Today is the 91st Birth Anniversary of legendary fiction writer and editor Rajendra Yadav (28 August 1929 – 28 October 2013).
He was a Hindi fiction writer, and a pioneer of the Hindi literary movement known as ‘Nayi Kahani’ (New Story).
He edited the heritage literary magazine ‘HANS’, which was founded by Munshi Premchand in 1930 but ceased publication in 1953.
Acclaimed as Voltaire of India’s social and cultural discourse, Rajendraji relaunched it on 31 July 1986, (Premchand’s Birthday.
He was born in Agra, Uttar Pradesh on 28 August 1929. He received his early education at Agra, and later also studied at Mawana, Meerut. He graduated in 1949, and later completed his MA in Hindi at Agra University in 1951. He spent ten years in Kolkata where he met his future wife Manu Bhandari.
His first novel was Pret Bolte Hain (Ghosts Speak), published in
1951 and later retitled as Sara Akash (The Infinite Cosmos) in the 1960s.
It was the first Hindi novel to try to shock orthodox Indian cultural traditions. It was adapted into a movie of the same title, Sara Akash, by Basu Chatterjee in 1969 and which along with Mrinal Sen’s Bhuvan Shome, launched Parallel Cinema in Hindi.
The film was shot at the his ancestral home in Raja Ki Mandi, Agra.
Ukhre Huey Log, (‘The Rootless People) his next novel, depicts the trauma of a couple arising out of socio-economic condition which forced them to desert the conventional path – and, still they failed to acclimatise themselves to a corrupt and devilish world.
This novel envisages “Living-in” concept for the first time.
He wrote two more novels, Kulta (The Wayward Wife), and Shaah aur Maat (Check and Mate).
He also wrote several stories and translated into Hindi many works of Russian language writers like Turgenev, Chekhov, and Lermontov (A Hero of Our Times), as also Albert Camus (The Outsider).
Ek Inch Muskaan (A Little Smile), which Rajendra Yadav and wife Mannu Bhandari wrote together, is a love tragedy of schizophrenic individuals.
Besides being a writer, Rajendra Yadav was also a nominated board member of Prasar Bharti in 1999–2001. He was awarded Yash Bharati Samman of year 2013 by Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party Government of Uttar Pradesh.
Rajendraji passed away in New Delhi at approximately midnight on 28 October 2013. He was 84 years old.
Great people are Remembered every time but Legends are Missed every time especially when the Mission continues to grow, such as Rajendra Yadav, the Voice of the Subaltern and marginalized Sections of North India.
Entire subaltern, BALIJAN movement misses him. He left us at the most crucial time when this movement needed him a lot.
Still we think if he would have been with us ge would have written or said this, that etc.
All that we have his Words. He is still alive through his writings which continue to Storm into revolution.
Long Live His Legacy. For me, he was a literary mentor, and a secular godfather Guardian.