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Dr. B. Ramana Rao: Treating His Patients For Free For 45 Years

A Padma Shri recipient, Dr. B. Ramana Rao has been treating patients in his free village clinic near Bangalore for the last 45 years.

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Dr B Ramana Rao

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Dr. Ramana Rao epitomizes this virtue of selfless service.

Born in Hyderabad in 1951, Dr. Rao started his free village clinic on the very next day of his graduation on 15th August 1973. The clinic is situated in T.Begur, which is 35 km from Bangalore on the Bangalore-Pune National Highway. Since then every Sunday, he has been serving his patients for free, along with providing free meals to those who travel long distances to get treated.

Credits: Starsunfolded.com

Accompanied by his wife, his two sons (who are also doctors) and dozen of volunteers from the villages, he has treated numerous people for free. From primary health checkups of oral health, skin, eye care to expensive medicines, injections and nebulisation are given free of cost to patients. Besides, free cataract surgery is also done at the clinic.

Credits: Milaap.org

His belief that everyone has the right to live with dignity, ensured him to create this drastic difference in people’s lives. Through the Raj Prakash Trust, “he works towards providing free medical treatment for thousands of rural communities who cannot afford the treatment.”

A Padma Shri recipient, Dr. Rao is also conferred with Dr. Abdul Kalam National Award among many others. As an exemplary epitome of selfless service, he is a true inspiration to us all.

Credits: Practo.com

Vistas of Bharat : Indian Culture

The Role of Musicians, Painters, Dancers During India’s Freedom Struggle

Presenting painters, dancers, and musicians and their unique productions as weapons during India’s freedom struggle

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Amrit Mahotsav

We’ve grown up learning that it was the revolts, the marches and protests which were an integral part of the India’s freedom struggle. However, a large amount of resistance and revolution began with the creative productions of music, dance, and paintings. Art has been a powerful tool of dissent and revolution. Many musicians, painters and dancers used their art to vocalize colonial India and its struggles, injustices and despairs.

We bring many of these hidden and unknown artists of colonial India and their patriotic art, which spoke loudly of the patriotic and nationalist sentiments, uniting everyone.

Singing The Country’s Blues: Musicians of Colonial India

During the 19th century, Indians wanted to identify the symbols of cultural identity in the face of a rising culture consciousness. This is where ‘Hindustani Music’ ventured in. Musician Vishnu Digambar Paluskar along with V.N. Bhatkhande founded the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in 1901, which was the turning point in the modern era of Hindustani Classical music. Atul Prasad Sen was a Bengali musician and a composer who contributed immensely to the field of Bengali music. He took part in the work of ‘Harijan Uddhav’ promoted by Gandhi. His patriotic pieces, ‘hao dharmete dhir, hao karmete bir’ (be a hero of religion, be a hero of action), and ‘utha go bharat laksmi’ (Wake up, India), are worth mentioning. Dwijendra Lal Roy, another musician and a poet, envisioned a new India which was strong in values, culture, and economy. He wrote songs along with the same ideas, which harnessed the patriotic spirit of Bengal. Rajanikanta Sen was another musician who contributed to Bengali music. During the partition of Bengal, when the Bengali leaders boycotted British goods and products and only buy/sell the clothes manufactured by Indians, he penned the following lines: “My brothers, please accept the coarse clothing offered by your mother. As this is all your poor mother(nation) can afford.” The song became popular across the state of Bengal and boosted the Swadeshi movement.

Kavi Pradip is most famously known for his patriotic song, ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo.’ Another of his most loved patriotic songs was, ‘Ek Naya Sansar Basalen,’ which was also included in the 1941 movie, ‘Naya Sansar.’ The song became the ringing calls for an independent India. Dilip Kumar’s soulful rendition of Vande Mataram with Bharat Ratna M.S. Subbulakshmi in the 1930s captivated the masses and freedom fighters alike. Some of his other compositions include Bharat Amar Bharat Amar, Amar Moloyo Batashe and Banga Amar Janani Amar, which were important inspirational pieces of India’s freedom struggle.

