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Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was born in Calcutta [now Kolkata]. He was a teacher, a scholar, a poet and an academic. Though Derozio had very little of Indian blood in him, his upbringing in India greatly inspired in him Indian themes and sentiments. Derozio is generally regarded as the first Indian to write in English.
Derozio’s poetic vocation was very brief stretching forth only for about six years. Derozio, who held great promise as poet, regrettably, died untimely at the age of 23 when he was still at his bloom. He is modern India’s first poet to express his patriotism in poetry, the first to verbalise in verse the desire of the Indians for Freedom.
Derozio’s poems demonstrate his eager desire to inspire the young Indians to struggle and strive for India’s independence from the clutches of the British imperialism.
To India My Native Land is a typical Deroozian poem in its theme and style. The poem laments the degradation and devaluation of India because of her slavery to the British and seeks to regain India’s lost glory and reverence.