The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India [1st ed.] 9780199489091

The Making of Modern Hindi examines the politics and processes of making Hindi modern at a formative moment in India

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The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India [1st ed.]

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The Making of Modern Hindi

The Making of Modern Hindi Literary Authority in Colonial North India

Sujata S. Mody


1 Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries. Published in India by Oxford University Press 2/11 Ground Floor, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110 002, India © Oxford University Press 2018 The moral rights of the author have been asserted. First Edition published in 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. ISBN-13 (print edition): 978-0-19-948909-1 ISBN-10 (print edition): 0-19-948909-2 ISBN-13 (eBook): 978-0-19-909391-5 ISBN-10 (eBook): 0-19-909391-1

Typeset in Adobe Garamond Pro 11/13 by Tranistics Data Technologies, New Delhi 110 044 Printed in India by Rakmo Press, New Delhi 110 020


I.1 Sarasvatī cover page, February 1900 10 I.2 Sarasvatī cover page, January 1905 11 1.1 Visual representation of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (part 1) in Sarasvatī 25 1.2 Visual representation of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (part 2) in Sarasvatī 26 1.3 Visual representation of ‘Hindī–Urdū’ in Sarasvatī 30 1.4 Visual representation of ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ in Sarasvatī 32 1.5 Visual representation of ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ in Sarasvatī 35 1.6 Visual representation of ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ in Sarasvatī 37 1.7 Visual representation of ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ in Sarasvatī 38 1.8 ‘Sarasvatī’ by Ravi Varma 39 1.9 Visual representation of ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ in Sarasvatī 41 1.10 Visual representation of ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ in Sarasvatī 43 1.11 Visual representation of ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ in Sarasvatī 46 1.12 Visual representation of ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ in Sarasvatī 48 1.13 Visual representation of ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ in Sarasvatī 50



1.14 Visual representation of ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ in Sarasvatī 52 1.15 Visual representation of ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ in Sarasvatī 55 1.16 Visual representation of ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ in Sarasvatī 56 1.17 Visual representation of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ in Sarasvatī 63 3.1 Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan by Ravi Varma 137 3.2 Rambhā by Ravi Varma 152 3.3 Kumudsundarī by Ravi Varma 156 3.4 Rāmchandrajī kā Gangāvataran by M. V. Dhurandhar 162 3.5 Abhimanyu aur Uttarā by Vamapad Bandhopadhyay 163 3.6 Bhīshma-pratigyā by Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury 165

Note on Transliteration

For the sake of readability, I have chosen to use a modified system for the transliteration of Hindi words into English. Diacritics are given only to distinguish vowel length. Thus, long vowels are marked by diacritics (ā, ī, ū) so that they may be distinguished from their corresponding short vowels (for example, sāhitya). No diacritics are given for proper nouns such as names of individuals, deities, languages, locations, or institutions, except when they appear in a book or article title or are part of quoted material. All translations from Hindi are my own unless otherwise indicated.


My sincere thanks go to all the individuals and institutions that have given me guidance and support in the making of this book. It has been a long journey, but I have not been alone at any point along the way. I am most indebted to my former professor and advisor, Vasudha Dalmia, for introducing me to the intricacies and pleasures of reading Hindi literature when I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley). I am grateful that her thoughtful criticism, guidance, and support of my work continued long after my graduate studies were completed. My sincere appreciation goes to other professors, mentors, and guides whose scholarship and intellectual engagement with various aspects of my project over the years also helped shape its course, especially Raka Ray, Jyotirindra  Das Gupta, and Thomas Metcalf. I would also like to thank Francesca Orsini, Rupert Snell, Allison Busch, and Vinay Dharwadker for their timely suggestions and insights on my research and a draft of the manuscript. I am thankful to my guides in Hindi and Sanskrit at various stages in my student life: Arun Prakash and the late Douglas Mitchell at Rice University, Texas, Usha Jain and Sally Sutherland Goldman at UC Berkeley, and Achutya Nand Singh (aka Swamiji) and Vidhu Chaturvedi at the American Institute for Indian Studies, Hindi Language Program in Banaras. My deepest gratitude to Usha Jain for her unwavering support over the years, and for the gift of Hindi she so generously shared with me. Many friends and colleagues have provided me with intellectual and emotional support

xii Acknowledgements

as I moved this project towards completion. Special thanks to Anita Anantharam, Toral Gajarawala, Deana Heath, Shobna Nijhawan, Vasudha Paramasivan, and Sonia Sabnis—my Berkeley community. I am deeply appreciative of my friends and colleagues at North Carolina State University (NC State), without whose support I could not have completed this project. David Gilmartin and John Mertz, in particular, were generous with their time and offered constructive comments and suggestions on the entire manuscript. Others gave valuable feedback on portions of the manuscript and the publication process or provided friendship and words of encouragement during my toughest moments: Sandria Freitag, Shelley Garrigan, Elvira Vilches, Greg Dawes, Eika Tai, Patricia Morgado, Diana Arbaiza, Ora Gelley, Larysa Mykyta, Christine Everaert, and Nilakshi Phukan. I am especially thankful for the patient and unwavering support of the head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at NC State, Ruth Gross. I would also like to express my appreciation for the administrative staff in my home department whose efforts on my behalf facilitated my research: Debora Godfrey, Faye Walker, Valerie Batta, and April Whitaker. A special thank you to Sandria Freitag for encouraging me to think about visual aspects of literary production in Hindi, and for inviting me to co-organize a conference with her and Pamela Lothspeich in 2011 on ‘Visual Culture and Identity Narratives in the Making of Modern India’. My work on visually oriented literary narratives, discussed in Chapters 1 and 3 of this book, benefitted immensely from conversations that took place at this conference. I also thank the coalition of South Asia scholars in North Carolina from whom I received productive feedback via the Triangle South Asia Consortium and the North Carolina Consortium for South Asian Studies, which gave me opportunities to keep up with current research and to present my own work in draft form. The manuscript has also benefitted from conversations and presentations at the Annual Conference on South Asia (University of Wisconsin–Madison), the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, the Southeast Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, the Modern Language Association Annual Convention, the University of Pennsylvania South Asia Studies Colloquium Series, and a conference on literature and politics organized by the Program in South Asian Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey. I am



grateful to Rinita Banerjee, whose editorial assistance in the final phases of writing proved invaluable. I received institutional and financial support at various stages of this project, from its inception to completion, for which I am sincerely grateful. I would like to thank the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, the Graduate Division, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Institute for South Asia Studies, and the Center for South Asia Studies at UC Berkeley, where I received support for this project in its earliest stages; the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, which provided me with a fellowship and valuable language training in India; the North Carolina Consortium for South Asian Studies; and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, at NC State, which have backed my research and writing with much-needed summer stipends, funding for conference planning and travel, timely course reductions, and teaching leave. I would also like to thank all of the people who helped facilitate my archival research in India, in the United Kingdom, and in the United States of America. Mushtaq Ali, Satya Prakash Mishra, and the late Meera Shrivastav were all very forthcoming with their guidance as I navigated the archives in Allahabad, while Asha and Shunil Sircar and Alka Agarwal showed me kindness and hospitality. My thanks to the staff at the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Library, the Hindustani Academy Library, the library of the Department of Hindi at University of Allahabad; the SOAS Library at the University of London and India Office Library at the British Library in London; and the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. I owe a profound debt to the librarians at the South and Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley’s Doe Memorial Library, especially Suzanne McMahon and Rebecca Darby, who facilitated my earliest readings of Hindi literary periodicals; and to the librarians at NC State’s D. H. Hill Library, especially Rob Rucker, who provided assistance in the final stages of my research and writing. Research for this book was also conducted at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., and was facilitated by the staff of the Asian Reading Room. I am also grateful for the existence of inter-library borrowing and lending services, and the funding that makes such services possible; the inter-library loan units

xiv Acknowledgements

at UC Berkeley and at NC State gave me access to titles from all over the world, which laid the foundations for my archival work in India, and supplemented it once I returned. An earlier version of Chapter 2 appeared in South Asia Research, vol. 32, no. 3 (2012): 233–56. The revised essay has been included with the permission of the copyright holders and the publishers.* Chapter 3 draws on material from an essay that first appeared in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, vol. 37, no. 3 (2014): 474–90. I am grateful to the publishers, Sage Publications and Taylor & Francis respectively, for permission to reprint these materials in their revised forms. I thank the anonymous reviewers of the manuscript for their thoughtful comments and suggestions, and the team at Oxford University Press in India for all their efforts, but most of all for their patient shepherding of the manuscript from acquisition to the final stages of publication. I close with words of appreciation for family and friends who have accompanied me on this journey, from beginning to end. I am especially grateful for the love and support of my parents, siblings, and in-laws over the years. There are people in my life who are so deeply connected to this project that they are beyond thanks: Sandeep, Vidya, and Veena, you are my inspiration and strength, in all regards.

* © 2012 SAGE Publications. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holders and the publishers, Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.


The Making of Modern Hindi examines the politics and processes of making Hindi modern at a formative moment in India’s history. It centres on the much-contested project of constructing Hindi as a national language with a modern literature in the early twentieth century, when British imperialism was at its peak and anti-colonial sentiments were on the rise. Colonial modernity brought with it measures to control and consolidate expanding British authority in India. It involved counting and classifying people, surveying and mapping the land, and building a technological infrastructure for commerce and the exchange of ideas via railroads, post offices, and printing presses. Language itself became a primary object of study to enable command. The production of grammars and dictionaries, in the interest of codifying Indian vernaculars, facilitated the modernization of language (Cohn 1996, 21).1 Educational reforms and the introduction of mass printing technologies increased literacy rates among Indians and engineered a shift from traditional reading cultures patronized by royalty to larger reading publics (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 118; Stark 2008, 11).2 Such initiatives brought British India into the modern era, while also preparing an educated elite to serve as the very instruments of colonial rule (Cohn 1996, 21). More overtly repressive measures restricted the extent to which colonial subjects could engage in this modernity. The late nineteenth century saw a great surge in indigenous associational and print activities, especially in vernacular languages; and these facilitated the emergence of a nationalist consciousness. Many of these activities, however, were closely monitored and limited by colonial authorities.3 The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0001

2 The Making of Modern Hindi

Restrictive measures, and the disparities of a colonial modernity, led to increased bids for indigenous authority, both political and cultural.4 A desire for increased participation in the structures of governance led to the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885.5 Other events further catalysed nationalist activity, including the widely unpopular decision by George Curzon, viceroy of India (1899–1905), to partition Bengal in 1905, and on the global stage, in the same year, the military victory of an Asian power over a European power in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 154–7).6 Ensuing movements in India for self-sufficiency involved economic and political campaigns for the exclusive use of swadeshī (Indian-made) goods and demands for swarāj (self-rule); they also entered cultural and social realms of self-identification, resulting in calls for indigenous institutions of education and, of primary concern for this study, a national language and literature to represent a modern India. Making Hindi Modern In Europe, the Americas, and Asia, language and literature became two of the most politicized benchmarks of modern identity from the late eighteenth century onwards. As elsewhere, movements in India for political and social empowerment via language and literature were fraught with tension. The East India Company decreed in 1837 the replacement of Persian as the language of the courts and administration with English at the higher levels and regional vernaculars at the lower levels. This sparked considerable debate and political mobilization over the question of an ‘official’ vernacular in regions such as the North-Western Provinces and Awadh, where more than one language and script were in common use. From the mid-1860s onwards, advocates for Khari Boli Hindi, current in and around Delhi and written in the Devanagari script, had vied for equal recognition with the officially recognized Urdu. Urdu shared a grammatical base with Khari Boli Hindi, but was written in a modified form of the Perso-Arabic script and was inflected with Persian and Arabic vocabulary.7 Advocates of Hindi over Urdu as official language had also to contend internally with multiple regional languages such as Awadhi, Braj Bhasha, Bhojpuri, Bundeli,

Introduction 3

and Maithili, among others, all included within the rubric of a premodern Hindi, but which would complicate discussions of an official, modern standard Hindi; with forms of Hindi heavily influenced by other north Indian languages, including Punjabi and Rajasthani; and with competing writing systems, including the Kaithi, Mahajani, and Mudiya scripts, also historically used for Hindi. A Hindi once broadly defined and inclusive of these linguistic and literary identities would then be faced with the challenges of suppressing them in the modern era in favour of a single, standard suitable for official communications, while still claiming its potential for widespread colloquial use and literary nuance. The rise of print cultures across India and its associated burgeoning of public intellectual exchange via books and periodicals amplified the political import of language and script choice, but also encouraged inter-regional tensions. When it came to questions of national language and literature, Hindi enthusiasts had then to deal with rival claims made by intellectual elites advancing Bengali and Marathi literatures in eastern and western India respectively, and with the passionate articulations of Tamil and Telugu linguistic identities in the south.8 Building on this momentum, Bharatendu Harishchandra (1850– 1885), often referred to as the ‘Father of Modern Hindi’, publicized the need for a national literature in Hindi.9 At the turn of the century, however, Khari Boli Hindi had not yet been standardized, a modern prose tradition was just a few decades old, and a corresponding poetic tradition was virtually non-existent.10 In 1900 then, the very idea of a ‘Hindi literature’ was still in the process of radical transformation. Its political import as a means of laying claims to a modern, national identity was just gaining ground and its conceptual boundaries were as yet un-theorized in public discourse. Though Harishchandra had undoubtedly initiated the process, Hindi literature would emerge as a modern category with clearly defined boundaries only after the turn of the century, in the period between 1900 and 1920. The work of making Hindi modern was led by Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi (1864–1938), an enterprising and contentious Hindi litterateur.11 As long-time editor of the prominent Hindi journal Sarasvatī (est. 1900), Dwivedi took up this project of national

4 The Making of Modern Hindi

language and literature formation in the first decades of the twentieth century, and in the process forged a new Hindi literary establishment. Despite his claims otherwise, cultivating a national self-identity via Hindi language and literature had neither precedent nor a coherent logic. It involved the standardization of language and script; and the production of a literary repertoire with a past, present, and future corresponding to an overarching national narrative that till then had not existed. It engaged in processes that were often contradictory, simultaneously consolidating, subordinating, and excluding ideas, languages, texts, individuals, and communities. His project sparked contest among a range of authorities, including those that despite a common enthusiasm for Hindi varied in their influence and agendas. Dwivedi and his era of literature have long been recognized as critical to the history of Hindi’s development, yet they have not captivated literary audiences in the same way as other literary figures and periods (Ritter 2011, 28). Both man and era are too often oversimplified. Dwivedi is seen as absolute and unwavering in the pursuit of his agenda, while languages, genres, or content even remotely associated with his era have been dismissed as sober, didactic, and boring. And yet there was a time when Dwivedi was a novel and daring litterateur. He rejected established linguistic and literary norms, experimented outside the range of his own dictates, and explored interdisciplinary strategies to promote a new brand of Hindi. Dwivedi underscored the importance of creating poetry and prose in Khari Boli, standardized its spelling and punctuation, and effectively established it as the only acceptable language of modern literary articulation in Hindi; he encouraged experimentation with and the development of modern genres of literature, including the essay, short story, biography, and literary criticism; and he created a community of readers in Hindi that included men, women, and children in India as well as those living abroad. He also created a coterie of new writers that varied by gender, location, and style. He gave these writers an unmatched opportunity to raise their profiles by publishing their work in Sarasvatī, a journal that under his direction could make or break their reputations.12 Public sphere indicators and artifacts testifying to Dwivedi’s influence include an era that bears his name in literary histories,

Introduction 5

honorific titles, centenary celebrations, a commemorative stamp and statues that bear his likeness, and Indian secondary and postsecondary educational curricula that continue to include his literary contributions within their scope.13 He has, however, been a polarizing figure historically, both in his lifetime and beyond. Whereas a contemporary like S. B. Bharatiya (1903) wrote a laudatory poem in response to one of Dwivedi’s caricatures of the state of Hindi, a fellow editor, Balmukund Gupta (see Gopal 1986), in a scathing review of the same cartoon mocked not only Dwivedi’s criticism but also his creative output.14 Indeed Dwivedi was adept at alienating those who challenged his dictates, in both Urdu and Hindi literary circles. The former played out in debates with Daya Narayan Nigam, editor of the Urdu literary monthly Zamānā (est. 1903, Kanpur), especially over the issue of an official language and script. He also drew criticism from those one might consider collaborators in the construction of Hindi as a modern language, symbolic of community and nation, with a corresponding literary repertoire to support its claims. Dwivedi’s confrontations with the former editor of Sarasvatī, Shyamsundar Das, ultimately led to a rift between the journal and the leadership of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha (The Society for the Promotion of Nagari), and his heated exchanges with Balmukund Gupta, editor of Bhāratmitra (est. 1878, Calcutta), deteriorated, at times, into personal attacks. Dwivedi also had confrontations with a number of other authors within the Hindi sphere, including Ramchandra Shukla and Jaishankar Prasad.15 Dwivedi was without a doubt a contentious public figure, but one whose ability to pull together materials from a diverse repository, often amid great contest, veritably defined the boundaries of Hindi and the nation he thought it ought to represent. His unprecedented multimedia literary campaign for granting Hindi national language status made creative use of an interdisciplinary, inter-regional discursive field that, though catering mostly to an educated elite, also targeted a pan-Indian ‘readership’ which could consume the journal’s content second-hand and vis-à-vis its visuals.16 This, alongside his pragmatism when confronted with gendered, ethnic, and regional negotiations of his agenda in poetry and prose, paved the way for Hindi’s progress into the modern era.17

6 The Making of Modern Hindi

Dwivedi’s efforts led to the creation of a modern Hindi corpus; and generations of modern Hindi writers and their works still bear the marks of his efforts, both in their literary practice and in protest of his dictates. From Premchand’s prose fiction in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, to the lyric verses of Chhāyāvād (neo-romantic) era poets of the 1920s and 1930s, to the experimental writings of Nayī Kavitā (new poetry) and Nayī Kahānī (new story) poets and short story writers in the post-Independence era (1950s–60s), modern Hindi literature was built on foundations that Dwivedi laid. Critical scholarship on modern Hindi literature has duly acknowledged Dwivedi’s influence, though Dwivedi and his era have received sustained analysis only from a few scholars (Singh 1951; Sharma 1977). Udaybhanu Singh (1951) provides one of the first balanced representations of Dwivedi as influential but not an all-pervasive literary force of his era. Ramvilas Sharma’s contextualization (1977) of Dwivedi within a period of Hindi awakening is pioneering. Sharma also suggests that Dwivedi’s influence had its limits, though he indicates that drawing together disparate forces via the journal was one of Dwivedi’s strengths (1977, 365–6). Both Singh and Sharma hint at the dynamic, fragmented nature of Dwivedi’s sphere of influence, but it is not of central relevance to their studies. Some scholars provide broader insights into the trends of the era in order to contextualize subsequent literary eras (Schomer 1998; Orsini 2002) and others offer more focused and/or thematic evaluations of Dwivedi-era literature (Gupta 2001; Lothspeich 2009; Ritter 2011). None have accorded detailed attention to the broad range of his activities or credited him with creativity, innovation, and flexibility. This book builds on this existing scholarship, while also addressing the oversimplifications and dismissals with which Dwivedi and his work have been met. Using primary material from Hindi literary journals of the era, with a special focus on Sarasvatī under Dwivedi’s editorship, it investigates the broader dynamics of his sphere of influence at a moment when his authority was still contested rather than already established. It does so with the understanding that authority is itself contingent, varying both by context and by the analytical lens through which authors and their works are viewed. I consider Dwivedi’s literary agenda and activities within the context of literary exchange, asking how and to what extent competing authorities,

Introduction 7

drawing on gendered, regional, institutional, and other categories of expertise, also shaped the development of Hindi at this time. I examine Dwivedi’s literary agenda and practices alongside negotiations made by men and women publishing poetry and prose within his primary sphere of influence. It is together, amid mutual tension, that Dwivedi and his challengers formulate the very boundaries of Hindi literature. Unlike other studies, this book argues that Dwivedi’s editorial response towards challenges to his authority was strategically varied. He was selective in the display of his authority—at some moments requiring absolute adherence to his dictates, while at other moments exhibiting a cautious flexibility and a willingness to compromise. Dwivedi’s commitment to reform and his pragmatism resulted in the strategic use of visuals to inspire new writing that compromised some aspects of his programme for the sake of overall literary productivity. These previously unstudied pragmatic manoeuvres, though used primarily to achieve short-term gains, had great bearing on Hindi’s development in the long term. The Making of Modern Hindi casts an entirely new light on Dwivedi as a dynamic and influential arbiter of literary modernity, whose exchanges with competing authorities are an important piece in the history of Hindi literature. This book considers the largely unexplored internal tensions between a range of authority figures who participated alongside Dwivedi in constructing a dominant Hindi public sphere. Tensions wrought by contests between Hindi and Urdu for official sanction, ideas on linguistic purity and accompanying chauvinistic attitudes dividing the two languages, and their associated communities along cultural and religious lines are also critical aspects of Hindi’s historical narrative. The competition between the two languages for linguistic, literary, and national authority, along with Dwivedi’s complex engagement with the Urdu language and its literature, is addressed at several points in the text, but they are not the primary focus of the present study. This book also examines, for the first time, interdisciplinary and inter-regional literary manoeuvres that were critical to the construction of a Hindi modernity as well as a pan-Indian literary-national identity. By making use of analytical frameworks for nationalism and the public sphere discussed by Anderson (1983) and Habermas (1964, 1989) respectively, and since

8 The Making of Modern Hindi

qualified by others, this book provides a concrete example of the distinctions of an Indian modernity formulated amid the tensions of colonialism and competing Indian nationalisms, and bridging literary and visual print cultures.18 The Emergence of Sarasvatī Hindi journalism had taken off in the late nineteenth century, especially through the efforts of Harishchandra.19 Sarasvatī, first published by the Indian Press (Allahabad) in January 1900, was by subtitle a sachitra māsik patrikā, or an illustrated monthly journal, with expressly literary purposes. Preoccupied by the current state of Hindi, especially with the gaps in its literary corpus, Chintamani Ghosh (1854–1928), founder and manager of the press, sought to improve the condition of a Hindi he perceived to be ‘dirty, destitute, and diseased’ (Ghosh 1900b, 399).20 One of the primary reasons for its current state, he argued, was a substantial lack of interest in vernacular reading materials. Indians had, it seemed, long been neglecting their mother tongues in favour of either classical languages such as Sanskrit or modern languages such as English. Monthly periodicals, Ghosh maintained, had the power to generate significant public interest in Hindi;21 they were the key to literary progress (1900b, 399). With the help of his publishing house, the Indian Press, Ghosh set out to provide a means for this literary progress in Hindi.22 With Sarasvatī, the Indian Press made a lasting mark on Hindi literature. Indeed the journal was the longest running Hindi periodical of its kind in the twentieth century (1900–82).23 Ghosh initially sought support for Sarasvatī from the Nagari Pracharini Sabha in Varanasi.24 The Sabha leadership did not offer to take on any editorial or financial responsibility for the enterprise, but instead offered Ghosh a list of people from the Sabha’s own membership who might make competent editors (Chaturvedi, n.d.).25 The Sabha also offered to officially endorse the journal.26 The Sabha and Ghosh agreed upon a committee of five men, all members of the Sabha, who would share editorial responsibility: Kartikprasad Khatri, Kishorilal Goswami, Jagannath Das, Radhakrishna Das, and Shyamsundar Das.27 It took the editorial committee just over one

Introduction 9

month to put together the first issue of Sarasvatī, which was published in January 1900.28 As reprinted in Chaturvedi (1961a, 6–7), Ghosh and the journal’s first editorial board declared in their inaugural issue that the aims of the new journal were to ‘nurture, develop and truly complete’ a treasury of writing in Hindi. This ‘Sarasvatī treasury’ comprised of poetry, and prose works in Hindi would include plays, novels, histories, biographies, satire, comedy, humour, human interest pieces, writing on ancient history, science, handicrafts, the arts, and as many other ‘topics of sāhitya’ as space permitted.29 There were some explicit exclusions concerning content, including the official eschewal of contributions having to do with contemporary politics or religion, though this was hardly possible in practice, as these topics were integral to discussions of national identity.30 The journal attempted to attract new readers and writers by coupling its literary content with visual appeal. Indeed Sarasvatī was a pioneer of pictorial journalism in Hindi.31 It included visual embellishments to the text (illuminated type, decorative flourishes, and so on) as well as photographs and artwork. Ghosh noted the ‘appearance and quality’ of the journal with pride, citing it as a justification for Sarasvatī’s annual subscription rate of 3 rupees, including postage (Ghosh 1900a, 67–8).32 The journal was from the outset a commercial enterprise, having also advertisements as an additional source of revenue.33 A typical issue of Sarasvatī in the first year of its publication contained about five to eight articles of varying length averaging about thirty-five pages of the total content per issue.34 The cover page (see Figure I.1) from January through June was in black and white and had the portraits of four key Hindi literary personalities: BhaktiEra poets Surdas and Tulsidas on the top left and right represented an older literary tradition that allowed modern Hindi to link seamlessly to a classical Sanskrit tradition with these poets as a bridge; and Raja Shivprasad and Bharatendu Harishchandra on the bottom left and right represented modern purveyors of the Hindi literary tradition, but who still belonged to an era pre-Sarasvatī.35 Presiding over everyone, at the top centre, was an image of Sarasvati, the Hindu goddess who inspired the journal’s name. By contrast, in later issues the cover was in full colour and often contained only the image

10 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure I.1 Sarasvatī cover page, February 1900 Source: From a reprint available in Chaturvedi (1961a).

of the Goddess Sarasvati. In January 1905, for example, the cover (Figure I.2) depicted the goddess as rendered by the popular Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma.36 In early issues, as the journal built its reputation, the editors authored almost all contributions to the journal themselves. In February 1900, for example, their articles included several biographical sketches, one story, two articles on science, and one travelogue.37


Figure I.2


Sarasvatī cover page, January 1905

Source: From a reprint available in Chaturvedi (1961a).

After one year, the editorial committee disbanded, turning over sole editorship to Shyamsundar Das, who carried out the duties of editor for two years from January 1901 through December 1902. After this, Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi took over as editor of the journal for nearly two decades, from January 1903 through December 1920, and in his hands, Sarasvatī became a leading literary force within the Hindi belt of north and central India.38

12 The Making of Modern Hindi

Chapter Outline Chapters 1 and 2 of this book examine Dwivedi’s project of literary self-determination as it evolved in the early twentieth century. Focusing on Dwivedi’s articulations in visual caricature and prose, these chapters consider his preliminary agendas for Hindi as a national language and literature as well as his deliberate attempts to establish literary authority in a fragmented public sphere marked by the competitive interplay of multiple languages, perspectives, and ideologies. Published in the early period of his career when he was still in the process of finding his literary voice(s) amid resistance from his peers, these selections demonstrate the varied and shifting scope of Dwivedi’s content, form, and tenor as he addressed ideas and people within his emerging sphere of influence. They also exhibit Dwivedi’s strategic manoeuvrings as a contender for literary authority in the early twentieth century. Dwivedi’s attempt to sway his public through verbal and visual rhetoric is the primary focus of Chapter 1, ‘Sensationalizing Hindi: An Illustrated Agenda’. A series of satirical literary cartoons, published for a limited time in 1902 and 1903, provides a rare illustration of Dwivedi’s developing literary agenda for Hindi. In these cartoons he adopts a confrontational tone. Resorting to scaremongering and sensationalism, Dwivedi issues a variety of warnings concerning Hindi language and literature. His concepts for the cartoons, illustrated by a commissioned artist, convey a literary-visual narrative in which obstacles to Hindi, such as the vulgarity of Braj Bhasha, the murderous threat of Urdu, the shaming of Hindi as an impoverished mother tongue, loom large and foretell its doom unless appropriate measures are taken. Dwivedi reproaches self-serving editors, dated patrons, foolhardy critics, and pandering authors; in some instances, he identifies specific adversaries to Hindi’s advancement both within and outside his field of influence. The cartoons vividly convey Dwivedi’s vision of a disparate Hindi public riddled by threats and his preferred agenda for its progress. They represent a pioneering experiment in influencing public literary sentiment via a multimedia rhetorical strategy that in the end also tests the limits of his readership with their sensationalism. Though this series is short-lived, Dwivedi’s use of cartoons signals the beginning of a new era in which Hindi literature moves forward in direct collaboration with visual content.



Dwivedi’s emergent agenda finds its clearest and most comprehensive articulation in prose. Chapter 2, ‘Prescriptive Prose: Literary Progress in the Age of Colonialism’, examines several of his programmatic essays, focusing on his construction of literature as a culturally embedded category of national consequence. His theorization of Hindi literature as broadly inclusive in terms of its basic definition and function serves an immediate need to stimulate the growth of a national body of literature. Such broad definition is met with criticism from a young Ramchandra Shukla (1884–1941), later known for his canonical literary history of Hindi (1930). At the same time, historical and linguistic parameters and a prioritized plan of literary production reify the notion of a modern category oriented towards a narrowly constructed national collective that seeks to establish its sovereign identity via literature in only Khari Boli Hindi. Though not explicit in its anti-colonial nationalism, Dwivedi’s project of literary self-determination privileges Indian literary activity, with this variety of Hindi as the preferred lead language of the emergent nation, including all the risks that such restriction entails. Dwivedi engaged a variety of strategies to inspire new writing and to establish his literary authority. His strategies involved linguistic and literary initiatives, as well as cultivated interactions between literature and art. The scope of his authority ranged from poet, publicist, and patron, to mentor and editor. In these capacities, he modelled Hindi language and literature in its modern form, though not without adapting to and/or straying from his stated agendas. In the remaining chapters (3, 4, and 5), I examine two genres of writing, poetry and short stories, in which Dwivedi and other writers of varying authority negotiated his proposed boundaries for modern Hindi literature. As an illustrated monthly, Sarasvatī belonged to a new breed of periodicals that emerged in India at the turn of the century. With Dwivedi at its helm, the journal established an integral connection between art and literature. In Chapter 3, ‘Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise’, I continue a discussion first introduced in Chapter 1 on Dwivedi’s visually oriented strategies to establish literary authority amidst resistance to his agenda. Resistance came from critics who publicly decried his brand of poetry as crude, and from established and budding poets who continued to publish in the more refined Braj Bhasha despite Dwivedi’s dictates. Even

14 The Making of Modern Hindi

Maithilisharan Gupta (1886–1964), well-known protégé of Dwivedi, had to be convinced of certain aspects of Dwivedi’s agenda and did not from the outset unequivocally accept and follow the norms promoted by his mentor in the poetry that he published in the journal. Dwivedi’s response was pragmatic: he brought sophistication to Khari Boli poetry through a cultivated association with art, and he modelled poetry that adhered to a modified agenda. He authored and commissioned a series of image-poems, poetry inspired by and published alongside paintings by the well-known artist Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906) as well as other contemporary Indian artists. Attracted by the new, visual poetry, poets who had once preferred Braj Bhasha, including Maithilisharan Gupta, began to write in Khari Boli, though not exclusively, and not all at once. As poet and editor, Dwivedi’s use and sanction of Braj Bhasha’s linguistic and literary influence in these pairings did not match the stringency of his cartoons and prose. This cultivated and pragmatic literary-visual interaction defined the very substance of modern Hindi poetry in the early decades of the twentieth century and was instrumental in establishing Khari Boli as the language of modern Hindi literature. While Chapter 3 focuses on Dwivedi’s own efforts to put his agenda for poetry into practice, Chapters 4 and 5 of this book consider the genre of the short story, and the literary practice of other writers within Dwivedi’s primary sphere of influence. Dwivedi did not explicitly articulate his vision for short fiction; his articulated agenda focused more on other genres of Hindi literature. However, as editor of a journal that pioneered the modern short story, he exerted great control over the development of this genre. Chapter 4 provides an overview and history of the modern Hindi short story as it developed in Sarasvatī from 1900 to 1920 under Dwivedi’s direction. Drawing inspiration from Shakespeare, Poe, and Verne to Shriharsh and Tagore, among other influences, short story writers in Hindi experimented with adventure–romance, science fiction, horror, and historical fiction but eventually settled on subject matter that was more mundane than spectacular, as per Dwivedi’s agenda for language, literature, and nation. In Sarasvatī’s short stories we also see writers such as Banga Mahila (1882–1949) and Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’ (1884–1922), who contested and negotiated Dwivedi’s agenda for Hindi, asserting the significance of alternate realms of authority. Chapter 5 examines



diverse, overlapping articulations of Indian nationhood (for example, those specific to class, gender, language, religion, and/or region) in two landmark Hindi short stories. In her 1907 short story ‘Dulāīvālī’ (quilt-woman), Banga Mahila made deliberate use of regional and domestic women’s speech in addition to Dwivedi’s preferred standard Khari Boli prose. Her fictional exploration of the impact of nationalist ideals on middle-class Bengali women in the Hindi belt further challenged the patriarchal authority with which Dwivedi and other nationalists sought to shape an emergent nation. Guleri’s 1915 classic short story ‘Usne kahā thā’ (she had said) incorporated regional/ethnic speech that was also gendered, this time as masculine and vulgar. Guleri, too, did not adhere strictly to Dwivedi’s upright Khari Boli standard. Moreover, ‘Usne kahā thā’ featured a Sikh soldier’s memories of rural and urban landscapes outside the Hindi belt, in Punjab, as triggered by battle in France and Belgium during World War I. Though it upheld some nationalist ideals, it also defied conventional mores. Both stories underwent extensive editorial revisions, yet there remains a record in their final published versions of their authors’ defiance, and of Dwivedi’s strategically measured responses to challenges to his literary authority. Ultimately, The Making of Modern Hindi asserts that the dynamic tensions within Dwivedi’s sphere of influence have a significant bearing on the creation of a modern Hindi literary establishment. It takes the first steps towards re-evaluating Dwivedi’s authority with a close eye on some of the challenges to his agenda. This, in turn, sheds light on the scope and substance of participation by figures of varying authority in his Hindi public sphere as well as the composition and complexities of the national ‘self ’ engaged in Dwivedi’s literary national project. Notes 1. See, in particular, Cohn’s essay ‘The Command of Language and the Language of Command’ on the conquest of India as a conquest of knowledge (1996, 16–56). 2. Though not her central focus, Stark (2008, 12–21) offers a good introduction to some of the problems posed by categories such as ‘literacy’ and ‘reading publics’ that are requisite to discussions of print culture. 3. Two such measures included the Dramatic Performances Act (DPA, 1876) and the Vernacular Press Act (1878). The Dramatic Performances

16 The Making of Modern Hindi

Bill was passed into law in 1876 by the colonial legislature in Bengal and extended to the whole of British India. Its express purpose was the better control of public dramatic performances deemed by colonial authorities to be scandalous, defamatory, seditious, obscene, or otherwise prejudicial to the public interest. The Act required dramas to be licensed for performance by colonial authorities. It targeted political theatre, especially dramas that might excite feelings of disaffection towards the colonial government and possibly ‘deprave’ and ‘corrupt’ persons present at such performances. The DPA entitled authorities to enter any suspected venue, seize any scenery, dresses, and so on intended for use, and arrest anyone participating in or assisting such performances, including performers, stage managers, spectators, and theatre owners. Its reach extended beyond expressly political theatre, stifling also dramatic works that depicted social injustices. Indian playwrights often circumvented colonial scrutiny with plays that projected political and social injustices onto a precolonial past, whether mythological or historical (Dalmia 2006b, 60). Similarly, the Vernacular Press Act of 1878 asserted colonial authority over newspapers, journals, and other publications. Officially titled the Act for the Better Control of Publications in Oriental Languages, this controversial Act sanctioned the seizure of the press and confiscation of printing machinery; it also gave the government power to issue search warrants of said premises without having to go to court. Although it was repealed four years later, it had long-term consequences, one of which was the beginnings of a nationalist movement that was to have as one of its first articulations the founding of the Indian National Congress in 1885 (Dalmia 1997, 232). Other measures that further restricted the free exchange of ideas in the early decades of the twentieth century included the Newspaper (Incitement to Offenses) Act of 1908 and the Press Act of 1910. 4. A statement blatantly acknowledging the differential nature of modernity appeared in The Spectator, a British weekly magazine, on 13 June 1908, following the passage of the Newspaper Act: ‘The truth is that the liberty of the Press, like representative and democratic institutions, will not bear transplantation to the Indian soil and climate.’ 5. The Indian National Congress was established in 1885 when a group of about seventy English-educated Indians met in Bombay to express ‘loyal opposition’ to colonial policies, without questioning the fact of colonial rule. Though limited in its political power, Congress eventually became the locus of activity for ‘the longest-lived nationalist movement in the modern colonial world’ (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 136–7). Increased dissatisfaction with colonial policies led to the split between moderate






10. 11.


and more radical members of Congress. Gopal Krishna Gokhale (1866– 1915), leading the moderate majority, continued to seek change through constitutional reforms, while Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1844–1920), leading a group of more radical members, adopted a Hindu-centric, anticolonial stance (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 149–57). Lord Curzon, viceroy of India from 1898 to 1905, partitioned Bengal in 1905. The separation of eastern Bengal, united with Assam, and western Bengal, to be unified with Bihar and Orissa, produced a Muslim majority in East Bengal and a non-Bengali majority in West Bengal. This was perceived by a Hindu Bengali educated elite as an attempt to reduce their influence through ‘divide and rule’ tactics. Japan’s victory over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5) was celebrated by many Indians as the first Asian military victory over a European power. Khari Boli (literally, speech that is ‘standing’ or ‘upright’) was used to distinguish the language current in Delhi and Agra from Braj Bhasha, the established literary language and also the language current among residents of Braj. See King (1994) for further information on the debates over an official vernacular in the North-Western Provinces and Awadh and the late nineteenth-century Hindi-Nagari movements. See also Lelyveld (1993a, 1993b) on Hindustani/Urdu and Faruqi (1998) on Urdu. For a concise discussion of the complex relationship between Hindi and Urdu and the varying significance of the terms ‘Hindi’, ‘Urdu’, and ‘Hindustani’, as used in different historical contexts, see Everaert (2010, 231–78). See Anindita Ghosh (2006) on language politics in colonial Bengal; Veena Naregal (2001) and Dilip Chavan (2013) on language politics in western India; and Sumathi Ramaswamy (1997) and Lisa Mitchell (2009) on language politics in southern India. The idea of a national literature developed in Germany and then spread throughout Europe from the 1780s and onwards (Williams 1983, 183–8). Dalmia (1997) provides further information on Harishchandra’s role in the propagation of this idea in India, particularly in the context of Hindi. Hereafter Khari Boli Hindi will be referred to as Hindi, unless specification is necessary. See Gopal (1972, 27–37) for a detailed biographical essay on Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi in English; Orsini (2002) and Mody (2008a) also contain brief biographies of Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi in English. For biographical information in Hindi, see Mishra (1996), Sharma (1977), Singh (1951), and Yayavar (1995, 2003).

18 The Making of Modern Hindi

12. In his editorial remarks from December 1905, Dwivedi (1905a, 449) indicated that Sarasvatī now averaged over forty pages of content per issue, though the cost of the journal had remained the same. Under his editorship, the journal attracted both a domestic and an international following. Its readership came largely from India, but also included authors and subscribers from the USA, England, Japan, British Guiana, and the Philippines. Its circulation more than doubled after Dwivedi took over as editor—with a modest increase first noted in the December 1903 issue of Sarasvatī (407), a more significant jump in figures occurred by 1910, midway through Dwivedi’s tenure as editor, when the journal’s print run had reached between 2,500 and 3,000 (Sarasvatī January 1911, inside cover). 13. On his 102nd birthday, 15 May 1966, the Indian Posts and Telegraph Department issued a special 15 paisa stamp commemorating ‘Acharya Mahavir Prasad Dvivedi’; there are statues of Dwivedi in Daulatpur village (district of Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh), where he was born, and in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, where he lived early in his literary career. Questions about Dwivedi are included in national board exams as well as in college-level Hindi curricula in India. 14. See Chapter 1 for a detailed discussion. 15. Jaishankar Prasad’s writing was notably absent in the pages of Sarasvatī under Dwivedi’s editorship. See Chapter 2 for a mention of Dwivedi’s exchange with Ramchandra Shukla and Chapter 3 for further discussion of Dwivedi’s exchanges with Shukla, Shyamsundar Das and Balmukund Gupta. 16. As Stark (2008, 13) has discussed, the power of the written word extended beyond just the literate classes. 17. See challenges presented by writers such as Banga Mahila and Guleri in Chapter 5. 18. See Benedict Anderson (1983) on the connection between ‘print capitalism’ and a rise in nationalist consciousness in America and Europe in the late eighteenth century, and later as transplanted and/or integrated into new contexts in other parts of the world (36, 43–5). See Jürgen Habermas (1989) on the emergence of a literary public sphere in eighteenth-century European society and its role in developing institutional bases (for example, periodicals) for public debate. Their arguments have since been qualified. On Anderson, see Anthony D. Smith (1998, 139) and Partha Chatterjee (1986); on Habermas, see Craig Calhoun (1992a, 37–8) and Nancy Fraser (1992, 114–16). I treat the emergence of nationalism and a public sphere as overlapping, mutually transformative phenomena that gave rise to a Hindi literary-nationalist



discursive realm that emerged within and reflected its own specific set of geographical, cultural, social and historical circumstances (Chatterjee 1986; Freitag 1991; Dalmia 1997; Orsini 2002). 19. Harishchandra’s journals, Kavivachansudhā (1867–85) and Harishchandra’s Magazine (1873–4), later renamed Harishchandrachandrikā (1874–85), were published in Varanasi and arguably were the first literary journals in Hindi. Kavivachansudhā was largely a journal of Braj Bhasha poetry but also published other genres of writing, including plays, essays, letters to the editor, and reportage. Harishchandra’s Magazine and Harishchandrachandrikā, monthly literary supplements to Kavivachansudhā, published poetry, plays, novels, tales, satires, and essays on literary, scientific, political, archaeological, and religious topics (Singh 2003, 26; Dalmia 1997, 236, 241). They achieved legendary fame in Harishchandra’s own lifetime and ‘veritably created literary Hindi’ (Dalmia 1997, 135). Another influential Hindi monthly in circulation before 1900 was Hindī pradīp (1877–1910) edited by Balkrishna Bhatt (1844–1914). This Allahabad-based periodical had some overlap with Sarasvatī in the place and time of its publication, as well as in the broad assortment of its contents, including literature, drama, histories, novels, criticism, philosophical and political writings, and satire. See Hindī pradīp 12 (10) (June 1889), cover page and Hindī pradīp 10 (8) (April 1887), cover page. See also an article in Sarasvatī titled ‘Hindī pradīp’ by Dwivedi (1906b, 326–9). Other Hindi journals published in the late nineteenth century include Bālabodhinī (1874–8), also established by Harishchandra and the first women’s journal in the language (Dalmia 1997, 245); Brāhman (1883–95), edited by Pratapnarayan Mishra (1856–1995) of Kanpur; Ānand kādambinī (circa 1881–90), edited by Badrinarayan Chaudhari ‘Premghan’ (1855–1923) of Mirzapur; and Kshatriya patrikā (1881–7), published by Ramdin Singh (1856–1903) of Muradabad (Dalmia 1997, 141–2). 20. Quoted material is from the original Hindi. Translations are mine unless otherwise noted. See Shailnath Chaturvedi (n.d.) for a brief description of Chintamani Ghosh’s conception of and efforts to establish Sarasvatī. See Mushtaq Ali (1986) for a detailed study of the Indian Press and its publications, including Sarasvatī. 21. The case of Bengali, Ghosh argued, provided an excellent example of the progress a language could make through the vernacular periodical. He favoured the monthly journal for its longevity—its information did not get old in a day or week as with daily and weekly newspapers; articles in a monthly, he argued, were ageless and eternal, ever youthful

20 The Making of Modern Hindi




25. 26.


and fresh no matter how many times they were read (Ghosh 1900b, 399–400). Ghosh established the Indian Press in 1884 as a printing establishment focusing on school readers, but in time transformed it into a publishing firm focused on an assortment of religious, entertaining, and useful books and journals (Ali 1986, 832). The Press, in Ghosh’s lifetime, gained significant recognition throughout the North-Western Provinces and Awadh (after 1902, the United Provinces) and rivalled the Naval Kishore Press of Lucknow for its quality and output (Ali 1986, 497). It played an especially important role in the development of literary journalism, children’s journalism, and scientific journalism both in Hindi and in other languages (Ali 1986, 491). See Ali (1986, 41–3, 455–93) for a detailed list of Indian press publications. Munshi Naval Kishore (1836–1895) established his Press in Lucknow in 1858. For further information on the Naval Kishore Press, see Stark (2008). Sarasvatī was published regularly from 1900 to 1975. The last issue of the journal in this time frame was a combined issue (August to December 1975). Another combined issue was published for January to March 1976, after which it was again published monthly through December 1980. In 1981 and 1982, one issue was published every three months, with a final issue published in May 1982. The Nagari Pracharini Sabha, established in 1893, was arguably one of the most influential Hindi language associations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. See King (1974, 1994) for detailed studies of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha. Members comprised an educated Hindi elite that strove to promote both Hindi and Nagari through literary activities, though it eventually ‘transformed itself into the leading organization for the protection of Hindi speakers, as opposed to Urdu speakers’ (Das Gupta 1970, 199). Chaturvedi cites the Sabha’s minutes from the regular sessions at which Chintamani Ghosh’s letters of request to the Sabha were discussed (n.d., 3). Sarasvatī received the Sabha’s official institutional sanction from 1900 to 1904. In his editorial remarks in the December 1905 issue, Dwivedi (1905a, 449) draws attention to the removal of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha’s endorsement due to a difference of opinion between himself and the Sabha’s leadership (449). This is the order in which they are listed on the cover of Sarasvatī in February 1900. See Figure I.1.



28. The Sabha decided on which members it would suggest for the editorial committee at a meeting held on 23 November 1899 and the first issue of Sarasvatī was published in January 1900 (Chaturvedi n.d., 3). 29. A vast array of writing was included under the rubric of sāhitya. Dwivedi later introduced and developed additional genres and topics, including editorials, book reviews, editorial cartoons, and the short story. See Chapter 2 for a discussion of the evolving definitions of sāhitya in Hindi discourse at this time. 30. Thus, between 1900 and 1920, Sarasvatī published numerous essays debating the question of India’s national language, namely to promote Hindi; essays discussing the state of modern Hindi literature, to lament its deficiencies, and encourage its progress; and essays constructing a genealogy for Hindi that connected it to a classical Sanskrit and Hindu literary tradition, while distancing it from Urdu and Islamic culture. Of Sarasvatī’s contemporaries, Prabhā (est. 1913), published out of Khandva (Madhya Pradesh) also excluded political and religious articles; Indu (est. 1909), published in Banaras (Uttar Pradesh), excluded only political articles; and Maryādā (est. 1911) did not explicitly exclude any topic. 31. See Chapters 1 and 3 for a discussion of some of its visual aspects. 32. The cost per individual issue was 5 annas, including postage. Sixteen annas is the equivalent of 1 rupee. Hindī pradīp cost just slightly more at 3 rupees and 6 annas per year in January–February 1898. 33. Advertisements cost 2 annas per line in January 1900 and were mostly for books published both by the Indian Press as well as other north Indian publishers. In subsequent years, it also included ads for health and hygiene products. 34. By way of comparison, the December 1905 issue under Dwivedi’s editorship has a total of nine articles totalling more than forty-six pages of content. 35. Surdas (c. 1483–1563) was a poet of the Krishna Bhakti tradition and Tulsidas (c. 1523–1623) was a poet of the Ram Bhakti tradition. Raja Shivprasad (1823–1895) and Bharatendu Harishchandra (1850–1885) were contemporaries, though chief antagonists in debates over Hindi (Dalmia 1997, 132). 36. Sarasvati is revered as the Hindu goddess of knowledge and patroness of all the arts. 37. Radhakrishna Das (1865–1899) published an article titled ‘Bhāratendu Harishchandra’ on the life and works of his first cousin and a prose adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Timon of Athens. Kishorilal Goswami

22 The Making of Modern Hindi

(1865–1932) also contributed two articles: one on the life and works of ‘Rājā Shivprasād Sitarehind’ (Raja Shivprasad Star of India) and a biography of Apeya Dīkshit, a sixteenth-century Sanskrit poet, part of a series celebrating poets (‘Kavi-kīrti-kalānidhi’). Shyamsundar Das (1875–1945) contributed two illustrated articles, ‘The Creation of Animals’ based loosely on Darwin’s theories of evolution and an essay on ‘Photography’. Kartikprasad Khatri (1852–1905) made only one contribution, an essay titled, ‘Kāshmīr yātrā’ (travels in Kashmir). 38. A wider glance through Sarasvatī’s contents even beyond the two decades that are the focus of this book proves to reveal a veritable who’s who of modern Hindi authors—Maithilisharan Gupta, Nirala, Sumitranandan Pant, Mahadevi Varma, Subhadrakumari Chauhan, Vrindavanlal Varma, Bhagavaticharan Varma, Yashpal, Shridhar Pathak, Raideviprasad ‘Purna’, Kanhaiyalal Poddar, Ramchandra Shukla, Ayodhyasingh Upadhyay ‘Hariaudh’, Jaishankar Prasad, Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’, Premchand, Jainendrakumar, and many others who published at least once if not multiple times in Sarasvatī.


Sensationalizing Hindi An Illustrated Agenda

An Agenda in Literary Cartoons One of Dwivedi’s first efforts to champion the cause of modern Hindi yielded a series of cartoons on the subject of literature. The cartoons appeared for a limited time in Sarasvatī under the heading ‘Sāhityasamāchār’ (literary news) between January 1902 and December 1903.1 The cartoons were the product of a collaborative, multimedia effort between writer and artist, words and images.2 Twelve of the fourteen cartoons in the series were based on concepts by Dwivedi; the remaining two were attributed to Radhakrishna Das (1865– 1907) and Kashiprasad Jayaswal (1881–1937).3 While Dwivedi and the two additional authors received credit for their respective concepts, no credit was given to contributing artist(s) and in most cases, the illustrations were unsigned.4 The provocative caricatures voiced Dwivedi’s urgent concerns for Hindi’s present condition as well as people and places he perceived to be obstacles to its progress; they were an attempt to significantly alter contemporary Indian literary tastes via visual media, to suit a new agenda that would elevate Hindi’s national standing.5 The cartoons covered a broad, overlapping range of topics that Dwivedi would develop further in his literary essays. Topics in the The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0002

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‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ series included plagiarism in Hindi; 6 the persistence of outdated content and form in modern Hindi poetry;7 the lack of uniformity in modern poetic language and style;8 the relatively poor status of Hindi in comparison with Urdu and English, its chief rivals for cultural and political power;9 overdeveloped, underdeveloped, and absent literary genres in Hindi;10 misguided literary patronage and influence in the context of modern Hindi poetry;11 questionable editorial practices;12 and the position and relevance of foreign-minded literary critics with respect to Indian authorship.13 The ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons articulated various aspects of Dwivedi’s literary project. Cartoons such as ‘Prāchīn kavitā [and] Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6 and 1.7), ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ (Figure 1.5), ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10), ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ (Figure 1.15), and ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) suggest his plans to create a comprehensive and appropriately representative modern Hindi literary corpus in terms of language, content, and genre distribution.14 Cartoons such as ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4) and ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) reveal his interest in elevating the status of Hindi.15 Cartoons including ‘Hindīsāhitya’ (Figures 1.1 and 1.2), ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13), and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16) illustrate his objectives of creating a community of responsible authors, patrons, editors, critics, and other literary authorities ready to serve the cause of modern Hindi literature. Finally, all the cartoons fall within the scope of Dwivedi’s overarching project of literary self-determination, in which Khari Boli Hindi language and literature were to be the product of Indian authorship and the bearers of a national, sovereign identity.16 The literary cartoon was a new medium for Hindi criticism.17 The satirical format employed many of the trademarks of the genre, including caricature, hyperbole, irony, and sarcasm. Following the Punch model, this is accomplished in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ series via varying combinations of illustration and accompanying text.18 Words imprinted within, around, and outside the images resulted in multitext, multimedia narratives articulating Dwivedi’s preferred agenda for Hindi. Using a combination of visual and verbal metaphors, the cartoons offered a general assessment of the current states of Hindi

Sensationalizing Hindi 25

language and literature; a critique of specific literary genres; and focused criticism of people and places involved in literary production. Figurative Representations of Hindi’s Present Condition One of the most common focal points in the cartoons is Hindi’s present condition. Whether referring to its language or literature in general or a specific literary genre, contemporary Hindi is personified throughout much of the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ column as a series of negatively charged figures, ranging from disreputable, unhealthy, and pitiable to grotesque, absurd, and laughable. The depictions in many cases involve direct comparisons and juxtapositions with other languages, though there are also instances in which Hindi is represented in isolation. The four images that accompany the inaugural ‘Sāhityasamāchār’ cartoon (Figures 1.1 and 1.2) provide one such negative

Figure 1.1

Visual representation of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (part 1) in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 3 (1) (January 1902), 35–6.

26 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.2

Visual representation of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (part 2) in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 3 (1) (January 1902), 35–6.

assessment of Hindi’s present condition. This cartoon, published in Sarasvatī in January 1902 (35–6), contains representations of four literatures, personified and identified as ‘Marāthī sāhitya’ (Marathi literature), ‘Angrezī sāhitya’ (English literature), ‘Banglā sāhitya’ (Bengali literature), and ‘Hindī sāhitya’ (Hindi literature). The first three individuals represent already developed literatures with their own distinctive traits; the fourth, depicted on a separate page, represents a literature that aspired eagerly to such progress, but which for reasons depicted within the image, had not yet achieved it. Simple, direct titles serve as labels for the individual

Sensationalizing Hindi 27

figures represented, while the image and captions convey Dwivedi’s critique of the plagiarism rampant in Hindi. Attire and accessories associated with region, culture, and/ or country of origin differentiate and describe each of the literary traditions illustrated. Marathi literature is dressed in the frock-like angarkhā with a tie at the waist, a dhotar or waist-cloth with a printed border, an uparne or shoulder cloth, and jore or shoes, depicted here in a traditional, pointed style. He is also wearing the tilak, a sacred mark on his forehead, and has a shikhā, a lock of unshaven hair on his head. In all, he presents the image of a refined yet orthodox Hindu literary tradition. English literature is dressed as might be expected of a proper English gentleman: he wears a formal buttondown shirt, trousers, hat, and shoes. Bengali literature, in typical bhadralok (respectable Bengali) or Bengali bābū fashion, combines traditional dress with some amount of English influence: he wears a traditional dhotī, paired with a formal dress coat and shoes, and carries a handkerchief.19 Each figure appears puzzled and in search of something: Marathi literature scratches his bare head, English literature uses binoculars, and Bengali literature looks through a magnifying glass. The captions under these three images add an air of mystery and farce to the illustrated scene: [मराठी-साहित्य] देखते िी देखते हिसी ने पगडी उडा दी! हिलक्षण जादू!! हिलक्षण इन्द्रजाल!!! [Marathi literature] Someone stole my turban, before my very eyes! What extraordinary magic!! What strange sorcery!!! [अंग्ेजी-साहित्य] ओि, िोट न दारद! पिने िी पिने!! ग़जब!!! [English literature] Oh, my coat has disappeared! While I was wearing it!! Amazing!!! [बँगला-साहित्य] अरे ्यि क्या! डुपट्ा गा्यब! घडी भी गा्यब!!! और रूमाल भी!!! आश्चर्य्य! आश्चर्य्य!! आश्चर्य्य!!! अद्भुत व्यापार!! अद्भुत मा्या!!! [Bengali literature] What’s this! My dupattā [long scarf ] is missing! So is my watch!!! And my handkerchief!!! Astonishing! Astonishing!! Astonishing!!! What strange goings on!! What strange illusions!!! (Sarasvatī, January 1902, 35)

28 The Making of Modern Hindi

Meanwhile, a fourth figure representing Hindi literature appears on the following page in the journal (36). The separation of the first set of images (refined literatures) from this last image facilitates the element of surprise and provides resolution to the mysterious circumstances of the missing items. Here Hindi literature wears a pair of tight-fitting chūrīdār trousers, broadly indicative of his north Indian, Hindi-belt affiliation. His remaining items of clothing and accessories include a hodgepodge of items, clearly stolen from the other literatures: he wears Marathi literature’s turban, English literature’s coat, and Bengali literature’s scarf; he is also holding Bengali literature’s pocket-watch and handkerchief. The visual caricature of Hindi literature as a thief without his own identity (that is, his own regionally and culturally appropriate attire and accessories) directly contrasts with the more refined and individually distinct stereotypes of Marathi, English, and Bengali literatures. The juxtaposition is further dramatized in the accompanying caption: [हिन्दी-साहित्य] लोगों िो अब समझ पड़ैगा हि मैं भी िोई चीज हूं! मुझे देख देख िर उन्िैं ि़ैरत िोगी हि हिस झपाटे से मैंने अपनी उन्नहत िर डाली! िैसा िाथ मारा ि़ै! भई िाि!! पेररस िे मिाहिद्ाल्य में मैंने इस हिज्ान िी हिक्षा पाई ि़ै!!! मजाल ि़ै हिसी िो जरा भी इसिी खबर लग जा्य। और अगर लगै भी तो क्या? ‘टाइमस’ और ‘गलोब’ िी रक्षि, क्षमा िी गोद मेरे हल्ये हजबरालटर िे हिले िा िाम देिोगा! [Hindi literature] Now people will understand that I am something, too! They will see me and be amazed at how quickly I have brought about my own progress! What a job! Wow!! This is the science that I learned at the great university in Paris!!! I doubt anyone can even find out the slightest bit about this. And so what if they do!! The guardian of the ‘Times’ and the ‘Globe’ will pardon me and like the Rock of Gibraltar, serve as my fortress! (36)

The farcical exchange between the four literatures features the seeming naiveté of already developed literatures who are cunningly swindled by a crude counterpart. They are not, however, the chief target of Dwivedi’s ridicule. Hindi literature, in image and caption, is the embodiment of absurdity. His excessively self-congratulatory tone, his belief that plagiarism results in rapid progress, the certainty that his visually obvious deception will go unnoticed, and, if

Sensationalizing Hindi 29

noticed, that he will have the support of foreign institutions is all a testament to his own foolishness. Dwivedi’s visual and verbal caricature of Hindi literature here points to his concern for authorial integrity among Hindi writers and his valuing of genuine progress, however slow, over rapid transformation achieved under false pretence. This cartoon, like several others, seems to implicate particular individuals and institutions, including a plagiarizing Hindi writer who may once have attended a university in Paris, and London-based newspapers such as The Times and The Globe which may have knowingly or unknowingly sanctioned such offences.20 Implicit within Dwivedi’s visual and verbal critique of plagiarism is the need for original Hindi writing. The absurdity of Hindi’s motley appearance and false claims serve as a warning to a broader Hindi literary public: if Hindi is to represent all of India as a national language and literature then it must have an original corpus and it must surpass other languages in its refinement. Here the more advanced literatures of Marathi, English, and Bengali are acknowledged as sources of inspiration and potential competitors for the less refined Hindi. Notably, Urdu, a more immediate and likely rival for Hindi, especially at the regional level of influence, is entirely absent from this scenario; its absence here suggests something of the nature of the problem it poses for Hindi: Urdu, with its overlapping realms of influence, obstructs Hindi’s broader claims to surpass other Indian languages as the sole language of a national community. Radhakrishna Das, one of the two additional contributors to this column, addressed the rivalry between Hindi and Urdu more directly in his cartoon ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), published in Sarasvatī, November 1902 (359). In this cartoon, a gendered narrative pits female against female. The two women pictured here are Hindi and Urdu personified, facing each other in what appears to be an open area with a tree-lined sky behind them. Each language can be identified by her speech, attire, and disposition, illustrated verbally and visually in the caption and image. The caption, a dialogue between the two women, reads as follows: उदू्य—अरी क्योंरी चुड़ैल! तू मर िर भी निीं मरती? हिन्दी—बेटी! तू जुग जुग जी, मुझे क्यों मारे डालै ि़ै? मैंने तेरा क्या हबगाडा ि़ै?

30 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.3

Visual representation of ‘Hindī–Urdū’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 3(11) (November 1902), 359.

उदू—तेर आछते मुझे राजग ी जो नह िमलती। िह दी—ठीक ह बेटी! कलजुग न ह। तुझे इसी िदन क िलये बड़ साध से ज माया था! अ छा तेर जी मE आवै सो कह; पर मेरी तो माता क आ मा ठहरी; म तो आसीस ही दूंगी। Urdu—Why you witch! You died but you are still not dead? Hindi—Daughter! May you live long, why kill me? What have I done to hurt you? Urdu—Since you are still around, I cannot obtain the throne. Hindi—Very well, my daughter! Is it not Kaliyug after all.21 It was for this day [to come] that I gave birth to you with such great effort! Say whatever comes to your mind; but my heart remains that of a mother; I have only blessings to give. (Sarasvatī, November 1902, 359)

Sensationalizing Hindi 31

From this exchange it can be surmised that Urdu is the young woman approaching from the left in the image. Her forward stance and widespread hands suggest an attitude of aggressive inquiry; she has come to confront the seated woman, Hindi, on the issue of her status. Urdu’s speech is crude and intended to offend: she calls Hindi ‘a witch’, addresses her with the insulting ‘tū’ (you) form, and as much as wishes death upon her so that she (Urdu) may ascend the ‘throne’ without competition.22 The throne, here, refers to status as an official language of the colonial administration; it may also refer to nascent claims for status as a pan-Indian, national language. Urdu is further personified as a courtesan here, a representative of Mughal and, by extension, Muslim court culture. Thus, she is seen wearing a chūrīdār-kamīz with a delicately patterned dupattā; she is also covered in fine jewellery from head to toe, including a court dancer’s trademark ankle bells. Hindi, by contrast, is represented as a Hindu matron, wearing a plain sārī, a bindī on her forehead, and relatively simple ornaments, including earrings and bangles. While Urdu stands, Hindi is seated comfortably on a raised platform, suggesting the latter’s seniority in age and rank. Hindi addresses Urdu as her daughter, endures her accusations, and blesses her prodigal offspring. Though a single raised hand that rests on her cheek reveals her distress, Hindi’s tone is marked by forbearance. Thus, Hindi reminds Urdu of the great effort with which she gave birth to her and attributes Urdu’s actions to the present dark age of Kaliyug.23 The personification of Hindi as a selfless and noble mother tormented by her self-serving, defiant, and profligate daughter, Urdu, reflects the extant gender biases of the Hindi public sphere in which women were indeed the subjects of literary discourse, but only insofar as they needed to be idealized, protected, reformed, or excluded.24 In addition, the gendered rhetoric, here both verbal and visual, is deliberately inflammatory and also acts as a trigger for predetermined courses of action within the Hindi public sphere. The construction of Hindi as a mother and virtuous woman who is the victim of aggression might have sparked not only indignation at a perceived injustice but also the impulse to protect and preserve her. The projection of Urdu as both an aggressor and a courtesan representing the much-disparaged excesses of Mughal court culture might also have provoked anger as well as aversion. Moreover, such gendering categorically recommended the rejection of Urdu in favour of Hindi as a contender for official and/or national status on moral rather than linguistic grounds.

32 The Making of Modern Hindi

While Hindi is not necessarily presented in a negative light in Das’s cartoon, ‘she’ is in the pitiable position of being assaulted and rejected by her own offspring. A similar representation of Hindi’s regrettable status as a mother is the subject Dwivedi’s ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), a ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon published in June 1903 (222). In this cartoon, Dwivedi condemns the estrangement of the English-educated Indian elite from their mother tongue, Hindi. The title, which may be translated as ‘Hospitality towards Mother Tongue’, is sarcastic, while the caption adds ironic content as well as a selective display of linguistic preference and script. When

Figure 1.4 Visual representation of ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ in Sarasvatī Source: Sarasvatī 4 (6) (June 1903), 222.

Sensationalizing Hindi 33

read alongside the image, the written text of the title and caption highlight the incongruity of the situation illustrated in the cartoon. Pictured here is a young couple, an Indian man and an English woman, each dressed in accordance with the customs of their country of origin. An old Indian woman dressed in a simple sārī confronts them as they stand outside their bungalow. The Indian man holds his English beloved in an affectionate and/or protective embrace, while his demeanor conveys shock and repugnance at the advancing woman. The caption contains dialogue that expands and further dramatizes the scene presented in the image: अंग्ेजी भाषा—‘हड्यर, हड्यर, देखो ्यि िौन आती ि़ै!’ श्ी्युत् पण्डत हिद्ाहनधान पा्डे्य, ्यम॰ ए॰, डी॰ ्यस॰ सी॰, ्यल॰ ्यल-बी॰ (मातृभाषा से)— ‘ख़बरदार, जो इस तरफ़ क़दम बढा्या।’ मातृभाषा—‘िा्य िरम!’ English Language—‘Dear, dear, look who is this [woman] approaching [us]!’ Shrīyut Pandit Vidyānidhān Pāndey, M.A., D.Sc., LL.B. (to Mother Tongue)—‘Beware of taking even a single step in this direction.’ Mother Tongue: ‘Alas, my fate!’ (222)

The man’s name and titles alone sufficiently convey Dwivedi’s mocking tone in the caption. While the titles ‘Shrīyut’ and ‘Pandit’ respectively imply the man’s nobility and wisdom as a Brahmin scholar, his first name, ‘Vidyānidhān’, signifying a treasury of knowledge, reiterates his supposed learning, and his surname, ‘Pāndey’, repeats his scholarly caste status. In addition to the merits implied by his given and family names, he has an English education appropriately marked by a long string of earned academic degrees: he is a Master of Arts, a Doctor of Science, and a Bachelor of Laws. The man, though respectable by birth and by degree, disrespects his Mother Tongue (Hindi), treating her with contempt, like a beggar to be driven away from his home and property. Linguistic usage in the dialogue further communicates this rejection. Vidyanidhan’s beloved, English Language, laments Mother Tongue’s approach in a mix of English and Hindi. His own harsh words of warning reflect a mixed Hindi–Urdu speech, apparent both in his choice of words and in his pronunciation. Thus, the

34 The Making of Modern Hindi

Devanagari text bears all the proper marks of correctly pronounced borrowed (Perso-Arabic) sounds, which are otherwise either absent or arbitrarily marked in the journal’s Hindi text.25 Meanwhile, Mother Tongue has only the chance to speak two words mourning her fate. As with Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’, language is of central concern in Dwivedi’s ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’. These two cartoons represent a competitive linguistic atmosphere in which Hindi is a maternal figure whose status is undercut by the younger, more alluring rivals, Urdu and English respectively. The gendered filial narratives of both cartoons invite anger among Hindi speakers at Hindi’s treatment by its linguistic rivals. Das’s cartoon is, however, focused entirely outward, on Urdu, and consequently more incendiary. Dwivedi’s critique of English is rather mild in comparison to Das’s of Urdu; while Urdu is a courtesan, English has at least the status of being a wife. More significantly, Dwivedi also invites self-critique within the Hindi-speaking community. His cartoon illustrates the complicity of Hindi speakers in perpetuating the present poor condition of the language. Dwivedi’s objective is internal reform: to inspire action among Hindi speakers to fulfil their filial duties by working to uplift the status of their mother tongue. In addition to general critiques of the state of Hindi language and its literature, several of the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons also consider the state of individual literary genres. Language, however, is still of central importance. In ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’, published in September 1902 (293), Dwivedi considers the state of poetry in Khari Boli, in particular, its lack of a singular, uniform identity (Figure 1.5). Thus, we see here the image of Khari Boli poetry represented as a five-headed man. Each of the heads, distinguished by their headwear and/or grooming styles (including facial and head hair), is numbered and then identified as a unique style of Khari Boli poetic expression. They are as follows: (1) ‘Munshī style’ identifies the head of an Indian clerk or scribe and likely refers to an official style used by this group of Indians in British administrative service; this style of Khari Boli might be characterized by the use of Hindustani (Urdu) in the Persian script, the predominant language of lower-level colonial administration in north India at the turn of the century. (2) ‘Maulvī style’ identifies the head of an Islamic scholar/priest. This style of Khari Boli might also have featured a heavily Perso-Arabic inflected vocabulary and/or grammatical structures; in addition, it might also have drawn poetic inspiration from Islamic writing or Urdu, Persian, and Arabic literary traditions. (3) ‘Pandit style’ identifies the central,

Sensationalizing Hindi 35

Figure 1.5

Visual representation of ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 3 (9) (September 1902), 293.

front-facing head of the figure, a Hindu scholar/priest. Khari Boli poetry in this style would draw heavily from Sanskrit vocabulary and/or grammatical structures; it might also show influences from a Sanskritic and/ or high-caste, Hindu-oriented poetic tradition. (4) ‘Eurasian style’ and (5) ‘European style’ represent hybrid styles of Khari Boli poetry marked by varying degrees of European and/or English influence.

36 The Making of Modern Hindi

As with ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (Figures 1.1 and 1.2), Dwivedi employs sartorial nuances, in headgear, footwear, garments, and ornaments, to indicate styles that are merely copied rather than belonging to a unified whole. Though there is only one body for all five heads, it, too, is dressed in a hybrid style: the clearest indication of this is the English boots worn in combination with Indian clothing.26 A stylistic hierarchy within the image defies any ranking implied by the numerical key: the prominence and placement on the body of the head of (3) ‘Pandit style’ suggests that, though not necessarily Dwivedi’s style of choice, it may have some moral superiority over the other poetic styles represented here; next in rank are the (1) ‘Munshī’ and (2) ‘Maulvī’ styles, whose profiles are immediately to the left and right of ‘Pandit style’ respectively; last in importance are (5) ‘European style’ and (4) ‘Eurasian style’, whose profiles appear at the rear left and right of the figure respectively. The cartoon presents Dwivedi’s central concern: the hybrid or composite nature of Khari Boli poetic articulation at a time when he believed a single linguistic and stylistic standard would promote greater national progress. Though all of the styles caricatured here are targets of Dwivedi’s criticism, the linguistic style that he favours as best suited to a modern existence is embedded in the Khari Boli verse printed beneath the image. दो पैरों पर एि धड, हिर हसर पाँच अनूप। मुझ पचरूंगे पद् िा देखो सुघर सिरूप॥ One body on two legs, but [with] five distinct heads; Look at me, a motley verse, the embodiment of beauty. (293)

In this verse, the five-headed figure, ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’, combines description with a sarcastic appreciation of his own hybridity; he communicates the absurdity of his existence while also making a plea for the manner of his reform. He speaks in a Khari Boli that eschews Persian, Arabic, and English vocabulary; thus, this style is neither ‘Munshī’, ‘Maulvī’, ‘Eurasian’, nor ‘European’. However, nor is this verse in the ‘Pandit style’. Though it maintains the Sanskrit orientation of this latter style, the figure’s speech is informal, mitigated by the use of tadbhava, or modified Sanskrit vocabulary, as well as words of Prakrit and unestablished origin that were more common

Sensationalizing Hindi 37

in everyday speech than in religious or scholarly treatises. Dwivedi’s cartoon, via title, caption, key, and image, features his criticism of hybridity in the language of poetic articulation. It also suggests his preferred alternative: a unified, simple Khari Boli, oriented towards Sanskrit, but without being overly burdened by it.27 Dwivedi’s concern for the uniformity of Khari Boli poetry is rooted in yet another linguistic and literary rivalry, one that is particular to the genre of poetry. His first set of cartoons on the threat of Braj Bhasha to modern Hindi is ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ (early poetry, Figure 1.6) and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (early

Figure 1.6

Visual representation of ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 3 (3) (March 1902), 99.