The Canvas and The Sculptors of India’s Freedom Struggle

Ramkinkar Baij, often when he used to return home, drew paintings of the freedom fighters he saw there. Devi Prasad Roy Choudhary was an Indian sculptor from Bengal, remembered for his sculptures inspired by the Indian freedom struggle. He has frozen and immortalised some of the core moments of Indian history. At the Shahid Samarak (Martyrs Memorial) in Patna, one can find Roy Chowdhury’s sculpture of the students who lost their life during the Indian freedom struggle. The ‘Gyarah Murti’ in Delhi is a tribute to Gandhi and his ideals of nonviolence. 

Prodosh Das Gupta formed the Calcutta Group which believed in an art that was universal in character and free from older values. The authenticity of Indian culture and Indian philosophy deeply inspired him, and along with the Calcutta group, he incorporated this very fabric of India into his sculptors and other artistic creations. Gopal Ghose, under the leadership of Prodosh Gupta, also created art, inspired and rooted in Indian aesthetics and philosophy. During the 1940s, the artist transformed his style of art a little and produced sketches of the infamous man-made famine of 1943 in Bengal. 

Nirode Mazumdar led the modernist art movement during the 1940s. He created a series of paintings inspired by the widespread famine, one of which was titled ‘Anath’ (1944), which depicted homeless and starving children. Paritosh Sen found his creative energies inspired by recollections of a past world and the attempts to comprehend the present. Apart from paintings, his caricatures reflected strong underlying socio-political shades. Somnath Hore was a sculptor and printmaker, born in 1921. The subject of his art was dominated by the sufferings of the man. He extensively covered the horrific consequences of the 1943 famine, World War II, and the Japanese bombings on Bengal. The weeping mothers, starved children, dead animals, isolated village streets, etc., were spotlighted in his socially realistic paintings of pre-partition India. Chittaprosod Bhattacharya’s best work was his visual reportages on the Bengal famine in 1943–1944. He documented the British imposed famine through sketches, texts and linocuts. This Revolutionary popular art was a means to mobilise the masses. 

Asit Kumar Haldar was the grandnephew of Rabindranath Tagore. He belonged to the first generation of painters and sculptors from the Neo-Bengal School of Art. He brought the rich cultural heritage of India into his paintings. Haldar painted a whole series of 32 paintings based on the Buddha. A collection of episodes from Indian history on thirty canvases, illustrations of Omar Khayyam’s verses, interpretations of the stories in the Mahabharata, etc. all became a subject of his paintings. 

Benode Behari Mukherjee‘s popular creation was the mural called Mediaeval Saints, which he made on the walls of Hindi Bhavana in Shantiniketan around the eve of India’s Independence from colonial rule. The mural charted the history of medieval India through the lives of Tulsi Das, Kabir and others, and emphasized on their humane teachings. N.S. Bendre covered landscapes and figurative paintings but along with that also explored multiple ways of combining cubist, expressionist, and abstract genres from Western Modernism into his own work which stemmed from Indian formalism. One of his paintings of the Quit India Movement maidan captured the intensity of the freedom struggle and the unity of India.

Sunayani Devi was unfairly removed from the history of Indian painters. She was the younger sister of Abanindranath Tagore and Gaganendranath Tagore. She was a self-taught artist, often found spying on her brothers and tutored herself by watching them. Her subject of art surrounded women at their toilet, dolls, players, actors and themes from the mythic Radha-Krishna cycle. She was an important member of the Swadeshi movement art who brought Indian painting styles like Mughal miniatures and ancient Jain paintings into the limelight. 

Mukul Dey is the pioneer of Drypoint Etching. He travelled around in the West to study art and printmaking techniques. Upon returning to India, Dey had a bulk of new western techniques at his hand. With this knowledge, Dey modernised Indian art and its rich artistic heritage in favour of the rising Swadeshi movement in the country. He dedicated his life to the artistic revival of Indian art. Kalipada Ghoshal was also one of the Swedish painters. He was the last successor of Abanindranath Tagore. As a well-regarded student of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, Kalipada Ghosh produced some of the finest and intricate paintings of his time. Some of his prominent artworks are Shakuntala, Persian night, Hara Parvati, Budha and Rahul, Series on Krishna, Series on Buddha etc.

