September 9, 1850|
|Died||January 6, 1885
|Occupation||Novelist, Poet, Playwright|
Bharatendu Harishchandra (September 9, 1850 – January 6, 1885) is known as the father of modern Hindi literature as well as Hindi theatre. He is considered one of the greatest Hindi writers of modern India. A recognized poet, he was also a trend setter in Hindi prose-writing. As an author of several dramas, life sketches and travel accounts, Bharatendu Harishchandra represents the agonies of the people, country's poverty, dependency, inhuman exploitation, the unrest of the middle class and the urge for the progress of the country. He wrote under the pen name "Rasa".
Born in Banaras, Bharatendu Harishchandra's father Gopal Chandra was a poet. He wrote poems under the pseudonym Girdhar Das. Bharatendu's parents died when he was still young but they seem to have had an influence on him. Acharya Ramchandra Shukla has described how Bharatendu went to the Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa with his family in 1865, when he was merely fifteen years of age. It was during this trip that he was influenced by the Bengal Renaissance and decided to bring the genres of social, historical, and Puranic plays and novels into Hindi. This influence reflected in his Hindi translation of the Bengali drama Vidyasundar, just three years later, in 1868.
Bharatendu devoted his life to the development of Hindi literature. In recognition of his services as a writer, patron and modernizer, the title of "Bharatendu" was conferred on him at a public meeting by scholars of Kashi in 1880. Reputed literary critic Ramvilas Sharma refers to the "great literary awakening ushered in under Bharatendu's leadership" as the "second storey of the edifice of renascent Hindi," the first being the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Bharatendu Harishchandra was multi-faceted. He made major contributions in the field of journalism, drama, and poetry. He edited the magazines Kavi Vachan Sudha in 1868,In 1873 Harishchandra Magazine , Harishchandra Patrika and Bal Vodhini. He was a member of the Chowdhury family of Varanasi belonging to the Agrawal community and his home there is still in use. His ancestors were landlords in Bengal. He had one daughter. He wrote the widely mentioned history of the Agrawal community.
His great granddaughter Pratibha Agarwal, (b. 1930), a Hindi writer, co-founded theatre group Anamika in Kolkata in 1955, with theatre director Shyamanand Jalan, which played a pioneering role in the revival of Hindi theatre and later remained director of Natya Sodha Sansthan.
Major works in 
Bharatendu Harishchandra entered in theatre activity as an actor and soon become director, manager, and playwright. He used theatre as a tool to aware Indian society. his major plays are-
1-Vaidiki himsa hitnsa na bhavati, 1873 ( वैदिक हिंसा हिसा न भवति )
2-Bharat durdasha, 1875 (भारत दुर्दशा)
3-The mythological classic Satya Harishchandra i.e. `Truthful Harishchandra` in 1876
4-Neel devi, 1881 (नीलदेवी)
5-The political Andher nagari i.e. City of Darkness in 1881 (अंधेर नगरी ) -One of the most popular plays of modern Hindi drama. Translated and performed in many Indian languages by prominent Indian directors like B. V. Karanth, Prasanna, Arvind Gaur and Sanjay Upadyaye.Andher nagari is a powerful political satire with universal appeal.
Bhagat sarvagya ( भक्तसर्वस्व), Prem malika ( प्रेममालिका,रचनाकाल १८७१), Prem Maduri (प्रेम माधुरी, १८७५), Prem Tarang (प्रेम-तरंग,१८७७), Prem Pralap (प्रेम-प्रलाप`) (१८७७),Prem fuhalwari (प्रेम फुलवारी,१८८३)and Prem Srowar, Holi(होली)(१८७९), Madu Mukul ( मधुमुकुल) (१८८१), Raag Sangraah ( राग-संग्रह,१८८०), Varsha Vinod ( वर्षा-1950 5455विनोद,१८८०), Vinya Prem Pachassa (विनय प्रेम पचासा,१८८१), Pholo ka Guchha (फूलों का गुच्छा,१८८२), Chandravali in 1876, and Krishan Charitra(कृष्णचरित्र,१८८३), Utrarat Bhagat Mal ( उत्तरार्द्ध भक्तमाल,१८७६-७७)।
Harsha's Ratnavali, Visakhadattas Mudra-Rakshasa (मुद्राराक्षस), Vidya-Sundar (विद्यासुन्दर), from Bengali, Karpoor manjari (कपूरमंजरी)from Prakrat and Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice as Durlabh bandhu i.e. Invaluable Friend, incomplete.