38 The Making of Modern Hindi

poetry’s modern incarnation, Figure 1.7), published in March 1902 (99–100). Here Dwivedi graphically illustrated the consequences of Braj Bhasha’s persistence; of concern here is the persistence of Braj Bhasha’s associated literary conventions. ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ depicts a beautiful Indian heroine from a bygone era representing the once popular convention of nāyikā-bhed.28

Figure 1.7 Sarasvatī

Visual representation of ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ in

Source: Sarasvatī 3 (3) (March 1902), 100.

Sensationalizing Hindi 39

In Figure 1.6 the goddess-like figure, pictured with halo and crown and dressed in a delicately patterned sārī, is reminiscent of Ravi Varma’s popular depictions of the Hindu goddess Sarasvati (see Figure 1.8). She sits peacefully on an ornate bench in a lush courtyard, an idyllic setting, in which she charms her enamoured male audience with her musical talents. The modern incarnation of this once beautiful heroine in ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figure 1.7) is a large and grotesque, half-naked, bloody monstrosity

Figure 1.8 ‘Sarasvatī’ by Ravi Varma, December 1901 cover page of Sarasvatī Source: Cover of Sarasvatī 2 (12) (December 1901).

40 The Making of Modern Hindi

with severed limbs, distended breasts, and a bruised body. The landscape is barren, and an all-male audience flees from the woman in terror. This pair of images graphically illustrates, Dwivedi’s conviction that the time for Braj Bhasha verse and its associated convention of nāyikā-bhed had passed. The female form, once a source of beauty and serenity in verse, was now a giant, looming horror, and posed a threat to the very existence of modern literature and its readers.29 Dwivedi’s articulation of the suggestive power of poetry, to unite or disperse, mesmerize or terrorize, is indicative of his larger literarynational agenda and the centrality of Khari Boli poetry within it. His sensationalized, gendered narrative invites immediate action in favour of a new poetic norm in order to avoid such a fate for Hindi. The pair of images also reflected the predominant power structure of the Hindi public sphere in which men were the primary participants and women were the objects of their literary gaze, deified and idealized or demonized and subjected to reform. Dwivedi’s primary focus in much of the series is on the condition of modern Hindi poetry; indeed five of his twelve cartoons focus on this genre alone. In a cartoon titled ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (novelists and their works), published in December 1903 (440), Kashiprasad Jayaswal presents a sensationalist rendering of the state of another genre, the novel (Figure 1.9).30 His criticism of the novel as a base form of entertainment implicates also novelists, of questionable character for producing such works, and readers whose excessive and undiscerning consumption drives the demand for such writing. Pictured here is a portly Indian man standing alongside a fourheaded, eight-armed female playing a long pipe. They stand in front of a doorway, inside a domestic (rather than institutional) structure; there are four diminutive wrestler-like figures sporting and sparring near the house, suggesting a general fondness for crude entertainment. Presumably, this is the residence of a wealthy family as it is decorated and furnished with a carpet, drapes, and an ornate table. The walls and floor of the structure are imprinted in several places with the word, ‘upanyās’ (novel), representing the genre’s plentiful presence; additional words also appear, including possibly ‘suprachar’ (abundantly circulated) and ‘dhokābājī’ (deceit), though their exact forms are somewhat difficult to discern in the image. These two words have a single occurrence and reiterate the novel’s widespread appeal and also suggest the novel’s questionable subject matter. The title and

Sensationalizing Hindi 41

Figure 1.9

Visual representation of ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 4 (12) (December 1903), 440.

caption inform us that the two individuals represent a novelist and his (personified) creation; they are each the embodiment of excess in their respective forms. The caption also describes and further dramatizes the scene with a humorous dialogue between the two individuals: उ का —बेटी, तु ह क न अिधक ाहते ह? ादी क नली से कती U कित ( थे मु से)—आ क अ धे

र गाठ क पूर।

Novelist—Daughter, who loves you the most? The creation, while blowing on a silver pipe (from her fourth mouth)—Those whose eyes are blind, and whose pockets are full.

This exchange suggests that the primary consumers of novels are those who have nothing better to do with their money than spend it on something they do not need. It also suggests that the

42 The Making of Modern Hindi

large-bellied novelist is a successful profiteer and his multi-headed creation, the novel, his lucrative spectacle. Together, they deliberately conspire to take advantage of the wealthy but blind (that is, those who do not have the ability to distinguish between good and bad literature). Literary Production: Caricatures of People and Places of Consequence Like Jayaswal, who criticized not only the state of the novel but also novelists and readers in ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (Figure 1.9), Dwivedi also indicted various people and places that contributed to the present condition of Hindi. Dwivedi’s critical gaze covers people involved in all aspects of literary production, from creation to distribution and analysis, including poets and patrons, editors, critics, textbook authors, and policy-makers; he also targets literary and educational institutions, commercial printing presses, and other major sites of literary consumption and/or production such as domestic spaces, poetic gatherings, and urban literary centres. ‘Kavitā kutumb par vipatti’ (adversity strikes the poetic family, Figure 1.10), published in the January 1903 issue of Sarasvatī (36), is a cautionary cartoon that falls within this category. It depicts the violent threat to modern Hindi posed by Braj Bhasha poets in the modern era as well as by the institutions that support them. The sensationalist text of the title marks poetry as a genre in imminent danger, while visual and verbal caricature in the image and caption issues the details of Dwivedi’s warning. There are six individuals pictured in the cartoon: three men and two women in a group to the right, while a lone figure charges towards them from the left. The group appears to be an audience awaiting a poetic performance. Their appearance, attire, and, in some cases, position provide clues regarding their identities: from left to right, we see a seated wealthy patron/nobleman in fine attire, resting his weight on a walking staff; a matron, featured prominently in the front and centre of the audience/image, wearing an unembellished sārī; a simply dressed young man, possibly a brahmachārī (ascetic student), standing with one arm outstretched; a crowned king looking on from the back; and a young maiden in

Sensationalizing Hindi 43

Figure 1.10

Visual representation of ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 4 (1) (January 1903), 36.

a printed sārī, also standing towards the back of the audience, with her hands clasping what appears to be a flower. They represent a once powerful and beautiful set of literary figures and devices. Though most are facing a club-wielding assailant, they are all unmoved and seem to await the attack with calm anticipation. The assailant’s attire is relatively crude. He wears only a short loincloth typically worn by athletes and some sort of cover on his head. It is unclear from the image whether he is a primitive muscleman or a tail-less Hanuman-like figure; that he is a caricature, however, is certain.31

44 The Making of Modern Hindi

The title, ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’, suggests that this is a scene of impending tragedy, while the text below the image supplies the dramatic details. There is a descriptive label, ‘Kavitā-kutumb’ (poetic-family), placed underneath the group of figures on the right; each individual is further classified as one of the various literary aspects or devices of poetry. The nobleman is ‘vyang’ representing satire or wit; the matron represents ‘akshar-maitrī’ (harmony of sound); the brahmachārī is ‘arth’ or meaning; the king represents ‘alankār’ or figurative language; and the maiden is the embodiment of ‘sarastā’ or aesthetic/emotional appeal. The assailant represents ‘anek upādhidhārī samasyāpūrak kavi’ (various title-bearing, awardwinning, or degree-holding samasyāpūrak poets).32 The assailant appears to be the primary target of Dwivedi’s criticism. The caption, a Braj Bhasha verse printed just below the identifying labels, is the poet-assailant’s battle cry: िौं जो भ्यंिर गदा ्यि िसत धारे। तािो चला्य मुख चूर िरौं हतिारे! Using the formidable club that this hand wields, I shall smash your faces! (Sarasvatī, January 1903, 36)

The poet’s lack of refinement is implicit in this verse. The brutality of his words transforms the very image of Braj Bhasha, historically a refined literary language, into vulgar expression. His crude actions and appearance further contribute to the paradox he presents, an institutionally recognized (that is, award-winning, degree-holding, or title-bearing) modern poet resorting to vulgarity. This cartoon visually and verbally captures some of shifts in poetic practice that Francesca Orsini (2002, 81–4) has discussed in her monograph on the early twentieth-century Hindi public sphere. Samasyāpūrti was once an acceptable means of testing poetic excellence and encouraging competition among Braj Bhasha court poets. In the modern era, such poetic competitions had moved out of the courts and into public spaces; poets, competing in both Braj Bhasha and Khari Boli, would receive public accolades from wealthy patrons rather than royals (Orsini 2002, 81). Orsini elaborates on the structural reorientation that accompanied such spatial and linguistic shifts (Orsini 2002, 84):

Sensationalizing Hindi 45

Earlier, poetic samasyās had been a ‘brief and pleasant’ test of a poet’s talent and skill in a circle of connoisseurs. For the poet trained in strict poetic rules, this was a means to stir creativity: though restrictive, a samasyā allowed enough freedom to exercise the imagination. On the other hand, in public kavi sammelans in the twentieth century, samasyā-pūrti was no longer a test: samasyās were set, announced, and printed in advance. Catering now to a general audience, easy samasyās or a general theme were only meant to arouse expectations and generate entertainment. (Orsini 2002, 84)

In the image, the king’s position at the back and the wealthy nobleman’s relative proximity to the performing poet-assailant signal the shift in patronage from the royal court to the public arena in the modern era. However, neither the royal figure at the rear nor the seated nobleman, once patrons of poetry, is in any position to offer protection to the poetic family represented here. The caricature of Braj Bhasha–speaking samasyāpūrak poets as a brutal man/beast assaulting the poetic family conveys Dwivedi’s harsh critique of samasyāpūrti poets in the modern era, who may have been technically proficient, but lacked creativity; rather, as the caricature suggests, they were destructive in their dealings with a once powerful and beautiful tradition (represented by the various members of the poetic family). The cartoon foretells the probable death of Hindi poetry if the current situation persists.33 In ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (nāyikā-bhed author-poets and their patron king), published in April 1903 (150), Dwivedi once again targets members of a Hindi literary community that engaged in outdated poetic practices (Figure 1.11). He focuses here on the continued patronage and practice of nāyikā-bhed rather than on samasyāpūrti.34 Image and text interact to convey Dwivedi’s criticism, this time injecting humour into his illustration of impending tragedy. Pictured here is a group of four Indian men walking along a remote, overgrown path in single-file, each resting a hand on the shoulder of the man in front for support. At the head of the line is a king, likely the maharaja of some princely state, whose weapon, ornaments, and fine clothing distinguish him from the others. In addition, he wears a star imprinted with the letters CIE on his left lapel, which is emblematic of membership in a chivalric order of the Indian empire and thereby also suggests some form of colonial sanction.35

46 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.11 Visual representation of ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ in Sarasvatī Source: Sarasvatī 4 (4) (April 1903), 150.

His followers, by contrast, wear simpler, unembellished attire.36 The last man in the line holds a blind man’s walking stick, though all four figures walk with their eyes closed. The title confirms the royal status of the leader and identifies the remaining three figures as writers who engage in the practice of nāyikā-bhed. The caption further identifies the king as ‘Mahārājā Nāyikeshwar-prasād Singh Varmmā’. The titles/names Singh and Varmmā suggest that the target of Dwivedi’s criticism is a Rajput Kshatriya: someone who though belonging in an older feudal order might still have influence as a recognized (that is, knighted) ally of the British Raj. The king’s fictitious first name, ‘Nāyikeshwar-prasād’ (literally, gift of the lord of the nāyaks, or heroes), is a mock tribute to

Sensationalizing Hindi 47

his predilection for nāyikā-bhed poetry. The king’s words of encouragement to his companions when read in conjunction with the image supply additional humour: आइए ििीश्वर जी, चले आइए! पुरसिार हमलने में अब देर निीं!! Come [with me], esteemed poets, please come! [Your] prize awaits! (150)

The king, representing the old guard of literary patronage still deeply entrenched in the courtly Braj Bhasha traditions, advances blindly towards a well directly in their path and leads a new generation of poets, also advancing blindly, on a (mis)adventure, with the enticement of awards honouring this poetic practice. The king’s misguided patronage is the primary subject of Dwivedi’s critique; also at fault, however, are the poets, who do not see beyond promises of immediate reward.37 Patron and poets are, here, the embodiment of Hindi as spectacle: the blind leading the blind, with no thought of the dangers of what lies ahead. They have, as a consequence, strayed from the path of progress that Dwivedi has envisioned for modern Hindi literature and are headed directly towards their own demise. In ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’, published in May 1903 (186), Dwivedi targeted another increasingly powerful literary figure: the editor (Figure 1.12). Pictured here is a short, large-bellied Indian male figure, who, the title informs us, is an ‘an editor proficient in all the arts’. He stands on a high pedestal, waiving a flag imprinted with the following Hindi text: िमारे ्यन्त्ाल्य िी ऐसी अद्भुत पुसतिैं हत्लोि में निीं! िमारे ्यिां िी घहड्यां िज्र से भी निीं टूटती!! िमारी दिाइ्यों से मुददे भी जी उठते िैं!!! Our yantrālay has books so amazing they aren’t [available] in the three worlds!38 The watches at our place don’t break, even [when hit] by lightning!! Our medicines can revitalize even the dead!!! (186)

Dwivedi’s choice of the word yantrālay is deliberate. It can signify ‘manufacturer’ or ‘printing press’, thus indicating the blurred lines

48 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.12 Visual representation of ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ in Sarasvatī Source: Sarasvatī 4 (5) (May 1903), 186.

Sensationalizing Hindi 49

between these two institutions for the editor in question.39 A billowing steam stack looms in the background of the image and is adjacent to a large, multi-storeyed building, likely representing the multipurpose yantrālay to which the editor refers. The banner text indicates that this editor is more interested in selling products (for example, amazing books, indestructible watches, and miraculous medicines) than he is in the art of editing; his caricature as a large-bellied man suggests that he is clearly thriving as a result. The so-called editor’s self-promoting, self-serving commercialism is the primary subject of Dwivedi’s critique. Contrary to the title’s mock words of praise, the editor, by Dwivedi’s measure, is not ‘proficient in all the arts’; rather, as the image suggests, he is merely a peddler of manufactured goods. In ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13), published in August 1903 (295), Dwivedi turns his criticism towards critics themselves. Pictured here is a miniature man hanging with one hand from a palm tree; with his other hand, he is aiming a rifle at a group of four relatively large Indian men standing below him. Rather than bullets, some form of printed text appears to be shooting out from the rifle. The four men are pointing and looking up at the figure with some combination of gravity, curiosity, and amusement. The men appear to be Indian as indicated by their attire and accoutrements; the man in the tree may also be Indian but is Anglicized in appearance as indicated by his coat, hat, and rifle. While it is difficult to make out some of the finer points of these details in the image, Dwivedi’s handwritten notes to the cartoonist corroborate and elaborate upon this reading. Singh (1951) has quoted these notes at length: िूरिीर समालोचि एि ऊंचा ताड िा पेड ि़ै—उसिी चोटी पर पत्ों िे झुबरे िे ठीि नीचे पेड से हलपटा हुआ एि िामनरूप बहुत िी छोटा मनुष्य ि़ै—पा्यजामा, बूट, अचिन पिने ि़ै—हिर में हििारर्यों िी सी ि़ैट (अंग्ेजी) ि़ै—िाथ में दोनली बन्दूि ि़ै—नीचे खडे हुए चार मनुष्यों पर हनिाना लगा रिा ि़ै—नली िे मुँि से एि लमबा अख़बार लटिता ि़ै— नीचे चार आदमी बहुत मोटे ताजे और उूंचे पूरे गंभीरता से खडे िैं—एि दूसरे िी ओर देख देख िर मुसिाराते [sic] भी जाते िैं—उन चारों िे नाम िैं— नाटििार–बाबू राधािृषण दास िी िक्ल सूरत और पोिाि िा आदमी। ग्ंथिार–बाबू श्यामसुन्दर दास िी िक्ल िा आदमी िहि–िमारी िक्ल से हमलता हुआ। धाहम्यि–एि सन््यासी, सर घुटा हुआ, लमबा जामा सा पिने हुए, िाथ में िमंडलु। These four names and one above should appear [original in English].

50 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.13

Visual representation of ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 4 (8) (August 1903), 295.

Sensationalizing Hindi 51

The valiant critic There is a tall palm tree—at its top just beneath a cluster of leaves is a very small dwarf-sized man hanging from the tree—wearing pants, boots, and an achkan [a long, single-breasted Indian coat]—on his head is something like an (English) hunter’s hat—in his hands a double-barrelled gun—he is aiming at the four men standing below—a long newspaper hangs from the mouth of the barrel— Four very large, vigorous, and tall men are standing below looking quite serious—looking at each other and smiling on occasion—the names of those four are— Playwright–a man resembling Bābū Radhakrishna Das’s countenance and attire. Author/compiler–a man with Bābū Shyamsundar Das’s face Poet–[a man whose face] resembles my face. Religious figure–an ascetic, with a shaved head, wearing a long robe-like garment, a water-pot in his hand. These four names and one above should appear. (180)

While the caption below simply identifies (left to right) the four men standing at the base of the tree as ‘poet’, ‘playwright’, ‘author/compiler’, and ‘religious figure’, the title above offers a more descriptive label for the man in the tree, one that is unquestionably sarcastic in its intent: ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (the valiant critic). The so-called valiant critic, we can surmise from his attire and Dwivedi’s notes, is Indian (he wears an achkan) but is English-minded, fires his criticism at other Indian authors at so great a distance that it seems more cowardly rather than heroic, lacks impact, and inspires some degree of amusement. His physical distance—he is above the authors rather than among them—further suggests an ideological separation. Per the illustration, such critics, with their preference for all things English, lacked a close understanding of the situation on the ground and, likely, were too far removed from literature/authors in Hindi to provide accurate and effective assessments of their work. The ‘valiant’ English-minded critic is, thus, no champion of Hindi literature; rather, he is powerless and inconsequential to its development. Dwivedi’s agenda here is unmistakable: to encourage and support Hindi authors and critics in the face of foreign and/or foreign-minded criticism. In ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14), published in September 1903 (336), Dwivedi targets textbook authors whose policies do not favour Hindi, but rather its

52 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.14 Visual representation of ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ in Sarasvatī Source: Sarasvatī 4 (9) (September 1903), 336.

competitors.40 Here, Hindi language is pictured as the victim of an assault. Unlike the towering female figure represented in ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figure 1.7), the personification of Hindi in this image shrinks in fear from her male assailant, a school textbook author as per the title. She has long hair, is dressed in a simple sārī, and wears a high-necked and long-sleeved blouse, presumably indicating her traditionalism and the unadorned virtue and modesty of Hindi in comparison with her rival Urdu, which has been imagined elsewhere as a courtesan (see Figure 1.3). Her attacker wields a weapon with one hand, and with the other hand grasps at her hair. He is dressed

Sensationalizing Hindi 53

in a suit and tie that reveal little of his identity other than perhaps an elite English education or colonial sympathies; his hat, however, is Indian.41 The use of the Urdu word madarsā for school in the title further suggests that he is an author who prefers Urdu to Hindi. The man’s face is marked by malice; his eyes in particular reveal his cruel intent. The image communicates Dwivedi’s criticism of the use of Urdu, or Urdu-influenced Hindi in school textbooks.42 Such linguistic choices, whether by default or design, would have the potential to institutionalize preferences for Urdu among future generations. Like Das (Figure 1.3), Dwivedi communicates the need to protect Hindi in the face of threat via sensationalized, gendered content. The cartoon’s depiction of Hindi language as a female, virtuous and victimized, and Urdu-biased textbook authorities as male aggressors, lecherous and forceful, reveal both a literary agenda and public sphere of activity in which women are acted upon and for by those with authority. The cartoon also advocates her immediate rescue by education officials and other Hindi literary authorities (that is, publishers, writers, consumers), which are, incidentally, all represented in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons as male. In addition to people, places also figure prominently in the literary criticism offered by the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons. Many of these narratives unfold in public spaces, visually detailed to support the concern in question. In ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6 and 1.7), for example, an audience gathers to appreciate an approved classical manifestation of Hindi poetry outdoors in a lush courtyard; in the presence of her modern incarnation, a terrorized audience disperses in a barren wasteland. Indeed most of the cartoons feature general locations that indicate the public rather than private nature of the concerns illustrated.43 Even ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) and ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) take place in interior spaces (for example, on school grounds or the meeting place of a literary society) that are institutionally significant to the development of Hindi. Cartoons such as ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10), ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), ‘Shūrvīrsamālochak’ (Figure 1.13), ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske

54 The Making of Modern Hindi

granthakarttā’, (Figure 1.14), and ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17), in particular, target institutional spaces that comprise a major aspect of what Francesca Orsini has referred to as the Hindi literary system (2002, 7). She writes: The press, education and schools, literary genres, associations, and political activities were all spaces where language, ideas, literary tastes, and individual and group identities were reshaped, both consciously as well as by the dynamics and momentum of each medium. (Orsini 2002, 7)

Such institutions, she argues, facilitated the hegemony of certain literary discourses, including Dwivedi’s own developing agenda for Hindi, once established. That he targets major institutional players at the start of his literary career, including degree- and award-bearing institutions in ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10), royal sanction by the rulers of princely states in ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), publishing houses in ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), English-language newspapers in ‘Shūrvīrsamālochak’ (Figure 1.13), Urdu-medium schools in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’, and associations such as the Nagari Pracharini Sabha in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, to be discussed shortly) is of no small consequence. It indicates both his foresight into the dynamics of a Hindi public sphere that was just emerging at the time of publication of these cartoons as well as his audacity as a novice editor attempting to gain consensus for his literary agenda from some of these very institutions. Another site of literary production to which Dwivedi turns his critical attention is the city of Kashi, present-day Varanasi. ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ (Figure 1.15) and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16) expressly identify this city, an established centre of Hindi literary activity at the turn of the century, as relevant to his critiques. ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’, published in July 1903 (258), is a relatively simply illustrated cartoon compared to Dwivedi’s other concepts (Figure 1.15). It contains a tree laden with fruits of various shapes and sizes on the one side and completely barren and dying on the other. The fruit-bearing side is imprinted in several places with the single word ‘upanyās’ (novel). The title informs readers that this

Sensationalizing Hindi 55

Figure 1.15

Visual representation of ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 4 (7) (July 1903), 258.

tree represents the state of literature in the city of Varanasi. Dwivedi’s implied criticism here concerns what he perceives to be the overabundance of novels being published from Varanasi and the lack of attention to any of the other branches of writing necessary for a comprehensive literary corpus.44 The image of a tree representing the development of Hindi literature is one that recurs as part of a narrative of natural rather than

56 The Making of Modern Hindi

Figure 1.16 Visual representation of ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ in Sarasvatī Source: Sarasvatī 12 (11) (November 1903), 406.

artificial growth in Dwivedi’s essays. This nature-based image—from its first stages as seedling and sprout to its growth into a mature tree, from its roots and branches to its flowers and fruit—symbolizes the organic development of Hindi literature over time. Urdu literature, by comparison, is not so depicted in image or text as its growth is to be considered artificial.45 That said, in the image illustrated here it is clear that Dwivedi’s idea of natural growth does not preclude some form of deliberate cultivation, which he implies should be occurring in especially the literature coming out of Varanasi.46

Sensationalizing Hindi 57

‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’, whose primary focus is the over-production of novels, places under scrutiny the city in which such uneven publication occurs, as well as writers and institutions within this city (for example, printing and publishing firms, literary societies, and so on) who fuel this obsession with novels at the expense of other genres.47 Also implicated is the quality of literary activity associated with this city, though not as expressly articulated in ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ (Figure 1.15) as it is in Jayaswal’s ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (Figure 1.9). In ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16), published in November 1903 (406), Dwivedi’s location-specific criticism targets structures of power that inform linguistic and literary activity within the city of Kashi, which would in turn impact activity within the larger Hindi public sphere. The subtitle, in this case, identifies the precise location pictured: ‘Location: Kashi—On the banks of the Ganga River’. The scene is a tragic one, in which the personification of a chātakī (female cuckoo) bird is seen jumping into the holy river from the raised edge of a ghāt (a stepped embankment). She is dressed in a traditional ghāghrā and chunarī, though it is not as simple, matronly, or modest as either the female personifications of ‘akshar-maitrī’ in ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10) or Hindi in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14). In fact, her clothing most closely resembles that of the female personification of ‘beauty’, one of the members of the poetic family in ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10). This suggests that she may be a general representation of the fate of classical Hindi poetry in the modern era. The man in Figure 1.16, identified only as ‘a Rajput’ and standing tall on the raised surface at the water’s edge, has ordered her death. In one hand he has a cane, symbolic of his authority, while the index finger of his other hand points firmly in the direction of the river. Both he and the chātakī loom large in the illustration, and are identified by labels printed just beneath their figures. Several other figures are onlookers to the scene, including a holy man and a young, plainly dressed female (possibly, a widow) seated on the lower edge of the ghāt, closer to the water; passing by the scene in a boat is a king and his oarsman.48 These secondary figures are represented in smaller scale relative to the two central figures.

58 The Making of Modern Hindi

The image represents the demise of the chātak bird, a metaphor with roots in classical Sanskrit literature.49 The chātak is believed to drink only drops of rainwater that fall directly from the skies. The bird awaits the rain with patient anticipation, and often represents the yearning for one’s beloved in Sanskrit literature. As no other form of water can quench its thirst, even the waters of the holy Ganga River pictured here would not be able to save this chātakī from death. Here, Dwivedi alludes to his disapproval of what is most likely a specific linguistic policy for modern Hindi, one that might have repercussions for poetry. This policy, promoted by the pictured Kashi-based authority figure, would probably have involved a turning away from classical Sanskrit roots.50 That these events unfold in the presence of a king and two other onlookers who do not or cannot intervene and who even in their appearance are smaller than the Rajput, suggests their helplessness in the face of the Rajput’s authority.51 The scene, pictured against the backdrop of a ghāt and temple architecture with the holy Ganga River flowing in the foreground, invokes the sanctity of this location—a sacred Hindu city—and its connections to an ancient Sanskrit literary tradition. This compounds the tragedy of the chātakī’s death in front of a powerless Hindi/Hindu public, decrying it as an unfortunate break with established traditions.52 Complex Literary-Visual Narratives: Additional Nuances Additional nuances of the literary-visual narratives presented in the cartoons provide further depth of meaning and insights into Dwivedi’s developing nationalist narrative; by verbally and/or visually invoking other aspects of Indian identity, for example, including gender and religion, the cartoons invite other readings using these categories as additional, overlapping lenses of analyses. Almost all the cartoons verbally and visually illustrate some of the gender norms of the Hindi public sphere within which they conveyed meaning. Literary authorities and active participants in the Hindi public sphere represented in these cartoons, including authors, compilers, critics, editors, patrons, and scholars, are all represented as male.53 Even readers—who may also be any of the above literary

Sensationalizing Hindi 59

authorities or influence the demand for certain kinds of literary production as consumers—are represented here as men.54 Literature, whether as a single entity or in its component genres, is also most often represented as male.55 Language, the object of idealization or reform in much of the writings of this era, is in every appearance in these cartoons personified as a female. Though all languages in Hindi are grammatically gendered as feminine, the visual and verbal gendering in these cartoons is deliberate and more nuanced than a purely grammatical correlation would suggest. Each language has a distinct female identity based on the language personified and/or context in which it appears.56 Moreover, Dwivedi’s ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) and Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), for example, offer gendered criticisms that play also on associations of linguistic and religious identity prevalent in north India at this time. Such associations add to the incendiary potential of these two cartoons. Thus, for the audience of these cartoons, Hindi, with its associations as the virtuous victim, would be presumed to be a Hindu female, while Urdu, associated with vice and aggression, would be identified as a Muslim male or female. Subtle indications within the images, for example, corroborate such associations and avoid the need to state them explicitly in the accompanying text. Therefore, in Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), Urdu’s attire suggests she is a courtesan to be associated with Mughal courts, which would thus affirm for readers her Muslim identity; the matriarch Hindi’s sārī and bindī, by contrast, might confirm reader suppositions that she is Hindu. So, conveying the presumptive associations of this era, Christopher King in his description of Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ writes: ‘On the left stood a Muslim prostitute, decked out in all the finery of her profession. On the right, facing her rival, sat a Hindu matron, modestly clothed in an ordinary sari’ (1994, 139). Similarly, Hindi’s sārī and the textbook author’s topī might provide cause enough for readers in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) to make similar associations regarding the gendered religious identity of the two figures. Both Das and Dwivedi critique the present state of Hindi via gendered narratives of its victimhood to elevate its status vis-à-vis Urdu.

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Urdu, however, is not the only linguistic perpetrator of injustice in gendered narratives of Hindi’s victimhood. In ‘Matribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), already discussed, Hindi is also personified as a suffering mother. Her son, a highly educated scholar, rejects her in favour of the English language, personified as his beloved. Her son ‘Vidyānidhān’, representative of a young, English-educated elite class of Indian men, is not the sole offender here. The young foreign beloved (English), who has turned a son against his elderly self-sacrificing mother (Hindi), is also complicit in this offence. While the rhetoric of victimization is not as charged here as in cartoons in which Urdu figures, it remains relevant to Dwivedi’s criticism of Hindi’s current pitiable status in relation to its perceived rival languages. The gendering of content in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons both sensationalized literary criticism to incite a calculated response among Sarasvatī’s largely male readership and mirrored existing gender biases of the Hindi public sphere. As criticism, these gendered narratives also delimited the very content of modern Hindi literature. The most obvious instance of this has already been discussed: the discouragement of Braj Bhasha conventions such as nāyikā-bhed that might focus too obsessively on the female form, and not enough on Dwivedi’s literary priorities.57 In many of the cartoons, a similar gendering of content is accomplished through sartorial choices, which in turn define literary propriety and impropriety. The Hindi language, whether illustrated as a matriarch or a maiden, appears in most instances in an ordinary sārī with minimal ornamentation.58 This indicates a preference for functional, serious Hindi content. The more stylishly dressed English lady and more ornately attired Urdu courtesan represent content that, by contrast, charms and distracts its readers. When Hindi, as a language, literature, or literary genre, is itself the source of criticism, he/she is generally personified in far more conspicuous clothing. Thus, in ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (Figures 1.1 and 1.2), the male personification of Hindi is curiously attired in a hodgepodge of stolen goods and in ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ (Figure 1.5) he wears a motley array of headgear, shoes, and dress representative of a hybrid style. Likewise, in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17), all genres of Hindi represented are men peculiarly dressed to display their individual weaknesses.59 While the female personification of early Hindi poetry (Figure 1.6)

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is divinely dressed (cf. the goddess Sarasvati’s attire in Figure 1.17, ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’), she belongs to another era, and hence is not the subject of criticism. It is her modern incarnation, ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figure 1.7), half-naked and wearing tattered clothing, that is the subject of scrutiny. Similarly, the Hindi novel in Jayaswal’s ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ appears a spectacle in her oddly draped sārī that must accommodate her many-armed body (Figure 1.9). In these instances of criticism, the style of Hindi’s dress indicates a preference for literary content that is not appropriated, peculiar, shocking, or in any way spectacular. Several of the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons also communicate religious orientation and biases that inscribe the Hindi public sphere in question. Thus, as previously discussed, the association of religion and language contributes to the sensationalism of the gendered narratives in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) and ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), while the association of place with religious identity intensifies the tragedy in ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16). A Hindu-oriented world view is also apparent in the presence and/or placement of religious figures in other cartoons. These include the centrally placed Pandit style versus Maulvī style in ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ (Figure 1.5), the weeping goddess Sarasvati in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17), and the scattered presence of other Hindu figures throughout the cartoons, including authors, editors, matrons, kings, scholars, and holy men.60 The Hindi public sphere visualized and verbalized in the ‘Sāhityasamāchār’ cartoons is without question one that is predominantly masculine and upholds a Hindu-oriented world view; this is not surprising given that the majority of Sarasvatī’s readers were Hindu men. Several of the cartoons, thus, target perceived outsiders to this sphere of activity in their critiques: the Muslim courtesan representing Urdu in Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3); the English beloved in ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4); the foreign-minded critic in ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13); and the Urdu-biased textbook author/compiler in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) are such instances. Cartoons such as ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13) simultaneously present what appears to be a united front of Hindi literary authority in the face of such external threats.

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The ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons, however, are first and foremost vehicles for internal reform. They also narrate the internally fragmented nature of the Hindi/Hindu public sphere within which Dwivedi attempts literary change. Thus, in ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16), Rajput and King, two Hindu male figures, are rivals for authority. They, and the system within which they exercise or relinquish their authority, are both complicit in the death of the chātakī— the former for sentencing her and the latter for his lack of action. In other cartoons, the subjects of critique are also Hindu male authority figures. They are, however, not necessarily at odds with each other but with Dwivedi’s agenda for Hindi. These figures, all of whom the cartoons hold responsible for the current deplorable state of Hindi, include the patron and poets in ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), the editor in ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), and the scholarly Vidyanidhan Pandey in ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4). Controversy and Criticism: ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ and the State of Hindi A close analysis of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) in conjunction with Dwivedi’s notes to the artist as well as several reader responses provides further indication of the fragmented nature of the sphere within which these cartoons were published. This cartoon’s harsh assessment of the current state of Hindi literature and its contemporary proponents both inspired praise and provoked censure among those with authority in this literary public. It was first published in the February–March issue of Sarasvatī in 1903 (113). Pictured in this cartoon is a ‘literary congress’ comprising a motley assortment of men and beasts; each figure represents a different genre of Hindi literature. They have convened in a formal, institutional space complete with architectural embellishments, wall decoration, and chairs for each of the nine designated literary genres. A female stands weeping in front of the assembly, her face buried in her hands. Her crown and halo suggest she is divine; a vīnā (a stringed musical instrument) and an open book on the floor indicate she is the goddess Sarasvati. The caption confirms this and also provides a key to each of the numbered seats, only six of which are filled:

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Figure 1.17

Visual representation of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ in Sarasvatī

Source: Sarasvatī 4 (2–3) (February–March 1903), 113.

—इितहास—( ाली)। —जीवन Iरत—[( ाली)।] [ —पयटन।] —समालो ना। —उप यास। — या-(िध)-कर । [ —का य।] [ —नाटक।] [ —को —] ( ाली)। सर वती स ा क र [दे कर रो रही ह।] 1—History—(empty). 2—Biography—[(empty).] [3—Travel.] 4—Criticism. 5—Novel. 6—Grammar. [7—Poetry.] [8—Drama.] [9—Dictionaries/Reference]—(empty). Sarasvati weeps as she looks at the assembly.61 (113)

This list enumerates genres Dwivedi has deemed most important for the future advancement of Hindi. While the seats reserved for Itihās (History), Jīvancharit (Biography), and Kosh (Dictionary/reference) are empty, signifying their complete lack of representation, visual caricatures of the remaining genres reflect their distinct shortcomings in the present Hindi corpus. Dwivedi’s notes to the artist for ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, quoted at length by Udaybhanu Singh (1951, 178–9), describe each of these characters

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in vivid detail. Paryatan (Travel), who occupies the third seat, is to appear as follows: ३. एि खूबसूरत लडिा, ि्य िोई १० िष्य, इसी प्ान्त िा रिनेिाला, पा्यजामा, बूट और अचिन पिने, घडी लगा्ये, हसर पर िेलट िैप हदए बैठा ि़ै—िरीर सथूल ि़ै—बहल्या िे बाबू साधुचरण प्साद हजन्िोंने प्य्यटन पर एि ग्न्थ हलखा ि़ै उनिी ििल दरिार ि़ै—उनिी तसिीर उनिी हिताब में ि़ै। 3. A handsome boy, about 10 years old, a resident of this province, wearing pāyjāmā [loose trousers tied at the waist], boots and an achkan [a high-necked, knee-length, buttoned men’s coat/tunic], with a watch on, and with a felt cap placed on his head—his body is bulky—the face of Bābū Sadhucharan Prasad of Baliya who wrote a book on travel is required—his picture is in his book. (Singh 1951, 178–9)62

The personification of Paryatan as a young boy with a large body and the adult face of a recently published travel author suggests Dwivedi’s perception of the genre as existent though still developing. The reference to the boy’s body as bulky may be read as criticism of the genre’s current sedentary state rather than an active one of travel and writing. Seated in the fourth chair is Samālochanā (Criticism), and as per Dwivedi’s instructions the genre is to be caricatured thus: ४. एि बन्दर बैठे हुए मुँि बना रिा ि़ै और िाथ में दप्यण लेिर अपना मुिँ देख रिा ि़ै। 4. A seated monkey is making faces and looking at himself in a mirror held in his hand. (Singh 1951, 179)

Criticism, animified in this way, suggests that the genre in its present state lacks critical content; rather its defining traits are mimicry and vanity. The artist’s addition of a long, pointed, cone-shaped hat and human attire for the monkey further emphasizes these traits, and suggests a genre that is more comic than critical. Upanyās (Novel) stands beside the fifth seat with two animal companions, another monkey and a goat. Dwivedi’s instructions are very specific in this case, though here the artist has chosen to alter some and leave off other, seemingly minor, details: ५. एि बहुत िी, हनिा्यत िी मोटा बाजीगर बैठा ि़ै—चकिरदार पगडी, लमबी दाढी, दाहिने िाथ में डमरू—बा्यें में रीछ अथिा बन्दर और बिरी सामने खडे िैं—नाचने िी िोहिि िर रिा ि़ै—पास िी एि झोली पडी ि़ै—मोटा खूब िोना िी चाहिए—मोटा िरने िा िारण ि़ै।

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5. An exceedingly fat bājīgar [bāzīgar: entertainer, street performer] is seated—with a coiled turban, long beard, and a damrū [small drum] in his right hand—in the left a bear or a monkey and a goat are standing in front—he is trying to dance—there is a bag lying nearby—he should be very fat—there is a reason to make him fat. (179)

The most important detail, to which Dwivedi refers repeatedly in his description, is Upanyās’s size. Dwivedi’s critique, which he reiterates later in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ series with the cartoon ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ (Figure 1.15), is of the overabundant presence of novels in the Hindi public sphere. The novel’s depiction here also suggests that this genre, like the bāzīgar pictured, is no more than a frivolous, comic entertainer, and in its present state not worthy of representing a national literary corpus. In the sixth chair, sits Vyākaran (Grammar), a visibly disfigured character, described simply by Dwivedi in the following words: ६. एि िोढी बैठा ि़ै—हटन पाट दाहिने िाथ िी िलाई में लटि रिा ि़ै। 6. Seated [here] is a leper—a tin pot is hanging from the wrist of his right hand. (Singh 1951, 179)

Dwivedi’s description, reinforced by the word play of Dwivedi’s label ‘Vyā(dhi)karan’ (disease-making), suggests the gravity of this genre’s current state and its potential to afflict other genres of Hindi literature. The artist has attired this character in a kurtā and short dhotī to display the genre’s diseased limbs. Kāvya (Poetry), seated in the seventh chair, provides a stark contrast to his adjacently seated genres Vyākaran and Nātak. He appears to be in good health and, as per Dwivedi’s instructions, is extravagantly dressed: ७. एि बनारस िा गुंडा, उमर २० िष्य–टोपी िान ति टेढी–जरीदार अचिन और दुपट्ा जि्क बि्क–बूट िाहन्यि िा–जंजीर गले में पडी उसी में घडी लगी ि़ै—पूरा बदमाि नजर आना चाहिए। 7. A gundā [rascal, rogue] from Banaras, age 20 years–a hat tilted towards one ear–a brocade achkan and brightly embroidered dupattā– polished boots–a chain rests around his neck [and] from it, hangs a watch—he should look like an utter badmāsh [scoundrel]. (Singh 1951, 179)

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As depicted here, Kāvya appears to be more style than substance, though the artist has also equipped him with a staff in his left hand that, along with his lavish attire, is suggestive of an authority and affluence not possessed by his fellow genres. Dwivedi’s use of the adjectives gundā and badmāsh, however, suggests that the genre suffers from moral decay rather than the physical and financial distress of his neighbouring genres. The last figure present is Nātak (Drama), seated in the eighth chair. To convey the state of this genre, Dwivedi writes: ८. एि िंगाल चीथडे लपेटे हुए, िाथ में िूटा लोटा, मिािंगाल बैठा ि़ै [। ] 8. Seated here is a poor wretch draped in rags, a small broken pot in hand, extremely poor[.] (Singh 1951, 179)

Nātak’s emaciated body, spare clothing, and broken pot suggest Dwivedi’s view of the genre’s severe poverty in the current Hindi repertoire. This is a circumstance made even more apparent in the cartoon by Nātak’s close proximity to the richly clothed and ornamented Kāvya. Dwivedi’s criticism in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ holds both authors and institutions accountable for the current state of literary affairs in Hindi; the targets of his accusations are in some cases explicit, and in others understood. While readers would have been able to identify the travel writer Bābū Sadhucharan Prasad by his face, an exact replica from the portrait printed in his book, it was the caricature of literary personalities who were not so easily identifiable that fuelled the controversy behind this cartoon. Pramila Sharma, in her discussion of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, writes: सिाभाहिि िी था जब िाटूटून छपा तो साहित्य सभा िा ्यि रूप देखिर खलबली मच गई। िर चिरे में िौन हछपा ि़ै—इसिी अटिलों िा बाजार गरम िो ग्या। It is only natural that when the cartoon was printed and [people] saw this manifestation of the sāhitya sabhā, it caused quite a commotion. Whose image was concealed in each face—speculations raged. (2002, 121)

Writers could be identified based on their associations with a specific style or genre of writing as captured by the character present or by the associated character’s form, dress, or demeanour. Indeed for an

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author and/or his genre of writing to be identified as a monkey, street performer, leper, lout, or impoverished wretch could hardly have been flattering. Even those authors whose genres were not present at this ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ would have suffered offence for they or their works were not even worthy of representation.63 The ‘sabhā’, too, is itself a caricature of contemporary literary institutions. For a serious institution to be represented as a meeting of such motley members would have been cause for great offence. The most obvious target of such criticism would have been Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha, the leading Hindi literary institution at the time. At the time of this cartoon’s publication in 1903, Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha’s official endorsement of Sarasvatī was still printed on the journal’s cover, and its current secretary was Shyamsundar Das, Dwivedi’s immediate predecessor as editor of Sarasvatī. Even a hint of censure aimed at the Sabha, or similar institutions, was a bold move for the fledgling journal and its still novice editor, and was not without consequence.64 Some readers welcomed Dwivedi’s caricature of the present state of Hindi literature. Shivchandra Baldev Bharatiya, one such reader, wrote an original poem titled ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ based on the cartoon. Dwivedi published the poem in the July 1903 issue of Sarasvatī. The author introduced his composition as an image-inspired poem (‘chitra … kī bhāv-pradarshnī kavitā’); he also refers to it as a ‘shlok’, using the term generically to mark it as a poem of praise (Bharatiya 1903, 234). By contrast, in the annual table of contents, Dwivedi identifies the composition as belonging to ‘Sāhitya-vishay’ (literary topics) rather than ‘Kavitā’ (poetry).65 This was likely because it referenced and affirmed his thoughts on literature; its form, though important, was secondary. Nonetheless, this was one of the earliest manifestations in Sarasvatī of the image-inspired poem, and it was a precursor to the Khari Boli image-inspired poems that accompanied the artwork of Ravi Varma and other artists in subsequent years, which played a significant role in the advancement of Dwivedi’s poetic agenda.66 In addition, the poem employs three different Sanskrit poetic metres in a Khari Boli composition; that each of the metres is clearly labelled as it appears in the verses suggests that this was also meant to serve as a model for those who may have thought that such metrical variety was not possible in Khari Boli, though its success as a model is debatable. The poem is itself somewhat clumsily worded to suit the requirements of these metres and the Khari Boli employed is yet not standardized.67

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‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ comprises four verses. Verses one and two, written in a single metre, shārdūlavikrīdita, verbalize the content of the cartoon from the goddess Sarasvati’s point of view: िा! िैसे इहतिास औ चररत ्ये दीखैं न दोनों जने? बैठा प्य्यटन सिधामरत िा! िािा! समालोचने! िैसा रूप बना हिहचत्! िहुूं क्या? क्ीडा उपन््यास िी! िािा! व्यािरण व्यथािरण िो छा्या बनी त्ास िी! ॥१॥ Alas! How is it that both History and Biography are not to be seen? Travel, seated, alas, inclined to be at home! What misfortune! O Criticism! Such a strange appearance! What can I say? Novel’s antics! How awful! Grammar has become unbearable, a frightful image! -1िैसा िाव्य अपूि्य तू झलिता तारा ्यिां था अिा! िािा! नाटि! तू िृिोदर बना! िा! िोि! तू ि़ै ििां? िा! ‘साहित्य-सभा’ सदा हनरख मैं रोऊं न तो क्या िरूं? बोले िा्य! सरसिती नतमुखी िा! िोि िैसे िरूं ? ॥२॥ Extraordinary Poetry, O, you were once a shining star here! Alas! Drama! You have become weak! Dictionary! Where are you? Ah! To see ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ so forever, what can I do but weep? Say, what a shame! Sarasvati, alas, her head bowed low! How shall I overcome the grief? -2- (Bharatiya 1903, 233)

Sarasvati addresses all nine of the figures pictured (some in absentia) and laments their states. She criticizes the three un-pictured genres, History, Biography, and Dictionary for their absence; she accuses Travel of being too preoccupied at home to fulfil his duties as a travel-writer; she remarks on Criticism’s strange appearance, Novel’s antics, and Grammar’s terrifying form. She recalls the past glory of Poetry among its peers and mourns the present poverty of Drama. Bharatiya’s reading of Dwivedi’s caricatures here is quite basic. He elaborates little, if any, on Dwivedi’s criticism and avoids any reference to or speculation on the identity of the genres. The final line of verse two indicates a shift in position and perspective from Sarasvati, a character within the cartoon, to the poet-narrator, observing the image from the outside. In verse three, the poet-narrator provides further commentary on the visual medium of Dwivedi’s criticism. The metre for this verse is vasantatilaka:

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साहित्य िी ्यि दिा अहत िोचनी्या, हचत्सथ दहि्यत हुई अहत िोभनी्या! सद्ाि देख छहि िा िहि िा अपार। िैसा न मोिगत िो्य सदा उदार? ॥३॥ This state of literature is quite appalling, Presented in a picture it is quite splendid! To see the true sentiments of the image [for] the poet is priceless How not to be charmed by something ever noble? (1903, 233)

The poet-narrator, though himself a contemporary writer, is not offended by the harsh criticism of Hindi literature conveyed by the cartoon. He is instead ‘charmed’ by the image and remarks on the nobility of its purpose. He thus affirms here Dwivedi’s use of a visual medium for literary criticism. Position and perspective shift once again in the final verse. This time, the poet-narrator speaks not as an individual impressed by an image presently confronted, but as someone belonging to a collective of Hindi speakers with a common purpose. Verse four, composed in the shālinī metre, makes no obvious reference to the image, but offers blessings and good wishes for the future of Hindi: हिन्दी भाषा मातृभाषा िमारी। ि़ैगी बाला भाििीना िुमारी॥ िोिे मान््या प्ौढ भाि प्सारा। िोओ धन््या पूण्य साहित्य सारा॥४॥ Hindi language our mother tongue, She may now be an innocent young girl without feeling. She will become a respected adult with extensive emotions. A complete literature may it be fortunate through and through. (1903, 234)

Bharatiya here makes his own addition to Dwivedi’s literary cast of characters: the personification of Hindi language and literature in the present as a young, undeveloped girl who will grow with time into a respected, mature adult. Unlike Dwivedi, whose cartoon stops at criticism of the present state of Hindi, Bharatiya, though he makes no reference as to the agents of change, prophesies in his poem a positive future for Hindi that includes the completion of a respectable, comprehensive literary repertoire.

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In ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, Bharatiya both affirms Dwivedi’s criticism and attempts, however clumsily, to provide a response to the cartoon’s assessment of poetry. The poem eschews overly ornate language for a simple, though unstandardized Khari Boli, while also attempting to elevate its status with the dignity of classical Sanskrit metres. It is thus a testament to the creative force of the visual image, a matter that will be discussed in greater length in Chapter 3. In addition to praise and new literary production, the cartoon also inspired criticism. One of the strongest objections to the cartoon came from Balmukund Gupta (1865–1907), the editor of Bhāratmitra and a prominent voice in the Hindi public sphere.68 The text of Gupta’s criticism, excerpted below, provides valuable insight into how a contemporary institutional reader might have understood Dwivedi’s caricatures.69 Gupta begins his review of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ with a detailed description and analysis of the cartoon for readers of his paper who had not seen or understood some of the nuances of the image: पिली-दूसरी इहतिास और जीिन-चररत िी िुहस्य्याँ खाली िैं। तीसरी िुससी प्य्यटन िी ि़ै। इस पर एि गोल टोपी िाले बाबू हबठा्ये ग्ये िैं, जो अचिन-सदरी पिने हुए िैं। उन्िीं हदनों एि सज्जन अपना प्य्यटन बहुत लमबा चौडा हलख चुिे थे, उनिी तसिीर भी उनिी पोथी में छपी थी। साहित्य सभा िी तीसरी िुससी पर जो बाबू हबठा्ये ग्ये िैं, उनिी तसिीर उस प्य्यटन हलखने िाले िी तसिीर से बहुत हमलती ि़ै। मालूम िोता ि़ै हि तीसरी िुससी पर उन्िीं िो जलील िरने िे हल्ये हबठा्या ि़ै। पांचिीं िुससी उपन््यास िी ि़ै, उस पर एि लमबी दाढी और बडे पेट िा बाजीगर िाथ में डुगडुगी और लिडी हल्ये और अपने बिरे और बन्दर िी रससी थामे द्डा्यमान ि़ै। छठी िुससी पर एि हिरिा गाने िाले गंिार िी तसिीर ि़ै। ्यि मूहत्य व्यािरण िालों िी बनाई गई ि़ै। सातिीं िुससी िाव्य िी ि़ै, उस पर एि लखनौआ, िौिीन लाला झबबेदार टेढी-टोपी लगा्ये छडी िाथ में हल्ये, लमबी जुरा्यबें और गुरगाहब्याँ पिने, टाँगें लटिा्ये, मुिँ पर िाथ धरे बैठे िैं। ्यि तसिीर लखनिी भडिों िी तसिीरों से हमलती ि़ै। आठिीं िुससी पर—एि अिाल िे मारे भूखे बैसिाहड्या दादा-से बैठे िैं। आपिी चोटी लटि रिी ि़ै, हसर पर एि हिलक्षण पगडी ि़ै। िरीर िी सब िहडि्याँ हगनी जा सिती िैं। िाथ में भीख माँगने िा-सा लोटा ि़ै। ्यिी मालूम िोता ि़ै हि तीन-चार िसलें इनिी खराब िो गईं, बीज भी िसूल निीं हुआ तब भीख माँगने िो आ बैठे िैं। ्यि नाटि िी िुससी पर बैठे िैं। िोष िी निीं िुससी खाली ि़ै। The first and second chairs belonging to History and Biography are empty. The third chair belongs to Travel. A bābū [gentleman] with a rounded cap has been seated in it. He wears a coat and vest. Those days there was a gentleman who had written of his travels at great length. His picture was even printed in his book. The gentlemen who has been seated in the third seat of the Sāhitya-sabhā, closely resembles that travel writer’s picture. It appears that he has been seated in

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the third chair to single him out and humiliate him. The fifth chair belongs to Novel. In it there is a long-bearded and big-bellied bājīgar [bāzīgar] with a dugdugī [small kettledrum] and stick in hand, and he is standing upright and clutching the rope for his goat and monkey. In the sixth chair there is the image of a rustic bard who sings songs of separation. This is how grammarians have been pictured. The seventh chair belongs to Poetry. In it is seated, a dandy Lakhnauā lālā [gentleman from Luknow] wearing a tilted, tasselled hat and holding a walking stick in hand, wearing long stockings and pointed slippers, with legs dangling and hand raised to his face. This image looks like an image of the bhadwās [pimps] of Lucknow. On the eighth chair is seated—what looks like an old man from Baisvāriyā [Baiswārā, western part of Awadh] who is starving as a result of a famine. He has a hanging lock of hair, a peculiar turban on his head. Every bone in his body can be counted. In his hand he has a beggar’s pot. It appears that three or four of his crops have gone bad, even the seeds did not reap reward so he has come here to beg. He is seated in the chair for Drama. The ninth seat belonging to dictionary is empty.70 (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 385)

From this it is clear that Gupta was able to recognize Dwivedi’s reference to Sadhucharan Prasad, though he makes no attempt to ascertain a cause for singling him out thus. Bharatiya, on the other hand, though he made no reference to the travel writer’s identity, had determined that a would-be traveller’s seated presence at the sabhā was cause enough for criticism. Gupta also easily recognized Novel as a bāzīgar. His readings of Grammar, Poetry, and Drama, however, drifted from Dwivedi’s concept for the cartoon, as might be expected of a typical reader who did not have access to Dwivedi’s notes. Rather than a leper, Grammar appeared to Gupta as a rustic bard singing songs of love and separation; He identified Poetry as a pimp from Lucknow rather than a Banarasi rogue; and Drama, rather than a generic beggar, he determined to be an old man from the famine-stricken Baiswara region, in present-day Uttar Pradesh.71 Though Gupta’s lively reading of these individual caricatures differed from Dwivedi’s concept, the underlying criticism of each genre was, more or less, the same: Grammar and Drama were both poor wretches and Poetry was overdressed. In his serialized comments on Hindi criticism, Gupta described all but one figure in order of appearance. For emphasis, he reserved a special place for Criticism:

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चौथी िुससी िी बात िम छोड ग्ये, िि आलोचना िी ि़ै। उस पर एि बन्दर हिराजमान ि़ै। उसिी खूब लमबी िलिदार टोपी ि़ै। जाँहघ्या और सदरी पिने हुए ि़ै, दुम बगल में दबा रखी ि़ै, बाएँ िाथ में दप्यण हल्ये उसमें अपने मुखचन्द्र िा दि्यन िर रिा ि़ै। उसिे पास खडी सरसिती रो रिी ि़ै। िीणा और पोथी िेंि रखी िैं और दोनों िाथ मुँि पर रखे िैं। We left the matter of the fourth chair, which belongs to Criticism. A monkey graces this chair. He has a very long cone-shaped hat. He wears short drawers and a sleeveless jacket, his tail is tucked away under his arm, in his left hand he holds a mirror in which he pays homage to his moon-like countenance. Sarasvati stands near him, weeping. She has tossed her vīnā and book, and both hands cover her face. (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 385)

Gupta takes considerable licence in his description of Criticism, for in the image the monkey wears neither a janghiyā (undergarment) nor a sadarī (vest), nor is there is any clear indication that his tail is tucked under his arm. In addition, Gupta’s language rings with sarcasm: unlike his fellow sabhā members, the monkey is not ‘seated’ in a chair, but ‘graces’ it (virājmān); and Gupta’s use of ‘darshan’ (homage) and ‘mukhchandra’ (moon-like countenance) overstate the monkey’s importance, providing him with an aura of divinity. Even Criticism’s proximity to Sarasvati is exaggerated in Gupta’s description suggesting that more than any other figure present, it is the monkey that has caused the goddess to cast aside her instrument and book in despair. Indeed, Gupta writes, his original article for Bhāratmitra featured a close-up image of the monkey Criticism, seated in the fourth chair of the assembly. Printed beneath this image was a description in which he referred to the figure as ‘Mahāvīr’, an epithet for another monkey, the Hindu god Hanuman, as well as an allusion to Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 385). With this description was the following comment: ्यि तसिीर बहुत पसंद आई, इसी से इसिा हििद हचत् बनािर पाठिों िो भेंट देते िैं। एि हमत् ने हचत् देखिर ििा हि सरसिती जी सभा में रोती िैं, िि आप िी िा मुँि देखिर। बेचारी ने डर से मुँि हछपा हल्या। This image was very pleasing, so we have created a detail of it as a gift to readers. One friend, on seeing the image, stated that Sarasvati weeps in the assembly on seeing his face alone. The poor woman hid her face in fear. (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 386)

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Gupta expands on these initial comments in the ‘Hindī mein ālochanā’ series, removing any doubt of the intended target of his ridicule: …समालोचना िा बन्दर जो आईने में अपना चन्द्रानन आप देख रिा ि़ै, न जाने हवििेदी जी ने क्या समझिर बना्या। हिूंदी में समालोचि तो िि सि्यं िी िैं। समालोचना िी उन्िोंने पोहथ्याँ ति हलख डाली िैं। हिर आपिा नाम भी मिािीर ि़ै, इससे समालोचना िी िुससी पर िि सि्यं बैठे हुए आईने में अपना मुिँ देख रिे िैं और सरसिती उनिी ्यि अद्भुत लीला देखिर रो रिी ि़ै! हवििेदी जी दूसरों िो बनाने चले थे, पर सि्यं बन ग्ये। ्यिी ‘भारतहमत्’ ने उनिो समझा्या! …the monkey that is Criticism, the one looking at his own lovely face in the mirror, who knows what Dwivediji was thinking when he created it. He himself is a critic in Hindi. He has even written books of criticism. And then, his name is also Mahavir, which indicates that he is the one seated in Criticism’s chair looking at his face in the mirror and Sarasvati, on seeing this strange conduct of his, is weeping. Dwivediji set out to ridicule others, but has himself become the object of ridicule! This is exactly what [the article in] ‘Bhāratmitra’ explained to him! (386)

Gupta’s response here seems to be very personal in its attack on Dwivedi, though in all fairness, his tone—caustic, satirical, and provocative—matches note for note the tone of Dwivedi’s cartoon. Gupta himself maintains that his criticism of Dwivedi is all in good fun.72 Gupta’s closing remarks in ‘Hindī mein ālochanā’ indicate some of the rationale behind his mockery: अब हवििेदी जी सि्यं न््या्य िरें हि उनिी िहिता िा एि दोष हदखाना और एि ऐसी हदल्लगी में से जो उनिी ओर से सब हिन्दी िालों िे साथ बडी बेददसी से िी गई ि़ै, उन्िीं िी हदल्लगी हनिाल देना क्या ित्ुता िरना ि़ै? आप सारे जमाने िो छेडने हनिले िैं? ऐसी दिा में िोई आपिो छेड बैठे तो उससे आप नाराज क्यों िों? Now Dwivediji shall himself administer judgement on whether it is an act of hostility to show a single flaw in his poetry and to poke fun at such mockery coming from him that dealt very cruelly with all Hindīvālās [proponents of Hindi]? Are you set on making fun of an entire era? In which case, why would you be angry if someone pokes fun at you? (386)

Read in this light, Gupta’s criticism is simply a verbal rejoinder to Dwivedi’s visual criticism, one that deliberately maintains an equivalent tone despite the difference in medium. Gupta and Dwivedi’s

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rivalry has in retrospect been deemed strictly professional (Gopal 1986, 49, and Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 16). Nonetheless, the two men did have a history of unpleasant exchanges that succumbed to personal assaults on more than one occasion.73 The figure of Criticism aside, Gupta’s discussion of the remaining genres focuses more on refuting Dwivedi’s assessment: …‘सरसिती’-संपादि ने नाटि िो भूखा-सूखा बाह्मण बना्या ि़ै, पर हिूंदी नाटिों से एिदम खाली निीं ि़ै। िररश्चंद्र, प्ताप, अणमबिादत्, श्ी हनिासदास, लक्मण हसंि, सीताराम, और दूसरे सज्जनों िे अनुिाहदत और रहचत नाटि हिूंदी में बडे आदर िी िसतु ि़ै। िाव्य तो हिूंदी में ऐसा मौजूद ि़ै हि दूर-दूर ति इज्जत िोती ि़ै। व्यािरण भी हिूंदी में बुरे निीं िैं। उपन््यासों िी अभी बेिि िमी ि़ै। पर हवििेदी जी ने िृपा पूिि ्य सब िो एि िी लाठी से िाँिा ि़ै। …The editor of ‘Sarasvatī’ has made plays out to be a starving and emaciated Brahmin, but Hindi is not completely devoid of plays. The translated and original plays of Harishchandra, Pratap, Ambikadatta, Shrinivas Das, Lakshman Singh, Sitaram, and other gentlemen are highly regarded in Hindi. The presence of poetry in Hindi is such that it is respected far and wide. Grammars in Hindi are not bad either. Novels are indeed lacking still; but Dwivediji has graciously treated them all in the exact same way. (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 386)

Gupta’s criticism is at its core a defence of contemporary Hindi. Dwivedi’s assessment of the present state of Hindi, however, is tied to an advocacy for its future progress. It is this long-term agenda that Gupta, whether wilfully in the spirit of their journalistic rivalry or in error, fails to acknowledge for each character. Thus, Dwivedi’s depiction of Nātak as a pauper rather than conveying his objective for the composition of even more dramatic works in Hindi prompts Gupta to highlight an already rich dramatic heritage. Gupta’s reading of Dwivedi’s Kavitā as a pimp from Lucknow is relatively close to Dwivedi’s own description of poetry as a Banarasi scoundrel. Rather than understanding it as a call for the refinement of the language of poetry from its ‘crude’ pre-modern form (Braj Bhasha) to a standard Khari Boli, Gupta simply defends Hindi poetry’s reputation. With the novel, Gupta easily recognizes Dwivedi’s large-bellied bāzīgar, but he does not convey the full significance of its caricature. Thus, Gupta reads this not as a criticism of the genre as overabundant

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and not to be taken seriously, rather he merely states that the genre is lacking. Gupta’s response to ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ indicates that he did not fully appreciate or perhaps understand Dwivedi’s objectives for Hindi literature. The cartoon medium was itself sensationalist and left more to readers’ imagination than prose or even poetic criticism might. The ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons were thus open to multiple interpretations, misinterpretations, and even giving offence. Though it ran for only two years, this column initiated the expansion of Sarasvatī’s as yet limited brand of illustrated literary journalism. For the first time, the journal’s visual and literary aspirations intersected to produce a series of unprecedented satirical images that were also texts of literary criticism.74 In his year-end remarks, Dwivedi (1903b, 408) remarked on the popularity of the cartoons, his intended purpose, and his reasons for discontinuing the column: इस िष्य साहित्य-समाचार-समबन्धी जो हचत् प्िाहित हुए िे पाठिों िो बहुत पसन्द आ्ये। इसहलए िमारा इरादा था हि िम इस क्म िो जारी रकखैंगे; परन्तु िुछ पत् िमारे पास ऐसे आ्ये िैं, हजनसे सूहचत िोता ि़ै हि इन हचत्ों से हिसी हिसी िो मनोिेदना भी हुई ि़ै। इन हचत्ों िे विारा साहित्य िी सामह्यि अिसथा बतलाना िी िमारा एिमात् अहभप्ा्य ि़ै। इस बिाने िम हिसी िो जरा भी िेदना निीं पहुुँचाना चािते। अतएि लोिरञ्जन िा ख़्याल न िरिे, िम, इस क्म िो भङ्ग िर देंगे। अगले िष्य से ऐसे हचत् हन्यहमत-रूप से प्हत मास न प्िाहित हि्ये जािैंगे; जब िोई बहुत िी भािभरा हचत् ध्यान में आजा्यगा तभी िम उसे प्िाहित िरैंगे। Readers were very pleased with the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’-related illustrations published this year. For this reason, it was our intention to continue with the series; but, we have received some letters that indicate that some people were also upset by these illustrations. Our sole intention is simply to depict the current state of literature through these illustrations. In doing so, we did not want to cause the least bit of suffering to anyone. Thus, we will pay no attention to popular appeal and discontinue this series. From next year, such illustrations will not be regularly published each month; only when we come across a really meaningful illustration will we publish it. (408)

However, no such cartoons appeared the next year or in the years following while Dwivedi was editor. * * *

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Close readings of the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons as literary-visual narratives reveal that though Dwivedi’s stated purpose for publishing the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons may have been straightforward—to inspire change in the status of Hindi—the cartoons were far more nuanced in their messaging potential. He positions himself as a journalist reporting on the alarming conditions and events that plague Hindi; hence the title of the series is ‘literary news’. It is both a lament and a severe indictment of all aspects of literary production and consumption, targeting the producers, disseminators, and readers of Hindi content. Dwivedi’s rhetorical strategy is indicative of his growing sense of urgency. The narrative he weaves of Hindi’s condition is meant to inspire fear, shock, anger, shame, and any other emotions that would motivate proactive pursuit of Hindi reform. Modern Hindi, in its manifestations as language, literature, and literary genres, figures in Dwivedi’s cartoons as a thief (Figures 1.1–1.2), a scorned mother (Figure 1.4), a five-headed man (Figure 1.5), a terrorizing she-monster (Figure 1.7), an unfulfilled bird sentenced to her death (Figure 1.16), and an assembly of misfits (Figure 1.17). Its agents, including authors, scholars, editors, critics, patrons, textbook compilers, policymakers, publishers, literary societies, and even cities are not just targets of passive criticism but are exposed as transgressors to be held accountable by readers. His primary focus is an internal critique of a Hindi public sphere, and with these cartoons he also begins to define its boundaries. Though it has acknowledged roots in Sanskrit and Braj Bhasha, modern literary Hindi is to be in Khari Boli (Figures 1.6–1.7; 1.10; 1.16) and it is in competition with Indian languages (Marathi, Bengali, Urdu, Braj Bhasha) and with English (Figures 1.1–1.2; 1.14). Having colonial sympathies or even an orientation towards English is in fact a recurring topic in the cartoons, displayed often through the sartorial preferences of the subject of criticism—the alluring beloved in ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), the knighted but misguided patron in ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), the critic in ‘Shūrvīrsamālochak’ (Figure 1.13), the textbook author in ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14) provide some such examples. While the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons may have shocked readers, their often alarmist and antagonistic rhetoric did not produce

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the results that Dwivedi desired. They did provide graphic glimpses of Dwivedi’s definition of modern Hindi and his larger project of literary self-determination. He modified his rhetoric and his medium and focused on articulating his agenda in prose, especially in his programmatic essays. Chapter 2 examines several of Dwivedi’s essays, focusing on his construction of literature as a culturally embedded category of national consequence. Notes 1. Note that in 1902 Dwivedi was a contributing writer in Sarasvatī rather than the editor. Shyamsundar Das was editor in 1902 when the series was first introduced. Dwivedi became editor in the second year of this column’s appearance, 1903. 2. Dwivedi provided extensive notes and in some cases a rough sketch to an artist for the final illustration. Dwivedi’s handwritten notes to the artist regarding these cartoons are available at the Bharat Kalabhavan, the museum and archive of Banaras Hindu University. Dwivedi’s notes to two of these cartoons are also quoted at length in Udaybhanu Singh (1951, 177–80) and in Pramila Sharma (2002, 121–4). 3. Talvar (2003, 475–6) mentions an additional cartoon by Dwivedi titled ‘Chitragupta kī riport’, comprising two images, to which I have not had access. He published it in Sarasvatī 2 (10) in October 1901, 357–8, prior to initiating the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ series. See also Talvar (2003, 474–83) for alternate/complementary readings of many of the images in this series. 4. Exceptions include the first two ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons: four images published in January 1902 and listed in the table of contents under the title ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (Figures 1.1 and 1.2) and the pair of images published in March 1902, ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6 and 1.7). The signature ‘H. Bose’ appears at the bottom of these images. This, however, was likely the mark of the printer who created the blocks for printing the cartoons rather than the artist of the original drawings. On several occasions, images printed in the journal bear the mark of the printer who prepared the blocks for publication rather than the artist, or in some cases, alongside the artist. Such imprints are a reminder that these collaborations were the product of not just writers and artists, but also the pioneers of new art/print technologies. If indeed the signature on these cartoons is the mark of the printer, then H. Bose likely refers to Hemendra Mohan

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6. 7.

8. 9.



Bose (1864–1916), a Bengali entrepreneur most known for his gramophone recording company, H. Bose Swadeshi Records, and also as the founder of Kuntalin Press, a printing and publishing house in Calcutta (circa 1900). H. Bose’s Kuntalin Press was a contemporary of U. Ray’s Calcutta-based press and publishing firm, U. Ray and Sons (est. 1895). Kuntalin Press later became the printer/publisher for such periodicals as Modern Review and its sister journal Prabāsī; U. Ray and Sons created many of the blocks for printing the images in these journals. See Chapter 3 for further discussion of the collaboration between writers, artists, and the pioneers of art/print technologies. Note that Talvar (2003, 474) mentions the appearance of another signature on some of the images in the series: the initials G. N. M. It is possible that the G.N. visible at the bottom of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) is the mark of this individual though no further information is available on G.N.M.’s identity and role in the production of this and other images. The two exceptions are the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon titled ‘Hindī– Urdū’ published in November 1902 and conceived by Radhakrishna Das and the cartoon titled ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (novelists and their works) published in December 1903 and conceived by Kashiprasad Jayaswal (1881–1937). For the sake of comparison, both of these are included in the discussion of Dwivedi’s cartoons. Hindī-sāhitya’ (Sarasvatī, January 1902). See Figures 1.1–1.2. ‘Prāchin kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Sarasvatī, March 1902); ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Sarasvatī, January 1903). The images ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Sarasvatī, April 1903), and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Sarasvatī, November 1903) have literary patronage and influence as their primary messages, but also provide some insight on Dwivedi’s views on the form and content of modern poetry (Figures 1.6, 1.7, 1.10, 1.11, and 1.16). ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ (Sarasvatī, September 1902). See Figure 1.5. ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (concept by Radhakrishna Das in Sarasvatī, November 1902); ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Sarasvatī, June 1903); and ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Sarasvatī, September 1903). See Figures 1.3, 1.4, and 1.14. ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Sarasvatī, February–March 1903); ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ (Sarasvatī, July 1903); and ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (concept by Jayaswal in December 1903). See Figures 1.17, 1.15, and 1.9. ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Sarasvatī, April 1903) and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Sarasvatī, November 1903). See Figures 1.11 and 1.16.

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12. ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Sarasvatī, May 1903). See Figure 1.12. 13. ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Sarasvatī, August 1903). See Figure 1.13. 14. Kashiprasad Jayaswal’s ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (Figure 1.9) also illustrates this objective. 15. Radhakrishna Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3) indicates a similar aim. 16. See Chapter 2 for further discussion and some of the limitations of this enterprise. 17. As editor, Dwivedi even listed these separately in the table of contents, under the heading ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’, suggesting his own views on the singularity of this form for conveying his literary concerns. In 1903, articles on language and literary histories, as well as book reviews and literary criticism were all classified under the heading ‘Sāhitya-vishay’ (topics in literature) in the annual table of contents. Other categories covered in Sarasvatī this year include: ‘Adbhut vishay’ (marvelous matters), ‘Akhyāyikā’ (stories), ‘Kavitā’ (poetry), ‘Jīvan charit’ (biography), ‘Phutkar’ (miscellaneous), and ‘Vigyān-vishay’ (topics in science). 18. The English comic magazine Punch: The London Charivari (1841– 2002), renowned for its characteristic combination of graphic and textual satire and for the visual appeal of its cartoons, inspired numerous adaptations and offshoots in colonial India in the latter half of the nineteenth century (Harder in Harder and Mittler 2013, 1–11). See Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair (2013) edited by Hans Harder and Barbara Mittler for an introduction to the British Punch in the nineteenth century (Brian Maidment, 15–44); for discussions of the Punch phenomenon in India see chapters by Partha Mitter (47–64), Alok Rai (65–74), Prabhat Kumar (75–110), Chaiti Basu (111–49), Swarali Paranjape (151–64), and Ritu Gairola Khanduri (165–84). 19. The term ‘bhadralok’ (respectable people) refers to an elite and educated middle class that first emerged in colonial Bengal in the nineteenth century. Chapter 5 examines some of their concerns from the perspective of Banga Mahila, an early twentieth-century Bengali and Hindi author belonging to this class. The term ‘bābū’ was a title of respect for many of the bhadralok class; in the early nineteenth century, social satirists began to use the term ‘bābū’ negatively to refer to members of this class who had adopted Persianized or Anglicized mannerisms to facilitate their own upward economic and social mobility (Sinha 1995, 17). See Sinha (1995, 1–32) for further discussion of the stereotypical Bengali bābū, especially as a gendered construct, and Hans Harder (in Blackburn and Dalmia 2004, 358–401) for nineteenth-century literary representations of the ‘bābū’. 20. Whether this refers to a specific individual is difficult to ascertain, though, if he did exist, there seem to be enough unique details for contemporary readers to identify him.

