Culture & Heritage
Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari
Those revolutionaries and freedom fighter who fought selflessly for the freedom and self-rule of India in the First War of Independence from the Awadh region, the name of Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari appears in the forefront among the martyrs of Indian Independence. Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari born on 10th June 1840 AD fought the British forces bravely and sacrificed his life alongwith around 1000 other revolutionaries fighting the last battle of the First War of Indian Independence at Aovari around 2 Kms. from Barabanki on the confluence of riverlets Rait and Jamuria.
A British Brigadier Sir Hopp Grant after being impressed and moved by Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari’s bravery and exemplary courage has written in his memoirs “Incidents Of The Sepoy War” that “Their attacks were very ferocious though they remained ineffective, but we had to fight very hard to ward them off.”
Raja Balbhadra Singh Chehlari on a Horse fought with swords in both hands, this was spine chilling to the British forces. Henceforth it is not surprising that the Brigadier could not forget such exemplary courage throughout his life.
Kunwar Digvijay Singh popularly known as K.D.Singh ‘Babu’ was born on 2nd February 1922 in Barabanki. His father Raibahadur Thakur Shri Raghunath Singh was a well known social worker, learned lawyer and tennis player of the town. K.D.Singh ‘Babu’ had started overwhelming people with his personality and deeds from very childhood. He thereby started getting lots of respect and regard in society during his social and student life. He excelled in studies as he did in sports. In hockey, he rose to such excellence that he was synonymous to the game and proved to be a magician on the hockey field.
‘Babu’ started his sports career from the hockey tournament at Dewa Mela. In 1938 he participated in a tournament at Delhi where he dodged Mohammed Hussain, the then very famous hockey Olympian and scored goals, thereby getting lots of coverage in the newspapers. After the World War II he went to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1946 as a member of the Indian hockey team. In 1947, he toured British East Africa (Kenya), Uganda, Tanzania with the Indian hockey team captained by another great hockey maestro Dhyan Chand. In this tournament, the team scored 200 goals, and K.D.Singh ‘Babu’ scored 70 of them, highest by any player in the team.
In 1948, he was selected for the first time in the Indian hockey team for the Olympics, with Kishanlal as captain and ‘Babu’ as vice-captain. India as an Independent nation won their first Olympic hockey gold. He was made captain of the Indian team in 1949, this year out of 236 goals scored, he had netted 99 goals, maximum by any member of the team.
He was made the captain of the Indian Olympic Hockey team for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics Games, where the team under his captaincy won another Olympic Hockey Gold medal. Thereafter, he continued his service to the game of Hockey in other forms. In 1960, he was honoured with the Padamshri award, thereby becoming the first Padamshri hockey player. In 1972, he was made the coach of the Indian hockey team for the 1972 Munich Olympics by Indian Hockey Federation. But, alas on 27th March 1978, K.D.Singh ‘Babu’, the pride of the nation committed suicide, thereby ending his life out of frustration due to mental tensions, leaving behind millions of sobbing countrymen.
Flt.Lt.Shankar Dayal Bajpai
Barabanki has the pride and privilege of producing gallant sons since ancient times. A number sons of this sacred soil have embraced martyrdom protecting the frontiers of the Nation. The name of Flt.Lt. Shankar Dayal Bajpai comes to the fore among the gallant sons of Barabanki, who laid down his life while keeping vigil on the frontiers of the nation.
He was born in the family of Pandit Shyamlal Bajpai in village Sharifabad of Satrikh in district Barabanki on 25th January 1960. He joined the Indian Air Force in 1980 and became a commissioned Officer in 1982. Then he trained to become an expert fighter pilot, and after several further trainings and courses, he was entrusted to fly the Jaguar fighter aircraft, a very sophisticated and latest machine of that period.
Flt.Lt.S.D.Bajpai was posted at the highly sensitive Indo-Pak border post of Naalia in Gujarat, where 24 hour air vigil is maintained by MiG, Mirage and Jaguar fighter aircrafts.
On 10th December 1987, at about 7:35 in the evening Flt.Lt. Shankar Dayal Bajpai took off in his Jaguar for the routine vigil sortie. He was to keep an eye on the military activities of the neighbouring country on the border and to maintain security. In a few minutes, his Jaguar, fully loaded with ammunition, was at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The Air Force Control room at Naalia was getting signals from his Jaguar, but, all of sudden the screen showed a big flame on the radar screen at 7:40 PM, and everything had become ash in just 2 seconds. Flt.Lt.Shankar Dayal Bajpai was no more, a bright star had been extinguished by fate. A great and gallant son of India.
Sant Kavi Baijnath
Baba as he is popularly known was the pride of the whole nation in Hindi literature leave alone Barabanki. His creativity and personality was multifaceted, but they could not see the light of popularity and position as they could not be timely made public and some remain unexposed even today.
