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Bhartendu Harishchandra

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Bhartendu Harishchandra

Born: 9 September 1850

Died: 6 January 1885

  • He is known as the father of modern Hindi literature as well as Hindi theatre.
  • He is considered one of the greatest Hindi writers of modern India.
  • A recognized poet, he was a trendsetter in Hindi prose-writing.
  • He was an author of several dramas, life sketches, and travel accounts; he used new media like 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, country’s poverty, dependency, inhuman exploitation, the unrest of the middle class and the urge for the progress of the country.
  • He was an influential Hindu “traditionalist”, using Vaishnava devotionalism to define a coherent Hindu religion.
  • According to Barbara and Thomas R. Metcalf, he is considered an influential example of Hindu “traditionalist” in north India, typifying continuity with received tradition and self-conscious participation with the modern world.
  • He was typical of those Indians who engaged with the Western institutions and learning: They refused to leave authority over religion to Brahmans who were traditionally educated.

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