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21. Kaliyug is the name for the present age of darkness in Hindu belief. 22. Hindi also uses the ‘tū’ form to address Urdu, though her use of this form of ‘you’ is combined with a blessing, and thus conveys the intimacy of a mother–daughter relationship rather than any disrespect. 23. See also Christopher King’s description of this image (1994, 137–9, 167). 24. See Lata Mani (in Sangari and Vaid 1989, 88–126) for an analysis of such rhetoric in the context of debates over sati in colonial India. 25. However, Dwivedi’s use of the Hindi character ‘्य’ (ya)  in all of the degrees, as in ्यम॰ ए॰ (yam e) instead of एम॰ ए॰ (em e) for MA, indicates that for all his pretensions, Vidyanidhan retains the accent of a native Hindi speaker. Dwivedi suggests here that despite his outward rejection of Hindi, his true origins cannot be masked. 26. The figure may be wearing a sherwānī or an achkan, a long, coat-like garment worn by men. They are very similar in appearance and, therefore, difficult to distinguish here. Historically they were worn by aristocracy in Muslim and Hindu communities respectively, though now they have more general appeal. 27. Dwivedi’s caricature of Khari Boli verse as a five-headed figure plays with a description of the linguistic situation in north-west India that appeared in ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya: A Poetical Reader of Kharī Bolī’ (1889). Ayodhya Prasad Khatri (1857–1904), an early proponent of Khari Boli, compiled the verses, and Fredric Pincott, an editor at W. H. Allen, wrote a lengthy introduction to the volume. In it, Pincott proposed five competing styles of language in the region, including a Khari Boli that could be further divided into a ‘teth Hindi’, ‘munshi-style’ and ‘pandit-style’ (19). Khatri, Pincott argued, was attempting to induce his countrymen ‘to clothe all their ideas in one common form of speech, written in one common character’ (quoted in Ritter 2011, 20). See Ritter (2011, 17–20) for further discussion of this text. 28. Nāyikā-bhed refers to a system of classification of various types of female characters in classical Indian poetics, which was also well-developed in Braj Bhasha literary practice (Busch 2011, 79). Dwivedi, one the most vocal opponents of this practice, considered this genre decadent and outdated (1901c, 195–8). See Busch (2011, 79–87) for further discussion of nāyikā-bhed. 29. The female pictured in ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ may also be read as the victim of a violent attack, the scars of which can be seen on her body; however, her towering and threatening stance evokes terror rather than pity in her fleeing audience. This suggests that her suffering is not the primary focus in Dwivedi’s concept of this cartoon.

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30. Dwivedi, too, covers the state of other literary genres. In ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17), published in the joint February–March 1903 issue of Sarasvatī, he aims his criticism at several genres that contribute to the poor state of Hindi literature. This cartoon will shortly be covered in depth. 31. See Balmukund Gupta (in Singh 1951, 99) for the latter reading; Pramila Sharma (2002, 123) also alludes to Gupta’s reading of the figure as a ‘binā pūnchh kā Hanumān’ (tail-less Hanuman). 32. ‘Samasyāpūrak poets’ refer to poets who engage in samasyāpūrti, a literary practice common in the Rīti Era of Hindi poetry, who composed largely in Braj Bhasha. The samasyāpūrti practice, common in Braj Bhasha poetry readings at royal courts, involved ‘a set “problem” (samasyā) or fragment of verse to which poets had to provide a “solution” in the form of a full poem (pūrti)’ (Orsini 2002, 81). Dwivedi (1901b, 238) discusses his opposition to this tradition in one of his earliest critical essays on poetry. He argues that many contemporary poets are still engaged in the task of samasyāpūrti but it is a rare poet of extraordinary skill who can do it well. He recommends that poets focus their efforts on producing short independent poems based on their own inspirations. 33. In a review of this cartoon published in Bhāratmitra on 31 January 1903, Balmukund Gupta lambasts Dwivedi’s own skills as a poet (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 383). A discussion of his criticism of Dwivedi’s cartoons follows later in the chapter. 34. See also Chapter 3 of this book for further discussion of Dwivedi’s disapproval of these practices. 35. The star worn by the king in this image is symbolically indicative of membership in a British chivalric order such as the Order of the Indian Empire, first established during Queen Victoria’s reign in 1877. When first established, the order had only a single rank, Companion, and the badge worn on the left breast was in the shape of a red rose rather than a star. Later, in 1887, the order was expanded to include three classes, Knight Grand Commander (GCIE), Knight Commander (KCIE), and Companion (CIE). The higher ranks (GCIE and KCIE), which often went to members of Indian princely families, wore stars on their left lapel. The star pictured here, however, is imprinted with the lowest rank, CIE, and has eight points rather than ten. In addition, the tenpointed star bore an image of Queen Victoria and was imprinted with the motto ‘Imperatricis auspiciis’ (under the auspices of the Empress). See Duckers (2004, 29). 36. Though similar in the simplicity of their attire, they are each dressed differently, wearing distinct styles and combinations of Indian tops,

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37. 38. 39.


overcoats, scarves, and turbans. Dwivedi’s notes might have further specified their regional and/or community affiliations. An earlier condemnation of the royal patronage of this practice appears in the essay, ‘Nāyikā-bhed’ (Dwivedi 1901c, 197). Triloka, translated here as ‘three worlds’, refers to a Hindu concept of three lokas: svargaloka (divine world), mrityuloka (mortal world), pātālaloka (nether world). See subentry for ‘्यन्त्ाल्य’ (yantrālay) under ‘्यन्त्’ (yantra) in McGregor (2006, 840). The reference to yantrālay also suggests that Dwivedi’s criticism, in addition to targeting editors, is also aimed at commercial printing presses. This may be a reference to the Naval Kishore Press of Lucknow (est. 1858) or a similarly inclined firm. The Naval Kishore Press was one of the most successful publishing houses of the nineteenth century in north India and the only Indian-owned printing press in the North-Western Provinces and Awadh to be classified as a factory under the Indian Factories Act of 1891 (Stark 2008, 183). After the death of its founder and proprietor, Munshi Naval Kishore (1836–1895), his heir and successor, Munshi Prag Narayan Bhargava (1872–1916), diversified sources of income for the family business by establishing the ‘Newal Kishore Emporium and Fire Arms Depot’ and the ‘Newal Kishore Ice Factory’ among other commercial ventures (Stark 2008, 220–2). See Stark (2008) for a detailed discussion and analysis of the Naval Kishore Press and early print culture in colonial India. An editor in the employ of such a firm might promote the press’s other ventures in the manner that is depicted in this cartoon. Note that the title of this cartoon is variously listed. The title given directly over the image is ‘Madarson mein prachalit-pustak-pranetā aur Hindī’ (lit. current textbook authors/compilers in madarsas and Hindi). The use of the compound prachalit-pustak-pranetā obscures the meaning and indicates that it is the textbook author that is current, rather than the textbook, or as in other variations, Hindi. This is perhaps the result of a typographical error. In the table of contents for the individual issue (September) as well as in the annual table of contents for 1903, the title is listed as ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (the Hindi current in madarsas and its textbook authorcompilers). I have chosen to use this title as it is clearer in its meaning. Both Udaybhanu Singh (1951, 179) and Pramila Sharma (2002, 124) give its title as ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske puraskarttā’, changing the textbook author-compiler (pranetā, granthakarttā) figure to more of a patron-like and/or validating authority (puraskarttā).

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41. The topī (hat) depicted here may be of the variety often worn by Indian Muslims, though it is not too visibly distinct from hats worn by nonMuslim figures in some of the other cartoons, including ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17), ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4) and ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13). 42. Notably, it was Dwivedi’s critical review in 1899 of a Hindi school reader published by Indian Press that led to his appointment as editor of Sarasvatī. See Chaturvedi (1961c, 12) and Sharma (2002, 124) for details. See also Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 379. 43. See also ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10), ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Figure 1.13), and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16). 44. Elsewhere he suggests that many of these novels are also of poor quality. See the discussion of prose criticism in Chapter 2 for further details. 45. This motif is further examined in the context of its appearance in Dwivedi’s essays in Chapter 2 on prose criticism. 46. Four popular novelists of this era, who wrote of mystery, magic, and intrigue, were Kashi-based: Kishorilal Goswami, Devakinandan Khatri (1861–1922), Gopalram Gahmari (1866–1946), and Harikrishna Jauhar (1880–1945). See Orsini (2004a, 443). 47. Notably, Sarasvatī was published by Indian Press from Allahabad, a competing centre of Hindi literary activity. Thus, while a locationspecific disapproval may very well have had to do with print competition between print and publication houses in various Hindi literary centres, it also implicated specific institutional authorities within Kashi (for example, the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha) that supported such irresponsible literary activity. 48. Unlike the ‘chātakī’ and the ‘Rajput’, the man and woman seated close to the water’s edge are unlabelled. There is also a label in the vicinity of the king’s boat that is not discernable in my copy. 49. The chātak bird has made an appearance in several of Kalidas’s dramatic and poetic compositions, including Shakuntalā (p.n.), Meghadūta (cloud messenger), and Raghuvamsha (Raghu dynasty). The figure of a chātakī appears in the Sanskrit text Kathāsaritsāgara. See entries for ‘चाति’ (chātak) and ‘चातिी’ (chātakī) in Monier-Williams (1994, 392). 50. Dwivedi’s policies regarding Hindi varied based on content and context. Thus, the figure of the chātak was also common in later literary

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traditions including Braj Bhasha literature, from which he elsewhere attempted to distance modern Hindi poetry. However, Dwivedi’s clear disapproval of the authority figure in question as well as his desire to maintain a continuous connection between Sanskrit and modern Hindi poetry contributes to his lament here over the demise of the chātakī and elides its possible Braj Bhasha associations. See my discussion of Dwivedi’s views on language in Chapter 2. 51. It is possible that the man represented here is Raja Shivprasad ‘Sitār-e Hind’ (1823–1995), a prominent Banarasi intellectual and public figure, who also worked in various official capacities for the colonial government. As a government servant, especially in his capacity as an official in the Education Department, he was influential in shaping Hindi language policy in the late nineteenth century. His policy of reconciliation between Hindi and Urdu in some of his later prose writing also favoured a turn away from Sanskrit (Dalmia 1997, 132). While he was not alive at the time of the printing of this cartoon, his policies on language were still a highly contested topic of debate. A three-part biographical essay titled ‘Rājā Shivprasād Sitārehind’ (Raja Shivprasad ‘Star of India’) by Kishorilal Goswami appeared in February, March, and April 1900. The third installment in the series published in Sarasvatī 1 (4) (Goswami 1900b, 112–19) discusses some of the more controversial aspects of his policies, including his preference for ‘Khichrī Hindī’ (mixed Hindi) rather than ‘Shuddha’ or ‘Teth’ Hindi in textbooks, though not necessarily in other contexts (Goswami 1900b, 117). Other information that supports the hypothesis that he may be the object of Dwivedi’s critique in this cartoon is that Shivprasad was from a Parmar Kshatriya (Rajput) family and he lived in Varanasi. See Dhirendra Varma (1986, vol. 2, 487–8), Mohan Lal (1992, vol. 5, 4025) and Dalmia (1997, 132) for further details on Shivprasad and his language policies. If this is indeed a likeness of Shivprasad, then the royal figure represented would be the presiding ‘Kāshī Naresh’ (King of Kashi), Maharaja Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh (1825–1889, r. 1835–89). Note also that Shivprasad’s title ‘Sitār-e Hind’ (an indication of his nomination as a Companion of the Star of India) and this king’s designation as a ‘Mahārājā’ were titles granted by the British. Their representation then might also be a critique of colonial sanction of the linguistic policy in question. Access to Dwivedi’s notes on this cartoon, which are not available to me at present, might confirm or deny whether these are indeed Shivprasad’s and Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh’s likenesses. It is also possible that this is a likeness of Thakur Shiv Kumar Singh (1870–1968), one of

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52. 53.

54. 55.

56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61.

the three original founders of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha. Very little information about him is available. See Talvar (2003, 482) for an alternate reading of this image. See Dwivedi’s ‘Kavitā kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10), ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’ (Figure 1.11), ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’ (Figure 1.12), ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), ‘Shūrvīrsamālochak’ (Figure 1.13), ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14), and ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’ (Figure 1.16). See also, Kashiprasad Jayaswal’s ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ (Figure 1.9). In all the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons there is not a single case in which one of the aforementioned literary authorities is represented as female. See the onlookers in ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6 and 1.7). See Dwivedi’s representations of ‘Marathi literature’, ‘English literature’, ‘Bengali literature’, and ‘Hindi literature’ as men in Figures 1.1 and 1.2. See also his representations of the various literary genres as men, including poetry in ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’ (Figure 1.5); and of five of the six genres personified in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17). Exceptions to this include the two representations of poetry as women in Dwivedi’s ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6–1.7) as well as his representation of criticism as a monkey in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17). The novel as personified in Kashiprasad Jayaswal’s ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’ is also female (Figure 1.9). Refer to my discussions of ‘Hindī—Urdū’ (Figure 1.3), ‘Matribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4), and ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14). As in ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6–1.7). See Dwivedi’s ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’ (Figure 1.4) and ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ (Figure 1.14); see also Radhakrishna Das’s ‘Hindī–Urdū’ (Figure 1.3). ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) will be discussed at length later in the chapter. If not explicit in the text label (that is, as with a name), visual details including items of clothing and/or a tilak mark on the forehead indicate their Hindu identity. Dwivedi’s notes to the artist provide the details in brackets that are obscured by the tear in this image. Dwivedi’s insertion of a parenthetic ‘dhi’ within ‘vyākaran’, the Hindi word for grammar, is a play on the word ‘vyādhi-karan’, which literally means ‘disease-making’. This wordplay matches his personification of grammar as a leper.

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62. Between 1902 and 1903, the same time frame within which the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons appeared in Sarasvatī, Sadhucharan Prasad published Bhārat bhraman, a five-volume account of his travels throughout India in the late nineteenth century. 63. Pramila Sharma briefly mentions other hypotheses on the identity of the ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ characters (2002, 121), including Vasant Chakravarti’s suggestion that the Banarasi poet Jaishankar Prasad (1889–1937) was the inspiration for the figure of Kāvya. Based on the figure’s attire and Jaishankar Prasad’s age at the time of the cartoon’s publication, Sharma argues against this hypothesis. Prasad could not have been the figure represented here as he was a mere fourteen-year-old, while the figure, according to Dwivedi’s notes, was meant to be twenty years old. Based on her conversation with another scholar, Sitaram Chaturvedi (1907–2005), she proposes that the figure may possibly be the Banarasi poet and scholar Lala Bhagawan Din (1866–1930). See Chakravarti (1965, 169). 64. It is quite possibly such criticism that would eventually lead to the severance of all official ties between the Sabha and the journal. See Chapter 2 for a brief discussion of this rift and Shyamsundar Das’s role in its occurrence. 65. Each complete volume of Sarasvatī included a year-end annual table of contents listing titles, authors, and page numbers; in 1903, Dwivedi additionally began to organize the table of contents by genre or topic. 66. As Pramila Sharma (2002, 122) has suggested, this cartoon-inspired verse merits further attention as part of a larger phenomenon of imageinspired poetry, including especially poems based on artwork by Raja Ravi Varma. This phenomenon, deliberately cultivated by Dwivedi to promote Hindi literary production in Khari Boli, is further discussed in Chapter 3. 67. Although the poem is written in Khari Boli, it is yet unstandardized in its spelling. This may be in part to conform to the metrical needs of each verse, which the poet seems to follow closely. Verses one and two in shārdūlavikrīdita require nineteen syllables per line with the following pattern of long ( ¯ ) and short ( ˘ ) stresses [: indicates a caesura]: ¯ ¯ ¯ ˘ ˘ ¯ ˘ ¯ ˘ ˘ ˘ ¯: ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯ Verse three, in vasantatilaka, requires 14 syllables per line and has a stress pattern of ¯¯˘¯˘˘˘¯:˘˘¯˘¯¯ The final verse, in shālinī, requires 11 syllables per line. Its pattern of stress is ¯¯¯¯:¯˘¯¯˘¯¯

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68. 69.





See Ashwini S. Deo (2007, 63–114) for more detailed information on these and other Sanskrit poetic metres. Bhāratmitra (1878–1935) was a Hindi newspaper published from Calcutta. It appeared fortnightly, weekly, and daily at various points in the years when it was published. Neither Gupta nor Bharatiya would have had access to Dwivedi’s notes to the artist. Though Gupta is far more detailed in his review of the caricatures than Bharatiya, both responses provide useful information on the reception of the ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ cartoon, which is not available for most of the other cartoons in the series. See Chapter 3 for Gupta’s response to another ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon in which Gupta reacts adversely to Dwivedi’s ‘Kavitā kutumb par vipatti’ (Figure 1.10) and questions Dwivedi’s own skills as a poet. Sharma’s article on Dwivedi’s cartoons directed me to Gupta’s criticism of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’. As Sharma provides limited citation information and the text of her article includes some typographical discrepancies, I have chosen to quote this material from another source (Yayavar 1995, vol.1). In Yayavar, Gupta’s review of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ is included in ‘Hindī mein ālochanā’ (Criticism in Hindi), serialized in Bhāratmitra in 1906 in seven parts. This essay cites and expands on comments from Gupta’s initial response to ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ published in Bhāratmitra on 25 April 1903. Notably, Dwivedi’s own origins could be traced to the Baiswara region; Gupta’s association with this region of the starved literary figure whose seeds have reaped no reward is, thus, likely an attempt to provoke Dwivedi. Gupta uses the phrase ‘mīthī dillagī’ (sweet jest) to describe his criticism of Dwivedi in Bhāratmitra (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 386). Gupta was well known for his satirical style. Early on in his literary career, he published articles under the pen name of ‘Mr Hindi’ as well as some light verse in the Urdu journal of wit and satire, Awadh Punch (Gopal 1986, 10–11). He also wrote satirical essays in Hindi. Balmukund Gupta and Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi were both Hindi enthusiasts with strong opinions on the status and fate of the language. This led to several heated, public exchanges featured in their respective publications, Bhāratmitra and Sarasvatī, as well as in other prominent Hindi publications. Some of these essays were published under pseudonyms. One of the most well known of these exchanges followed Dwivedi’s publication of an essay titled ‘Bhāshā aur vyākaran’ (language and grammar), which was serialized in Sarasvatī in November 1905 and February 1906. Part one of the essay sparked a series of articles debating

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proper linguistic and grammatical usage in Hindi. Gupta published several critical responses to Dwivedi’s essays, including a ten-part series titled ‘Bhāshā kī anasthiratā’ (the instability of language, 1906) and a two-part commentary titled ‘Ātmārāmīya tippan’ (Ātmārām-related comments, n.d.), both published under the name Ātmārām, as well as a seven-part series later published as a single essay under the title ‘Hindī mein ālochanā’ (criticism in Hindi, 1906). In response to some of Gupta’s comments, Dwivedi published a satirical poem titled ‘Sargau narak thekānā nāhin’ (Sarasvatī, January 1906) under the name Kalhū Alhait. It was written in Baiswārī Hindi in the Ālhā metre (Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 327; vol. 13, 193). Dwivedi also published a prose rejoinder to Gupta’s criticism in the second part of ‘Bhāshā aur vyākaran’ (Sarasvatī, February 1906) as well as an essay titled ‘Ātmārām kī “tein” “tein”’ (n.d.) under the name Govindanarayan Mishra. The latter was published in Hindī Bangabāsī (est. 1890), a rival Calcuttabased newspaper that Gupta had edited for six years prior to his tenure as editor of Bhāratmitra. Leading Hindi literary figures of the day as well as readers from around the country wrote letters weighing in on the debate (Gopal 1986, 48; Dwivedi in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 290). Some of these figures included Gangaprasad Agnihotri, Kashiprasad Jayaswal, Padmasingh Sharma, Pandit Shridhar Pathak, Gopalram Gahamari, and Pandit Giridhar Sharma (Dwivedi and Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 290, 302, 316, 362). See also the discussion of the poem ‘Sarasvatī kā vinay’ in Chapter 3. 74. While the satirical format of the cartoon is itself literary, it was not a widely recognized vehicle for literary criticism in the Hindi public sphere at this time. The format, however, was not without precedent. See earlier note on the British Punch phenomenon that gave rise to a number of similarly formatted vernacular-language Punch journals in the late nineteenth century.


Prescriptive Prose Literary Progress in the Age of Colonialism

Dwivedi’s caricatures of modern Hindi literature (‘Sāhityasamāchār’, 1902–3) sensationalized the urgency of Hindi’s condition and underscored the amount of work that needed to be done to advance Hindi from its present flawed state. How an impoverished Hindi was to stake its claim on modernity and who should facilitate its progress was left mostly up to readers’ imagination. Claiming Hindi for all of India, despite its shortcomings, would require significant effort to define its boundaries and gain a consensus. Dwivedi took up this task in his literary essays and revealed his agenda for modern Hindi literature, contending all the while with the questions of which Hindi, whose Hindi, and why. As editor of Sarasvatī from 1903 to 1920, Dwivedi circulated a number of his literary ideas in the journal’s regular columns, including in his monthly editorial remarks and book reviews.1 He also published feature-length essays on language and literary criticism that offered more sustained discussions of these topics. ‘Hindī bhāshā aur uskā sāhitya’ (February–March 1903) and ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ (October 1911) are two such largely prescriptive statements on Hindi sāhitya.2 The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0003

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Hindi was one of Dwivedi’s topmost priorities as editor. He published ‘Hindī bhāshā aur uskā sāhitya’ (Dwivedi 1903a) in the first few months of his editorship and it appeared in the same issue of Sarasvatī (February–March 1903) in which he caricatured Hindi’s various branches as deficient, peculiar, imitative, impoverished, decadent, and diseased (‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, Figure 1.17). This essay, which preceded the cartoon by just a few pages, offered an alternate, more favourable, view of Hindi. In it, Dwivedi advocates for Hindi’s established pre-eminence over all other Indian languages as a ‘nationwide language’ (desh-vyāpak bhāshā, 93); and though he acknowledges some of its shortcomings, his primary objective in doing so is to indicate paths for its future progress. As the title suggests, he also provides a brief history of the language and literature that bolsters his claims.3 In doing so, he provides a preliminary outline of his parameters for Hindi. The next essay, ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ (Dwivedi 1911), was originally written by Dwivedi as an address for members of the second annual Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (Hindi literary conference) in Allahabad.4 He subsequently published his speech in Sarasvatī (October 1911). Here, Dwivedi provides a comprehensive statement on the definition, function, history, and branches of what he considers modern Hindi sāhitya. Published at the beginning and midpoint of Dwivedi’s editorial career—when his literary voice and the literary public with which he engaged were still in transition—these two essays, while revealing a programme for Hindi that is clearer than that which appears in his ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons, are still fraught with conflict and contradiction. Hindi Sāhitya: Preliminary Definitions Without a clear sense of Hindi sāhitya’s parameters and its function, Dwivedi’s graphic illustrations of its decay in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ column would have little to no lasting impact. Defining Hindi sāhitya was as urgent as warning Sarasvatī’s readers of its pending doom in the modern era. Use of sāhitya as ‘literature’, however, was only a recent phenomenon in Hindi public discourse. Historically, the term sāhitya was rooted in the Sanskrit lexicon and covered a wide range of meanings, including association, combination, connection, and poetic criticism.5 Notably, only one of

Prescriptive Prose


these uses had an expressly literary purpose. Prior to 1900, terms such as kāvya (literature; poetry) and bhāshā bhandār (a vernacular/ Hindi treasury) more frequently indicated ‘literature’ than sāhitya.6 Dictionary records from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries contain few, if any, references to sāhitya as literature. Material from journals in the same time period, including Hindī pradīp (est. 1877) and Sarasvatī prior to 1903, also records this lack of equivalence between sāhitya and literature.7 Only a few sporadic uses of sāhitya as literature indicate that a semantic shift was in fact underway.8 Sāhitya as literature came into Hindi public discourse sometime around the turn of the century. When Hindi enthusiasts took up the task of modernization at this time, Bengalis already had a substantial and acclaimed literary corpus that they referred to as sāhitya.9 Hindi literati, who often looked to the Bengali corpus as a model for their own writing, also likely adopted the use of the term sāhitya for literature from their Bengali counterparts.10 Hindi uses of sāhitya, especially after 1900, undeniably drew on already established categories, including Sanskrit and Hindi kāvya, Bengali sāhitya, and English literature. Over the course of the next two decades, however, sāhitya acquired a new, national identity in Hindi. That this process overlapped with Dwivedi’s tenure as editor of Sarasvatī is no mere coincidence. Dwivedi’s first attempt as editor to formally define sāhitya is embedded within a literary history of Hindi in ‘Hindī bhāshā aur uskā sāhitya’.11 Dwivedi writes: प्राचीन हिन्ी सराहित्य में गद्य करा तो नराम िी न लीहि्ये। पद्य में भी ्ो िी चरार ग्रन्थ प्हसद्ध िैं। हकसी भराषरा के वरांगम्य की समग्र सरामग्री को सराहित्य किते िैं, ्ो चरार कराव्यों को निीं। परनततु िमरारे प्राचीन सराहित्य की सरामग्री बहुत िी ्थोड़ी िै। There is no prose to mention in the Early Period of Hindi sāhitya. In poetry as well, there are only a few well-known texts. What we call sāhitya is the totality of works of a language’s vāngmay [that which is composed of language], not just a few kāvya. But the materials belonging to our early sāhitya are very few. (1903a, 95)

Dwivedi’s statement on sāhitya clarifies its semantic boundaries, especially in the context of other common literary terms: he draws an equivalence between sāhitya and vāngmay, and he distinguishes

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between sāhitya and kāvya (poetic compositions). His use of the phrase samagra sāmagrī (all of the materials) here suggests that sāhitya must fulfil two additional conditions: it should be a collection of materials rather than an isolated few, and it has to be comprehensive, including both poetry and prose within its repertoire. Besides these stipulations, sāhitya, it seems, could include just about anything composed in Hindi. Consistent with his broad view of this category, Dwivedi’s discussion of sāhitya in this essay includes poetry, biographies, stories, periodicals, novels, farces, plays, criticism, histories, travelogues, and books on science (1903a, 94–100). Though cursory, Dwivedi’s initial attempt at a formal definition of sāhitya begins the process of stabilizing its use in Hindi. It did not, however, go unchallenged. In Dwivedi’s second year as editor, he included an essay in Sarasvatī written by a young Hindi scholar who took exception to this definition. Ramchandra Shukla, over two decades before he published his monumental history of Hindi literature, submitted an essay to the journal titled ‘Sāhitya’ (1904).12 The essay was part translation and part adaptation of John Henry Newman’s mid-nineteenth-century address on ‘Literature’.13 Shukla, via Newman, questioned such broad parameters for sāhitya: क्यरा सराहित्य से पतुसतक मरात्र करा बोध िोतरा िै? कभी निीं। क्योंहक, तब उसके अनतग्गत हवज्रान, ज्योहतष, न्यरा्य और हवद्यरा के और भी अन्य हवभराग आ िरा्येंगे। कभी िम लोग वे्व्यरास की गीतरा को अध्यरातम के अनतग्गत और कभी सराहित्य के अनतग्गत मरान लेते िैं; हकनततु कोई मनतुष्य, ्यह् वि उनमत्त न िो, ज्योहतष ्यरा ्यूक्लिड (Euclid) के रेखरा-गहित को सराहित्य के नराम से पतुकरारेगरा। Are we to believe that sāhitya is merely a synonym for books? Never, as it would then include science, astronomy, law and other faculties of learning. Though we sometimes consider Vedvyas’s Gītā a spiritual text and sometimes sāhitya, no sober man would refer to astronomy or Euclid’s geometry as sāhitya. (1904, 154)

Shukla’s intervention disputes the idea that sāhitya was inclusive of everything in print; it was, rather, a more restricted category that echoed eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European notions of ‘imaginative literature’ (for example, the poem, the tale, and the play) as distinct from writing in other disciplines, particularly the sciences.14 Shukla, staying close to Newman’s definition, draws a clear distinction between the two categories: science (vigyān) is universal, objective,

Prescriptive Prose


and factual, while sāhitya is personal, subjective, and rooted in the imagination and thought; science utilizes words as mere symbols, while sāhitya uses a refined language, integrating figures of speech, idioms, composition, sweetness, and beauty. He further suggests that adhyātma (that is, spiritual texts such Vedvyas’s Gītā), dharma shāstra (religious scriptures) and artha-vidyā (economics) are more akin to science and would, therefore, fall outside the province of sāhitya, whereas itihās (history), which tended to retain a spark of the literary, might still hold a place in this category (Shukla 1904, 154–5). Shukla does not, however, conform entirely to Newman’s style or content. Whereas Newman maintains a neutrality, even in his criticism of contemporaries, Shukla, who also directs his criticism towards contemporaries, employs a rhetorical style that is far more confrontational. Newman, for example, dispassionately states that ‘no one would ever be tempted to speak of Euclid as literature, or of Matthiae’s Greek Grammar as literature’ (in Ker 1976, 226). Shukla transforms this statement into an accusation, insinuating that only a drunk man would define sāhitya so broadly as to include such texts (1904, 154). Such rhetoric poses a professional, literary challenge to Dwivedi’s definition, previously circulated in Sarasvatī, but also subjects the editor to a more personal attack.15 Shukla also diverges from Newman’s discourse in his emphasis on the national import of sāhitya. Whereas Newman acknowledges literature’s national attachments (in Ker 1976, 231, 245), his focus is on literature as an expression of man’s individual genius. Newman writes: Literature is the personal use or exercise of language. That this is so is further proved from the fact that one author uses it so differently from another. Language itself in its very origination would seem to be traceable to individuals. (In Ker 1976, 231)

In his Hindi translation, Shukla adapts this to read: सराहित्य हभनन हभनन लोगों करा हभनन हभनन प्करार से भराषरा को कराम में लरानरा िै। ्यि बरात बहुत से ग्रन्थों को ्ेखने से हवह्त िोती िै। भराषरा सव्यं अपनरा मूल हकसी िराहत-हवशेष में रखती िै। Literature is the use of language by different people in different ways. This may be proven by looking at numerous books. Language itself is rooted in a particular community (jāti). (1904, 155)

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While Shukla criticizes broad applications of sāhitya, opposing Dwivedi’s construction of the category, his shift of emphasis, from author to text (granth) and from individual to community (jāti) ownership, though seemingly minor divergences from Newman, speaks to the importance of understanding the category in an Indian, colonial context.16 Elsewhere, Shukla reiterates his point, using words such as jāti, jātīya, or jātivishesh as substitutes for Newman’s references to individual genius (Shukla 1904, 190). Thus, Newman argues that genius, in any language, is not to be judged by its translatability (Ker 1976, 241). …why should not genius be able to do in Greek what it cannot do in Latin? And why are its Greek and Latin works defective because they will not turn into English? That genius, of which we are speaking, did not make English; it did not make all languages, present, past, and future; it did not make the laws of any language: why is it to be judged of by that in which it had no part, over which it has no control?

Shukla transforms this passage on the immutable literary value of individual genius into a nationalist defense of Sanskrit literature: िम संसककृत सराहित्य को इस करारि क्यों ्ूहषत मरान लें हक उसकरा अनतुवरा् अंग्रेज़ी में निीं िो सकतरा? वि मनोिरतरा िो उसमें िै, अंग्रेज़ी के हलए निीं बनराई गई। िैसरा हक ऊपर किरा िरा चतुकरा िै, भराषरा हकसी िराहत हवशेष की समपहत्त िै हिसकरा रिन सिन और सवभराव उसमें हचहत्रत रितरा िै और िो उसी िराहत की आवश्यकतराओं को पूि्ग करने के हलए बनराई गई िै। Why should we consider Sanskrit literature to be flawed because it cannot be translated into English? Its charm and appeal was not made for English. As I have already said, language is the wealth of a particular jāti, whose way of life and character are inscribed within it, and it was made to fulfil the specific needs of that jāti. (1904, 190)

Once again, Shukla abandons Newman’s reference to individual genius in favour of community wealth, here in the form of Sanskrit literature. Though he does not remove all reference to the personal in his adaptation, his modifications, when they do occur, highlight sāhitya’s value as a collection of culturally embedded and collectively owned texts. Indeed Shukla changes most of the literary references in Newman’s essay from European to Indian; and in all but one instance he cites Sanskrit authors.17 Thus, where Newman cites the works of Homer, Pindar, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Walter Scott (Ker 1976, 234), Shukla

Prescriptive Prose


cites Valmiki, Vedvyas, Kalidas, and Bhavabhuti (1904, 156) and provides the aforementioned response to colonial critiques of Sanskrit literature. In this regard, Shukla also excludes Newman’s negative references to ‘Oriental’ styles of literature. Newman refers to such compositions as manufactured and overly ornamental, except when he cites an ‘Oriental’ style text penned by an Englishman (in Ker 1976, 233–4).18 Shukla’s essay then is no mere introduction of Newman’s ideas from a disinterested translator. ‘Sāhitya’ (1904) is an adaptation of Newman’s discourse for Indian readers, which not only makes a case for the importance of sāhitya à la Newman, but also challenges colonial ideas of Indian literature. In this sense, Shukla and Dwivedi share a view of sāhitya as a culturally embedded category of national consequence. Whereas Shukla poses a challenge to one aspect of Dwivedi’s literary project—its broad conception—Dwivedi (1903a), elsewhere in his essay, attaches its significance to a more specifically imagined community of Indians than does Shukla.19 Dwivedi’s inclusion of Shukla’s ‘Sāhitya’ in Sarasvatī suggests that he was well aware of challenges to his agenda, though he persisted in constructing sāhitya broadly.20 Shukla’s ideas on literature would not gain full recognition until well after Dwivedi’s tenure as editor. Indeed, the two critics clashed on other occasions as well; the following year Dwivedi (1905) accused Shukla of being ‘impolite, inappropriate, and harsh’ in his past efforts at literary criticism.21 Dwivedi persisted in his commitment to a broad definition of sāhitya. Several years later, in ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’, Dwivedi (1911, 465) expanded his formal definition of the category to include its function: एक मनतुष्य के ज्रानराि्गन ्यरा ज्रानरानतुभव से अनेक मनतुष्यों को तभी लराभ पहुुँचतरा िै िब पतुसतकों के द्राररा उसकरा प्चरार िोतरा िै। इस ज्रान-समतु्रा्य को संगृिीत करने और फैलराने वराली पतुसतकों के समूि करा नराम सराहित्य िै। The knowledge one man acquires or encounters can only benefit others when books are published to circulate this knowledge. Sāhitya is the name for the collectivity of books that compile and distribute this body of knowledge.

In just this essay, Dwivedi discusses the national significance of having a vast literary repertoire including newspapers and periodicals, books on science, dictionaries and grammars, history books,

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biographies, travel books, poetry, drama, novels, criticism, as well as books on archaeology, geography, architecture, navigation, education, and commerce. His focus on the link between sāhitya and gyān, or literature and knowledge, allowed the category to encompass an infinite array of print media, topics, and genres, and it also gave it social purpose: the education of a nation. Perhaps in anticipation of criticism similar to Shukla’s, Dwivedi (1911) further rationalizes the broad reach and potential impact of sāhitya as gyān: ज्रानरािन्ग करा प्धरान सराधन हशक्रा िै। हबनरा हशक्रा के मनोहवकराश निीं िोती। अतएव ज्रानवृहद्ध के हलए हशक्रा की बड़ी आवश्यकतरा िै। समराचरार-पत्रों और सरामराह्यक पतुसतकों से भी हशक्रा हमलती िै। उनसे भी ज्रानोननहत िोती िै। इससे उनिें भी भराषरा-सराहित्य करा एक अंग निीं, तो एक अंश तो अवश्य समझनरा चराहि्ये। इनिीं करारिों से मनोरंिन, समरालोचन, इहतिरास, और िीवनचररत आह् से संबनध रखने वराली पतुसतकें भी सराहित्य के अनतग्गत िैं। The primary means for acquiring knowledge is education. Without education the intellect cannot develop, and if the intellect does not develop, intellectual progress cannot be made. Thus, education is necessary to further intellectual progress. One can also be educated by newspapers and periodicals. They too can develop one’s intellect. Thus, if they cannot be called a branch of the literature of a language, they should at least be considered a part of it. For these reasons, books having to do with entertainment, criticism, history, biographies, and so forth are also considered sāhitya. (465)

Dwivedi’s rhetoric was in keeping with his predecessor’s vision for Hindi. Harishchandra had also encouraged the widespread distribution of gyān through new print media as one of the primary means for promoting national progress.22 Dwivedi followed suit, publicizing a clear and direct link between gyān, sāhitya, and national progress: gyān, distributed via ‘books in every subject’ was a means for community and society to achieve material, spiritual, social, moral, and religious progress (1911, 473).23 Dwivedi’s insistence on sāhitya’s inclusivity, at least in this regard, served a larger social purpose: it would facilitate the rapid expansion of a literary treasury that could represent a modern nation and educate it as well. Dwivedi also, however, embedded the category in ways that made it more restrictive than his isolated definitions of sāhitya would

Prescriptive Prose


indicate. His essays (1903a, 1911) addressed in brief the broad theoretical boundaries of sāhitya as a category of analysis: it was, simply put, a comprehensive collection of knowledge in print that could facilitate national progress. However, it was in his preferences for the category’s articulation and use in a colonial context that his vision of sāhitya became more prescriptive. With Hindi sāhitya as his chosen emblem for national progress, he tackled the problem of its flawed image, articulating his preferences for its history, lexical composition and register, and content and form.24 In doing so, Dwivedi concurrently outlined a literary agenda that also prescribed the boundaries of the community, society, and ultimately nation imagined by such a sāhitya. The Origins of Hindi and Its ‘Natural’ Evolution Just as Dwivedi’s preliminary definitions of sāhitya paved the way for the term’s use as an indicator of national progress, his history supported claims for Hindi’s modernity. Dwivedi’s essays (1903, 1911) outline a history of Hindi sāhitya that privileges some aspects of modern Hindi’s past over others. Of central significance is Hindi’s ‘natural’ evolution from ancient Indian languages, Sanskrit and the Prakrits, as well as its relation to a cluster of related north Indian languages that comprises a pre-modern Hindi.25 In his earlier essay, Dwivedi (1903a) stresses modern Hindi’s ‘natural’ evolution from Sanskrit via the Prakrits. Using phrases such as prakriti se (naturally), svabhāv se (by nature), svābhāvik rīti par (in a natural way), and āp hī āp (on its own), he explains that the Prakrits (prākritik bhāshāyen) are those languages that have ‘naturally’ evolved ‘on their own’ from Sanskrit, the original language of the country. Hindi has, in turn, evolved naturally from several of the Prakrit languages, thus giving it an ancient and indigenous Indian lineage (1903a, 93). Later, Dwivedi (1911) again proposes a ‘natural’ view of Hindi’s history that suggests its native rather than foreign origins. He uses the word prākritik to describe both the ‘natural’ reasons for Hindi’s evolution and in reference to the Prakrits (prākritik bhāshāyen), from which it has evolved. He mentions Hindi’s connection, via the Prakrits, to the ancient texts of India, indicating its roots in Sanskrit. He argues that Hindi has evolved naturally in order to keep up with the unique circumstances of ‘country, era, and society’. ‘Our Hindi

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language’, he continues with pride, ‘is an excellent example of the theory of evolution’ (vikās-siddhānt) (1911, 464).26 Dwivedi also likens Hindi’s development to the basic stages of a plant’s lifecycle, from seed to sprout to tree; and he extends this motif with corresponding, nature-related terminology.27 Notably, the images of natural evolution that mark his narratives of Hindi literature (1903, 1911) are entirely absent from both essays when it comes to the subject of Urdu, suggesting that it is somehow artificial in its development. Dwivedi (1903, 1911) provides key dates for Hindi and its phases of development, but his narratives deliberately avoid committing to an authoritative chronology, especially one that pinpoints Hindi’s advent. In ‘Hindī  bhāshā  aur uskā  sāhitya’, he divides the history of Hindi literature into three eras: Early Hindi from 1200 to 1570 CE, Middle Hindi from 1570 to 1800, and Modern Hindi from 1800 to the present. Though he insists that ‘dull discussions on the dating of Hindi literature are a useless waste of time’, he reluctantly offers Prithvīrāj rāsau by Chand Bardai (1903a, 94–5) from around the twelfth century as a starting point, with the caveat that this text only marks the beginning of an official chronology for Hindi.28 Accurately dating Hindi’s origins is a difficult, if not impossible, task. All that can be said with certainty, he remarks, citing rumours of earlier poets, is that Hindi literary activity had commenced by the ninth century.29 Dwivedi’s comments tentatively place the beginnings of Hindi literature several centuries earlier than official historical records indicate, but, he adds, until older texts provide evidence otherwise, the twelfth-century poet Chand Bardai ‘has to be credited as the father of early Hindi literature’ (1903a, 94–5).30 Dwivedi (1911) again cites Chand Bardai’s Prithvīrāj rāsau to roughly sketch a direct line of descent for Modern Hindi from India’s ancient languages, Sanskrit and the Prakrits, by way of its more recent ancestors, Early and Middle Hindi.31 Prithvīrāj rāsau, written in an early Hindi, is indeed a significant milestone, though here again, Dwivedi proceeds with a caution.32 It was the ‘most prominent, currently available’ text representing contemporary Hindi’s earliest form, but given Hindi’s gradual path of evolution from the ancient languages of India, the language is effectively ‘without beginning’ (1911, 464). Both essays (1903, 1911) underscore Dwivedi’s reluctance to provide a firm date for Hindi’s advent. His emphasis on Hindi’s ‘natural’

Prescriptive Prose


origins allows for this ambivalence. The difficulties of establishing premodern literary chronologies may indeed have been cause for hesitation, but the idea of an eternally present Hindi directly descended from Sanskrit via the Prakrits and the cluster of languages that make up pre-modern Hindi also advanced his agenda. Given the competitive linguistic atmosphere of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, such a ‘natural’ history of Hindi’s origins and development was critical to Dwivedi’s claims for its modernity.33 A closer look at Dwivedi’s variable treatment of Braj Bhasha and Urdu within his brief literary history (1903a) sheds some light on the competitive advantages he sought to give modern Hindi. Dwivedi highlights modern Hindi’s shared past with Braj Bhasha and Urdu sāhitya, but distances Hindi from these languages in his agenda for its progress. His discussion of Middle Period Hindi sāhitya treats these languages and their literatures as parts of a single larger entity with fluid boundaries. He refers to ‘Hindi in the form of Braj Bhasha’ and ‘Hindi by the name of Urdu’, and his narrative is for the most part a discussion of the literary histories of a broad spectrum of these and other middle-period languages that he considers to be within the rubric of Hindi (1903a, 96).34 He does, however, construct a distinct hierarchy within Hindi’s domain that simultaneously differentiates these languages from other varieties of Hindi: Braj Bhasha had ‘complete control over poets of the Middle Period’ and was accessible to even the common man; and Urdu, though synonymous with Hindi, was ‘born only yesterday’ and consequently still a relative newcomer to the Hindi literary arena (1903a, 96). In his discussion of the modern era, Dwivedi’s narrative continues to distance Braj Bhasha and Urdu from Hindi, drawing more rigid boundaries between all the languages he previously considered within Hindi’s scope. Given his pragmatic construction of modern sāhitya as an educational tool for achieving national progress, he indicates early on that it ought to be accessible to the greatest number of people. Hindi, he argues, was both a ‘nationwide language’ (desh-vyāpak bhāshā) and a ‘language of everyday speech’ (bolchāl kī bhāshā). His discussion of Braj Bhasha and Urdu make it clear that it is Khari Boli more than any other variety that he privileges as both the language of literature and the nation (1903a, 93, 99).35

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Braj Bhasha, once held in high regard as the primary language of poetic articulation in the early and middle periods, was no longer to be considered a suitable literary language for the modern era.36 बोलचराल की भराषरा में कहवतरा अवश्य िोनी चराहिए। कोई करारि निीं हक िम लोग बोलैं एक भराषरा और कहवतरा करैं ्ूसरी भराषरा में। बरातचीत के सम्य िो हिस भराषरा में अपने हवचरार प्कट करतरा िै, वि ्यह् उसी भराषरा में कहवतरा भी करे तो और भी उत्तम िो। ब्रिभराषरा बहुत कराल से कहवतरा में प््योग िोती आई िै। अतएव एकबरारगी उसकरा पररत्यराग निीं हक्यरा िरा सकतरा। क्रम-क्रम से बोलचराल की भराषरा में पद्य करा प्चरार िोनरा उहचत िै। ्यह् न्ये प्करार की कहवतरा से लोगों करा भली भराँहत मनोरंिन हुआ तो कराव्य में ब्रिभराषरा करा प्चरार हकसी ह्न आप िी उठ िरावैगरा। और समभव िै हक शीघ्र िी हकसी ह्न ऐसरा िो; क्योंहक एक अ्थवरा ्ो हज़ले की भराषरा पर ्ेश ्ेशभर के हनवराहस्यों करा प्ेम बहुत ह्न तक निीं रि सकतरा। Poetry should definitely be [composed] in the language of everyday speech. There is no reason for us to speak one language and compose poetry in another language. It is much better for someone to write poetry, too, in the same language that they use to express their thoughts in conversation. Braj Bhasha has been the language of poetry for a long time. For this reason, it cannot be abandoned all at once. The gradual spread of poetry written in the language of everyday speech is appropriate. If people found a new kind of poetry entertaining, then one day, the use of Braj Bhasha for poetry will disappear on its own. And it’s possible that this will happen one day very soon because the love of the citizens of this entire country for the language of just one or two districts cannot remain for very long. (1903a, 99)

Dwivedi sought to displace Braj Bhasha’s dominant position in the field of poetry with Khari Boli as the new uniform standard for both poetry and prose. However, as indicated here, his agenda was not based on existing circumstances or needs, but on his national aspirations for a modern Hindi. The idea of using Khari Boli as a poetic language is ‘new’ and has very few literary adherents. His words suggest that the primary reason for this is that Khari Boli poetry is not yet sufficiently ‘entertaining’, which is something he  seeks to change.37 When this change does occur, Braj Bhasha will become extinct, because although its poetry may be entertaining, the more limited geographical scope of its everyday conversational use does not suit his new directive: a single Hindi for poetry and prose.

Prescriptive Prose


Dwivedi frames his proposal for change with regard to Braj Bhasha cautiously so that modern Hindi can maintain its position as a ‘naturally’ evolved language rather than one subject to artificial change. While he does not directly advocate Braj Bhasha’s poetic demise, he clearly hopes it will decline ‘on its own’ (that is, naturally become extinct) to make way for Khari Boli, in his view a more viable contender for national language status. His prose is noticeably measured, advocating gradual change and nationwide consent, whereas his ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ illustrations advocate more urgent reform for the very survival of Hindi.38 In his later essay, when he extolls the evolutionary capacity of Hindi (1911, 464), he again does not directly promote the deliberate eradication of poetry in Braj Bhasha, but rather suggests that it is somewhat elitist and, therefore, less suitable for future literary use (470).39 Meanwhile, Dwivedi’s essay (1903a) contends also with Hindi’s competitive aspirations vis-à-vis Urdu. He sought official and then national language status for his preferred Khari Boli Hindi rather than Urdu, which already had official recognition mid-nineteenth century onwards in the North-Western Provinces and Awadh. Urdu, unlike Braj Bhasha, held a tenuous position in Dwivedi’s history of pre-modern Hindi sāhitya; for the modern era, his narrative is even more ambivalent, yet still very much couched within a larger discourse of ‘natural’ evolution and competition. The uncertainty surrounding Urdu’s position is evident in Dwivedi’s somewhat defensive treatment of Urdu at two points in his essay when he strays from his central narrative to discuss its origins and literary history (1903a, 96–8, 100–1). That is, he embeds a history of Urdu within his history of Hindi, all the while justifying his digressions in each instance. उ्ू्ग के समबनध में िमको, ्यिरां पर, कुछ हवसतरार करनरा पड़रा। ्यि हवष्य हवचरारिी्य ्थरा; इसीहलए हिन्ी सराहित्य के अनतग्गत िमको ्यिरां पर इतनरा किनरा पड़रा। उ्ू्ग करा सराहित्य भी, एक प्करार, हिन्ी िी करा सराहित्य िै। अतएव, आगे चल कर, िमको इस सराहित्य पर अभी कुछ और हलखनरा पड़ेगरा। We had to expand a little here with regard to Urdu. We had to discuss it at length in a discussion of Hindi literature because it was a subject worthy of consideration. Urdu literature, too, is in a way the literature of Hindi. For this reason, we still have more to write on this literature in the discussion ahead. (1903a, 98)

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And when he broaches the subject a second time, he explains: इस हनबनध को समराप्त करने के पिले हिन्ी की शराखरा उ्ू्ग के सराहित्य के हवष्य में भी िम कुछ किनरा आवश्यक समझते िैं। Before ending this essay, I think it is also necessary to say something on the subject of the literature of Urdu, a branch of Hindi. (1903a, 100)

In both instances, Dwivedi defends his seemingly unexpected treatment of Urdu in a history of Hindi. Urdu is not often treated at such length and with such regard (‘a subject worthy of consideration’, 98; ‘necessary … subject’, 100) in Sarasvatī, so his attempt is noteworthy in that it provides an introductory account of Urdu’s origins and its major literary milestones for a Hindi-oriented readership.40 Dwivedi’s narrative in these sections follows very closely two reference articles by the Orientalist scholars J. T. Platts and C. J. Lyall on ‘Hindustani’ and ‘Hindustani Literature’ respectively (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1880). Dwivedi adopts many of their facts and fictions alike though only as they serve his larger objectives. Thus, Dwivedi repeats Platts’s misconceptions on the origins of the term ‘Urdu’: that it was a Turkish word signifying a ‘camp’ that came to be associated with the Delhi bāzār after Amir Taimur’s arrival in the city, and that subsequently in Akbar’s time a new idiom came into use to facilitate communication between people of various countries and communities (Dwivedi 1903a, 97; Platts 1880, 750).41 Following Lyall’s history of Urdu literature (1880), Dwivedi’s narrative is regionally driven, moving from Urdu literature’s beginnings in the southern Indian cities of Golkonda, Bijapur, and Aurangabad, to its flourishing in the northern Indian cities of Delhi, Lucknow, and Agra, and finally, to its patronage at Fort William College in Calcutta; and he provides key figures, texts, and dates, with some instances of additional biographical detail.42 Likewise, Dwivedi covers only the period of its development from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries.43 Dwivedi adopts without hesitation both Platts’s and Lyall’s chronologies and lineages, which give to Hindi the advantage of seniority in India. Hindi, thus, belongs to a continuous evolutionary process that has its roots in Sanskrit and the Prakrits (Dwivedi 1903a, 93; Platts 1880, 751; Lyall 1880, 756), whereas Urdu is excluded from

Prescriptive Prose


this narrative of gradual change. Moreover, adopting Platts’s and Lyall’s origin stories gives Urdu military and pragmatic rather than literary–cultural associations, and delays the advent of its literature until the sixteenth century (Platts 1880, 750; Lyall 1880, 753). Dwivedi communicates even instances of Orientalist disdain drawn from these accounts.44 Thus, Lyall, when introducing the literature of Urdu, writes that Urdu poetry does not have ‘the faintest flavor of originality from its commencement to the present day’ (1880, 756). Dwivedi concludes his history of Urdu literature with a similar sentiment: उ्ू्ग की कहवतरा में नूतनतरा बहुत िी कम िै। There is very little innovation in Urdu poetry. (1903a, 101)

Whereas Lyall’s account is on the whole reserved in its praise, providing qualified or generalized estimations of Urdu writers and their works, Dwivedi’s prose, at least in some instances, exceeds Lyall’s in its admiration for certain Urdu poets.45 Dwivedi’s replication of Lyall’s dismissive view of Urdu poetry, however, mitigates this praise.46 Dwivedi also vacillates between claiming that Urdu is not to be considered a separate language from Hindi and suggesting that it is decidedly distinct from, though still a branch of Hindi. Thus, he argues that though Urdu draws upon vocabulary from Persian, Arabic, and Turkish, it shares a grammatical base with Hindi. Therefore, the language of Vali and Sauda, poets of the Urdu tradition, as well as Tulsidas and Biharilal, poets of the pre-modern Hindi tradition, all belong to a single repertoire, properly referred to as Hindi (1903a, 96).47 However, even as he claims ownership of Urdu for Hindi, allowing the latter to encompass a vast and rich literary pre-modern and modern repertoire, his history relegates Urdu to a subordinate position. Though it may be a branch of Hindi, it is somehow a lesser branch that is younger, non-native, and less innovative. This is in keeping with his larger narrative of evolution  in which Hindi is projected as the most fit to be the language of a modern, sovereign India.48 Remarkably, however, he draws many of the arguments that place Urdu in a subordinate position to Hindi from Platts’s and Lyall’s treatment of Hindustani (Urdu) language and literature (1880).

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Dwivedi’s equivocal treatment of Urdu (1903a) arises then from this interweaving of British constructions of Hindustani/Urdu (Platts 1880; Lyall 1880) with his own still-nascent agenda. Platts and Lyall equivocate, at points conflating the terms and scope of Hindi, Hindustani, and Urdu, at other moments forging a rigid chasm between Hindi and Urdu, and associating each language with Hindus and Muslims respectively; and in still other instances, they note the shared use of a singly termed language across religious communities.49 Orientalist discourse and colonial policy initiated a path of divergence for the two languages, and Hindi consequently competed with Urdu for official, colonial recognition in the political arena. Dwivedi’s literary policy inevitably followed suit to support his claims for national language status, but not without issue. His ambivalence indicates some of the additional challenges involved in deliberately segregating modern Hindi and Urdu literatures when, script- and community-related concerns aside, the languages themselves continued to share a common grammatical base, geographical scope, and a core vocabulary in colloquial usage; this was to be especially difficult a task as Dwivedi’s very definition of a literary language was based on the language of everyday speech. Moreover, how was Dwivedi to frame his recommendations for any deliberate change vis-à-vis ‘the Hindi referred to as Urdu’ while still maintaining his position on Hindi’s ‘natural’ evolution? A closer look at Dwivedi’s views on the composition of literary Khari Boli reveals that these are conflicts that Dwivedi (1903a, 1911) is not fully able to reconcile. Modern Literary Hindi: Lexicon and Register Dwivedi’s discussion of modern literary Khari Boli (1903a, 1911) centres on matters of a preferred lexicon and an appropriate linguistic register. Though he is mostly clear in his support for bolchāl kī bhāshā as the language of poetry and prose, his vision of an everyday, literary, and even national Hindi fluctuates within the span of a single essay, and from essay to essay.50 It is modern Hindi’s position relative to other languages, namely Urdu, that is the source of most of Dwivedi’s ambivalence. On one hand, Dwivedi (1903a) accepts the ‘natural’ consequences of contact with other languages. He writes:

Prescriptive Prose


… िमरारी हिन्ी संसककृत, प्राककृत, अरबी, फ़रारसी, ततुककी, पोत्ततु्गगीज़ और अंग्रज़ े ी आह् भराषराओं की हखचड़ी िै। ऐसरा िोनरा कोई लज्रा, अ्थवरा िराहन, अ्थवरा ्ोष की बरात निीं। प्राककृहतक हन्यमों के अनतुसरार समपक्क से, भराषराओं में पररवत्गन हुआ िी करतरा िै। … our Hindi is a mix [khichrī] of languages including Sanskrit, Prakrit, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Portuguese, and English. This is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it harmful or worthy of censure. In accordance with the laws of nature, languages perpetually change from contact. (94)

Dwivedi’s defence of a khichrī Hindi, with words from other languages so common that ‘even village women and children use them’, is a reaction to Platts (Dwivedi 1903a, 94; Platts 1880, 750).51 Platts dismisses some of the by-products of the co-mingling of other languages with Hindi as more like the ‘excrescences which have sprung up casually and have attached themselves to the original trunk than ingredients duly incorporated in the body’ and he disparages ‘the corrupt pronunciation they receive in the mouths of natives’ (1880, 750). Dwivedi’s defence here suggests that he cannot let such condescension pass without remark, though he chooses not to address Platts directly. Later in the same essay, however, Dwivedi takes an entirely different position, rejecting Urdu and its ‘foreign’ vocabulary as a viable common language for India: उ्ू्ग चरािै हितनी सरल िो, उसमें कुछ न कुछ फ़रारसी शब्ों करा मेल िोतरा िी िै। इन प्रांतों के ग्ररामीि और सराधरारि मनतुष्य संसककृत के कम कहठन शब् चरािै समझ भी लें परनततु फ़रारसी को वे निीं समझ सकते। क्योंहक फ़रारसी हव्ेशी भराषरा िै; और संसककृत, हफर भी, इसी ्ेश की भराषरा िै। No matter how simple the Urdu, it is mixed with some Persian word or another. The rural and ordinary people of these provinces may even perhaps be able to understand the less difficult Sanskrit words, but they cannot understand Persian. Because Persian is a foreign language; and Sanskrit is still a language of this country. (1903a, 101)

Dwivedi (1903a) goes on to advocate actively simplifying a shuddha or pure Hindi for literary expression rather than allowing Hindi to ‘follow Urdu’. This ‘pure’ Hindi should be ‘simple’ (saral), favouring the use of simple Sanskrit words over words of Persian origin; and it should not be a ‘high Hindi’ marked by the excessive use of difficult

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Sanskrit words (1903a, 102). Dwivedi’s remarks stem from his review of an official British Census Report of the United Provinces, which he suggests favours the use of a more Persianized vocabulary and misrepresents ‘modern Hindi’ as a ‘high Hindi’ without having sufficient knowledge of the language.52 Whereas Dwivedi’s earlier remarks justifying the effects of contact languages on Hindi were an indirect critique of Orientalist scholarship (1903a, 94), his comments here directly address the Superintendent of the United Provinces and what Dwivedi deems to be a flawed colonial policy towards language (1903a, 102).53 Though consistent in his promotion of a simple, colloquial speech, Dwivedi, in the span of a few pages, makes conflicting statements on its lexical composition. He argues that the lexicon of Hindi naturally reflects its contact with multiple languages and that this bolchāl kī bhāshā is the preferred mode of communication for literary expression as well. But he simultaneously argues that for modern literary Hindi to reach the maximum number of people, it should be shuddha, derived only from simple Sanskrit rather than Persian. In effect, then, literary Hindi should purposefully reject the natural outcomes of contact and ignore actual, everyday use. Eight years later, Dwivedi (1911) presents still different parameters for a modern literary Hindi. He argues that content and audience determine the language of sāhitya, and since these vary, there is no single standard for literary expression: िैसरा हवष्य िो, और हिस श्ेिी के पराठकों के हलए पतुसतक हलखी गई िो, त्नतुसरार िी भराषरा करा प््योग िोनरा चराहिए। बच्ों और सराधरारि िनों के हलए हलखी गई पतुसतकों में सरल भराषरा हलखी िरानी चराहिए। प्रौढ़ और हवशेष हशहक्त िनों के हलए पररषककृत और आलंकराररक भराषरा हलखी िरा सकती िै। वैज्राहनक ग्रं्थों में पराररभराहषक शब्ों करा प््योग करनरा पड़तरा िै। The language used should depend on the subject matter as well as the class of readers for which a book is intended. For children and the general public, books should be written in simple language. Refined and figurative language can be used for adults and for people with higher education. Scientific texts require the use of technical vocabulary. (1911, 472)

The language of sāhitya may range from simple to refined and figurative to technical, but Dwivedi still prefers a ‘simple language’ (saral

Prescriptive Prose


bhāshā) because of its potential for broader impact. It is, he also notes, his personal gauge for good writing and the preferred register for a majority of great writers (1911, 472–3). Dwivedi (1911), however, does not privilege a simple but pure Hindi, as he does in his earlier essay. He reverts to defending a simple Hindi comprising a mixed vocabulary: मेरी ररा्य में शब् चरािे हिस भराषरा के िों, ्यह् वे प्चहलत शब् िैं और सब किीं बोल चराल में आते िैं तो उनिें हिन्ी के शब्-समूि के बरािर समझनरा भूल िै। उनके प््योग से हिन्ी की कोई िराहन निीं; प्त्यतुत लराभ िै। अरबी-फ़रारसी के सैकड़ों शब् ऐसे िैं हिनको अपढ़ आ्मी तक बोलते िैं। उनकरा बहिषकरार हकसी प्करार समभव निीं। In my opinion, it makes no difference to what language a word belongs; if it is a commonly used word and a part of everyday speech everywhere, it would be a great mistake to consider it outside the Hindi lexicon. Hindi would not suffer from its usage; on the contrary, it would benefit. There are hundreds of Arabic and Persian words that even illiterate men use in their speech. It is in no way possible to ban them. (1911, 473)

Recall that Dwivedi’s ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ was originally an address intended for the annual meeting of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. That is, his remarks here are likely an attempt to sway an audience of Hindi language and literary enthusiasts to relax their stance on the purity of Hindi, thereby widening its scope and potential impact. By contrast, Dwivedi’s 1903 essay was a complex interweaving of Orientalist scholarship (Platts 1880; Lyall 1880) with Dwivedi’s own ideas as well as his reactions to colonial policy and practice. Dwivedi’s stated policies on the language of literature are both practical and contextual, characteristics that were increasingly becoming hallmarks of his literary practice as he manoeuvred the colonial landscape of the early twentieth century. He constructs a narrative of ‘natural’ change and selection with Hindi as the proposed winner over its competitors for national recognition, while also varying his stated policies in response to both colonial and indigenous discourses on language and literature. In literary practice, too, Dwivedi varied his language—ranging from a Hindi marked by Sanskrit-derived vocabulary to a mixed language, to a predominantly Persian-derived Urdu—depending on the context and audience; and even his edits

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and revisions of other writers’ contributions to Sarasvatī indicated a degree of flexibility in his language policy and practice.54 A National Hindi Sāhitya Dwivedi (1903a) discusses in passing his ideas concerning Hindi sāhitya’s most pressing needs in the modern era, but it is in his 1911 address to the attendees of the second annual meeting of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan that he systematically outlines his vision for advancing its form and content to suit the needs of a national repertoire.55 It is a call to action for a specific community, Hindi speakers, on behalf of the entire nation. While Hindi sāhitya may indeed be a broad category, in order for it to fulfil its destiny as a nationally significant category, Hindi speakers must focus on strengthening its weaknesses and closing its gaps, as in its present state ‘not a single branch is fully formed’ (1911, 469). The sheer number of publications within a branch of sāhitya is often the most critical factor in determining both literary and national progress, but for some branches Dwivedi also recommends more substantive changes. While newer literary genres and media require development, older ones require reform, and still others require deferred or non-action, all must serve a larger, literary–national purpose: to convey useful information to the masses in a modern, standard Hindi. Dwivedi highlights eleven major ‘branches’ (shākhāon) of sāhitya in ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’: newspapers, scientific books, dictionaries and grammars, histories and biographies, travel-related books, poetry and drama, novels, and criticism.56 An additional twelfth branch includes texts on miscellaneous topics such as archaeology, geography, architecture, navigation, education, and commerce. Implicit within Dwivedi’s call to action for these branches is a tiered scheme that focuses literary activity to areas of greatest need.57 The first tier includes branches of sāhitya that Dwivedi considers important, but which lack a significant presence, if any, in Hindi. These require immediate action, largely in terms of populating the corpus. Scientific books, histories and biographies, and travel books fall within this tier. Dwivedi privileges vigyān, or science, as a category of sāhitya that is emblematic of a people’s progress despite Shukla’s call to exclude it in 1904.58 The knowledge contained within this branch, he writes,

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distinguishes man from beast, and is, therefore, critical to a nation’s literary corpus (1911, 465, 467). The publication of a Hindi Scientific Glossary (1906) with the express purpose of enriching vernacular literature suggests Dwivedi was not alone in privileging this as a branch indispensable to sāhitya.59 As with its parent category, he construes vigyān broadly: he conflates it at some points with gyān (knowledge), and also argues that is synonymous with the term shāstra (a scientific discipline). It can, thus, encompass a vast range of knowledge-bearing subjects such as biology, material science, and chemistry, as well as philosophical and spiritual texts.60 Despite its national significance, Dwivedi argues that there is a complete lack of such ‘informative literature’ in Hindi. A fully developed sāhitya should have more than a few books in each of the various branches of scientific knowledge; all of vigyān’s sub-fields must be well-represented, as is the case in other more developed languages (1911, 467). Dwivedi treats histories and biographies as well as travel books with similar arithmetical scrutiny. More than anything else, the paltry number of histories and biographies in Hindi is of great concern, especially when compared with the output of other languages such as Urdu, Bengali, and English.61 Dwivedi specifically mentions histories by Mr R.C. Datta and Tod sāhib as noteworthy examples of this genre in Hindi, though these are translations from English.62 For examples of good biographical writing, Dwivedi turns once again to Bengali and English.63 He has little more to write about these branches, other than that history is a highly regarded branch of literature and biography is also extremely important as it is a ‘readable, entertaining, and generally useful branch of sāhitya’ which has universal appeal (1911, 469). Meanwhile, though travel books are both amusing and increase one’s scholarship, and though there are one or two fine examples of such works in Hindi, if one is to consider the development of the branch as a whole, these books are ‘like a drop in the ocean’ (1911, 470).64 Books on miscellaneous subjects seem also to come within this first tier in which volume is still more pressing a concern than content. He provides no further indication of their importance besides pointing out that other developed languages have produced scores of books in these subject areas, whereas Hindi has no texts worth mentioning (1911, 472).

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Dwivedi lists other important media and genres some of which have a presence in Hindi but which urgently require more substantive reform. Newspapers and periodicals, poetry and drama, and novels, and criticism have a place in this second tier, for which he lists some of his priorities for progress. Newspapers and periodicals, relatively new media for Hindi, are popular and have made progress over the course of three decades. This branch has increased in its size and the scope of its content, its language has become more refined, and several periodicals are even skilfully edited. There remain some areas of continued concern: Dwivedi highlights the still wretched state of the Hindi language when compared with English-language periodical literature; for this he blames a lack of mass education, the apathy of educated mother-tongue speakers, and the incompetence of editors and managers. At present, most Hindi periodicals draw some part of their material from English-language Indian publications such as The Pioneer, The Bengali, Amrita Bāzār Patrikā, and Advocate of India, and this mostly involves copying or the mere translation of other people’s work. Dwivedi advocates mass education as a means of improving the state of Hindi and for cultivating editors who are capable of independent thought. Dwivedi, nonetheless, encourages editors to continue viewing English language publications as models; he also recommends it should be compulsory for editors of Hindi-language periodicals to have a good knowledge of English (1911, 466–7). Dwivedi treats poetry and drama together. Whereas there is an abundance of poetry, there are only a few good plays. Both genres, however, have other shortcomings that require immediate attention. Dwivedi argues that Hindi poetry in the present era largely exhibits the poetic norms of previous eras.65 Intent on modernizing the corpus, Dwivedi makes several recommendations to encourage good poetry that is accessible, beneficial, and relevant. Language remains his first priority: ‘Whether it is in bolchāl kī bhāshā or the language of Braj’, Dwivedi writes, ‘everyone should understand the language of poetry’ (1911, 470). Though he seems here to have relaxed his earlier stance (1903a) on Khari Boli being the sole language of prose and poetic composition in Hindi, his emphasis on accessibility indicates that he still favours it over Braj Bhasha, which his prose suggests is limited by its regional affiliation.

