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Lost in the crowd: Are Hindi poets treading the path of oblivion?


By Ila Garg

Prosperous at one time, the Hindi language is now slowly meeting its downfall. And so are the Hindi poets…

Today, with teenagers running after western trends and blindly imitating them, Hindi literature is left in a downtrodden state. The youngsters are constantly moving away from older traditions.

Hindi, as a language, has lost its essence. No longer are we able to regularly recall the names of Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Dharmveer Bharti, Sumitranandan Pant, Sahir Ludhianvi, Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, and many more such legends.


Hindi poets are no longer read and respected. Many of us lack even basic knowledge about these poets, let alone their struggles and the poetic pearls that they weaved over the years.

Hindi poets and their journey

  • Ramdhari Singh Dinkar – For a poet born before Independence, he had the required rebedinkar
    llious tone in his poetry. His patriotic compositions were looked up to. During the Emergency, Dinkar’s famous poem: ‘Singhasan Khaali Karo Ke Janata Aaati Hai’ was widely recited. His contribution to the freedom struggle and to the Hindi literature is exemplary and yet his glory is fading in the light of English poetry.

सदियों की ठंढी-बुझी राख सुगबुगा उठी,
मिट्टी सोने का ताज पहन इठलाती है;
दो राह, समय के रथ का घर्घर-नाद सुनो,
सिंहासन खाली करो कि जनता आती है।

  • Dharmveer Bharti – A poet and a social thinker, Bharti wrote till his last breath. dharmveer bhartiHis plays brought him to the limelight. Engaging in social commentary through his plays was his expertise. He wanted to reflect upon the society and contribute towards directing it to the path of reformation.

Andha Yug’ is the most famous of his plays. The masterpiece is structured on the events of Mahabharata, covering the events of last day of the war.

  • Sumitranandan Pant – He was a progressive poet and had a philosophical bend of mind. He started writing as a child. Panth was a humanist and wrote with a realistic approach towards life. Sumitranandan_Pant,_(1900_-_1977)His love for nature often found its mention in his creations. Memories too, played a very important role in his journey as a poet.

बिदा हो गई साँझ, विनत मुख पर झीना आँचल धर,
मेरे एकाकी आँगन में मौन मधुर स्मृतियाँ भर!
वह केसरी दुकूल अभी भी फहरा रहा क्षितिज पर,
नव असाढ़ के मेघों से घिर रहा बराबर अंबर!

  • Sahir Ludhianvi – A popular Bollywood lyricist of his time, he was always a poet at heart. His reputation as a poet came handy in shaping his career as a lyricist. His creations had a flavour of binaries. He never talked about life in isolation with the concept of death. This was because he felt that death was an integral part of life, it is Sahir_Ludhianvi,_(1921-80)something that gives life its meaning. He saw things in their entirety, and that gave him an edge over the other writers of his time. His poetry was thus, well appreciated by critics.

Teri duniya mei jeene se toh behtar hai ke mar jaaye,
Wohi aansuu wohi aahen wohi gham hai jidhar jaaye,
Koi toh aisa ghar hota jahan se pyaar mil jaata,
Wohi begaane chehre hai jahaan jaaye jidhar jaaye,
Arey o aasmaan waale bata iss mei bura kya hai,
Khushi ke chaar jhonke gar idhar se bhi guzar jaaye.

  • Suryakant Tripathi Nirala – Nirala was a poet who emerged out of a life of misfortunes and tragedies. He suffered a great deal and yet he had the courage to make a path for himself. He was a regular participant isuryakant-tripathi-niralan Hindi Kavi Sammelans. He was a rebel, both in form and content, that’s why he wasn’t easily accepted as a poet at first, and was even ridiculed at times. He was strongly against social exploitation and injustice and his writings conveyed his emotions.

दलित जन पर करो करुणा।
दीनता पर उतर आये
प्रभु, तुम्हारी शक्ति वरुणा।

Why is Hindi losing its grip?

The answer to this is very simple. Everywhere we go, we are required to converse in English. Our national language Hindi is considered unsubstantial during interviews. Almost all tests require proficiency in English.

