Subhadra Kumari Chauhan had a special place among the great poets of Hindi literature. She has been decorated with the National Poetess. She, through her poems, encouraged the country’s people to fight in the freedom fight revolution. In her poetry, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan raised her voice against gender, caste, and religion.
Her most famous poem is “Jhansi ki Rani” (about the courageous Queen of Jhansi).
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s Birth
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan took birth on August 16, 1904, in Nihalpur of Prayagraj (Allahabad) in the house of Thakur Ramnath Singh. Chauhan were four sisters and two brothers. Her father, Ramnath Singh, was a lover of education and her primary education happened in his presence.
Subhadra Kumari studied in Crosthwaite girl’s school and passed middle school in 1919. She started writing poems in childhood. Her first poem was written at the age of 9 years old. While at school, she was friends with and senior to Mahadevi Verma.
She was married to a writer, Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan of Khandwa, on February 20, 1919, at 16 years old. Their marriage happened in a simple manner, without any dowry. She had five children with her husband, Thakur Lakshman Singh Chauhan.
She moved to Jabalpur in the same year of her marriage with Thakur Lakshman Singh of Khandwa. Thakur Lakshman Singh was also a freedom fighter. He used to read the compositions of Maithili Sharan Gupt. He fully encouraged Subhadra Kumari Chauhan to write and become a writer.
Sometimes, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan and her husband rode the bicycle 14 kilometers to Bheda Ghaat. Her daughter, Sudha Chauhan, wrote her mother’s biography in ‘Mila Tej Se Tej.’
First Female Satyagraha
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, along with her husband, in 1921, joined Mahatama Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. She was the first female Satyagrahi. This was the time of the freedom struggle in India. In 1922, Jhanda Satyagraha was started in Jabalpur.
She was jailed twice for protests against British rule in 1923 and 1942. Subhadra Kumari Chauhan also worked for the expansion of Congress in the country.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s Works
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan wrote many famous works in Hindi Poetry. Her first poetry collection was ‘Bikhare Moti,’ in which there were 15 stories in total like Bhagnavesh, Holi, Papi Pet, Machali Rani, Parivartan, Drishtikon, Kadamb Ke Phool, Kismat, Machuae ki Beti, Ekadashi, Ahuti, Thati, Amrai, Anurodh, and Gramina.
Her second story collection Unmadini was published in 1934. In this story collection, Unmadini, Asamanjas, Abhiyukt, Sone ki Kanthi, Nari Hriday, Pavitra irshaya, Angooti Ki Khoj, Chada dimag, Veshya Ki Ladki total of nine stories were published. ‘Seedhe Saade Chitra’ was her third and last story collection.
It contains a total of 14 stories. Rupa, Kailashi Nani, Bialha, Kalyani, Do Saathi, Professor Mitra, Durachari, and Mangla- these 8 stories describe the problem regarding the position of women in society. The stories like Hingwala, Rahi, Tange Wala, and Gulab Singh are based on national subjects.
Jhansi Ki Rani’ is her most famous poem, describing the life of Rani Lakshmi Bai. Chauhan wrote in the Khariboli dialect of the Hindi language. Apart from heroic poetry, she also wrote stories for children. She wrote short stories inspired by middle-class families.
Most stories are based on women’s empowerment. She put her emotions and dreams on paper and lived those in her real life.
The main focus of Subhadra’s writing style was on the women who overcame hardships. When the independence movement was going on, she used her poems to inspire the people to join the freedom fighting movement.
She had published 88 poems and 46 short stories.
The following is a list of collections of poems.
- Mukul (1930)
- Yeh Kadamb Ka Ped
These anthologies contain some of the well-known poems like “Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant,” “Jhansi ki Raani” and “Yeh Kadamb Ka Ped.”
“Seedhe-Saade Chitra” (1946)
“Mera naya Bachpan” (1946)a
“Bikhare Moti” (1932)
“Jhansi ki Rani”
An Indian Coast Guard ship was named after the poet. The government of Madhya Pradesh has put a statute near the municipal council of Jabalpur. Indian posts, on August 6, 1976, released a postage stamp in her memory.
On her birthday, google made a doodle in which she is seen as writing something with the patriotic environment behind her. New Zealand artist Prabha Mallya prepared the doodle.
She has been awarded Sekhsaria Prize twice, one for her poetry collection Mukul and the second time for her story collection Bikhare Moti.
She was selected a member of the state’s legislative assembly in 1936 (before while Central Province). Her death was because of a car accident near Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, when she returned to Jabalpur from Nagpur on February 15, 1948.
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was not only a writer but also a freedom fighter. She tried to inspire the countrymen to join the freedom movement in her works. She was awarded many prizes during her life. Even now, her poems continue to inspire people in which she raises her voice against gender, caste discrimination, and racism.
FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
How did Subhadra Kumari Chauhan die?
She died in a car accident at Seoni, Madhya Pradesh, in 1948, on her way back to Jabalpur from Nagpur, the capital of the Central Provinces at the time, where she had gone to attend the assembly session.
What is the age of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan?
When she died, she was 43 years old. (1904–1948)