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It is no surprise then that Dwivedi offers two of Maithilisharan Gupta’s most recent Khari Boli poems, ‘Rang mein bhang’ (1909) and ‘Jaydrath-vadh’ (1910), as models of kakshā ke kāvya or poems suitable for the classroom (1911, 470).66 His emphasis on the classroom as an important locus of poetic consumption suggests another of his priorities: the function of poetry. Intent on training a new generation of poets and patriots alike he makes the following recommendations: कराव्यों की रचनरा और उनकरा हवष्य ऐसरा िोनरा चराहिए िो ्ेश और कराल के अनतुकूल िो। पढ़ने वराले के हृ््य पर कहवतरा पराठ करा कुछ असर िोनरा चराहिए; उससे स्तुप्ेश हमलनरा चराहिए; और कुछ निीं, तो ्थोड़ी ्ेर के हलए प्मो्रानतुभव तो अवश्य िी िोनरा चराहिए। भरारत में अनंत आ्श्ग-नरेश, ्ेश-भक्त, वीर-हशरोमहि और मिरातमरा िो ग्ये िैं। हिन्ी के सतुकहव ्यह् उन पर कराव्य करें तो बहुत लराभ िो। The composition and content of poetry should suit both the country and the times. Poetry should touch the heart of its reader; it should provide a positive lesson; if nothing else, it should at least provide a moment of pleasure. India has produced an infinite number of ideal rulers, patriots, exemplary heroes, and great souls. If good Hindi poets wrote poems about them then it would be of great benefit. (1911, 470)

Dwivedi upholds here sāhitya’s chief educational purpose, as he does elsewhere in his writing, but he additionally recognizes the need for it to be inspiring and influential: that is, it must also have emotional impact and be entertaining in order to achieve its larger purpose.67 His focus on desh (country), kāl (the times), and lābh (benefit) additionally highlight the specific needs of an India presently under colonial rule: good poems on the ‘ideal rulers, patriots, exemplary heroes and great souls’ of India that offer counternarratives of indigenous power, patriotism, and progress (1911, 470). Dwivedi specifically requests contemporary Hindi poets to model their compositions on epic poems such as Palāshī kā yuddha (Battle of Plassey), Vritrasamhār (slaying of Vritra), Meghnād-vadh (killing of Meghnad), and Yashvantrāo mahākāvya (Yashvantrao, an epic poem).68 Such examples from Bengali and Marathi writing show Dwivedi’s preference for historical and mythological poetry as a source of inspiration for rising nationalist sentiments (1911, 470).69

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As for drama, Dwivedi maintains the same view of its poverty in Hindi that he does in his earlier illustration of the genre in ‘Sāhityasabhā’ (see Figure 1.17, Chapter 1). Here, however, he focuses his critique on the quality of contemporary Hindi plays. With the exception of a few plays, he writes, Hindi does not have any ‘good’ plays; those that are good, are mostly translations from other languages (1911, 470).70 Well aware of the potential of drama to inspire public discourse, Dwivedi recommends that contemporary Hindi playwrights focus their attention on the performative aspects of plays.71 He writes: समराि की हभनन हभनन अवस्थराओं और दृश्यों करा िैसरा अचछरा हचत्र अहभन्य द्राररा ह्खरा्यरा िरा सकतरा िै। वैसरा अचछरा और हकसी तरि निीं । अहभन्य के हलए िी नराटकों की रचनरा िोती िै। परनततु, हिन्ी में नराटक के नराम से इस सम्य िो अनेक पतुसतकें वत्गमरान िैं उनमें अहधकरांश करा ठीक ठीक अहभन्य िी निीं िो सकतरा। िो अचछरा कहव िै, हिसने अनेक अहभन्य ्ेखें िैं, िो अहभन्य-स्थल और नेपथ्थ की रचनरा आह् से पररहचत िै, िो मनतुष्य-सवभराव और मरानवी मनोहवकरारों करा ज्रातरा िै विी अहभन्य करने ्योग्य अचछे नराटकों की रचनरा कर सकतरा िै। There is no better way to illustrate various social conditions and perspectives than through performance. Plays are written for performance. At this time, however, most of the various texts in Hindi that are identified as plays cannot be properly performed. Only a good poet, one who has seen many performances, who is familiar with stage and costume design, and who has an expert knowledge of human nature and emotions can write excellent plays that are performance worthy. (1911, 470–1)

One of the chief reasons for the decline in the number of performance-worthy plays since the late nineteenth century was the colonial government’s passage of the Dramatic Performances Act (DPA) of 1876. Dwivedi’s suggestion here must be read in the context of this piece of legislation, which prohibited plays deemed ‘scandalous, defamatory, seditious, or obscene, or otherwise prejudicial to the public interest’ from being performed (DPA 1876). As such, the DPA of 1876 severely restricted the performance of Indian plays and had a long-term impact on the genre. Dwivedi’s call to re-focus on performance, especially for its ability to visually depict ‘diverse social conditions and perspectives’, challenged the colonial regulation and Indian authors’ adherence to it. Per Dwivedi’s recommendation,

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modern Hindi playwrights would have to re-engage with this aspect of the genre, both in their attendance of performances and in their writing. His recommendation for producing good-quality plays also includes an advisory against a certain kind of theatrical subject matter, especially that which prominently figures in ‘nātak-company’ productions. Dwivedi alludes here to Parsi theatre, which he criticizes both for its preference for colloquial Hindustani/Urdu and for its objectionable depictions of society.72 Such productions had the potential to corrupt audiences, especially youth. Dwivedi calls for ‘skilled writers’ (yogya lekhak) to focus their attention on writing excellent plays (1911, 471). Dwivedi’s low opinion of the state of novels was patently clear in his 1903 caricature of the genre as a bāzīgar, rotund and absurd (see ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, Figure 1.17, Chapter 1).73 Dwivedi (1911, 471) softens the tone of his criticism, praising the novel’s abundance as a mark of progress for Hindi and crediting an increase in Hindi readerships to the genre. Its captivating subject matter had even drawn younger readers to Hindi.74 As with drama, Dwivedi’s criticism of novels centres on their quality. The branch mostly comprises translations, and what most disappoints him is that novels selected for translation into Hindi are not even good novels. Cultivating suruchi or good taste in Hindi is not the first priority of language development, he writes, but it is clearly a long-term priority, especially given the novel’s potential for negative impact on mass readerships, including the youth. उपन्यरासों में समराि के ऐसे हचत्र िोने चराहिए हिनसे ्तुरराचरार की वृहद्ध न िोकर स्राचरार की वृहद्ध िो। इस बरात पर भी ध्यरान रखनरा चराहिए हक किरानी बनरावटी ्यरा अहतप्ककृत न िरान पड़े। ्यह् किरानी की घटनरा्यें सवराभराहवक िोंगी तभी पराठकों के हचत्त पर उनकरा असर िोगरा और समझ्रार पराठकों करा िी भी तभी पढ़ने में लगेगरा। Novels should contain only those depictions of society that promote good behaviour, not bad behaviour. We should also keep in mind that stories should seem neither artificial nor excessively real. Stories will only have an impact on readers and attract an intelligent readership if the events in it are natural. (1911, 471)75

Such refinement can only be achieved by ‘skilled writers’ (yogya lekhak). Dwivedi implores these writers to reconsider views of this genre as beneath them (ochhā kām) and to take seriously the task

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of writing ‘good novels that may benefit both society and literature’ (1911, 471). He especially encourages Hindi writers to look to the Bengali novels of Bankimbabu and Rameshchandra Datta for inspiration and to enhance Hindi sāhitya with similar works (1911, 471).76 Finally, Dwivedi (1911) outlines his expectations for criticism as a branch of sāhitya. ‘There is no dearth of criticism’, he argues, but as with other genres in this second tier, it requires substantive reform. Most contemporary criticism in Hindi is nothing more than advertisement. ‘Real criticism’ (yathārth samālochanā) is rare; and yet, it is an important branch of sāhitya that has many benefits (lābh). Once again, Dwivedi highlights the need for ‘skilled’ (yogya) effort in Hindi to help this branch realize its potential (1911, 471). He indicates what skilled critics can accomplish: they have the ability to reveal the secrets of a text that average readers fail to notice or describe an author’s intentions so vividly that even the author is amazed. Dwivedi cites Kalidas’s plays to provide concrete examples of a critic’s potential insight (1911, 471).77 An expert critic can clarify some of Kalidas’s literary choices, especially as regards his departures from Puranik stories: why did he add a curse to the story of Shakuntalā? Why did he make a yaksha (demigod) the protagonist in Meghdūt (1911, 471–2)? Such exposition can make a poet accessible to the common man and additionally reveal both his merits and his flaws. Dwivedi again suggests Bengali models for such critical analyses (1911, 472).78 What Dwivedi also values in criticism, and what he recognizes as valued by scholars of developed languages, includes the ability to review both contemporary and ancient authors freely. This, he argues, does not seem possible in the ‘bizarre literary world of our ill-fated Hindi’ in which such criticism is viewed as an act of violence on the author, or emblematic of the petty desperation of a critic (1911, 472). There are further repercussions for the Hindi critic who provides a genuine critique of an author, whether living or long-deceased: समरालोचक मूख्ग, उद्दणड, अहभमरानी और उपिरासपरात्र बनरा्यरा िरातरा िै!! बड़े बड़े शरासत्री, हवशरार्, उपराध्यरा्य और आचरार्य्ग उसके पीछे पड़ िराते िैं और उस पर ्यि इलज़राम लगराते िैं हक इसने पूिनी्य प्राचीन ग्रन्थकरारों की कीहत्ग को कलहकित करने की चेष्रा की!!! िीहवत ग्रन्थकरारों के ग्रन्थों की समरालोचनरा करनरा और प्सङ्गवश उनके ्ोष ह्खरानरा मरानों उनिें अपनरा शत्रतु बनरानरा िै; और परलोकवरासी कहव्यों ्यरा लेखकों की पतुसतकों के प्हतकूल कुछ किनरा उनकी ्यशोरराहश पर धबबरा

Prescriptive Prose


लगरानरा िै।... भगवरान् िी हिं्ी-सराहित्य की इस शराखरा की उतपहत्त और उननहत की कोई ्यतुक्क्त हनकराले तो हनकल सकती िै। The critic is made out to be foolish, insolent, arrogant, and a laughing stock!! Prominent intellectuals, experts, scholars, and academics persecute him and accuse him of trying to tarnish the glory of respected ancient authors!!! To critique the works of living authors and point out their relevant flaws is guaranteed to make them your enemies; and to say anything against poets or writers who are dead is to mar their reputations … only god can find a way to develop and advance this branch of Hindi literature. (1911, 472)

Dwivedi takes the state of this branch very personally. Though he expresses disappointment with the state of other branches of sāhitya, with criticism he is far less constructive in his tone, and not at all optimistic about its future progress. His disillusionment with criticism undoubtedly reflects his experiences as a critic: in 1903, his representation of criticism as a monkey preoccupied with mimicry and its own vanity generated this level of ridicule from some of his peers.79 His embittered discussion eight years later suggests that he is still not immune to such criticism, and indeed painfully aware of his detractors, some of whom may be seated in the audience to whom he addresses his remarks. Dictionaries and grammars can be placed into a final tier, comprising branches that Dwivedi considers not urgently required for the overall progress of sāhitya. Ealier Dwivedi (1903a) had represented dictionaries with an empty chair, absent from the meeting of a Hindi literary congress, and grammar as a leper with the potential for spreading disease (see ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, Figure 1.17, Chapter 1). In his 1911 address Dwivedi continues to acknowledge concerns for these genres, but indicates that there is no urgent need to populate or reform these branches of sāhitya, especially when other, more important, branches have greater needs. Compiling dictionaries and grammars now, when all the branches of sāhitya are not fully realized, would also result in incomplete reference texts. Moreover, Dwivedi argues that literary activity can proceed without comprehensive dictionaries and grammars as it has done in the past. Renowned Hindi writers ranging from the pre-modern poets Tulsidas, Surdas, and Biharilal to modern essayists Vamshidhar Vajpeyi, Harishchandra, Raja Shivprasad, and Pratapnarayan Mishra had no such reference materials when they

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composed their works. Those whose mother tongue is Hindi can convey their thoughts effectively without dictionaries and grammars; even those who only know plain Hindi can progress with their work without them. Those who stand to benefit the most from dictionaries and grammars are not Hindi authors but non-native speakers of Hindi, as well as government officials and employees, who, we are left to presume, will not be among the chief architects of Dwivedi’s new and improved modern literary corpus. Though dictionaries and grammars facilitate the use of refined, engaging, and figurative language, all key components of literary writing, Dwivedi indicates that such reference materials are not the only means of gaining linguistic expertise. Good writers, he argues, are born of practice and the study of books rather than the rote memorization of reference materials (1911, 467–9). Altogether Dwivedi’s recommendations for Hindi literary progress underscore the need for a robust beneficial sāhitya that is adequately represented in each of its branches and that provides useful and entertaining information for a national collective. He expresses a longterm commitment to a sāhitya that cultivates ‘good taste’ (suruchi) and ‘good behaviour’ (sadāchār), which could potentially elevate the stature of a nation’s literary corpus (1911, 471); it also, however, has the potential to restrict literary content and style in accordance with subjective measures of virtue and vice. Rather than offer the wholesale encouragement of an entire literary corpus, Dwivedi offers a focused agenda highlighting eleven branches of sāhitya, in which skilled Hindi writers need to increase, enhance, or delay literary activity in the interest of overall progress. This too restricts his idea of sāhitya, however broad in definition, to its most relevant areas of concern. Dwivedi’s narrative also suggests the importance of translations ‘for the betterment of our country and our community’ and beckons even the most skilled Hindi writers to look to other languages for motivation. Indeed Dwivedi’s agenda for a modern sāhitya in Khari Boli Hindi is shaped by a competitive colonial context in which literary languages such as Bengali and Marathi serve as inspirations for development (1911, 470); Braj Bhasha is relevant only for its role in giving modern Hindi a poetic past (1911, 470); and references to the progress of Urdu literature are meant to ‘shame’ Hindi writers into

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literary action (1911, 469). English literature has a more complex role: Dwivedi associates it with such terms such as ādarsh (ideal) and unnat (developed), but also acknowledges that while ‘some people hate the English language’ and the ‘stink’ associated with its every articulation (1911, 467), others, who are English-educated Indians, have little respect for Hindi (1911, 474). Notably, those languages that are most threatening (for example, Urdu, English) are those which Dwivedi views as potential rivals for national language status, while Bengali and Marathi, though clearly more advanced than Hindi, are simply constructed as role models for progress. An Emergent Anti-colonial Nationalism Even as Dwivedi (1903a, 1911) promotes Hindi as a national language and literature, he offers words of praise for British people, practices, and publications, many of which are part of a colonial framework. This is in keeping with his immediate objective of bolstering literary production in Hindi via literary models rather than systematically challenging British rule.80 There is, however, a counter-narrative underpinning both essays, within which Dwivedi’s agenda for Hindi and its sāhitya, in both 1903 and 1911, represents an emergent anticolonial nationalism. Several key moments in these two essays offer further insight into this aspect of Dwivedi’s larger literary agenda. Dwivedi (1903a) relies heavily on ‘knowledge’ collected by Orientalist scholars (for example, Platts 1880; and Lyall 1880), selectively repurposing this information to give Hindi an advantage over its linguistic rivals.81 He, however, also rejects some of their colonial biases, especially concerning Hindi, and revises what he views to be some of the limitations of their colonial knowledge.82 As far as direct challenges go, Dwivedi offers only one in 1903, namely his response to the 1901 Census Report submitted by the superintendent of the United Provinces, Richard Burn.83 There are, however, several instances in which he offers more subtle challenges to colonial constructions of Hindi literature. One particularly striking moment, visible only on reading the two texts side by side (Lyall 1880; Dwivedi 1903a), is one in which Dwivedi implicitly challenges Lyall’s outright dismissal of Bhakti literature in Middle-era Hindi. Lyall writes:

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As in all Oriental literature, repetition and shallowness of idea overcome it, and render an extensive course of reading intolerable to a European. Conventional images, platitudes exhausted to the utmost degree of tenuity, barren philosophical and theological themes which in their wideness entirely overlook the study of detail,—such are, with few exceptions, its leading features; and one who has read two or three books has in truth made himself master of the whole secret of original Hindī literature. (1880, 756)

Dwivedi is not averse to replicating Lyall’s arrogant Orientalism, but only in connection with Urdu; his reaction is remarkably different when Hindi is in question.84 Thus, Dwivedi’s history of Middle Hindi literature is a highly abridged and amended version of Lyall’s account, drawing only on Lyall’s most affirmative remarks, when present. Dwivedi also adds words of praise for certain Middle Hindi poets, including Biharilal, Surdas, and Bhushan, who achieved the ‘heights’ (parākāshthā) of shringār rasa, bhakti, and vīr rasa respectively; and he claims Sur, Tulsi, Bihari and Keshav represent the ātmā or soul of this period (1903a, 95–6). For the modern era, Dwivedi (1903a, 98–9) acknowledges the contributions of Fort William College in the development of Hindi and Urdu prose, but he does not credit John Gilchrist and his team of scholars with the same amount of influence over ‘the whole of recent prose authorship’ as does Lyall (1880, 758).85 Instead, Dwivedi asserts the valuable contributions of modern Hindi prose writers such as Vamshidhar Vajpeyi, Harishchandra, Raja Shivprasad, and Pratapnarayan Mishra, who are all but absent from Lyall’s account (1903a, 98–9).86 Dwivedi (1911) is bolder in his promotion of Indian-led literary initiatives over British ones. Though he continues to credit the British for their educational reforms, his account of modern Hindi literature foregrounds the contributions of Hindi enthusiasts who took the progress of their language into their own hands by writing poetry in ‘prachalit Hindi’ (current Hindi, that is, Khari Boli), drama and history books in prose, and publishing newspapers and periodicals (1911, 464–5). Dwivedi praises the process of transformation they set in motion and dismisses the contributions of Fort William College as virtually inconsequential to his narrative of Hindi’s ‘natural’ development (1911, 465).87

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िो अंकुर सैकड़ों वष्ग तक प्रा्यः एक िी रूप में ्थरा उसमें पहत्त्यॉँ हनकल आईं। इसके भी पिले ्यद्यहप कलकत्ते के फोट्ट-हवहल्यम में हिन्ी की पूवरा्गगत अवस्थरा पररवहतत [sic] करने की चेष्रा हुई ्थी, त्थराहप वि हवशेष फलवती निीं हुई। नए ढंग की ्ो एक पतुसतकें हनकरालनें से िी हिन्ी करा अवस्थरा-पररवत्गन निीं िो सकतरा। A sprouted seed that was for the most part in the same state for hundreds of years finally grew leaves. Although even prior to this an attempt to change the old form of Hindi had been undertaken at Fort William College in Calcutta, it was not particularly fruitful. The mere publication of a few books in a new style cannot transform the state of Hindi. (1911, 465)

Dwivedi’s 1911 address, here and elsewhere, implicates the importance of literary self-action in which Indians rather than the British take on the task of defining conceptual boundaries (that is, with sāhitya) and building their literary corpus. Such an agenda seems ideologically connected to anti-colonial movements for Indian selfsufficiency, which had manifested in earlier swadeshī actions and which would reach full force in the decades after Dwivedi’s tenure as editor in subsequent swadeshī movements and, ultimately, in the struggle for svarājya (self-rule). Indeed it is perhaps this focus on an Indian self-identity that motivates Dwivedi’s rejection of Shukla’s (1904) attempts to narrow the category of sāhitya in accordance with contemporary European ideas; and it is this same impulse that drives Dwivedi’s exclusion of vernacular reference texts (that is, dictionaries and grammars) from his immediate agenda for modern Hindi’s progress. Their utility, he suggests, is more for colonial administrators than for literary-minded Indians who will become the present and future architects of a national body of Hindi literature (1911, 468). It does not, however, stop him from referencing Orientalist scholarship such as that of Platts (1880) and Lyall (1880), despite its condescension towards Indian literatures, and interweaving it with his own narrative of the history of Hindi. In his closing remarks, Dwivedi (1911, 473) indicates that the development of Hindi sāhitya is not a burden for the colonial government or its institutions to bear but the responsibility of ordinary citizens. Employing the rhetoric of collective action, he promotes the creation of not just a Hindi sāhitya, but a national sāhitya with

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a dedicated literary corps of authors, editors, and translators ready to better their ‘community’ (jansamudāy), ‘society’ (samāj), ‘region’ (prānt), and ‘country’ (desh) via literary service (1911, 473–4): हिस समराि में िम उतपनन हुए िैं—हिस प्रानत ्यरा ्ेश में िमने िनम हल्यरा िै—उसकरा हवशेष कल्यराि उसी की भराषरा को उननत करने से िो सकतरा िै। हिस समराि और ्ेश की ब्रौलत िम सभ्य हशहक्त और हवद्रान हुए िैं उसे अपनी सभ्यतरा, हशक्रा और हवद्त्तरा से लराभ न पहुुँचरानरा घोर ककृतघनतरा िै। इस ककृतघनतरा के पराश से िम तब तक निीं छूट सकते िब तक अपनी हनि की भराषरा में पतुसतक रचनरा और समराचरारपत्र-समपरा्न करके अपनी सभ्यतरा, अपनी हशक्रा और अपनी हवद्त्तरा से सरारे िन-समतु्रा्य को लराभ न पहुुँचरावें। The society that produced us—the region or country where we were born—can really benefit from the progress of its own language. It would be terribly ungrateful of us to not improve the civilization, education, and wisdom of the very society and country that has civilized us, educated us, and made us wise. We will not escape the clutches of this ingratitude until we write books and edit newspapers in our own language and share the benefits of our civilization, our education, and our wisdom with the entire community. (1911, 474)

Dwivedi’s repeated use of the pronouns ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ is indicative of his larger aim of binding together a community not just of Indians but those Indians who participate in the necessary development of a literary public sphere. The strength of the collective is indeed one of the central themes of Dwivedi’s editorship, beginning with his role in transforming sāhitya from an ordinary association or collection to a collectivity of beneficial knowledge for modern Hindi. The increased collection of all things sāhityik or literary would subsequently bolster Indian claims for modernity and sovereignty by representing the nation’s progress. Comparing this vision of the future with his harsh assessment of Hindi literature in his 1903 depiction of a ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1) one can see the vast distance Dwivedi hopes to traverse using his overall agenda for reform. Dwivedi’s rhetorical emphasis on the strength of the collective facilitates the broad definition of sāhitya as a category and an expansive view of Hindi’s geographical scope. Dwivedi (1911) links the interests of country, society, and community:

Prescriptive Prose


तीस चरालीस वष्ग पिले हिन्ी सराहित्य की िो अवस्थरा ्थी उससे इस सम्य की अवस्थरा अवश्य अचछी िै। परनततु इस ्ेश की अन्य समृद्धशराहलनी भराषराओँ की अपेक्रा अब भी वि अत्यनत िीनरावस्थरा में िै। िम हिन्ी भराषरा भराहष्यों के हलए ्यि बड़े िी पररतराप की बरात िै। … पतुसतकों िी के द्राररा ज्रान-वृहद्ध िोती िै। और, िो समराि ्यरा िनसमतु्रा्य हितनरा िी अहधक ज्रान समपनन िोतरा िै वि लरौहकक और परारलरौहकक, ्ोनों हवष्यों में, उतनी िी अहधक उननहत कर सकतरा िै। अतएव अपनी सरामराहिक, नैहतक, धराहम्गक आह् िर तरि की उननहत के हलए सब हवष्यों की अचछी अचछी पतुसतकों की हिन्ी में बड़ी िी आवश्यकतरा िै। हिन्ी में इसहलए हक ्यिी िमरारी मरातृ-भराषरा िै। इसी भराषरा में ्ी गई हशक्रा से समराि करा सवरा्गहधक अंश लराभ उठरा सकतरा िै। इसी भराषरा में हवतरि हक्ये ग्ये ज्रान करा प्कराश गराँव गराँव, घर घर पहुुँच सकतरा िै। ्यिी िमरारी भराषरा िै; ्यिी िमरारी मरातराओं की भराषरा िै; ्यिी िमरारी बिनों की भराषरा िै; ्यिी िमरारे बच्ों की भराषरा िै; अंग्रज़ े ी ्यरा अन्य हकसी भराषरा में ्ी गई हशक्रा से हितनरा लराभ पहुुँच सकतरा िै उससे सैकड़ों गतुनरा अहधक लराभ मरातृ-भराषरा में ्ी गई हशक्रा से पहुुँच सकतरा िै। The state of Hindi literature today is better than it was thirty to forty years ago. Its condition, however, is still quite impoverished when compared to that of the other prosperous languages of this country. As Hindi speakers, this is a matter of great distress for us.… [K]nowledge can only be increased through books. And the richer a society or community is in knowledge, the more progress it can make in worldly and other-worldly subjects. For social, moral, religious, and all other kinds of progress, Hindi needs good books in every subject. They should be in Hindi because Hindi is our mother tongue. It is education in this particular language that can benefit the largest portion of society. The light of knowledge, if spread through this language, can reach every village and every home. This [alone] is our language; this [alone] is the language of our mothers; this [alone] is the language of our sisters; this [alone] is the language of our children; the benefit that can be achieved by education given in the mother tongue is hundreds of times greater than the amount of benefit that can be achieved through education given in English or any another language. (473)

By reinforcing here his earlier argument that Hindi is a pan-Indian language that transcends regional linguistic boundaries (1903a, 92), Dwivedi singles out the Hindi language and its literature as the most appropriate media for representing a national, collective ‘self ’ in India. Dwivedi’s rhetoric is, by its very nature, exclusive as well. Hindi sāhitya, though the least developed of India’s literary languages, by his own testimony, is to supplant its models (Bengali, Marathi) and its rivals (Urdu, English) in the Indian collective literary imagination.

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Dwivedi, thus, not only expands the potential of sāhitya, but also restricts its boundaries, focusing on a Hindi sāhitya that represents a national collective ‘self ’ that is restricted by his account of its history, lexical composition and register, content and form. These are invariably linked to Sanskrit and Hindu culture, not Persian and Islamic culture, and a pure form of Khari Boli Hindi rather than Braj Bhasha or Urdu. Finally, Dwivedi’s theorization of Hindi sāhitya— broadly inclusive in its composition of a variety of media, genres, and topics—though establishing it as a clearly defined discipline of national consequence, also reifies the notion of a national literary corpus oriented specifically towards Hindus who read, write, and, above all else in importance, claim sovereignty for themselves and their nation in Khari Boli Hindi. The two programmatic essays examined here simultaneously articulate Dwivedi’s definition of Hindi sāhitya as it enters a new century and also his conception of a national literary self that is to represent modern India. Despite his emphasis on the strength of the collective (both literary and national), his agenda is neither entirely cohesive nor even consistent, though this is often the result of an intentional pragmatism that seeks, above all, to inspire long-term reform of sāhitya’s varied content and multiple contexts of articulation. Dwivedi’s agenda and his literary practices and the practices of Hindi writers are topics taken up in the remaining chapters of this book. He takes a varied approach to literary practice and reform: from ideological zeal and programmatic manoeuvring to pragmatic acquiescence, he simultaneously seeks to expand and restrict, challenge and normalize literary boundaries, both colonial and national, often in seemingly contradictory directions. In the end, Dwivedi’s project must be understood as part of a complex process that seeks to define Hindi sāhitya as a modern category, and India as a sovereign nation though it itself resists any facile classification. Notes 1. See Yayavar 1995, volumes 2 and 15 respectively for Dwivedi’s collected Pustak samīkshā and Pustak parichay (book criticisms/reviews) and Vividh vishay, for his editorial comments. 2. The English titles of these two essays are: ‘The Hindi Language and Its Literature’ and ‘The Present State of Hindi’ respectively. See Mody (in

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Nijhawan 2010, 350–70) for a complete English translation of ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ as ‘The Present State of Hindi’. For the history of the language and literature, Dwivedi draws heavily on the entries in the Encyclopaedia Britannica under the titles ‘Hindustani’ and ‘Hindustani Literature’ by J. T. Platts (1830–1904) and C. J. Lyall (1845–1920) respectively. I have referenced the entries in the ninth edition (1880); there is also a later edition (tenth, 1902) containing the same entries, though Dwivedi may not have had immediate access to this at the time of writing his 1903 essay. Dwivedi (1903a, 103) mentions that he has ‘opened’ a text called Encyclopaedia Britannica, though not specifically in connection with his use of it for this essay. He follows Lyall’s history of Urdu more closely than his history of Hindi; to the latter, he adds more of his own commentary. I address his selective use of this resource later in the chapter. The Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, first established in 1910, began as a literary conference hosted by the Nagari Pracharini Sabha (Society for the Promotion of Nagari) in Varanasi but soon became a literary institution with its headquarters in Allahabad. While it continued to organize annual literary conventions throughout India, it increasingly took on the role of a political association that actively promoted the establishment of Hindi in the Nagari script as the national language of India (Das Gupta 1970; King 1974; Mehta 1996). Pollock (2003b) suggests that kāvya might be a better equivalent for the English word ‘literature’ than sāhitya, though kāvya applies to only a narrow range of phenomena rather than to all things made of language. For a detailed discussion of the implications and applications of the terms sāhitya and kāvya in Sanskrit literary culture, see Pollock (2003b, 39–130). Although Sanskrit literary theory precludes the idea of kāvya in the vernaculars (Pollock 2003b), this was indeed a term used in Hindi to refer to literature at the turn of the century. It could refer to poetry alone or to poetry and prose writing. However, since poetry and not prose was the dominant literary mode of articulation prior to 1900, kāvya most often referred to literature in the form of poetry. The term bhāshā, literally ‘language’, was primarily used in reference to Sanskrit and Sanskrit-derived languages such as Braj; but in the nineteenth century its use was extended to include Khari Boli Hindi (Dalmia 1997, 168). Based on a survey of Hindi, Urdu, and Hindustani dictionaries published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These texts define sāhitya in accordance with its literal connotation in Sanskrit as ‘that which is joined or connected’. As late as 1906, The Hindi Scientific

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10. 11. 12.

Glossary, an English to Hindi reference published by the Nagari Pracharini Sabha (Das 1906), does not include sāhitya as an equivalent for literature. A 1910 edition of the Student’s Practical Dictionary Containing Hindi Words and English Meanings by Ram Narain Lal, however, lists both kāvya and ‘literature’ as synonyms for sāhitya. I have given a detailed overview of dictionary records and periodical references supporting this argument elsewhere (Mody 2008b, 58–71). One such instance is its use by Chintamani Ghosh and Sarasvatī’s first editorial board in the inaugural issue of the journal in January 1900. See the Introduction to this book for further details. Dwivedi’s own use of the term varied in this early period. In an 1899 poem he used sāhitya alongside jyotish (astronomy/astrology), nīti (ethics), and vyākriti (grammar/composition) to indicate bodies of writing that were extant yet lacked a collective unity (‘Prārthnā’, verse 10, in Yayavar 1995d, vol. 13, 79). In Dwivedi’s 1902–3 ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons, however, sāhitya encompasses these and other categories of writing. See my discussion of the cartoon ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (1903) in Chapter 1 (Figure 1.17). Bengali language and literature underwent the process of modernization in the early nineteenth century. There is institutional evidence that by the late nineteenth century the Bengali term sāhitya clearly referred to literature. An equivalence between the two terms can be seen in the official name change of the Bengal Academy of Literature, a vernacular literary association founded in Calcutta in 1893, to the Bengali one, Bangiya Sāhitya Parishad, in 1894 (Das 1991, 663). See, for example, Chapter 4 for a discussion of the Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore’s influence on the Hindi short story. Dwivedi here integrates his own commentary with a history of Hindi that he has abridged and adapted from Lyall (1880). This is, therefore, his own definition of sāhitya. Ramchandra Shukla (1884–1941) was a renowned Hindi literary historian and critic. One of his most influential works is a history of Hindi literature (Hindī sāhitya kā itihās, 1930); see Shukla (1998 [1930]). Shukla’s essay ‘Sāhitya’ was first published in two parts in the May and June 1904 issues of Sarasvatī (volume 5, nos 5 and 6). Wakankar (2002, 993) asserts that Shukla first translated selections from Newman’s Idea of the University when he was just fourteen, but it was not published until 1904, when he was twenty. Nonetheless, its publication in 1904 provides a timely response to Dwivedi’s early views on literature; moreover, it was likely revised for publication in Sarasvatī. See Pandey (1971, 190–5) for a brief outline of Shukla’s life and works.

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13. John Henry Newman (1801–1890) was an influential nineteenthcentury English scholar and author, a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and rector of the Catholic University of Ireland (1851–8). He wrote a series of discourses, lectures, and essays collected and published under the title The Idea of a University Defined and Illustrated (1873). There is a footnote citing ‘Literature’ from Newman’s Idea of a University as the basis for Shukla’s essay. The credit, however, appears only at the end of the second installment of ‘Sāhitya’ (1904, 192) and one wonders if the citation was an editorial addition. Shukla assumes a first-person Indian voice throughout the essay and removes all references to the particular circumstances of Newman’s address. Shukla’s essay is a selective translation and partial adaptation of Newman’s lecture. While the main points on literature are almost direct translations, Shukla abridges several of Newman’s explanations and adapts several of his examples and explanations for Indian readers. 14. For a discussion of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European notions of literature, see Wellek (1978, 16–20). 15. Newman also directs his criticism towards a specific literary figure, Laurence Sterne (1713–1768), with whom he is at variance on the definition of literature; however, he is more diplomatic in his use of words. Shukla omits sections of Newman’s lecture that quote Sterne at length and removes all references to their literary debate. Shukla, while adopting Newman’s ideas, directs them towards a different purpose. 16. This may be a preliminary expression of Shukla’s later preoccupation with the concept of lok-mangal (collective responsibility). See Wakankar (2002) for a discussion of Shukla’s project of reading for an Indian responsibility, especially in his critical essays from the 1920s on Bhakti poetry. 17. Shukla adds a quote from Tulsidas to his translation of Newman’s text to reinforce the distinction between thought (vichār) and speech (vānī), but where Newman cites Western writers, Shukla exclusively cites Sanskrit authors in their place (1904, 155). 18. Newman praises the style of Addison’s Oriental allegory ‘The Vision of Mirza’, first published in The Spectator (no. 159) in 1711. Shukla replaces this reference with praise for Kādambarī, a seventh-century Sanskrit novel attributed to Banabhatta. 19. Dwivedi’s view of this category is fixed in an Indian–Hindi context. Rather than focusing on Sanskrit writers, as Shukla does, Dwivedi concentrates his literary praise on the Bhakti poets Surdas, Tulsidas, Biharilal, and Keshavdas (1903a, 95–6) as some of the stalwarts of sāhitya. Dwivedi also cites numerous other authors/texts as part of his

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21. 22.


24. 25.

26. 27.

history of Hindi literature, and specifically credits pioneers of modern Hindi such as Harishchandra. His praise for these Bhakti poets, however, is unreserved and repeated in more than one instance. The very fact that Premchand (1880–1936), in his 1936 address to a new generation of writers at the Progressive Writers’ Association, mentions that the idea of literature comprising anything in print belongs to a different era suggests that Dwivedi’s formulations had a lasting effect, despite any early challenges from Shukla or anyone else for that matter. See Premchand’s address ‘The Aim of Literature’ as translated by Francesca Orsini in Premchand (2004b, Appendix). Dwivedi writes this of Shukla in ‘Vividh vishay’, his editorial remarks for the December 1905 issue of Sarasvatī (453). In ‘Hindī kī unnati par lecture’ (A lecture on the progress of Hindi), Bharatendu Harishchandra (1877) links the acquisition of various types of knowledge to the achievement of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. See Dalmia in Nijhawan for an English translation and introduction to this text (2010, 331–41). Dwivedi previously established his interest in gyān and hinted at its connection to literature in a previous essay titled ‘Gyān’ (1901a, 63–8). This was one of his earliest contributions to the journal, published before he became editor. Though he does not use the term sāhitya, he stresses the significance of shabdagyān, which he defines as ‘knowledge obtained from the articulations of men who are credible authorities’. He also specifies that the words of these men ‘must not be contrary to country, era, and the social order’ (68). It is this category that reflects some of his earliest views on what he later refers to as sāhitya. Thus, in ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ he argues, ‘The composition and content of poetry should suit both the country and the times’ (1911, 470). See Chapter 1 of this book. Dwivedi mentions Maraharashtri, Sauraseni, Magadhi or Pali, Paishachi, and Apabhramsha as the most prominent of the Prakrit varieties (1903a, 93). See Ritter (2011, 33–63) on the ‘nature’ phenomenon in Hindi and other South Asian literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. See Dwivedi’s essay ‘Vikās-siddhānt’ (1995g [1906], 216–19) for a more detailed discussion of Darwin’s theory of evolution for Sarasvatī’s readers. Originally published in Sarasvatī, August 1906. Dwivedi uses section headings such as Bīj-vapan (sowing of the seed), Ankurodbhav (sprouting of the bud), and Patrodgam (growth of leaves) and corresponding verbs such as bīj bonā (to sow a seed), ankur nikalnā (to sprout), and pattiyān nikal ānā (to grow leaves) to narrate his history

Prescriptive Prose



30. 31.

32. 33. 34.


of Hindi literature. He continues to use this natural metaphor in his description of the present state of Hindi, using phrases such as komal patte (delicate leaves), pallav-punjon se ācchādit honā (to be densely covered with foliage), shākhā-prashākhān (boughs and branches), and so forth (1911). Chand Bardai was the legendary court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan of Delhi (c. twelfth century), considered the last great Hindu sovereign of north India. While Dwivedi follows Lyall (1880) in his periodization of Hindi literature and in his use of Prithvīrāj rāsau as an unofficial starting point, Lyall’s discussion of this text is far more detailed. In particular, Dwivedi leaves out comments on Chand’s use of Persian words and Lyall’s overly critical comments suggesting that Prithvīrāj rāsau is in some regards ‘un-historic’, ‘wearisome’, ‘uninventive’, and ‘tedious’ (1880, 753). Dwivedi cites rumours of a ninth-century poet named Pushpa attached to the court of King Man of Avanti, though he also notes there are no extant texts to substantiate this claim. This is another instance in which Dwivedi diverges from Lyall (1880), who hints at possible earlier poetic compositions but does not provide any specific names or dates, as does Dwivedi. His language suggests that Chand Bardai is only by default ‘the father of Early Hindi sāhitya’ and Prithvīrāj rāsau is similarly by default ‘the first text in Early Hindi’ (1903a, 95). Early Hindi and Middle Hindi comprise a cluster of related, north Indian languages. Early and Middle poets often wrote in a mixed language, comprising in varying degrees Avadhi, Braj Bhasha, Khari Boli, and Urdu, all considered part of the Hindi family, as well as early forms of Marathi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, and Punjabi. See McGregor (1984) for further information about these Hindi poets and their language preferences. For further details on the language of Chand Bardai’s Prithvīrāj rāsau, see McGregor (1984, 17). Debates at this time over official vernaculars fostered a competitive relationship in the modern period between Khari Boli Hindi and other north Indian languages, including Braj Bhasha and Urdu. Dwivedi mentions the works of Namdev, Kabir, Dadu, Nabhaji, Guru Nanak, Surdas, Tulsidas, Biharilal, Keshavdas, and Bhushan, who hailed from places across northern and western India. In addition to Braj Bhasha, some of their works employed other regional varieties of Hindi, including Awadhi and Bhojpuri. Their ‘Hindi’ would also have reflected the influence of other northern and western Indian languages, including Marathi, Gujarati, Rajasthani, and Punjabi.

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35. Dwivedi (1903a) draws selectively from a reference article on ‘Hindustani’ by Platts (1880) for his claims on Hindi’s scope. Though Dwivedi’s chief objective is to promote Khari Boli Hindi alone, he repeats, in large part, Platts’s account of the coextensive scope of Hindustani/Urdu/Hindi, adding rhetorical embellishment where necessary (Platts 1880, 749–50). 36. Recall his contrasting depictions of ‘Early Hindi’ and ‘Early Hindi in the Modern Era’ as a goddess and a demoness respectively (Figures 1.6 and 1.7, Chapter 1) as well as his representations of misplaced loyalties to Braj Bhasha in the modern era (Figures 1.10 and 1.11, Chapter 1). 37. His experimentation with visual image-inspired poetry (Chapter 3) is one such attempt to make Khari Boli poetry entertaining. 38. See again his depictions of Early Hindi and Early Hindi in the modern era (Figures 1.6 and 1.7 in Chapter 1) and his representations of Braj Bhasha enthusiasts in the modern era (Figures 1.10 and 1.11 in Chapter 1). 39. In promoting Khari Boli as a language of poetry easily understood by all, he writes that ‘we can no longer call people who do not know how to read or write Braj Bhasha monkeys’ (1911, 470). 40. Dwivedi (1907, 276–86) is another lengthy treatment of the Urdu writer Hali; see also Dwivedi (1995f, 147–52) for a discussion of Azad. 41. Platts cites Mir Amman Dihlavi’s Bāgh o bahār as his source for this information. Faruqi (2001) refutes this origin story, pointing out in Mir’s account (c. 1803–4) a falsely implied continuity between Taimur’s arrival in Delhi (1398) and Akbar’s reign (1556–1605), that Akbar never lived in Delhi, and that the language in question was actually called Hindvi/Hindi (37). He argues that the term ‘Urdu’ from zabān-e urdū-e mu’alla came to be used for ‘Hindi’ only after Shah Alam II, around 1790–5, prior to which it referred to Persian, or the ‘royal city’ of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) rather than having military associations via the term ‘camp’ (2001, 28–9; 61–2). 42. On the whole, Dwivedi’s history of Urdu literature is an abridged version of Lyall (1880). Some of the Urdu writers Dwivedi features include Shujauddin Nuri, Tahasinuddin, Nishati, Ibrahim Adilshah, Nasrati, Vali, Zahiruddin Hatim, Rafiussauda (Sauda), Mir Taqi, Mir Hasan, Rajabali Beg, Shah Alam, Mashaffi, and Mirvali Mahammad (Nazir). For these he mentions at least one text but there are many others that he mentions only in passing, including Amir Khusro, Zauq, and Asadulla Khan (Ghalib) who figure more prominently in contemporary literary histories. Dwivedi also notes, following Lyall,

Prescriptive Prose


seeming anomalies: that Nasrati, an Urdu poet during the reign of Ali Adilshah (Bijapur), was actually a Hindu and Qalandar-Bakhsh Jurat, a Lucknow-based Urdu poet, also composed dohā and kavitta, Hindi poetic forms (1903a, 100–1). 43. Drawing on Platts (1880, 750) and Lyall (1880, 756) Dwivedi makes the argument that Urdu literature was not born in the ninth century, when it began to be spoken, or when it began to be written in Persian letters, but in the sixteenth century, when Hindi poems began to be composed with Persian words and in accordance with Persian poetics (1903a, 97–8). S. R. Faruqi holds Urdu literary historians accountable for not refuting earlier such fictions of the ‘antiquity of modern Hindi’ and its ‘anteriority over Urdu’ (2001, 62). Faruqi begins his history of Urdu in the eleventh century with the Persian poet Mas‘ud Sa‘d Salman (1046–1121) and then moves on to Amir Khusrau (1253–1325) in the thirteenth century. He contends that both of these poets, widely regarded for their Persian compositions, also wrote in Hindavi (Urdu), though there are no extant texts containing their Hindavi works. An official literary history for Urdu begins in the fifteenth century with Shaikh Bajan (1388–1506), whose earliest available work established some of the parameters for Urdu language and literature; namely that the language was referred to as Hindavi, the metres were both Indic and Persian, and the themes were both sacred and secular (2001, 69–73). Sadiq (1995, 14–49) also places the beginnings of Urdu literature earlier than the sixteenth century with his discussion of the characteristics of medieval Urdu poetry, but he does not provide any specific dates for its advent. 44. As previously noted Dwivedi refrains from reiterating such criticism in his adaptation of their narratives on Hindi. 45. For example, Lyall writes, ‘These early authors, however, were but pioneers’, or that Nazir’s language is ‘less artificial than that of the generality of Urdu poets’ (1880, 757); and rather than personal estimations, he often employs phrases such as ‘all accounts agree that …’, ‘is considered to have …’, ‘is … extremely popular, and especially esteemed for …’, and so on (1880, 757). Lyall’s most direct praise is for Mirza Ghalib, who, he writes, is ‘undoubtedly the most eminent of the modern Delhi poets…. His Urdu dīwān, though short, is excellent in its way, and his reputation was spread far and wide’ (1880, 757). Dwivedi is more forthright in his praise, foregoing some of Lyall’s qualifications. Thus, Dwivedi writes, Hatim ‘was a very good poet’ and ‘everyone loves’ Sauda’s poetry (1903a, 100). However, Dwivedi omits entirely Lyall’s praise of Ghalib, whom he only mentions in passing (1903a, 101).

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46. See Dwivedi (1907b, 276–86) for another instance of this kind of mitigation of praise for Urdu literature. 47. Dwivedi draws this comparison from Platts (1880, 750), who cites Beames’s Comparative Grammar of Modern Aryan Languages. 48. See again Dwivedi’s ‘Vikās-siddhānt’ (1995g, 216–19). Dwivedi’s narrative draws on the vocabulary of Darwin’s theory to present the strengths of Hindi versus the weaknesses of Urdu. One can infer from his essay that the weaker of the languages will not survive (219). 49. Faruqi (2001) notes the resistance of native speakers to the use of the terms Hindustani and Urdu (31, 38). He details the deliberate yet false distinction of a ‘Hindi’ spoken by Hindus and ‘Hindustani’ (Urdu) spoken by Muslims perpetuated by British scholars in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, from Nathaniel Halhed and John Gilchrist to S. W. Fallon and John T. Platts; the Delhi idiom was, he argues, more commonly referred to as Hindi, through at least the first half of the nineteenth century (2001, 30–4; 41–2). 50. In an earlier essay, Dwivedi (1901c, 235) specifies that bolchāl kī Hindībhāshā refers to Khari Boli. For the most part, however, he prefers to use some variation of the former more literal phrase to refer to Hindi. Dwivedi suggests a reason for this preference in his editorial remarks of April 1914 (reprinted in Yayavar under the title ‘Bolchāl kī Hindī mein kavitā’; see Dwivedi 1995a, 355). He explains here that supporters of Braj Bhasha did not consider Khari Boli suited for poetic expression and used the term as a derogatory epithet for the language of everyday speech. There is one instance in which Dwivedi cedes that in actuality, the written language does not always follow the spoken and that there are some Hindi scholars who prefer to speak and write in a ‘high Hindi’, but they should not be accused of being asvābhāvik (unnatural) (1903a, 103). 51. Dwivedi’s examples of borrowed terms are drawn directly from Platts’s list (Dwivedi 1903a, 94; Platts 1880, 750). 52. He is referring to the 1901 Census Report of the Superintendent of the United Provinces, Richard Burn (1871–1947). 53. Dwivedi’s discussion in both passages draws upon distinctions made by some Hindi enthusiasts between teth, shuddha, and khichrī varieties of Hindi, based on the use of Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic loanwords. Thus, Kishorilal Goswami, a member of Sarasvatī’s first editorial board, considered teth Hindi to be a pure form of the speech in which there occurred no loanwords from Sanskrit, Persian, or Arabic; shuddha Hindi, also a pure form of the speech, was to be distinguished from the former by the occurrence of Sanskrit loanwords; and, khichrī Hindi

Prescriptive Prose

54. 55.


57. 58. 59.



was a mixed language, including loanwords from all the languages in question, but especially Persian and Arabic vocabulary. See Goswami (1900b, 115–17). Dwivedi expands on these distinctions by adding the element of register, here simple rather than high, to his parameters for literary articulation. See Udaybhanu Singh (1951, 211–12; 247–54; 263) for a discussion of variations in Dwivedi’s language policy and practice. Thus in ‘Hindī bhāshā aur uskā sāhitya’ (1903a) he states an urgent need for a ‘book-length description of literature’ written by a Hindi scholar (that is, a native speaker), and he alludes to the need for books on travel and history, also written by native speakers. He mentions the Hindi-related work of Western scholars such as Garcin de Tassy, Hoernle, Beames, and Grierson in these and other subjects to shame native Hindi speakers into producing works of their own (98). He mentions the need for good writing, especially when it comes to novels and entertaining poetry in Khari Boli; and he indicates the need for biographies, histories, literary criticism, and scientific texts rather than books like Jasvant jasobhūshan, a Hindi treatise (c. 1897) on the art of poetry by Kaviraja Muraridan, who among other topics, discusses nāyikā-bhed, rasa, and alankār (99). Some of these branches he groups together for the sake of discussion, including dictionaries and grammars as well as histories and biographies. For the most part, Dwivedi discusses here all the same branches of literature he caricatured in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1), but adds two major branches: newspapers and scientific books. These tiered groupings are the result of my own analysis of his call to action; Dwivedi numbers these categories, but not in order of significance or urgency. See Gyan Prakash (1999) for a detailed discussion of the importance of science to Indian modernity. The Hindi Scientific Glossary, edited by Shyamsundar Das and published by the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, was also a project in which Dwivedi was involved. This English–Hindi glossary, the culminating publication of a project formally undertaken in 1898 by the Sabha, provided terms from the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geography, mathematics, philosophy, physics, and political economy (Das 1906, iii–viii). He names a number of other scientific categories in his general discussion on the importance of sāhitya and argues that the publication and circulation of scientific knowledge benefits the entire nation as well as individual communities (1911, 465).

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61. In his earlier assessment of the state of Hindi literature, ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1), Dwivedi accordingly represented these branches with two empty chairs. 62. Dwivedi is referring to A History of Civilization in Ancient India Based on Sanscrit Literature (1889) by Romesh Chunder Dutt (referred to in Dwivedi 1911 as Rameshchandra Datta) and James Tod’s Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (1829). Dwivedi also refers to translations of a couple of Persian-language histories of Muslim rulers; this is likely a reference to Badauni’s history of Muslim India, Muntakhab al-tawārīkh (1595), first available in print in 1865. As for histories originally written in Hindi, he cites Prithvīrāj rāsau, though suggesting that its inclusion in this branch is up for debate, and a history of the Solanki dynasty, for which he gives no further details (1911, 469). 63. Dwivedi mentions biographies in Bengali of Michael Madhusudan Datta (1824–1873) and Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891); for English, he mentions a biography of Dr Johnson by Boswell (The Life of Samuel Johnson, 1791) and a biography of Gladstone by Lord Morle (The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, 1903). 64. Dwivedi mentions one excellent book on travel that comprises several parts. He is referring to Bhārat bhraman, a multi-volume account by Sadhucharan Prasad of his travels in India. See ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1) for Dwivedi’s depiction of this branch of sāhitya as entirely embodied by Prasad. 65. He refers to Bhakti- and Ritī-Era models that cultivated the shringār and the vīr rasas, the romantic/erotic and heroic sentiments, respectively. See Dwivedi’s depiction of this branch in ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1) as having more style than substance, reflecting his views on Rīti poetry. 66. Maithilisharan Gupta (1886–1964), acclaimed as India’s first national poet, was one of Dwivedi’s protégés. He wrote poetry in Khari Boli on primarily historical and mythological themes (Orsini 2002, 41; 400). ‘Rang mein bhang’ (1909) and ‘Jaydrath-vadh’ (1910) are two of Gupta’s most widely recognized narrative poems. For a detailed study of the latter, see Lothspeich (2009). 67. This is a thesis Dwivedi articulates in two essays on poetry, ‘Nāyikābhed’ (the distinctions of a heroine, 1901c) and ‘Kavi-kartavya’ (the poet’s duty, 1901b), published in Sarasvatī in June and July of that year respectively. See Chapter 3 for a more detailed discussion of these essays. 68. Dwivedi is referring to the following epic poems: Palāshir yuddha (1875) by Nabinchandra Sen (1847–1909), in Bengali; Vritrasamhār (1875–7) by Hemchandra Banerjee (1838–1903), in Bengali; Meghnād-vadh

Prescriptive Prose




72. 73. 74.

75. 76. 77. 78. 79.


(1861) by Michael Madhusudan Datta, in Bengali; and Yashvantrāo mahākāvya (1888) by Vasudev Vaman Khare (1858–1924), in Marathi. Dwivedi recommended both Meghnād-vadh and Yashvantrāo mahākāvya as model poems in an earlier essay as well (1901b, 237). This is a preoccupation that Dwivedi passed on to his protégé, Maithilisharan Gupta, whose most well known epic poems also took up historical and mythological subjects. Notably, Gupta translated the three Bengali epic poems mentioned above into Hindi, thereby facilitating Dwivedi’s request for Hindi writers to look to these models. With this focus on quality rather than quantity, Dwivedi responds to Balmukund Gupta’s critique of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1). Gupta, in his rejoinder to Dwivedi’s caricature of the poverty of this branch, had written of the wealth of translated and original plays in Hindi, including those of Harishchandra, Pratap, Ambikadatta, Shrinivas Das, Lakshman Singh, Sitaram, and other gentlemen. See Chapter 1 for a more detailed discussion of Gupta’s response. See Dalmia (2006b, 27–86) on Bharatendu Harishchandra’s promotion of a new aesthetics of drama in late nineteenth-century India. In reorienting the Sanskritic tradition towards the ‘socially corrective and politically progressive’, he set up a canon for Hindi drama and also established a truly discursive Hindi public sphere (2006a, 41). On Parsi theatre, see Kapur (1995; 2004) and Hansen (2004; 2009). See also Figure 1.15 for another of Dwivedi’s ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ caricatures of the novel and Figure 1.9 from his contemporary, Kashiprasad Jayaswal (Chapter 1). Dwivedi specifically mentions the allure of jāsūsī (spying, intrigue), māyāvī (deception, illusion), and tilismī (magic, sorcery) novels as attracting young readers. He alludes here to novels by Devakinandan Khatri, Kishorilal Goswami, and Gopalram Gahamari. Devakinandan Khatri’s novels of magical intrigue, Chandrakāntā (1892) and Chandrakāntā santati (1894–1905), were especially popular. I discuss these prescriptions for fictional narratives further in Chapter 4 of this book. Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay (1838–1994) and Rameshchandra Datta (1848–1909) were acclaimed Bengali writers who wrote historically inspired novels, social novels, and/or political novels. Kalidas, c. fourth-century CE, Sanskrit poet-playwright. Dwivedi mentions Biharilal Sarkar’s Shakuntalā-rahasya (1896) and Chandranath Basu’s Shakuntalā-tattva (1881). See Figure 1.17 ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ and my discussion of Balmukund Gupta’s response to this cartoon in Chapter 1.

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80. Dwivedi (1903a) offers general words of praise for English-speakers’ commitment to speaking Hindi (97) as well as the development of their own language and literature (99); he expresses gratitude for John Gilchrist’s patronage of Hindi and Urdu prose writing at Fort William College (98); and he applauds the Hindi-related work of British scholars such as A. F. Rudolf Hoernle (1841–1918), John Beames (1837–1902), and George Grierson (1851–1941) (99). Similarly, Dwivedi (1911) credits English rule with the spread of education (464) and the knowledge of newspaper publishing (467); he also suggests English-language publications as models for Hindi newspapers and historical texts (466; 469) and encourages increased translation activity from English to Hindi with a similar purpose in mind (473). 81. See Bernard Cohn (1996). 82. Refer to my earlier discussion in this chapter of Dwivedi’s defence of a khichrī Hindi as a response to Platts’s disparaging remarks on native pronunciation; and to notes 28 and 29 on Dwivedi’s selective use of Lyall and Platts, especially on the advent of Hindi literature, and in the critical assessment of Prithvīrāj rāsau and other Hindi texts. 83. See discussion of Burn’s report earlier in this chapter. 84. See my earlier discussion in this chapter. 85. Fort William College (est. 1800, Calcutta) provided British civil servants with training in Indian languages. Under the leadership of Dr John Gilchrist, the college hired vernacular language experts, including Lalluji Lal and Sadal Mishra for Hindi and Sayyid Muhammad Haidar Baksh (Haidari), Mir Bahadur Ali (Husaini), Mir Aman Lutf, Hafizuddin Ahmad, Sher Ali Afsos, Nihal Chand, Kazim Ali Jawan, Mazhar Ali Wila, and Ikram Ali for Urdu. They prepared instructional texts, including ‘Premsāgar’ (1803–10) by Lalluji Lal and ‘Nāsiketopākhyān’ (1803) by Sadal Mishra, both in Khari Boli Hindi prose; and in Urdu, ‘Gulzār e-dānish and Tārīkh e-Nādirī’ by Haidari, ‘Bāgh o bahār’ (1801–2) by Mir Amman, ‘Shakuntalā nātak’ (1802) by Jawan, and ‘Ikhwānu-s-safā’ (1810) by Ikram Ali. 86. Lyall (1880, 759) mentions Harishchandra’s ‘excellent’ weekly publication Kavivachansudhā as a purveyor of ‘good original work’, especially poetry in old Hindi. 87. Recall Dwivedi’s emphasis on Hindi’s ‘natural’ development; this portion of its history has the heading Pattrodgam or the growth of leaves (1911, 464).


Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise

Literature and Art: A Strategic Partnership for Modern Hindi The interplay of ideas in Sarasvatī between Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi (1903a) and Ramchandra Shukla (1904) as well as their selective interweaving of Indian and British discourses, discussed in Chapter 2, provides a brief glimpse into the complexities of literary modernization in Hindi. Such interactions highlight some of the ideological work that had to be done to understand sāhitya as a category of analysis in the early twentieth-century Hindi public sphere. More specifically, they represent the process of claiming an Indian modernity via Hindi within a competitive colonial context marked by the interplay of multiple ideologies: classical and modern Indian thought, European ideas and Orientalist constructions of India, the clash of individual personalities and perspectives within the Hindi public sphere itself, as well as the diverse impacts of multiple regional vernacular literary identities with which Hindi identified or contested. This, in turn, produced a persistent complexity in the narrative of Hindi’s modernization. A growing interest in interdisciplinary connections, especially between literature and the arts, was one by-product of these The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0004

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ideological interplays. In his 1904 adaptation of John Henry Newman’s ideas on literature, Shukla asked Hindi readers to consider the shared resonances between these fields.1 Writing at a time when the verbal art of embellishment (alankār) was coming under increased scrutiny, Shukla offered the svābhāvik chitrakār, or natural painter, as a model for Hindi poets: someone blessed with rich and beautiful visions, whose purpose was not excess, but to give poetic form to his imagination or experiences (1904, 189). He wrote in defence of literary workmanship in Hindi poetry without the compromise of its content, especially in terms of its subject matter (vishay) and its sentiment (bhāv) (189). This idea of a svābhāvik artist, whether in visual or verbal media, was increasingly becoming one of the central concerns of early twentieth-century Hindi literati, Dwivedi included.2 Shukla, altering Newman’s example to suit an Indian readership (Shukla 1904, 189; Newman in Ker 1976, 237–8), referenced an artist who would come to dominate a preliminary phase of poetic production that helped to establish Khari Boli as the medium for Hindi poetry. He suggested that Ravi Varma’s Shakuntalā-patralekhan (Shakuntalā writing a letter, Figure 3.1) was the epitome of svābhāviktā (naturalness) in art and inquired why the modern Hindi poet could not do with words what the artist had accomplished with paint.3 Shukla’s choice of Varma’s painting was no mere coincidence. Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan was a familiar image for Sarasvatī’s readers, who had encountered it once in December 1901 paired with a Braj Bhasha poem (Singh 1901, 394–7), and again in January 1902, when it was mentioned in the journal as an award-winning painting at the Madras Fine Arts Exhibition of 1876 (Parvatinandan 1902, 11).4 Also at this time, prints of Ravi Varma’s paintings had begun to appear with some degree of regularity in the journal. Shukla’s choice of image held significance on other levels as well for Sarasvatī’s readers. It provided parallels to claims for Hindi’s modernity via multiple modalities: though modern, it drew inspiration from a classical, Sanskrit literary moment; it demonstrated a nature-oriented realism that was increasingly associated with modernity in art and literature; it was a representation of female beauty that was at once panIndian, attempting to blur some regional markers of identity, but

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise 137

Figure 3.1

Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan by Ravi Varma

Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

which also displayed an undeniably Western influence.5 Shukla’s chosen example embodied some of the shared resonances between literature and art that would become integral to Dwivedi’s poetic programme; it also hinted at some of the complexities of pursuing a multi-regional aesthetic standard with classical cachet and contemporary appeal. As editor of an illustrated monthly, Dwivedi, interrogated the possibilities of a joint venture between art and literature to further his agenda for Hindi poetry. Chapter 1 examined his initial foray into multimedia literary criticism with the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons. The cartoons illustrated that a modern Hindi poetic repertoire was foremost among Dwivedi’s concerns for literary progress, and that stimulating poetry in Khari Boli was one of his top priorities despite resistance from his peers.6 Chapter 2 provided a brief outline of his poetic agenda in the context of creating a modern national Hindi sāhitya. Now, I take a closer look at some of Dwivedi’s recommendations for modernizing Hindi poetry, some of the criticism he

138 The Making of Modern Hindi

encountered in pursuit of reform, and his tactical response by means of another visually-oriented strategy: inspiring new poetry via the artwork of Raja Ravi Varma. This cultivated literary-visual interaction put Dwivedi’s theoretical agenda for poetry into practice, tested its limits, and helped establish Khari Boli as the language of modern Hindi literature. Dwivedi’s Poetic Agenda In his brief history of Hindi literature (Dwivedi 1903a) and his address on its current condition to fellow literary enthusiasts at the annual meeting of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (1911), Dwivedi highlighted several aspects of his poetic agenda.7 Advocating a total shift in poetic practices, he advised Hindi enthusiasts on the needs of poetry in the modern era: it should be in the language of everyday speech, suit the needs of country and era, have emotional impact, provide a positive lesson, and also entertain (Dwivedi 1911, 470). Beyond these general guidelines, however, he did not provide very many details for actual poetic practice. For further details, one must look to some of his other literary critical essays.8 Dwivedi made several additional practical recommendations for the contemporary poet. Poetry, he argued, may be written in verse or prose (1901b, 232–3); it also need not be metred (Dwivedi 1901b, 232; 1907b, 280). He suggested avoiding final repetition or rhyme, which might restrict or distort a poet’s intended meaning (1901b, 234; 1907b, 280).9 Dwivedi often divided his counsel into two categories, directing some towards ordinary poets and some towards more accomplished poets. Thus if a poem was metred, poets of ordinary skill should mind established rules of metrical composition per the Sanskrit literary tradition.10 More accomplished poets ought to experiment rather than follow convention, so as to expand the Khari Boli repertoire. Rather than composing in the most commonly used Hindi metres, Dwivedi suggested that accomplished poets try their hand at poems in Sanskrit metres not traditionally used in Hindi, including drutavilambita, shikharinī, vanshastha, and vasantatilaka (1901b, 233–4).11 He also encouraged composition in select Urdu metres that were well-suited for composition in bolchāl kī Hindī (1901b, 233).12

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


Dwivedi’s most prominent poetic dictates emerged from his distaste for shringārik kavitā or poetry dominated by the shringār rasa.13 He emphatically discouraged popular poetic conventions such as the patronage and composition of nāyikā-bhed poetry, the practices of nāyikā-nirūpan (appraisal of women) and samasyāpūrti (‘problemfulfillment’ poetry), overuse of alankār (literary ornament), and other literary practices that he associated with this rasa (1901c, 195–8; 1901b, 236–8).14 As his literary voice evolved, Dwivedi increasingly favoured a new path forward for Hindi poets that would maintain claims on the past, and which also eschewed a wide range of literary conventions that he associated with the production of shringārik kavitā. ... इस तरह की कविता सैंकड़ो िर्ष से होती आ रही है। अनेक कवि हो चुके, विनहोंने इस विरय पर न मालूम कया कया वलख डाला है। इस दशा में नये कवि अपनी कविता में नयापन कैसे ला सकते हैं? िही तुक, िही छनद, िही शबद, िही उपमा, िही रूपक! इस पर भी लोग पुरानी लकीर को बराबर पीटते िाते हैं। कवित्त, सिैये, घनाक्षरी, दोहे, सोरठे वलखने से बाज़ नहीं आते। नख-वसख, नावयका भेद, अलंकार-शास्त्र पर पुस्तकों पर पुस्तकों वलखते चले िाते हैं। अपनी वयर्ष बनािटी बातों से देिी-देिताओं तक को बदनाम करने से नहीं सकुचते। फल इसका यह हुआ है वक कविता की असवलयत काफ़ूर हो गई है। उसे सुनकर सुनने िाले के वचत्त पर कुछ भी असर नहीं होता। उलटा कभी कभी मन में घृणा का उद्ेक अिशय उतपनन हो िाता है। … this kind of poetry has been being composed for hundreds of years. Who knows what the many poets who have written on this subject have written. Given these circumstances, how are new poets to bring innovation to their poetry? The very same rhymes, the very same metres, the very same words, the very same similes, the very same metaphors! Despite this, they still continue to wear out the same old path. We can’t get away from writing kavitta, savaiyyā, ghanāksharī, dohā, sorathā. Books upon books are being written on nakh-sikh, nāyikā-bhed, alankār-shāstra. We don’t even hesitate to destroy the reputation of the gods and goddesses with our vain, contrived words. The result of this is that poetry’s asliyat (reality, originality) has vanished. It has absolutely no effect on the heart of a listener. On the contrary, sometimes it almost certainly produces an outpouring of hatred. (1907b, 279)

Dwivedi was particularly vexed by the nāyikā-bhed genre of poetry as it engaged in what he determined to be the unnecessary scrutiny of female subjects: young and old, naïve and mature, unmarried and

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married (1901c, 195–7). Such compositions detailed the exploits of errant wives and daughters-in-law, ‘other women’ (parkīyā, parstrī) and ‘prostitutes’ (veshyās). Dwivedi condemned the obsession among contemporary poets for explicit detail, including various aspects of sexual relationships (for example, suratārambh, suratānt, and viparīt) (1901c, 196). He also condemned less explicit but still suggestive subject-matter found in such poetry, from the role of intermediaries in lovers’ schemes and stories of prostitutes stealing the hearts of men to the secret birdcalls of a mistress beckoning her lover or lies told by a married woman to entice a passing traveller to spend the night. These, too, he considered ‘detestable’ (ghrinit) acts and ‘sinful behaviour’ (papācharan) (1901c, 197). Nāyikā-bhed had such wide appeal that it attracted readers of all ages, city-dwellers and villagers alike (1901c, 196), but Dwivedi was especially concerned with its potential impact on youth. Whereas the great Sanskrit poet Kalidas also engaged in the detailed descriptions of his heroines, it was not his primary focus nor did he do so with such explicit detail according to Dwivedi (1901c, 196).15 As practised by contemporary Hindi poets, it now endangered the very welfare of Hindi literature and society; worse still, new books on the subject covered it in exhaustive detail: सदाचरण के सतयानाश करने के वलये कया इससे भी बढ़कर कोई युक्ति हो सकती है? युिकों को कुपर पर लेिाने के वलये कया इससे भी अविक बलिती और कोई आकर्षण-शक्ति हो सकती है? हमारे वहनदी सावहतय में इसप्रकार की पुस्तकों का होना कलंक है; लज्ा की बात है; समाि के सच्चररत्र की दुि्षलता का वदवय वचह्न है! What better strategy than this could possibly exist to destroy virtuous behaviour? Is there any force of attraction more powerful than this to lead youths astray? It is a blemish on our Hindi sāhitya that these kinds of books exist; it is a matter of shame; it is an extraordinary mark of the weakness of society’s good character. (1901c, 198)

Dwivedi’s graphic image of the transformation of a classically depicted heroine to a fearsome and grotesque she-monster dispersing crowds of gawking men (Figures 1.6 and 1.7, Chapter 1) reiterates these warnings on the dangers of persisting in such voyeuristic practices. For all his objections, Dwivedi was remarkably well informed of the content of such compositions and their popular appeal (1901c,

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196–7). Towards the end of his career, Dwivedi regretfully acknowledged that he too had been swept up in the production of rasīlā (juicy) content that might appeal to the masses. Swayed by his friends to write something popular and profitable, he wrote two rasīlī texts: Tarunopdesh (a manual for young men) and Sohāgrāt (wedding night), both of which remained unpublished at his wife’s insistence (1933, 624–5).16 In preparation, he requested and read English and American publications as well Sanskrit-language resources on related subjects (625). This research later served him first as a resource for his objections and then as a basis for poetic compromise.17 In 1901, Dwivedi began to publicly denounce shringārik kavitā and suggested a range of topics that were suitable alternatives: इस विस्तृत विश्व में ईश्वर ने इतने प्रकार के मनुषय, पशु, पक्षी, िन, वनर्षर, नदी, तड़ाग अवद वनरमा्षन वकए हैं वक यवद सैकड़ों कावलदास उतपनन होकर अननतकाल तक उन सबका िण्षन करते रहैं तो भी उनका अंत न हो। In this vast world, god has created so many kinds of men, beasts, birds, forests, waterfalls, rivers, ponds, and so forth that even if hundreds of Kalidases were born, and they kept describing these things for an eternity, even then all those topics would not be exhausted. (1901c, 197)

It was of little consequence if a poet did not have the talent of classical Sanskrit poets such as Kalidas nor even of more contemporary authors like Michael Madhusudan Datta (1824–1873) in Bengali and Vasudev Vaman Khare (1858–1924) in Marathi.18 Contemporary poets could choose from a wealth of topics, from animate and inanimate objects in the natural world to the lives of ideal men (ādarsh purush), based on their individual abilities and interests (1901b, 237–8). Though not directly mentioned in his earliest essays (1901b, 1901c), prakriti (nature) and svābhāviktā were clearly emerging as Dwivedi’s alternative to shringārik kavitā’s taxonomy of women.19 Nature was a prominent theme in Hindi poetry in prior literary eras as well, but it was gaining a new prominence in Hindi poetry and criticism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Ritter 2011, 34).20 Dwivedi (1907b), however, explicitly prioritized descriptions of prakriti in his recommendations for the modern poet.

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Inspired in part by the work of Urdu poet and author Altaf Husain ‘Hali’ (1837–1914), Dwivedi (1907b) proposed that modern Hindi poetry move away from the artifice of shringārik poetry and towards something more svābhāvik, or necharal (natural, 278–9, 284).21 This new svābhāviktā was to be achieved, in theory, by adhering to three poetic principles adapted from Milton via Hali: sādagī (simplicity), asliyat (reality), and josh (emotion) (1907b, 283–5).22 Ritter (2011) argues that ‘literary Nature’ was a multivalent category that would ultimately come to signify the modern in Hindi poetry. Rather than replace shringār, however, it effectively modernized it, shifting it from a ‘literary mode descriptive of and conducive to erotic desire’ to a sanctified rasa, naturalized and realist, which identified with and was descriptive of biological Nature and a universal principle of love (Ritter 2011, 192).23 Using the example of Kavitā-kalāp (1921 [1909]), an anthology of sachitra kavitā (poems with pictures) edited by Dwivedi and featuring prominently the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Ritter demonstrates the persistence of shringār in even the poetry of its most vocal critics, Dwivedi included. She writes that Dwivedi-era poets who wrote poems based on the shringārik model of nāyikā-bhed may have done so ‘unwittingly’ (Ritter 2011, 179). Building on her discussion, I offer an alternate reading in which this shringārik modelling vis-à-vis a pairing of art with literature is part of a more deliberate poetic compromise brokered by Dwivedi to promote the consumption and production of poetry in Khari Boli. Resistance to Change Given Dwivedi’s later role in enforcing a normative Hindi sāhitya (Orsini 2002), it is easy to overlook that he was also a major proponent of change once. Asking for a complete overhaul of poetry in the modern era, from its language to its content—and in the process directly challenging established traditions—was no simple task. Moreover, Khari Boli did not have a historical poetic repertoire nor did it have widespread, popular appeal as did its competitors in poetry, Urdu, and Braj Bhasha. It was a relatively blank canvas ready to take on Dwivedi’s agenda, and perhaps therein lay part of its appeal.24 As might be expected of any challenges to tradition, he encountered resistance from his contemporaries.

