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Subhadra Kumari Chauhan

By Prakhar Patidar

As I saw this doodle, the lines of the famous poem 'Jhansi Ki Rani' (Queen of Jhansi) came rushing to me. Like most of us, I first got introduced to the writings of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan in school and through this very poem. I remember in 5th grade, our Hindi teacher read out the lines -

खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी॥

(One who fought like a warrior was the Queen of Jhansi)

And we repeated after her, swelling up with a sense of pride we felt for our nation and the freedom fighters who struggled so hard to gain independence. Even today, this poem has the power to evoke a strong sense of nationalism in the reader and this speaks volumes about Subhadra Kumari's capabilities as a writer. She takes one of the most significant figures of our freedom struggle and elevates her bravery, sacrifice, and life with beautiful poetry.

Born on 16th August 1904, Chauhan grew up in the final decades of the British Raj and was raised in a time when the fight for freedom had gained momentum. By the time she began writing, the freedom struggle was in full swing and she was a dedicated participant. The theme of nationalism and bravery runs uninterrupted throughout her work, most known of them being 'Jhansi Ki Rani', 'Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant' and 'Mera Naya Bachpan'.

This year marks the 117th birth anniversary of this bejeweled Hindi poet and writer. In the doodle dedicated to her, one can see Subhadra Kumari in a khadi saree with paper scattered around her. This is a clear nod to her Gandhian ideologies as she not only supported the noncooperation movement but also participated in the marches.

On her left, we can see Rani Laxmi Bai on her horse, and on her right we see people marching against the colonizers. There are a plethora of resources available for anyone who wants to get acquainted with Chauhan's work. The most recent addition is the Spotify original podcast 'Ek Aur Kahani - Subhadra Kumari Chauhan Ki Kahaniyan' a treat for the ears of those who enjoy this prolific writer's works.


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