Narmad was born in Surat on August 24, 1833. He introduced many creative forms of writing in Gujarati. He wrote pioneering work in such forms as autobiography, poetry, lexicography, historical plays and research in folk literature. He was also an outspoken journalist and a pamphleteer. Narmad was a strong opponent of religious fanaticism and orthodoxy.
He promoted nationalism and patriotism – with famous songs like Sahu Chalo Jitva Jang, wrote about self-government and talked about one national language, Hindi, for all of India, nearly five decades before Mohandas Gandhi or Nehru.
He wrote a poem Jai Jai Garavi Gujarat in which he listed with a sense of pride all the cultural symbols that go into constituting the Gujarat identity. These symbols include even the things non-Hindu, implying that Gujarat belongs to all the castes, communities, races, religions and sects that inhabit Gujarat.
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