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Resistance to Dwivedi’s agenda came in part from the very Hindi public sphere within which he and Sarasvatī exerted influence. One major point of resistance was the language of modern Hindi poetry. In his initial years as editor, both established and aspiring writers continued to submit poetry in Braj Bhasha rather than Khari Boli.25 Moreover, his contemporaries in the Hindi establishment openly criticized the Khari Boli poems that he published in Sarasvatī. The editor of Bhāratmitra, Balmukund Gupta, reproached Dwivedi for his publication of poor Khari Boli verse in Sarasvatī. In a scathing response to ‘Kavitā-kutumb par vipatti’ (Sarasvatī, January 1903), one of Dwivedi’s ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons, Gupta pointed out the injustice of his critique. Why censure modern Braj Bhasha poets, when Dwivedi himself published crude Khari Boli verse in his journal? Gupta attacked one of Dwivedi’s own poems, ‘Sarasvatī kā vinay’ (Sarasvatī, January 1903), published in the very same issue of Sarasvatī as this particular cartoon.26 वशि! वशि! इस का नाम कविता है! कया भाि के वसर पर िज्र वगराया है। कया सरस्िती को बािारी स्त्री बनाया है। यवद कविता की फौिदारी अदालत बैठे, तो ऐसे कवि को फाँसी की सिा दे और यवद अदालत नयाय न कर सके, तो ऐसी कविता छापने के अनुपात में सरपादक आतमहतया कर ले। Shiv! Shiv! This is what is called poetry! How it has struck the emotional core like a bolt of lightning! How it has made Sarasvati into a prostitute. If a military tribunal were to judge poetry, then such a poet would be sentenced to hang and if the tribunal were not able to administer justice, then may the editor guilty of the offence of publishing such poetry take his own life. (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 384)

Gupta’s remarks clearly indicate his view of Dwivedi’s new poetry as lacking both refinement and good taste. Gupta’s accusation suggests an even worse transgression on Dwivedi’s part: an editorial double standard that would print Khari Boli verse of any kind and quality as modern poetry, but would object to Braj Bhasha verse on the grounds of its merit. Dwivedi had, Gupta notes, transformed the goddess Sarasvati into a bāzārī strī (prostitute) in much the same manner as modern poets who focused all their attentions on the physical attributes of female subjects. Remarkably, Gupta’s comments were not entirely unfounded. Dwivedi, anti-shringārik though

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he was, would indeed employ shringārik descriptions strategically in some of his earliest Khari Boli poems to attract readers and poets to his preferred literary medium. However, to have his own composition and his editorial choices questioned so soon after the publication of his first issue as editor posed an immediate obstacle to Dwivedi’s efforts to establish his literary authority among his literary peers and also Sarasvatī’s readers. Criticism came also from an even closer associate within the Hindi public sphere: Shyamsundar Das (1875–1945), Dwivedi’s immediate predecessor as editor of Sarasvatī and an official at the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha. The tension between Dwivedi and Das was not directly caused by a difference in their poetic tastes; they had similar objectives for modern poetry.27 It was rather a clash between two individuals vying for Hindi literary authority on behalf of their respective institutions.28 Das challenged Dwivedi’s literary discernment as editor of Sarasvatī. In a report on the state of Hindi, published by the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha in July 1906, Das wrote: ‘Sarasvatī is an exceptional journal. It is, however, regrettable that its poetry is as bad as its prose writing is good’ (quoted in Dwivedi 1906a, 394). Dwivedi’s immediate response to Das’s wholesale dismissal of Sarasvatī’s poetry as bhaddī or bad was to take offence; and, not surprisingly, he published a rebuttal attacking Das as head of the Sabha’s administrative committee for his unsubstantiated claims (Dwivedi 1906a, 393–7). He demanded further clarification: सभा यवद ‘भद्ी कविता’ का सोदाहरण लक्षण भी बतला देती तो बड़ी कृपा होती। इससे लोग भद्ी कविता वलखने और प्रकावशत करने से बाज़ आते। सभा की विस प्रबंि-काररणी कवमटी की आज्ा से मंत्री िी ने यह राय दी है उसमें वकतने, कवि कावयज् अरिा सहृदय िन हैं, इस अवप्रय विरय की आलोचना हम यहां पर नहीं करना चाहते। पर हाँ िब सभा कहती है वक “भद्ी कविता” भी कोई कविता होती है तब ज़रूर होती होगी और सरस्िती में ज़रूर छपी भी होगी। We would be most grateful if the Sabha could also indicate for us, with examples, the properties of bhaddī kavitā. This would stop people from writing and publishing bhaddī kavitā. I don’t want to engage here in an analysis of the unpopular topic of how many poets, poetry experts, or compassionate people there are on the Sabha’s administrative committee under whose authority the head has given this opinion. But, yes, if the Sabha says there is such a poetry as bhaddī kavitā then it surely must exist and it must definitely have been printed in Sarasvatī. (1906a, 394–5)

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The following year, Dwivedi softened his tone and acknowledged these and other instances of criticism as an expected part of the process of poetic reform, though he could not resist taking a jab at Das. His tone was much less defensive; on the contrary, Dwivedi focused on convincing poets of the new order to stand strong in the face of criticism: कविता-प्रणाली के वबगड़ िाने पर यवद कोई नए तरह की स्िाभाविक कविता करने लगता है तो लोग उसकी वनंदा करते हैं। कुछ नासमर और नादान आदमी कहते हैं यह बड़ी भद्ी कविता है। कुछ कहते हैं यह कविता ही नहीं। कुछ कहते हैं वक यह कविता तो “छंद: प्रभाकर” में वदये गये लक्षणों से चयुत है, अतएि यह वनददोर नहीं। बात यह है वक विसे िे अब तक कविता कहते आये हैं िही उनकी समर में कविता है और सब कोरी काँि काँि!... इससे प्रकट है वक नई कविता-प्रणाली पर भृकुटी टेढ़ी करनेिाले कवि-प्रकाणडों के कहने की कुछ भी परिा न करके अपने स्िीकृत पर से ज़रा भी इिर उिर होना उवचत नहीं। नई बातों से घबराना और उनके पक्षपावतयों की वननदा करना मनुषय का स्िभाि ही सा हो गया है। अतएि नई भारा और नई कविता पर यवद कोई नुकताचीनी करे तो आश्चरय्ष नहीं। When a poetic tradition falters, if someone starts composing a new kind of svābhāvik poetry, then people find fault with it. Some naïve and foolish men say that it is bhaddī kavitā. Some say it is not poetry at all. Some say this poetry is devoid of the qualities given in the ‘Chhandahprabhākar’, meaning it is not without flaw. The truth of the matter is that whatever they have called poetry up until now, that is what they understand to be poetry, and the rest is nothing but nonsense! ... From this it is clear that regardless of what great poets, who raise their eyebrows at a new tradition of poetry, have to say, it is not appropriate to waver at all from one’s chosen path. To be alarmed by new ideas and to censure those who favour them have become something akin to man’s nature. So, it is no surprise if someone finds fault with a new language and a new poetry. (1907b, 279–80)

Per his own counsel, Dwivedi persisted in his efforts to reimagine poetry for the modern era. As Khari Boli poets began to increase their literary output, however, he published noticeably less of his own poetry. Sarasvatī: An Illustrated Hindi Monthly Dwivedi effected major poetic reforms, in part by actively engaging a new trend in print media, visually oriented literary journalism.

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Sarasvatī was the beneficiary of a broader ‘visual turn’ (Freitag 2014, 398–409) that occupied Indian literary thought at the turn of the century. It belonged to a new class of visually oriented periodicals, the sachitra māsik patrikā (illustrated monthly journal), which quickly gained popularity in India at this time. Periodicals including Sarasvatī in Hindi and Prabāsī (est. 1901) in Bengali, known for their highquality literary content and visual appeal, were early pioneers of this form.29 Not art journals, per se, they used textual embellishments such as illuminated type or ornamental flourishes, and often featured sketches, photographs, and other artwork to support or enhance their primary content. In some instances, visuals were more prominently featured: stand-alone art was offered as a ‘gift’ to readers for their edification and enjoyment, essays introduced readers to various artists and their work, satirical cartoons became a vehicle for literary criticism, and popular art inspired new literary compositions.30 These artistic forays inspired authors and artists alike to participate in the processes of literary production. As such, visually oriented periodicals such as Sarasvatī made a lasting impression on modern Hindi literature. From the start, the journal’s founder and editors promoted its visual appeal. Chintamani Ghosh, proprietor of Indian Press and founder of the journal, praised Sarasvatī’s ‘appearance and quality’ (Ghosh 1900a, 67–8), citing the high cost of its illustrations, paper, printing apparatus, and craftsmanship to justify the journal’s annual subscription rate.31 At the end of his first year as Sarasvatī’s sole editor, Shyamsundar Das remarked that he would like for the journal to be even ‘more beautiful’ than it was at present, in its ‘form, colour, embellishment, style, [and] articles’ (Das 1901b, 392). That the journal was ‘illustrated’ was also a mark of its distinction for Dwivedi after he took over its editorship. It was, he suggested, the only good Hindi journal of its kind at the time (1903b, 407–8). By the close of 1904, the journal’s images were so popular that he cautioned his ‘thoughtful readers’ to pay more attention to the articles than the images: ‘The articles are primary; the images are secondary’ (Dwivedi 1904, 408). He was not blind to the power of visual appeal, however, and promised to improve both the written and visual aspects of the journal; he also assured readers that ‘plenty’ of images had already been arranged for the following year (1904, 408). Initially, Sarasvatī’s visual aspects were limited, including only black and white illustrations that functioned either as visual aids

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or in a strictly ornamental capacity. In its first year of publication, a typical issue of the journal included between five and eight contributions of varied length, averaging about thirty-five pages of content per issue. The February 1900 issue, for instance, contained eight articles, only some of which were illustrated. ‘Jantuon kī shristhi’ (the creation of animals) included sketches of animals and animal skeletons discussed in the text; an essay on ‘Fotogrāfī’ (photography), provided readers with an image of a camera to aid in its introduction to the device; and a travel narrative, ‘Kāshmīr yātrā’ (journey to Kashmir), offered readers a scenic view of a bridge in the Baramulla district.32 In the years immediately following (1901–2), illustrated articles included mostly sketches and photographs: historical and culturally significant images such as of the Ajanta cave paintings (April 1901); portraits of exemplary public figures, including philanthropists in the field of education (July 1901); pictures of architectural wonders such as Fatehpur Sikri (November and December 1901); and photos of ethnographic curiosities such as the janglī jātiyān (wild tribes) of the Brahmaputra Valley (November 1902). Aside from images accompanying articles, each issue included a decorative header and stylistic embellishments, none of which had any direct bearing on the text. Many of these images were nature inspired and included clovers (February 1902), flowers (April 1902), and a large tree (July 1902). Illustrations likely played a role in broadening Sarasvatī’s subscriber base beyond the literate elite targeted by its main content; and it indirectly attracted new authors who sought to benefit from the journal’s steadily increasing popularity. However, in the first couple years of its publication, there is no indication of a cultivated interaction between literature and visual art. A confluence of related phenomena around the turn of the century, spanning multiple individuals, institutions, and locales, gradually transformed Sarasvatī’s as yet limited brand of illustrated literary journalism, bringing word and image together to usher in a new era for Hindi poetry. Advances in Illustrated Literary Journalism The first of these phenomena centred around the work of the late nineteenth-century artist from the southern Indian kingdom of

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Travancore, Raja Ravi Varma. Fusing Western and Indian stylistic elements in his art, he earned national and international acclaim for his paintings of classical and paurānik (historical-mythological) subjects from the Sanskrit literary tradition as well as his regional portraits of women from all over India.33 In 1894, Varma entered the print-making business to make his artwork more widely available. Working with his brother, C. Raja Raja Varma, he established the Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press in Bombay. While not a financially successful enterprise, the press popularized Varma’s images throughout India. Mass reproductions, often unsanctioned by the Varmas, flooded the ‘Indian art’ market at the close of the nineteenth century (Mitter 1994, 208–15; Guha-Thakurta 1992, 104–16). With contributions from Ramanand Chattopadhyay (1865– 1943), a pioneer editor of pictorial journalism in Bengali and English, and Upendrakishore Raychaudhuri (1863–1915), founder of the printing and publishing firm U. Ray and Sons, the Ravi Varma art-print phenomenon took on a literary dimension. Raychaudhuri, a pioneer in photographic reproduction, was widely recognized for his experiments with half-tone block processing. His innovations, applied to the works of modern Indian artists such as Ravi Varma, ‘introduced a greater gloss, a greater refinement of details and more subtle tonal gradations than lithography could achieve’ (Guha-Thakurta 1992, 137). Chattopadhyay featured these reproductions prominently in the magazines he founded and edited, including Pradīp (est. 1897), Prabāsī (est. 1901), and the Modern Review (est. 1907). Varma and his art were among the earliest to be featured by Chattopadhyay and Raychaudhuri. The combined expertise of these three figures in the realms of art, journalism, and reprographic technology ushered in a new age for the printed image, which advanced from half-tone reproductions in black and white, blue, or sepia monotones to colour prints using a three-tone block  process (Guha-Thakurta 1992, 137–8; Mitra 2013, 223; Mitter 1994, 122–3).34 Sarasvatī was uniquely poised to take part in this phenomenon from the outset because of its patronage by Indian Press in Allahabad, which also published Prabāsī, a Bengali journal edited by Chattopadhyay.35 In 1901, Chattopadhyay had acquired permission

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for Indian Press to publish Varma’s art-prints in both publications.36 In December of that year, Sarasvatī’s front cover featured a print of Ravi Varma’s painting of Goddess Sarasvati (Chapter 1, Figure 1.8), and in the same issue, a print of his Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan (Figure 3.1) was paired with Kamalanand Singh’s Braj Bhasha translation of an excerpt from Michael Madhusudan Datta’s Bengali epistolary poem Vīrānganā.37 A short biographical essay, published in January 1902, introduced the artist and featured four of his artprints; the author also assured Sarasvatī’s readers that Ravi Varma’s work would be regularly featured in future issues (Parvatinandan 1902, 15). Throughout the course of this year, editor Shyamsundar Das published several of Varma’s art-prints: two appeared alongside pre-modern Hindi verse; and another two appeared on their own, without associated verse.38 Mid-year, Das reiterated his commitment to publishing Varma’s artwork, citing as his motivation the desire to make such images available to readers, regardless of their financial capacity (Das 1902, 198). The journal also advertised an illustrated biography of the artist in English, published by Indian Press, featuring twenty-one select half-tone prints.39 In his inaugural remarks as editor, Dwivedi exuberantly promoted the book’s national significance, as an embodiment of swadeshī enterprise in all regards: ‘Swadeshī hī chitrakār! Swadeshī hī naqqāsh!! Aur swadeshī hī chhāpnevāle!!!’ (An Indian artist! An Indian designer!! And, an Indian printer!!!) (Dwivedi 1903d, 4).40 Notably, Chattopadhyay and his journals soon moved away from Ravi Varma’s brand of Western-influenced ‘Indian’ painting, increasingly favouring the ‘Indian-style’ work of Abanindranath Tagore and his cohort of artists as part of a larger, nationalist ‘artistic revival’ (Guha-Thakurta 1992, 139–46).41 Nonetheless, for Sarasvatī, the early integration and promotion of Ravi Varma’s work, via these connections with Chattopadhyay and Raychaudhuri, raised the Hindi journal’s profile as a purveyor of art alongside the literary and attracted new readers who were interested in its increasingly highquality visuals. Though there were instances of coordination between image and word, visuals did not yet have a large-scale, transformative impact on modern literary production in Hindi. This would come with Dwivedi’s concerted cultivation of a relationship between art and literature in Sarasvatī.

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Dwivedi and the Art of Compromise As the Ravi Varma art-print phenomenon began to take hold, Dwivedi also began experimenting with visuals as a regular contributor to Sarasvatī, with his first ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon, ‘Hindi-sahitya’, appearing in January 1902.42 He published his first pre-modern Hindi verse accompaniment for a Ravi Varma image in February 1902, and in March 1902, his representation of ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ recalled Varma’s popular styling of the Hindu goddess Sarasvati (Figures 1.6 and 1.8).43 Dwivedi’s commitment to visuals continued as Sarasvatī’s new editor in 1903. With Sarasvatī’s steadily increasing appeal as an illustrated literary monthly in mind he began to engineer a shift from Braj Bhasha to Khari Boli as the language of modern Hindi poetry, via art; though not immediately, this also resulted in a shift away from the shringārik poetry of prior eras that he considered inappropriate for modern Hindi sāhitya. From 1905, Dwivedi’s engagement with visuals took a more deliberate, genre-focused turn. He began to experiment with imageinspired poetry. His ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ column did not last long enough to build a literary following for Khari Boli poetry; he was perhaps too quick to antagonize his contemporaries in it.44 Dwivedi subsequently tried a gentler approach to literary reform.45 Instead of commissioning artwork to promote his agenda, as he had done with his cartoons, he decided to model modern poetry in Khari Boli inspired by the already popular artwork of Ravi Varma. Whereas his essays (see Chapter 2) proposed a rigid theoretical agenda, his original and commissioned image-poems seemed to offer a more flexible and pragmatic path to change.46 Prior to 1905, the editors of Sarasvatī had published Ravi Varma’s prints occasionally alongside essays as a supplement or to accompany pre-modern Hindi verse. In 1905 and 1906, Dwivedi started to pair Varma’s artwork almost exclusively with original Khari Boli poems inspired by Varma’s literary and/or historical–mythological prints or by his portraits of Indian women of various regional and ethnic backgrounds. In this two-year period, almost all the image-poems were Dwivedi’s own compositions: ‘Rambhā’, ‘Kumudsundarī’, and

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


‘Mahāshwetā’ in 1905, and ‘Ūshā-svapna’, ‘Gaurī’, ‘Gangā–Bhīshma’, and ‘Priyamvadā’ in 1906.47 In 1907, he published just one imagepoem, ‘Indirā’, turning over the responsibility for new composition in Khari Boli almost entirely to other poets.48 ‘Rambhā’ and ‘Kumudsundarī’ are among Dwivedi’s earliest Khari Boli image-poems. These two poems—the former based on one of Varma’s Purān-inspired paintings and the latter based on one of his regionally inspired portraits—reveal a puzzling gap between the editor’s literary agenda and his practice.49 Dwivedi’s first Khari Boli image-poem, ‘Rambhā’, appeared in Sarasvatī in March 1905 (Dwivedi 1905c, 92–3), accompanied by a reproduction of the painting bearing the artist’s signature, date (1896), and the print-maker’s mark (U. Ray) (see Figure 3.2). The poem’s eleven stanzas are metred and rhymed following the conventions of the popular Hindi chaupāī.50 Dwivedi’s ode to Rambha praises both the paurānik apsarā, a celestial maiden in Indra’s paradise, and Ravi Varma’s rendering of her, but his emphasis is on the latter. Indeed, the poem is almost entirely descriptive of Rambha’s physical beauty, referring only in passing to her story. The opening stanza introduces the paurānik figure: [१] रूपिती यह ररभा नारी; सुरपवत तक को यह अवत पयारी। रवत, िृवत भी, दोनों बेचारी इसे देख मन में हैं हारी।। [1] This Rambha [is] a beautiful woman; Beloved by even Indra, Lord of the gods. Poor Rati, and Dhriti, too Feel defeat in their minds when they see her. (Dwivedi 1905c, 92)

Dwivedi scatters additional information throughout the remainder of the poem, though not as part of any continuous narrative. In stanza ten, for example, he refers to her ability to captivate gods, men, and sages alike, and alludes to a seductive encounter with the sage Shuk:

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Figure 3.2

Rambhā, by Ravi Varma

Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


[१०] शुक के सरमुख िानेिाली; सरस भाि बतलानेिाली। नि-यौिन-मद से मतिाली; सुर-नर-मुवन-मन हरनेिाली।। [10] She appeared before Shuk; Displaying her fine gestures. More intoxicating than the intoxication of youth; She captivates the hearts of gods, men, and sages. (Dwivedi 1905c, 92)

This encounter also happens to be the subject of another of Varma’s paintings for which Dwivedi would commission an image-poem several years later.51 Most of the poem, however, does not focus on narrative details from the Purān tradition but engages Varma’s visual representation. Thus, Dwivedi mentions Rambha’s chhabi (image) as pleasing to the eyes in stanza two and her well-liked chitra (picture, painting) in stanza eleven. In this final stanza, Dwivedi cites the artist and compliments his skill: [११] इसका वचत्र सभी को भाया; रवि िमा्ष ने विशद बनाया। कौशल उसमें ख़ूब वदखाया; रुवचर रूप अचछा उपिाया।। [11] All are pleased with her picture; Ravi Varma has made it flawless. Showing great skill in it, He created a fine, attractive figure. (Dwivedi 1905c, 93)

Dwivedi also translates visual into verbal description for the journal’s readers, adding details of colour not provided by the accompanying reproduction of Varma’s painting. He mentions the green of her head cover and the red of her sārī as well as a necklace made of pārijāt (white jasmine) blossoms (stanzas five and six). He alludes to her

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formal, painted pose, holding the edge of her garment to reveal an earring (stanza five), but he also indulges in alankārik or verbal embellishment in the manner of shringārik poetry. Referring specifically to the artist’s depiction, Dwivedi conveys the classical beauty of Varma’s image via some stock, natural metaphors, including her ‘moon-face’ (mukh-mayank) and her ‘attractive bow-shaped eyebrows’ (bhrikutī dhanushākār manohar) in stanza six as well as a comparison of her left arm in stanza seven, draped in such a manner that it rivals the elegance of a lotus stalk (manju-mrināl). Dwivedi occasionally extends his verses beyond the still-posed beauty of Varma’s Rambhā, exploring imagined gestures and perspectives not captured by the painting. He inquires, in stanza three, what viewers might see if she broke free from her pose: [३] िब यह अद्भुत भाि बताती; िसन इिर से उिर हटाती। नावभ-निल-नीरि वदखलाती; स्तनतट से पट को वखसकाती।। [3] When she displays her marvellous gestures; Shifting her clothing from here to there. She exposes her fresh lotus-like navel; Moving the cover from her protruding breasts. (Dwivedi 1905c, 92)

Dwivedi then explores the seductive power of these movements on mighty sages, which generate an intense heat in their bodies (stanza four). In a later stanza, Dwivedi also hypothesizes the potential impact on ordinary youth, of various aspects of Rambha’s physical form, much of which is not fully revealed in Varma’s painting (stanza nine): [९] इसका कुच-वनतरब-विस्तार सचमुच है अतयनत अपार। दृवटि युिकिन की िो िाती, रक कर िहीं पड़ी रह िाती।।

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


[9] Her broad bosom and hips Are really quite incomparable. If youths were to catch a glimpse, [Their gaze] would rest right there forever. (Dwivedi 1905c, 92)

As Ritter (2011, 180) has noted, Dwivedi does not engage in a systematic head-to-toe description of Rambha, as might be common in shringārik poetry of prior literary eras. He does, however, focus most of his attention on her physical beauty and the allure of her body, moving, at times, beyond even Varma’s material gaze. Given shringārik precedents in classical Sanskrit poetry and Rīti-Era poetry, as well as Varma’s preoccupation with female subjects, Dwivedi’s composition is neither innovative nor shocking. It is in the context of his stated distaste for the voyeuristic treatment of women in nāyikā-bhed poetry (1901c, 195–7) and unnecessary verbal embellishment (1901b, 236) as well as his concern regarding the possible corruption of young people by such conventions (1901c, 197) that this inaugural image-poem merits some further investigation. A subsequent image-poem, ‘Kumudsundarī’ (see Figure 3.3), provides additional insight into these seemingly unexpected divergences between Dwivedi’s theory and practice. ‘Kumudsundarī’ is Dwivedi’s first image-poem based on one of Varma’s regionally inspired portraits of Indian women (Figure 3.3). Notably, the artist’s depiction is of a Gujarati female, which loosely invokes another well-known Kumudsundari: the idealized heroine of Govardhanram Tripathi’s turn-of-the-century Gujarati novel Sarasvatīchandra.52 As with Rambhā, the image bears the artist’s signature, date (1896), and the printmaker’s mark (U. Ray). Dwivedi published ‘Kumudsundarī’, his second image-poem, in August 1905 (1905b, 299). It comprised ten stanzas, metred and rhymed, and, once again, followed the metrical conventions and rhyme-scheme of the chaupāī. Dwivedi’s poem invites readers to visually experience Varma’s portrait of a regional Indian heroine. The act of seeing is central to the poem. The opening and closing verses (stanzas one and ten), for instance, draw the readers’ eyes to the figure’s most prominent regional feature, a blue sārī draped in the customary Gujarati style.

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Figure 3.3 Kumudsundarī, by Ravi Varma Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


[१] यह है कुमुदसुनदरी बाला; है इसका सब ठाठ वनराला। घर इसका गुिरात देश है; देखो कैसा सुभग िेश है।। [१०] यह वशवक्षता गुिर्ष ी नारी; इसको वप्रय है नीली सारी। इसकी छवि लोचन-सुखकारी; रवि िमा्ष ने ख़ूब उतारी।। [1] This is the young lady, Kumudsundari; Everything about her style is unique. Her home is in the Gujarat-region; Look at how beautiful her attire is. [10] This educated Gujarati woman; The blue sārī is dear to her. Her portrait is pleasing to the eyes; Ravi Varma has captured her well. (Dwivedi 1905b, 299)

Stanzas two through six provide an embellished description of Varma’s portrait, employing Rīti-style descriptions of Kumudsundari’s physical attributes. Dwivedi’s metaphors, though hackneyed, describe a figure that meets traditional (Rīti) standards of beauty, including ‘a charming moonlike face’ (stanza two) and ‘eyes as captivating as blue lotus flowers’ (stanza five) (Dwivedi 1905b, 299). Dwivedi’s description of Kumudsundari’s physical attributes is noticeably more subdued than that of Rambha: rather than a voyeur engrossed in a fantasy, he is an impartial narrator conveying the details of Varma’s rendering. Other stanzas praise non-physical aspects of Kumudsundari’s beauty. Thus, stanzas seven and eight highlight her good character, progressive thought, education, and domestic skill: [७] बाहर सायङ्ाल हमेशा; वफरती यह पवतसार हमेशा।

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कड़े छड़े की चाह नहीं है; परदे की परिाह नहीं है।। [८] पढ़ती भी, वलखती भी है यह। घर सक्ज्त रखती भी है यह। िब यह सूई हार उठाती; नये नये कौशल वदखाती।। [7] In the evening, she always goes out; Always accompanied by her husband. No desire for jewellery; No concern for purdah. [8] She reads, she also writes. She keeps her home well-equipped. When she takes a needle in hand; She exhibits the latest skills. (Dwivedi 1905b, 299)

These qualities, in addition to a subdued physical beauty, make her attractive to her husband and also well-liked by others in her household and social circles (stanza nine). As Ritter (2011) has argued, this and Dwivedi’s other poems on women have a ‘plodding pedestrian tone’ and are devoid of the pleasure of conventional shringār; but, they embody a new literary shringār sanctified for the modern era (182–3, 192). Accordingly, Dwivedi invites the reader–observer to step out of the immediate scope of Varma’s image and into the general realm of Govardhanram Tripathi’s literary heroine, another embodiment of modern, but idealized, inner beauty. Whereas the visual and verbal narratives both highlight Kumudsundari’s regional charm and physical beauty, Dwivedi’s poem provides additional insight into her character.53 With ‘Kumudsundarī’, then, he models a new nationalist and reformist ideal of beauty that is regionally distinct but still connected to a larger, pan-Indian national identity, much like his preferred language for modern poetry. * * *

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


In the early years of Dwivedi’s editorship, very few poets submitted poetry in Khari Boli to the journal. A lack of consensus surrounding his bid for Khari Boli as the new language of poetry led Dwivedi to make some practical concessions to his overall poetic agenda in the interest of building a national Khari Boli Hindi treasury as quickly as possible. Whereas his cartoons (see Chapter 1) and essays (see Chapter 2) proposed a rigid theoretical programme for poetry, his image-poems modelled a flexible, pragmatic path to change.54 Dwivedi wrote eight image-poems over a period of three years, between 1905 and 1907. ‘Rambhā’ (1905c) and ‘Kumudsundarī’ (1905b) were not specimens of his poetic mastery; nor were his other image-poems. He would readily admit this later in his career.55 Dwivedi’s image-poems are better read as acts of poetic influence, employing visuals to rally a reading and writing Hindi public around a single cause: a modern poetry exclusively in Khari Boli. Though once recognized by his peers as a poet of note, Dwivedi chose not to experiment with the metres he had recommended for accomplished poets. His choice of metre was conscious rather than due to a lack of poetic ability. A scan of some of Dwivedi’s pre-1900 poems included in Yayavar (1995, vol. 13) reveals that he could compose in a variety of metres, including vasantatilaka, upendravajrā, and indrāvajrā, among others. Yet for his imagepoems, he repeatedly employed one of the most conventional and popular Hindi metres, the chaupāī, which he had specifically advised against.56 He also retained end-rhymes, once again going against his own counsel (1901b, 234–4). His image-poems additionally featured shringārik descriptions of women despite his vocal anti-shringār stance (1901c).57 His poetic choices, in this regard, were largely pragmatic short-term compromises to push a single aspect of his agenda for reform forward with the least amount of resistance. Providing simple image-poems drawing on some popular conventions made them widely accessible as models for novice poets; and the prospect of pairing original poems with already popular artwork equally drew the attentions of both novice and more accomplished poets. As poetry in Khari Boli began to gain popularity among poets and poetry-lovers, Dwivedi moved away from Rīti-style physical

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descriptions of the female form. His remaining image-poems in Sarasvatī, also paired with Varma’s prints, focused more substantially on a poetic narrative rooted in literary, historical–mythological, or ethnographic details rather than embellished descriptions of Varma’s renderings.58 Indeed, in many of the image-poems following ‘Rambhā’ and ‘Kumudsundarī’, Dwivedi obliquely referenced details of Varma’s representations rather than bringing them into primary focus. And so it is that between 1905 and 1911, when Varma’s reputation as a national icon had begun to diminish, and a new wave of nationalists disparaged his artwork as ‘debased’ and overly ‘Westernized’ (Asher 2003, 120), his art took on new significance in the pages of an illustrated Hindi monthly. A fortuitous, cross-country connection between an artist seeking to increase his popularity, the pioneers of reprographic technology and pictorial journalism, and an editor with an agenda for Hindi but also an interest in compromise inspired a new nationalist poetry in Khari Boli. Pairing Khari Boli poetry with Varma’s widely popular visual images provided the language, which had no recognized history of aesthetic appeal in the realm of Hindi poetry, something akin to beauty by association. The image-poems allowed Dwivedi to demonstrate an aesthetic potential for Khari Boli via visuals rather than language. Varma’s literary subjects, drawn mostly from classical and paurānik Sanskrit sources, also linked the emergent Khari Boli poetic corpus to an established body of writing, predominantly Hindu in its orientation. Meanwhile, his paintings of women, regionally inspired yet also exhibiting a pan-Indian aesthetic, paralleled Dwivedi’s own aspirations for Khari Boli Hindi as national language. The pairings offered Khari Boli a dual genealogy, literary and visual, that reinforced Dwivedi’s imagined boundaries for Hindi literature and nation. They also drew on resources from multiple regions, connecting poetry from the Hindi belt to paintings from modern-day Kerala, to the technology of high-quality image production in Bengal; this, too, lent Khari Boli the appeal of a pan-Indian literary–artistic–print aesthetic. Visuals, via original art and reprographic technology, enabled Dwivedi to engage poets who might otherwise prefer Braj Bhasha to write in Khari Boli and thus gain consensus for his national literary agenda.

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


Poets new to Khari Boli who undertook Dwivedi’s intertextual exercise included Nathuram Shankar Sharma (1859–1935), Raideviprasad ‘Purna’ (1868–1915), Kamtaprasad Guru (1875– 1947), and Maithilisharan Gupta. Maithilisharan Gupta, celebrated today as a national poet of India and renowned for his epic poems in the paurānik genre, was the most featured ‘picture-poet’ in Sarasvatī. Before 1907, Gupta had only three poems accepted in the journal. Of these, none were accompanied by an image and not one was inspired by paurānik subject matter. However, over the course of the next few years, Dwivedi published twenty-two of Gupta’s Khari Boli ‘picture-poems’ in the journal.59 By January 1910, the journal’s publisher referred to Gupta as Sarasvatī ke siddha kavi (Sarasvatī’s accomplished poet) and declared his poems to be manohārinī (captivating) and ojasvinī (powerful) (Ghosh 1910, 4). Gupta’s dedication to Khari Boli and his experiments with the paurānik genre were the products of Dwivedi’s mentorship, to be sure, a fact which is widely recognized; but his poetic success also bore the influence of Dwivedi’s efforts to cultivate a partnership between art and literature. In subsequent years, Gupta expanded some of his earliest image-inspired compositions into the epic poems for which he has received great acclaim.60 Ravi Varma’s art-prints also contributed to Gupta’s development; they inspired many of his poems in this phase and rooted him in the paurānik genre. Consequently, Gupta’s literary career has also Ravi Varma’s artwork and Chattopadhyay’s and Ray’s pioneering innovations in pictorial journalism to acknowledge. Maithilisharan Gupta went on to write poems inspired by the work of other prominent Indian artists, including Vamapad Bandhopadhyay (1851–1932) and M. V. Dhurandhar (1867–1944). Like Varma, they painted in the ‘Western Academic’ style (GuhaThakurta 1992, 106, 116, 140) and took up paurānik subject-matter (Figures 3.4 and 3.5).61 Dhurandhar’s artwork was first featured in 1907 on its own, without any verse accompaniment. Dwivedi instead provided an accompanying ‘Chitra-darshan’ or prose introduction to Dhurandhar’s images Rāmchandraji kā Gangāvataran (March 1907, Figure 3.4) and Draupadīchīrharan (July 1907). Two years later, however, Dwivedi featured these very art-prints in his Kavitā-kalāp collection alongside image-poems by Gupta.62 Bandhopadhyay’s first work to be

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Figure 3.4

Rāmchandrajī kā Gangāvataran by M. V. Dhurandhar

Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

published in Sarasvatī, Abhimanyu aur Uttarā appeared in January 1908, accompanied by Dwivedi’s ‘Chitra-darshan’ and a poem by Gupta titled ‘Uttarā se Abhimanyu kī vidā’ (Figure 3.5). Dwivedi subsequently featured Bandhopadhyay’s Arjun aur Urvashī alongside another image-poem by Gupta (April 1908); in February and March 1909, the editor included prints of Bandhopadhyay’s Shāntanu aur Gangā (February 1909) and Mantharā aur Kaikeyī (March 1909) accompanied only by his ‘Chitra-darshan’ as introduction. Also in 1908, Dwivedi and the journal’s publisher made arrangements for another Purān-inspired artist, Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury, to become a house artist for Sarasvatī, re-confirming the journal’s commitment to art and citing its objective to rival ‘high-class illustrated monthlies in English’ (1908f, 1).63 In the previous year, Dwivedi had announced his intentions to engage a famous artist in a permanent capacity for the journal such that it might publish distinguished works of art on paurānik and other various subjects (Dwivedi 1907a, 475).

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise 163

Figure 3.5

Abhimanyu aur Uttarā by Vamapad Bandhopadhyay

Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

In January 1908, he confirmed that such an artist had been secured and assured readers that several samples of his work would appear in the coming year, some of which were to be in colour (1908f, 1). Hereafter, Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury’s work, which had not previously been published in the journal, began to appear regularly and

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Dwivedi referred to him as Sarasvatī ke khās chitrakār (Dwivedi 1908b, 326). The first of Chaudhury’s paintings to appear in the journal was Subhadrā-Draupadī-milan in June 1908; it was accompanied by Dwivedi’s ‘Chitra-darshan’ providing a brief introduction to the image’s paurānik context (Dwivedi 1908c, 278). Chaudhury’s next featured painting, Bhīshma-pratigyā (July 1908), was printed in colour (Figure 3.6) and was accompanied by a poem of the same title by Maithilisharan Gupta and an introduction to its content as ‘swadeshī’ in all respects (1908b, 326). A note in the following month’s issue (August 1908) informed readers that Bhīshma-pratigyā was now available for individual purchase (Dwivedi 1908a, 329). Dwivedi encouraged readers to buy it for only four annas, highlighting the aesthetic and national value of such art-prints: विविि-रंग-रवजित स्िदेशी वचत्रों से अपने कमरे की शोभा बढ़ाने के वलए, अपने प्राचीन गौरि को सदा स्मरण रखने के वलए, एिं अपने पूजय और अनुकरणीय गुरुिनों, महातमाओं, और िम्षिीरों की पवित्र मूवत्षयों को अपनी आँखों के सामने रखने के वलए ऐसे ऐसे रंगीन वचत्र ज़रूर ख़रीदने चवहए। [We] should definitely purchase such colour images to embellish our rooms with various colourful swadeshī images, to always remember our ancient glory, and to keep sacred images of our esteemed teachers, mahātmās [great souls], and religious heroes before our eyes. (Dwivedi 1908a, 329)

Dwivedi featured at least six if not seven more similarly themed paintings by Chaudhury over the next year, between September 1908 and September 1909.64 All of Chaudhury’s art-prints were related to or inspired by Mahābhārat narratives and coupled with poems by Gupta. Dwivedi, with the backing of Indian Press, published two books in 1908 and 1909 that further attest to his commitment to literary-visual narratives with a paurānik focus. In October 1908, Dwivedi published Sachitra Mahābhārat (an illustrated Mahābhārat), his Hindi translation of a Bengali adaptation of the epic by Surendranath Tagore. Per an ad in Sarasvatī in January 1911 it was over 500 pages and contained twenty-two images. There was some overlap with images that Dwivedi had chosen to inspire his new Khari Boli poetry: notably, it included reproductions of three of Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury’s paintings

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise 165

and only one of Ravi Varma’s.65 In February 1909, Dwivedi published Kavitā-kalāp, an edited and slightly revised collection of the previously published image-poems, featuring the works of Varma, Bandhopadhyay, Dhurandhar, and Chaudhury alongside poems by the aforementioned Sarasvatī poets:

Figure 3.6

Bhīshma-pratigyā by Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury

Source: Dwivedi (1921 [1909]).

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Nathuram Shankar Sharma, Raideviprasad (‘Purna’), Kamtaprasad Guru, Maithilisharan Gupta, and Dwivedi himself. A cursory glance at Sarasvatī’s contents in the first decade of the twentieth century suggests that the partnership between literature and art that Dwivedi pursued in his early years as editor had some lasting impact on production in both realms. In the period following 1905, there was an increase in stand-alone poetry in Khari Boli and also in the publication of art without poetic accompaniment. There were, of course, some limits to this interaction. In discussing the use of art in Bengali literary miscellanies at the turn of the century, Guha-Thakurta has argued that in some regards, literature appropriated art rather than engaged it (1992, 136). Indeed the artists and their works, outside of the largely descriptive poems, were only briefly discussed if at all in Sarasvatī. Though each painting was usually signed, both by the artist and/or reproduction expert (for example, U. Ray), these were often unreadable in the reproduced form, while captions and explanatory notes were only occasional in their mention of artists by name. The journal’s table of contents featured a list of illustrations without any mention of the artists who had rendered them; whereas the poet, by contrast, received full credit both in the table of contents as well as following each image-poem. Ramchandra Shukla, whose suggestion of Varma’s Shakuntalāpatra-lekhan as an inspiration for Hindi poets in 1904 prefigured Dwivedi’s interdisciplinary exercise, also hinted at some of the potential limitations of such an association between art and literature (1904, 279). He feared an emphasis of style over substance in Hindi poetry. In 1909, Shukla cautioned readers more pointedly.66 The clever crafting of words (shabdachāturī, shabdakaushal) could enchant one’s ears but did not have the power to influence the heart. The rightful place of chitra-kāvya (picture-poetry) was, therefore, in an arts exhibition (shilpa-pradarshinī) and not, presumably, in a literary repertoire (1909, 163). Whether Shukla was referring to any one of Dwivedi’s Sarasvatī poets in particular or to the entire enterprise is unclear but his words, as with his 1904 intervention on sāhitya, suggested his rather strong disapproval of the literary merit of such image-poems. Dwivedi, it seems, continued to invite criticism from his contemporaries and it is in this context that he would continue to make short-term strategic compromises to push his long-term

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise


agenda forward and ultimately establish his vision for sāhitya as the authoritative literary vision for future generations. Shukla’s rebuke of such literary-visual exercises did not alter the fact that Dwivedi was already in the process of becoming the father of modern Hindi poetry despite the limits of his own poetic skill. Dwivedi’s early pairings of Varma’s art with his image-inspired verses played an important role in building a consensus around Khari Boli and initiated his mentorship of a new generation of poets in his preferred literary medium. This in turn resulted in an increase in poetic production in Khari Boli as well as an improvement in the reputation of its repertoire, which extended the reach of Khari Boli poetry beyond the limits of his enterprise. In the end, his partnership of art with poetry helped him to start laying a foundation for modern poetry on which future generations of Hindi poets could build their own platforms and raise their challenges in protest of his dictates.67 Notes 1. See Chapter 2 for the background of and discussion on this essay. 2. We see this in Dwivedi’s agenda for poetry, discussed later, as well as in his agenda for prose fiction, discussed in Chapter 4. 3. Balendranath Tagore (1870–1899), a Sanskrit scholar and critic in Bengal, and also a proponent of Ravi Varma’s artwork, had argued the opposite in just the previous decade: a need for literature to influence art. The true task of India’s new artists was to draw inspiration from the rich repositories of visual themes and imagery readily available in ancient Indian literature. Kalidas’s Shakuntalā, he noted, was especially remarkable for its ‘picturesque’ language and vivid ‘word-pictures’ (Guha-Thakurta 1992, 129–31). 4. Varma’s Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan would appear yet again in the journal in November 1908, paired with an original Khari Boli poem of the same title by Maithilisharan Gupta. 5. See Guha-Thakurta (1992, 110) for a discussion of Ravi Varma’s project as one which ‘bolstered the central premises of both European Orientalism and Indian nationalism’; invoked a classical, idealized Indian past vis-à-vis literature and mythology; and represented a panIndian beauty that could be placed regionally, but which could also serve as a national prototype.

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6. See the discussion of Dwivedi’s literary cartoons in Chapter 1. Dwivedi’s preoccupation with poetry and its modernization vis-à-vis a standardized Khari Boli was due in large part to the lack of significant poetry in Khari Boli at the turn of the century. For an overview of his arguments in favour of Khari Boli as the sole literary and national language of modern India, as well as a discussion of Dwivedi’s literary–national agenda covering both poetry and prose, see Chapter 2 in this book. 7. See my discussion of these essays in Chapter 2. 8. Some important essays include ‘Nāyikā-bhed’ (1901c) and ‘Kavikartavya’ (1901b), published when he had earned some degree of recognition as a poet and critic; and ‘Kavi aur kavitā’ (1907b) and ‘Kavi-kartavya’ (1995c [1911]), published after he took up his more influential position as editor of Sarasvatī. See Ritter (2011, 92–105) for an excellent discussion of several of these essays as well as others having to do with Dwivedi’s poetics and his construction of a ‘literary Nature’. 9. Yamak, anuprās, tukbandī, and qāfiyā, used for repetition and rhyme, as well as vazan (metre), are a few devices that he indicates may hinder a poet’s vichār-svātantrya or freedom of thought (1907b, 280). He specifically recommended shikharinī, vanshastha, and vasantatilaka as suitable Sanskrit metres for poets who wish to avoid end rhymes (1901b, 234). 10. Dwivedi refers to guidelines established by Pingalacharya’s Chhandshāstra, the earliest known treatise on prosody in Sanskrit (1901b, 233). Ordinary poets, for example, should select an appropriate metre for their subject matter: ritu-themed, or seasonal poems, for instance, might be in upajāti (1901b, 233). 11. Dwivedi specifies dohā, chaupāī, sorath, ghanāksharī, chhappay, and savaiyā as some of the most commonly used Hindi metres, which are to be avoided, if possible, in modern poetic compositions (1901b, 233). Notably, many of these metres were used by poets of Bhakti and Rīti Eras, so his recommendation is in line with his attempt to shift away from classical Hindi/Braj Bhasha poetic practices. However, he does offer a caveat: poets who have not mastered common Hindi metres such as these should not attempt to experiment with the Sanskrit metres he recommends for accomplished poets (1901b, 233–4). See also Schomer (1998, 13–15) for further information on metrical experiments in Dwivedi-era poetry. 12. Dwivedi (1901b, 233–4) specifies which Sanskrit metres he prefers for modern Hindi poetry, but he does not specify the Urdu metres he is referring to when he makes this suggestion. 13. This kind of poetry was especially popular in the Bhakti and Rīti Eras of Hindi literature. Bhagiratha Misra in Nagendra (1981, 133)

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provides the dates for these era as 1400–1643 CE and 1643–1843 CE respectively. He also objects to the practice of samasyāpūrti for its lack of a substantive contribution to the modern Hindi repertoire. Good samasyāpūrti was a difficult task, which, if undertaken at all, should be left to the few poets with the requisite genius and skill (pratibhā and kaushal) to do it well. For most ordinary poets, however, this practice inhibited literary creativity and productivity (1901b, 238). See also Figures 1.6, 1.7, 1.10, and 1.11 and my discussion in Chapter 1 for Dwivedi’s subsequent caricatures of these conventions between 1902 and 1903. Dwivedi holds a selective, if not naïve view of shringār and its associated convention of nāyikā-bhed in Sanskrit literature. In Dwivedi (1901c, 196), he argues that Vatsyayan’s Kāmasūtra contains the sāmānya bhed of heroines or ‘regular classification’ rather than the flamboyance or obscenity of nāyikā-bhed in contemporary Hindi poetry. However, just one year later, in 1902, he remarks on the obscenity present in some cantos of Kalidas’s Kumārasambhav (Ritter 2011, 174). This suggests that his anti-shringār stance is evolving to include even classical subjects once spared from critique. Dwivedi (1933, 625) indicates that Tarunopdesh was about 200 pages of prose, while Sohāgrāt, more rasīlī than the first, was in verse form. Per his recollection in 1933, the texts were written thirty to forty years previously, placing their composition sometime between 1893 and 1903 (625); he likely wrote them before he began to vocalize his strong disapproval of such subjects in modern sāhitya (1901b, 1901c). Dwivedi himself expressed regret in connection with these texts. His penitent recollection (1933, 624–5) adds layers of complexity to our understanding of his literary persona: as someone who had personally experienced the financial dreams and struggles of modern authorship, was vulnerable to peer pressure, and willing to experiment with literary content to target popular interests and make a profit. Thus, he recollects that he had not at that time earned any money as compiler, writer, critic, and poet, but these positions had given his pride a boost. His friends, thinking this was insufficient, encouraged him to write a book with profit clearly in mind (1933, 624–5). Not satisfied with the content of Tarunopdesh, his friends gave him additional advice for his next book: ‘It should be such a book that even hearing its name and reading an advertisement will cause purchasing readers to rush towards it, as swarms upon swarms of flies not on jaggery but on a gushing wound or on filth’ (625). With Sohāgrāt, he admits exceeding their expectations and earning their praise.

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18. Dwivedi recommends Meghnād-vadh (1861) by Datta and Yashvantrāo mahākāvya (1888) by Khare as models for Hindi poets to emulate in their poetry. 19. Even before Dwivedi took special interest, nature was a prominent theme in Sarasvatī: indeed most of the poems published in the journal in 1900 were in Braj Bhasha and had to do with prakriti (Ali 1996, 34). There were also a few nature poems in Khari Boli, including the first Khari Boli poem to be published in Sarasvatī in May 1900, ‘Malayānil’ by Kishorilal Goswami, which was a description of the southern Malay wind. 20. Ritter’s monograph, Kāma’s Flowers (2011) is a detailed study of the critical significance of nature in Dwivedi-era Hindi poetry. See especially her discussion of Dwivedi’s edicts for poetry in this regard (1911, 92–105). See also Schomer (1998, 10–11) on the differences between Bhakti- and Rīti-Era descriptions of nature and Dwivedi-era descriptions. 21. Dwivedi (1907b, 277) writes that his essay ‘Kavi aur kavitā’ is based on ‘Muqaddamā’, a preface to Hali’s Dīwān, published in 1893. Several of the ideas that Hali expresses in his preface also appear in Dwivedi’s earlier essay ‘Kavi-kartavya’ (1901b). For example, like Hali, Dwivedi emphasized the importance of simplicity, idiomatic nuance, and word choice (1901b, 234–6). See Steele (1981) for a discussion and summary of Hali’s ‘Muqaddamā’ as well as Dwivedi’s summary (1907b, 283–4). Hali, in turn, has drawn inspiration from the English poet John Milton (1608–1674), among others, for his theorization of Urdu poetry (Steele 1981, 17; 30–1), though Steele argues that Hali’s borrowings are of peripheral rather than primary relevance to the significance of Hali’s ‘Muqaddamā’ (16). ‘Muqaddamā’, Steele argues, is ‘new and iconoclastic’ for its revolutionary questioning of Urdu poetic tradition (17). Ritter (2011, 33–63) also addresses at length the question of influence, via indigenous and Western frameworks, on Nature as a category of analysis in modern Hindi. She argues that Hindi poets may have been influenced by models and sources in English, Urdu, Sanskrit, Bengali, and other Indian languages, but they ‘carved out a niche of “Hindi-ness” for themselves’ that involved a complex vision of ‘literary Nature’ (2011, 62). 22. Sādagī was the simplicity of both thought and ideas. To achieve this, poetry was to be written in bolchāl kī bhāshā—which he further stipulated had to be understood by elite and commoners alike—which appropriately employed idiomatic speech and which retained words of foreign origin that were already in common use (1907b, 283–4). Asliyat or reality dictated that the new poetry had to be based in human emotions and impulses (mānavī manovikār) and the laws of nature

Image-Inspired Poetry and the Art of Compromise

23. 24.






(prākritik nīyam); it was virtually synonymous with the newly emphasized svābhaviktā (284). In his explanation of asliyat, Dwivedi uses the term svābhaviktā or a variation of it (for example, svābhāvik) no less than seven times in a single paragraph (1907b, 284). And finally, josh, which also had to be svābhāvik, was a sincerity of emotion stemming from inspiration or compulsion; it could be subtle in its articulation but powerful in its impact (285). Of the three qualities, asliyat was the most important consideration for the contemporary poet (285). See Chapter 7 in Ritter (2011, 161–94) on the ‘problem’ of shringār, especially in Dwivedi-era poetry, and its rebirth vis-à-vis a new, poetic ‘nature’ (163). Ritter (2011, 163) has argued that the modern favour of poetry in Khari Boli had as much to do with a distancing from Braj Bhasha’s association with the erotic, as it had to do with the standardization of a literary language. Established poets who defied Dwivedi’s call for a shift to Khari Boli included Radhakrishna Das and Shridhar Pathak (1859–1928); emerging poets included Ramchandra Shukla and Maithilisharan Gupta. In the early decades of Dwivedi’s tenure, some Braj Bhasha poems were accepted for publication in Sarasvatī while others were either rejected or completely rewritten in his preferred Khari Boli. For example, Dwivedi accepted Ramchandra Shukla’s Braj Bhasha poem ‘Vasant’ (spring) for publication in the journal in March 1904, but he did not accept Maithilisharan Gupta’s poem ‘Hemant’ (winter) in its original Braj Bhasha form. Only after considerable revision, including a switch to Khari Boli, did Dwivedi publish Gupta’s ‘Hemant’ in Sarasvatī in January 1905. See Sarma (1981, 19). See the discussion of this image (Figure 1.10) and Gupta’s critique of another ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon (Figure 1.17) in Chapter 1. See Gupta’s ‘Hindī mein ālochanā’ series (in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 383–4), in which he indicates with quotation marks his original comments, first published in Bhāratmitra on 31 January 1903. Das (1901b, 186–7) made several of the same recommendations for modern Hindi poetry as Dwivedi. Namely, Das supported the use of a single language, Khari Boli, for modern poetry and prose, and a move away from nāyikā-bhed and samasyāpūrti for ‘true progress’ (187). Indeed he even suggested that Dwivedi was among the pratibhāshālī kavigan (brilliant poets) who ought to model poetry in Khari Boli for Hindi readers and poets (187). Between October 1904 and July 1907, a series of heated public exchanges indicated a growing rift between Das, as an official at the

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Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha, and Dwivedi, as editor of Sarasvatī, regarding the degree of oversight the Sabha had over the journal’s more critical articles, especially those which aimed their criticism at the Sabha. The December 1904 issue of Sarasvatī (vol. 5, no. 12), for example, contains a letter from Das printed alongside Dwivedi’s response, exhibiting these tensions. It was during this period that the Sabha’s official statement of support ceased to appear on the front cover of Sarasvatī, as of January 1905, and Dwivedi relinquished his Sabha membership, as of February 1907. Das’s July 1906 remarks on Sarasvatī’s ‘bad poetry’ seem, at least in part, to be a product of this escalating tension. Though first established a year after Sarasvatī, Prabāsī was in many ways a model and resource for Sarasvatī, especially from 1901 through 1907 when Indian Press (Allahabad, United Provinces), under the proprietorship of the Bengali emigrant Chintamani Ghosh (1854–1928), published both journals. Prabāsī was quite popular among native Bengali speakers living in the Hindi heartland, several of whom also read and contributed to Sarasvatī. For further information about the Bengali illustrated monthly journal Prabāsī, see Mitra 2013, 204–9. See Parvatinandan, ‘Rājā Ravi Varmmā’ (1902, 9), and Dwivedi, ‘Vividh vishay’ (editorial remarks), in Sarasvatī (1903d, 4) for references to images as uphār or a gift to the journal’s readers. Editorial remarks in Sarasvatī often included a brief description of the subject matter of a published image and/or praise of the artist’s skills while additional notes and comments on the images from the editor or readers were included under the headings ‘Chitra-darshan’ (an introduction to/viewing of the images) and ‘Chitra chintavan’ (thoughts on the images). See Chapter 1 for a discussion of ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ (literary news), the satirical literary cartoons published in Sarasvatī between 1902 and 1903. The most frequently appearing genre of artwork-inspired literature in Sarasvatī was poetry. The editor variously referred to this genre as sachitra kavitā (illustrated poetry) or as a chitra (image) accompanied by a tadvarnātmak kavitā (poetry describing it). See Dwivedi, introduction to Kavitā-kalāp nāmak sachitra kavitāon kā sangrah (1921[1909], 1) and Dwivedi (1908e, 186). Hindī pradīp (est. 1877), a Hindi journal that was both predecessor and competitor to Sarasvatī, cost three rupees and six annas per year in January–February 1898, but was not known for its production value or for its visual appeal. By comparison, Sarasvatī’s subscription rate was slightly less at three rupees, including postage. ‘Jantuon kī shristhi’ and ‘Fotogrāfī’ were contributions made by Shyamsundar Das; ‘Kāshmīr yātrā’ was written by Kartikprasad Khatri.

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33. See Guha-Thakurta for a discussion of Varma’s ‘Western Academic’ style (1992, 104–16) and the question of its ‘Indian-ness’ (108–11). GuhaThakurta suggests that his work was Indian in theme and content, but ‘lacked any studied self-consciousness of being “Indian”’ (111). For additional details on Varma and his work, see Mitter 1994, 179–218 and Asher 2003, 117–20. 34. In December 1907, Dwivedi explains to readers the expensive process of preparing ‘blocks’ for images. He notes that this year, the journal’s subscribers were provided with even more images than in previous years, a few of which were even in four colours (Dwivedi 1907a, 473–5). 35. Through 1907, Prabāsī was published in Allahabad, after which Chattopadhyay moved the journal’s operations to Calcutta. This allowed him to work more closely with the Bengal-based Raychaudhuri (Mitter 1994, 123). 36. Sarasvatī’s readers were duly informed of Chattopadhyay’s feat in January 1902. See Parvatinandan, ‘Rājā Ravi Varmmā’ (1902, 9). Additionally, one can see the signature mark of U. Ray’s printing firm on most of the Ravi Varma prints published in Sarasvatī. 37. Singh translated the first section of Datta’s Vīrānganā for Sarasvatī and the poem was published under the title Dushyant ke prati Shakuntalā kā prempatra (Shakuntala’s love letter to Dushyant) in December 1901; though the contribution was clearly marked as a translation, Datta was not credited as the author of the original. Vīrānganā (1862) by Datta is a poem in blank verse that comprises eleven heroic epistles from notable Purānik women to their lovers and lords. See Mukherjee (1993, 74–5). 38. Sitā kī parīkshā (Sita’s test) was published in February 1902 with a verse caption in the vasantatilaka metre by Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi and Gangāvataran (the manifestation of Ganga) was published in a combined May–June issue in 1902 accompanied by a poem by Kishorilal Goswami in the rolā metre. The two published without any accompanying verses were Shakuntalā janma (the birth of Shakuntala) in July 1902 and Mohinī in September 1902. 39. Advertisements for the publication appear in Sarasvatī, February 1903 and July 1909. 40. Note that this prefigured the formal beginning of the first Swadeshi movement following the 1905 partition of Bengal. 41. See also Guha-Thakurta (1992, 185–225) for further discussion of the debates over Ravi Varma’s and Abanindranath Tagore’s polarizing styles in the context of an emergent Indian nationalism. 42. See the discussion of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (Figures 1.1 and 1.2) in Chapter 1.

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43. Dwivedi wrote a four-line verse caption for Ravi Varma’s Sītā kī parīkshā using a non-standard, pre-modern form of Hindi. See my discussion of ‘Prāchīn kavitā’ and ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’ (Figures 1.6 and 1.7) in Chapter 1. 44. See the discussion of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ (Figure 1.17) in Chapter 1 for an example of the praise and censure his cartoons received. Notably, ‘Sahitya-sabha’ produced one of the first image-inspired Khari Boli poems. Shivchandra Baldev Bharatiya’s poem of the same title showcased some examples of the three different Sanskrit metres that could be used for Khari Boli compositions: shārdūlavikrīdita, vasantatilaka, and shālinī. See Chapter 1 for an explanation of these metres. 45. Whether this is coincidental or a direct response to increased criticisms of his project requires further study. It does, however, coincide with the rift that occurred between Dwivedi and the leadership of the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha that led to the withdrawal of the Sabha’s official endorsement of Sarasvatī in 1905. 46. For additional discussion of these pairings, see also Ramvilas Sharma (1977, 386) and Mushtaq Ali (2002, 38–41) in Hindi; and Valerie Ritter (2011, 180–3) in English. 47. Dwivedi commissioned one additional image-poem in Sarasvatī that year (1906), Keral kī Tara by Nathuram Shankar Sharma. 48. Notably, when it came time to publish his Kavitā-kalāp (1921 [1909]), Dwivedi chose to include Raideviprasad’s image-poem on Indirā, instead of his own 1907 poem. His reason was perhaps Raideviprasad’s use of drutavilambit, one of Dwivedi’s recommended Sanskrit metres for new Khari Boli poetry. See Ritter (2011, 181–2) for a discussion of both image-poems on Indirā. 49. Ritter (2011, 180–3) has also looked at these two poems. Her discussion centres on the modern ‘natural’ female subject and a reframing of the shringār rasa in Dwivedi-era poetry. 50. A chaupāī comprises four charan (feet) with an end-rhyme scheme of AABB; each charan has sixteen mātrās (metrical instants) arranged in a fixed pattern of 6+4+4+2 and is followed by a pause. 51. In Sarasvatī, February 1909, Raideviprasad published an image-poem, ‘Rambhā–Shuk samvād’ based on this painting. 52. Govardhanram Tripathi (1855–1907) wrote his Gujarati novel in four parts between 1887 and 1901. Varma’s portrait is dated 1896, when only the first two volumes had been published. Dwivedi published his image-poem in 1905, when the entire novel was complete. 53. Drawing on the argument of Sudipta Kaviraj (2006), Ritter suggests a link between a shringār ‘acceptable’ to anti-shringār activists such as

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54. 55.





Dwivedi, and the Bengali author Tagore’s shift away from an eroticized, physical beauty towards an ordinary, internal beauty. She maintains, however, that Dwivedi’s female subjects still retain an idealized physical beauty (Ritter 2011, 180–1). See Chapter 4 for a discussion of Tagore’s influence on the modern Hindi short story. For additional discussion of these pairings, see also Sharma (1977, 386); Ali (2002, 38–41); and Ritter (2011, 180–3). Dwivedi actually began his literary career in the last decades of the nineteenth century as a poet, publishing original and translated verse in Sanskrit, Braj Bhasha, and Khari Boli in various Sanskrit and vernacular papers and journals, and received some recognition for it from his peers, including Das (1901b, 187) and the Mishra brothers, Shyambihari and Shukdevbihari (1901, 142). For a brief period, after he became editor of Sarasvatī, he continued to identify himself as a poet and published original poems in the journal, subjecting himself to great criticism from his peers. Thus, in his notes to the artist for ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’ (Chapter 1, Figure 1.13), Dwivedi identified himself as the poet to be depicted. However, by the end of the second decade of the twentieth century, Dwivedi acknowledged that poetry had proven a difficult task for him. The poetry of his early days, he wrote, was only tukbandī kā āyās (laboured versification), a product of youthful agyatā aur avivek or naïvité and folly. Quoted in Singh (1951, 91). Indeed most of Dwivedi’s image-poems follow the metrical pattern and rhyme scheme of the Hindi chaupāī. See earlier note. There are some instances in which he bends the rules of metrical weight (that is, light and heavy syllables), especially in the case of long and short vowels. I have referenced most of the poems as they appeared in the journal rather than in his 1909 anthology, Kavitā-kalāp. Dwivedi (1921 [1909]) made minor revisions to these and other poems in the anthology; in the case of ‘Indirā’, Dwivedi’s image-poem of April 1907, he had Raideviprasad write a new poem for the anthology using the drutavilambit metre. See earlier note. He mitigates even his stance on language to some extent as his poetry is interspersed with some Braj Bhasha flavour (that is, the subjunctive is written as ‘ho jāve’ in ‘Rambhā’ [stanza 8]) and the poetry of Raideviprasad, whom Dwivedi engages to do several of the image-poem pairings, is in a Khari Boli heavily laced with Braj Bhasha constructions. Thus, ‘Mahāshwetā’ (September 1905) tells the story of the heroine of Bana’s Sanskrit novel Kādambarī; ‘Ūshā-svapna’ (January 1906) and ‘Gaurī’ (March 1906) relate the pauranik love stories of Usha and Aniruddha, and Shiv and Parvati respectively; and ‘Gangā–Bhīshma’

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(May 1906) provides insight into the birth of Bhishma from the perspective of his mother, Ganga. ‘Priyamvadā’ (December 1906) and ‘Indirā’ (April 1907) are studies of progressive Parsi and Marathi women respectively. While in 1907 Gupta only wrote two of the six image-inspired poems that appeared in the journal, between 1908 and 1909, he authored at least twenty of the twenty-four image-inspired poems published in this two-year period. The total number of poems (including image-inspired poems as well as stand-alone poems) published in 1907 was forty-five, in 1908 thirty-six, and in 1909 thirty-nine (Sarma 1981, 19). These figures, along with the publication in 1909 of an anthology of the image-poem pairings, Kavitā-kalāp, indicate the increasing popularity of Dwivedi’s inter-textual exercise. For reference, the journal was edited by Deviprasad Shukla in 1910, while Dwivedi took a year’s leave from his position. Shukla continued to follow Dwivedi’s lead. Over the course of this year, Shukla accepted a total of thirty poems for publication in the journal, nine of which were accompanied and/or inspired by an image. Maithilisharan Gupta wrote eight of the nine image-inspired poems featured by Shukla that year. K. D. Sarma cites as an example Gupta’s poem of twenty-three verses, ‘Uttarā se Abhimanyu kī vidā’, published in January 1908. This was Gupta’s first poem written in the harigītikā metre and Sarma argues that it contained the seeds of the epic poem Jaydrathvadh (1981, 20). ‘Uttarā se Abhimanyu kī vidā’ was paired with a painting of the same title by a Bengali artist, Vamapad Bandhopadhyay (See Figure 3.5). The following year, in September 1909, Gupta published a fifty-verse image-inspired poem in Sarasvatī, also in the harigītikā metre and similarly themed, with the title ‘Uttarā kā uttāp’. I have not been able to locate a copy of the image that accompanied it, but its presence is noted in the annual table of contents for the journal in 1909. Notably, both poems close with a verse promising further development of this narrative (Gupta 1908, 46; 1909, 409). This is how Dwivedi referred to these artists in Hindi. Vamapad Bandhopadhyay also went by Bamapada Banerjee, or B. P. Banerjee. M. V. Dhurandhar’s full name was Mahadev Vishvanath Dhurandhar. See previous note on Gupta’s epic poetry as inspired by Bandhopadhyay’s image of Uttara and Abhimanyu. Gupta’s poems in Kavitā-kalāp were titled ‘Draupadī-dukūl’ and ‘Rāmchandrajī kā Gangāvataran’. Gupta’s ‘Draupadī-dukūl’ was first featured in Sarasvatī (February 1909) with artwork of the same title by Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury, but substituted in Kavitā-kalāp with Dhurandhar’s version of the scene.

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63. The artist signed his work as Braja Chaudhury and the images printed in Sarasvatī are dated beginning in 1908, indicating they are recent works, perhaps commissioned by the journal’s leadership as part of a standing agreement. I have found very little further information on Chaudhury. 64. I have been unable to locate a copy of ‘Uttarā kā uttāp’ in order to identify its artist. 65. Other artists not previously featured in Sarasvatī included T. K. Mitra and B. K. Mitra. 66. Shukla made these comments in what is likely the earliest published version of his now canonical essay, ‘Kavitā kyā hai?’ He revised this essay continually (Pandey 2012, 212), and some of what he says in this version (1909) has been left out of later versions. 67. See Karine Schomer (1998) for a discussion of the Chhayavadi poets’ rejection of some of Dwivedi’s poetic dictates.


Rise of the Modern Hindi Short Story

Dwivedi’s depiction of a Hindi literary congress (‘Sāhitya-sabhā’) in his 1903 ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon (Chapter 1, Figure 1.17) lacked any direct mention of the state of the short story. It was a genre so new that, unlike itihās (history), jīvancharit (biography), and kosh (dictionary/reference), whose chairs were reserved but empty, the short story had no seat at all within the critical institutional literary space Dwivedi had imagined. Neither did Dwivedi discuss his aspirations for the genre in his programmatic essays (Chapter 2), other than perhaps to subsume it within the broader narrative category of the novel. Whereas Dwivedi’s agenda for poetry centred on the acceptance of Khari Boli as a poetic medium, with its other aspects subject to compromise, his preferred language was already an accepted medium for Hindi prose. Dwivedi had then no great need for the consensus-building strategies he had employed for poetry. His task, however, remained a complex one: shaping anew, rather than re-shaping, an established genre, which nevertheless drew on a number of prior and contemporary influences, both domestic and international. Dwivedi developed the genre in Hindi over the course of nearly two decades via his editorial practices rather than directives: from his selection of authors and stories to feature to the revision or excision of their content. His editorial focus centred on standardizing The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0005

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the language in literary prose and on guiding the genre’s content in accordance with his literary-national ideals. A New Genre for Hindi: The Modern Short Story The short story was itself a relatively recent genre when Dwivedi first took over as editor of Sarasvatī. It first emerged as a distinct literary form in Europe and America in the nineteenth century and in Hindi in the early twentieth century.1 Its emergence coincided with the rise of a new middle-class sphere of public activity in the nineteenth century (Habermas 1989) and the growth and development of new mechanisms for public dialogue and debate, including magazines and periodicals (Boyd 2006, 5–6). It was indeed within this sphere and in these media that the modern Hindi short story developed and gained prominence. Like its counterparts in Europe and America, it derived from multiple literary traditions but, as was the case with modern Hindi sāhitya in general, with the additional complexities of developing in a colonial context. It had roots in the classical repertoire of Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic, well-established pre-modern Hindi narrative traditions, as well as in other popular oral and print traditions of later periods (Dalmia 1997, 291–300).2 It also drew inspiration from newer Western narrative genres including the short story and the novel.3 Nineteenth-century Hindi prose fiction, which laid the groundwork for the rise of the modern short story in the twentieth century, involved the intertwining of multiple narrative paradigms. The most dominant influences came from classical Sanskrit prose and the modern English novel. In the twentieth century, short fictional prose in Hindi steadily gained popularity, but as a genre the short story maintained the sense of disorientation that resulted from the interplay of these vastly different paradigms (Dalmia 1997, 292).4 There was, in addition, a significant overlap in Hindi of modern genres of prose fiction derived from Western literary traditions, namely the short story and the novel. This, too, contributed to the initial ambiguity of the form.5 The two most prominent distinguishing features of the modern short story at the turn of the century in Western literary arenas were its compactness of form and unity of effect.6 Though not characteristic in the short stories of the Dwivedi

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era, these features would in subsequent eras help differentiate the short story from the novel in Hindi (Das 1991, 307).7 Plot, rather than narrative style or structure, was the single-most important concern of early Hindi short story writers. Poetry of the Dwivedi era told stories of literary, historical, and mythological figures including narratives of heroes and heroines from classical Sanskrit literature. Popular turn-of-the-century Hindi novelists such as Devakinandan Khatri (1861–1922), Kishorilal Goswami (1865– 1932), and Gopalram Gahamari (1866–1946) crafted storylines in which characters and subjects were embroiled in mystery, magic, spying, and intrigue. By contrast, the modern Hindi short story would increasingly favour plots with more mundane topics.8 Pioneers of the short story who published in Sarasvatī, from Jvaladatta Sharma (1888–1958) and Vishvambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’ (1891–1942) to Premchand (1880–1936), focused their narratives on the concerns of everyday contemporary life in colonial India. Early Influences and Experiments There has been much debate among scholars over which Hindi story was the first to display features of the modern short story, especially in accordance with Western literary traditions, and which Hindi stories deserve to be recognized as the first of the genre.9 The discussion has centred on chronology, originality, and the question of modernity (Tiwari 2000, 33). Regardless of which came first, modern Hindi short stories first gained prominence and developed significantly as a genre in Sarasvatī in the early twentieth century. Short prose fiction began to make its appearance in the first three years of Sarasvatī’s publication (1900–2). There were no clear marks of distinction to identify the short story from other fictional narrative forms. As such, fictional narratives were classified inconsistently: some were identified in their subtitles, introductions, or footnotes as ākhyāyikā, kathā, galpa, or kahānī while others were identified as upanyās.10 Much of the prose fiction published in these initial years, however, remained unclassified. In addition, many of the first short fictional narratives published within this period were translations or adaptations of plays, novels, and short stories from other languages into the still experimental Hindi prose narrative format.11

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In particular, English (American and British), Sanskrit, and Bengali works played an important role in the development of the Hindi short story in Sarasvatī. In just the first few years of the journal’s publication, five of Shakespeare’s plays appeared as ākhyāyikās, or tales: Cymbeline, The Life of Timon of Athens, Pericles: Prince of Tyre, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale.12 While the structure of these plays was altered to suit the ākhyāyikā format—less dialogue, more descriptive prose—Shakespeare’s basic settings, characters, themes, and plots were maintained.13 Shakespeare’s individualization of characters as human beings ‘compounded of many humors, richly endowed with unsuspected qualities which are unmasked by the intervention of circumstance’ remained an influential presence in the translations and stood as an early example for the modern Hindi short story (Levin 1974, 23). Another of Shakespeare’s plays also figures prominently in the history of the modern Hindi short story. Kishorilal Goswami’s ‘Indumatī’ (Sarasvatī, June 1900), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, is counted by some to be among the first original short stories in Hindi.14 In it Indumati, a young girl raised in the jungle by only her father, falls in love with Chandrashekhar, heir to the throne of Ajaygarh. Only very basic plot details and thematic elements remain the same. ‘Indumatī’, like The Tempest, is a romance. Likewise, it depicts the love between a man of noble birth and a motherless girl raised by her father, who is in exile from society for twelve years; it is a story in which the girl’s father pretends to oppose the young couple’s love only to test its strength; and, it is set against a backdrop of conspiracy, vengeance, and a battle for royal power.15 ‘Indumatī’, however, belongs to a different, if yet undeveloped, genre: apart from it being a much shorter composition than Shakespeare’s play, it was clearly meant for reading rather than performance. This is further indicated by the narrator’s direct address of an audience of readers or pāthak (Goswami 1900a, 182). As far as other theatrical features are concerned, songs and displays of magical power, both of which figure largely in Shakespeare’s play, have no place in ‘Indumatī’. Goswami’s narrative also strays from its dramatic predecessor in other ways: its narrative is more focused and though some dialogue is present, it is far outweighed by descriptive prose.