Bharatendu Grnthaaolly (साहित्य हरिश्चंद्र ),1885
The following two rhyming couplets are taken from his famous poem, मातृ-भाषा के प्रति (For the Sake of Mother-Tongue or Towards Mother-Tongue). The poem has ten couplets in total. The poet asserts the importance of using mother tongue as a medium of instruction – conversational and educational.
निज भाषा उन्नति अहै, सब उन्नति को मूल ।
बिन निज भाषा-ज्ञान के, मिटत न हिय को सूल ।। विविध कला शिक्षा अमित, ज्ञान अनेक प्रकार।
सब देसन से लै करहू, भाषा माहि प्रचार ।। Translation:
Progress is made in one's own language (the mother tongue), as it the foundation of all progress.
Without the knowledge of the mother tongue, there is no cure for the pain of heart. Many arts and education infinite, knowledge of various kinds.
Should be taken from all countries, but propagated in one mother tongue.
Play on Bharatendu Harishchandra 
Kannada writer and director Prasanna wrote & directed a play Seema Paar on Bharatendu for National School of Drama rep as tribute to Kashi and one of its greatest dramatists, Bharatendu Harishchandra and inevitably thus an involvement with death. For nowhere else is the end of life as palpable as on the Ghats of Kashi and few other lives as closely bound up with death as that of Bharatendu, the father of modern Hindi drama. The lilting dialects of Eastern Uttar Pradesh employed by players of Bharatendu’s theatre company and the typical patois of Kashi spoken by its denizens enliven the play
- Dimitrova, p. 14
- Hansen, p. 78
- Vasudha Dalmia, Poetics, Plays and Performances: The Politics of Modern Indian Theatre, New Delhi, Oxford University Press (2006) ISBN 0-19-567473-1
- Ramchandra Shukla, Hindi Sahitya ka Itihaas (History of Hindi Literature)', 1928.
- Awadesh Pradhan, The Spiritual and Cultural Ethos of Modern Hindi Literature, Prabuddha Bharata, July 2009.
- Dalmia, Vasudha (1997). The nationalization of Hindu traditions : Bharatendu Harischandra and nineteenth-century Banaras. Delhi; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-563961-8.
- "Bharatendu Harishchandra Awards Presented" (Press release). Indian Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. 2003-01-08.
- Asha Kasbekar (2006). Pop culture India!: media, arts, and lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. p. 73. ISBN 1-85109-636-1.
- Kartik Chandra Dutt (1999). Who's who of Indian Writers, 1999: A-M. Sahitya Akademi. p. 25. ISBN 81-260-0873-3.
10. ^ Find biography, poems, drama, and other writings of the Bhartendu Harishchandra.
- Diana Dimitrova (2004). Western tradition and naturalistic Hindi theatre. Peter Lang. ISBN 0-8204-6822-3.
- Sandria B. Freitag (1989). "Chapter 2: The Birth of Hindi Drama in Banaras: 1868-1885, by Kathryn Hansen". Culture and power in Banaras: community, performance, and environment, 1800-1980. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06367-8.
- Bharatendu Harishchandra at Kavita Kosh (Hindi)
- Plays of Bhartendu Harishchandra at Gadya Kosh (Online Encyclopedia of Hindi Literature)
- Poetry by Bharatendu
- Bhartendu Natya Academy