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Harindranath Chattopadhyay
Harindranath Chattopadhyaya
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byFirst Election
Succeeded byKomarraju Atchamamba
Personal details
Born(1898-04-02)2 April 1898
Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, British India
Died23 June 1990(1990-06-23) (aged 92)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
  • (m. 1923⁠–⁠1955)
  • Sundari Rani Chattopadhyaya
    (m. 1962⁠–⁠1990)
RelativesSarojini Naidu (sister)

Harindranath Chattopadhyay (2 April 1898 – 23 June 1990) was an Indian English poet, dramatist, actor, musician and a member of the 1st Lok Sabha from Vijayawada constituency.[1] He was the younger brother of Sarojini Naidu, the second woman President of the Indian National Congress and first Indian woman to hold the position, and Virendranath Chattopadhyay, an international communist revolutionary. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1973.[2]


Harindranath a poet and singer, he is famous for poems such as Noon and Shaper Shaped. His father was a Doctorate of Science from the University of Edinburgh, settled in Hyderabad State, where he founded and administered the Hyderabad College, which later became the Nizam's College in Hyderabad. His mother was a poet and used to write poetry in Bengali. His other interests were politics, music, theatre and cinema.

His first book of poems, The Feast of Youth, was published when he was 19 years old, and received praise from Arthur Quiller-Couch and James Henry Cousins.[3] He wrote in English but of topics relating to ancient Indian culture and Vedic ideas.

He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1973.[citation needed] He married Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, a Socialist and leader of Women, who created the All India Women's Conference, the Indian Cooperative Union and also was the inspiration for the All Indian Handicraft's Board, a body which revived many Indian handicrafts (such as pottery and weaving), decimated by the Industrial Revolution in Britain in the 19th century. A son died in 2008 but another survives. Kamaladevi and Harin's divorce was the first legal separation granted by the courts of India. It was amicable.[citation needed]

Harindranath Chattopadhyaya often recited his poem Rail Gaadi on All India Radio (Akashavani). The song was memorably sung by Ashok Kumar in the film Aashirwad. He himself wrote the lyrics, composed the music and sang a few songs, notable among which were Surya Ast Ho Gaya and Tarun Arun Se Ranjit Dharani. He penned the first English song in any Hindi Film, that became an all time hit – My heart is beating – in film Julie, which launched the Film Playback singing career of Preeti Sagar. He also penned a number of poems for children in Hindi. His poems were appreciated by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

In 1951 Lok Sabha elections Harindranath Chattopadhyaya won from Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency in Madras State as an independent candidate, supported by the Communist Party of India. He was the member of the 1st Lok Sabha from 14 April 1952 to 4 April 1957.[1]

His most famous acting role was in the Hindi movie Bawarchi (The Chef), which was made in 1972; it was adapted by Hrishikesh Mukherjee from the Bengali film Galpo Holeo Satti, directed by Tapan Sinha. Chattopadhyaya played the role of the strict and regimented patriarch of the house, where his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren lived in a joint family and still respected and abided by his rules. He had cameos in three Satyajit Ray films: playing the wizard Barfi in Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne, the human encyclopaedia, Sidhujyatha, in Sonar Kella, and the senior member of the Board of Directors, Sir Baren Roy, in Seemabaddha

The Earthen Goblet is a fine poem by Harendranath Chattopadhyay. The poem is written in a conversational tone. The poet presents a dialogue between the Goblet and the poet speaker. The poet asks the red goblet to recount its experiences as it is mounded by the Potter. When the potter made this goblet he used all his skills and he made the beautiful goblet which was full of impulse. The Potter worked hard with the clay and the clay enjoyed the fragrant companionship of the little flower and the unshapely earth which the Potter has taken away.

Fire is a tragic poem by Harendranath Chattopadhyay. In this poem the newly born baby asked query about the leaping flames. Actually the infant's dead mother was set on the fire and the child asked question to the flames. The fire already consumed the dead mother and unveiled life in its lonely nakedness. The answer came from the Fire that it is the terrible desire that shaped the infant in his mother's womb.

Beside the Death Bed is a philosophical poem by this great poet. In this poem the poet says that the Death is the highest bidder and the life is the lowest one. Then why there is strife in life. According to the poet the man is the coffin of life and the life is the cradle of death. Sorrow is a short poem by this intellectual poet. The small poetic piece brings to the importance of sorrow which is created by creator. The poet says a person who lost his lover realizes deep and intense sorrow. The poet uses an image of dove which is a symbol of Holy Spirit. Futurity is a very different poem. Here the poet presents the man in the unique form. According to the poet time is the eternity's womb. Each man is like a foetus. All birth is yet to be born since man is unfinished and still in the making and the foetus is awaiting the time to be born. Shaper shaped is one of the most beautiful poem by Harendranath Chattopadhyay. It is marked by its stark simplicity. The poet shows how the shaper has been shaped into the objects which he used to shape earlier. A potter shapes the clay &he makes a beautiful pot. The poet praises his work of art. At the end of the poem the poet kneels at the feet of the Supreme Power who is the creator of the potter.

He also acted in the 1984 Mumbai Doordarshan TV Serial Ados Pados, Amol Palekar was the protagonist in this serial.

Chattopadhyay died of cardiac arrest on 23 June 1990 in Bombay.[4]






Year Title Role Notes
1962 Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam Gharhi Babu
1963 Tere Ghar Ke Samne Seth Karam Chand
The Householder Mr. Chaddha
1964 Sanjh Aur Savera Mama, Radha's uncle
1965 Teen Devian Mr. Pinto
Shreeman Funtoosh Mr. Verma
Bhoot Bangla Doctor
1966 Pyar Mohabbat Thakur Shamsher Singh
Pinjre Ke Panchhi Father of Miss India 1965
1967 Raaz Baba
Raat Aur Din Dr. Dey
Naunihal Deranged male in Bombay
1968 Abhilasha Albert D'Souza
Aashirwad Baiju 'Dholakia'
1969 Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne The Magician (Barfi) Bengali film
1971 Seemabaddha Sir Baren Roy Bengali film
1972 Bawarchi Shiv Nath Sharma (Daduji)
1973 Agni Rekha Baba
1974 Gupt Gyan Professor #1
Sonar Kella Sidhu Jyatha (Uncle Sidhu) Bengali film
Raja Shiv Chhatrapati
1976 Mehbooba Rita's father
Mera Jiwan Doctor in village
1977 Chala Murari Hero Banne Harindranath Chattopadhyay
1978 Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se Mr. Rodriques
1981 Ghungroo Ki Awaaz Nawab Jung Bahadur
1982 Chalti Ka Naam Zindagi Mastermind behind spooking everyone
1984 Hořký podzim s vůní manga Rádz's grandfather
1985 Phir Aayee Barsat Hiren Chacha
1988 Maalamaal Shri Mangat Ram (final film role)


  1. ^ a b Ramana Rao, G.V. (1 April 2009). "When Andhra was a Left bastion". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 3 April 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  3. ^ "The Divine Vagabond" (PDF). The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras. 1950. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Harendranath Chattopadhyaya dead". The Indian Express. 23 June 1990.