Krishnalal Shridharani

Krishnalal Shridharani (16 September 1911 – 23 July 1960) was an Indian poet, playwright and journalist. He studied sociology, economics and journalism at various institutions in India and the US. He participated in the Indian independence movement and was imprisoned, during which time he started writing plays and poetry. He also wrote many non-fiction books in English.

Krishnalal Shridharani
Born(1911-09-16)16 September 1911
Umrala(now in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat)
Died23 July 1960(1960-07-23) (aged 48)
OccupationPoet, playwright, journalist
Notable worksWar Without Violence (1939)
Notable awardsRanjitram Suvarna Chandrak (1958)
SpouseSundari K. Shridharani (1911 – 1960)


Shridharani was born in Umrala near Bhavnagar on 16 September 1911. He spent his childhood in Junagadh.[1][2] He completed his primary education in Umrala and secondary education from Dakshinamurti Vinay Mandir, Bhavnagar.[1][2] He joined Gujarat Vidyapith in 1929 and participated as a young man in the Dandi March of 1930.[1][2] He was arrested near Karadi when he was going for Dharasana Satyagraha.[1][2] He spent some time in Sabarmati and Nasik jails.[1][2] He joined Shantiniketan (Visva-Bharati University) in 1931 and completed his graduation in 1933.[1][2] In 1934, he went to US for further studies on the advice of James Pratt and Rabindranath Tagore,[3] which made a lasting impression on his attitude.[4] He completed Masters in Sociology and Economics from New York University in 1935.[1][2] He completed MS in 1936 and PhD in 1940 from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[1][2]

He started writing for Amrita Bazar Patrika in 1945 and returned to India in 1946.[1][2] He worked with the Ministry of External Affairs for some time.[1][2] He married Sundari, a dancer and performing artist.[1][2] He presided over the history and economics department of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad in 1946.[1][2] He died following heart attack in Delhi on 23 July 1960.[1][2]

His book which analyses Gandhian philosophy and tactics of nonviolence, War Without Violence (1939) influenced the members and strategies of the Congress of Racial Equality, and was widely circulated by African-American leaders during the Civil Rights Movement in the US.[5][6][7] It was studied by Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Montgomery bus boycott.[8]


He wrote total sixteen plays. He wrote Vadlo (1931), a children's play, during his imprisonment during Dandi March. Peela Palash (1934), Piya Gori, Dusku, Dungali no Dado, Sonpari, Vijali, Vrushal, Mor na Inda are his other plays. Padmini is a historical play.[1][2]

In 1934, his first poetry collection Kodiya was published, followed by Punarapi in 1961. Insan Mita Doonga is a short story based on his experiences with inmates during imprisonment.[1][2]

His original works in English include My India, My America (1941) which is about his experiences during his life in the US.[4] His book War without Violence had a great impact on the American civil rights movement.[6] Others are Warning to the West (1943), The Big Four of India (1941), The Adventures of the Upside-Down Tree (1959), Story of The Indian Telegraph (1953), The Journalist in India (1956), Smiles From Kashmir (1959) and The Mahatma and the World ( 1946). He contributed in several journals and newspapers including The New York Times and Vogue.[1][2]


He was awarded the Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1958.[1][2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Mohan Lal (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: sasay to zorgot. Sahitya Akademi. p. 4079. ISBN 978-81-260-1221-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Krishnalal Shridharani" (in Gujarati). Gujarati Sahitya Parishad. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  3. ^ Paromita Biswas (2008). Colonial Displacements: Nationalist Longing and Identity Among Early Indian Intellectuals in the United States. ProQuest. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-109-02248-3.
  4. ^ a b Sandhya Rajendra Shukla (2003). India Abroad: Diasporic Cultures of Postwar America and England. Princeton University Press. pp. 137–141. ISBN 0-691-09267-2.
  5. ^ David Hardiman (2003). Gandhi in His Time and Ours: The Global Legacy of His Ideas. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-85065-712-5.
  6. ^ a b Gerald Horne (28 September 2009). The End of Empires: African Americans and India. Temple University Press. pp. 123–. ISBN 978-1-59213-900-2.
  7. ^ Marian Mollin (1 January 2011). Radical Pacifism in Modern America: Egalitarianism and Protest. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-8122-0282-1.
  8. ^ Mary Elizabeth King; Mary King, Jimmy Carter (4 March 2009). A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance. Basic Books. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-7867-3326-2.