Early Life of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was born in Nihalpur village in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. She at first studied in the Crosthwaite Girls' School in Allahabad and passed the middle-school examination in 1919. After her marriage with Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan of Khandwa in the same year, she moved to Jabalpur.
Works of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
In her works, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan focused on the conditions of women of her times. She tried to bring a change in the attitude of society towards women. She argued for empowerment of women and claimed for equal rights for women in family as well as in social and political fields. In her works she dealt on the issues of early marriage, widow re-marriage, and socio-economic dependence of women. She highlighted the need for communal harmony, nationalism honesty of purpose and character.
In 1921, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan and her husband joined Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement and was the first woman Satyagrahi to court arrest in Nagpur. She was jailed twice for protesting against the British rule. She lived in an age of reformation and struggle for freedom led by Mahatma Gandhi. She actively engaged in awakening the educated masses through her thought provoking and effective writings. It was her poem about Jhansi ki rani, which at once showcases the life of the courageous Lakshmi bai: "Khub ladi mardani woh to Jhansi wali rani thi."
Her important literary contributions are "Bikhre Moti" (a collection of stories), "Viran Ka Kaisa Hai Vasant", "Jalianwala Bagh" Mein Vasant", 'Senani Ka Swagat "Vijaya Dashmi" , "Vythit Hrdya" and "Jhansi Ki Rani", which became popular and was accepted as the classic of the time. She was awarded with the ‘Sekseria Mahila Puruskar’ for her book, "Bikhre Moti" .She wrote many patriotic songs. In her works she portrayed "Bharat Mata" as a mother full of affection for all her children. In her poems she openly talks about the freedom movement and her poems have inspired a great numbers of Indian youth to participate in the Indian Freedom Movement. She was twice elected unanimously as a member of "Prantiya Dhara Sabha". She earned fame as a thought provoking writer and as a freedom fighter. She wrote in the Khariboli dialect of Hindi, in a simple, apparent style. Apart from heroic poems, she also wrote poems for children. She wrote some short stories based on the life of the middle class as well.
Here are few English translated lines from her inimitable poem ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’:
"The thrones shook and royalties scowled
Old India was re-invigorated with new youth
People realised the value of lost freedom
Everybody was determined to throw the foreigners out
The old sword glistened again in 1857
This story we heard from the mouths of Bundel bards
Like a man she fought, she was the Queen of Jhansi".
Death of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan died in 1948 in a car accident near Seoni, Madhya Pradesh on her way back to Jabalpur from Nagpur, the then capital of Central Provinces, where she had gone to be present at the assembly session. She was a member of the legislative assembly of the state. The ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan is an Indian Coast Guard ship, named after the poet. The government of Madhya Pradesh placed a statue of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan in front of the Municipal Corporation office of Jabalpur. On August 6, 1976, Indian Posts released a postage stamp to honour her.
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