works to shape public opinion.
Writing under the pen name “Rasa”. Harishchandra represented the agonies of the people. He is considered the father of Hindi literature and Hindi theatre.
Early life of Bharatendu Harishchandra
Bharatendu Harishchandra was born in Banaras. Harishchandra was influenced by the Bengal Renaissance and decided to bring the genres of social, historical, and Puranic plays and novels into Hindi. This influence reflected in his Hindi translation of the Bengali drama Vidyasundar, three years later, in 1868.
Harishchandra edited the magazines Kavi Vachan Sudha, Harishchandra Magazine, Harishchandra Patrika and Bal Vodhini.
He was titled “Bharatendu”- “The moon of India”at a public meeting by scholars of Kashi in 1880 in recognition of his services as a writer, patron, and moderniser.
Career of Bharatendu Harishchandra
BharatenduHarishchandrais recognized as a beginner of the new era of the Hindi literature,called ‘Father of Modern Hindi Literature’.
Bharatendu was the man behind what is known as the ‘Hindi vernacular nationalism’. He was the driving force behind the mass movement that culminated in the popular slogan “Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan”.
Bharatendu wrote six plays,published nearly 14 collections of his poetry.He founded and edited one of India’s first women’s journals, BalaVodhini. Bharatendu wrote under the pen name, ‘Rasa’, probably borrowing from Natya Shastra.
He was also the editor of two popular journals at the time, Kavivachansudha (founded 1868) and Harishchandrachandrika (founded 1873).
Legacy and Achievements of Bharatendu Harishchandra
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of India gives the Bharatendu Harishchandra Awards since 1983 to promote original writings in Hindi mass communication.
A commemorative postage stamp on Bharatendu Harishchandra was issued by Government of India in 1976 in his honour.