The Swadeshi painters rejected the western art forms, and by reviving the mythological and pre-colonial tales of India through art, they aimed at decolonizing India from the grasp of the British Raj.

Dancing The Rhythm For a Free India

Dancer Yog Sunder’s self-effacing dance productions made him very popular. During the pre-independence period, Yog was a regular participant in the nationalist movements. He produced and directed many well reputed dance productions. Collaborating and partnering with other dancers and actresses, he started the Indian Progressive Ballet Group in Calcutta in 1947. The Group had everyone in awe with the production of their well reputed programmes. Prominent among them are Birth of Freedom, Freedom Festival, Mahabharata, Voice from Beyond, Dances of India, Rhythms of India, Kiratarjun, Chandalika, Call of the Country, Rhythms and Melody, Ramlila, The Lore of India, etc.

Y.G. Srimati was not only a dancer, but along with that, a musician and a painter. She was born in the year 1926, and from a young age, she had started her classical training in music, dance and paintings. Post 1847, Srimati was invited to a number of independence rallies where she sang devotional songs. She had also sung bhajans next to Gandhi at many of his rallies. This she did in different languages to highlight the cultural and patriotic unity amongst the citizens of India, a value that Mahatma Gandhi deeply preached. Her paintings are a result of the influence of the heated independence struggle. She had explored major themes surrounding Indian religious epic literature and rural culture as a conscious expression of nationalist sentiments. Her paintings were also displayed at the MET.

Art and its expressions played a huge role in pushing the patriotic sentiments during India’s freedom struggle. The pre-independent Indian painters, musicians, and dancers added more density to the movement, and were equal participants in the fight against the colonial rule.

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Vistas of Bharat : Indian Culture

The Unsung Heroes Of India’s Independence Movement

The celebration of India’s 75th independence is incomplete without remembering the unsung heroes and their unaccounted contribution

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Freedom Fight

India is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate its 75 years of Independence and growth. There were freedom fighters from every nook and corner of the country who fought the colonial forces with their every breath. Lives were taken and lives were given for the freedom of this land. History has recorded this valiant two decade long fight for independence. However, not every name and every life could be written down. India’s freedom struggle is incomplete without remembering every person who led and participated for India’s swaraj and freedom. Through the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the government has tried to bring the names of the unsung heroes into view, so they could be celebrated for their patriotism, courage and determination. Here’s a small list of the lesser known freedom fighters, in other words, our unsung heroes, and their contribution to India’s independence. 