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All major components of the story, including the development of plot, character, and theme are conveyed through the intervention of a third-person omniscient narrator. This narrator provides the reader with insight into the internal psyche of the characters—the young lovers’ private thoughts on seeing each other for the first time, their individual reactions to Indumati’s father’s treatment of Chandrashekhar, and Indumati’s father’s own secret acceptance of his daughter’s choice of husband. Goswami’s story represents an initial attempt to distinguish the short story from other fictional genres such as drama. It simultaneously represents another aspect of the genre’s evolution: its Indianization. Though its plot is heavily influenced by The Tempest, ‘Indumatī’ bears a new cultural stamp. It is an adaptation that maintains the centrality of an Indian experience. Two of the most significant changes that Goswami makes to Shakespeare’s text has to do with the story’s locale and historical context. Rather than a far-off island in the Mediterranean, ‘Indumatī’ is set in a region more familiar to Sarasvatī’s readers—in Vindhyachal, in a dense jungle.16 Second, it is not the Italian political landscape of an unspecified century but the struggles for power between Rajput kings and the Delhi Sultanate in northern India in the early sixteenth century that serve as the historical backdrop for the story.17 The shift in and further specification of locale and historical backdrop indicate the story’s cultural adaptation for a very specific readership, one that overlaps with Sarasvatī’s readership. Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Sultanate rulers in north India, an Afghan, and a Muslim, is the mutual enemy of Chandrashekhar and Indumati’s father. Even the mention of Lodi’s name in the narrative provokes such epithets as kāfir (infidel) and yāvan (barbarian).18 Meanwhile, Chandrashekhar is a Rajput king who the reader learns has killed Ibrahim Lodi to avenge his own father’s death. Though Chandrashekhar is a fictional addition to the events at the Battle of Panipat, the historical subtext of Rajput insurgency against a yāvan ruler has mass appeal for Hindu readerships in the early twentieth century.19 However, even this story of sixteenth-century Rajput valour is adapted for the modern reform-minded Hindu reader. Chandrashekhar, the story suggests, goes against the norms set by other Rajput kings by pledging to Indumati that he will marry only

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once so that she will not ever have to suffer the injustice of having a co-wife (Goswami 1900a, 183). ‘Indumatī’, then, maintains the centrality of an Indian cultural experience that is both Hindu-oriented and modern in its revision and glorification of history. It is, in fact, a perspective that abounds in the journal and dominates the emerging nationalist consciousness of the dominant Hindi public sphere at this time. Whether or not it deserves the distinction of being the first modern Hindi short story, the very fact of its adaptation from play to shorter descriptive narrative and its cultural translation for such a specific Indian readership makes ‘Indumatī’ a historically important literary text, both as an attempt to develop a new genre for Hindi and in its record of some of the preoccupations and concerns involved in the articulation of a modern Indian identity within this genre. There were, in addition to Shakespeare’s plays, other important influences from Western narrative genres. These included more recent works of European and American authors that were translated, adapted from other genres to fit into the short story format, or, like ‘Indumatī’, culturally adapted for a Hindi reading public. Thus, Lala Parvatinandan adapted the form and content of English author H. Rider Haggard’s adventure novel She (1887) into a short story titled ‘Jīvanāgni’ (fire of life, 1901a); Raja Prithvipal Singh translated American author Washington Irving’s story ‘The Adventure of a German Student’ from Tales of a Traveller (1824) into a story titled ‘Ek alaukik ghatnā’ (an extraordinary incident, 1904); Satyadev Parivrajak adapted ‘La Parure’ (the necklace, 1884) by French author Guy de Maupassant into a Hindi story titled ‘Mālā’ (the necklace, 1911); and Padumlal Punnalal Bakhshi adapted Sister Beatrice (1901), a play by the Belgian playwright Maurice Maeterlinck, into a short story titled ‘Annapūrnā ke mandir mein’ (in the temple of Annapurna, 1916).20 Several of these are even translations of translations, as they would likely have been accessible to Hindi authors only via English-language editions. Thus, ‘Merī Champā’ is an adapted translation by Lala Parvatinandan (1905) of Thomas Carlyle’s English story ‘Dumb Love’, which is a translation of a German folktale by Johann Karl August Musæus.21 A number of the earliest stories published in Sarasvatī were uncited translations, adaptations, and works that, nevertheless, inspired the

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development of the new genre in Hindi.22 Notable among these unacknowledged influences were American and European authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne, whose works inspired some of the first attempts at science fiction in Hindi. In 1900, Keshav Prasad Singh published ‘Chandralok kī yātrā’, the story of Hanspal and his fantastic journey to the moon in a hot air balloon. This was an adaptation of Poe’s story ‘The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall’.23 Gopaldas, another Hindi writer, also made an attempt at science fiction, this time dealing with submarine adventures. His 1902 story ‘Motiyon kī gufā’, though adapted for an Indian readership, bears remarkable resemblance to Jules Verne’s classic novel of science fiction Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870).24 Fictional narratives from Western literary genres were not the only sources of inspiration for the modern Hindi short story in Sarasvatī. A look at just the first two years of Sarasvatī’s publication reveals that while narratives in the first year were indeed dominated by translations or adaptations of the works of Shakespeare, narratives in the second year drew overwhelmingly from another set of influences—local stories of Rajput valour as well as classical Sanskrit drama and modern Bengali fictional narratives. Thus, 1901 began with the publication of a semi-historical fictional narrative based not on a Shakespearean plot like ‘Indumatī’, but on the life of a popular figure from Indian history, ‘Mahārānī Sūjābāī’ (1901). The kathā, or story, identified as such by the author in its opening lines, alternates between narration and dialogue, and celebrates Sujabai’s legendary status as a vīr (heroic) Rajput mother, wife, and beauty.25 In addition, Jagannath Prasad Tripathi translated and adapted Shriharsh’s Sanskrit play ‘Ratnāvalī’ into a Hindi ākhyāyikā of the same title (1901); Lala Parvatinandan translated a Bengali kahānī by Tagore into a Hindi story titled ‘Mukti kā upāya’ (how to be saved, 1901b); and Kartikprasad Khatri translated and adapted a Bengali upanyās by Nagendranath Gupta (1861–1949) into a Hindi story titled ‘Roshan Ārā’.26 Between 1900 and 1920, Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) made the most significant and sustained impact by a single Indian author on the modern Hindi short story.27 Other Bengali authors in translation—including Nagendranath Gupta, Charu Chandra Bandhopadhyay (1877–1938), Sudhindranath Thakur (1869–1929), Dvijendranath Thakur (1840–1926),

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Akshay Kumar Datta (1820–1886), and Jaladhar Sen (1860–1939), among others—were also a significant presence in the first two decades of Sarasvatī’s publication and attest to the prominent influence of modern Bengali fictional narratives on the formation of the new short story genre in Hindi. No Bengali author, however, had an equivalent or greater presence in this period than Tagore. Tagore was the first Bengali writer to treat the short story as ‘a serious art form’ (Radice 1994b, 27). Though he published an occasional short story in the 1870s, it was not until the 1890s that the Bengali short story emerged as a viable genre (Das 1991, 304). The credit for this could in large part be attributed to Tagore’s publication of short stories in the Bengali journals Hitābadī and Sādhanā, beginning in 1891.28 It took no longer than a decade for his stories to be introduced via translation to the Hindi reading public. Between 1900 and 1920, at least thirteen of Tagore’s short stories, some from this early period and some from after the turn of the century, were published as translations in Sarasvatī.29 Tagore was also among the first Bengali writers ‘to write about real, contemporary life rather than romanticized history or myth’ (Radice 1994b, 27).30 By contrast, many of the earliest stories and translations in Sarasvatī, including those that drew inspiration from the works of authors such as Shakespeare, Shriharsh, Poe and Verne, focused on the lives of extraordinary people—kings, queens, heroes, and adventurers. Tagore’s stories published in Sarasvatī over a period of two decades consistently foregrounded what would become one of the defining characteristics of the genre in Hindi—the lives and emotions of ‘ordinary’ people. Sisir Kumar Das (1991) writes: For the first time in modern Indian literature, the life of ordinary men and women received such sympathetic understanding and was depicted with such love and feeling. Taken as a whole, his short stories present a new world, a world of beauty and charm, fragments of human life, each unique in itself. (306–7)

A focus on the ordinary meant a shift away from stories about the exploits and encounters of gods, kings, and heroes—extraordinary individuals with extraordinary powers doing extraordinary things. It did not, however, mean that the sole subjects of Tagore’s stories were common folk who made up the majority of India’s population

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(for example, villagers and peasants). ‘Ordinary’ in the context of the modern Indian short story was not an attribute limited to a particular class or profession, though neither was it all-inclusive.31 This was particularly true for Tagore, who focused largely on the everyday preoccupations and frustrations of both the landed gentry (zamīndārs) and the newly educated middle-class elite (for example, doctors, lawyers, writers, and government servants) in rural and urban environments. In Tagore’s stories, ‘ordinary’ manifested vis-à-vis the exploration of the human experience in everyday situations and personal relationships—among husbands, wives, parents, children, extended family, friends, and neighbours in contemporary Bengal.32 How these relationships functioned in familiar yet changing environments formulated the basis of conflict in many of his stories. Change in these stories was often the result of modernization: increased access to education, for example, the rise of public associations, and the growth of print technology. These changes in turn lead to altered social aspirations for the newly educated middle classes: some protagonists, as in ‘Rājtīkā’ and ‘Prāyashchit’ seek respectability by striving to be as English as possible. In the former story, this leads to a political difference of opinion between husband and wife that must be resolved and in the latter it leads to the rejection of an Indian wife in favour of a British memsāhib. Other men, such as the protagonists in ‘Sampādak’ and ‘Ek rātri’, get so caught up in their new public lives as writers and servants of the nation respectively that they neglect their personal relationships. The growth of a new reading public—itself featured in many short stories—one that included both men and women, put new burdens on familial relationships, but it also helped form new relationships that were not previously possible. Thus in ‘Mukti kā upāya’, the protagonist’s wife has new expectations from her marital relationship based on the novels she has read; while in ‘Padosan’ a man’s relationship with a young widow is facilitated by the publication of love poems in a magazine that she also reads. Many of Tagore’s stories in Sarasvatī explored personal relationships as they struggled to maintain a balance between ideas and forces in mutual opposition. Some of these dichotomies emerged in response to technological advances and a changing social and political climate, and included oppositions between home and the

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world, village and city, tradition and modernity, Indian and foreign, and so forth.33 As these opposing tensions were not mutually exclusive, several of them were expressed at once within the same story, thereby informing relationships in multiple ways. Thus, both the home/world and Indian/foreign dichotomies are present in the story ‘Rājtīkā’. The protagonist Ladli Prasad’s social ambitions, which included the desire for an English title (‘Rāy Bahādur’) and pride in his English connections, both of which might earn him recognition in the world outside his home, were in direct conflict with his wife and her family’s pro-Indian political stance; consequently, Ladli Prasad’s public ambitions became a source of great conflict in his personal life. Tagore’s fiction in translation facilitated the development of the modern Hindi short story in two very important ways. The late nineteenth century, when many of Tagore’s stories were written, was a time of great social, political, and technological change in India, amid which a new national consciousness gained ground. Burgeoning public spheres facilitated the exchange of ideas through newspapers, magazines, and other publications as well as through public associations and networks. This period also saw the expansion of India’s agricultural and industrial bases; and the expansion of the Indian Railways facilitated British control over Indian commerce while also increasing Indian mobility and opportunities for Indian-owned businesses (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 123–31). Tagore’s stories and novels, both of which were translated into Hindi short stories, explored the relationships of ordinary people and their interactions with these and other changes in their everyday lives. His works exemplified how the new genre in Hindi might convey information on articulating a modern national identity, while also negotiating changing social and political landscapes in a colonial context. Tagore’s stories functioned as Indian models for the genre in Hindi. Unlike Shakespeare’s plays, they did not require much cultural adaptation for Hindi readers. Though they may have presented situations and contexts particular to Bengali life and culture, they were not necessarily unfamiliar to a Hindi reading public that also included many Bengali transplants.34 Thus, though Tagore’s own influences were varied—including Indian, European, and American models— his stories did not require the same amount of cultural translation

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that stories directly translated from European or American authors might.35 Consequently, Tagore’s influence on the development of the modern Hindi short story was more actively cultivated.36 The Genre under Dwivedi’s Direction Translations and adaptations continued to be an influential presence through even the second decade of the twentieth century. The publication of new Hindi short stories began to show marked increase around 1903 after Dwivedi took over as editor of the journal. Dwivedi encouraged the genre’s growth and expansion as part of his project of literary and cultural modernization. Short story authors had then not only to experiment with and adapt a new genre, they also had to negotiate Dwivedi’s agenda for sāhitya from the initial phases of the genre’s development.37 One of Dwivedi’s first innovations as editor of Sarasvatī was a revision of the sūchīpatra, a year-end table of contents for the entire volume, to include regular space for short, fictional narratives in Hindi.38 Prior to Dwivedi’s editorship entries in the year-end table of contents, a tradition begun in 1902, were arranged alphabetically, by title.39 In 1903, Dwivedi began to group each contribution to the journal by genre or topic in an annual table of contents for the entire volume, published at the year’s end. His classifications included: adbhut vishay (remarkable topics), ākhyāyikā (stories), kavitā (poetry), jīvan charit (biographies), phutkar (miscellany), vigyān vishay (scientific topics), sāhitya vishay (literary topics), and sāhitya-samāchār (literary news). In later years he added ādhyātmik vishay (spiritual topics), aitihāsik vishay (historical topics), and desh, nagar, sthal, aur jātyādi varnan (descriptions of country, city, place, and communities).40 Dwivedi’s new classification system for the journal’s contents provided a fixed status for the ākhyāyikā or short fiction, and would thereby encourage new contributions in this category. Such focused attention indicated his growing estimation of short stories, which he had earlier in the year excluded entirely from his view of a critical sāhitya.41 Under Dwivedi’s direction, short fictional narratives began to take on a new, more definite form. That is, the ākhyāyikā, a category that could include anything from fictional dialogues and novellas to a vast

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array of tales and stories, gradually became what is now known as the modern Hindi kahānī or short story.42 However, Dwivedi provided very little direct information on what the genre should actually look like. His comments, mostly general, were in keeping with his overall literary agenda and focused primarily on the function rather than form of narrative fiction. Though his discussions of narrative fiction still included both novels and stories, it was only the latter form for which he made a regular place in Sarasvatī.43 Exemplary Naturalism When it came to narrative fiction, Dwivedi’s definition of sāhitya as useful knowledge for the nation translated into a preference for novels and short stories that were at once exemplary (ādarsh) and natural or true to life (svābhāvik).44 He provided further indication of his preference for this exemplary naturalism in his editorial comments and in his critical essays. Dwivedi indicated this preference for exemplary fiction in his editorial remarks of May 1908 (1908d, 189–95). In a brief comment titled ‘Ādarsh upanyās’ (ideal novel), Dwivedi reviewed the critical work of American author Francis Crawford on the function of the novel.45 क्राफ़र्ड सराहब अमेरिकरा के एक प्रससद्ध आख्रास्करा-लेखक हैं। आपकी िरा् है सक आख्रास्करा औि उपन्रास सलख कि लोग ख़ूब रुप्रा पैदरा कि सकते हैं। पुसतक अच्छी होने से बराज़राि में उसकी बहुत मराँग होतछी है। वहछी उपन्रास अच्रा समझनरा चरासहए सिससे पढ़नेवराले करा मनोिञ्जन हो औि पढ़ने में िछी लगे। सकसछी ख़रास मतलब से सलखे ग्े उपन्रासों औि आख्रानों को आप बुिरा समझते हैं। आप कहते हैं सक उपन्रासों अथवरा आख्रास्कराओं को एक प्रकराि करा सथ्ेटि—नराट्यशरालरा— समझनरा चरासहए। मरामूलछी नराट्यशरालरा में औि इनमें अनति ससफ़्फ़ इतनरा हछी है सक ्े पुसतक-रूप में पराकेट के भछीति िह सकते हैं। पि मरामूलछी नराट्यशरालराओं के सलए बड़छी बड़छी इमराितें बनराने औि उनके सिराने आसद करा झंझट उठरानरा पड़तरा है। श्ेष्ठ उपन्रास-लेखक वह है िो अपने परात्ों के द्रािरा मनुष्ों के आदश्श चरित करा सचत् पढ़नेवरालों की आँखों के सरामने लराकि खड़रा कि देतरा है। आि कल के लोगों करा िैसरा दूसित चरित बहुदरा होतरा है वैसरा हछी सचत्ण किके सदखलरानरा अच्छे उपन्रासकराि करा कत्शव् नहीं। Mr Crawford is a famous American storywriter. It is his opinion that people who write stories and novels can make a lot of money. If a book is good, there is a great demand for it in the market. A novel is only to be considered good if it entertains its readers and amuses

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them. He considers novels and stories written with a specific purpose to be bad. He says that novels or stories are to be considered a type of theatre. The only difference between these and ordinary theatre is that as books they can be placed in the pocket. But for ordinary theatre, one must take pains to build huge structures and decorate them. The best novel writer is one who by way of his characters constructs and places before his readers a portrait of ideal human conduct. It is not the job of a good novelist to show the morally corrupt conduct prevalent among people these days. (Dwivedi 1908d, 189)

Dwivedi’s summary of Crawford’s work is interesting on several counts. Though Crawford directed his comments only to the novel, Dwivedi extended them to include stories (ākhyāyikā and ākhyān) as well. This was a rare instance in which Dwivedi directly communicated information about what a short story should accomplish. Dwivedi’s review of Crawford’s ideas presents two conflicting ideas on narrative fiction—first, that it ought not to be written with a specific purpose (that is, instruction) and second, that it must present to readers a portrait of ideal human conduct. Narrative fiction, by this description, must not be didactic, but should be exemplary. While this is a contradiction that also exists within Crawford’s original text, it is further intensified in Dwivedi’s summation. Moreover, Dwivedi’s reasons for supporting ‘exemplary’ fiction are decidedly different. In Crawford’s text The Novel: What It Is (1893), this contradiction arose from a defence of the romance as against two different types of narrative fiction: the purpose-novel and the realist novel. Crawford defined the novel as an ‘intellectual, artistic luxury’ (12) and he considered it inherently frivolous (93). Unlike the romance, the purpose-novel did not fulfil the primary function of fiction, to entertain (see Merriman 2005, and Crawford 1893, 11–12). At the same time, Crawford’s defence of the romance as against realist fiction led him to argue for a depiction of the exemplary. While ‘the romantist tries to show men what they should be’, Crawford argued that the realist ‘proposes to show men what they are’ (Crawford 1893, 76). It is in the context of this distinction that he made an argument in favour of exemplary rather than realistic representation in fiction and also linked this argument back to his remarks on the novel as entertainment:

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For my part, I believe that more good can be done by showing men what they may be, ought to be, or can be, than by describing their greatest weaknesses with the highest art. We all know how bad we are; but it needs much encouragement to persuade some of us to believe that we can really be any better. To create genuine interest, and afford rest and legitimate amusement, without losing sight of that fact, and to do so in a more or less traditional way, seems to be the profession of the novelist who belongs to the romantic persuasion. (Crawford 1893, 77–8)

It is, then, in favour of creating ‘genuine interest’ and affording ‘rest and legitimate amusement’ that Crawford attempted to resolve the contradiction between his rejection of the novel as an instructional tool and his concurrent promotion of the exemplary. Dwivedi, in his summation of Crawford, made no mention of the romance novel, the purpose-novel, or the realist novel. His primary interest was in the promotion of exemplary fiction. Dwivedi’s prose clearly indicates that there were some aspects of Crawford’s arguments from which he distanced himself and others with which he concurred. He introduces Crawford’s arguments on the commercial viability and the entertainment function of narrative fiction with phrases like ‘It is his opinion that…’, ‘He considers…’, and ‘He says…’, marking these clearly as Crawford’s ideas. That he did not agree with Crawford’s statement on the function of fiction is corroborated by Dwivedi’s assertions elsewhere that the primary function of literature is to distribute useful knowledge and, therefore, are contrary to Crawford’s arguments for fiction without purpose.46 That Dwivedi concurred with Crawford’s ideas on the need for fiction to be exemplary rather than overly realistic is apparent in the ambiguity with which he introduced this idea. The introduction of this idea towards the end of the passage lacks any clear attributions of credit. It is in fact difficult to distinguish whether this is Dwivedi’s argument or whether it is a continuation of his summary of Crawford’s arguments. Though it is in service of different objectives, the preference for exemplary narrative fiction seems to be a topic on which both Dwivedi and Crawford agree. While Crawford, in defence of the romance, wrote in favour of the exemplary as a means to serve the

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novel’s primary purpose of entertainment, Dwivedi, whose ideas were rooted in the idea that literature ought to perform an educative function, wrote in support of the exemplary as a means to create a more useful fiction. Dwivedi articulated his ideas on narrative fiction more directly in his essay ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ (the present state of Hindi, 1911) and again in an essay titled ‘Upanyās-rahasya’ (the secret of the novel, 1928b). In both essays, he refers to novels and stories. In ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ Dwivedi argues that novels ‘should contain only those depictions of society that promote good behaviour, not bad behaviour’. These, he classifies as ‘good novels’ as they ‘may benefit both society and sāhitya’ (1911, 471). In addition to being exemplary, however, good fiction, he suggests, should also be svābhāvik: इस बरात पि भछी ध्रान िखनरा चरासहए सक कहरानछी बनरावटछी ्रा असतप्रकृत न िरान पड़छे। ्सद कहरानछी की घटनराएँ सवराभरासवक होंगछी तभछी पराठकों के सचत्त पि उसकरा असि होगरा औि समझदराि पराठकों करा िछी भछी तभछी पढ़ने में लगेगरा। We should also keep in mind that a story should neither seem artificial nor excessively real. A story’s events will only have an impact on readers and attract an intelligent readership if they are svābhāvik. (October 1911, 471)

Svābhāviktā or naturalism in Hindi fiction of the Dwivedi era— though overlapping in time with Western literary movements for naturalism in fiction, which were popular at the turn of the century and beyond—is quite distinct in its connotation. Dwivedi’s naturalism involves, as indicated here, a lack of excess artificiality and a lack of excess realism. For the most part, Dwivedi’s use of this term referred to a preference for fiction that was ‘true to life’, focusing on ordinary or familiar subject matter. However, like the English word ‘natural’, the term svābhāvik has multiple layers of meaning that vary in context. Dwivedi’s idea of svābhāvik fiction involved its believability and/or relatability as well as a general morality.47 In his 1922 essay ‘Upanyās-rahasya’, Dwivedi shed further light on what he considered to be excessively artificial or excessively real in fiction (1928b, 170–3). Writers who indulged too much in the imaginary fell prey to the former excess:

Rise of the Modern Hindi Short Story


उनकी सृसटि में कहीं तो मनुष् देव ्रा दरानव बनरा सद्रा िरातरा है औि कहीं कीट-पतंग से भछी तुच् कि सद्रा िरातरा। न उनकी भरािरा करा कु् ठौि-सठकरानरा, न उनके परात्ों की भराव-सववृसत में सं्मशछीलतरा औि सवराभरासवकतरा करा कहीं पतरा, औि न उनकी कहरानछी में चरावल भि भछी सदुपदेश देने करा सरामर््श। In their composition, man is in some places made into a god or a demon and in other places [he] is made more insignificant than even insects and moths. There is no stability in their language, nor any sign of moderation and naturalness anywhere in the emotional development of their characters, and not even an ounce of capacity to give positive instruction. (Dwivedi 1928b, 170–1)

The concepts of ‘exemplary’ and ‘natural’ are closely connected here. Character depictions that did not exhibit svābhāviktā were by Dwivedi’s measure, incapable of providing instruction and hence were not exemplary. Fiction that centred on humans as gods and demons rather than on humans as humans was not svābhāvik because it did not convey information relevant to the human experience. Dwivedi’s exemplary naturalism precluded human beings from behaving as anything but human beings—they were neither divine nor demonic. At the same time, however, Dwivedi also denounced the excessively real: कु् लोगों करा ख़्राल है सक सच्रा सरामरासिक सचत् सदखराने में उपन्रासकराि को संकोच न किनरा चरासहए। इस पि प्रराथ्शनरा है सक उपन्रास कोई इसतहरास तो है नहीं औि न वह कोई वैज्रासनक िचनरा हछी है िो उसके सभछी अंशों ्रा अंगों पि सवचराि किने की ज़रूित हो। सिि उसमें चोिों, रराकुओं, व्सभचरारि्ों, दुिराचरारि्ों, आसद के सचत् सदखराने की क्रा ज़रूित? प्रसंग आहछी िरा् तो इस तिह के सचत्ों की सववृसत ऐसे शबदों से किनछी चरासहए सिससे उनकरा असि पढ़नेवरालों पि बुिरा न पड़छे। Some people think that a novelist should not hesitate to show a true picture of society. To this I respond with the plea that novels are not histories, and nor are they simply scientific compositions that might require thoughtful consideration of every single section or part [of society]. What need then is there to present illustrations of thieves, robbers, delinquents, villains, and so forth? If the need does arise, the development of these types of illustrations ought to be done in such words that will not negatively influence readers. (Dwivedi 1928b, 171–2)

Once again, it is clear that Dwivedi’s agenda for fiction was situated only at the conjunction of the exemplary and the natural rather than

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at one or the other extreme. Human beings, though subject to human flaws and weaknesses, ought not to be depicted as thieves, robbers, delinquents, and villains. Only a limited range of the human experience was appropriate (that is, exemplary and natural enough) for ‘good’ fictional narratives. That is, Dwivedi’s brand of exemplary naturalism incorporated a preference for the representation of a normative human experience that did not transgress established rules and regulations of society; it, then, also precluded any criticism of such normative experiences made by groups operating outside a dominant paradigm. Dwivedi’s comments on narrative fiction provide some indication of his editorial preferences and policies; these would have directly impacted the genre as it developed in Sarasvatī. In 1908 (‘Vividh vishay’), in 1911 (‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’), and in 1922 (‘Upanyās-rahasya’), he consistently articulated preferences for the depiction of exemplary, natural human experiences in narrative fiction. His comments included both novels and short stories, with an emphasis on the former. In practice Dwivedi had far more control over the short story than he did over novels. The modern short story emerged primarily in the pages of Sarasvatī while novels were not frequently serialized in the journal under his direction. By way of his editorial authority he created a basic paradigm for the short story in Hindi, however rudimentary, which authors new to the genre might follow or critique. Though not all of the stories published in Sarasvatī complied with Dwivedi’s ideals, a trend towards stories that suited his literary agenda did gradually manifest. Dwivedi-Era Short Stories Between 1900 and 1910, the first phase of the short story’s development in Sarasvatī, there were many different experiments with the short story form including translations, adaptations, and original stories. In addition, continuing to work with some of the older narrative types including folktales, parables, anecdotes, and adventure-romances, Hindi fiction writers experimented with historical and biographical fiction, science fiction and adventure, ghost stories, detective stories, and stories that focused on various aspects of everyday contemporary Indian life.

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By the second decade of the twentieth century, however, stories exploring various aspects of everyday contemporary Indian life were the most prevalent sub-type of the genre in Sarasvatī. In addition to already having as example Tagore’s explorations of the ordinary, these stories engaged mundane themes that conformed more readily to Dwivedi’s call for narrative fiction that was svābhāvik than did stories that engaged more spectacular subject matter such as extraordinary adventures, fantastic voyages, supernatural occurrences, murder, suspense, and intrigue. The trend towards more mundane subject matter can be seen in the lack of sustained engagement in Sarasvatī under Dwivedi’s editorship with adventure-romances, science fiction, horror, or stories of mystery, suspense, and intrigue—all of which relied heavily on spectacular plot elements. Thus, in the first decade of the twentieth century stories like ‘Jīvanāgni’ (fire of life, 1901) and ‘Merī Champā’ (my Champa, 1905) represent instances of the adventureromance; ‘Chandralok kī yātrā’ (journey to the moon, 1900) and ‘Motiyon kī gufā’ (cave of pearls, 1902) represent early experiments with science fiction; ‘Bhūtonvālī havelī’ (haunted house, 1903) and ‘Bhuthī kothrī’ (haunted room, 1908) represent stories dealing with supernatural elements; and ‘Āscharyajanak ghantī’ (marvelous bell, 1908) represents an attempt at detective fiction. Most of these were translations,48 and, outside of these instances, very little representation of these particular types of fiction could be found within the journal in this era.49 Their lack of presence in the journal became particularly apparent in the second decade of the twentieth century when writers such as Jvaladatta Sharma, Vishvambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’, and Premchand began to dominate the short story scene in Sarasvatī and engaged almost exclusively with more mundane subject matter. Though with a significantly greater presence than adventureromances and science fiction stories, historical fiction too found its way into the journal less frequently than stories about contemporary, everyday life in India. It dealt primarily with a different manifestation of the spectacular, namely heroic figures and their glorious accomplishments. Short historical fiction was not entirely absent from the Hindi public sphere within which Dwivedi operated, nor from Sarasvatī, but a more sustained engagement with historical

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subject matter could be found in Sarasvatī’s poetry, especially in the work of Maithilisharan Gupta, and in biographical essays of the Dwivedi era.50 In ‘Upanyās-rahasya’, Dwivedi argues that ‘good’ historical fiction combined accurate historical detail with the ideal of positive instruction (1928b, 164). Histories in Hindi, however, were not so readily available in the earlier decades of the twentieth century.51 Perhaps this and Dwivedi’s high expectations for the genre made historical short fiction a far less frequent undertaking for Hindi writers of this era. Nonetheless, there were some instances of short historical fiction in Sarasvatī at this time. Most notably, Vrindavanlal Varma (1889–1969) published two short narratives of historical fiction in Sarasvatī in the first decade of the twentieth century: ‘Rākhīband bhāī’ (rākhī brother, 1909) and ‘Tātār aur ek vīr Rājput’ (the Tartar and a heroic Rājput, 1910).52 It would be Varma’s novels, however, published 1927 onwards and outside the journal that would go on to define the genre of historical fiction in Hindi and not his stories. Similarly, Jaishankar Prasad (1889–1937), another established author of historical fiction in the form of short stories and plays, began to publish his stories in 1911; however, they did not appear in Sarasvatī but rather in a competing journal, Indu (est. 1909).53 The lack of sustained engagement with adventure-romance, science fiction, horror, and mystery as well as a limited engagement with short historical prose fiction in Sarasvatī suggests that Dwivedi’s preference for short fiction that was svābhāvik favoured more mundane subject matter than these other sub-genres typically engaged. Stories focusing on domestic relationships, social ambitions, personal ethics, and a number of other issues that Sarasvatī’s readers likely dealt with on a daily basis or at the very least could relate to and learn from increasingly comprised the majority of short stories published in the journal under Dwivedi’s direction. Due in part to Tagore’s influential exploration of the ordinary in fiction, short stories that engaged more mundane themes gained ground well before the 1910s. The translation of Tagore’s ‘Drishti-dān’ (February–March 1903), for example, began what would become a dominant trend in the journal’s short prose fiction—exposing the intricacies and struggles of an everyday domestic relationship. Hindi short story writers quickly followed suit and increasingly chose to write stories exploring more mundane than spectacular matters.

Rise of the Modern Hindi Short Story


Ramchandra Shukla’s ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ (an eleven-year period, September 1903) and Girijadatta Vajpeyi’s ‘Pandit aur Panditānī’ (the scholar and his wife, December 1903), among the first original short stories in Hindi and published under Dwivedi’s editorship in the same year as ‘Drishti-dān’, typify the difference between narratives focusing on the spectacular (extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances) and narratives focusing on the mundane (ordinary people and their everyday relationships). ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ combines romance with mystery, suspense, and a hint of the supernatural. It is the story of a husband and wife separated in youth and reunited after eleven years through a chance meeting in the ruins of an abandoned village. The true nature of the couple’s relationship is revealed gradually, against a backdrop of mystery. With occasional poetic flourish, Shukla’s narrator, a friend of the husband, heightens the reader’s curiosity with melancholy descriptions of the ruins and the mysteries they hold: प्रत्ेक वसतु से उदरासछी बिस िहछी थछी; इस संसराि की असनत्तरा की सूचनरा समल िहछी थछी। इस करुणरातमक दृश् करा प्रभराव मेिछे हृद् पि सकस सछीमरा तक हुआ, शबदों द्रािरा अनुभव किरानरा असमभव है...कहीं सड़छे हुए सकवराड़ भूसम पि पड़छे प्रचणर कराल को सराटिरागं दणरवत् कि िहछे हैं। सिन घिों में सकसछी अपरिसचत की पि्राई पड़ने से कुल की मर्रा्शदरा भंग होतछी थछी, वे भछीति से बराहि तक खुले पड़छे हैं। िंग सबिंगछी चूसड़्ों के टुकड़छे इधि उधि पड़छे कराल की मसहमरा गरािहछे हैं। मैंने इनसे एक को हराथ में उठरा्रा, उठराते हछी ्ह प्रशन उपससथत हुआ सक “वे कोमल हराथ कहराँ हैं िो इनहें धरािण किते थे?” Every single thing exuded sorrow and attested to the transience of this world. It is impossible to convey in words the extent to which this tragic scene affected my heart … deteriorated doors lay on the ground bowing prostrate to Time formidable. Houses, whose family’s honour was once destroyed by the shadow of a stranger, lay completely open. Broken pieces of multicoloured bangles lay here and there singing of Time’s great might. I picked one of them up in my hand and just as I did a question occurred to me: where are the delicate hands that once wore these? (Shukla 1903, 310)

In addition, the narrator offers a thrilling account punctuated with questions and exclamation points of what at first appears to be an apparition glimpsed briefly among the village ruins: मधुसूदन! ्ह कौन सरा दृश् है? िो कु् देखरा उससे अवराक िह ग्रा! कु् दूि पि एक श्ेत वसतु इसछी खंरहि की ओि आतछी देख पड़छी! मुझे िोमराञ्च हो आ्रा; शिछीि कराँपने लगरा। मैंने अपने समत् को

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उस ओि आकसि्शत सक्रा औि उंगलछी उठराके सदखरा्रा। पिनतु कहीं कु् न देख पड़रा; मैं सथरासपत मूसत्श की तिह बैठरा िहरा। पुनः वहछी दृश्!! अब की बराि ज्ोतस्रालोक में सपटिरूप से हमलोगों ने देखरा सक एक श्ेत-परिच्द-धरारिणछी सत्छी एक िल करा परात् सलए खंरहि के एक पराश््श से होकि दूसिछी ओि वेग से सनकल गई औि उनहीं खंरहिों के बछीच सिि न िराने कहरां अनतधरा्शन हो गई। Dear God! What sight is this? What I saw left me speechless! A glimpse of something white in the distance coming towards these very ruins! My hairs stood on end; my body began to tremble. I drew my friend’s attention over there and lifted my finger to show him. But, nothing was to be seen anywhere; I sat there like a statue frozen. There again the same sight!! This time we clearly saw by the moonlight a woman clad in white garments and carrying a water vessel move quickly from one edge of the ruins to the other and then who knows where amidst those very ruins she vanished. (Shukla 1903, 310)

Only after several such sightings do the two friends engage her in conversation and learn that she is neither goddess nor ghost but is in fact the narrator’s friend’s wife. This then is no ordinary story of people and their everyday relationships. While ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ does have at its centre a married couple, it is not an exploration of their everyday relationship that drives the plot. Rather the focus is on their extraordinary love story that endures over time and distance, despite the fact that their marriage and separation took place when they were just children. Their love story is so out of the ordinary that the narrator feels compelled to convince potentially doubtful readers of its true existence: हमरािछे कसतप् पराठक हम पि दोिरािोपण किेंगे सक “हैं! न कभछी सराक्रात हुआ, न वरातराल ्श राप हुआ, न लमबछी कोट्डसशप हुई; ्ह प्रेम कैसरा?” महराश्! रुटि न हूसिए। इस अदृटि प्रेम करा धमम्श औि कत्त्शव् से घसनटि समबनध है। इसकी उतपसत्त केवल सदराश् औि सनःसवराथ्श हृद् में हछी हो सकतछी है। इसकी िड़ संसराि के औि प्रकराि के प्रचसलत प्रेमों से दृढ़ति औि असधक प्रशसत है। आपको सनतुटि किने को मैं इतनरा औि कहछे देतरा हूूँ सक इंगलेणर के भूतपूव्श प्रधरान मंत्छी लरार्ड बेकेनसिीलर (Earl of Baconsfield) करा भछी ्हछी मत थरा। Some of our readers will lay blame on us that ‘What! They never met face to face, never talked to each other, never had a long courtship; how can this be love?’ Gentlemen! Please do not be angry. This unseen love has a profound connection to dharma [rightful action] and karttavya [duty]. It can be born only of a heart that is virtuous and unselfish. Its foundation is stronger and more praiseworthy than

Rise of the Modern Hindi Short Story


the other types of love current in this world. I’ll tell you one thing more to reassure you and that is that the former prime minister of England Lord Beaconsfield (Earl of Baconsfield, [sic]) also shares this opinion. (Shukla 1903, 316)

Their love is both an exemplary love—rooted in dharma and kartavvya or right action and duty—and it is an extraordinary love that transcends other, more common types of love.54 Though stories of ideal love abound in the short stories of the Dwivedi era, especially in the fiction of Jvaladatta Sharma, they are set in entirely different and far more ordinary circumstances. By contrast, ‘Pandit aur Panditānī’ by Girijadatta Vajpeyi, also published in 1903, represented a newer and what would become a more prominent trend in short stories of the Dwivedi period: a focus on everyday social interactions. The story centres on the interaction that takes place in the course of a single evening between a husband and wife. The husband is a forty-five-year-old scholar with expertise in both Sanskrit and English and spends most of his time writing articles for newspapers and monthly journals; the wife, twenty-five years his junior, is also educated and spends some of her time reading newspapers and magazines, but in addition desires a share of her husband’s attention. One day she distracts him from his work by pleading for a parrot to keep her company. An argument ensues: [पसणरत िछी:] ‘िब मैं कराम में हुआ करूूं तब तुम कृपरा किके मुझसे मत बोलरा किो। तुमने मेिछे सवचरािों करा प्रवराह बनद कि सद्रा।’ पसणरतरानछी: ‘हरां! हम तुमसे कु् भछी बोलीं औि तुमहरािछे सवचरािों करा प्रवराह बनद हुआ। मगि वह प्रवराह हछी कैसरा सिसे तोतरा बनद किदे! मैं तो उसे टपकनरा भछी नहीं कहने की। मगि अब मैं तुमसे कभछी न बोलूँगछी; औि अपनछी शेि सज़नदगछी चुप चराप िह कि कराटूूँगछी। अगि तुम व्राह के सम् ्ह मुझसे कह देते सक मैं तुमको केवल देख सकूूंगछी; मगि तुमसे बोल न सकूूंगछी; तो मुझको ्ह तो मरालूम िहतरा सक सकस बरात की तुमसे आशरा िख सकतछी हूं औि सकसकी नहीं। ओह, मैं मरानो सकसछी कराठ के पुतले को व्राहछी गई!’ [Pandit ji:] ‘Please don’t talk to me when I am working. You’ve interrupted the flow of my thoughts.’ Panditānī: ‘Ha! I say anything to you and the flow of your thoughts gets interrupted. But what kind of flow gets interrupted by a parrot anyway. I wouldn’t even call that a drip. But now, I won’t ever speak

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to you; and I’ll spend the rest of my life in silence. If you had told me when we were getting married that I would only be able to look at you but not speak with you, then at least I would have known what I could expect from you and what I could not. Aah, it’s like I’ve been married off to a wooden puppet!’ (Vajpeyi 1903, 420)

While the wife must compete with newspapers and magazines for her husband’s affections, the husband too must contend with some of the desires such publications have encouraged in her. It is, after all, in the newspaper that she first notices an advertisement for a parrot. In addition, she expresses a desire to publicize her ideas through new print media, albeit through his writing. Thus, when he somewhat patronizingly compliments her poetic style of argumentation, she responds: ्सद तुम इतने सचिसचिछे न होते तो मैं तुमहें ऐसछी हछी बरातें सुनरा्रा कितछी। उनहैं तुम अपने लेखों में शरासमल कि सल्रा किते औि वे तुमहरािछे लेखों की शोभरा बढ़रातछी। पिनतु मुझे तो घणटों चुप चराप बैठरा िहनरा पड़तरा है। िैसे मैं सकसछी करालकोठिछी की क़ैदछी हूं, सिसे अपनछी पि्रांहछी से भछी बरात चछीत किनरा मनरा है। If you weren’t always so irritable, then I would tell you such things all the time. You would incorporate them into your essays and they would enhance the essays’ brilliance. Instead I have to sit around in silence for hours on end. It’s as if I’m a prisoner in solitary confinement forbidden to talk even to my shadow. (Vajpeyi 1903, 420)

While the couple’s evening discussion—punctuated by the Panditānī’s lively, colloquial banter—results in the Panditānī getting what she wanted (attention and the promise of a parrot), it also highlights larger issues and concerns underlying the couple’s relationship, especially those that arise due to increased interaction with various print media. This focus on the personal within the specific context of changing public interactions becomes an increasingly popular theme and typifies a shift that will take place as the modern Hindi short story develops, from a focus on the spectacular to an exploration of the mundane. Whereas Goswami’s ‘Indumatī’ and Shukla’s ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ both centre on the romantic, idealized love of a man and a woman in fairly extraordinary circumstances, Vajpeyi’s ‘Pandit aur Panditānī’ highlights something more familiar—a relationship

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that like many day-to-day social relationships must be both managed and negotiated. While this trend towards more mundane subject matter may be read as an articulation of Dwivedi’s call for stories that were natural or true to life, it was the conjunction of the svābhāvik with the exemplary that resulted in fiction that fulfilled Dwivedi’s larger definition of sāhitya’s function as a means for distributing useful knowledge. ‘Pandit aur Panditānī’ presents characters and circumstances more commonplace than those in ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’; it engages only minimally, however, a depiction of the exemplary. Thus, the conflict between the Pandit and Panditānī centres on the negotiation of personal desires and social responsibilities, but as a whole the story puts forth no larger lesson on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the couple’s desires and responsibilities. The story of their quarrel is not much more than a representation of an ordinary day in the life of what might be considered a typical married couple. Similarly, ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ though exemplary in its depiction of a love rooted in social responsibility and duty was far removed from the everyday and ordinary routine of human life. As such, these early stories only partially engaged Dwivedi’s ideals for narrative fiction. Fiction writers responding to Dwivedi’s promotion of sāhitya as practical knowledge for the nation as well as his preferences for exemplary naturalism in fictional prose, on the whole gave prominence in their stories to the depiction of ideal yet everyday citizens of an emergent nation. These desh hitaishīs or patriots became central figures in the short stories of many authors of the period, including some who would go on to achieve great recognition in the annals of Hindi literary history and others who would be all but forgotten.55 As was the case with Hindi critics and poets, short story writers also continued to test and negotiate Dwivedi’s evolving agenda with their own assertions of literary authority. Their articulations of nationhood, drawing on experiences from multiple and diverse perspectives (for example, class-, gender-, language-, religion-, and/ or region-specific) produced desh hitaishīs of a different variety, some of whom directly challenged his preferred literary ideals. Chapter 5 examines such variances in the short stories of Banga Mahila and Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri.’

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Notes 1. Short fictional narratives, especially in the form of tales, were extant long before the formalization of the modern genre. They could be found in the oral and written traditions of ancient and classical civilizations, from Egypt to India, China to Greece. In India, for example, antecedents in multiple literary traditions could be found in the rich kathā-sāhitya or storytelling traditions, which included fictional narratives in poetry and prose, and ranged from religious, mythological, and folk tales to ballads, chronicles, and anecdotes. The modern form gained early prominence in Germany, France, Russia, England, and the United States. For brief, general introductions to the genre, including their antecedents as well as characteristics of the modern form, see Boyd (2006, 5–9) and Hansen (2015). 2. Among the most widely popular of the oral traditions in the nineteenth century were stories of romance and adventure in the Perso-Arabic tilism tradition, which had also become available in print (Dalmia 1997, 291). Lakshminarayan Lal (1953) argues that the modern Hindi short story had predecessors in various indigenous narrative forms including the kathā-kahānī, ākhyāyikā, ākhyān, upākhyān, gāthā, dāstān, and qissā (5); it thus derived from multiple literary traditions including Vedic Sanskrit, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit, Apabhramsha, Persian and Arabic, and Early and Middle Hindi. Early fictional narratives in modern (Khari Boli) Hindi include Lallu Lal’s ‘Premsāgar’ (1803–1810), Sadal Mishra’s ‘Nāsiketopākhyān’ (1803), and Insha Allah Khan’s ‘Rānī Ketkī kī kahānī’ (c. 1803). Further discussion of these can be found in Lal (1953, 33–9). 3. See Mukherjee (1996) for a discussion of the basic characteristics of the novel form. It is distinguished from its predecessors in narrative fiction by its linear rather than cyclic progression of events, an apprehension of reality through the consciousness of time and space, and a lifelike rather than stylized characterization (5–6). 4. While some shifts in subject matter and narrative structure were necessary to meet the demands of the new print culture, new fiction still tried to satisfy both old and new conventions within the same narrative. For example, new narratives in Hindi experimented with the ‘fully constituted and centered bourgeois subject’ of the nineteenth-century European novel tradition, while also continuing to contain old conventions of the pre-individualistic narrative of traditional tales in order to satisfy older reader expectations. See Dalmia (1997, 292–3) for further discussion of the disorientation

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of fictional prose in the nineteenth century resulting from the intertwining of multiple paradigms. Parīkshā guru (1882) by Shrinivas Das is considered the first Hindi novel (Das 1991, 214). See Dalmia (1999, 169–84) for a discussion of Parīkshā guru. See also McGregor (1970) for a discussion of the emergence of the Hindi novel and other genres in narrative prose fiction, and Dalmia (1997, 291–300). The American short story writer Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) made one of the first attempts to differentiate the short story from the novel; it is one of the earliest, critical definitions of the modern genre in a Western literary tradition. The short story, he argued, was a superior form to the novel in that it could be ‘completed at one sitting’; the compactness of its form thus required a ‘unity of effect or impression’ or a ‘unique single effect’ (1842, 298–9). There is evidence that some of Sarasvatī’s readers at the turn of the century had access to Poe’s writing. One of the earliest stories published in Sarasvatī is an uncredited translation/adaptation of Poe’s short story ‘The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall’, first published in the American magazine The Southern Literary Messenger in June 1835. Keshav Prasad Singh published a Hindi story in the June and July 1900 issues of Sarasvatī under the title ‘Chandralok kī yātrā’ (journey to the moon); his story bears remarkable resemblance to Poe’s short story. Sub-genres of the Hindi short story would also develop in subsequent eras. The very short story, or laghu kathā, for example, would flourish in the second half of the twentieth century. For an introduction to the laghu kathā, see Ira Valeria Sarma (2003). Das (1991, 306–7); Ramchandra Tiwari (1998, 511). Note also that while didactic novels like Shrinivas Das’s Parīkshā guru (1882) were available they were not nearly as popular as Devakinandan Khatri’s novels of tilism (magical intrigue), Chandrakāntā (1892) and Chandrakāntā santati (1894–1905) as well as his short mystery novels Vīrendravīr athvā katorā bharā khūn (1895) and Kājar kī kothrī (1902). See Orsini (2004a) on detective novels (435–82) and for a brief mention of Khatri’s Chandrakāntā (444). Stories under consideration for this distinction have included ‘Rānī Ketkī kī kahānī’ (c. 1803) by Insha Allah Khan; ‘Ek jamīndār kā drishtānt’, (1871) by Reverend J. Newton; ‘Pranayinī-parinay’ (1887), ‘Indumatī’ (1900), and ‘Gulbahār’ (1902) by Kishorilal Goswami; ‘Chalī Arab kī kathā’ (1893; author unknown); ‘Subhāshit ratna’ (1900), ‘Man kī chanchalatā’ (1900), and ‘Ek tokrī bhar mittī’ (1901) by Madhav Rao Sapre; ‘Plague kī chudail’ (1902) by Bhagavan Das;

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‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’ (1903) by Ramchandra Shukla; ‘Pandit aur Panditānī’ by Girijadatta Vajpeyi (1903); ‘Dulāīvālī’ (1907) by Banga Mahila; ‘Rakhīband bhāī’ (1907) by Vrindavanlal Varma; ‘Grām’ (1911) by Jaishankar Prasad; ‘Sukhmay jīvan’ (1911) and ‘Usne kahā thā’ (1915) by Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’; and ‘Rakshā bandhan’ (1916) by Vishvambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’ (see Ramchandra Shukla 1998 [1930], Ramchandra Tiwari 1998, and Ajay Tiwari 2000). While Shukla (1998 [1930], 275) cites six of these stories as the ‘first’ short stories in terms of chronology, he considers only three actual representations of the genre based on their characterization of feeling or emotion: ‘Indumatī’, ‘Gyārah varsh kā samay’, and ‘Dulāīvālī’. Of these three, he casts some doubt on the originality of ‘Indumatī’. Though not explicitly stated, this leaves Shukla’s own story as the rightful recipient of this distinction. Ramchandra Tiwari (1998, 514) mentions Kishorilal Goswami, Madhav Prasad Mishra, Banga Mahila, Ramchandra Shukla, Jaishankar Prasad, and Vrindavanlal Varma as notable among the earliest writers of short stories, but contends that ‘Usne kahā thā’ by Guleri marks the actual beginning of the modern Hindi short story. Ajay Tiwari (2000, 45–6) discusses the major differences of opinion among Hindi scholars on this topic. However, he concludes that based on its ‘subject matter, social consciousness, historical understanding of reality, class relations and tensions, awareness of modern economics, and artistic arrangement’ Newton’s ‘Ek jamīndār kā drishtānt’ is the first Hindi kahānī. 10. In modern standard Hindi today, the terms ākhyāyikā, kathā, galpa, and kahānī can all be used to refer to narrative tales and stories. Kahānī, however, also refers more specifically to the short story, while upanyās refers specifically to the novel. Length is not necessarily a differentiating factor as the stories identified as ākhyāyikā or kahānī are sometimes just as long as stories identified as upanyās. Thus, Radhakrishna Das’s ākhyāyikā ‘Kautukmay milan’ (a curious meeting), a translation/adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Sarasvatī, September and October 1900) is about 14 pages, Kartikprasad’s upanyās ‘Roshan Ārā’, a translation of Nagendranath Gupta’s Bengali novel (Sarasvatī, July, August, and September 1901) is 18 pages, and Lala Parvatinandan’s kahānī ‘Jīvanāgni’ (fire of life), a translation/adaptation of H. Rider Haggard’s late nineteenth-century English adventure novel She (Sarasvatī, November, December 1901) is 15 pages. There are also some differences in the overall structure as well as in some of the narrative elements such as setting, characterization, and themes treated; however, here too there is inconsistency. Both ‘Mukti kā upāya’, Lala Parvatinandan’s Hindi translation of a Bengali kahānī by Rabindranath Tagore (Sarasvatī,

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June 1901) and Kartikprasad’s ‘Roshan Ārā’, for example, are divided into numbered sections or chapters, a feature more commonly associated with the novel. There are very few original works published in the journal in this initial period, though it is often difficult to distinguish an original short story from a translation as there is no systematic method of citation. In fact, in the early years of the development of Hindi literature, many doubts were cast on the ‘originality’ of works that were likely uncited translations or adaptations of literature from other more developed Indian languages such as Bengali. See Dwivedi’s caricature of ‘Hindī-sāhitya’ (see Chapter 1, Figures 1.1 and 1.2) for criticism of this trend. Banga Mahila’s insistence in ‘Hindī ke granthakār’ (Hindi writers, published in Samālochak, 1904) that Hindi writers and editors (including Dwivedi) make a more concerted effort to end this dishonesty is another such entreaty. This essay is included in Pandey (1988, 165–9). Radhakrishna Das contributes the first four: ‘Cymbeline’ appears in January 1900, ‘Athensvāsī Timon’ in February 1900, ‘Pericles’ in March 1900, and ‘Kautukmay milan’ in September and October 1900. Literally translated, the title of this last story is ‘A Curious Meeting’ but the narrative itself reveals that this is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. In October and November 1904, Vasudev Mishra’s translation/adaptation of The Winter’s Tale appeared under the title ‘Adhbut yogāyog’ (lit. strange unions and separations). Again, there is no direct indication of the identity of the play other than that it is based on one by Shakespeare; only the narrative reveals this fact. It is likely that these ākhyāyikās, rather than being direct translations of Shakespeare’s plays were translated from Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare (first published in 1807), which contains prose adaptations of all of these plays. Ramchandra Tiwari (1992, 213) mentions the availability of this text to Hindi readers in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century. While Ramchandra Shukla suggested that ‘Indumatī’ was a translation of some Bengali play (1998 [1930], 275) more recent Hindi scholars established that it was in fact an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Lal 1953, 54). Compare to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I have used the edition collected in The Riverside Shakespeare (1974, 1611–38). The scene in which Indumati’s father ‘tests’ the young lovers is the portion of the story that bears the most direct resemblance to The Tempest (cf. Prospero’s test of Ferdinand and Miranda’s love). See also Sudhir Chandra (2014, 159–60)

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for a discussion of ‘Indumatī’. He argues that revenge and the image of the cruel Muslim are more significant than romance to the story’s narrative. Vindhyachal may refer to the Vindhya mountain range itself, which is considered the geographical dividing-line between the northern and southern regions of the Indian subcontinent. It is more likely, however, that it refers here to what is at present, the village in Uttar Pradesh, located midway between Allahabad and Varanasi and where the Vindhya mountain range touches the southern banks of the Ganga River. The proximity of the Ganga’s riverbank is mentioned in the story (Goswami 1900a, 182). This village is also an important pilgrimage site for worshippers of the Hindu goddess Durga as Vindhyavasini (Humes 1996, 49). In either case, it would be a physical landscape more familiar to Sarasvatī’s readers than an unnamed island in the Mediterranean, which is the setting of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. In his introduction to The Tempest, Hallett Smith suggests that the play is set sometime in the early seventeenth century, but there is no direct mention of the time period within the text itself (1974, 1606–10). The events of ‘Indumatī’ take place soon after the death of Ibrahim Lodi in 1526. The author informs readers of this fact through a footnote, providing some biographical details on Ibrahim Lodi, who is introduced as the common enemy of Chandrashekhar and Indumati’s father and whom Chandrashekhar has recently killed in the battle of Panipat (Goswami 1900a, 182–3). Lodi’s death marks the end of the Delhi Sultanate, successive rule in north India by Turk and Afghan Muslim rulers, and the advent of Mughal rule, with Babur as the first of the Mughal emperors (Metcalf and Metcalf 2002, 1–27). Goswami (1900a, 182; 184). Kāfir, which is usually used to refer to a non-believer of Islam, in an uncommon reversal is used in ‘Indumatī’ to refer to Lodi, a Muslim. Once again this indicates the centrality of the Hindu experience within this story. See again Sudhir Chandra (2014, 159–60) on the portrayal of the ‘cruel Muslim’ in ‘Indumatī’. For a discussion of early twentieth-century Hindi intellectuals concern for history and its role in defining a national community, see chapter 3 in Orsini (2002, 175–242) on ‘The Uses of History’. Orsini mentions that Indian audiences at this time are particularly interested in stories of Rajput valour (2002, 179). This is a selection of cited translations and adaptations published in Sarasvatī between 1900 and 1920. The stories themselves include only partial citations of the original works—some only provide the original author’s name and/or nationality, while others provide only the title of the original. Note that Lala Parvatinandan is the pen name of Girijakumar Ghosh (1878–1920).

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21. ‘Dumb Love’ was included in Tales by Musæs, Tieck, Richter, translated from the German by Thomas Carlyle [1827] 1874, 3–60. 22. See earlier note on the criticism of this trend. 23. Compare Keshav Prasad Singh’s ‘Chandralok kī yātrā’ (journey to the moon, 1900) to Poe’s ‘The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall’ as it appears in volume 2 of James A. Harrison’s The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (1979). The story originally appeared in The Southern Literary Messenger, an American periodical, in June 1835. 24. Compare Gopaldas’s ‘Motiyon kī gufā’ (cave of pearls, 1902) to Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1998). 25. ‘Mahārānī Sūjābāī’ (Queen Sujabai), no author listed. The opening lines of the story clearly identify the narrative not as a history or biography despite its basis on the life of a historical figure but as a kathā that is meant to entertain: बृहत् वछीिभूसम िरािपूतराने में वछीि मरातरा, वछीि पतनछी, तथरा अनेक वछीि िमणछी हुई हैं, इनहीं में से सूिराबराई भछी एक हैं। इनकी बड़छी अलौसकक औि सचत्तराकि्शक कथरा है, सिसे आि हम अपने सप्र् पराठकों के आगे प्रकराश कि आशरा किते हैं सक ्ह कथरा उनको मनोिञ्जक होगछी। Of the heroic mothers, heroic wives, and many heroic beauties that have emerged from the vast territory of heroes known as Rajputana, Sujabai is also one. Her story, which we publish for our readers today in the hopes that it will entertain them, is quite exceptional and delightful. (12) 26. The work of the Sanskrit poet Kalidas also figures largely in Sarasvatī though a little later, starting in 1904 with a serialized translation of his ‘Mālavikā aur Agnimitra’ (Malavika and Agnimitra) by Jagannath Prasad Tripathi. 27. Note that his name is cited as Ravindranath Thakur in these translations. 28. Tagore began publishing stories in the newly established Bengali journals Hitābadī and Sādhanā in 1891. His first six stories appeared in consecutive issues of Hitābadī. Sādhanā, in which he published thirty-six stories, was first published in November 1891 and continued until October 1895. Thus, between 1891 and 1895, Tagore published forty-two short stories (Das 1991, 304–6; Radice 1994b, 3–4). In the 1890s, Tagore also published short stories, though not nearly as many, in Bhāratī, another Bengali journal. All in all, this was ‘Tagore’s most fertile decade as a short story writer’ (Radice 1994a, vii). He continued to write stories in the twentieth century, and these too would make their way into Sarasvatī. 29. There are in all likelihood more of Tagore’s stories that were published during this period. This number includes only those that officially cited

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30. 31. 32.


Tagore as the author of the original story on which the Hindi translation was based. There are also gaps in my record of Sarasvatī’s contents during this period as not all issues of the journal were available at the time of my research. Translations of his stories continued to be published in Sarasvatī after this period as well. Though some of his critics denounced Tagore’s stories as overly poetic or unrealistic, Tagore himself believed that his stories were true to life (Radice 1994b, 13). With the exception of some of Premchand’s stories, most early Hindi short stories were centred on the experiences of upper-caste Hindus. Of the thirteen stories published in Sarasvatī in this period, four are different in that they focus on the exploits of heroic figures and royalty in historical and/or mythic times or they focus on the supernatural: ‘Pakkā ganthībandhan’ (destined union) translated by Pramathnath Bhattacharya (August 1907); ‘Daliyā’ translated by Banga Mahila (June 1909); ‘Nishā-kāl’ (at night) translated by Vishvambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’ (December 1912); and ‘Tote kī shikshā’ (the parrot’s training) translated by Kuldip Sahay (May 1918). Note that Sahay translated ‘Tote kī shikshā’ into Hindi from an English version of Tagore’s story. Stories that revolved around everyday domestic and personal relationships include: ‘Mukti kā upāya’, (how to be saved) translated by Lala Parvatinandan (June 1901); ‘Drishti-dān’ (gift of sight) translated by Kumudbandhu Mitra (February–March 1903); ‘Sampādak’, (editor) translated by Lala Parvatinandan (May 1905); ‘Rājtīkā’, (the title) translated by Lala Parvatinandan (December 1905); ‘Dān pratidān’, (exchange) translated by Banga Mahila (April 1906); ‘Ek rātri’ (one night) translated by ‘Varmma’ (November 1911); ‘Prāyashchit’ (atonement) translated by Chandika Sahay Mishra (September 1913); ‘Vichārpati’ (the judge) translated by Durga Prasad Khetan (December 1913); and ‘Padosan’ (neighbour) translated by Paras Nath Singh (January 1916). Such dichotomies were, according to Partha Chatterjee (1999), part of a framework generated by late nineteenth-century nationalist thinkers in India to make their project of self-definition and emancipation consistent with the demands of their modern yet colonized status: The material/spiritual dichotomy, to which the terms ‘world’ and ‘home’ corresponded, had acquired, as we have noted before, a very special significance in the nationalist mind. The world was where the European power had challenged the non-European peoples and, by virtue of its superior material culture, had subjugated them. But it had failed to colonize the inner essential, identity of

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the East which lay in its distinctive, and superior, spiritual culture. That is where the East was undominated, sovereign, master of its own fate. (239)




37. 38.

Scholars like Mrinalini Sinha (1994) have argued that Chatterjee’s binary framework represents only the dominant ideology of late nineteenth-century nationalist thought. Though Tagore was an avowed antinationalist in his adulthood, he subscribed to an anti-imperialist policy his entire life (Nandy 1994, 80). The contradictions and dichotomies that Chatterjee describes, rather than being the sole propriety of nationalist thought, were in fact the product of an Indian consciousness— whether nationalist, anti-imperial, or simply patriotic—negotiating and resisting a colonial encounter. Tagore’s writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, thus, also attempted to negotiate and/or resolve the contradictions between material/spiritual, home/world, and other such dichotomies. The founder and proprietor of Indian Press, Chintamani Ghosh, and authors such as Lala Parvatinandan and Banga Mahila are just some examples of Bengalis who were active participants in a Hindi public based in the Hindi heartland. Rahul Bjorn Parson has written at length on the contributions of a Calcutta-based Hindi literati to the development of modern Hindi prose in his 2012 PhD dissertation ‘The Bazaar and the Bari: Calcutta, Marwaris, and the World of Hindi Letters’ (University of California, Berkeley). William Radice, in his introduction to Selected Short Stories by Rabindranath Tagore, argues that though these models were available to Tagore, ‘the manner and provenance of Western short stories were really too remote from Bengal to be of much relevance’ (1994b, 27). One Hindi short story writer, Vishwambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’ (1891–1942), recalls, for example, that Dwivedi, after rejecting his first story, ‘Naklī gentleman’ (fake gentleman) in 1912, advised him to begin by translating any one of Tagore’s short stories. Kaushik complied with ‘Nishā-kāl’ (December 1912), and after a few other translations went on to publish a number of original short stories in Sarasvatī (Kaushik in Shukla and Dev 1939, 190–2). Refer to the previous discussion of Dwivedi’s definitions of sāhitya in Chapter 2. The table of contents in such publications is an often-overlooked record of the categorization and prioritization of certain genres and topics by the editor for his/her target readership. Changes in Sarasvatī’s annual table of contents over the years provide valuable insight into the development of a new genre such as the short story.

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39. The first year-end table of contents was published in 1902. Aside from the monthly list of contents, there is no indication of an annual list that is published prior to this. The table of contents was annually published through 1912. Beginning in 1913, when each volume of the journal is divided into two parts (January to June; July to December), the table of contents was published biannually. 40. Sarasvatī 1905, ‘Sūchīpatra’ (annual table of contents). Note that the titles for some of the categories vary slightly over time and some categories are removed. Thus, in 1905 adhbut vishay becomes vichitra vishay (peculiar topics) and sāhitya-samāchar (literary news) is done away with. 41. See the discussion of ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ in Chapter 1, Figure 1.17. Note that ‘Ākhyāyikā’ is a general heading in the annual table of contents (1903–12) and comprises short fictional narratives; it is distinct from the regularly published column titled ‘Vinod aur ākhyāyikā’ (1903–4) and later just ‘Ākhyāyikā’ (1905–12), which contains anecdotes and is listed under ‘Phutkar’ (miscellany) in the table of contents. In 1913, Dwivedi did away with the genre/topic headings and reverted to the format of listing contributions alphabetically by title in a new biannual table of contents. By this time, however, he had sufficiently publicized the importance of the genres he wished to further in Hindi. 42. From 1915 onwards, stories in the annual contents, though listed alphabetically and not all together under a single genre heading, were increasingly, though not exclusively, identified by the label kahānī following the title. Thus, while all stories in 1915 and the first half of 1916 (January to June) were labelled kahānī, the table of contents for the second half of 1916 (July to December) once again brought back the ākhyāyikā label. 43. See Chapters 1 and 2 for his views regarding the novel in Hindi. 44. See Chapter 2 for a discussion of Dwivedi’s definitions of sāhitya. 45. Dwivedi refers here to the ideas of Francis Marion Crawford (1854– 1909) as articulated in The Novel: What It Is (1893). In his text, Crawford defines the novel as ‘an intellectual artistic luxury’ (9) and he argues that its primary objective is ‘to amuse and interest the reader’ (11). Crawford also refers to the novel as a kind of ‘pocket theatre’, that is ‘something which every man may carry in his pocket, believing that he has only to open it in order to look in upon the theatre of the living world’ (79–80). Notably, Crawford lived briefly in Allahabad, India, from 1879–80 and served as editor of the Indian Herald, an Indianowned opposition daily. His travels and encounters in India inspired his first novel, Mr. Isaacs: A Tale of Modern India (1882). He was hugely

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46. 47. 48.





popular among Indian readers in the late nineteenth century. See Joshi (2002, 123–30) for further information on Crawford, his first novel, and his reception in India. See my discussion in Chapter 2 on Dwivedi’s definition of modern Hindi sāhitya. This latter component is one that often underlies distinctions in English between the labelling of human behaviour as ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’. Stories not previously mentioned in this chapter include: ‘Bhūtonvālī havelī’ by Lala Parvatinandan, published serially in Sarasvatī, from May through August 1903; ‘Bhuthī kothrī’ by Madumangal Mishra, appeared in Sarasvatī, November 1908; and ‘Āscharyajanak ghantī’ by Satyadev Parivrajak, also serialized in the journal from April through July 1908. ‘Āscharyajanak ghantī’ is a translation, though I have not been able to confirm its source; I am also not able to confirm whether ‘Bhūtonvālī havelī’ and ‘Bhuthī kothrī’ are originals or translations. Some attempt with science fiction is also made outside the journal in the Dwivedi period, but again with no significant or sustained effort to develop the form. One instance of the science fiction novel is Rasātalyātrā, published in 1912, by Girijakumar Ghosh (a.k.a. Lala Parvatinandan). This, however, is an adapted translation of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864). Some kinds of fiction, especially detective stories, find a more receptive forum outside of Dwivedi’s Sarasvatī, especially as stand-alone novels or as serialized in monthly fiction magazines like Jāsūs (Detective, 1900–28). See Orsini (2004a, 443–4) and Dikshit (1996, 130). See Orsini (2004a) for further discussion of the popularity and commercial success of detective fiction in Hindi. In 1909, for example, the journal included 11 essays classified as ‘historical’ as well as numerous essays on historical figures categorized as jīvancharit (biography) rather than as itihās (history). By contrast, there was only one instance of historical prose fiction that year, a short story by Vrindavanlal Varma. The topics of the ‘historical essays’ published in 1909 ranged from the Bundel and Chandel dynasties and Mahmood Ghaznavi’s attack on Somnath to Hindu rule in Persia, Universities in Buddhist India, the discovery of America by Buddhists, Bopdev’s Bhāgvat, Vararuchi’s time, the location of Rukminīharan, and a history of Indian navigation. Recall Dwivedi’s satirical depiction of Itihās/History as an empty chair at a literary congress in the ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoon titled ‘Sāhityasabhā’ (Figure 1.17, Chapter 1). In his essay ‘Hindī kī varttamān avasthā’ (1911), Dwivedi argued that though history holds a high

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place in literature, there were only a handful of resources available in Hindi, including Hindi translations of R. C. Datta’s History of Indian Civilization and James Tods’ Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, both from the English originals, as well as one or two translations of Persian histories, and a history of the Solanki dynasty (1911, 469). See my discussion of this essay in Chapter 2. ‘Rākhīband bhāī’ and ‘Tātār aur ek vīr Rājput’ were likely among Varma’s earliest works of historical fiction. Both stories took up themes of Rajput heroism: the former set in sixteenth-century India and the latter set in the fourteenth century. According to Lal (1953, 183), Jaishankar Prasad did not find adequate representation in Sarasvatī under Dwivedi’s editorship due to differences in opinion. See also Schomer (1998, 20). Prasad established Indu in 1909. Like Sarasvatī it was billed as ‘an illustrated monthly journal’ and inclusive of a similarly wide variety of genres and topics under the rubric of literature. Ambikaprasad Gupta, reportedly Prasad’s nephew (unverified), edited and published the journal from Banaras. Prasad published his stories in Indu rather than in Sarasvatī, though he did, on occasion, also publish in Sarasvatī. ‘Nūrī’ (1933), a story of love and treason set in the Mughal period during Akbar’s reign (1556–1605), was one of Prasad’s few stories that appeared in Sarasvatī. Prasad published poetry more frequently in Sarasvatī, including his celebrated epic poem Kāmāyanī (1936). These two works as well as the majority of what Prasad published in Sarasvatī, however, appeared only after Dwivedi retired as editor of the journal. One exception is a poem titled ‘Jalad-āvāhan’ (a call for haste), published in Sarasvatī in June 1912 when Dwivedi was still editor. Shukla also adds to its singularity by referencing another uncommon literary love: that of Henrietta and Ferdinand in Henrietta Temple (1836) by Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881). Disraeli, former prime minister of England, was made the Earl of Beaconsfield (not ‘Baconsfield’ as cited by Shukla) in 1876. Shukla’s mention of his opinion on the matter of love is likely a reference to the famed sentiment, ‘There is no love but love at first sight’, expressed in Henrietta Temple: A Love Story (1859, 70–1). The most acclaimed of these writers today is Premchand, who began publishing in Sarasvatī in 1915. Though already established as an Urdu short story writer, he entered the Hindi literary scene for the first time with the short story titled ‘Saut’ (co-wife), published in Sarasvatī in December 1915. Premchand, born Dhanpat Rai, wrote over 300 Hindi and Urdu short stories in his lifetime and is today considered a ‘classic’

Rise of the Modern Hindi Short Story


author of Hindi and Urdu literature. In Sarasvatī, between 1900 and 1920, Premchand was the third most frequent contributor of original short stories, after Jvaladatta Sharma and Vishvambharnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’. The seven stories by Premchand published in the journal during this period included: ‘Saut’ (co-wife); ‘Sajjanatā kā dand’ (the penalty for integrity) in March 1916; ‘Panch parameshwar’ (holy panchayat) in June 1916; ‘Īshwarīya nyāy’ (the law of god) in July 1917; ‘Durgā kā mandir’ (Durga’s temple) in December 1917; ‘Balidān’ (sacrifice) in May 1918; and ‘Putra prem’ (for the love of a son) in June 1920. For an excellent introduction to the work of Premchand, see Francesca Orsini’s ‘Introduction’ to The Oxford India Premchand (2004b). Jvaladatta Sharma (1888–1958), an author lesser known today, was the most frequently published short story writer in Sarasvatī at this time; he published 15 stories in the journal between 1915 and 1920, some of which conformed entirely to Dwivedi’s dictates regarding exemplary naturalism in fiction and others which did not. For an introduction to and analysis of Jvaladatta Sharma’s Dwivedi-era short stories in Sarasvatī see Mody (2008b, 166–86).