In schools, children are encouraged to learn English and speak the language fluently. Today, we feel proud when we say that we are weak in Hindi or act like we have no connection with the Hindi language. With the young generation who are the guardians of old customs and traditions being so disheveled, we can only imagine the future of our cultural roots. This is indeed alarming!Harivansh-Rai-Bachchan-horoscope

Harivansh Rai Bachchan has rightly traced the fast paced life of the modern world:

जीवन की आपाधापी में कब वक़्त मिला
कुछ देर कहीं पर बैठ कभी यह सोच सकूँ
जो किया, कहा, माना उसमें क्या बुरा भला।

Today, no one wants to read in the first place, and even if they are forced to read something, they will never choose a Hindi poem. This is an evidence of how Hindi has been made to be synonymous with disgrace. Moreover, English texts are believed to be ‘easy reads’.

Who is to be blamed for this situation of the Hindi poets?

Present status of Hindi language and poets

The language which represents India is now conveniently pushed to the back lanes, alleys, and gutters. The young generation cannot seem to accommodate it to their changing lifestyle. Our custodians are disillusioned by the charm of West while Hindi poets are now trapped in their incompetence.

The readership plays a significant role in the triumph of a language but here, Hindi is failing. Its inability to attract enough readers is leading to a decrease in the number of writers and poets who pen their feelings in Hindi.

The future of Hindi poets therefore lies in the hands of masses. Till the time readers don’t show enough compassion towards Hindi poetry, the Hindi poets will remain clutched in shackles, unable to take the magnificent Indian culture ahead.

Hindi poets can no longer retrieve their lost place in people’s heart. They hold no significance in a world where the past glory of Indian culture is forgotten. Culture and language walk hand in hand. If one is weakened, the other can never tread the path of progress.

Hindi language and Indian culture have together become stagnant and soon losing their splendour.

Scope of revival

Yes, we can still get back our past glory. But like always it is easy to destroy a thing, what is difficult is to recreate it. Will we be able to do it? Are we willing to do it?

If we believe in the importance of Hindi poets and if we have faith in our old traditions, we must go back to the roots unless it’s too late. We can make the curriculum more interesting, implement interactive means of poetry recitation in classes, encourage students to talk about the lost demeanor of Hindi poets, and also address the good points of the language.

If the ancient tradition of Yoga can be made international, Hindi can achieve heights too. All we have to do is BELIEVE 🙂


  • Hi. Fair point. I only wish it would have been nicer if this post was in Hindi!

    • Ila Garg

      True but since this is an English website, had to write in English. But we are soon coming up with a dedicated Hindi section.

Next Story

Harivansh Rai Bachchan: An Unforgettable Name

"Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan– mera parichay"

Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a Padhma Bhushan awardee for his contribution in Hindi Literature. Pexels
Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a Padhma Bhushan awardee for his contribution in Hindi Literature. Pexels

Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a poet. That’s what most of us know other than the fact that he was the father of Amitabh Bachchan. However, he was more than that.

He was born in Allahabad, British India on 27 November 1907 to a Kayastha family. Being the second Indian to get his doctorate in English literature from Cambridge, he had also served in All India Radio. After which he was working in the External Affairs Minister, during these ten years, he was majorly associated with the evolution of Hindi as the official language. In 1966, he was also nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

Bachchan is still known as a person who enriched Hindi through his translations of major works. Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat, Shakespeare’s Machbeth and Othello and even the Bhagvad Gita.

Honored with Padma Bhushan for his lasting contribution to Hindi literature, with Saraswati Samman for his four volume autobiography, the Sovietland Nehru Award and the Lotus Aware for his unique work in the world of letters, his most famous poem is one his early works ‘Madhushala’. He was famous as a rebellious poet of Nayi Kavita literary movement.