The Power of Journalists

Mohammad Ali was a journalist. He launched his famous weekly The Comrade, in English, which gained quick circulation and influence. The Comrade criticised the plight of Muslims globally and in India at the hands of the British. Vishnushastri Krushnashastri Chiplunkar was another unsung hero, a Marathi writer. He was the editor of many periodicals, out of which the most influential was Nibandhmala. Keeping Marathi literature in the loop, he produced and wrote several writings which were politically loud to address various social injustices. Freedom fighter T. Prakasham was born in 1872, in the Guntur district of present-day Andhra Pradesh. He released a newspaper titled, ‘Swarajya’ in three languages- English, Tamil and Telugu. The newspaper was his platform to express his ground level politics. Hasrat Mohani’s name has primarily stayed out of India’s freedom fighters consciousness, even though he fought with his whole demeanour and heart. He coined one of the most popular revolutionary slogans, ‘Inqilab Zindabad!’ Bhagat Singh and his comrades spread the use of this slogan. He started a literary-politic journal named, ‘Urdu-i Mualla. Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi was a young political activist who left his studies to participate in national movements. He formed the All-India Jamhur Muslim League to counter Jinnah’s All-India Muslim League, as he was strongly opposed against the two-nation proposal. Sir Subbier Subramania Iyer was an Indian lawyer, jurist and journalist who, along with Annie Besant, founded the Home Rule Movement. He also started a press called the ‘National Press’ and issued a weekly journal called the ‘Hindu.’ Subramania is the founder and the first editor of the Hindu newspaper. Most of his written works and journals focused on social and educational reforms. Kasturi Ranga Iyenagar too contributed towards ‘The Hindu’, because he was a staunch believer in free speech. He became its editor in 1905. He guided the newspaper, and under his watch, the newspaper became a powerful tool for the national cause. Iyenagar didn’t have any previous experience of being a journalist, and yet, he did a perfect job! Sisir Kumar Ghosh is a well known Bengali journalist and an avid freedom fighter. He, along with Motilal Ghosh, founded the one of the oldest newspapers of India, the Amrita Bazar Patrika, a Bengali language newspaper, which developed into an English format in cities of Calcutta, Allahabad, etc. Vladimir Lenin described it as “The best nationalist paper in India”. The newspaper got instant popularity because it covered real and raw coverage of the injustices of the British Raj. K. Ramakrishna Pillai was a nationalist writer and journalist. He was the editor of ‘Swadeshabhimani,’ (The Patriot). The newspaper became an unstoppable tool against the British raj and led to a massive social transformation. The paper attacked the Diwan of Travancore (present day Kerala) of ‘corruption and immorality’ and criticised the age-old customs and malpractices. He appealed to the people to unite and demand self-government. All of this led to the confiscation of Swadeshabhimani and his exile from Kerala in 1910.

Finding Strength and Voice in Literature

Bharatendu Harishchandra was an Indian poet, writer and a playwright. His words were best known for their commentary on the British raj. His story Andher Nagari (A city of darkness) had the lines, “Andher Nagari, Chaupat Raja, taka ser bhaaji, take ser khaja”, (A dark city, a failing king, a penny for sweets and a penny for onion rings). These lines were an allegory and pointed out a city falling into darkness due to the lack of sound administration, a direct condemnation of The British Raj and its destructive ignorant rules. Fakir Mohan Senapati, along with a writer, was also a social reformer. One of his prominent novels highlighting the Indian freedom Struggle is the ‘Chhaman Atha Guntha’ (Six Bighas of the Land). It is the first Indian novel to deal with the exploitation of landless peasants by a feudal Lord in British India. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was a Bengali novelist and a short story writer. His writings vividly portrayed the social struggles and tragedy prevailing in Bengal, more specifically in Bengali villages. His 1926 novel, Pather Dabi, is about a secret society named Pather Dabi, whose goal is to free India from British rule. Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay was a dedicated freedom fighter. He dropped out of his college to join the non-cooperation movement. His writing skills allowed him to express his rage more coherently and to a large audience. The themes of his writings revolved around communal riots, war, famine, economic inequalities, the independence movement, social conditions, etc. Known by his pen name, Parshad, Shyamlal Gupta etched his name onto the land of India with his song, Azadi Ki Raah Par, (sung by Sarojini Naidu). Azadi Ki Raah Par is the flag song of India and is sung every year when India’s flag is hoisted at the Independence and Republic Day celebrations.

Makhanlal Chaturvedi was one of the lesser known freedom fighters. Chaturvedi didn’t hesitate to write against the hypocrisy of the colonial masters and spread the ideas and values for an exploitation-free, happy and peaceful India. Few of his stories like ‘Him Kirtini’, ‘Him Tarangini’, ‘Kaisa Chhand Banaa Deti hei’, ‘Amar Rashtra’ and ‘Pushp ki Abhilaasa’ empathised with the life of a common man and his struggles at the hands of the Britishers. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was recognised as the first woman satyagrahi of the country. She penned the most recited poems of Hindi literature—Jhansi Ki Rani. (“Khoob ladi mardaani voh toh Jhansi wali Rani thi.”) Moreover, her poems voiced the poor plight of the Indian women and the evils of the caste system. Ramesh Chandra Jha is the pride of Bihar. At a young age, he became well acquainted with the freedom struggle. He organised a student protest at school, which gave him a tag of ‘criminal minded boy.’ He was suspended for organising it. As a poet, novelist, and a journalist, Ramesh Chandra covered stories of both people’s struggles, along with their dreams and hopes. Some of his published patriotic works are ‘Bharat Desh Humara,’ ‘Jai Bharat Jai Gandhi, Jai Bolo Hindustan Ki,’ ‘Jawaan Jagte Raho,’ ‘Chalo-Dilli’ and ‘Priyamvada.’