Alternate Realms of Authority Literary Nationalism in Two Landmark Short Stories

Even as Dwivedi shaped the modern short story genre in his capacity as editor of Sarasvatī he was met with challenges from writers who, despite their shared enthusiasm for Hindi, resisted certain aspects of his literary nationalist agenda. Banga Mahila and Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’ were two such writers who articulated experiences of Indian nationhood at odds with Dwivedi’s dictates. Their landmark short stories made a case for a broader, more varied definition of literary Hindi and the nation it was to represent. In her 1907 short story ‘Dulāīvālī’ (quilt-woman), Banga Mahila made deliberate use of regional and class-specific women’s speech in addition to Dwivedi’s preferred standard Khari Boli prose. Her fictional exploration of the impact of nationalist ideals on middleclass Bengali women in the Hindi-belt also challenged the patriarchal authority with which Dwivedi and other nationalists sought to shape an emergent nation. Guleri’s 1915 short story ‘Usne kahā thā’ (she had said) incorporated regional and group-specific speech that was also gendered, this time as masculine and vulgar. Guleri, too, did not adhere strictly to Dwivedi’s upright Khari Boli standard. Moreover, his story featured a Sikh soldier’s memories of rural and urban landscapes outside the Hindi-belt, in Punjab, as triggered by The Making of Modern Hindi: Literary Authority in Colonial North India. Sujata S. Mody, Oxford University Press (2018). © Sujata S. Mody. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199489091.003.0006

Alternate Realms of Authority


battle in Europe on the western front of World War I. Though it upheld some nationalist ideals, it also defied conventional mores. Both stories underwent extensive editorial revisions before publication in Dwivedi’s journal, yet there remained in their final published versions a record of their author’s defiance and Dwivedi’s strategically measured responses to such challenges to his literary authority. The Authors Banga Mahila (1882–1949)

Dwivedi’s efforts to expand Sarasvatī’s readership resulted in an increased number of contributions to the journal by female authors in the early twentieth century, thereby lending new perspectives to the journal. Very few of these women, however, were able to earn recognition as writers, both in their own time and in the annals of Hindi literary history. Rajendrabala De, née Ghosh, better known by her pen name Banga Mahila (A Bengali woman), is one exception.1 During her most productive years as a Hindi writer, between 1904 and 1915, Banga Mahila published eleven essays and short stories in Sarasvatī, including both original and translated works.2 She was the first woman to be published in Sarasvatī and the journal’s most frequently published female author during Dwivedi’s tenure as editor.3 Banga Mahila was also one of the few women of her time to publish a volume of her own collected works in Hindi.4 Banga Mahila’s literary activity in the early twentieth century is exceptional in other regards. Her participation in a Hindi public sphere was unprecedented because she observed purdah.5 As such, she did not have access to formal public education and her personal interaction with Hindi literati was also limited to contact with a handful of people who knew her family and visited her home in Mirzapur. Notable among these acquaintances were Kedarnath Pathak and Ramchandra Shukla. Also remarkable is that she selfidentified as a Bengali woman and considered Bengali her mother tongue even though she was born and raised in the North-Western Provinces (after 1902, the United Provinces). Her pen name, her translation of Bengali literature, and her literary perspectives all bore the marks of her experiences as a woman of Bengali origin. Yet she

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chose to write in Hindi and considered it ‘the language that merited being the national language of India’.6 Banga Mahila’s subject matter was also different from publications by other women of her time. She wrote some essays specifically targeting women, including works that belonged to the genre of advice literature for women.7 Some of her works, however, also targeted a mixed readership. This is especially true of her original contributions to literary journals such as Samālochak, Nāgarī prachārinī patrikā, and Sarasvatī, in which she wrote biographical, historical, literary, and political essays as well as short fiction. Banga Mahila challenged her male contemporaries on several occasions in her contributions to these literary journals. Her first published essay in Hindi, ‘Hindī ke granthakār’ (Samālochak, February 1904), cited prominent literary figures for their participation and/or complicity in acts of plagiarism.8 Among those she criticized for uncredited translations were Radhakrishna Das, Ramkrishna Varma (1859–1906), and Raja Kamalanand Singh (1875–1910), all three of whom were influential in the Hindi literary and publishing scene (Banga Mahila 1988c, 165–7). She also criticized the former and the then editors of Sarasvatī, Shyamsundar Das and Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, for allowing Hindi translations of Bengali texts to be published without proper credit given to the original authors. She excused Das because he did not know Bengali and would, therefore, be unaware of such transgressions. Dwivedi, she contended, was familiar with Bengali and ought to be held accountable for improperly cited material published in his journal (Banga Mahila 1988c, 167–8). Banga Mahila also took prominent Hindi writers to task for other transgressions. In the same essay, she criticized novelists. Kishorilal Goswami’s social romances and historical novels Chapalā and Tārā were, she argued, obscene (ashlīl) and not fit for consumption by men or women (Banga Mahila 1988c, 168). She also reprimanded Hindi novelists writing on the subjects of enchantment and magical intrigue (aiyārī and tilism) for their penchant for the impossible (for example, raising the dead) (Banga Mahila 1988c, 168–9). She specifically mentioned the proprietor of the press that published the Hindi monthly Sudarshan (est. 1900) as one of the chief promoters of this type of novel. This was, of course, a reference to Devakinandan Khatri, well known

Alternate Realms of Authority


for his popular Chandrakāntā series and other aiyārī-tilismī novels.9 Such novels, she added, were ‘Hindi in name and Urdu in substance’, that is, they were not written in what she would consider Hindustān kī matribhāshā as they relied too heavily on Urdu or ‘Musalmānī’ words. As such, they did not facilitate nij bhāshā kī unnati (the progress of our own language) (Banga Mahila 1988c, 169).10 Banga Mahila was neither wary of condemning prominent literary figures nor did she hesitate to reveal her own biases for a developing Hindi literature that was chaste, grounded in a familiar reality, and Hindi/Hindu oriented. Though this essay elicited a mixed response from contemporaries, she continued to challenge contemporary figures and institutions in subsequent publications.11 In ‘Chandradev se merī bāten’ (my conversations with the moon), published in Sarasvatī in December 1904, she criticized British racism and Indian complicity in hindering India’s progress (Banga Mahila 1988a, 92–5); and in ‘Nivedan’ (a plea), published in Sarasvatī in May 1908, she questioned a contemporary male author’s flawed comparison of American and Indian women.12 In her prose essays, Banga Mahila urged her contemporaries to consider a wider range of issues at play in a middle-class Hindi nationalist public sphere, including but not limited to gender-based restrictions she and her Indian sisters faced. Such challenges to middle-class patriarchal nationalism also informed her debut as an original short story writer in Hindi. Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’ (1883–1922)

Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’, an active Hindi essayist, wrote on a wide range of topics including linguistics, astronomy, literature and criticism, philosophy, early Indian history, and archaeology. He also published poems and short stories, though his body of work in these genres was relatively small in comparison.13 He was well-versed in English and a known scholar of Sanskrit, Pali, and Prakrit. Guleri, like Banga Mahila, tied his literary persona to a specific region: his ancestral village, Guler, in the Kangra district of the then Punjab.14 Both writers were approximately the same age, received their early schooling at home, and had their literary careers cut short by circumstances.15

218 The Making of Modern Hindi

Guleri, however, did not face the same gender restrictions that informed Banga Mahila’s writing and limited her access to the Hindi public sphere in which they both participated. He became part of a vast and active Hindi literary network. His circle of literary friends and correspondents was made up of editors, scholars, writers, and other active Hindi enthusiasts spread across India, from Rajasthan to the United Provinces to Bengal. Among those with which he had literary ties were Madan Mohan Malaviya (1861–1946), Javaharlal Vaidya, also known as ‘Mr Jain Vaidya’ (1880–1909), and Shyamsundar Das.16 Over the course of his life and literary career, he was affiliated with various established institutional and scholarly environments across India: as a student at Maharaja College in Jaipur, Rajasthan; at Calcutta University in Bengal; and at Allahabad University in the United Provinces. As an educator, he taught at Mayo College (Ajmer) for many years as lecturer in Sanskrit and also served this institution in various other supervisory capacities; he later served as principal at Banaras Hindu University’s College of Oriental Learning and Theology. He also had educational affiliations with the royal family in Jaipur and the Jaipur Vedhshala (an astronomical observatory), where he served as a research assistant. He helped establish Nagari Bhavan in Jaipur, an institution supporting Nagari, and the Hindi monthly literary journal Samālochak (est. 1902, Jaipur), of which he was editor from 1903 to 1906. He was also an active member of the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha, serving as a committee member of the organization and as editor of the Nāgarī prachārinī patrikā for a few years circa 1920 (Sharma 1984, 31). The Stories: ‘Dulāīvālī’ and ‘Usne Kahā Thā’ Banga Mahila and Guleri published only a few original short stories over the course of their relatively short literary careers, yet they are both recognized as pioneers of the modern genre in Hindi. Banga Mahila’s original Hindi short stories in Sarasvatī include ‘Dulāīvālī’ (quilt-woman, 1907), ‘Hriday parīkshā’ (a test of the heart, 1915), and ‘Man kī dridhatā’ (the heart’s resolve, 1915).17 Guleri’s original short stories, published in various journals, include ‘Sukhmay jīvan’ (a happy life, 1911) in Bhāratmitra, ‘Buddhū kā kāntā’ (Buddhu’s

Alternate Realms of Authority


thorn) in the Hindi weekly Pātaliputra (written circa 1911–15), and ‘Usne kahā thā’ in Sarasvatī (she had said, 1915). Banga Mahila’s ‘Dulāīvālī’ and Guleri’s ‘Usne kahā thā’, their best-known works, are counted among the first modern Hindi short stories. Though these stories have been recognized in passing for decades as pioneering, substantive analyses have yet to be undertaken.18 Their inclusion as part of this discussion of Dwivedi’s literary authority begins these long-overdue discussions. ‘Dulāīvālī’

Banga Mahila’s ‘Dulāīvālī’ (quilt-woman, 1907) centres on a series of unfortunate events instigated by the incidence of a seemingly harmless prank. Two friends, Vamshidhar and Naval Kishor, have arranged to meet at a train station in Banaras so their families can travel together to Allahabad where they all reside.19 Naval Kishor, notorious for being a trickster, decides to play a joke on his friend. Rather than meeting his friend at the station in Banaras as planned in order to introduce his new bride, Naval Kishor enters Vamshidhar’s compartment covertly, mid-journey at a stop in Mirzapur, when Vamshidhar is otherwise occupied. Naval Kishor proceeds to seat his wife, then disappears only to re-enter the compartment in disguise with a dulāī (a thin quilted cloth) draped around his face and body and masquerading as a woman. Neither Vamshidhar nor Naval Kishor’s wife recognize this ‘dulāīvālī’ nor do Vamshidhar and Naval Kishor’s wife know each other. Naval Kishor’s wife, whose name is not given, is completely unaware of her husband’s plan. Alone, ticketless, and in purdah, she suffers quietly throughout the journey. Meanwhile, Naval Kishor closely monitors Vamshidhar’s reactions to the failed rendezvous and to the strange predicament of the unfortunate woman who has ‘lost’ her husband. Naval Kishor’s performance as a veiled female leads also to additional discomfort for Vamshidhar, as the dulāīvālī’s behaviour is at odds with her presumed respectability; this, too, is a source of entertainment for Naval Kishor. A subjective female narrator with partial insight into the characters’ thoughts, feelings, and actions relates the events of the story as they unfold. This witness provides access primarily to Vamshidhar’s perspective, narrating his individual experience of Naval Kishor’s prank;

220 The Making of Modern Hindi

some information is thus revealed to readers only as Vamshidhar is made aware of it. Additionally, the narrator gives readers an overview of the incident, one that is generally sympathetic towards the story’s women and critical of its men. The narrative is linear and moves from the introduction and elaboration of a primary conflict in sections one and two, to the story’s climax in section three, and a resolution in the fourth and final section. The story’s four sections examine a combination of class-, gender-, and nation-related challenges associated with various settings, both public and private. Section one and the beginning of section two take place at the home of Vamshidhar’s in-laws, an old, dark, and decrepit house in Varanasi’s Godowlia neighbourhood. Here, Vamshidhar declares that his wife, Janakidei, must cut short her visit to her family so that the couple may travel home via the same train as Naval Kishor and his new bride, per Naval Kishor’s telegram. Both Naval Kishor’s impulsive request and the urgency with which Vamshidhar complies show complete disregard for the needs or wishes of Janakidei and her family. This behaviour highlights the inherent powerlessness of a financially struggling māykā (a wife’s natal household) in the face of male patriarchal control. Section two has Vamshidhar and Janakidei entering the public sphere, en route to the train station. The shift away from a domestic space introduces Vamshidhar’s deep concern for public propriety. Given the choice between a shared ikkā (horse-drawn carriage) and a private pālkī gādī (covered vehicle), Vamshidhar considers the latter as more appropriate for his wife, a female from a respectable home (bhale ghar kī strī). The ikkā is undesirable as it requires women to climb up high into their seats and also to share space with unfamiliar men (parāye purush). He, nevertheless, opts for the ikkā because it is cheaper, justifying his choice with a remark on its pragmatism (pahunchne se kām). He also privately reflects that a show of respectability is unnecessary as Naval Kishor, who readers may surmise is his moral compass in such matters, is not present to chastise him. When considering the class of ticket to purchase for his family’s journey by train, Vamshidhar is offered the option of buying thirdclass tickets based on his prior choice of an ikkā; he proceeds, however, to buy tickets in a more respectable compartment (dyorhā darjā) at higher cost. By the same logic, he seats his wife in the women’s

Alternate Realms of Authority


compartment of the train (zanānī gādī), choosing now to shield her from public interaction with men, whereas he did not on the ikkā ride to the station. The dyorhā darjā for which Vamshidhar has a ticket is packed with passengers; so once again practical considerations (now spatial, rather than financial) triumph over his bid for respectability, and he settles for a seat in a third-class compartment. The narrator reveals another notable moment of the young couple’s public anxiety as they begin their journey to the train station. दोनों चुपचाप चले जा रहे थे, कि अचानि वंशीधर िी नज़र अपनी धोती पर पड़ी; और ‘अरे एि बात तो हम भूल ही गये।’ िह िर पछतासा उठे। इकिकेवाले िके िान बचािर जानिी जी ने पूछा, ‘कया हुआ? कया िोई ज़रूरी चीज़ भूल आये?’ ‘नहीं, एि देशी धोती पकहनिर आना था; सो भूल िर कवलायती ही पकहन आये। नवल िट्टर सवदेशी हुए हैं न? वे बंगाकलयों से भी बढ़ गये हैं। देखेंगे तो दो चार सुनाये कबना न रहेंगे। और बात भी ठीि है। नाहक़ कवलायती चीज़ें मोल लेिर कयों रुपये िी बरबादी िी जाय? देशी लेने से भी दाम लगेगा सही; पर रहेगा तो देश ही में।’ जानिी जी ज़रा भौंहैं टेढ़ी िरिके बोली, ‘उँह धोती तो धोती, पकहनने से िाम। कया यह बुरी है?’ The two were moving forward in silence, when suddenly Vamshidhar’s glance fell upon his dhotī; and stating, ‘Oh I completely forgot one thing’, he rose up somewhat regretfully. Shielding her words from the ikkā driver’s ears, Janaki ji asked, ‘What happened? Did you forget something important at home?’ ‘No, I was supposed to come wearing an Indian dhotī; but I forgot and came wearing a foreign one instead. Naval has become a strict swadeshī, no? He has even surpassed the Bengalis. When he sees, he won’t let the matter go without giving me a few scoldings. And, he’s right, too. Why should money be needlessly wasted on buying foreign goods? Buying Indian costs money, too; but at least it will stay inside the country.’ With a look of slight disapproval Janaki ji said, ‘Unh, a dhotī is a dhotī; it is for wearing. Is there something wrong with this one?’ (Banga Mahila 1907, 180)

Vamshidhar’s sudden regard for the appropriateness of his attire as they begin their journey and Janakidei’s attempt to maintain privacy in public by shielding her words from the ikkā driver’s ears is revealing of the discomfort that accompanies the transition from a domestic to a public space. While Vamshidhar’s dhotī was not a matter of concern at home, a journey outside, and more importantly his imminent

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rendezvous with Naval Kishor, dictates a different priority: a display of nationalist solidarity by wearing Indian-made rather than foreign cloth. This conversation suggests that Vamshidhar, though versed in the appropriate ideology for the new nationalist consciousness, has not wholeheartedly bought into it. Indeed his inconsistencies are emblematic of its still nascent status among members of his class. Vamshidhar’s first thought is of Naval Kishor’s dissatisfaction rather than ideological loyalties. And though he freely wears foreign cloth in the privacy of his home, in public he justifies to his wife Janakidei the financial and political benefits of wearing an Indian-made (deshī) dhotī. Janakidei’s dismissal of his concerns is also founded in pragmatism: dhotī to dhotī; pahinne se kām (a dhotī is a dhotī; it is for wearing).20 Her visible disapproval suggests that she, like her husband, has her own reservations about the emergent nationalism to which their friend Naval Kishor has, seemingly, wholeheartedly subscribed. Section three of the narrative takes place largely within the confines of a third-class compartment on the train from Banaras to Allahabad via Mirzapur and once again highlights issues of class-, gender-, and nationrelated propriety in public. There are ten to twelve male and female travellers, all by Vamshidhar’s measure visibly third class. Vamshidhar’s problems, abandoned at the last minute by his friend and seated in a class to which he does not belong, take on relative insignificance when juxtaposed with the predicament of a lone, respectable, ticketless female in purdah, separated from her husband. Concerns that Vamshidhar articulated for his own class-related and nationalist propriety are now overtaken by the remarkable public spectacle of this abandoned female, a seated bundle of cloth (kapre kī gathrī, Banga Mahila 1907, 181). Indeed she is the primary topic of discussion for everyone seated in the third-class compartment, though she herself does not speak a single word throughout the journey. The narrator highlights a conversation between some older village women which occurs in non-Khari Boli varieties of Hindi that reflect their rural/regional origins: ‘अरे इनिर मनई तो नाहीं अईलेन। हो देखहो रोवल िरथईन।’ दूसरी—‘अरे दुसर गाड़ी में बैठा होंइँ हें।’ पहली—‘दुर बौरही! ई जनानी गाड़ी थोड़े है।’ दूसरी—‘तऊ हो भलतो िहू।’ िहिर दूसरी भद्र मकहला से पूछने लगी, ‘िौन गाँव उतरबु बेटा [?] मीरजैपुरा चढ़ो हऊ न?’ इसिके जवाब में उसने जो िहा सो वह न सुन सिी। तब पकहली बोली—

Alternate Realms of Authority


‘हट हम पुँकछलान; हम िहा िाहां ऊतरबू हो? आँय ईलाहाबास?’ दूसरी—‘ईलाहाबास िौन गाँव हौ गोइँयाँ?’ पहली—‘अरे नाहीं जनँलू? पैयाग जी, जाहाँ मनइ मिर नाहाए जाला।’ दूसरी—‘भला पैयाग जी िाहे न जानीथ; ले, िहैिके नाही, तोहरे पच िके धरम से चार दाँई नहाए चुिी हँइ। एसों हो सोमवारी, अउर गहन, दिा, दिा लाग रहा तउन तोहरे िाशी जी नाँहाय गइ रहे।’ पहली—‘आवै जाय िके तो सब अऊते जाता बटले बाटेन। फुन यह साइत तो कबचारो कवपत में न पड़ल बाकटन। हे हम पचा हइ: राजघाट कटिस िटऊली; मोंगल िके सरायँ उतरलीह; होदे पुनः [न] चढ़लीह।’ दूसरी—‘ऐसे एि दाँइ हम आवत रहे। एि कमली औरो मोरे सँघे रही। द िौने कटसनीया पर उिर मकलिवा उतरे से कि जुरतँइहैं गकड़या खुली। अब भईया उ: गरा फाड़ फाड़ नररयाय,—[‘]ए साहब गड़ीया खड़ीिर! ए साहेब गकड़या तँनी खड़ीिर। [’] भला गकड़या दकहनाती िाहै िके खड़ी होय?’ पहली—‘उ मेहररूवा बड़ी उजबि रहल। भला िकेहू िके कचल्ाए से रेलीऔ िहूँ खड़ी होला?’ इसिी इस बात पर िुल िमरे वाले हँस पड़े। अब कजतने पुरुष-स्सरियाँ थीं, एि से एि अनोखा बातें िहिर अपने अपने तजुरुबे बयान िरने लगीं। बीच बीच में उस अिकेली अबला िी स्सथकत पर भी दुःख प्रिट िरती जाती थीं। तीसरी सरिी बोली—‘टीकिकसया पल्े बाय द नाँही! सहेबवा सुकन तो िलित्े ताँइ ले मसुकलया लेइ। अरे इहो तो नाँही कि दूर से आवत रहलेन, फरागत िके बदे उतरलेन।[’] चौथी—‘हम तो इनिके सँघे िके आदमी िके देखबो न किहा गोइयाँ!’ तीसरी—‘हम देखे रहली हो, मज़ेि टोपी कदहले रहलेन िो!’ इस तरह उनिी बेकसर पैर बातें सुनते सुनते वंशीधर ऊब उठे। ‘Oh! Her husband isn’t coming. Look, she’s crying.’ A second woman— ‘Well, he must be seated in another compartment.’ First woman—‘Don’t be silly! It’s not like this is the women’s-only compartment.’ Second woman—‘That’s exactly why I say this.’ Said the second woman, and then began questioning the respectable woman [bhadra mahilā], ‘Which village do you get off at my child [?] You got on at Mīrjaipūrā, right?’ Whatever [the bhadra mahilā] said in response to this, [the second woman] was not able to hear. Then, the first woman said – ‘Move aside I’ll ask; We said, where do you have to get off? In Īlāhābās?’ Second woman—‘Where is the village of Īlāhābās sister?’ First woman—‘What, don’t you know? Paiyāg jī where men go to bathe during Makar sankrānti.’21 Second woman—‘Well why wouldn’t I know of Paiyāg jī. Shall I  tell you or not, I have bathed there four times with people of your faith. Similarly—I experienced the pushing and shoving when I went to your Kāshījī [Banaras] at the time of Somvārī, and the eclipse.’22

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First woman—‘Lots of people come and go. But this time it’s possible the poor man is in some difficulty. This is what I think: he got a ticket at Rajghat; got off at Mughalsarai; from there did[n’t] get on again.’ Second woman—‘Something like that happened once when I was coming. I met a woman and we travelled together. As soon as her husband got off at one of the stations, the train immediately departed. Now folks, she shouted until she was hoarse, —[‘]Hey sāhab, stop the train! Hey sāheb, please just stop the train.” But really, how does one stop a moving train?’ First woman—‘What a strange woman she was. When does someone shouting ever stop a train?’ The whole compartment burst into laughter on hearing these words of hers. Now all the men and women, each began to relate peculiar incidents and describe their own experiences. And every now and then, they also continued to express sorrow at that lone, helpless female’s situation. A third woman said—‘The ticket isn’t tied to the edge of your sārī is it! If the sāhabvā [ticket collector] hears he’ll collect the fare all the way back to Calcutta. Oh, couldn’t it be that because of the long journey he [husband] got off to use the toilet?’ Fourth woman—‘Friend, I didn’t even see the man who was with her anywhere!’ Third woman—‘I saw him, he had a funny hat on his head!’ In this way, Vamshidhar grew tired of listening to their foolish chatter. (Banga Mahila 1907, 181–2)23

Banga Mahila’s inclusion of these women and their ‘foolish chatter’ is critical to her narrative, a subtle critique of the dictates of an upper-class masculinist nationalism.24 Her juxtaposition of the bhadra mahilā with village women accustomed to travelling by third-class rail highlights some of the gender-related limitations of so-called class-based respectability. The bhadra mahilā sits silently and secluded in a compartment full of people while her ‘third-class’ co-travellers, village women, seem at ease in this public space: they talk freely in mixed company as if old friends, sharing their individual experiences and opinions, laughing with each other, and passing the time. Neither religion, nor class, nor gender is a bar for their exchange.25 They have no need for any formal introductions or intermediaries; and they need no protection when travelling. Though not ‘respectable’ by Vamshidhar’s measure, they are

Alternate Realms of Authority


far better equipped than women of his own class to navigate and indeed survive in public spaces. When Vamshidhar asks the women to refrain from further commentary for fear of further upsetting the bhadra mahilā, he speaks with the authority of an upper-class male: तुम तो नाहक़ उनहें और भी डरा रही हो। ज़रूर इलाहाबाद तार गया होगा और दूसरी गाड़ी से वे भी वहाँ पहुँच जायँगे। मैं भी इलाहाबाद ही जा रहा हूँ। मेरे संग भी स्सरियाँ हैं। जो ऐसा ही है तो दूसरी गाड़ी िके आने ति मैं सटेशन ही पर ठहरा रहूँगा। तुम लोगों में से यकद िोई प्रयाग उतरे तो थोड़ी देर िके कलए सटेशन पर ठहर जाना। इनिो अिकेले छोड़ देना उकचत नहीं। यकद पता मालूम हो जायगा तो मैं इनहें इनिके ठहरने िके सथान पर भी पहुुंचा दूंगा। You are unnecessarily scaring her even more. Surely a wire has been sent to Ilahabad and he will also arrive there by another train. I, too, am going to Ilahabad. There are women with me as well. If need be, I will remain at the station until the other train arrives. If one of you all gets off at Prayag then wait for a little while at the station. It is not proper to leave her on her own. If her address can be ascertained, then I will also accompany her to the place where she is staying. (Banga Mahila 1907, 182)

His words of reprimand and reassurance here are both patronizing and protective. Acting as the sole male representative of the bhadra mahilā’s class, he presents a solution that maintains requisite norms of propriety, and in which he takes full responsibility for delivering her to safety. Notably, he uses respectful, third-person plural forms (unhen/inhen/inko/inke) when referring to the solitary bhadra mahilā and the informal/familiar second-person plural form of you (tum) to address the rural women. While one of the rural women defers to Vamshidhar using the second person polite form of you (āp), another woman is quick to counter his criticism: ‘नाहीं भइया! हम पचे िाकहिके िकेहुसे िुछ िही। अरे एि िके एि िरत न बाय तो दुकनया चलत िैसे बाय?’ ‘No, brother. Why would we say anything [like that] to anyone. If we all aren’t able to help each other then how would the world be able to function?’ (Banga Mahila 1907, 182)

This woman, addressing Vamshidhar with confidence, foregoes formalities (that is, her use of bhaiyā instead of āp) and expresses a need

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for solidarity. She seeks to participate in the collective support of a person in need. Vamshidhar, by contrast, seeks to maintain social distinctions and propriety by protecting the bhadra mahilā, a member of his own class. Banga Mahila’s fictionalized portrait of women’s participation in the public sphere re-evaluates dominant nationalist ideas on the subject. Her positive portrayal of these rural women questions nineteenth-century nationalist constructs of lower-class females as degenerate and a threat to the virtuous bhadra mahilā (Chatterjee 1999, 244; Banerjee 1999, 147). In ‘Dulāīvālī’, these women are constructed positively for their ability to survive in public and it is in fact a bhadra purush (respectable man) who turns out to be the biggest threat to the bhadra mahilā’s safety. ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ (young daughter-in-law at the Kumbh festival), Banga Mahila’s Hindi translation of her mother Niradvasini Ghosh’s Bengali story, represents a more conservative perspective. The contrast it provides to Banga Mahila’s perspective in ‘Dulāīvālī’ warrants a slight digression.26 Published in Sarasvatī in September 1906, less than a year before ‘Dulāīvālī’, ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ also plays on the theme of how women fare in the public sphere. It explores the tragedy that befalls a young mother who ventures outside the domestic sphere in order to participate in a popular Hindu festival (the great Kumbh festival) that only takes place once every twelve years in Allahabad. In the story, Pandit Ramnarayan Mishra’s young daughter-in-law expresses her desire to travel to Allahabad and bathe, along with the thousands of other Hindu pilgrims who celebrate this festival, in the sacred waters at the confluence of the Ganga River, the Yamuna River, and the legendary Sarasvati River. Against the better judgement of her in-laws and her husband, she convinces them to let her go to the festival under the supervision of her relatives. As she is still nursing, she must take her infant son with her. On the festival grounds, a vast uncontrollable crowd of pilgrims, eager to bathe in the holy waters comes between the young daughter-in-law and her baby. She loses hold of him and the infant is trampled to death by the crowd. ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ engages two ideas popular in uppermiddle-class Hindu discourse of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First is the increasing distance between and the

Alternate Realms of Authority


demarcation of public and private spheres, which is also relevant in the context of ‘Dulāīvālī’.27 The second idea, and this is where Banga Mahila presents a view slightly different from her mother’s, is that the public sphere is entirely too dangerous for women’s participation, especially in activities of a popular nature.28 In ‘Dulāīvālī’, Banga Mahila does not contest that the public sphere can be a dangerous space for a certain class of women. In fact, the location of section three of this narrative within the confines of a mixed-class, mixed-gender train compartment highlights some of the potential hazards of train travel for respectable women. In particular, the narrator mentions the presence of a lāthīvālā (thug) who schemes to steal the lone bhadra mahilā’s jewellery and split the profits with Vamshidhar. An angry Vamshidhar rebukes him. The lāthīvālā is temporarily subdued, but the narrator suggests that danger persists as the man will likely seek revenge if his stop is also in Allahabad (Banga Mahila 1907, 182). ‘Dulāīvālī’ makes it clear that the advent of train travel has made public manoeuvring a necessity for women as well as men. That is, Banga Mahila does not suggest, like her mother once did, that the outside world is entirely off limits to respectable women and, therefore, an unacceptable place for women’s activities. On the contrary, she points to some of the difficulties and dilemmas of a bhadra mahilā manoeuvring in public in comparison with other classes of women; she further critiques the ways in which certain patriarchal choices (for example, modes of transportation), practices (for example, purdah), and activities (for example, inconsiderate jokes) endanger female respectability and constitute injustices towards women. The author’s nuanced use of the language articulated in a public space is an equally critical component of the narrative. The bulk of the story, including both the female narrator’s voice as well as her communication of Vamshidhar’s thoughts and speech, is in Khari Boli and reflects Dwivedi’s preferences for literature in a standard Hindi.29 But in this third section, the rural women’s ‘foolish chatter’ is a reminder of the persistence of competing varieties and registers of Hindi in everyday public interactions and, consequently, of their significance to literature in bolchāl kī Hindī. With all its inconsistent variety, the rural women’s speech exhibits a range in substance and style, from observation and personal

228 The Making of Modern Hindi

experience to self-assurance and compassion, that Vamshidhar’s relatively standardized speech does not offer. Its presence in the narrative posits the centrality of women’s experiences to Vamshidhar’s story. Rather than dismissing it as inconsequential, as does Vamshidhar, or eliding it entirely, the author, vis-à-vis a female narrator, asserts its relevance to her story. Even the bhadra mahilā’s uncomfortable silence highlights the diversity of women’s speech, while further reinforcing Banga Mahila’s inherent criticism of class-based gender propriety that poses an obstacle to public survival. Instances of Khari Boli use in ‘Dulāīvālī’ also vary by gender, showcasing that two registers of a standardized speech may coexist within literary narratives. The female narrator’s speech, though in a relatively standardized Khari Boli, challenges Dwivedi’s efforts to promote a single literary standard and even experience, one that is singularly masculine. Her Khari Boli narration of Vamshidhar’s experience, markedly different from the speech of the rural women, maintains the existence of a counter-perspective to his, in both her focus, and in her choice of words. When a hungry Vamshidhar decides to get food, for example, the narrator’s account suggests his consideration for Janakidei was an afterthought, secondary to his own needs: Pīchhe se Jānakī kī sudh āī’ (Banga Mahila 1907, 181). And while the female narrator almost immediately expresses sympathy for the abandoned woman with the repeated use of bechārī (poor woman), Vamshidhar’s thoughts on first seeing her convey no sympathy whatsoever. Rather, he eagerly anticipates the arrival of her husband, presumably a fellow bhadra purush with whom he may converse to pass the time (Banga Mahila 1907, 181). Section three’s treatment of various categories of women in public continues with the introduction of yet another female figure: the eponymous dulāīvālī. Though the silent figure of the lone bhadra mahilā looms large as a centre of public concern and conversation in this section, the dulāīvālī, by comparison, makes only a brief appearance, taking up no more than three lines of the narrative; and yet she is the title character of Banga Mahila’s story: कपछले िमरे में िकेवल एि सरिी जो फ़रासीसी छींट िी ढुलाई ओढ़े बैठी थी, िुछ नहीं बोली। िभी िभी घूँघट िके भीतर से एि आँख कनिालिर वंशीधर िी ओर वह ताि देती थी और, सामना हो जाने पर, कफर मुँह फकेर लेती थी। वंशीधर सोचने लगे कि ‘यह कया बात है? देखने में तो यह भले घर िी मालूम होती है, पर आचरण इसिा अचछा नहीं।’

Alternate Realms of Authority


Only one woman, who was covered by a dulāī made of French chintz and was sitting on her own in the previous compartment, said nothing. She would glance from time to time in Vamshidhar’s direction, with one eye peeking out from inside her headcover and when their eyes met, she would look away. Vamshidhar began to think, ‘What’s going on? She looks like a woman from a respectable home, but her behaviour is not good.’ (Banga Mahila 1907, 182)

The two women juxtaposed here share several matters of circumstance: their veiled appearances give the impression of respectability; they are each alone and seem not to belong in a third-class compartment; and neither says a word throughout the journey. They are, however, worlds apart: one is helpless yet well-behaved; the other is independent and brazen. The former inspires public concern and Vamshidhar’s protection; the latter goes all but unnoticed by fellow travellers, inviting only Vamshidhar’s scrutiny. For reasons not fully revealed until section four of the narrative, these women are each emblematic of different aspects of male patriarchal nationalist ideology. The fourth section focuses once again on Vamshidhar and his ambivalent pursuit of propriety after he has disembarked at the train station in Allahabad. He retrieves Janakidei from the women’s compartment, and then against her counsel attempts to make arrangements for the distressed bhadra mahilā; all the while he reflects on the mess (bakhedā) in which he has gotten himself involved since the start of the day. Upon his return from an unsuccessful encounter with the stationmaster, he finds that his wife, the bhadra mahilā, and an old woman whom he had enlisted as temporary chaperone are nowhere to be seen, adding to his growing list of concerns. He confronts the only figure in sight, the approaching dulāīvālī. She, however, promptly reveals herself to be none other than his friend Naval Kishor, who has seated Janakidei and his own wife, the abandoned bhadra mahilā, in a covered vehicle (pālkī gādī) for the final leg of their journey home. Vamshidhar gently rebukes Naval Kishor for causing his young bride unnecessary distress, but his disapproval is fleeting and the two friends continue on with other conversation. Naval Kishor’s performance as the dulāīvālī, as the title suggests, is a central focus of Banga Mahila’s concern. In hindsight, Naval Kishor’s character reveals several inconsistencies. The narrator’s

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observations suggest early on that Naval Kishor is Vamshidhar’s moral compass for respectable nationalism. Naval Kishor would not approve of Vamshidhar’s choice of a public carriage (ikkā) for his wife; rather he would prefer a covered private vehicle (pālkī gādī) for bhadra mahilās (Banga Mahila 1907, 180). Indeed at the close of the story, Naval Kishor seats his wife and his friend’s wife in a pālkī gādī (1907, 183). Vamshidhar also articulates that Naval Kishor is a ‘strict swadeshī’ who would not approve of his vilāyatī (foreign) dhoti (1907, 180).30 Readers may also surmise that the ‘funny hat’ that the abandoned bhadra mahilā’s husband (Naval Kishor) is witnessed wearing before his disappearance is a swadeshī cap common among Bengali nationalists in metropolitan Calcutta (Naval Kishor’s point of origin). This was, however, unfamiliar to the rural woman from the United Provinces who observed him (1907, 182).31 Her lack of familiarity with the significance of the cap corroborates that Naval’s nationalism, which is only just beginning to spread among middleclass folks like Vamshidhar and Janakidei, has not yet touched the lower-class urban populace. Naval Kishor’s masquerade as a female is problematic. As the dulāīvālī, he wears a foreign cover made of French chintz and he uses this to hide what others in the story have deemed an important symbol of his persona: his swadeshī clothing.32 His conduct as a female also contradicts his purported ideas about the bhadra mahilā in public. Though in his role as a respectable female he is appropriately shielded from public eyes by a dulāī, his dulāīvālī travels alone, in mixed-class and gendered company rather than in the women’s compartment. Her glances in Vamshidhar’s direction are also bold and contradict his expectations of polite female behaviour (Banga Mahila 1907, 182). And while Naval Kishor, the respectable nationalist ideologue, supports his wife’s veiled appearance in public, and seats her in a private pālkī gādī, his prankster performance as a dulāīvālī exposes the young bride, at least in theory, to the dangers of unprotected train travel. Naval Kishor argues that she was never really in danger, but her behaviour indicates that she felt otherwise. While he assures his friend that a short length of cloth (chār hāth kī dulāī kī bisāt, 1907, 183) would not prevent him from protecting his wife, her own veiled appearance has a secluding and silencing effect that renders her completely helpless in public.

Alternate Realms of Authority


With this juxtaposition, Banga Mahila portrays two very different bhadra mahilās: one who is an architect of patriarchal nationalist control masquerading as a female, and one who is subject to this control without the privilege of choice. The former figure represents the hypocrisy of men who speak and act on behalf of these women but behave in a manner inconsistent with their proposed ideology, while the latter dutifully adheres to the dictates of this ideology, but in doing so is rendered helpless. Both figures are emblematic of the failures of this brand of nationalism. Ideological contradictions and inconsistencies complicate the two male characters of the story as well. Vamshidhar and Naval Kishor are selective in their performance of class- and gender-based nationalisms. While Vamshidhar’s ideology is driven largely by his concern for public propriety, his performance of it is undercut by practical, especially financial, concerns. His is as yet an ambivalent nationalism representative of an emergent transitioning middle class. Naval Kishor, by contrast, is more assured and consistent in his public performance of nationalist respectability, except when it comes to special circumstances, that is, playing a joke on his friend. The instant he transforms from male to female, he abandons the public emblems of his nationalism (for example, his swadeshī cap, clothing, and respectability). In her summation, the narrator frames her account of the day’s events as a rām kahānī (a sad story; Banga Mahila 1907, 183), which oddly enough, somewhat obscures Banga Mahila’s criticism of male patriarchal nationalist ideology.33 It turns out that this was an addition that Dwivedi made to the text.34 Though the author herself invites a connection to the Ramayan, it is with Sita not Ram that she links her story. The only two female characters in ‘Dulāīvālī’ that have names are Janakidei (an eponym for Sita) and her little sister, also named Sita. That they share a name with Ram’s wife, whose perspective is often overlooked in traditional tellings of the Ramayan, suggests that their story, though subsidiary to Vamshidhar’s, is as important as Sita’s story in the Ramayan. The female narrator’s sympathetic perspective towards them is further indication of this. Whereas the term rām kahānī invites reader sympathy for Vamshidhar, however misdirected, ‘Dulāīvālī’ also bears some of the

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hallmarks of crime fiction, and invites readers to bear witness to a crime in which he is not the primary victim. The narrative, like its title character, is shrouded in elements of mystery. It begins with an image of a fallen house, Janakidei’s natal home, once prosperous, now dark, decrepit, and old. There is also a failed rendezvous with Naval Kishor; the sudden, unexplained appearance of a lone bhadra mahilā in a third-class compartment; the equally perplexing departure of her husband, an elusive man seen by only one passenger; the incongruous behaviour of an unmannered dulāīvālī; the disappearance of the women in Vamshidhar’s party at the train station in Allahabad; and the final unveiling of Naval Kishor’s prank. The narrator’s gradual release of information, focusing only on Vamshidhar’s experience of the prank, builds suspense within the story while a final narrative twist provides a resolution that further indicates that the author is, if only loosely, inspired by this genre of popular fiction. In this context, using the term rām kahānī to invite reader sympathy towards Vamshidhar is a bit of a red herring, and diverts attention away from the true crimes of the story: the sudden and unnecessary separation of a wife from her natal home; the abandonment of a young bride on the train; and the perpetuation of purdah and the public helplessness it fosters in the modern, newly mobile bhadra mahilā. These are the actual subjects of Banga Mahila’s criticism. And who is the primary perpetrator of these crimes? The modern bhadra purush, a class-, gender-, and nation-conscious male whose transitioning, inconsistent modernity protects, restricts, and even endangers his female companions. This is a diversion that Banga Mahila’s text already cultivates. Vamshidhar’s misadventure and the story’s title figure, the Dulāīvālī, are also red herrings. It is in this subtle yet deliberate misdirection that Banga Mahila’s challenge of dominant literary and social paradigms avoids censorship. Though Dwivedi was invested in expanding Sarasvatī’s female readership and encouraging female authors in Hindi, his interest in publishing the story did not likely extend to the articulation of class- and gender-related challenges to emergent, maledominated nationalisms, which if stated more obviously might also have upset the journal’s primary readership. Dwivedi’s insertion of the term rām kahānī may have been a casual assessment of the story’s tone and it may have been the result of an instinctively masculinist

Alternate Realms of Authority


reading of the text that subtly redirected reader sympathies. Whatever the case, Banga Mahila’s outward focus on a middle-class nationalist male perspective and praxis—but offered vis-à-vis a female narrator with other sympathies—sensitively negotiates Dwivedi’s genderspecific ideas for a modern Hindi literature and nation. Her insistence on the diversity of Hindi, in all its gendered, class-specific, and regional varieties, further challenges Dwivedi’s dictates regarding a single standard. And, finally, ‘Dulāīvālī’ shifts the exemplary subjects of Hindi literature to characters from outside the geo-cultural confines of a Hindi-dominated arena. Banga Mahila’s characterization of Bengali bhadralok negotiations of nationalism from the perspective of expatriate families that reside within the Hindi belt but whose ties to their home region still remain significant in their everyday lives expands the regional boundaries of Hindi language and literary expression to include additional geo-cultural perspectives within the rubric of Dwivedi’s idea of a nation. ‘Usne Kahā Thā’

Guleri’s ‘Usne kahā thā’ (she had said, 1915) is considered a modern classic and is well-loved both for its tragic account of unrequited love spanning a quarter century as well as its thrilling wartime depiction of heroism and intrigue. The story’s protagonist is Lehna Singh, a Corporal (jamādār) in the British Indian Army at the start of World War I. He belongs to an all-Sikh regiment, the 77th Sikh Rifles, fighting German aggression on the western front in France and Belgium during the winter of 1914.35 ‘Usne kahā thā’ is the story of Lehna Singh’s valour in battle, punctuated by memories of his first love. Lehna Singh and a young Sikh girl, who is the object of his affection, meet as children while visiting their respective relatives in Amritsar twenty-five years prior to the present battle, when he is twelve and she is eight. Both go on to marry others; and we are told that Lehna Singh has little recollection of that young girl when they meet again as adults. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that his attachment to her is stronger than even he is consciously aware. His selfless acts of heroism in battle, we learn, are tied to a request that she makes, to protect her husband and son, both of whom happen to be in his regiment. Though he is himself a married man and has

234 The Making of Modern Hindi

a son of his own, he sacrifices his own life to fulfil her request. Why he does so is the key to the story’s poignancy and yet, a response is all too easily lost in oversimplified readings of the narrative as either tragic romance or as a story of wartime valour. A third-person observer narrates the story in five sections using a variety of tools (for example, flashbacks) and tenses (past and present); he relies heavily on quoted dialogue, but also integrates paraphrased exchanges, detailed descriptions, and rapid reportage. The narrator has special access to the embattled region in Europe and relays the sights, sounds and experiences of war. He also provides insight into the title character’s internal state, conveying his emotions, thoughts, desires, and memories. Though the narrator behaves primarily as a third-party witness to events in the story, the particularities of his perspective mark the narrative in significant ways. The worldliness of his narration, for example, features a regional, religious, and gendered experience that distinguishes ‘Usne kahā thā’ from other short stories of its time. Regional Attachment

From the story’s outset, the narrator displays an intimate familiarity with both rural and urban Indian landscapes, expressing a particular fondness for Amritsar, a city with a ‘small town’ feel.36 The story begins in colonial India, in Punjab Province circa 1889. The celebrated opening lines invite the reader to consider the importance of place and, in particular, its associated speech as a ‘salve’ for the wounded: बड़े बड़े शहरों िके इकिके-गाड़ी वालों िी ज़बान िके िोड़ों से कजनिी पीठ कछल गई है और िान पि गये हैं उनसे हमारी प्राथ्थना है कि अमृतसर िके बमबूिाट्ट वालों िी बोली िा मरहम लगावें। जब बड़े बड़े शहरों िी चौड़ी सड़ि पर घोड़े िी पीठ िो चाबुि से धुनते हुए इकिके वाले िभी घोड़े िी नानी से अपना कनिट समबनध स्सथर िरते हैं, िभी राह चलते पैदलों िी आँखों िके न होने पर तरस खाते हैं, िभी उनिके पैरों िी अँगुकलयों िके पोरों िो चीथ िर अपने ही िो सताया हुआ बताते हैं और संसार भर िी गलाकन, कनराशा और क्ोभ िके अवतार बने नाि िी सीध चले जाते हैं, तब अमृतसर में उनिी कबरादरी वाले, तंग चकिरदार गकलयों में, हर एि लड्ी वाले िके कलए, ठहर िर, सब्र िा समुद्र उमड़ा िर, ‘बचो खालसाजी’, ‘हटो भाई जी’, ‘ठहरना भाई’, ‘आने दो लालाजी’, ‘हटो बाछा’, िहते हुए सफ़केद फेंटों, ख़च्चरों और बत्िों, गनने और ख़ोमचे और भारे वालों िके जंगल में से राह खेते हैं। कया मजाल है कि जी और साहब कबना सुने किसी िो हटना पड़े। यह बात नहीं कि उनिी जीभ चलती ही नहीं, चलती है, पर मीठी छुरी िी तरह महीन मार िरती हुई। यकद िोई बुकढ़या बार बार कचतौनी देने पर भी लीि से नहीं हटती तो उनिी वचनावली िके ये नमूने हैं—हट

Alternate Realms of Authority


जा, जीणे जोकगए; हट जा, िरमा वाकलए; हट जा, पुत्ां पयाररए; बच जा लमबी वाकलए। समकटि में इसिा अथ्थ है कि तू जीने योगय है, तू भागयों वाली है, पुरिों िो पयारी है, लमबी उमर तेरे सामने है, तू कयों मेरे पकहयों िके नीचे आना चाहती है? बच जा। I implore those whose backs have been flayed and whose ears have been burned by the whip-like tongues of horse-cart drivers from the big city to apply as a salve the speech of the bamboo-cart drivers of Amritsar. While horse-cart drivers on the wide roads of the big cities, as they crack their whips on a horse’s back, sometimes affirm their intimate relations with the horse’s grandmother, sometimes express pity for blind pedestrians; sometimes, after having crushed their [pedestrian’s] toes, they [horse-cart drivers] claim themselves as the tormented ones and move right on as all the world’s disgust, despair, and malice incarnate; meanwhile, their brothers in the narrow, circuitous lanes of Amritsar, stop for each and every cart vendor, with patience enough to flood an ocean, and say, ‘Careful Khālsājī’, ‘Move aside Bhāījī’, ‘Wait Bhāī’, ‘Let it come Lālājī’, ‘Move aside, Bāchhāh’, and then make their way through a jungle of white turbans, mules and ducks, and bearers of sugarcane and poles, and other loads. How outrageous that someone should have to move without hearing jī or sāhab. It’s not that their tongues don’t work, they work, but they strike delicately, like a sweet dagger. If an old woman won’t move out of the way, even after she has been given several warnings, then here are a few samples of what they might say—move jīne jogiye, move karmā vāliye, move puttān pyāriye, save yourself lambī vāliye. All in all, these mean you are worthy of living, you are fortunate, your children love you, you have a long life ahead of you, why do you want to get caught beneath my wheels. Save yourself. (Guleri 1915, 341–2)

Guleri’s narrator juxtaposes Amritsar, in Punjab Province, with a generic, ‘large [Indian] city’.37 He lists both tangible and intangible identifiers for each location: horse carts versus bamboo carts, wide roads versus circuitous lanes, obscenity and insult versus polite, respectful speech; haste versus patience, struggle versus peaceful coexistence, a mass of relation-less pedestrians versus people referred to with affectionate nicknames, kinship terms, or respectful terms of address. This comparative characterization of two locations provides a context for Lehna Singh’s first encounter with the young Sikh girl and, more generally, for his profoundly

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personal attachments to place in the story, with all the many layers that constitute its identity. The opening lines also highlight the importance of language, in its many varieties. Though embedded within a largely standardized, mostly Khari Boli narrative introduction, this paragraph features a Hindi that is both attractive and effective precisely because of its regional affiliation. The narrator gives precedence to an everyday spoken Hindi (bolī) that is attached to a specific place over a formal, written, literary language that represents a more generic experience. He explicitly favours the gently cutting speech of bamboo-cart drivers in an Amritsar marketplace over the offensive speech of big-city horse-cart drivers, but also implicitly over the impersonal speech of the mostly middle-class subjects that otherwise filled the pages of Sarasvatī.38 Language in a larger, more metropolitan city such as Delhi, though most certainly a source region for so-called refined literary articulation, by contrast, lacked the personal touch that could be found in the use of titles such as ‘Khālsājī’, ‘Lālājī’, ‘Bhāī/ Bhāījī’, and ‘Bāchhāh’ commonly heard in the marketplace of Amritsar.39 And warnings to pedestrians, offered in a Punjabi-inflected Hindi, are sweet, rather than harsh, for the simple reason that they are communicated in a language to which the narrator and the figures in the marketplace have a personal connection.40 That the narrator offers a translation of these warnings into what is presumably a more formal speech suggests that the standard Hindi expressions may have been more easily understood by a larger audience, but that they would not likely have been as effective in communicating the familiarity and sweetness of Amritsar’s bolī.41 Section two of the story shifts abruptly in time and place; it is set twenty-five years later and introduces another location, a distant war-torn battlefield in Europe. Like the Amritsar marketplace, it is a landscape defined by many layers. Within the first few lines of this section, the narrator offers this place as a counterpoint to the intimate familiarity and charm of Punjab. His focus now is the alienating effects of battle on foreign soil: राम राम, यह भी िोई लड़ाई है! कदन रात ख़नदिों में बैठे हकडियाँ अिड़ गईं। लुकधयाने से दस गुना जाड़ा, और मेह और बरफ़ ऊपर से। कपँडकलयों ति िीचड़ में धँसे हुए हैं। ग़नीम िहीं कदखता नहीं;—घणटे दो घणटे में िान िके पड़दे फाड़ने वाले धमािके िके साथ सारी ख़नदि कहल जाती है और

Alternate Realms of Authority


सौ सौ गज़ धरती उछल पड़ती है। इस ग़ैबी गोले से बचे तो िोई लड़े। नगरिोट िा ज़लज़ला सुना था, यहाँ कदन में पचीस ज़लज़ले होते हैं। जो िहीं ख़नदि से बाहर साफ़ा या िुहनी कनिल गई तो चटाि से गोली लगती है। न मालूम बेईमान कमट्टी में लेटे हुए हैं या घास िी पकत्यों में कछपे रहते हैं। Ram Ram, this is some kind of battle! Crouching day and night in the trenches, my joints have become stiff. Ten times colder than in Ludhiana and on top of that, rain and snow. Thrust up to our calves in mud. The enemy nowhere in sight;—every hour or two, explosions loud enough to shatter the eardrum shake the trench and the ground flies up every hundred yards. Only someone who escapes these invisible bullets will even have a chance at fighting. I’d heard [of?] the earthquake in Nagarkot, but here twenty-five such earthquakes occur in a single day. And if by chance a turban or an elbow even pokes out of the trench, then with a bang, it is hit by a bullet. Who can tell if those scoundrels are lying in the dirt or camouflaged by blades of grass. (Guleri 1915, 342)

The narrator, quoting Lehna Singh, once again offers a comparative perspective of place; it is, however, alienating rather than inviting. The battle rages on a cold, treacherous, enemy-ridden, and foreign terrain. The harsh conditions of familiar places such as Ludhiana and Nagarkot, also within Punjab Province at the time, are mild in comparison: Ludhiana in terms of its climate; Nagarkot, in terms of its historic earthquake (1905).42 Guleri further marks the unwelcoming landscape with the perils of invisible bullets, explosive cannons, scattered earth, and filthy trenches. The remaining story unfolds on this foreign, war-torn terrain. Punjab Province, however, remains a central point of reference: the entrance of the sacred Sikh place of worship, the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar; Manjha, Lehna’s hometown as a child; the young girl’s home in Magra; trenches flooded by streams of water just like those at the step-wells of Chamba; and ‘Bulel kī khad’, where the adult Lehna Singh has land and a family and where he wishes to die (Guleri 1915, 342–3).43 Other places referenced in the narrative include the cities of Delhi and Peshawar, mentioned in a bawdy soldiers’ song (Guleri 1915, 343); Shimla and Jagadhari, which Lehna cites in his fictive account of hunting antelope (Guleri 1915, 345, 346); and Lyallpur, where the subedārinī says her husband had been gifted a tract of land by the British for his service to the empire (Guleri 1915, 348).

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The narrative thus maps much of Punjab Province and its immediately surrounding area as it existed in colonial India onto the story of Lehna Singh’s heroism. The centrality of place and its associated markers of identification are particularly obvious in sections three and four, in which the narrator details Lehna Singh’s discovery of a German spy posing as his British lieutenant. Lehna Singh uses his intimate knowledge of Punjab’s physical and social landscape to outwit the imposter. He employs a test, integrating subtle details of geography, language, and culture. His real lieutenant, a British officer, would have known these given his first-hand experience in the colony. Lehna asks the imposter about the time they hunted antelope in the district of Jagadhari, knowing that there were no antelopes there to hunt. To test the lieutenant’s linguistic and cultural knowledge, Lehna Singh recalls how on that trip the lieutenant rode a donkey, cognizant of the fact that a high-ranking British officer would not be riding a donkey. Lehna Singh uses a Punjabi word for donkey, khotā, rather than its more common equivalent in Hindi/Urdu, gadhā, expecting perhaps that it would not likely be in an imposter’s limited, primarily book-based, vocabulary.44 Lehna Singh also mentions that the cook, a man named Abdullah, stopped at a temple to pay his respects to the deities, fully aware that a Muslim cook would not stop to worship at a Hindu temple. Only an outsider to the specifics of a colonial Indian landscape, including geographical, linguistic, and cultural markers, would confirm these experiences to be true (Guleri 1915, 345). Though Lehna Singh is himself on foreign soil he attempts to wage this war on familiar ground. He asserts the primacy of Punjab, an India he knows well, in order to gain an advantage over his enemy. In doing so, he forces the German infiltrator, whose Urdu happens to be flawless but studied, to navigate a foreign terrain that cannot be comprehended via books alone. It is on this home terrain rather than on foreign soil that Lehna Singh chooses to die. After exposing the spy and warning his Captain of the impending German ambush, he is mortally wounded in the battle that ensues. As he lies dying, he again finds himself on Punjabi soil as his memory flashes back: first, twenty-five years ago to his encounters in Amritsar with the young Sikh girl; second, to a more immediate past, still in Punjab, when he meets her again and she begs

Alternate Realms of Authority


him to protect her husband and her son in battle; and finally, to his orchard on the banks of Bulel, where he wants to die, lying in the shade of a grove of mango trees he has planted with his own two hands. Amidst a raging battle on unfamiliar terrain, fighting Germans under the banner of the British—both foreign powers—Lehna Singh is able to determine his own fate, and he dies in the figurative embrace of a familiar physical, social, and cultural landscape, at home in Punjab. Sikh Identity

The centrality of Punjab to the narrative is closely tied to the title character’s religious identification as it is considered the historic homeland of Sikhs. Character names are an early indication that most of the characters are Sikh, but the narrative maintains a distance that does not assume this knowledge on the part of readers. The narrator provides details, descriptions, and explanations in the third person or by direct quotation of Sikh identity. Thus, though not necessarily Sikh himself, he makes the characters’ religious identification patently clear. In his introduction of the young boy and girl at the centre of this story, the narrator surmises they are Sikh from their physical appearance rather than stating it directly: ऐसे बमबूिाट्ट वालों िके बीच में होिर एि लड़िा और एि लड़िी चौि िी एि दुिान पर आ कमले। उसिके बालों और इसिके ढीले सुथने से जान पड़ता था कि दोनों कसख हैं। Having made their way past just such bamboo-cart drivers, a boy and a girl happened to meet in front of a shop in the marketplace. It was apparent from his hair and her loose trousers that they are both Sikh. (Guleri 1915, 342)

Shortly thereafter, the girl points out a silk-embroidered sālū (scarf ) she received at her kudmāī, a Sikh engagement ceremony (Guleri 1915, 342). Later, when the scene shifts to the battlefront, Lehna mentions the sāfā worn by Sikh men. Though a prominent target for German bullets (Guleri 1915, 342) he and his fellow soldiers do not abandon it; Lehna takes it off only when he is wounded, to use it as a tourniquet (Guleri 1915, 346). In addition to particularities of appearance, the narrator also records other Sikh rituals and practices spoken of by the soldiers: thus, Hazara Singh mentions jhatkā karnā,

240 The Making of Modern Hindi

the prescribed method of slaughtering an animal for consumption;45 Lehna Singh mentions bowing his head (matthā teknā) at the entrance to Darbar Sahib, the temple in Amritsar where the Granth Sahib is housed (Guleri 1915, 342); and the fact that smoking is prohibited among Sikhs is repeated several times throughout the text (Guleri 1915, 343; 344; 346). The distinction of Sikhs from members of other religious communities in India is further reinforced by two minor instances in which members of the Sikh platoon caricature or outwit Hindu and Islamic figures of authority: Vazira Singh, while throwing buckets of dirty water outside of the trench, pretends he is a pandit (pādhā) making an offering to the German king (Guleri 1915, 343) and Lehna Singh relates an incident from his past in which he foiled the attempts of a Turkish priest (maulvī, mullāhjī) to take advantage of Hindus from his village (Guleri 1915, 346).46 Lehna Singh’s religious identity is integral to the development of his character; but it is with further purpose that the narrator singles out these details in the narrative. Lehna Singh’s identification as a Sikh is perhaps most important for its martial implications. He belongs to the 77th Sikh Rifles, a platoon comprised entirely of Sikhs. The narrative is full of reminders of their much-celebrated strength and bravery. When faced with a pending German ambush, Lehna Singh declares: एि एि अिाकलया कसख सवा लाख िके बराबर होता है। Each akāliyā Sikh is equal to 125,000 men. (Guleri 1915, 345)

Indeed despite their advantage the Germans in the story are defeated by Sikhs rallying to the cries of: अिाल कसकखां दी फ़ौज आई! वाह गुरुजी दी फ़तह! वाह गुरुजी दी ख़ालसा! सत श्ीअिालपुरुख!!! Here comes an army of Akāl Sikhs! Victory to Gurujī! Victory to the Guru’s own! True is the great, timeless one!!!(Guleri 1915, 346)

The narrator’s repeated communication of such statements in the story conveys commonly held Indian and British perceptions at the turn of the century about Sikhs as a martial race. Read in the context of another popular set of late nineteenth-century colonial

Alternate Realms of Authority


stereotypes—the ‘manly Englishman’ and the ‘effeminate Bengali/ Indian’—the valorization of Sikh men in this story models an alternate identity: a fierce, Indian masculinity, upheld even in the face of a foreign enemy.47 A Gendered Perspective Lehna Singh’s heroism in ‘Usne kahā thā’ is set within the context of a gendered narrative in which his martial prowess is just one aspect. The narrator in Banga Mahila’s ‘Dulāīvālī’ provides a female perspective and critique of a predominantly masculine nationalism; ‘Usne kahā thā’ suggests there is also another gendered perspective that lies outside mainstream Hindu nationalism in the early twentieth century. In the midst of a World War, an all-Sikh regiment fighting on behalf of a colonial power represents the full potential of Indian masculinity. The narrator conveys not only the heroism of figures like Lehna Singh, but also the masculinist culture in which such heroism is cultivated. This story is in some ways a nationalist defence of Indian masculinity which counters late nineteenth-century colonial constructions of Indian men as effeminate, weak, and subservient; however, it also pushes the boundaries of Dwivedi’s brand of literary nationalism far beyond the exemplary naturalism he prefers for fiction.48 The narrative interweaves savoury with unsavoury elements. Throughout the story the narrator demonstrates a familiarity with both polite and coarse speech attributed to male characters. In the opening lines to the story, the narrator informs readers of the offensive hostile speech of big city horse-cart drivers who shout obscenities at their horses and insult pedestrians. Though not preferred by the narrator, this kind of speech has literary purpose: without it, his claims that Amritsar’s gentle bolī is a salve for the wounded would certainly be less effective. In keeping with his preferences, Dwivedi made revisions to ‘Usne kahā thā’ that mitigated some of the story’s potentially offensive language. Thus, Guleri’s original lines describing big city speech read: जब कि बड़े शहरों िी चौड़ी सड़िों पर घोड़े िी पीठ िो चाबुि से धुनते हुए इकिकेवाले िभी घोड़े िी नानी से अपना कनिट यौन समबनध स्सथर िरते हैं, िभी उसिके गुप्त गुह्य अंगो से डाकटर िो लजाने वाला पररचय कदखाते हैं, िभी राह चलते पैदलों िी आँखों िके न होने पर तरस खाते हैं ...

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While horse-cart drivers on the wide roads of the big cities, as they crack their whips on a horse’s back, sometimes affirm their intimate sexual relations with the horse’s grandmother, sometimes demonstrate familiarity with his/her/its concealed private parts in a manner that would make a doctor blush, sometimes express pity for blind pedestrians... (Guleri, in Lal 1995, 9)

Dwivedi, however, did not remove offensive speech entirely.49 In one revision of the text, the editor retains the phrase nikat yaun sambandh (intimate sexual relations), but crosses out the line referring to gupta guhya ang (concealed private parts). In the final published story in Sarasvatī (1915, 341), Dwivedi further excises the text, removing yaun and leaving only the suggestive phrase nikat sambandh (intimate relations) to convey Guleri’s meaning.50 The impact of Guleri’s deliberate use of vulgarity is considerably altered by these omissions. Dwivedi’s retention of even the reference to ‘intimate relations’, however, suggests that he recognized, albeit cautiously, some merit to such non-exemplary ‘literary’ expression. Elsewhere in ‘Usne kahā thā’, soldiers are overheard making crude remarks and references. Lehna Singh conveys his familiarity with English profanities like ‘damn’, which he has heard his lieutenant say frequently (Guleri 1915, 346). He is also not above swearing himself. Lehna Singh emphatically refers to the German infiltrator as sohrā. A footnote to the text translates this as susarā (lit. father-in-law) for readers and clarifies that it is being used as a swear word or gālī (Guleri 1915, 345). Such expletives convey the direness of the soldier’s situation in a manner that a more refined Hindi expression might not. Vulgarity, the narrator further suggests, facilitates male camaraderie and enlivens the spirits of men faced with the perils of war and, ultimately, their own mortality. The men speak, for example, of the untoward advances made by ‘foreign’ (French) women who are grateful for the protection that the Sikh soldiers offer (Guleri 1915, 342; 343). Lehna Singh teases Vazira Singh, wondering if he will settle down in France with the ‘dūdh pilānevālī farangī mem’ (the foreign woman who offers them milk) rather than his wife (Guleri 1915, 343). Vazira retorts with a comment on the shamelessness of foreign women; then Lehna Singh shares his own experiences with a French woman who has approached him (Guleri 1915, 343):

Alternate Realms of Authority


आज ति मैं उसे समझा न सिा कि कसख तमािू नहीं पीते। वह कसगरेट देने में हट िरती है, ओठों में लगाना चाहती है, और मैं पीछे हटता हूँ तो समझती है कि राजा बुरा मान गया, अब मेरे मुलि िके कलए लड़ेगा नहीं।’ I have yet to convince her that Sikhs don’t smoke tobacco. She insists on offering me a cigarette, wants to put it to my lips, and when I back away, she thinks the king is offended, now he won't defend my country. (Guleri 1915, 343)

There is an implied intimacy that is hinted at in this interaction. Though not explicit, the conversation highlights some of the unsavoury aspects of life on a foreign battlefront. Both Vazira and Lehna openly reject even the idea of such advances, implying that acquiescence would go against their moral code; it does not, however, stop them or others from discussing it.51 Indeed Vazira Singh, whom the narrator designates as the platoon’s vidūshak (clown), is not above distracting his fellow soldiers with crude antics. His impression of a priest, earlier referenced, lightens the mood of the soldiers as they bail buckets of filthy water from the trench (Guleri 1915, 343). Later, when Lehna Singh speaks of death, not in combat but at home in Punjab, Vazira Singh diverts him and his fellow soldiers with a lewd song, which they all then join him in singing: कदल्ी शहर ते कपशौर नुं जांकदए, िर लेणा लौगां दा बपार मकडए; िर लेणा नाड़ेदा सौदा अकड़ए— (ओय) लाणा चटािा िदुए नुं। िद्द बणया वे मजेदार गोररए हुण लाणा चटािा िदुए नुं॥ (Guleri 1915, 343)

A footnote to the text provides an explanatory translation of the lyrics from the original into Hindi.52 अरी कदल्ी शहर से पेशावर िो जाने वाली, लौंगों िा वयापार िर ले और इज़ारबनद िा सौदा िर ले। जीभ चटचटा िर िद्दू खाना है। गोरी! िद्दू मज़ेदार बना है। अब चटचटा िर उसे खाना है। Oh woman travelling from the city of Delhi to Peshawar, do your business with people and barter the drawstring that holds up your trousers. We want to smack our lips and eat pumpkin. Fair woman!

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The pumpkin is tasty. We want to smack our lips and eat it now. (Guleri 1915, note 2, 343)

The narrator articulates his surprise that ‘bearded Sikh family men’ would be singing such a licentious song (luchchon kā gīt) but, he also notes the song’s effect: the soldiers were immediately refreshed ‘as if they had slept for four days and had just been having a good time all along’ (Guleri 1915, 344). His comments suggest that such crude behaviour may not be appropriate behaviour at home amidst one’s family, but the battlefront is an exceptional space, a domain of men, in which fighting, swearing, making crude jokes, and singing bawdy songs are common, if not required, for negotiating the harsh realities of war. In this way the narrator justifies both the soldiers’ actions as well as his own inclusion of these suggestive lyrics in his account. Dwivedi allowed these lyrics to be printed despite his stated preferences for exemplary literary speech and behaviour. Perhaps he accepted their importance to giving the military aspects of the narrative some verisimilitude.53 Clearly, he deemed these lyrics more significant to the development of the story than he did the full range of obscenities spoken by big city horse-cart drivers, which he chose to mitigate.54 Remarkably, it would be later post-Dwivedi era anthologists who censored these lyrics or altered/removed the footnoted Hindi exposition (Lal 1995, 9). The narrative thus provides a distinctly male perspective of soldiers at war; and Lehna Singh is a heroic figure that actively participates in this gendered behaviour. As a child, too, he is aggressive, displaying moments of daring and anger, but also courage. His inquiry to the young Sikh girl about her engagement on the event of their very first meeting is bold if not shameless. This is precisely why the young girl responds with dhat, a term that indicates both her shyness on the very personal subject and also her gentle disapproval of his audacity. Later, his reaction to her affirmative response that she was just recently engaged is one of youthful rage. On his way home, he takes his anger out on all that cross his path: he pushed a boy into the gutter, caused a street vendor to lose a full day of earnings, threw a stone at a dog, poured milk on a cauliflower-seller’s cart, and bumped directly into a Vaishnavī who had just bathed (Guleri 1915,

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342). His aggressiveness as a boy is not always untoward or cruel. In another flashback, the narrator reveals that the young Lehna Singh had also at great personal risk saved the girl from being trampled by a horse (Guleri 1915, 348). Years later the subedārinī requests that he replicate this behaviour to save her husband and son. Lehna’s aggressiveness as a youth transforms into military prowess as an adult. Fighting is in fact essential to his identity, both as a soldier and as a Sikh: कबना फकेरे घोड़ा कबगड़ता है और कबना लड़े कसपाही। मुझे तो संगीन चढ़ा िर माच्थ िा हुकम कमल जाय। कफर सात जरमनों िो अिकेला मार िर न लौटूँ तो मुझे दरबार साहब िी देहली पर मतथा टेिना नसीब न हो। A horse without exercise goes mad, as does a soldier without a battle. Wish I would get the order to raise my bayonet and march. Then, if I returned without singlehandedly killing seven Germans, let me not have the good fortune of ever bowing my head at the entrance to Darbar Sahib. (Guleri 1915, 342)

He is also, however, exceptional among his peers. Though surrounded by Sikh soldiers who are presumed to have the same abilities, he not only boasts openly of his skills (Guleri 1915, 342–3) but also proves them readily in his encounter with the German imposter and the subsequent ambush of his platoon (Guleri 1915, 345–7). Lehna Singh endures the cold for the sake of Bodh Singh, offering him his coat, blanket, and jersey (Guleri 1915, 344); it is Lehna Singh who recognizes the imposter, outwits him, and defies his superior’s orders to save the platoon (Guleri 1915, 344–6); and he has no fear of personal injury or death, putting his own life at risk to save Bodh Singh and Hazara Singh as per his unspoken vow to the subedārinī. His character is decidedly different from the weak Bodh Singh, and the comic Vazira Singh, both of whom serve as foils for him in the narrative. Lehna Singh’s masculinity is, thus, constructed in both the marketplace of Amritsar as well as on a European battlefront. Though audacity, outrage, bravery, fighting, and military prowess are not exclusively the domain of men, the circumstances in which the narrator invokes these qualities are distinctly gendered as masculine: Lehna Singh is bold in his advances towards the girl, he is angry that

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she is engaged, he saves her from injury, and he fights valiantly to fulfil her request. He is her ‘hero’. That said, Lehna Singh is a complex, hyper-masculine hero unlike the male protagonists in most if not all of the other short stories published in Sarasvatī in this era.55 Indeed, he has a wife and child of his own; and yet he sacrifices his life for the subedārinī.56 He also engages in activities usually relegated to a male sphere of interaction, but which outside of a military context would be perceived as inappropriate for a ‘national’ role model (for example, fighting, swearing, lewdness, and so on). He also, however, exhibits behaviour that challenges traditionally gendered roles. Lehna Singh is nurturing in his care of Bodh Singh in a way that sets him apart from his fellow soldiers: he takes over Bodha’s guard shifts, makes his bed, offers him water and warm clothing, and shields him from worry about the pending ambush (Guleri 1915, 343–6). He also sacrifices participating in a potential battle, which he has been eagerly awaiting for days, in order to care for Bodh Singh (Guleri 1915, 344). Lehna Singh’s singular masculinity is further elaborated off the battlefield. The narrator shares a very unique glimpse of the soldier in a domestic space that is generally off limits to men outside of the household. Here, too, he is a sensitive hero. At the subedārinī’s request and the subedār’s consent, Lehna Singh enters the bandhe (women’s quarters), where without a word he listens to the subedārinī’s plea for the safety of her husband and only child.57 Her very personal story of loss moves him profoundly, and as he leaves he shares in her sorrow, wiping tears of compassion from his eyes (Guleri 1915, 348). His tears here are decidedly different from the tears that Vazira Singh sheds for the mortally wounded Lehna Singh, his ‘brother’ in battle (Guleri 1915, 348). The private interaction between Lehna Singh and the subedārinī highlights another aspect of his heroism: that it is exclusive to men. In the build-up to her request, the subedārinī expresses a singular desire: मेरे तो भाग फूट गये। सरिार ने बहादुरी िा कख़ताब कदया है, लायलपुर में ज़मीन दी है, आज नमिहलाली िा मौक़ा आया है। सरिार ने हम तीकमयों िी एि घँघररया पलटन कयों न बना दी जो मैं भी सूबेदार जी िके साथ चली जाती?

