Remembering Sumitranandan Pant
Sumitranandan Pant (20 May 1900 – 28 December 1977), an Indian poet. He was considered as one of the most celebrated 20th century poets of Hindi Language. He was known for his progressive left-wing poems. His poems also had romanticism and were inspired by the beauty of nature and people.
Sumitranandan Pant was born on 20 May 1900 at Kausani village of Bhageshwar in the hills of Kumaon, Uttrakhand, as Gosain Dutt. He was born in a Brahmin family who were educated and economically middle-class. His father was a manager in a tea garden and was also a landholder. Unfortunately, his mother died within few hours of giving birth to him. He was raised by his grandmother and was the smallest of all his seven siblings. His birth name was Gosain Dutt, but he did not like this name and chose Sumitranandan Pant as his official name. He completed his early schooling from Almora and at the age of 18, he moved to Kashi with his brother and finished his matriculation there. Post matriculation, he went to Allahabad to pursue graduation from Allahabad University, but left it midway and joined the Satyagraha Movement to support Mahatma Gandhi. However, he continued his education by reading English, Sanskrit, and Bengali literature at home.
His career in poetry started as early as 1907, when he was just seven years old. Living amidst the natural beauty of the Himalayas, greatly influenced his poems. It is also believed that he was highly inspired by the poetry displaying Romanticism by Rabindranath Tagore, P B Shelley, William Wordsworth, and John Keats. In 1926, he published a poetry collection Pallav. Pallav brought him to the limelight of the Hindi renaissance poetry.
Awards and Recognitions
Pant won several honours and awards for his inspiring works. He received a Sahitya Academy Award for “Kala and Budha Chand“. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan Award in 1961, India’s second highest civilian award. He became the first Hindi poet to receive the Jnanpith Award in 1968 for his most famous Collection of poems “Chidambara“. He even received the Nehru Peace Prize by Soviet Union for “Lokayatan“.
Sumitranandan Pant biggest achievement is his inspirational poems that have the essence of timelessness to them. He has also written other kinds of literary works including drama poetry, song lyrics, and short stories, but none are more famous than his poetry. Jayati Jayati Vidya Sansthan, composed by him is used as the kulgeet in the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee.
Sumitranandan passed away in 1977. The house that he grew up in Kausani has been turned into a museum and displays original manuscripts, poems, photographs, letters, and his awards.
His poems have been translated in several languages, and he remains a very influential voice in the realms of Indian poetry.