Radhanath Ray is hailed as the Father of Odia Modernism. Initially, he wrote in both Bengali and Odia. However, later, he shifted to Odia completely. One of his notable songs during the heated nationalist movement was the song “Sarbesang No Janani,” which was filled with patriotic sentiments. Radhanath Ray sparked an impetus for the Odia language in the face of Bengali language which was being actively advocated by the Britishers. Bhai Vir Singh is the father of modern Punjabi Literature who brought the Sikh history to the front lines. For his pioneering work for the Sikh community, he was granted the title of ‘Bhai,’ and the ‘creator’ of Modern Punjabi literature. During the ongoing freedom struggle, Bhai Vir Singh brought the stories and struggles of the Sikh Village folk to light. He wrote poems on freedom and patriotism. Shabbir Hassan Khan Josh Mahilabadi was one of the lesser known freedom fighters, an unsung hero. Some of his poems were ‘In the name of the sons of the East India Company,’ ‘Revolt,’ ‘The Broken Walls of the Jail’, ‘Dreams of Defeated Prisoner’ etc. which attacked Britishers and their atrocities. Garimella Satyanarayana was another unsung hero who used his words to mobilize the people of Andhra to take part in the freedom struggle of India. One of his most famous songs was, “Maakodi Tella Doratanam” (We don’t need this White rule).” Influenced by Gandhi, like many others, K.S. Venkatramani too used literature to portray his ideals. He wrote two important novels–Murugan, The Tiller (1927) and Kundan, The Patriot (1934). In Murugan, Venkatramani recognizes the sacrifices of village people in their struggle for freedom. Whereas the novel Kundan dealt with the economic impact of Gandhism. Subramanya Bharati wrote songs on nationalism and freedom, which inspired and fuelled the Tamil youth to go against the Britishers. Govardhanram Tripathi was an Indian Gujarati language novelist. One of his most celebrated works is his novel, ‘Saraswatichandra’ which he wrote between 1887 and 1901, in four volumes. The novel gives a vivid sight of the effects on the state of Gujarat as the British rose and practised their selfish rules on the people. Kazi Nazrul Islam had initially trained in the military to fight off the colonisers. However, later he settled into literary work. His works sharply and unapologetically criticised the wrongs of the British Raj. His criticism labelled him as a ‘rebel poet’, which also got him jailed.

These freedom fighters were the unsung heroes, the lesser known revolutionaries, writers and journalists who haven’t been spotlighted in the history of the freedom struggle despite their unparalleled contribution and dedication to their country. The British Raj eventually crumpled by each and every force extended by the people of the country. While celebrating the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the 75th year of independence, make sure to utter the names of the unsung heroes as well!

To read more about them, visit Vistas of Bharat!

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Vistas of Bharat : Indian Culture

The Ones Who Led The Way: Freedom Fighters Of India

Ahead of India’s 75th Independence, here’s remembering our freedom fighters stood at the front lines valiantly.

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Independence Day

The struggle for India’s independence was a two decades long fight. The colonial powers had gripped the land ruthlessly and strongly. Unity was India’s strongest force against the Britishers. Even though it didn’t succeed at the first trials, it eventually was the only tool which could drive the British raj out of the country. An important role who played in uniting and mobilising the crowd against the parasites were the leaders of this struggle. They took the lead, fiercely and courageously.

Leaders express an unwavering grit and determination, which makes the team members hopeful and gives them strength. It isn’t to be believed that leaders do not fear or do not break. They do, but they know how to stay collected and move ahead, regardless. This is what our the leaders of the freedom struggle also did. They organised, mobilised, and agitated relentlessly against the colonial forces. The fire inside them sparked the same in a hundred others. India is about to celebrate its 75th year of Independence, and in this light, let’s celebrate the vigour of these valiant freedom fighters of India who gave direction to the freedom struggle in multiple different ways.

