Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was an eminent Bengali poet, novelist, essayist and journalist , born on June 26 , 1838 His creation ‘ Vande Mataram ‘ became a source of inspiration for the revolutionaries during the period of Indian Independence and was later declared a national song of India.
Chatterjee is considered a key figure in the rebirth of Bengali and Indian literature.
Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay was born in Kanthalpara village near Naihati town of present-day 24 Pargna district in West Bengal. Here he spent 6 years of his life. Bankimchandra was the third son of Ramcharya Jadav Chattopadhyay and mother Durgasundari Devi. At the age of five, Bankimchandra was introduced to the Kul-priest Vishambhar Bhattacharya. His extraordinary talent was found in his childhood. Bankim’s elder sister Purnachandra Chattopadhyay wrote, “Bankimchandra had mastered the Bangla alphabet in a day.”
His family was Orthodox, and his father worked as a government official. One of his brothers, Sanjeeb Chandra Chatterjee , was also a novelist and became known for his book “Palamau”. Although Bankim did not visit any of the schools in the village. Gourmeshai Ramprun Sarkar of Pathsala was appointed his home tutor at home.
In 1844, the work of Bankimchandra’s father was brought to Medinipur , where his real education started. Bankim also received English education for about one and a half years.
In 1849 , Bankim Chandra returned to Kaltapara again. Here he studied Bangla and Sanskrit . Bankim Chandra was also very good recitation. He has memorized many poems in newspapers, news prabhakar and news sakaturanjan . At this time he also came across Pandit Haldhara who taught him Mahabharata and the life of Shri Krishna. This education was reflected in various works written in his later life.
After some time, in 1849, he was admitted in the Hooghly College. Here he studied for seven years. Here, he obtained first place in the junior scholarship examination and was awarded a monthly stipend of Rs eight. He also received twenty-two scholarships for two years, showing a special achievement in all subjects. He also got admitted to Presidency College in Kolkata to study the law. He was one of the first two graduates of the University of Calcutta along with Jadunath Basu. 2 Years later he obtained a degree in Law, in 1869 .
His first published work was Rajmohon’s Wife . It was composed in English . His first published Bengali work ‘ Durgeshansini ‘ was printed in March 1865. This is a romantic composition. His next creation is Kapalkundala (1866). It is considered one of his most romantic compositions. He also published the monthly magazine Bangadarshan in 1872. In Krishnakantar Chatterjee satirized the English rulers.
Hios masterpiece Anandmath (1882) is a political novel. This novel describes the monastic revolt of 1773 in North Bengal . This book has a sense of patriotism . Chatterjee’s last novel is Sitaram (1886). In this, protest of a Hindu ruler has been shown against Muslim authority.
Among his other novels, Durgasthanini, Mrinalini , Indira , Radharani , Krishnakantar Office , Devi Chaudhary and Mokirim Gaurer are included in the Biography . His poems were published in a collection named Lalita O Manas . He also wrote many essays based on religion, social and contemporary issues.
Bankimchandra’s novels were translated into almost all languages of India . In Bangla only, Bankim and Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay have the distinction that their compositions are still read in all Indian languages including Hindi, even today.
Bankim was a versatile creator. Most of their narrative literature is people of the urban middle class. His characters struggle with the difficulties of modern life and difficulties related to the traditions of ancient times. This problem comes to the urban middle class of any province of India. So the middle class reader sees his image in Bankim’s novels.
He worked in government service until 1891 , when he retired. His health was not very good in the last days. In March 1894, he became a severe patient of leprosy because of which he died on April 8 , 1894.