Born On: September 23, 1908
Born In: Begusarai, Bihar
Died On: April 24, 1974
Career: Poet, Essayist, Academician, Literary Critic
His passion and enthusiasm for poetry and writing bestowed him with the title Rashtrakavi which means "national poet". Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar' gained recognition and popularity in the pre-independence period through his eminent and notable nationalist poetry. With an initial interest in composition, he gradually found himself drawing closer towards the Indian freedom struggle movement, thereby becoming a Gandhian later on and working in close relations with Rajendra Prasad, Anugrah Narayan Sinha, and Braj Kishore Prasad. Being a renowned and prominent poet, his poetry "Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai" was recited at Ramlila Ground in New Delhi during the Emergency. Such was his respect and honor that his portrait was unveiled by the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2008 in the Central Hall of Parliament of India.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was born in a poor Bhumihar Brahmin family in the village of Simariya in Begusarai district of Indian state of Bihar. Since childhood, Dinkar showed immense interest in studies, his favorite subjects being history, philosophy, and politics. In his later years, he even learned several other languages, such as Hindi, Sanskrit, Maithili, English, Bengali, and Urdu. Iqbal, Rabindranath Tagore, Keats, and Milton were some famous celebrities that influenced Dinkar to a large extent. Such was the influence that he went ahead with translating the works of Rabindranath Tagore from Bangla to Hindi.
Dinkar worked on the concept of "veer rasa", or "brave mode", although he did give some works that proved to be exception to this concept. Due to his high talent and knowledge of various Indian languages, Dinkar was more popular amongst people whose mother tongue was not Hindi. In addition to writing on anti-imperialism, nationalism, humanism, history, and social and political satires, he even touched the themes of love, passion, and relationships of a man and woman. This was evident from his "Urvashi" poem that talked about the spirituality and a different platform of earthly relationships. His "Kurukshetra" was a dedication in the memory of all dead and sacrificed in Second World War. It relied on the Santi Parva of Mahabharata. Another poem that was inspired by the events leading to Kurukshetra war in Mahabharata was "Krishna ki Chetavani". His "Sanskriti ke Chaar Adhyaay" depicts his love for India and describes the different cultures, languages, and topography despite which, India stands united and one.
Dinkar entered politics supporting the revolutionary movement during India's struggle for freedom. However, he became a Gandhian later on, though he regarded himself as a bad Gandhian simply because he lent his support for indignation and revenge amongst youth which was against Gandhi's Satyagraha movement. In his 1946 poem "Kurukshetra", he mentioned about how destructive war is but, at the same time, also emphasized on its importance for the protection of freedom. After independence, Dinkar was nominated and elected to Rajya Sabha on three occasions. He attained the position of a member in the house from April 3, 1952 to January 26, 1964.
Dinkar's "Kurukshetra" received several awards from the Kashi Nagri Pracharini Sabha, Uttar Pradesh Government, and Government of India. Further in 1959, he was bestowed upon with the Sahitya Akademi Award for "Sanskriti ke Char Adhyaay". He was later honored with Padma Bhushan Award in 1959 and LLD degree from Bhagalpur University. Gurukul Mahavidyalaya appointed him as Vidyavachaspati and was selected as Sahitya-Chudamani by Rajasthan Vidyapeeth in Udaipur on November 8, 1968. This was not all for Dinkar as he was honored with Jnanpith Award in 1972 for his work on "Urvashi".
With numerous accolades and awards during his lifetime, Dinkar was not left behind even after his death. To mark his 79th birth anniversary on 30 September, 1987, the then President of India, Shankar Dayal Sharma paid a tribute to him. Dinkar was paid high respect with a postal stamp being released by Government of India in 1999 featuring him as one of the Hindi writers on the celebration of "Linguistic Harmony of India". With this, India completed 50 years of Indian Union accepting Hindi as its official language. To complete 100 years of Dinkar's birth anniversary, the government released a book in 2008 that was authored by Khagendra Thakur. During the same period, his statue was unveiled at Dinkar Chowk in Patna and a two-day seminar was held in Calicut University.
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar passed away on April 24, 1974 at the age of 65.
1908: Was born on September 23 in Simariya, Begusarai, Bihar
1928: His first poetical work "Vijay Sandesh" was published
1946: Penned the distinguished poem "Kurukshetra"
1952: Elected as a member of Rajya Sabha
1959: Was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for "Sanskriti ke Char Adhyay"
1959: Received the Padma Bhushan Award
1968: Was appointed as Sahitya-Chudamani by Rajasthan Vidyapeeth, Udaipur
1972: Conferred upon with Jnanpith Award for "Urvashi"
1974: Died on April 24 in Begusarai aged 65
1987: Honored with a tribute by former President Shankar Dayal Sharma
1999: Featured on a postage stamp to mark 50 years of Hindi as official language on Indian Union
2008: Portrait revealed in the Central Hall of parliament of India on his centenary year