Who Was 'Kusumagraj'? Here's Why His Birth Anniversary Is Celebrated As Marathi Bhasha Diwas

Who Was 'Kusumagraj'? Here's Why His Birth Anniversary Is Celebrated As Marathi Bhasha Diwas

Marathi Bhasha Diwas or Marathi Day is celebrated on February 27 every year on the birth anniversary of eminent Marathi poet Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, February 26, 2024, 04:55 PM IST
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V V Shirwadkar | Pinterest

Marathi Language Day or Marathi Bhasha Diwas is celebrated annually on February 27 to honour the birth anniversary of famous Marathi poet Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar, who was popularly known as 'Kusumagraj'.

Vishnu Vaman Shirwadkar (27 February 1912 – 10 March 1999), was an eminent Marathi poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer, apart from being a humanist, who wrote of freedom, justice and emancipation of the deprived, In a career spanning five decades starting in per-independence era, he wrote 16 volumes of poems, three novels, eight volumes of short stories, seven volumes of essays, 18 plays and six one-act plays.

His works like the Vishakha (1942), a collection of lyrics, inspired a generation into the Indian freedom movement, and is today considered one of the masterpieces of Indian literature, apart from his play, Natsamrat, which has an important place in Marathi literature.

He was the recipient of several State awards, and National awards including the 1974 Sahitya Akademi Award in Marathi for Natsamrat, Padma Bhushan (1991) and the Jnanapith Award in 1987, he also served as the President of the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan held at Margao in 1964.

The day is celebrated to recognise and honour the greatness of Marathi literature. Marathi language contains some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 900 AD.

The government started celebrating 'Marathi Rajbhasha Gaurav Din' after Kusumagraj's demise in 1999. Two special awards for individuals taking initiatives to promote Marathi literature were also started.

Various cultural programmes are held across Maharashtra in schools and other institutions to celebrate Marathi Bhasha Diwas. However, the ongoing pandemic and recent spike in cases have forced the authorities to tone down the celebrations this year.

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