Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala'

Suryakant Tripathi (21 February 1896 – 15 October 1961), known by his pen name Nirala, was an Indian poet, novelist, essayist and story-writer. He also drew many sketches.

Most of his life was somewhat in the Bohemian tradition. He wrote strongly against social injustice and exploitation in society. Since he was more or less a rebel, both in form and content, acceptance did not come easily. What he got in plenty was ridicule and derision. All this may have played a role in making him a victim of schizophrenia in his later life and he was admitted to Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi. (Incidentally Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (who was later declared national poet of Bangladesh) had also been admitted to the same institute for schizophrenia).

Nirala died in Allahabad on 15 October 1961. The world of Hindi literature is remarkable for ideological and aesthetic divisions. But today, the same reviled Nirala is one of the very few people in Hindi literature who are admired and respected by almost all, across all divisions.

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