Bharatendu Harishchandra (Hindi: भारतेन्दु हरिश्चंद्र) is one of the most heard names in the history of modern Hindi literature. He was an imminent poet of the 19th century who also wrote several novels and plays. It was the subject and pattern of his writings which caught the attention of the critics and the masses and made Bharatendu Harishchandra such a popular name in Hindi literature. Harishchandra possessed a revolutionary spirit and made known all his nationalistic feelings through his writings. Almost every piece of work from the hands of Bharatendu Harishchandra spoke about the exploitation which existed in the Indian society during his times, the inhuman conditions that the poor and needy had to live in and the subjugation that the lower and middle classes of the society had to face in the hands of the elite ruling class. Most of his poems were an urge to the people of India to join hands in a n effort to better the living conditions in the country.
Bharatendu Harishchandra was born on September 9, 1850 in Varanasi. His father Gopal Chandra was also a poet (by the pseudonym of Girdhar Das) and it was from his father that Bharatendu Harishchandra derived the inspiration to write in his later life. The national movement in India during the British rule moved Bharatendu Harishchandra to a great degree even when he was young. He and his family visited the Jagannath Temple in Puri in the year 1865 when Bharatendu Harishchandra was a mere 15 year old kid. But even as a child, the Bengal Renaissance deeply touched him and he was influenced into being a part of the movement by introducing the concept in Hindi literature. After returning to his native Varanasi from Puri, Bharatendu Harishchandra conducted an in-depth study of the plays, novels and poems that were being written to bring about social and historical changes during the Bengal Renaissance. And it was this study of Bengali literature that led Bharatendu Harishchandra to translate an important Bengali play 'Vidyasundar' to Hindi in the year 1868. Bharatendu Harishchandra's parents died when he was still very young, another incident which touched him and inspired him to get more involved with poetry, prose and drama writing.
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