Leading The Way With Literature And Words

Rabindranath Tagore was a valuable force of inspiration during the freedom struggle of India. Through his songs and poetries, he mobilised strong crowds against the colonial forces. Some of his self-composed songs, like ‘Ekla Chalo Re’ and ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata,’ sparked unity and nationalism amidst the freedom fighters. Similarly, Muhammad Iqbal produced the patriotic song, ‘Saare Jaha Se Acha,’ which was released in 1904, and since then it has been sung amongst children to instill in them respect for their land.

‘Vande Mataram,’ comes to mind instantly as we think about Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. However, many of his accomplished works also include, ‘Devi Chaudharani,’ a novel whose protagonist was a leader and a female. She inspired women to take up the cause of independence. His other novel, Anandamath, also featured a strong woman character. Amongst other writers were Mulk Raj Anand and Raja Rao. Mulk Raj Anand used literature to spread and advocate Gandhian ideologies. Most of his works critiqued the social realities of the British in India. Raja Rao’s ‘Kanthapura,’ narrates the rise of the Gandhian National Movement in a small village in South India. The villagers organise passive resistance against the Britishers, cementing Gandhi’s leadership in the struggle. 

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the social reformist freedom fighters of India. His social reformations purified many of the evils lurking in Indian society. He introduced the concept of modernization to fight both the evils of superstitions in India and the social evils of the Britishers. He campaigned strongly against the caste system, untouchability, and child marriage and advocated for women’s literacy.

It goes without saying that Munshi Premchand’s short stories reflected unapologetic, patriotic fervours. Most of his written works creatively revolved around the themes of non-cooperation, civil disobedience, swadeshi, hindu-muslim unity, satyagraha and the eradication of untouchability. He tried to present these stories from the perspectives of the oppressed and marginalised.

Sarojini Naidu was a poet and a politician. Famously regarded as the ‘Nightingale of India,’ she wrote a number of lyrical poems around themes of children, nature, patriotic sentiments and love and death. Included in this list is also Maithili Sharan Gupt. He is the pioneer of writing poetries in ‘khadhi boli’ (plain dialect). Many of his composed songs have been crowned as ‘the national song.’ It is believed that he was even given the status of the national poet by Mahatma Gandhi.

Ashfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil were passionate revolutionaries who wanted to free the country of colonial rule as soon as possible. Ram Prasad wrote compelling patriotic poetries in Hindi and Urdu under three different pen names: Bismil, Ram, Agyat. Ashfaqullah too wrote poems in Urdu under two pen names, Hasrat and Warsi. It is believed that the Britishers were forced to keep Bismil and Ashfaq in cells far away from each other because they’d sing “Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai, dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-katil mein hai” and hearing each other’s voices they’d laugh triumphantly in the face of the Britishers.

Veer Savarkar was the pioneer of hindutva ideologue, to promote the idea of Hinduism as a political and cultural identity against the fight with the Britishers. These ideas were presented in his written pamphlet, “Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?” He also wrote “First War of Independence ” in which he described the 1857 revolt as the first Indian ‘uprising’ against British rule. Working on similar thoughts was Madan Mohan Malaviya, who founded the Banaras Hindu University. This university was a movement towards Indian culture when people believed that only the adoption of western values could provide them a better life. BHU aimed at reviving the Bharatiya culture along with providing the best modern education to its students. One of Malaviya’s other greatest achievements was the introduction of Devanagari in the British-Indian courts.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s words, “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it” still resonate with us as it did with the Freedom Fighters then. Gangadhar fiercely fought against the unfairness the Indian students were subjected to at school and in education as compared to their British peers. This belief of his is vividly present in his magnum opus, “Secret of the Bhagavadgita.” Sri Aurobindo’s lines, “there are some who fear to use the word ‘freedom’ but I have always used the word because it has been the Mantra of my life to aspire towards the freedom of my nation” scared the Britishers since it was the first time someone was using the word ‘Independence,’ instead of ‘Swaraj.’ Rabindranath Tagore even painted Sri Aurobindo “Messiah of Indian Culture and Civilisation.”