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I am so unfortunate. The government has granted [him/us] the title of ‘bahādur’, given [him/us] land in Lyallpur, now the chance to show our loyalty has come. But why didn’t the government create a skirtwearing platoon for us women so that I, too, could go with Subedār jī? (Guleri 1915, 348)

The titles and honours she lists here are in return for her family’s military service to the government. Her participation, however, is restricted to being the wife and mother of servicemen; her service is in sending off her husband and child, in staying behind while they fight. Her question reminds readers of another reason why Lehna Singh’s heroism is singular. She cannot be the kind of hero that she asks Lehna Singh to be as current gender norms would not allow it. The development of Lehna Singh’s masculinity and its contextualization within both military and civilian contexts is essential to his characterization. Lehna Singh is a hero like no other in Dwivedi era literature. He is a faithful Sikh and a patriot, wedded to his homeland and region to his dying breath. He is a brave, skilled, strong, and clever soldier, but also sensitive and nurturing, and willing to defy his superior’s orders when necessary. He is exemplary in his behaviour towards the subedārinī, a sympathetic confidant to her, and a platonic admirer. And yet, he is a married man, willing to die for another man’s wife. He and his fellow soldiers also speak and sing of other women, both foreign and Indian, as sexual objects. He is a complex hero; a good man, but human, and certainly not perfect. As such, he serves as an exception to Dwivedi’s stated literary preference for the exemplary. Indeed Guleri’s story as a whole is extraordinary in the broad reach of its narrator’s perspective. The narrator articulates a hero that is Indian at heart but with a deep attachment for Punjab and unwavering in his Sikh faith. He is cognizant of not just regional distinctions but also the diversity of national cultures, which Lehna Singh refers to as des des kī chāl (Guleri 1915, 343). The narrator moves between recollection and reality while traversing two continents and a span of twenty-five years. He narrates Lehna Singh’s story in standard and non-standard Hindi, conveys coarse and refined expression, and enters military and domestic spaces. While all this may very well be in pursuit of Lehna Singh’s story of ideal love and heroism, it is the worldliness of this narrative that lends

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credibility to the story’s poignancy. Additionally, ‘Usne kahā thā’ is inflected with a culturally and geographically specific vocabulary that reflects the experiences of Sikhs in the Punjab.58 This lends an authenticity and intimacy to the narration of Lehna Singh’s story that a more standardized language (for example, Dwivedi’s Khari Boli) might not have been able to communicate. Guleri’s effective use of common regionally specific Hindi that is occasionally coarse challenges Dwivedi’s professed requirements for a single refined literary language.59 It is a clear argument for the preservation of regionalism and even vulgarity in modern Hindi literary expression. The focus on a Punjabi Sikh Indian hero challenges dominant notions of a Hindi-speaking Hindu nationalist hero; and the articulation of his imperfect, hyper-masculinity questions the socalled exemplary masculinity of ideal or transformed protagonists of its contemporary stories in Sarasvatī. The narrator’s expansive view allows for the depiction of a hero who stands just outside the expectations of Sarasvatī’s dominant readership. It is for this very reason that his character unfolds in part through explanations, translations, and even footnotes. Overlapping gendered, linguistic, professional, regional, and/or religion-specific points of reference, familiar to both the worldly narrator and to Lehna Singh, are not just disruptive to Dwivedi’s stated preferences, but they might also have been conceptually distant for Sarasvatī’s readers. Translations and explanatory notes, though seemingly external to the narrative, serve as an important bridge between readers and the narrative and as a reminder to Sarasvatī’s readers of the diversity of India and its national subjects. They are arguably as important a literary device as Guleri’s pioneering use of flashbacks, though the latter has received far more critical attention by scholars in the field.60 The narrative incorporates multiple varieties of Hindi—including Punjabi and Urdu-inflected speech—which also draws on the particularities of speech as it differs by religion, gender, and profession. The story includes expressions in English and German (Guleri 1915, 346). The author/narrator provides notes on most of these terms and expressions, both within the text and as footnotes to the text, but only as he deems appropriate for his intended readership. Thus, some Sikh/Punjabi references such as bāchhā, sālū, kudmāī,

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and jhatkā are given basic translations or explanations (Guleri 1915, 341; 342); the soldier’s song is translated/paraphrased in its entirety into Hindi prose (Guleri 1915, 343); and other references, such as matthā teknā (Guleri 1915, 342; 347; 348), Darbar Sahib, and Sikh battle cries (Guleri 1915, 346) remain untranslated in the text. The narrative also includes an untranslated, un-footnoted literary reference in Sanskrit: लड़ाई िके समय चाँद कनिल आया था, ऐसा चाँद, कजसिके प्रिाश से संसिकृत-िकवयों िा कदया हुआ ‘क्यी’ नाम साथ्थि होता है। और हवा ऐसी चल रही थी जैसी कि बाणभट्ट िी भाषा में ‘दनतवीणोपदेशाचरया्थ’ िहलाती। During the battle the moon had risen, a moon whose light gives true meaning to the epithet kshayī [waning] given to it by Sanskrit poets. And the wind was blowing such that in the language of Banabhatt it would be referred to as ‘dantvīnopdeshācharya’. (Guleri 1915, 347)61

This reference, though appropriate in its mixed evocation of solace and unrest just after readers learn that Lehna Singh has been severely wounded, is remarkably different from the more common prose employed in the rest of the narrative. Its inclusion is a clear indication of the story’s dominant audience; readers are assumed here to have enough familiarity with Sanskrit and its poetry to comprehend this without further linguistic or literary explanation. * * * With ‘Dulāīvālī’ and ‘Usne kahā thā’ Banga Mahila and Guleri posit alternatives that compete with and challenge Dwivedi’s own preferences for literature. One of the most prominent ways in which they do this is to incorporate within their stories non-Khari Boli speech that is both regionally specific and gendered. In ‘Dulāīvālī’ it is the inclusion of rural women’s speech on the train, conceived of as ‘foolish chatter’ but in reality emblematic of a freedom not enjoyed by their more respectable female travel companions. In ‘Usne kahā thā’ it is the regionally distinct speech of bamboo-cart drivers and Sikh soldiers, ranging from polite to vulgar, each appropriate in its own circumstance. The case these two stories make for the preservation of a diversity of language in the face of a single authoritative standard is

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convincing enough to gain Dwivedi’s tacit approval, if only through retention in the final published versions of the stories. At the same time, the bold presentation of such a wide range of characters in the two stories also challenges any singular idea of who comprises an Indian nation and questions the very idea of ‘exemplary’ nationals (desh hitaishīs). Foremost among these are the incongruous and hypocritical nationalist male ideologue masquerading as a respectable lady in ‘Dulāīvālī’; and the heroic yet very human Sikh soldier in ‘Usne kahā thā’ whose hyper-masculine martial persona is mitigated by his gentility and sensitivity towards men and women, who selflessly dies for another country’s war and another man’s wife yet retains a deep personal attachment to an India that is for him Punjabi and Sikh. A complexity abounds in the pages of these stories which suggests that Dwivedi’s voice, though dominant, is not the only one wielding influence over Sarasvatī’s readers and indeed defining and defying the boundaries of an Indian literature and nation. Notes 1. Rajendrabala Ghosh was the eldest of five children born to Ramprasanna and Niradvasini Ghosh in 1882. Though she was born in the NorthWestern Provinces, she identified as a Bengali woman throughout her literary career. Her father’s ancestors, originally from the Chandannagar and its surrounding areas in what is now West Bengal, had migrated to Mirzapur sometime in the late eighteenth century. She was born and raised in Mirzapur, though she often travelled to nearby Banaras (Pandey 1999, 31). She died in Mirzapur in 1949. See Bhavadev Pandey (1999, 7–39) and Sudhakar Pandey (1988, 25–8) for additional biographical details. There are very few other sources of information on her life. Where there is conflicting information, I have referenced the more recent text (Bhavadev Pandey 1999), which includes updated biographical details not previously available. Most literary historians today refer to her by her maiden name Ghosh rather than her married name De. She was, however, married to Purnachandra De in 1893, well before 1904, when she first published essays in Samālochak and Sarasvatī (Pandey 1999, 17). The first official recognition of her marital status in Sarasvatī appears in 1906, when the title ‘Shrīmatī’ precedes her pen name in the annual table of contents. Note that while Sudhakar Pandey (1988, 4) gives her married name as Dev, Bhavadev Pandey (1999, 17) gives it as De.

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2. Her complete works are available in Banga Mahilā granthāvalī, compiled and edited by Sudhakar Pandey (Banga Mahila 1988). Some of the other Hindi journals in which she published include: Samālochak (Jaipur), Nāgarī prachārinī patrikā (Banaras), Ānand kādambinī (Mirzapur), Bhāratendu (Mathura), Bāl prabhākar (Banaras), Lakshmī (Gaya), Swadesh bāndhav (Agra), Kanyā manoranjan (Allahabad). She also wrote original poetry and prose in Bengali. These she published under the pen name ‘Pravāsinī’ (a woman who has left her homeland) in Bengali journals such as Pravāsī and Yamunā. 3. Other women who published in Sarasvatī at this time were mostly onetime contributors. Ramdulari Dube published an informative article on the Indian Women’s Association in Bombay (‘Bumbaī mein Bhārat Mahilā Parishad’) in February 1905; Toshkumari published a short prayer (‘Prārthnā’) in January 1909; Kalyaneshvari Jutshi published a historical essay on ‘Nepāl’ in 1910; Savitridevi published an article on women’s emancipation (‘Striyon kī svatantratā’) in June 1910; Rajavati Seth published ‘Ākhyāyikā’ (story), a work of short fiction about a man of faith and an atheist in March 1912; Lilavati published a plea to all Aryan women (‘Ārya-lalnāon se prārthnā’) in January 1914; and ‘Bavālī bahū’ (mad daughter-in-law) published a short story titled ‘Kritaghna Suresh’ (thankless Suresh) in July 1915. 4. Ramchandra Shukla, who would later go on to earn great fame as a literary historian, edited and introduced this volume titled Kusum sangrah in 1911 (Pandey 1988, 32). 5. The practice of purdah, female seclusion, was common among upperclass Hindus in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For more information about this practice, see Papanek (1973). It was because of her family’s strict adherence to the practice of purdah that Banga Mahila did not attend school. She was, however, taught Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, and English, among other subjects at home (Pandey 1999, 10). She would go on to criticize the practice of purdah and its restrictions on female education in her essay ‘Nivedan’ (A plea), published in Sarasvatī in May 1908. This was republished under the title, ‘Hamāre desh kī striyon kī dashā’ in her collected works, Kusum sangrah (1911), edited by Ramchandra Shukla. 6. She uses the term rāshtrabhāshā: Banga Mahila in Pandey (1988, 32). 7. This was a genre that was very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, especially in the context of reform and nationalist movements in colonial India. See Walsh (2004) for further information about advice literature in late nineteenth-century Bengal; as she notes, similar advice literature for women could be found in Hindi,

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9. 10. 11. 12.

Marathi, and Gujarati magazines, novels, and manuals (4). See also Nijhawan (2012, 140–87) for information about advice literature in twentieth-century women’s periodicals in Hindi. Banga Mahila’s original essays such as ‘Grihcharyā’ (domestic routine), ‘Striyon kī shikshā’ (women’s education), and ‘Sangīt aur suī kā kām’ (music and needlework), for example, addressed female readers in very much the same way that patriarchal nationalist discourse of this period did. All three essays were published in Vanitā vinod (1906), a collection specifically targeting women; notably, Banga Mahila was the only female author to be included in the collection (Pandey 1988, 31). ‘Sangīt aur suī kā kām’ was also republished in the Hindi women’s journal Kanyā manoranjan in 1915 (Pandey 1988, 30). Indian women, the target audience in such pieces, were projected as an important symbol of Indian superiority and subject to both reverence and regulation. Hence, discussions often centred on the virtuous Indian female, whose activities were mostly confined to the domestic sphere. See essays by Partha Chatterjee, Lata Mani, Sumanta Banerjee, and others in Recasting Women (1999) on the appropriation, manipulation, and marginalization of Indian women within nationalist discourse of the nineteenth century. In her essays, Banga Mahila espoused many of the patriarchal ideals of nationalists, but she also challenged some of the structures of patriarchy that confined women to the domestic sphere (for example, purdah). Banga Mahila goes one step further than Dwivedi in her criticism of plagiarism by citing specific examples (see Dwivedi’s cartoon on Hindi’s Literature’s plagiarism of English, Marathi, and Bengali Literatures [Figures 1.1 and 1.2, Chapter 1]). Even when she does not name names, in most cases she provides enough relevant information (personal and professional affiliations, book titles, and places of residence) to make the culprits recognizable to contemporary readers. See earlier mention of Khatri in this chapter. The content of these novels was, however, Hindu-centric in their focus on Hindu heroes and Muslim villains. Bhavadev Pandey (1999, 20–3) cites some of the responses to her essay, including criticism written by Shivchandra Bharatiya, the editor of Vaishyopkārak (est. 1904), a Hindi periodical published from Calcutta. ‘Nivedan’, later republished under the title ‘Hamāre desh kī striyon kī dashā’ (the condition of women in our country, in Banga Mahila 1988b, 121–2), was a response to an essay by Satyadev Parivrajak (1879–1961). His essay titled ‘Amerikā kī striyan’ (American women) had been published in Sarasvatī in March 1908 (130–5). For a slightly

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15. 16.


more detailed discussion of the two essays, see Mody (2008b, 203–4). The short story ‘Dulāīvālī’ will be discussed at length shortly. In addition to writing for Samālochak and Nāgarī prachārinī patrikā, Guleri also published his work in Hindi periodicals such as Sarasvatī, Pratibhā, Maryādā (est. 1910), Venkateshwar samāchār, Bhāratmitra, Pātalīputra, Indu (est. 1909), Vidyārthī, and Abhyuday (est. 1906); he published in the English and Hindi editions of the Ajmer-Mervārā War Gazette (circa 1918); and in English-language periodicals such as The Indian Antiquary: A Journal of Oriental Research (est. 1872) and Rūpam: Journal of Oriental Art (est. 1920) (Sharma 1984, 30–1). His published work in Sarasvatī included: a scientific essay titled ‘Ānkh’ (the eye), serialized in 1905; a biographical essay on ‘Rāv Sansārchandra Sen Bahādur, M.V.O., C.I.E.’ in 1909; a literary essay on ‘Jaisinghprakāsh kāvya’ in 1910; biographical essays on ‘Manīshi samarthadānjī’ and ‘Mahāmahopādhyāy kavirājā Murāridānjī’ in 1914; and an essay on ‘Amangal ke sthān mangal shabda’ in 1915. He also contributed on several occasions to the column ‘Manoranjak shlok’ in 1904, 1910, and 1911 (November). His most well-known contribution to Sarasvatī is his short story ‘Usne kahā thā’, which will be discussed later in the chapter. Guler, Kangra district, is in present-day Himachal Pradesh. Chandradhar Sharma’s father, Shivram Sharma, and his forefathers were from the village of Guler. Shivram Sharma made his way to Jaipur via Varanasi in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Chandradhar Sharma was born in Jaipur in 1883. Chandradhar’s wife, Padmavati Devi, was also from Kangra district. Sharma (1984, 96) provides anecdotal evidence that they spoke Kangri (western Pahari) at home with their children, two sons and two daughters. He lived in various Indian cities throughout his life. He spent the most time in Rajasthan, in Ajmer and Jaipur; he also lived briefly in Allahabad and Varanasi in the United Provinces, and in Calcutta in Bengal. In 1922, he died of malarial fever at the age of 39 in Varanasi. Sharma (1984) provides additional anecdotal and biographical details on Guleri’s life and works as well as a selection of his correspondence and literary writing. Additional information and selections of Guleri’s writing can be found in volume two of the series titled Chandradhar Sharmā Gulerī granthāvalī: Purānī Hindī, nibandh, kahāniyān (Pandey 1985). Banga Mahila, due to family circumstances, was active in the Hindi literary arena from approximately 1904–15; Guleri, due to his early death, was active circa 1900–22. Sharma (1984) provides further detail about Guleri’s association with Madan Mohan Malaviya, Mr Jain Vaidya, and Shyamsundar

254 The Making of Modern Hindi




20. 21.

Das (31–3; 58–62; 65–8). Others in Guleri’s circle of friends and acquaintances included Gaurishankar Hirachand Ojha (1863–1947); Raikrishna Das (1892–1985), Purohit Harinarayan (1872–1945); Deviprasad Munsif (1847–1923); Madhavprasad Mishra (1871–1907) and Radhakrishna Mishra (1877–1935); Jagannathprasad Chaturvedi (1875–1939); Padmasingh Sharma (1876–1932); and Ramdayal Sharma (1856–1930). See Sharma (1984, 62–91) for details about the lives and literary activities of these individuals. I have included ‘Man kī dridhatā’ though it is technically a Hindi translation of one of her Bengali short stories; it is an original story nonetheless. Bhavadev Pandey argues that ‘Kumbh mein chotī bahū’ (Banga Mahila 1906) should also be included among Banga Mahila’s original short stories, contradicting Banga Mahila’s own attestation that the story is a translation of her mother’s original Bengali story (Pandey 1999, 55–9). While his argument is certainly worthy of further consideration, several of Pandey’s points are speculative and/or based on assumptions that cannot be substantiated. In addition, while Banga Mahila’s own narrative style and tone may indeed have significantly influenced her Hindi translation of ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’, there remains a significant difference in the treatment of women in public spaces in ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ and ‘Dulāīvālī’, which suggests an entirely different authorial perspective. For example, while Banga Mahila criticizes and questions patriarchal nationalist thought in ‘Dulāīvālī’ (to be discussed later in the chapter), the author of ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ validates it entirely. All of these stories have been reprinted in Pandey (1988). Remarkably, these two pioneering stories did not receive much, if any, critical attention for years after their original publication. Ramchandra Shukla (1998 [1930]) was perhaps the first critic to make note of them in his Hindī sāhitya kā itihās. Both Banaras (also referred to in the story and elsewhere as Varanasi and Kashi) and Allahabad (referred to as Ilāhābād in the story) were part of the United Provinces of Agra and Awadh at the time this story was written and now are in present-day Uttar Pradesh. Vamshidhar and Naval Kishor are also distantly related but it is their friendship that the narrator of the story notes as more significant. Notably, Janakidei uses the same linguistic construction pahinne se kām as her husband pahunchne se kām did earlier when deciding in favour of the more economical ikkā. Hindu festival that marks the entry of the sun in the Tropic of Capricorn in the month of Māgh (January–February); crowds of Hindu pilgrims

Alternate Realms of Authority

22. 23.

24. 25.

26. 27. 28.



gather for the Kumbh melā in Allahabad at this time to bathe at the sangam (confluence) of three sacred rivers. Also known as Somavatī, this is a Monday that coincides with the last day of a dark fortnight; it is celebrated as a festival and bathing day. See entry under som in McGregor (2006, 1041–2). This is a very loose translation of the conversation, which takes place in non-standard rural Hindi speech, and varies from individual to individual, both in terms of their chosen vocabulary and in terms of pronunciation and conjugations; these women are likely from villages located somewhere along the train route between Varanasi and Allahabad. See Partha Chatterjee (1999) for a discussion of the emergence of a new patriarchy (244–8) associated with nationalism as articulated by the bhadralok (respectable folk) of Bengal in the nineteenth century. The excerpted conversation above includes, for example, at least one individual who seems to be of a different faith from the others. This may be inferred from the ‘second’ woman’s references to ‘your faith’ and ‘your Kāshījī’ when speaking to her co-travellers about being present at events largely associated with Hindus (that is, bathing at the sangam in Allahabad during Makar sankrānti, or in the Ganga River in Banaras at the time of Somvārī). It is this stark contrast that leads me to question Bhavadev Pandey’s assertion (1999, 55–9) that this story was originally written by Banga Mahila and not her mother. See previous reference in this chapter. See Chatterjee (1999, 238–9) for further discussion of this demarcation between public and private and some of its implications for the Bengali middle classes in the nineteenth century. This is a phenomenon described by Sumanta Banerjee (1999, 127–79) in ‘Marginalization of Women’s Popular Culture in Nineteenth Century Bengal’. Banerjee argues that the colonial encounter and the subsequent rise of a Bengali urban elite led to the increased location of upper-caste, middle-class, and urban women as the site for the expression of modernization, traditionalism as well as cultural nationalism. Though the bhadra mahilā had increased access to education and, consequently, to literary expression and intellectual debates on social reform, popular forms of culture and expression (that is, events such as the Kumbh melā) continued to be restricted as potential threats to the respectability and the purity of this class of women. ‘Kumbh mein chhotī bahū’ is a cautionary story that participates in this campaign against popular cultural forms. Well, nearly standard: the larger narrative contains some spellings that would not be considered standard Hindi today. Pandey (1988)

256 The Making of Modern Hindi

in an unnumbered section of photographs and document images includes a facsimile of Dwivedi’s edits to the first (ms page 1) and last pages (ms page 7) of Banga Mahila’s original handwritten submission of ‘Dulāīvālī’. These edits shed light on his preferences for a standard Hindi. They are mostly minor corrections to vowel length and gender agreement. Dwivedi also alters some of her vocabulary. Thus, he changes her use of the English-derived bagghī (buggy, ms page 7 in Pandey) and inter klās (inter class, ms page 7) to the Hindi/ Hindustani pālkī gādī (covered conveyance, Banga Mahila 1907, 183) and dyorhā darjā (intermediate class, 183) respectively. Meanwhile he also makes changes to her Hindi/Hindustani use of likhā hai (wrote, ms page 1 in Pandey 1988) to the slightly more Urdu-oriented isrār kiyā hai (has insisted, Banga Mahila 1907, 179) and similarly her use of bhānti (way, ms page 1) to tarah (way, Banga Mahila 1907, 179). Apart from its occurrence in the rural women’s conversation, Dwivedi further removes idiomatic and colloquial language. Thus, in Banga Mahila’s original text, Vamshidhar often uses the first-person plural ham (we) to refer to himself; while this is common practice, especially in the United Provinces, Dwivedi has crossed out all instances of this usage and replaced them with main (I). Whereas the last page of Banga Mahila’s original has Vamshidhar and Naval Kishor using idioms such as dar ke māre bichārī sukh kar ardhī ho gaī (she half dried up on account of her fear) and pāyā to pūrāhī (based on the context, something akin to ‘all’s well that ends well’), once again Dwivedi removes these in favour of more direct and succinct speech (see Banga Mahila in Pandey 1988, ms pages 1 and 7). For additional information regarding Dwivedi’s preferences/corrections regarding Hindi, see Udaybhanu Singh’s detailed treatment in chapter 8 of his monograph (1951, 192–263). Singh includes specific examples of some of the edits made to authors’ contributions, citing also some of the spelling changes and changes related to gender and number agreement that he made to one of Banga Mahila’s earliest contributions to Sarasvatī, an essay titled ‘Nīligiri parvat ke Todā log’ (the Toda people of Nilgiri Mountain) published in 1904. 30. Bengalis, protesting the colonial government’s partition of their state in 1905, initiated the first Swadeshī movement. Gandhi later revived the movement in the 1920s. A ‘strict swadeshī’ boycotted all foreign goods in favour of Indian-made goods. Khādī, Indian-made cotton, was a popular option for clothing. 31. Naval Kishor’s hat is likely a precursor to the swadeshī cap later popularized by Gandhi.

Alternate Realms of Authority


32. Chintz (from the word chīnt in Hindi meaning splash or splatter), also called calico in English, refers to a dyed, patterned, cotton fabric. It is usually printed with a floral design. This was a popular import from India to Europe in the seventeenth century, but by the eighteenth century the French and other Europeans had learned the art of milling their own chintz. As such, it is emblematic of colonial enterprise rather than nationalist protest. 33. The term rām kahānī, literally ‘the story of Ram’, is used idiomatically to refer to a life story that invites the sympathy of readers. Dwivedi (1995e, 157–8) provides the following definition of the phrase: apne ūpar bītī huī bāton kā varnan, or a description of things that have happened to you. 34. Pandey (1988, n.p.) provides a facsimile of a portion of Banga Mahila’s handwritten manuscript for ‘Dulāīvālī’ with Dwivedi’s edits. 35. Roughly the time frame for action occurs sometime between September 1914 when regiments of the Indian Army landed in France and June 1915 when this story was published. There are no references to the specific location of the battle. Lehna Singh mentions the biting cold and trenches, so this is likely a depiction of a wintertime campaign, possibly the First Battle of Ypres (Belgium, 30 October–24 November, 1914), known for being the start of trench warfare on the Western Front. Lehna Singh’s obituary cites the location of battle as being in France and Belgium; however, it is France that is further referenced in  the story: Subedar Hazara Singh speaks of a farangī mem that is specified as French (note 2, 342); and Vazira Singh refers to clumps of France kī bhūmi (French earth, 347) sticking to his boots. 36. According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India by W. W. Hunter (1885, 263–4), in the 1880s, which is the likely time frame for section one of the story, Amritsar was actually the second-most populous city in the Punjab after Delhi. In 1881, the population was 151,896 excluding the population of the cantonment. 37. Possibly Delhi, which was also in Punjab Province at this time. 38. Banga Mahila does the same in ‘Dulāīvālī’, with her inclusion of rural women’s speech. 39. Dwivedi’s preferred literary language, Khari Boli, was based on the variety of Hindi spoken in and around Delhi. 40. Manohar Lal (1984, 122) specifies that though critics have mostly referred to Punjabi-inflected Hindi in ‘Usne kahā thā’, it is in reality the influence of Himachali Kangri from the region of Guler that is present. He lists a number of terms within the story that support his argument of regionalism within the story (1984, 124). Kangri is a language that

258 The Making of Modern Hindi

41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49.

50. 51.

52. 53.

is often considered a variety of either Hindi or Punjabi. As at the time of the story’s publication Guler/Kangra district was located within the boundaries of Punjab Province, I refer to Guleri’s regional inflections as Punjabi, though Lal’s designation is more precise. There are translations of particular words that also appear in the footnotes to the text. The reference here is to the 1905 earthquake that destroyed Nagarkot (Kangra), a town/fort in the Kangra Valley (present-day Himachal Pradesh); at the time, it was part of Punjab Province. According to Lal (1984, 123), Bulel kī khad is a reference to the Bān Gangā River (also referred to as Baner/Bander), a tributary of the Beas River that flows through the Kangra Valley, between Guler and Haripur. Khotā is translated as gadhā even for Sarasvatī’s readers in a footnote to section three (Guleri 1915, 345). A footnote translates jhatkā karnā for readers as bakrā mārnā (to kill a goat). In Ravi Nandan Sinha’s (2013, 9) English translation of the story, Vazira Singh offers water to the dead king of Germany. See Mrinalini Sinha (1995) for a discussion of these stereotypes and the politics of masculinity in colonial India. See Sinha (1995); also see Chapter 4 of this book for further discussion of this preference in fictional narratives. Cf. the earlier quoted text from the edited version published in Dwivedi’s Sarasvatī. Lal (1995) provides a facsimile of the handwritten manuscript as marked by Dwivedi. The original is available at the Bharat Kalabhavan Museum in Varanasi. See the handwritten edited copy printed in Lal (1995, 9) for retention of the full phrase nikat yaun sambandh and excision of gupta guhya ang (concealed private parts). The subedār, Hazara Singh, is the first to refer to such encounters with foreign women. He remarks on the generosity of a French woman who has invited members of the regiment to visit her garden, in which there is velvety green grass; there she showers the soldiers with fruits and milk (Guleri 1915, 342). While more intimate personal relations between the French woman and any of the soldiers are not stated in his description, Lehna’s teasing inquiry to Vazira suggests that it is clearly a possibility that has occurred to some of the soldiers. The original lyrics are in a regional Hindi/Punjabi, Himachali Kangri from Guler (Lal 1984, 123–4). Lal (1984, 123–4) argues that Dwivedi allowed these lyrics to remain in the text because they demonstrated a special regionalism. While this

Alternate Realms of Authority

54. 55. 56.


58. 59. 60. 61.


may be the case, it is nevertheless a deviation from his general efforts to promote a standard literary language. See earlier discussion of the censored lines from the first paragraph of the story. For example, Jvaladatta Sharma, Vishwambarnath Sharma ‘Kaushik’, Premchand, and so on. This is revealed in Lehna Singh’s words to Vazira Singh as he lies mortally wounded, drifting in and out of consciousness. Remarkably, he never mentions his wife nor worries that he will leave her in the very predicament from which he saves the subedārinī, widowhood; his final words do, however, express an interest in his son’s future (Guleri 1915, 348). Once again, a footnote translates this colloquial (Punjabi?) term for readers as the zenānā, women’s quarters (Guleri 1915, 348). There is yet another interior space to which Lehna Singh does not have access; this is the obarī, another colloquial term, translated in the footnotes as andar kā ghar (interior house), and to which the subedārinī disappears after her interaction with him (348). Once again, Lal (1984) offers a more specific geographic association for Guleri’s language in ‘Usne kahā thā’: the regional language of Guler, that is, Himachali Kangri (124). Lal (1984, 124) argues that Guleri pioneers the use of ānchaliktā in Hindi. See the essays on Guleri and ‘Usne kahā thā’ in Lal (1984). Kshayī literally means ‘waning’ and dantvīnopdeshāchārya means master of the lesson of the tooth-vīnā, which may refer to an instrument or the chattering of teeth. Banabhatt was a classical Sanskrit poet affiliated with the court of Emperor Harsha, who reigned in north India in the seventh century CE. Though a departure from the dominant prose of the narrative, it is not surprising that Guleri includes such a reference; he was, after all, a scholar and teacher of Sanskrit.


In 1923, several years after he had retired as editor of Sarasvatī, Dwivedi addressed members of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan for a second time, at their 13th annual meeting in Kanpur. Over a decade had passed since his previous address (Allahabad, 1911) and in that time speaker and audience had acquired more concrete ideas of what modern Hindi language and literature constituted, with boundaries and a purpose resolutely tied to their present colonial context and nationalist movements for independence. These ideas, however concrete, did not always overlap, a concern Dwivedi’s rhetoric repeatedly revealed. Dwivedi uttered the term svarājya no less than thirty times during his speech (1995b, 62–94), now directly aligning his work of two decades to the political struggles of an aspiring nation. A single nationally accepted mode of communication and a body of literature representative of its splendour, wealth, and prestige, he reminded his audience, was an absolute necessity for the political freedoms of which they currently dreamed (68–9). Sāhitya was a reflection of who they were as a community (jāti): their progress and decline, their emotional highs and lows, their religious ideas and social organization, as well as their history and political circumstances (1995b, 69–70). With its capacity to create, nurture, and destroy, sāhitya was more powerful and far-reaching a force than an arsenal of cannons, swords, and bombs (70–1). Without sāhitya, however, a community had no identity and individuals who did not appreciate literature or serve its cause were traitors—to society (samājdrohī), nation (deshdrohī), community (jātidrohī), and

262 Afterword

even to themselves (ātmadrohī) (71). Most importantly, sāhitya was an entity constantly in flux, to be infinitely modified by new forms of knowledge. As such, its development was a process without end, requiring the dedication of its supporters in perpetuity (75). Suggesting that literary svarājya was a necessary component of political svarājya, Dwivedi implored his audience to self-action: ‘It is our supreme duty to create and develop our literature ourselves’ (1995b, 76). It should not be oppressed by foreign literatures obstructing or erasing from collective memory a sense of hamārī sabhyatā (our civilization); nor should it eschew foreign influence entirely. Hindi sāhitya had to amass both the acquired wisdom of their Indian ancestors and the foreign wisdom (videshī gyān) contained in the literatures of Arabic, Persian, English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and other languages as well. Hamārī sabhyatā had, in addition, been influenced by Sikhs, Parsis, Muslims, Jains, and Buddhists as well as the English, Chinese, and Japanese peoples, and it was equally important for Hindi sāhitya to incorporate the most useful elements of their literatures as well (76). In this regard, Dwivedi considered the translation of the literature of their ancient civilization, modern works in other Indian languages, and foreign literary gems as crucial a task as the composition of original literary works in Hindi (76–7). Dwivedi’s 1923 plea for a middle path (1995b), somewhere between a Hindi sāhitya oppressed by the weight of foreign ideologies and an indigenous sāhitya rejecting its own history of contact with other communities, reflects the general pragmatism of his approach to literary reform over the past two decades. His attempt to broaden the idea of a Hindi sāhitya to account for the vast diversity of the Indian populace as well as contact with videshī cultures is reminiscent of his previous attempt (1911) to sway members of the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan to relax their stance on the purity of the language. What Dwivedi offered in exchange was a means to extend the scope and impact of Hindi sāhitya. However pragmatic, such a broadly determined (sva-) sāhitya would almost certainly run counter to the national literature envisioned by members of his immediate audience. On the other hand, such overtures could also be read as acts of co-option by communities he sought to include. Dwivedi’s rhetoric of persuasion reveals the



tensions of his endeavour, for while the central core of his literary vision was indeed both Hindi and Hindu, it was clearly at odds, in some form or other, with literary individuals and institutions influencing their shared Hindi/Hindu public sphere as well as other overlapping Hindi public spheres. One might also read Dwivedi’s omission of Urdu from the aforementioned list (76) as a sign that he did not consider it a foreign tongue; not entirely at least. Referencing its often-cited shortcomings among supporters of Devanagari, he argued that there was no reason for scorn or hatred of the language. His defence of Urdu, per his previous record, was not without bias. Hindus and Muslims, and by extension their associated languages and scripts, were but two eyes of an Indian body politic, he claimed. ‘Would anyone remove an eye just because it was flawed’, he argued, obliquely making a case for his Hindi–Hindu identifying audience to accept and learn the language and script of their ‘Muslim brothers’ (89–90). The fact that he earlier argued in defence of Urdu, that even Devanagari had its flaws (88), might only slightly have mitigated the offensiveness of such a remark to Urdu speakers and others outside his immediate audience. Then again, the audience in question, conceivably more purist in their leanings than Dwivedi, might also have taken exception to any one of his remarks—to the incorporation of foreign elements in Hindi literature, to the integration of non-Hindu literatures, and to the notion of a flawed Devanagari. At various points in his 1923 address, Dwivedi also highlighted other ways in which Hindi might be made more widely accessible; in doing so, he indicated further points of contention within his primary sphere of influence. He defended stories in the Purān tradition against unnamed critics who argued that they were no more than gapodā, or unsubstantiated and exaggerated tales (1995b, 76). His stance comes as no surprise given his own heavy reliance on paurānik subject matter in his early image-poems; but it was also likely a means to defend classically inspired modern compositions such as those by his protégé, Maithilisharan Gupta, which appealed to wider audiences already familiar with paurānik narratives. Instead of trying to limit or control vocabulary, he argued that advocates of Hindi interested in seeing its growth and development ought to embrace Hindi’s status as a ‘living language’ and its ‘natural’

264 Afterword

ability to absorb new material. It had historically absorbed words, sentiments, and idioms from other languages; these were now so deeply entrenched in the language that videshī hokar bhī swadeshī ban gaye hain (though foreign, they had become swadeshī, 81–2). And, though he had previously emphasized Hindi’s past and its ‘natural evolution’ from ancient indigenous roots (1903, 1911), Dwivedi (1995b) now implored his audience to consider Hindi’s autonomy from Sanskrit and Prakrits, however close its relationship to these ancient languages (83). As a living language, Hindi was under no obligation to blindly adhere to the rules of Sanskrit grammar as some would have it do (83–7). A broadly inclusive Indian literary–nationalist public sphere in which Hindi reigned supreme was clearly not yet a reality, and hence Dwivedi’s push for a more widely accessible Hindi. Dwivedi reminded his audience that Hindi and Devanagari, though exhibiting some signs of improvement in circulation and reputation, had yet to rival (samkakshatā karnā) other languages and literatures both throughout the world and within India (1995b, 74–5). That is, in 1923, Hindi and Devanagari had not yet caught up with Dwivedi’s or their visions of the language and script. What Dwivedi indicated with his rhetoric and what he had also indicated at different points in his literary career is that he was most intent on swaying his audiences, readers and contributors, and others within his sphere of influence to join him in advancing above all else the cause of modern Hindi as the language and literature of a sovereign India. Citing a popular Hindi expression, akelā chanā bhād nahin phod saktā (a lone gram cannot break the oven), he urged his audience to band together behind this cause (1995b, 80). But why would such an audience, already unified by a pro-Hindi stance, require further persuasion or consolidation? Though their ideas of Hindi had progressed in the last two decades and aligned in support of a general notion of Hindi as a national language, they had yet to agree to what this Hindi should look like. Indeed though Khari Boli had for the most part defeated its regional Hindi competitors (for example, Braj Bhasha, et al.) in literary expression, their influence and even articulation persisted in Dwivedi-era poetry. There were yet many other Hindis in existence: there was the Hindi of purists, who sought to excise all foreign words and ideas,



and the Hindi of pragmatists, who sought to expand its boundaries to increase the allure of language and literature. There were many Hindis which persisted in between, including the Hindi of bhadra mahilās and rural women as seen in ‘Dulāīvālī’ (Banga Mahila 1907), and the Hindi of Sikh soldiers from Punjab, like the fictional Lehna Singh in ‘Usne kahā thā’ (Guleri 1915). This book has highlighted other fissures and strains within his primary field of influence, a Hindi–Hindu literary nationalist public. Dwivedi’s ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ cartoons and his essays provide ample evidence of Dwivedi’s tense relationship with his contemporaries in the Hindi literary establishment early in his career and also reveal his willingness to antagonize a wide range of literary authorities active in his sphere of influence, from authors, poets, critics, editors, and scholars to patrons, policy-makers, publishers, and literary societies. Censure of Dwivedi, too, came from his peers including Balmukund Gupta, the editor of Bhāratmitra, and Shyamsundar Das, Dwivedi’s predecessor as editor of Sarasvatī. Dwivedi’s essays reveal latent tensions with others in his field, as between Dwivedi and Ramchandra Shukla on the very idea of sāhitya and on the relationship between literature and art. Dwivedi openly confronted institutions such as the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, which withdrew its official endorsement of Sarasvatī following Dwivedi’s criticism of some of its activities. Even the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, where he was twice asked to address members, in 1911 and 1923, was a site of some discord. He alludes to these tensions in the opening section of his 1923 speech (1995b, 63). In addition to his engagement with individuals and institutions within this network of Indian literary authorities, Dwivedi engaged the writing of colonial administrators and scholars who also had bearing on the narrative of Hindi’s progress. Among the encounters mentioned in this text are Dwivedi’s critique of a census report authored by Richard Burn, Superintendent of the United Provinces; and his selective use of information contained in Encyclopaedia Britannica articles by Orientalist scholars like J. T. Platts and C. J. Lyall. Dwivedi relied on their accounts heavily but also incorporated, omitted, ignored, or countered their biases as necessary to promote his agenda. Whereas he openly disputed one aspect of Burn’s report, Dwivedi was not quite as direct in other instances. Such was the case

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with his use of Platts and Lyall, in which Dwivedi’s divergences are apparent only in a parallel reading of his work with their articles. In the process of establishing his own literary authority and attempting to gain a consensus for his agenda for Hindi language and literature, Dwivedi engaged the ideas and works of numerous institutions and individuals of which I have only highlighted a select few. He contended with the works of Indian authors, poets, and scholars in Sanskrit (for example, Kalidas and Pingalacharya), in Marathi (for example, Vasudev Vaman Khare), in Bengali (Rabindranath Tagore, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Rameshchandra Datta), and in Urdu (for example, Azad and Hali). And he grappled with the ideas of writers and scholars in Western literary traditions including Francis Crawford, Charles Darwin, James Tod, Cardinal Newman (via Ramchandra Shukla), and Milton (via Hali). As editor of Sarasvatī, he came into contact with a number of other writers from whom he adapted, integrated, critically reviewed, or refuted material for his editorial notes and essays. Dwivedi was without a doubt a well-read scholar deeply immersed in the interplay of ideas and determined to employ any resource he deemed appropriate to make Hindi modern. Such engagements bring into clear focus the struggle of one individual grappling with national literary identity formation in a competitive colonial context, in which multiple individuals, languages, communities, and ideas also had to vie for recognition and authority. They also underscore the connectedness of Dwivedi’s rising influence to other literary authorities, a network which was also fraught with the tensions inherent in such a context. Adding to the persistent complexity in Hindi’s narrative of modernization are the divergences between Dwivedi’s written agenda, which itself varied over time and context of articulation, and his authorial and editorial practices. Thus he placed far more emphasis on Hindi’s present and future needs in his 1923 address than on its ‘natural’ historical development from ancient and indigenous Indian languages as he did in 1911. And, on the whole, his two speeches for the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan (1911, 1923) offered more liberal definitions of language and literature than some of his other essays and editorial notes in Sarasvatī, especially with regard to Urdu and the use of ‘foreign’ words and ideas. This was undoubtedly a move to counter the Sammelan’s more conservative



stance on such issues. Though beyond the scope of this book, a study of Dwivedi’s interactions with Daya Narayan Nigam, editor of the Urdu literary monthly Zamānā, would likely reveal alternate views on Urdu, given the journal’s rivalry with Sarasvatī for a share of the north Indian reading public. And, even as Dwivedi argued against the use of Braj Bhasha in poetry and its associated conventions (for example, shringārik kavitā), he strategically made use of and allowed for some Braj Bhasha-esque language and shringārik detail in his own compositions and in the compositions of his favoured poets in the early years of his editorship in order to promote composition in Khari Boli. He also exhibited a more relaxed view of literary Hindi when it came to prose fiction, which we saw in his redactions of the short stories ‘Dulāīvālī’ and ‘Usne kahā thā’. Dwivedi had personal conflicts with others in his field, idiosyncrasies, and insecurities as well, all of which had some bearing on his efforts to establish literary authority and propel Hindi into the modern era. What began as professional literary sparring with Balmukund Gupta and Shyamsundar Das, for example, deteriorated into personal attacks, with Gupta calling Dwivedi a monkey and suggesting that the poet who wrote ‘Sarasvatī kā vinay’ (Dwivedi, in Sarasvatī January 1903) ought to be hanged, and the editor who published it (also Dwivedi, in his inaugural issue as editor) ought to take his own life (Gupta in Yayavar 1995, vol. 1, 384). After Das indicated that Sarasvatī’s poetry was bad under Dwivedi’s editorial watch, Dwivedi suggested that Das was ‘naïve and foolish’ (1907b, 279–80); and this was after a full year had passed since Das’s initial remark. Indeed other incidents suggest that Dwivedi was quick to take offence. Thus, he once abruptly severed his relationship with one of Sarasvatī’s frequent and most popular contributors, the author, Satyadev Parivrajak (1879–1961). Satyadev had written over forty compositions for Sarasvatī in a matter of five years (1906–11), but was invited to publish his work in two rival Hindi journals, Maryādā and Abhyuday. Perceiving publication in these journals as some form of betrayal, Dwivedi publicly denounced the author and stopped publishing his work in Sarasvatī.1 And it was perhaps his own guilty conscience regarding his early authorship of two rasīlī texts, which he composed under pressure from his peers and motivated by profit, that

268 Afterword

made Dwivedi all the more vocal in his criticism of shringārik kavitā after he became editor. Even in 1923, at the tail end of his career, Dwivedi defended his poor attendance record at the Sammelan’s annual meetings, revealing in the process his own insecurities regarding rumours that attributed his absences to his jealousy, arrogance, distrust, pride, and pretentiousness (Dwivedi 1995b, 63). I have no doubt that a closer study of his correspondences, his notes and marginalia, and even a closer study of his oeuvre would reveal further complexities, clashes, idiosyncrasies, and insecurities, some related to the individual and some related to his project. Indeed Dwivedi was man who struggled professionally and personally for a cause, and yet, in his own words, did not fully achieve what he had envisioned for Hindi in his lifetime (1995b, 94). Dwivedi’s project of national language and literature formation was not without its casualties, linguistic and literary, social and cultural. The demarcation of boundaries for Hindi alongside the distillation of its content, inherent within the process of creating a single modern construct that we call Hindi today, would both include and exclude individuals, languages, communities, and nations. For all its ramifications today, however, it would be anachronistic to look back and presume that Dwivedi was intent on wiping out the diversity of the complex field within which he operated. What ultimately became an established modern language was not the result of a predetermined course but a gradual process fraught with tension, marked by negotiation and compromise. This book argues that it is necessary to re-evaluate Dwivedi’s authority in the realm of his primary influence, a Hindi–Hindu literary–national public sphere, with a closer eye on his strategic responses to some of the challenges that his contemporaries posed to his agenda. It is within the context of these dynamic tensions that his influence and a new literary establishment evolved, emerged, and ultimately solidified, ready for future generations to build upon it, alter it, negotiate it, and contest it. This book is not meant to displace views of Dwivedi’s linguistic and literary agenda and praxis as authoritarian and exclusionary, for that too is part of Hindi’s narrative. Rather, this study considers the problem of seeing this as the entire narrative. It offers a glimpse of what dismissing the complexity of the man and the field within



which he operated entails, especially at a time when a so-called Hindi establishment was still in the process of evolving. Dwivedi was not an imaginative poet nor was he a captivating storyteller; and indeed he was often unyielding in the promotion of his vision of Hindi. And yet, in his efforts to gain consensus for his agenda, there was innovation, compromise, and even acquiescence. A closer look at Dwivedi’s authority and the era of his influence allows one to see Dwivedi’s own strategic inconsistencies and innovations, from his variable use and promotion of Urdu and Braj Bhasha and his pairing of art with literature to his allowances for some gendered and ethnic (linguistic, regional, religious) variation within the pages of Sarasvatī. This book examines a moment in Hindi literary history that is in process rather than fully formed. When read closely, such a moment can, despite its focus on a dominant sphere of literary activity, reveal under-acknowledged and/or groundbreaking voices that share in the history of the formation of Hindi. Banga Mahila benefitted from Dwivedi’s patronage but also challenged his vision of a singular Hindi with her inclusion of feminine rural speech within her fiction; and she questioned oversights and injustices perpetrated by a male-dominated nationalist ideology on middle-class women. Guleri, too, resisted conforming to Dwivedi’s vision, with his insistence on preserving a Hindi enriched by regionalism and even offensive speech. Through their short stories, these authors assert their own claims for Hindi, insisting on preserving various aspects of its linguistic, regional, religious, and gendered diversity. They, too, stand as authorities in the same fraught literary network in which Dwivedi operated. Focusing solely on Dwivedi without a broader view of the fragmentation within his sphere or dismissing Dwivedi and the literature over which he exerted control gives far too much credence to his literary authority. Indeed such a view overshadows the literary diversity that persisted not only despite Dwivedi and his stated project but also with his express editorial approval. Note 1. I have written of this author and incident in greater detail elsewhere (Mody 2008b, 207–9).


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Abhimanyu aur Uttarā (Vamapad Bandhopadhyay) 162–3 image-poem (Maithilisharan Gupta) 162, 176n60–1 Abhyuday 253n13, 267 Arjun aur Urvashī (Vamapad Bandhopadhyay) 162 Amrita Bāzār Patrikā 110 Awadh 2, 5, 17n7, 20n22, 82n39, 101 Bāgh o bahār 128n41, 134n85 Bajan, Shaikh 129n43 Banaras 65, 219, 222, 223, 250n1, 254n19. See also Kashi, ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’, Varanasi Banaras Hindu University (BHU) 77n2, 218 Banarasi 71, 74, 84n51, 86n63 Bandhopadhyay, Vamapad 161–3, 176n60–1 Banerjee, Bamapada (B. P. Banerjee). See Bandhopadhyay, Vamapad Banga Mahila (Rajendrabala De, née Ghosh) 14–15, 79n19, 203–4n9, 205n11, 208n32, 209n34, 214–19, 224–33, 249,

250–1n1–2, 251n5, 251–2n7, 252n8, 253n15, 254n17, 255–6n29, 257n34, 269. Bengali (language) 19n21, 76, 116–7, 124n9, 205n11, 216, 251n2 bābū 27, 70, 79 journals in 148, 172n29, 185, 207n28. See also Prabāsī literature in (also Banglā sāhitya) 3, 26–9, 85, 91, 166, 215, 252n8 Bengalis 17n6, 77–8n4, 91, 209n34, 216, 251n2, 256n30 bhadralok (respectable people, Bengali) 27, 79n19, 233, 255n24 bhadra mahilā (respectable woman) 223–232 women 15, 214, 215. See also bhadra mahilā bhadra purush (respectable man) 226, 228, 232 Bhakti Era 9, 21n35, 117–18, 125nn16, 19, 126n19, 132n65, 168nn11, 13, 170n20 Bharatiya, Shivchandra Baldev 5, 67–71, 87n69, 174n44, 252n11

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Bhāratmitra 5, 70, 72–3, 81n33, 87nn68, 70, 72–3, 143, 171n26, 218, 253n13, 265 Bhīshma-pratigyā (Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury) 164–5 image-poem (Maithilisharan Gupta) 164 bolchāl kī bhāshā 99, 104, 106, 110, 130n50, 170n22. See also Khari Boli Hindi Bose, Hemendra Mohan (H. Bose) 77–8n4 Braj Bhasha 2, 12–14, 17n7, 19n19, 37–8, 40, 42, 44–5, 47, 60, 74, 76, 80n28, 81n32, 99–101, 110, 116, 122, 123n6, 127n31–4, 128n36, 130n50, 136, 142–3, 149–50, 160, 168n11, 170n19, 171n24–5, 175nn55, 57, 264, 267 Burn, Richard 117, 130n52, 265 Chand Bardai 98, 127nn 28, 30 See also Prithvīrāj rāsau chātak bird 58, 83n49, 83n50 ‘Chātakī kī charamlīlā’, in Sarasvatī 24, 54, 56–7, 61–2, 78n7 Chattopadhyay, Bankimchandra 114, 133n76, 266 Chattopadhyay, Ramanand 148–9, 161, 173n35, 173n36 Chaudhury, Braja. See Chaudhury, Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury, Vrajbhushan Rai 162–5, 176n62, 177n63 Crawford, Francis 189–91, 210n45, 266 Curzon, George 2, 17n6 Darwin, Charles 22n37, 126n26, 130n48, 266

Das, Radhakrishna 8, 21n37, 23, 29, 32, 51, 53, 59, 78n5, 171n25, 204n10, 205n12, 216 Das, Shyamsundar 5, 8, 11, 22n37, 51, 67, 77n1, 131n59, 144, 146, 149, 171n27–8, 216, 218, 253n16, 265, 267 Das, Sisir Kumar 185 Datta, Michael Madhusudan 132n63, 133n68, 141, 149, 173n37 Datta, Rameshchandra (R. C. Datta) 109, 114, 132n62, 133n76, 266 De, Rajendrabala (née Ghosh). See Banga Mahila desh-vyāpak bhāshā (nationwide language) 90, 99. See also Hindi, as national language Devanagari script 2, 34, 263–4 Dhurandhar, Mahadev Vishvanath (M. V. Dhurandhar) 161–2, 176n61–2 dictionary(ies) 1, 63, 68, 71, 91, 95, 108, 115–16, 119, 123n7, 131n56, 178 Dramatic Performances Act (DPA) of 1876 15n3, 112 Draupadīchīrharan (M. V. Dhurandhar) 161, 176n62. See also ‘Draupadī-dukūl’ ‘Draupadī-dukūl’ (Maithilisharan Gupta) with image, in Kavitā-kalāp (M. V. Dhurandhar) 176n62 with image, in Sarasvatī (Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury) 176n62 ‘Dulāīvālī’ (Banga Mahila) 15, 214, 218–33, 241, 249–50,



254n17, 265. See also De, Rajendrabala, née Ghosh Dushyant ke prati Shakuntalā kā prempatra (Kamalanand Singh). See also image-poem under Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan Dutt, Romesh Chunder. See Datta, Rameshchandra Dwivedi, Mahavir Prasad 3–7, 11–15, 17n11, 18n12, 21n34, 23–4, 28–9, 32, 37–8, 40, 42, 44, 49, 53–4, 59–60, 62–3, 72–7, 79n17, 83nn42, 50, 87nn70–1, 89–96, 99, 104–8, 110–22, 126n20, 130n50, 141–5, 149, 167, 168nn10–12, 169nn16–17, 178, 214, 216, 241–2, 244, 249, 257n39, 261–9 his agenda, challenges and resistance to 5, 7, 12–13, 15, 92–3, 126n20, 137, 142–5, 159, 166–7, 201, 214–15, 228, 232–3, 248–50, 268–9 and the art of compromise 150–67 his assessments of Hindi’s present condition 23–6, 40, 55, 59–60, 62–7, 74–5, 108–116, 121, 127n27, 132n61 cartoons by 5, 12, 14, 23–9, 32–40, 42–67, 75–87, 89–90, 113, 124n8, 137, 143, 146, 150, 159, 174n44, 265 commemoration of 4–5, 18n13 his criticism of alankār, overuse of 139 Hindi literary genres 24–5, 34–40, 57, 60, 62–7, 69, 76, 90, 108–16, 150

institutions 20n26, 29, 42, 44, 47–9, 67, 171–2n28, 53–4, 57, 66–7, 83n47, 144, 263, 265 nāyikā-bhed 38, 40, 45–6, 60, 80n28, 131n55, 139–40, 155 plagiarism in Hindi 24, 27–9 samasyāpūrti 44–5, 81n32, 139, 169n14 shringārik kavitā 139, 141–2, 150, 267–8 defence of khicharī Hindi 105, 134n82 definition(s) of Hindi sāhitya 13, 77, 90–2, 95–7, 116, 120, 122, 124n11, 189, 201, 266 editorial remarks (vividh vishay) 18, 20n26, 89, 172n3 genre under direction of 188–9 his handwritten notes 49, 51, 77, 62–63, 255n29, 258n50, 267 his image-poems 14, 150–60, 174nn48, 52, 175nn56, 58, 263 his poetic agenda and programme 37, 67, 100, 110–11, 137–42, 145, 159–60, 167, 168nn9–12, 170n21, 178 his revisions to author submissions 15, 108, 171n25, 175n56, 178, 215, 231, 241–2, 255n29, 258n50, 267. See also handwritten notes, under Dwivedi his Rīti-style physical descriptions of female form 159–60

Index 287

metres, recommended by him for Khari Boli poetry 138, 159, 168n9–12, 174n44 naturalism, his preference for 104, 189–94, 201, 213n55, 241 pseudonyms of 87–8n73 Dwivedi Era 4, 6, 12, 192, 269 biographical essays of 196 historical fiction of 14, 195–6, 211n50 poetry, poets of 142, 180, 278 popular novelists of 83n46 science fiction of 14, 184, 194–6, 211n49 short stories of 180, 194–201 early Hindi poetry 60, 98, 127n31, 128n36, 180, 208n31 English 8, 17n11, 33–4, 54, 76, 94, 109, 148, 162, 199 Indian elite educated in 32, 60, 117 Indian periodicals in 110 literature in 27–9, 91, 117 Fort William College 102, 118–19, 134n85 Gahmari, Gopalram 180 Gangāvataran (Ravi Varma) with pre-modern Hindi poem (Kishorilal Goswami) 173n38 gendered content, narratives 15, 29, 31, 34, 40, 53, 59–61, 214, 233–4, 241–9, 269 Ghalib, Mirza 129n45 Ghosh, Chintamani 8, 20n25, 124n8, 146, 172, 209n34

Ghosh, Girijakumar. See Parvatinandan, Lala Ghosh, Rajendrabala. See Banga Mahila Gilchrist, John 118, 134n80 Goswami, Kishorilal 21n37, 84n51, 130n53, 170, 180–3, 200, 216 grammar(s) 1–2, 74, 95, 108, 115–16, 119, 124n8, 131n56, 264. See also Vyākaran Gujarati (language) 127n31 literature in 155, 174n52, 251n7 women 155, 157 Gupta, Balmukund 5, 70, 81n33, 87n73, 133n70, 143, 267 Gupta, Maithilisharan 14, 111, 132n66, 133n69, 161, 164, 171n25, 176n59, 263 Gupta, Nagendranath 184, 204n10 Guru, Kamtaprasad 161, 166 ‘Hali’, Altaf Husain 128n40, 170n21, 142, 266 harigītikā (metre) 176n60 Harishchandra, Bharatendu 3, 8–9, 19n19, 21n37, 96, 115, 133n71, 134n86 Harishchandrachandrikā 19n19 Hindi (language) 17n10, 31, 80n22 cartoon depiction of 53 chaupāī 151, 155, 159, 168n11, 174n50, 175n56 early influences and experiments on 180–8 literature in 3, 6, 28 modern 6, 9, 13, 22n38, 24, 40, 58, 76–7, 90, 99, 104–8, 116, 118, 135–8



as national language 1, 3, 5, 12, 21, 29, 101, 104, 117, 123n4, 160, 168n6, 216, 251n6, 264 new genre in 179–80 origin and natural evolution 97–104, 264 pre-modern form 3, 97, 99 present state of 25–42 speakers of 34, 69, 121, 131n55 women writing in 215, 232, 251n3 Hindī pradīp 19n19, 21n32, 91, 172n31 Hindi sāhitya 60, 78n6, 89–7, 121–2, 179, 262 branches of 108–9 cartoons of 24 in a competitive colonial context 107, 116–17, 135, 179, 266 definition of. See under Dwivedi, Mahavir Prasad national 3, 17n9, 89–90, 108–17, 119–20, 137 visual representation of, in Sarasvatī 24, 25–6, 36, 60, 77n4, 78n6, 173n42, 205n11 Hindī sāhitya kā itihās (Ramchandra Shukla) 13, 92, 124n12, 204n9, 205n14, 254n18 Hindi Sahitya Sammelan 107, 123n4, 138, 261, 266 Hindi Scientific Glossary, The 109, 123n7, 131n59 ‘Hindī–Urdū’, in Sarasvatī 29–32, 34, 59, 61, 78n5, 79n15, 80n21–4, 83n43, 85n58. See also Das, Radhakrishna history

as a branch of sāhitya 9, 63, 93, 95–6, 109, 131n55, 179, 196, 212n51 of Hindi language and literature 4, 7, 90–1, 97–9, 101–2, 118–9, 123n3, 124n11, 126n19, 138, 181, 262, 269 of Urdu language and literature 101–3, 123n3, 128n42, 129n43 Hitābadī 185, 207n28 Indian Factories Act of 1891 82n39 Indian National Congress 2, 16nn3, 5 Indian Press, Allahabad 8, 20n22, 83n47, 146, 148–9, 164, 172n29, 209n34 ‘Indumati’ (Kishorilal Goswami) 181–3, 200, 203n9, 205n14– 15, 206n17–18 Itihās (History) 63, 93, 178, 211n50, 212n51. See also history Jayaswal, Kashiprasad 23, 40, 42, 57, 61, 78n5 Jaydrathvadh (Maithilisharan Gupta) 176n60 kahānī (short story). See short story ‘Kalā-sarvagya sampādak’, in Sarasvatī 24, 47–8, 53–54, 62, 79n12, 83nn41, 43, 85n53 Kalhū Alhait (pseudonym) 88n73. See Dwivedi, Mahavir Prasad Kalidas 114, 133n77, 140, 141, 207n26 Kaliyug 31, 80n20 Kangri (language) 253n14, 257n40, 258n52, 259n58

Index 289

Kashi 54, 57, 254n19, 255n25, 83n47, 254n19. See also Banaras, ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’, Varanasi ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’, in Sarasvatī 24, 54–5, 57, 65, 78n10, 83nn44–7, 85n53 Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha 67, 83n47, 144, 172n28, 218 Kavitā-kalāp 142, 161, 165, 174n48, 175n56, 176nn59, 62 ‘Kavitā kutumb par vipatti’, in Sarasvatī 24, 42–4, 53–4, 57, 78n7, 83n43, 85n53, 87n69, 143–144 Kavivachansudhā 19n19, 134n86 kāvya (poetry) 111 concept of 91, 123nn5, 6, 124n7 caricature of, Hindi 65–6, 86n63 Khare, Vasudev Vaman 133n68, 141, 266 Khari Boli Hindi/Khari Boli poetry 2–4, 13–15, 17n7, 34–6, 40, 44, 61, 67, 76, 100, 104, 110–11, 128n39, 130n50, 136, 160, 164, 167, 171n27, 178, 236, 257n39, 264, 267 ‘Kharī Bolī kā padya’, in Sarasvatī 24, 34–6, 60–1, 78n8, 80n27, 85n55 Khatri, Ayodhya Prasad 80n27 Khatri, Devakinandan 83n46, 180, 216 Khatri, Kartikprasad 8, 22n37 Khicharī Hindī 84, 84n51, 105, 130n53, 134n82 Khusro, Amir 128n42, 129n43

Kishore, Munshi Naval 20n22, 82n39 Kumudsundarī (Ravi Varma) 151, 155–8, 160 image-poem (Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi) 150–1, 155, 157–9, 160. See also Tripathi, Govardhanram Lyall, C. J. 102–3, 107, 117–18, 129n43, 265–6 ‘Madarson mein prachalit Hindī aur uske granthakarttā’ in Sarasvatī 24, 51–4, 57, 59, 61, 76, 78n9, 82n40, 85nn 53, 56, 58 Malaviya, Madan Mohan 218, 253n16 Mantharā aur Kaikeyī (Vamapad Bandhopadhyay) 162 Marāthī (language, literature) 3, 26–9, 76, 111, 116–17, 121, 127n31, 133n68, 141, 251n7, 266 Maryādā 21n30, 267 ‘Mātribhāshā kā satkār’, in Sarasvatī 24, 32, 34, 60–2, 76, 78n9, 83nn41, 43, 85n53 Meghnād-vadh 111, 132–3n68, 170n18 middle Hindi 98, 118, 127n21, 202n2 Milton, John 142, 170n21, 266 Mishra, Govindanarayan (pseudonym) 88n73. See Dwivedi, Mahavir Prasad Modern Review 77–8n4, 148 mother tongue 8, 12, 32–4 Nāgarī prachārinī patrikā 216, 218, 251n2, 253n13



Nagari Pracharini Sabha, Varanasi 5, 8, 20n24, 54, 67, 123n4, 144, 131n59, 174n45, 265 Nasrati 128n42 Nātak (Drama) 63, 65, 66, 68, 71, 74 nationalism, anti-colonial 13, 117–22 national identity, Indian 3, 7, 91, 158, 187, 209n33 Naval Kishore Press, Lucknow 20n22, 82n39 ‘Nāyikā-bhed’ See nāyikā-bhed, under Dwivedi, criticism of ‘Nāyikā-bhed ke granthakār kavi aur unke puraskartā rājā’, in Sarasvatī 24, 45–6, 53–4, 62, 76, 78nn7, 11, 83n43, 85n53 Newman, John Henry, Cardinal 92–4, 125n13, 125n15, 136, 266 Nigam, Daya Narayan 5, 267 North-Western Provinces 2, 17n7, 20n22, 82n39, 101, 215, 250n1 novel 40–2, 54–5, 57, 83n44, 113–14, 131n55, 133nn74, 76, 178–80, 189–94, 202n3–4, 203n5–6, 210n45, 216–17 Orsini, Francesca 44–5, 54 Pandey, Bhavadev 250n1, 252n11, 254n17 Pandey, Sudhakar 250n1 Parīkshā guru (Shrinivas Das) 203n5 Parivrajak, Satyadev 183, 252n12, 267, 269n1 partition of Bengal in 1905 2, 17n6, 256n30 Parvatinandan, Lala (Girijakumar Ghosh) 183, 209n34

Paryatan (Travel) 63, 64, 68, 70 Pātalīputra 253n13 patriarchal authority, challenges to 15, 214, 217, 227, 231, 252n7, 254n17 pictorial journalism 9, 148, 160–1 ‘picture-poems’ 161, 166. See also image-poems, under Dwivedi ‘picture-poets’ 161, 165–166 Pincott, Fredric 80n27 Pingalacharya 168n10, 266 Platts, J. T. 102–5, 107, 128n41, 265–6 Poe, Edgar Allan 14, 184, 203n6 poetry. See kāvya, Khari Boli poetry Prabāsī 78n4, 148, 172n29, 173n35 ‘Prāchīn kavitā’, in Sarasvatī 24, 37–8, 53, 60–1, 77n4, 78n7, 85nn54–5, 57, 150, 174n43 ‘Prāchīn kavitā kā arvāchīn avatār’, in Sarasvatī 24, 37–9, 52, 53, 61, 77n4, 78n7, 80n29, 85nn54–5, 57, 174n43 Prakrits (prākritik bhāshāyen) 97–9, 102, 264 Prasad, Babu Sadhucharan 64, 66, 71, 86n62, 132n64 Prasad, Jaishankar 5, 18n15, 86n63, 196, 212n53 Premchand 6, 22n38, 126n20, 180, 195, 208n31, 212n55 Prithvīrāj rāsau (Chand Bardai) 98, 127n28, 132n62 public sphere 4–5, 15, 18n18, 31, 40, 44, 53–4, 57–8, 60–1, 65, 70, 76, 88n74, 120, 133n71, 135, 179, 183, 187, 195, 215, 217–18, 220, 226–7 fragmented 6, 12, 62, 143–4, 263–5, 268

Index 291

Punch: The London Charivari 79n18, 88n74 Punjab 15, 215, 217, 234–5, 236–9, 243, 247–8, 265 Punjabi (language, identity) 127nn31, 34, 236, 238, 248, 250, 257n40, 258nn52 Purān 151, 153, 162 paurānik (also puranik) subjects 114, 173, 263 ‘Purna’, Raideviprasad 22n38, 161, 166, 174nn48, 51, 175nn56–7 Rajasthani (language) 3, 127nn31, 34 Rajput Kshatriya 46, 84n51 Rajput 57–8, 62, 182, 196 Rambhā (Ravi Varma) 150–5 image-poem (Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi) 150–5, 157, 159, 160, 175n57 image-poem (Raideviprasad ‘Purna’) 153, 174n51 Rāmchandrajī kā Gangāvataran (M. V. Dhurandhar) 161–2 image-poem 176n62 Raychaudhuri, Upendrakishore (U. Ray) 148, 151, 173n35 reprographic technology 148, 160 Rīti Era, style 81n32, 132n65, 155, 157, 159, 168nn11, 13, 170n20 Sachitra Mahābhārat, in Hindi (Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi) 164 Sādhanā 185, 207n28 ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’, 24, 53–4, 60–75, 78nn4, 10, 81n30, 83n41, 85nn55, 59–61, 86nn62–7, 87nn68–71, 90, 112, 113, 115, 120, 131n56, 132nn61, 64–5,

133n70, 134n79, 174n44, 178, 212n51 ‘Sāhitya samāchār’ (literary news) 23–5, 32, 34, 53, 60–2, 65, 75–6, 77–78n3–5, 79n17, 85n53, 86n62, 87n69, 89–90, 101, 124n8, 133n73, 137, 143, 150, 171n26, 172n30, 178, 212n51, 265 Samālochak 216, 218, 251n2, 253n13 samālochanā (criticism) caricature of, Hindi 63, 64, 68, 71–4 as genre 114 samasyāpūrti. See samasyāpūrti, under Dwivedi, criticism of Sanskrit 8–9, 21n30, 36–7, 76, 84n50, 90–1, 97–9, 102, 105–7, 123n7, 175n55, 179, 249, 264 literary theory in 123n6 literary tradition of 138, 148 literature in 58, 94–5, 169n15, 180 metres in 67, 70, 138, 168n9, 174n44 vocabulary in 35–6 Sarasvatīchandra (Govardhanram Tripathi) 155 Sarasvatī, Hindi journal 3–6, 13–14, 18n12, 19n19, 20n27, 21n30, 22n38, 39, 60, 74, 79n17, 83n47, 86n65, 89–90, 102, 124n8, 135, 144, 146, 148–50, 161, 164, 166, 172n28, 175n55, 177n63, 179, 181–2, 194–6, 203n6, 206n20, 208n32, 210n40, 212n55, 215–17, 226, 246, 248, 251n3,



252n12, 253n13, 261, 265–7, 269 Bengali writers and authors influence on 184–7 circulation and readership of 18n12 cover art for 9–11, 39, 149 early stories of 183–4 emergence of 8–11 genres and topics in 9, 21n29 Hindī-sāhitya in 25–6 house artist 162. See also Chaudhury, Vrajbhushan Rai last issue of 20n23 poets, featured in 165–6 Rabindranath Tagore, influence on 184–7 ‘Sāhitya-sabhā’ in 63 ‘Sāhitya-samāchār’ in 23–5, 53 visual aspects of 146–7, 173n34 science (vigyān) 9–10, 28, 79, 92–3, 95, 108–9 science fiction. See under Dwivedi Era scripts, competing 2–3, 34, 263–4 Shakespeare 14, 21n37, 94, 181, 182, 183–5, 187, 204n10, 205nn12–15 Shakuntalā-patra-lekhan (Ravi Varma) 136–7, 149, 166, 167n4. See also Datta, Michael Madhusudan image-poem, Braj Bhasha (Kamalanand Singh) 136, 173n37 Shāntanu aur Gangā (Vamapad Bandhopadhyay) 162 Sharma, Chandradhar ‘Guleri’ 14–15, 18n17, 201, 204n9, 214, 215, 217–19, 233, 243–5, 247–9, 253nn14–16. See also ‘Usne kahā thā’

Sharma, Jvaladatta 180, 195, 213n55, 259n55 Sharma, Nathuram Shankar 161, 165 Sharma, Pramila 66, 82n40, 86n63, 86n66 Sharma, Vishvambharnath, ‘Kaushik’ 180, 195, 209n36, 213n55, 259n55 short story (genre) 4, 14, 178–213, 214 Shivprasad, Raja (Sitār-e Hind) 9, 21n35, 84n51, 115 shringār rasa 118, 132n65, 139, 142, 158, 174n49. See also criticism of shringārik kavitā, under Dwivedi in modern Hindi poetry 142–4, 154, 158–9, 169n15, 174n53, 267 Shukla, Ramchandra 5, 13, 18n15, 22n38, 92–6, 119, 124n12, 135–7, 166, 171n25, 197, 200, 205n14, 215, 251n4, 266 ‘Shūrvīr-samālochak’, in Sarasvatī 24, 49–51, 53–54, 61, 76, 79n13, 83nn41, 43, 85n53, 175n55 Singh, Udaybhanu 6, 63, 82n40, 131n54 Sitā kī parīkshā (Ravi Varma) with pre-modern Hindi verse (Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi) 173n38, 174n43 Subhadrā–Draupadī-milan (Vrajbhushan Rai Chaudhury) 164 Surdas 9, 21n35, 115, 127n34 svābhaviktā (naturalness) 136, 141–2, 171n22, 192–3. See also naturalism, under Dwivedi

Index 293

swadeshī (Indian-made) goods 2, 149, 164, 230–1, 256n31, 264 Swadeshī movement 119, 173n40, 256n30 Tagore, Abanindranath 149, 173n41 Tagore, Balendranath 167n3 Tagore, Rabindranath 14, 124n10, 174–5n53, 184–8, 195–7, 204–5n10, 207n27–8, 208–9nn 29–30, 32–3, 266 Tagore, Surendranath 164 Thakur, Dvijendranath 185–6 Thakur, Ravindranath. See Tagore, Rabindranath Thakur, Sudhindranath 184 Tempest, The 181–2, 205n15, 206n17 teth Hindi 80n27, 84n51, 130n53 Tod, James 109, 132n62, 212n51, 266 Tripathi, Govardhanram 155, 158, 174n52 Tulsidas 9, 21n35, 115, 125n17, 127n34 United Provinces 20n22, 106, 117, 130n52, 215, 218, 230, 253n14, 254n19, 256n29, 265 upanyās. See also novel caricature of, in Hindi 40–2, 61, 63–5, 68, 71, 74–5, 85n55 as genre 40, 54, 180, 184, 189, 204n10 ‘Upanyās-kār aur unkī kriti’, in Sarasvatī 40–2, 61, 78nn5, 10, 79n14, 85nn53, 55 Urdu (language) 2, 7, 12, 24, 29–31, 34–5, 53, 59–61, 98–9, 101–5, 107, 117–8, 121–2, 266–9

Dwivedi’s treatment of 101–2, 104, 263 ‘Usne kahā thā’ (Chandradhar Sharma ‘Guleri’) 233–48, 250 ‘Uttarā se Abhimanyu kī vidā’ (Maithilisharan Gupta). See image-poem under Abhimanyu aur Uttarā Vajpeyi, Vamshidhar 115, 118 Vali language 103, 128n42 Varanasi 55–6, 220, 254n19. See also Banaras, Kashi, ‘Kāshī kā sāhitya vriksha’ Varma, C. Raja Raja 148 Varma, Raja Ravi 10, 14, 39, 67, 86n66, 136–7, 138, 142, 147–58, 160–1, 165, 166–7, 167n3–5, 173nn33, 36, 38–9, 41, 174n43, 52 his artwork, on Sarasvatī’s cover 11, 39 Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press, Bombay 148 Varma, Vrindavanlal 22n38, 196, 211n50 Vedvyas 93, 95 Vernacular Press Act (1878) 15n3 ‘Vikās-siddhānt’ (Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi) 126n26, 130n48. See also Darwin, Charles Vīrānganā (Michael Madhusudan Datta) 149, 173n37 Vyākaran (Grammar) 63, 65, 68, 71, 85n61. See also grammar yantrālay 47, 82n39 Zamānā, Urdu literary monthly 5, 267

About the Author

Sujata S. Mody is associate professor of Hindi–Urdu in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Her research interests include modern Hindi literature, literary rivalries, historical fiction, visual culture, and the broader connections between gender, nationalism, and the public sphere in South Asia. She has published research and reference articles in South Asia Research, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and her translations have appeared in several edited volumes focusing on Hindi writers of the modern era.