Chhayavaad (Hindi: छायावाद) (approximated in English as "Romanticism", literally "Shaded") refers to the era of Neo-romanticism in Hindi literature, particularly Hindi poetry, 1922–1938, and was marked by an upsurge of romantic and humanist content. Chhayavad was marked by a renewed sense of the self and personal expression, visible in the writings of time. It is known for its leaning towards themes of love and nature, as well as an individualistic reappropriation of the Indian tradition in a new form of mysticism, expressed through a subjective voice.
Chhayavad continued till later half of the 1930s, when the golden era of modern Hindi poetry was gradually replaced by social didacticism inspired by the uprising nationalist fervour, when some of the later poets of this era, like Dinkar, Mahadevi and Bachchan took nationalist and social critiquing within their poetry.
Jaishankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Sumitranandan Pant and Mahadevi Varma are considered as the four pillars of Chhayavaadi school of Hindi literature. Other important figures of this literary movement were Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar', Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Makhanlal Chaturvedi and Pandit Narendra Sharma.
Though Harivansh Rai Bachchan became excessively critical of Chhayavaad later in his career and was associated with other genres like Rahasyavaad, Pragativaad and Haalaavaad.
Criticism of Chhayavaad
When it arrived, Chhayavaad was very well received by readers and critics alike. However, subsequent scholars have criticized Chhayavaad for excessive use of decorative language, romanticism aloof from contemporary social and economic malaise and setting stricter rules on meter, rhyme etc.
- Romantic Poetry in the Era of Convention
- Chhayavad study in The Journal of the American Oriental Society, Jul 1, 2001
- 1 Now available in Vani Prakashan, New Delhi