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The Logical Indian Crew

Remembering Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, 'Literary King Of West Bengal', Who Composed Vande Mataram

Chatterjee was a novelist, poet, and journalist who originally composed 'Vande Mataram' in Sanskrit. Through his literary works, he shaped national consciousness and inspired the country.

The Literary King of Bengal, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, was born on June 26, 1838, and is exceptionally known for his work as a novelist, poet, and journalist. Chatterjee's novels and commentaries are a breakaway from traditional Indian writings, which shaped national consciousness and inspired the country for a revolutionary movement against British rule.

Chatterjee is also the composer of 'Vande Mataram' initially in Sanskrit, reflecting India as a mother goddess and inspiring activists for the 'Indian Independence Movement.' In the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress, Rabindranath Tagore sang the song for the first time, which was later adopted as the National song of India in 1937 by the Congress Working Committee, as per Wikipedia.

His Early Life

Belonging to a Bengali Brahmin family, Chatterjee was the youngest of his three brothers and one of the first two students to graduate from Calcutta University. He was married at the young age of 11 and served as the Deputy Collector of Jessore before becoming the Deputy Magistrate. In 1891, he retired as a civil servant and realised his keen interest in literature.

In his 55-year-long life, Chatterjee wrote over 14 novels and several other satirical, scientific, critical, and seriocomic treatises in the Bengali language. He was widely regarded as the literary renaissance of Bengal for his revolutionary works. Chatterjee's earliest academic work was published in the newspaper Sangbad Prabhakar,' and his first fiction on Rajmohan's Wife appeared in print, the first Indian novel written by an Indian in English. The first-ever book in Bengali 'Durgeshnandini' was published in 1865.

Bankim Puraskar

The 'Bankim Puraskar' award was instituted in 1975 in Chatterjee's memory. The award ceremony takes place every year and is considered the highest recognition by the West Bengal government for a contribution to Bengali fiction. The 'Bankim Puraskar' has been brought under the monitoring of Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi, which functions under the Department of Information & Cultural Affairs supervision.

Chatterjee is known for his work as an author of 'Anandamath', considered a landmark in Indian and Bengali literature. It's a political novel that calls for the rise of Indian nationalism. Highly educated and influenced by oriental ideas and thoughts, Chatterjee was a day-night critic of the British government. His works are considered to date for remaking or other artistic projects.

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Writer : Ronit Kumar Singh
Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
Creatives : Ronit Kumar Singh