Born On: May 20, 1900
Born In: Kumaon, Uttrakhand
Died On: December 28, 1977
Career: Writer, Poet
At the age of seven, when majority of children learn how to read and write; a little child from the hills wrote poetries, and grew up to become one of India's finest and renowned poet cum writer. This boy was Sumitranandan Pant, also known as Gosain Dutt. Born in the hills of Kumaon, Pant was raised by his old grandmother, for his mother had passed away shortly after conceiving him. He had developed an early knack for writing poetry. But he didn't restrict himself with just poetry and even ventured into writing essays and verse plays. During his career as a poet cum writer, Pant won many accolades like Sahitya Academy Award, Padma Bhushan Award, Jnanpith Award, and Nehru Peace Price from the Soviet Union. Inspired by nature and beauty during the early phase of his career, Pant's works reflected the same. But gradually he learned to adapt and touched many themes like philosophy and humanity and by the end of it all, he came to be recognized as a towering Hindi poet and one of the leaders of the Chhayavaad School of Poetry.
Sumitranandan Pant was born on 20th May, 1900 at Kausani village of Bhageshwar, in the hills of Kumaon, Uttrakhand, as Gosain Dutt. Unfortunately, his mother died within few hours of giving birth to him. He was raised by his grandmother and was the smallest of all his seven siblings. He completed his early schooling from Almora and at the age of 18, he moved to Kashi with his brother and finished his matriculation there. Not too fond of his name, Dutt changed it to Sumitranandan Pant. Post matriculation, Pant went to Allahabad to pursue graduation from Allahabad University, but left it midway and joined the Satyagraha Movement to support Mahatma Gandhi. However, he continued his education by reading English, Sanskrit, and Bengali literature at home.
Sumitranandan Pant took to poetry when he was just seven, and happened to be studying in the 4th grade. Having spent his childhood surrounded by natural beauty of the mountains and flora and fauna; it was only natural that it was from here that he got his inspiration; for his earlier works reflected a sublime touch of the scenic serenity. The period from 1907-1918 has even been admitted by Sumitranandan himself, as the first phase of his notable writing career. The poems that he wrote in this phase have been compiled together and published in "Veena" (1927). Although dropped out of graduation to support Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha Movement, Pant didn't compromise on his education and continued to study English, Sanskrit, and Bengali literature at home. This propelled his passion for writing even further.
It was shortly after the Satyagraha Movement that Pant went to Sri Aurobindo's Ashram in Pondicherry. It was from there onwards that he expanded his horizon and started writing in broader contexts. There was an undeniable influence after the visit to Sri Aurobindo's and the result was evident in the poems that he was writing then. The inspiration from Aurobindo's philosophy, however, was uncanny. Pant had taken a shift from mysticism to Marxism and started to include a more humane theme in his writings. Gradually, he included progressive, philosophical, socialist, and humanistic poems in his repertoire. In the year 1960, Pant received a Sahitya Academy Award for "Kala and Burha Chand" (a compilation of all the poems written by him in 1958). In 1961, he received a Padma Bhushan Award and a Jnanpith Award in 1968 for his most famous poems "Chidambara". He even received the Nehru Peace Prize by Soviet Union for "Lokayatan".
Sumitranandan passed away in 1977. The house that he grew up in Kausani has been turned into a museum and displays original manuscripts, poems, photographs, letters, his awards etc.
1900: Sumitranandan Pant was born.
1907: Started writing poetry at the age of 7.
1918: Moved to Kashi with his brother and completed his matriculation.
1922: His work "Uchchhavaas" got published.
1926: His work "Pallav" got published.
1927: His work "Veena" got published, which contains poems during the early part of his career.
1929: His work "Granthi" got published.
1932: His work "Gunjan" got published.
1960: Received Sahitya Academy Award
1961: Was honored with Padma Bhushan Award.
1968: Received Jnanpith award for his most famous poems Chidambara.
1977: Died at the age of 77.