Harivansh Rai Bacchan is the greatest Hindi poets of the country. During the freedom struggle of India, he, along with Mahadevi Verma, Suryakath Nirala, started the tradition of ‘Kavi Manch’. Kavi Manch was a way to motivate and mobilise people to participate in the protests. Poets from all over the country would recite their patriotic poems to infuse nationalism in the gathered crowd. Ramdhari Singh Dinkar was born in the midst of this heated nationalist movement unfurling in India. The freedom struggle of his country became the source of his penned words. One of his poems, “Sinhasan Khali Karo ki Janta Aati Hai” is a call for the youths of India to participate for the independence of their country.

The Palette Of Colours Splashed Against The Colonial Forces

Abanindranath Tagore contributed extensively to the freedom struggle of India. He established the Bengal school of art to counter the English influence on Indian artists. Most righteously called the Father of Modern India art, he gave a strong impetus to the artists of India to reclaim Indian art and its culture, thereby reclaiming a patriotic stance in art and culture which was otherwise being undermined by the western art.

Jamini Roy reclaimed Indian art and worked to bring the traditional and folk art of India into light. He ditched his western training of the arts to go back to his Indian roots. Amidst this wave of Modern Art was also an important woman, Amrita Shergill, who spotlighted the women’s experiences and sufferings during the colonial India of the 1930s through her canvas and paintbrush. Her paintings gave voice to their sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness. K.C.S. Paniker gave rise to the Madras Art Movement. As the administrative head of the Madras School of Arts and Crafts, he gave much needed attention, freedom and ambience to all aspiring artists, so that they grow and flourish. Inspired by Jamini Roy, Paniker too, found the inspiration for his art in his regional confines. 

These were the freedom fighters who helped to sow a strong, unbreakable and deep love and patriotic fervour for the country, insisting on people to protect their land and their culture. India’s independence was a collective dream, and collectively it was won. However, the freedom fighters we discussed helped to lay down the paths on which many followed.

 To read more about our freedom fighters, visit Vistas of Bharat!

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Editor's Pick

Kanhu Charan Mohanty: Celebrating Novelist and His Astonishing Novels

Remembering Kanhu Charan Mohanty, prominent twentieth century writer and his rousing impact on Odia Literaute.

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Kanhu Charan Mohanty

Kanhu Charan Mohanty is one of the most prominent Odia writers of the early twentieth century. His work serves a lasting impact for generations to come. Writing on major predicaments, his words hold great gravity as a medium representing masses who were unheard. Being an upper caste, his work highly portrayed the marginalised and raised questions about increasing inequality and differences in society. Born on 11th August 1906 in Nagabali village of Cuttack and proceeding to publish his first novel Utshabe  Bysane 1923-24, he was set to bring a major change and direct the course of Odia Literature. In Mohanty’s literary career of six decades from 1930 to 1985, he wrote fifty-six novels.

Mohanty for decades produced his literary work as a set of awakening calls for society. Carrying a progressive and critical stance aiming for representation and equality for all. Dealing and shedding light on subjects that were need of the hour, in the early twentieth century. Distancing from the majority and focusing more on the lines of the minority. His novels depicted social realism, caste and economic exploitation, and the plight of those in dire need. Bhala Paibara Sesha Katha and Tunda Baida published in 1944 . The former depicts untouchability and the latter deals with patriarchy-provoked marriage between a widow and her brother-in-law. 

 His novels were the voice of those who were unheard and overpowered by more working dominant forces in society. His novels conveyed the issues and confinements that women faced and the need for emancipation from prolonged breeding issues in society. Kaa (Impersonation, 1956) raises awareness about female infertility and maternal death. Nishpatti 1930 is considered one of the first novels to show marital relations between a child and widow.  Incorporating actual geographical locations specifically Coastal Odisha in his novels was a significant element in his writing. Apart from that, his illustration is composed of longing for a Utopian world while representing human life in the near future. 

