Ram Vilas Sharma (10 October 1912 - 30 May 2000 / Unnao, Uttar Pradesh / India)
Biography of Ram Vilas Sharma
Ram Vilas Sharma was an eminent progressive literary critic, linguist, poet and thinker. He was born in Unchgaon Sani, Unnao District, Uttar Pradesh.
He came into limelight as a critic in 1939 with his scholarly paper on Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', presented at a session of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan. Ram Vilas Sharma was undisputedly among the most powerful noted poets of the progressive period.
He received his early education in his native village and at Jhansi. For higher studies he went to Lucknow and did his M.A. and PhD. in English Literature.
He started his career as a lecturer at Lucknow University, and then moved to Balwant Rajput College, Agra, as head of the English department. He retired finally as Director of KM Hindi Institute, Agra. Basically a critic, he gave new dimension to biographical-historical criticism, and analysed linguistic and literary issues from a Marxist viewpoint.
His study of Nirala's Ram ki shakti puja, Tulsidas, Saroj-smriti and parimal is a model of creative criticism. He won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1970 for his Nirala ki Sahitya Sadhana (in 3 parts). His massive work Bharat ke Pracheen bhasha parivar aur Hindi won him the first Vyas Samman (1991) instituted by the K. K. Birla Foundation. He was Socialist both in thought and deed.
Among the Hindi writers those who impressed him most, besides Nirala the poet, are Acharya Shukla the critic, Bhartendu the pioneer and Premchand the novelist. He took them up for detailed study and wrote authentic literary criticism on them, though from the progressive angle. He analysed their personality and brought out their contribution to Hindi Literature. According to him Bhartendu Harishchandra, Premchand and Nirala are outstanding not only as litterateurs but also as men endowed with magnanimity of soul.
Assessment of Acharya Shukla
In his assessment of Acharya Shukla (Acharya Ramchandra Shukla aur Hindi Alochana) eminent critic Dr. Sharma emphasises the fact that the great writer opposed feudal and courtly literature as it did not give a true picture of the life of the common people and contemporary society.
Reciepient of 'Sahitya Akademy Award' in 1970.
'Vyas Samman' from K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991.
'Bharat Bharti Samman' from U.P. Govt.
'Shalaka Samman' from Hindi Academy, Delhi
& and many other awards.
But as a noble gesture he refused the prize money of many awards with a request that it may be utilised in the promotion of literacy.
Ram Vilas Sharma's Works:
More than 30 Hindi Publications.
'Prem Chand Aur Unka Yug' in 1952.
'Pragatisheel Sahitya Ki Samasyayen' in 1955
'Nirala Ki Sahitya Sadhana' ( 3 Vol.) during 1969-76
'Acharya Ram Chand Shukla Aur Hindi Aalochana' in 1973
'Bharat Mein Angareji Raj Aur Marxvad' in 1982
'Roop Tarang Aur Pragatisheel Kavita Ki Vaycharik Prishthbhoomi' in 1990
'Bhartiya Sahitya Ki Bhoomika in 1996.
'Itihas Darshan' in 1997.
(The above are all critics & history of literature.)
'Pragati Aur Parampara' in 1953
'Aastha Aur Saundarya' in 1960
'Bhasha Aur Samaj' in 1961
'Bharat Ki Prachin Bhasha Parivar Aur Hindi' in 1979
(The above are all essays)
'Apni Dharti Apne Log' (Autobiography : 3 Vol.) in 1996
'Swadhinta Sangram - Badelte Pariprekshya' in 1992.