Bharatendu Harishchandra (1850-1885), called the father of 'Modern' Hindi and considered the greatest of Hindi writers since Tulsidas, was describes by Grierson as 'the most celebrated of the native poets of the present day, (and one who) has done more for the popularization of vernacular literature than almost any other living Indian.'
Universally regarded as Hindi's pioneer dramatist, Harishchandra played an equally important part in the development of early Hindi journalism. He was also the first notable Hindi writer of essays, travelogues, biographical sketches and books on history or antiquities. Besides his rich contribution to poetry, he wrote some 3000 devotional songs in all conceivable metres. He was also possibly the first Hindi poet to practice his craft in Khariboli, which later swamped Brajbhasha out of existence.
During his brief life span of thirty-four years, Bharatendu blazed many trail, and, regrettably burnt his candle at both the ends in the conduct of his personal life and affairs.
About the Author:
Madan Gopal, author of Munshi Prem Chand: A Literary Biography and a pioneer in introducing Hindi writers to the English-speaking world, has made a significant contribution to the history of Modern Hindi Literature by presenting this sensitive study of Bharatendu Harishchandra.
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