16th August 1904 marks the birth of the famous poet and freedom fighter Subhadra Kumari Chauhan. She was born in the Nihalpur in the district of Allahabad. This would-be poet grew up in a small village in Uttar Pradesh. She focused all her energy on writing because of which she stuck out in a crowd of children. Her first poem got published when she was just nine years of age.
Contribution of Chauhan in the freedom struggle
She was not just a poet but a freedom fighter as well. During her early years when the call for Indian Independence reached its height, she signed her name up on the list of the Indian Nationalist Movement. She was very clever and used her poetry to inspire people to join in the struggle for independence.
Subhadra became the first woman ‘satyagarahi’ in 1923. She was a revolutionary. The British police arrested her twice on India’s journey to freedom from 1924-1942. This could not move her one inch from the path she chose for herself. She published 88 poems and 46 short stories to evoke the nationalistic pride within the citizens of India. She also made revolutionary statements in India’s fight for freedom both on and off the page into the 1940s.
Chauhan was a patriotic poet. In her works, she strongly focused on gender discrimination as well as caste discrimination faced by women in society. This special quality makes her poems relevant even in today’s times. She wrote about women who overcame hardships.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan is recognized for her intensely patriotic poem ‘Jhansi ki Rani’. This poem is among the most recited poem in Hindi literature. Through her works, she fought mainly for the nation’s sovereignty.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was a very influential poet. The world still recognizes her. Chauhan passed away at the age of 44. The date was 15th February 1948 and the cause was a road accident. Her daughter Sudha and grandson Professor Alok Rai continue to maintain her legacy. Sudha wrote a book ‘Mila Tej se Tej’ (As Effulgence Met Effulgence) which is actually the story of her mother’s life and times. The grandson still continues to translate her memoirs into English from Hindi.
The poems of Kumari Chauhan still remain a staple in many Indian classrooms. They are a symbol of historical progress. These poems encourage future generations to stand up against social injustice and also celebrate the words that shaped a nation’s history.
Google’s respect to Chauhan
On Monday, Google celebrated the birth anniversary of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan by putting a striking doodle on its homepage. Prabha Mallya, a New Zealand-based artist illustrated the doodle. In the doodle, Chauhan is dressed in a sari sitting with a paper and pen. The background depicts a scene from her most iconic poem ‘Jhansi ki Rani’.
Google described Ms. Chauhan as a “trailblazing writer and freedom fighter” who “rose to national prominence during a male-dominated ear of literature”.