Bankim Chandra Chatterjee Death Anniversary: Some lesser-known facts about the man who composed 'Vande Mataram'

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee or Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was an Indian novelist, poet, and journalist. He was the composer of Vande Mataram. Chattopadhyay wrote fourteen novels and many serious, serio-comic, satirical, scientific, and critical treatises in Bengali. He is known as Sahitya Samrat (Emperor of Literature) in Bengali.

Some lesser-known facts of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee:

1. Bankim was born in Naihati in West Bengal to an orthodox Bengali Brahmin family.

2. He was married at the early age of 11, which was a common practice at the time.

3. He wrote the lyrics of 'Vande Mataram' well before he penned the novel 'Anandamath'

4. He wrote the song 'Vande Mataram' on November 7, 1875.

5. Bankim published his novel Anandamath in 1882 which also had verses of 'Vande Mataram.' It is a political novel depicting a Sanyasi army fighting the British soldiers. The tune of 'Vande Mataram' was later composed by Rabindranath Tagore.

6. He was one of the first graduates of the University of Calcutta.

7. Like his father, Bankim was appointed as the Deputy Collector of Jessore. He was further promoted to Deputy Magistrate. He retired from the government services in 1891.

8. His earliest publications came out in the weekly newspaper Sangbad Prabhakar.

9. Durgeshnandini and Kapalkundala were his first major publictions. Both the novels were well received and translated into other languages as well.

10. Bangadarshan was a monthly publishing literary magazine started by Bankim in April 1972. It had an epochal approach, consisting of stories, humorous sketches, historical and random essays and religious and devotional articles.

11. He continued writing novels which gradually gained wide readership. Some of his famous works were were Chandrasekhar and Rajani.

12. Many critics consider him as one of the best writers of Bengali Literature and claim, that to understand his novels, one needs to understand him first.

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