Subhadra Kumari Chauhan
|Born||16 August 1904|
Allahabad, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
|Died||15 February 1948 (aged 43)|
Seoni, Central Provinces and Berar, India
|Spouse||Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan|
She was born in Rajput family of Nihalpur village in Prayagraj District, Uttar Pradesh. She initially studied in the Crosthwaite Girls' School in Prayagraj and passed the middle-school examination in 1919. She married Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan of Khandwa in 1919 when she was sixteen with whom she had five children. After her marriage with Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan of Khandwa in the same year, she moved to Jubbulpore (now Jabalpur), CP.
In 1941, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan and her husband joined Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Movement. She was the first woman Satyagrahi to court arrest in Nagpur and was jailed twice for her involvement in protests against the British rule in 1923 and 1942.
She was a member of the legislative assembly of the state (erstwhile Central Provinces). She died in 1948 in a car accident near Seoni M.P. on her way back to Jabalpur from Nagpur, the then capital of CP, where she had gone to attend the assembly session.
Chauhan authored a number of popular works in Hindi poetry. Her most famous composition is Jhansi Ki Rani, an emotionally charged poem describing the life of Rani Lakshmi Bai. The poem is one of the most recited and sung poems in Hindi literature. An emotionally charged description of the life of the queen of Jhansi(British India) and her participation in the 1857 revolution, it is often taught in schools in India. A couplet repeated at the end of each stanza reads thus:
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।
This and her other poems, Jallianwala Bagh mein Vasant, Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant, Rakhi Ki Chunauti, and Vida, openly talk about the freedom movement. They are said to have inspired great numbers of Indian youth to participate in the Indian Freedom Movement. Here is the opening stanza of Jhansi ki Rani:
sinhasan hil uthe, rajavanshon ne bhrikuti tani thi,
boodhhe bharat mein bhi aayi, phir se nayi jawaani thi,
gumi hui azadI ki keemat sab ne pahachani thi,
door firangi ko karne ki sab ne mann mein thani thi.
chamak uthi san sattawan mein, woh talwaar puraani thi,
bundele harbolon ke munh ham ne sunI kahani thi,
khoob ladi mardani woh to jhansI wali rani thi.
Roman transliteration using ITRANS
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
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan wrote in the Khariboli dialect of Hindi, in a simple, clear style. Apart from heroic poems, she also wrote poems for children. She wrote some short stories based on the life of the middle class.
The ICGS Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, an Indian Coast Guard ship, was named for the poet. The government of Madhya Pradesh placed a statue of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan before the Municipal Corporation office of Jabalpur.
On 16 August 2021, search engine Google commemorated Subhadra Kumari with a Doodle on her 117th birth anniversary. Google commented: "Chauhan’s poetry remains a staple in many Indian classrooms as a symbol of historical progress, encouraging future generations to stand up against social injustice and celebrate the words that shaped a nation’s history".
These anthologies consist some of the well-known poems like "Jhansi ki Raani", "Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant" and "Yeh Kadamb Ka Ped".
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