Maithili Sharan Gupt is an eminent modern Hindi poet more popular by the epithet of Rashtrakavi. He was born in Chirgaon, Jhansi on 3rd August, 1886. Since he disliked school his father Seth Ramcharan Gupta arranged for his studies at their home. As a child, he was taught Sanskrit, English and Bengali.
Initially Maithili Sharan Gupt wrote poems in magazines such as Saraswati. His first chief work to be published was Rang Mein Bhang in 1910. During the early years of his career he wrote under the guidance of Pundit Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi. Most of his poems are inspired by the various Indian mythologies Ramayana, Mahabharata, Buddhist stories and also the lives of various well-known religious leaders.
His major poetical works are: Rang mein Bhang, Bharat-Bharati, Jayadrath Vadh, Vikat Bhat, Plassey ka Yuddha, Gurukul, Kisan, Panchavati, Siddharaj, Saket, Yashodhara, Arjan-Visarjan, Kaaba-Karbala, Jayabharat, Dwapar, Jahush, Vaitalik, Kunal. His Bharat Bharati published in 1912, is a nationalist poem, which glorifies the history, culture and tradition of India. The poem was very popular among the freedom fighters of India. The epic Saket is considered to be his most famous work which is based on the life of Urmila, a character from Ramayana.
Maithili Sharan Gupt translated important works like Rubaiyats of Omar Khayyám and Swapnavaasavdatta (a Sanskrit play) into Hindi. He even wrote dramas like Tilottama, and Chandrahaas. His most extraordinary contribution to the Hindi literature was that he laid the basis of modern Hindi language- Khari Boli. He paved the way for the growth and development of modern Hindi poetry.
Maithili Sharan Gupt was a great patriot and nationalist and actively participated in the National Freedom Movement with deep faith and devotion. After independence when India became a Republic, he was made an honorary member of the Rajya Sabha and was a member till his death. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1954. On 12th December, 1964, Hindi literature lost one of its greatest writer.
Get to know about some more Indian Writers and Poets :
Mulk Raj Anand
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee