Bankim Chandra Chatterjee also known as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was one of the greatest novelists and poets of India. He is famous as author of Vande Mataram, the national song of India.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was born on June 27, 1838 in the village Kantalpara of the 24 Paraganas District of Bengal. He belonged to a family of Brahmins. The word 'Bankim Chandra' in Bengali means 'the moon on the second day of the bright fortnight'. Bankim Chandra's father Yadav Chandra Chattopadhyaya was in government service. After his birth he was posted to Midnapur as Deputy Collector.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee had his early education in Midnapur. He was a brilliant student. After his early education in Midnapur Bankim Chandra Chatterji joined the Mohsin College at Hoogly and studied there for six years. Apart from his textbooks, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, used to read other books in his leisure time. He was very much interested in the study of Sanskrit. His study of Sanskrit stood him in good stead. Later, when he wrote books in Bengali his knowledge of Sanskrit helped him immensely.
In 1856, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee joined the Presidency College in Calcutta. In 1857, there was a strong revolt against the rule of East India Company but Bankim Chandra Chatterjee continued his studies and passed his B.A. Examination in 1859. The Lieutenant Governor of Calcutta appointed Bankim Chandra Chatterjee as Deputy Collector in the same year. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was in Government service for thirty-two years and retired in 1891. He was a very conscientious worker.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was married when he was only eleven . At that time his wife was only five years old. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was only twenty two when his wife died. After some time he married again. His second wife was Rajlakshmi Devi. They had three daughters but no son.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee began his literary career as a writer of verse. He then turned to fiction. Durgeshnandini, his first Bengali romance, was published in 1865. His famous novels include Kapalkundala (1866), Mrinalini (1869), Vishbriksha (1873), Chandrasekhar (1877), Rajani (1877), Rajsimha (1881), and Devi Chaudhurani (1884). Bankim Chandra Chatterjee most famous novel was Anand Math (1882). Anand Math contained the song "Bande Mataram", which was later adopted as National Song.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee wanted to bring about a cultural revival of Bengal by stimulating the intellect of the Bengali speaking people through literary campaign. With this end in view he brought out monthly magazine called Bangadarshan in 1872.
Bankim Chatterjee was superb story-teller, and a master of romance. No Bengali writer before or since has enjoyed such spontaneous and universal popularity as Chatterjee. His novels have been translated in almost all the major languages of India. He passed away on April 8, 1894.
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