Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was a renowned Indian poet of the early twenties. Even now that she’s gone, her poetries still decorate the Hindi literature and are included in the NCERT textbooks for every student to read, learn and cherish her contribution. Some of her famous works are “Jhansi ki Raani”, “Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant”, “Yeh Kadamb Ka Ped”, “Khilonewala”, and “Mera Naya Bachpan”.
Today on Hindi Divas, we pay tribute to a poet who actively participated in the freedom struggle.
Contribution to Literature
Born in Nihalpur village of Allahabad District, Uttar Pradesh (United Provinces), under British-ruled India, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan is a big name when it comes to Hindi Literature and was a prominent part of the freedom struggle.
From an early age, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was fond of reading and writing poetries. A few years senior to her best friend Mahadevi Verma at Crosthwaite Girls’ School, Allahabad, they both cherished their love for poetry and wrote in a very similar way.
Chauhan was a gifted writer and wrote in a Khadiboli dialect. Her first poem ‘Maryada’ was published when she was only nine years old. She rose to prominence when her work was featured alongside prestigious poets in Kavita Kaumudi.
With her art of weaving stories into beautiful poetries, she made an instant connection with her readers. Her most well-known collection of poems is Mukul (1930), which includes the classic poem Jhansi Ki Rani.
Contribution in Freedom Struggle
In the year 1919, Subhadra was married to Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan and moved to Jabalpur (Central Provinces). She has always been the one to raise her voice against caste-based-discriminatory practices done by her family and with like-mindedness of her husband, they joined the freedom struggle against Britishers.
In 1921, they participated in the Non-Cooperation movement. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan became the first female satyagrahi at the age of 18 who was sent to jail. She led the women’s section of the state Congress Committee of Madhya Pradesh in the 1930s and later was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly.
From being born in British-ruled India, to actively participating in the freedom struggle, and seeing the sun rise upon a free and independent India, her life and her works have been exemplary.
Death and Honour
Subhadra Kumari’s died in a car accident near Seoni, Madhya Pradesh on 15 February 1948, on her way from Nagpur to Jabalpur after attending a session of the Vidhan Sabha.
A year after her death, the Madhya Pradesh government erected a statue of her in front of the Jabalpur Municipal Corporation office, that was unveiled on November 27, 1949, by Mahadevi Varma.
The Indian Postal Service Department issued a postage stamp of 25 paise in honor of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan to commemorating her life and work on 6 August 1976.
Later, the Indian government named an Indian Coast Guard Ship after her, ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, as a tribute to her unwavering courage on 28 April 2006.