Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Vishnu Prabhakar

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Nationality  Indian
Died  April 11, 2009, New Delhi
Role  Writer

Name  Vishnu Prabhakar
Citizenship  India
Parents  Mahadevi, Durga Prasad
Vishnu Prabhakar httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenthumbe

Born  21 June 1912 Miranpur, Uttar Pradesh, India (1912-06-21)
Occupation  Novelist, writer, journalist
Genre  fiction, novels, non-fiction, essays
Notable works  Ardhanarishwar, Aawara Masiha
Spouse  Sushila Prabhakar (m. 1938–1980)
Books  Aawara Masiha, Ardhnarishwar
Awards  Padma Bhushan, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award, Sahitya Akademi Award to Hindi writers
Children  Anita Prabhakar, Archana Prabhakar, Amit Prabhakar, Atul Prabhakar

From all india radio archives voice of writer vishnu prabhakar

Vishnu Prabhakar (21 June 1912 – 11 April 2009) was a Hindi writer. He had several short stories, novels, plays and travelogues to his credit. Prabhakar's works have elements of patriotism, nationalism and messages of social upliftment.


Vishnu Prabhakar Noted writer Vishnu Prabhakar passes away TopNews

He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award in 1995 and the Padma Bhushan (the third highest civilian honour of India) by the Government of India in 2004.

Vishnu Prabhakar A journey which began 100 years ago

Vishnu prabhakar

Life and career

Vishnu Prabhakar was born on 21 June 1912, in the Miranpur village of Muzaffarnagar district in Uttar Pradesh. His father, Durga Prasad, was a religious person who kept himself untouched by modern times. His mother, Mahadevi, was the first well-educated lady of the family who dared to reject the 'Parda Pratha' of the traditional Hindu families. Prabhakar stayed in Mirapur until the age of twelve, completing his primary education. His mother sent him to his maternal uncle in Hisar, located in the Haryana state. There he completed his matriculation at the age of sixteen in 1929.

He wanted to pursue higher education but owing to financial situation in his family at Mirapur, he had to find a job. Through the efforts of his maternal uncle he joined the government service. It was a fourth-class job and his salary was eighteen Rupee per month. He kept his studies going along with his work, and obtained degrees of Prabhakar and Hindi Bhushana in Hindi, Pragya in Sanskrit and B.A. in English.

Along with his work he pursued an interest in literature. He also joined a Natak company in Hissar. His literary life started with the publication of his first story Diwali in the Hindi Milap in 1931. He wrote Hatya Ke Baad, his first play in 1939. Eventually he began writing as a full-time career. He stayed with the family of his maternal uncle until the age of twenty seven. He married Sushila Prabhakar in 1938 who stayed as an inspiration source for his literature until her death in 1980.

After Indian Independence he worked as a drama director, from September 1955 to March 1957, in Akashvani, All India Radio, New Delhi. He made news when in 2005 he threatened to return his Padma Bhushan award after he allegedly had to face misconduct at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Vishnu Prabhakar died at the age of 96, on 11 April 2009 after a brief illness in New Delhi. He was suffering from a heart problem and infection of the urinary tract. His wife, Sushila Prabhakar, had died in 1980. Prabhakar is survived by two sons and two daughters. His sons Atul Prabhakar and Amit Prabhakar decided to donate his body to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi as their father's last wishes.

How he became 'Prabhakar'

He became 'Vishnu Prabhakar' from 'Vishnu'; his name was listed as 'Vishnu Dayal' in the primary school of Mirapur. In the Arya Samaj school, on being asked the 'Varna', he answered – 'Vaishya'. The teacher put down his name as 'Vishnu Gupta'. When he joined government service, the officers changed his name to 'Vishnu Dharmadutt' because there were many 'Guptas' in the office and it confused the officers. He continued writing by the pen name of 'Vishnu'. Once an editor asked, "Why do you use such a short name? Have you passed any examination?" Vishnu answered that he had passed 'Prabhakar' examination in Hindi. Thus the editor appended Prabhakar to his name making it 'Vishnu Prabhakar'.

Writing style

Although mainly a story writer, Vishnu Prabhakar has written in almost all the genres of literature including poetry. Collection of his poems titled Chalta Chala Jaonga was published posthumously in the year 2010. He did not let himself limit to any special school of thought and it is reflected in his vast variety of works. Aawara Masiha, biography of Sharat Chandra Chatterjee and Ardhnarishwar, however remain the most awarded and widely acclaimed of his works. He was initially influenced by Munshi Premchand but later started following Sharatchandra. His works are said to be a mirror of modern Indian society.

Prabhakar's works concentrate on the problems of today's Indian society. In his drama, Tootate Parivesh, he writes about a modern family in which gaps between younger and older generation are increasing. His novel Koi To tells how corrupt politics has become in modern times.

Prabhakar was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's principles of non-violence. This can be seen in his writing very often. In some of his works, oppressed female characters talk like philosophers and even dacoits who usually are expected to have negative roles are full of humanitarian values. This is the reason why some critics labelled him as a Gandhian ideologist.

Prabhakar was also affected by many foreign authors. He had studied Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, O. Henry and O'Neill in-depth. In an interview, he said that Tolstoy's War and Peace had influenced him very much.

Prabhakar was very fond of travelling. He travelled for fourteen years continuously to collect material for his book – Aawara Masiha which is a biography of famous Bengali author, Sharatchandra. For this he had to visit all the places linked to Sharatchandra, even to Myanmar(Burma). His love of travels also resulted in many travelogues.

Awards and honours

  1. Sahitya Akademi Award, 1993
  2. Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award, 1995
  3. Padma Bhushan, 2004

Both Sahitya Akademi and Padma Bhushan awards were given for his novel Ardhanarishvara (The Androgynous God or Shiva).


Vishnu Prabhakar Wikipedia