Babkimchandra Chattopadhyay was born on 26th June 1838 at village Kanthalpara in the district of North 24 Parganas in West Bengal. He was the third son of Jadabchandra Chattopadhyay and Durgasundari. Jadabchandra was the first in his family to shift from scholarship, the traditional was the first in his family to shift from scholarship, the traditional Brahmin calling, to service under the government as a Deputy Collector. Bankinm studied for three years from 1844 in Mindnapur in the school of Mr. F. Tead. From the end of 1849 he studied for seven years in Hugli College where well in a village school. He won a prize for his poem in 1853 from a daily newspaper Sambad Prabhakar and came under the influence of its editor Ishwarchandra Gupta. In 1856 Bankim came to Calcutta to study law at Presidency College and in 1857 took the very first division. Among his famous classmates were the poet Hemchandra Bandopadhyay, Satyendranath Tagore (the first Indian I.C.S officer) and Sisir Kumar Ghosh, the journalist who founded the Amrita Bazaar Patrika. He appeared in the B.A. examination in 1858 but failed to clear one out of the six subjects: Bengali. Both he and Jadunath Basu were awarded the B.A. degree as the first graduates of the University after being given seven grace marks in Bengali. The examiner was Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. In August 1858 Bankim, while still a law student, was offered the post of Deputy Magistrate by A.R. Young, Secretary to the Government of Bengal and a member of the Syndicate of Calcutta University. He joined as Deputy Magistrate & Deputy Collector at Jessore (now in Bangladesh) on 7 August 1858 and finally passed the law examinations in 1869 in the first division. Two of his brothers also became deputy magistrates later. Bankim described his joining the bureaucracy as “the greatest misfortune” of his life which ended on 14 September, 1891 on his retirement after 33 years of service at the age of 53. In 1892 the title of Rai Bahadur was conferred on him. In 1894 he was decorated with the C.I.E. he passed away of diabetes on the afternoon of 8 April 1894.
Bankim had been married at the age of 11 to Mohini, a 5 year old girl who died at the age of 11. The scene of childhood love painted in Chandrashekhar is said to be the only reflection of this memory. In 1860 he was married to Rajalakshmi, a girl of 12 who lived with him for 3-4 years and because of whom Bankim once said to have modelled the character of Suryamukhi in Bishabriksha on his wife. They had three daughters. Rajalakshmi died in 1919 aged 71.
Bankim’s first significant writing was the English novel Rajmohan’s Wife serialized in 1864 in the journal Indian Field. This was followed by the remarkable Durgeshnandini (1865) which broke new ground in Bengali fiction. In 1866 came kapalkundala; in 1869 Mrinalini. In 1872 he began publishing the monthly Bangadarshan; in 1873 came Bishabriksha, his first social novel and Indira; in 1874 Jugalanguri and Rajani; in 1875 Radjarani and Chandrashekhar. Krishnakanter will came in 1878 followed in 1882 by Ananda Math, and Rajsingha. In 1884 came Debi Choudhurani and finally in 1887 sitaram.
Besides fiction, Bankim wrote plentifully on literature, history philosophy and religion as also satirical pieces. Of these the major works are:-Lokarashya (1874), Muchiramgurer Jibancharu (1884), Kamalakanter Daptar (1875), Bigyan Rahasya (1875), Samya (1879), Bibidha Prabandha (1887 and 1892), Krishna Charitra (1886), Dharma Tattva (1888). His last work was a translation of and commentary on the Gita, which remains incomplete. He also of and commentary on the Gita, which remains incomplete. He is also edited a selection of Bengali writing for students of the Calcutta University (1892) translating a passage from the Mahabharata specially for the book.
Bankim’s contribution to his country’s history extends far beyond the confines of literature to that of a new life. As the seer poet who composed Vande Mataram, he provided Indians with their battle-cry in the independence movement, and India with its National Song, while his Ananda Math became the Bible of the armed revolutionaries. His seer-vision is reflected in the cryptic comment he made about the song-that its significance would be fully understood only by a future generation.
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|Preface Book I||21|
|Vrndavan Boom II||99|
|Mathura-Dvaraka Book III||149|
|Indraprastha Book IV||185|
|Upaplavya Book V||251|
|Kuruksetra Book VI||293|
|Prabhasa Book VII||361|
Item Code: NAG253 Author: Bankim Chandra Chatterjee Cover: Hardcover Edition: 1991 Publisher: The M.P. Birla Foundation Language: English Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 394 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 624 gms
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