He was famous as a rebellious poet of Nayi Kavita literary movement. Pixels
He was famous as a rebellious poet of Nayi Kavita literary movement. Pixels

Poems by Harivansh Rai Bachchan

1. Madhushala

“मृदु भावों के अंगूरों की आज बना लाया हाला,
प्रियतम, अपने ही हाथों से आज पिलाऊँगा प्याला,
पहले भोग लगा लूँ तेरा फिर प्रसाद जग पाएगा,
सबसे पहले तेरा स्वागत करती मेरी मधुशाला।।१।”

2. Agnipath

“तू न थकेगा कभी,
तू न रुकेगा कभी,
तू न मुड़ेगा कभी,
कर शपथ, कर शपथ, कर शपथ,
अग्निपथ अग्निपथ अग्निपथ।”

3. Ruke Na Tu

“धनुष उठा, प्रहार कर
तू सबसे पहला वार कर
अग्नि सी धधक–धधक
हिरन सी सजग सजग
सिंह सी दहाड़ कर
शंख सी पुकार कर

रुके न तू, थके न तू
झुके न तू, थमे न तू”

He used to introduce himself by saying- Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan– mera parichay. Pixabay
He used to introduce himself by saying- Mitti ka tan, masti ka man, kshan-bhar jivan– mera parichay. Pixabay

4. Poorv Chalne Ke Batohi

“पुस्तकों में है नहीं छापी गई इसकी कहानी,
हाल इसका ज्ञात होता है न औरों की ज़बानी,
अनगिनत राही गए इस राह से, उनका पता क्या,
पर गए कुछ लोग इस पर छोड़ पैरों की निशानी,
यह निशानी मूक होकर भी बहुत कुछ बोलती है,
खोल इसका अर्थ, पंथी, पंथ का अनुमान कर ले।
पूर्व चलने के बटोही, बाट की पहचान कर ले।”

5. Kya Karu Samvedna Lekar Tumhari

“मैं दुखी जब-जब हुआ
संवेदना तुमने दिखाई,
मैं कृतज्ञ हुआ हमेशा,
रीति दोनो ने निभाई,
किन्तु इस आभार का अब
हो उठा है बोझ भारी;
क्या करूँ संवेदना लेकर तुम्हारी?
क्या करूँ?”

6. Koshish Karne Waalon Ki Har Nahi Hoti

“लहरों से डर कर नौका पार नहीं होती
हिम्मत करने वालों की हार नहीं होती

नन्ही चींटी जब दाना लेकर चलती है
चढ़ती दीवारों पर सौ बार फिसलती है
मन का विश्वास रगों में साहस भरता है
चढ़ कर गिरना, गिर कर चढ़ना न अखरता है
आखिर उसकी मेहनत बेकार नहीं होती
कोशिश करने वालों की हार नहीं होती”

7. Vishwa Sara So Raha Hai

“हैं विचरते स्वप्न सुंदर,
किंतु इनका संग तजकर,
व्योम–व्यापी शून्यता का कौन साथी हो रहा है?
विश्व सारा सो रहा है!

भूमि पर सर सरित् निर्झर,
किंतु इनसे दूर जाकर,
कौन अपने घाव अंबर की नदी में धो रहा है?
विश्व सारा सो रहा है!”

His pen was a mighty one in the world of Hindi Literature. Pixabay
His pen was a mighty one in the world of Hindi Literature. Pixabay

8. Teer Par Kaise Ruku

तीर पर कैसे रुकूँ मैं, आज लहरों में निमंत्रण!
रात का अंतिम प्रहर है, झिलमिलाते हैं सितारे,
वक्ष पर युग बाहु बाँधे, मैं खड़ा सागर किनारे
वेग से बहता प्रभंजन, केश-पट मेरे उड़ाता,
शून्य में भरता उदधि-उर की रहस्यमयी पुकारें,

इन पुकारों की प्रतिध्वनि, हो रही मेरे हृदय में,

है प्रतिच्छायित जहाँ पर, सिंधु का हिल्लोल – कंपन!
तीर पर कैसे रुकूँ मैं,आज लहरों में निमंत्रण!

9. Dekho Toot Raha Hai Tara

“नभ के सीमाहीन पटल पर
एक चमकती रेखा चलकर
लुप्त शून्य में होती-बुझता एक निशा का दीप दुलारा।
देखो, टूट रहा है तारा।”

10. Mujhe Pukar Lo

“इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो!

ज़मीन है न बोलती न आसमान बोलता,
जहान देखकर मुझे नहीं जबान खोलता,
नहीं जगह कहीं जहाँ न अजनबी गिना गया,
कहाँ-कहाँ न फिर चुका दिमाग-दिल टटोलता,
कहाँ मनुष्य है कि जो उमीद छोड़कर जिया,
इसीलिए खड़ा रहा कि तुम मुझे पुकार लो”