Sant Kavi Baijnath was a renowned linguist of Ramkatha literature. He was born in district Barabanki in village Dehwa on Ashwin Purnima of samvat 1890. His father Heeranand was a financially sound zamindar of Manapur Dehwa. Fakire Ram was his Guru. Sant Kavi Baijnath’s first literary creation that came to light was Geetavali ki Teeka in samvat 1932. Then His poetic collection was published by the name ‘Kalpdroom’. With passage of time, a number of his literary creations kept on coming to light. He gave up his mortal remains in 1954 on 7th of Baishakh shukl at 4 in the evening.
Sant Kavi Chaturbhuj Das
Sant Kavi Chaturbhuj Das, belonging to the Gyanashrayi branch of Nirgun Bhakti stream, made Rampur Jahangirabad his land of literary sadhna. He belonged to the era of Goswami Tulsidas. He spread the message of Nirgun Bramh by writing Nirgun Sagar, Hari Charitr Katha, Ram Charit, Ram Baavni, Ram Virhini.
Sant Kavi Jagjivan Das
On the Banks of Ghaghra is a village known as Sardaha, here in 1727 was born Sant Kavi Jagjivan Das, the propounder of the Satnaami sect. He made Kotwa his spiritual and literary birth place and meditorium. Leading a family life Sant Kavi Jagjivan Das proved to be a great Saint and literary genius. To his credit are more than a dozen literary creations, which has enriched the heritage of Hindi literature. Agh Vinaash, Maha Pralay, Gyan Prakash, Shabd-Sagar, Param Granth, Prem-Path, Aagam Paddhati, being his important creations.
In his Teacher-Pupil traditions, Bodhe Das, Dulan Das, Devi Das, Naval Das, Aahalaad Das, Bhikha Das etc. were his popular pupils who went on to become famous literary and spiritual personalities themselves.
Dariyabad has been an important place of literary creations, both in Hindi and Urdu/Persian literature.
Qasim Shah, son of Amanullah was born in 1731 AD, he carried forward the literary tradition of Sufi-atic poetry. He has given a very interesting account in Hans-Jawahir, the love story of Hans, the son of Sultan Budhaan Shah of Balkh-Bukhara and Jawahir the daughter of Alamshah of China.
Ravi Dutt Mishra
Ravi Dutt Mishra from Dariyabad of Garib Dhan fame was born in 1769 AD. He was a great Scholar, astrologer, writer and a learned personality. He wrote a number of books, renowned ones include, Basant Raj, Dhanurved, Mat Chintamani Durga Mahotsav, Mahurat Prakash.
Shankar Dayal Awasthi
Shankar Dayal Awasthi also from Dariyabad wrote Shivsiya Bratbodh, Shankar Pramod, Sankshipt Sankshep Ramayan etc.
Pandit Mahesh Dutt Shukl
Pandit Mahesh Dutt Shukl from Dhanauli was born in 1840 AD. He was a great scholar of both Hindi and Sanskrit. His prominent literary creation among others include Kavya Sangrah, Kavitt Ramayan, Madhav Nidaan, Umapati Digvijai, Akar Kosh Tika, Vishnu Puraan Devi Bhagwat, Padyam Puraan, Nrasingh Puraan. His son, Giranya Dutt Shukl was also a good poet. He wrote Krishna Kathakaar, Sanskrit Vyakranabham.
Guru Prasad Singh ‘Mrigesh’
Ram Nagar has also earned a reputation in the field of Hindi literature. Guru Prasad Singh ‘Mrigesh’ (1910) from Budhwal wrote folk poetry on ‘Parijaat’. His prominent literary writings include books like, Madhav Mangla, Varve Vyanjana Dayadand, Mrigesh Mahabharat etc.
Shiv Singh Saroj
Shiv Singh Saroj from Hadiyamau near to Harheha village also earned lots of fame for his Hindi literary creations. He enriched Hindi literature by writings books like Laxman Mahakavya, Tulsidas, Amar Bharti Jap, Vipluv Aur Vihaar, LuvKush, Rakt Ranjit Kashmir.
The prominent personalities who enriched the heritage of the district in the 19th century in the field of Arabic, Urdu and Persian literature include:
Sayyed Quli Khan of Kintur, Maulana Burhanuddin of Dewa, Mufti Mazhar Karim of Dariyabad, Hakim Noor Karim, Sayyed Aziz Hussain, Sayyed Hamid Hussain, Sayyed Ghulam Hussain, Sayyed Karamat Hussain.
In the 20th century, the prominent Urdu writer and poets were, Ibrahim Beg of Dewa, Mehdi Ali Nasiri of Fatehpur, Sheikh Vilayat Ali ‘Bambe’ of Masauli, Sajjad Ali Ansari of Gadiya was a well known for his prose writings, Basharat Ali ‘Nadeem’ was a well known poet, Mata Prasad ‘Sagar’, Murtaza Beg ‘Farhat’ were his disciples and also well known poets of Urdu and Persian in their own right. Khuda Bux Sheikh of Dariyabad has also written poetry in Urdu and Persian, His book ‘ Tohmat-ul-Asfiya’ is the biography of Haji Syed Waris Ali Shah. Shankar Lal ‘Kaamal’, Mahadevi Bali ‘Iqbal’, Najaf Ali Beg ‘ Najaf’, Nalim Ali ‘Nazim’ were also well known Urdu poets.