1959 - Ramdhari Sinha Dinkar
Samskriti ke Char Adhyay
(Rajpal and Sons, Delhi; 1956)
(Sahitya Academy Awardee-Hindi-1959)
"Sri Ramdhari Sinha Dinkar (b. 1908 at village Simaria, Dist. Monghyr, Bihar) is a poet and essayist and has authored of about 30 books in Hindi. Was awarded Padmabhusnan in 1959. Received twice the Dwivedi Gold Medal of the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, Kashi, Was also awarded prizes by the Government of India, the Bihar Rashtra Bhasha Parishad and the S,ahityakar Samsad, Allahabad, for distinguished work in poetry. Member of Rajya Sabha since 1952" (Citation)
Samskriti ke Char Adhyay is a detailed and analytical account of India's cultural development through the ages against a historical backdrop.
Dinkar divides the history of Indian culture into four major revolutions; the-first of the revolutions took place when the Aryans came to India or when they came into contact with the Non-Aryan races. The first section discusses in detail, the organisation of the Indian people, the arrival of the Dravidian race and the various probabilities about the Negroes. Chapter 11 contains the assessment of denominations Dravidian and Aryan, their origins, the geographical details of the war between ‘dev’ and ‘asurs’, the period of Rigveda's composition, the evolution of script and the art of writing and an introduction of the ‘Kirat’ and ‘Parsi’ races. It also discusses the Vedic culture, the Aryan-Dravidian relationship, the emergence of caste system, Shaivism, Kartikeya and Ganesh, Vaishnavism, the antiquity of the names Radha and Krishna, the antiquity of the ‘Ramakatha’, the history of the name Hindu, an account of the other races crossing into India and the assimilative power of the Hindu Culture.
Section II gives a brief survey of the Vedic literature and goes on to present a detailed account of Jain and Buddhist beliefs
The author also makes an effort to compare and contrast the views of Gautam Buddha and Confucius. Investigating the Shakta influences on Buddhist practices, he also brings all such spiritual practices as established themselves in later ages within his purview.
Section III discusses Hindu Culture and Islam. The Indians got to know the teachings of the Quran, the Islamic scripture and a process of conversion commenced. Along with the Vedanta, the Indian's were appraised with Tasavuuf or Islamic mysticism and the efforts of contemporary poets to bring the two cultures together were indeed commendable. .
The author has also studied the influence of Islam on Hinduism. Tracing the influence of Islam on Indian art and craft, the author dwells on the various styles that developed during the Moghul rule. In this context, he speaks of the Moghul style, the Rajasthani style, the Pahari style, the influences on architecture and the differences in the Rajput and Moghul styles. The interaction of languages and literatures is also discussed.
Section IV dwells on the influences exercised by European contact on Indian Culture. The preface to the book has been written by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He defines ‘Culture’ and in this context throws light on Dinkar's classification. The preface is a well thought out piece of scholarly profundity. The work aspires to delineate and discuss in depth the various stages of our cultural evolution and though the author prefers to call it a literary work, it essentially is a work entailing historical research.
(Source: Sahitya Academy Awards – Books and Writers – 1955-1978
Published by Sahitya Academy. ISBN 81 7201 014 1)