Shasti considers ‘one of the best progressive writing in Oriya’ and ‘one of the earliest novels to use psychoanalysis to reveal different moods and emotions of his character.’ A novel of deprivation,  Haa Anna 1935 based on the Odisha famine of 1866 and Shasti elaborates further on the aftermath during the years 1866 and 1870. His works are on a great pedestal, Kaa was republished by the Government of Odhisa to generate awareness amongst youth. 

Mohanty’s novels have been turned into film adaptations such as Abhinetri 1965 ( The Actress), Tunda Baida 1987, and Kaa 1965 which was awarded the Certificate of Merit for the Best Feature Film in Odia at the 14th National Film Awards. 

Mohanty has been awarded several awards for his literary work. Sahitya Akademi in 1958, He was selected as its fellow in 1958, Sahitya Akademi Fellowship serving as the highest honour by the Akademi but the honour could not be conferred as he passed away on 6th April 1994.

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Editor's Pick

Reliving the 70s with Kishore Kumar’s voice on his Birth Anniversary

Kishore Kumar, the multitalented artist who still rules Bollywood with his stupefying voice and evergreen songs

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Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar, the multitalented Indian legend with a dynamic voice, who gave Bollywood some of the most iconic songs and movies, would have been 93 today. He might not be with us anymore but his songs have kept him alive in the hearts of the millenials and the youth who discover him.  The versatile Bollywood artist was a successful lyricist, composer, actor, singer, screenplay writer and scriptwriter.  His songs have a way of revealing all the concealed emotions.

Kishore Da is still one of the few people to have crushed the vanity of the phrase “generation gap.” Some of his songs that still make us groove are “Khaike Paan Banaraswala” “Pal Pal Dil Ke Pas” “Ek Ladki Bhaeegi Bhaagi Si” “Ye Shaam Mastani” “Roop Tera Mastana” and many more. His voice expressed compassion without losing his masculinity.

Kumar was famous for his eccentricities which included driving off to Mussoorie after seeing masoor dal on the street side and putting up a signboard saying ‘Beware of Kishore’ on the door of his Warden Road flat.

Early Life and Career

Abhas Kumar Ganguly was born in a simple family in Khandwa, Central Province, Madhya Pradesh. He changed his name to “Kishore Kumar” and started his career singing in Bombay Talkies. Kumar’s career gradually escalated when he was offered to sing “Marne ki Duaye Kyon Mangu” for the film Ziddi (1948) by music director Khemchand Prakash. In the 1950s, he was at his wildest, travelling between studios and working numerous shifts as a part-comedian, part-hero in movies that would be successful at the box office but were largely overlooked by reviewers as being of little importance. Kishore Kumar eventually tasted success and fame in the 1970s after battling for two years. 

Step into Filmmaking

Additionally, he experimented with filmmaking and produces some of the most intriguing movies in hindi cinema. He paid homage to his debut Hindi film “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958) with the sequel “Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi” (1974). The 1960s reversed the tables when his movies started failing and the comic inside him was no longer saleable. The only option left was to return to his first love — singing. His career was relaunched when he became the voice of Guide (1965) and from Teen Deviyan (1965), he was back on track. And in 1969, Aradhana happened which became the most iconic work of his life. The elusive hit “ Mere Sapno ki Rani” became the early 1970s bike-riding anthem.

After major hits like Aradhana (1969), Do Raaste (1969), Khamoshi (1969), Safar (1970), Kati Patang (1970), Amar Prem (1971), Haathi mere Saathi (1971), Dushman (1971), Apna Desh (1972) he was coined as “superstar.” 

Kishore Kumar was undoubtedly an Indian phenomenon who enchanted the audiences with his bewitching voice and wonderful lyrics. His comedy has always made us fall about the place. He was a Bollywood icon who will always be remembered and adored by us. 

Credits: YouTube (Bollywood Classics)
Credits: YouTube (YRF)

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