Narmadashankar, Lalashankar

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Narmadashankar, Lalashankar


Born Aug. 24, 1833, in Surat; died Feb. 26, 1886, in Bombay. Indian writer, theatrical figure, and literary scholar. Wrote in Gujarati.

A teacher by profession, Narmadashankar was one of the founders of modern Gujarati literature. He championed social reforms and women’s rights and opposed the lack of concord between Hindus and Muslims. His works are imbued with patriotism and a longing for national liberation, for example, his epic poem Victory to Thee, Proud Gujarat! In his narrative poem Story of the Seasons (1861), Narmadashankar glorified the natural beauty of Gujarat. He wrote plays on themes from the Indian epic, including Draupadi Darshan (1878) and The Meeting of Rama and Sita (1886). He helped found amateur acting companies.

Narmadashankar introduced the genres of biography, the essay, and the critical review into Gujarati literature. His pamphlet The Advantages of Organization (1851) and his Autobiography (1866) are among the early works of Gujarati prose. He was the author of An Introduction to the Theory of Poetry (1857), An Introduction to the Theory of Poetic Rhetoric (1858), and An Introduction to the Theory of Style (1858). Between 1864 and 1870, Narmadashankar compiled the first dictionary of Gujarati.


Narmad satabdi granth. Bombay, 1933.
Mehta, C. C. Narmad. Bombay, 1937.
Pathak, R. V. Narmad. Ahmadebad, 1945.
Broker, G. Narmadashankar: Poet, Patriot, Pioneer Prose-writer. Bangalore, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.