Bharatendu Harishchandra | The Literacy Legend of India

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His life: The torch of Hindi literature

  • Year 1850 – Born in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Year 1865 – Influenced by Bengal renaissance.
  • Year 1868 – Wrote a Bengali drama Vidyasundar.
  • Year 1880 – Received the title ‘Bharatendu’.
  • Year 1881 – Written the drama ‘ The Andher nagari’.
  • Year 1885 – left the world peacefully.

Bharatendu Harishchandra set new era of Hindi literature as well as Hindi theatre. Pages of the history are full of creations dedicated by Bhartendu. Using the pen name, he drew the attention of everyone to poverty, agonies of the people, and the independence of the country. He wrote lots of novels and plays. The composition written by him revealed the dark side of society. Harishchandra possessed a great and natural skill of revolutionary creations. During the time of rebel of 1857, his literacy woke up the spark of patriotism among Indians.


September 9, 1850, the exquisite author, poet and dramatist Harishchandra was born in a prestigious family in Varanasi. Harishchandra had received bitter & sweet both memories in his childhood. From very early age Bharatendu developed the skill and learned various languages. He got familiar with Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Sanakrit and English since his childhood.

Personal Life

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Bhartendu’s father Gopal Chandra was also a Bengali poet who wrote poems under the pseudonym Girdhar Das. Harishchandra was inspired by his father to accept the literacy and become an author. In 18s, Indian national movement made Harishchandra to write even though he was at very young. Bharatendu was only 15 years old kid when he and his family visited Jagannath temple, Puri in the year 1865. Not a doubt that he was a child and at that immature stage he was unable to figure out the nation’s situation.

However, being immature, he could justify the nation’s condition and became a part of the movement. Bharatendu Harishchandra had only a daughter in his family. His granddaughter Pratibha Agarwal was a writer of Hindi literature. She also founded Anamika theatre group which is located in Kolkata.

Career Journey

The death of his father was a miserable period for him. This incident completely broke him but the writing proved to a ray of happiness for his sorrowful heart. He got himself stuck in the betterment of Hindi literature and always adopted a new ways to contribute something innovative to Hindi literature.  Whenever he set to draft on a topic he came with a new concepts and ideas in Hindi prose and drama and his curious efforts made him the pioneer of modern age Hindi writing.

In his writing career, he had been editor for numerous magazines like, the Kavi Vachan Sudha, Harishchandra Magazine, Patrika, and Balbodhini. We have to accept that even though he was an editor; his efforts drew people’s attention to development of Hindi literature. Viewing such great efforts, people bestowed him with the title ‘Bharatendu’ in year 1880. Today, the literature world of Hindi recognized him as a volunteer of new era of the Hindi literacy and this is the reason he deserved the right of possessing the title ‘The father of modern Hindi literature’.

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‘Vaidika Hinsa Na Bhavati’ was one of his the most popular play in which he beautifully explained the about the brutality with the animal that caused by non-vegetarians. Furthermore, he also wrote another drama ‘Bharat Durdasha’ with the purpose of motivating people to raise voice against British government in year 1875. The drama was mainly focused on poverty, agonies of communities and the strategy of British government of ‘divide and rule’. In year 1881, his drama Andher Nagari (city of darkness) had been much popular. Andher Nagari had been proved a very effective drama that reflected many of dark sides of the Indian societies.

Awards and Recognition

Harishchandra created amazing poems and dramas that left benchmark. In 1880, the scholars of Kashi bestowed him with the title ‘Bharatendu. The MIBI (ministry of information and broadcasting of India) promoted Bhartendu Harishchandra award in 1983 to give tribute to the legendary writer Bharatendu.

Later Life

Bhartendu Harishchandra left the world on 6th January 1885 at his hometown Varanasi at age of 35. His legacy, his literature is still alive to for the readers of the world.

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