Famous Personalities of PrayagrajAllahabad a city with rich literary heritage, has nurtured, been a nestling place, which either bore or brought people together to gain and spread knowledge. The Allahabad University, which was established on 23rd September, 1887 was referred to as the ‘Oxford of the East’. This city has produced literary geniuses, political figures, theatre personalities and sportsmen. Allahabad has seen the pinnacle of our Freedom Struggle, and resonates this in the air till date. It instills a sense of pride and awe to even observe the breed of famous personalities who emerge out of this city.
Allahabad’s history is etched with many freedom fighters who stood for the cause.
Purushottam Das Tandon, born in Allahabad, this freedom fighter, after obtaining a degree in Law and a post graduation in History, joined the Allahabad High Court. In no time he discovered that his true passion lies elsewhere and dedicated his life for public activities. He has been an important reason for Hindi to have achieved an official language status. Few freedom fighters who had their roots at Allahabad were Badruddin Siddiqui and Abdul Rasheed
Allahabad has been the birthplace of several prime ministers. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India born in Allahabad, spent his childhood at ‘Anand Bhavan’ a palatial house, which has been the venue for many key decisions made through the Freedom Struggle. After graduating from Trinity College of Cambridge and a law degree from London, Nehru came back and started practicing at the Allahabad High Court. It was the environment and the formative years he spent at Allahabad that paved way for his political career. Rest is for the world to see, an iconic political leader. His thinking, diplomacy and idealism were way ahead of his generation.
Indira Gandhi, another prime minister who changed the whole outlook of people, by becoming the ‘First Lady Prime Minister’. Often referred to as ‘The Iron Lady’ was born in Allahabad, on November 19, 1917. Having been brought up in an intense political atmosphere, her extreme sense of politics, her determination, authoritative streak and charisma made her hold the office.
Other politicians whose life has been in some way or the other influenced or inspired by this place includes Lal Bahadur Shastri, Chandra Shekhar, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, Madan Lal Khurana, Murli Manohar Joshi and many more.
Hindi Literature and Allahabad have a passionate connection and a greater seeking for each other. Many notable poets like, Upendra Nath Ashk, a poet, story writer, though not born in Allahabad relocated to this city after he was moved by the act of the UP government, which had monetarily aided him to recover from his prolonged illness. He spent all his time contributing to Hindi literature.
Sumitranandan Pant, this famous modern poet is known for his Chhayavadi School of Hindi Literature. Pant went to Allahabad University for his college studies. He is a recipient of many awards like the Sahitya Academy Award, Padma Bhushan Award and Jnanpith Award. He had also joined Mahatma Gandhi in the 'Satyagraha Movement'.
Harivansh Rai Bachchan, a recipient of Padma Bhushan for his immense contribution to Hindi literature was born in Allahabad. He did his higher studies at the Allahabad University and the Banaras Hindu University. He is the father of the Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan. He was the second Indian to be awarded a Doctorate in English Literature by the Cambridge University. After he came back to India he took to teaching and also worked for the All India Radio in Allahabad. There are many awards that adorn his cap.
Raghupathi Sahay, his pen name being Firaq Gorakhpuri was a noted contemporary Urdu poet born in Gorakhpur. He moved to Allahabad and joined the Allahabad University as an English teacher. Influenced by the people, literary environment around him and his own flair for writing, he created literary wonders in Urdu, out of which Gul-E-Naghma fetched him a Jnanpith Award.
Famous critics like Dr. Aqueel Rizwi, Asrar Kuruaivi also hail from Allahabad. Allahabad still remains a place which fosters many young literary talents.
Allahabad gave wings and reared people to explore many other fields too, few important people who moved on to be known across the globe for their acting ability, were Nargis, Karan Arora, Vijay Bose & our legendary 'Amitabh Bachchan'.
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, a renowned Indian classical flautist born in Allahabad, has won many prestigious award, and has been adjudged one of the 25 greatest living legends in India by NDTV channel.
The 'Nobel Laureate' Rudyard Kipling is said to have spent some of his time in Allahabad, working for the newspaper ‘The Pioneer’ as an assistant editor and overseas correspondent.
Badminton champions like Suresh Goel and Abhinn Shyam Gupta, nation’s pride also belong to this city.
This just being a glimpse to the recent history, the past of Prayaga born out of Vedas, supreme rishis, and where the creator himself was said to have been present for the first sacrificial ritual, leaves us with no doubt about the semblance and the sublime energy transcended. This blessed city, ‘the abode of god’ has sown the finest seed and tended young minds, produced stalwarts who have excelled in diverse fields.