Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra


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Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra

(bəng`kĭm chŭn`drə chä`tərjē), 1838–94, Indian nationalist writer, b. Bengal. He popularized a Bengali prose style that became the vehicle of the major nationalist literature of the region. Born a Brahman, he received an English education and his first novel was written in English. In 1872 he founded the Bangadarshan, a journal modeled on the Spectator. Chatterjee, who frequently used the pseudonym Ramchandra, wrote many novels that wedded political and philosophical commentary with historical romance. His favorite theme—India as a divine motherland—did much to reinforce Hindu orthodoxy and alienate the Indian Muslims. Bandemataram (Hail to the Mother), the title of a song in his novel Anandamath (1882), became a slogan of the Indian National Congress, and the song became an anthem of the nationalist movement. However, Janaganamana (Thou Art the Ruler of All Minds) by TagoreTagore, Sir Rabindranath
, 1861–1941, Indian author and guru, b. Calcutta (now Kolkata). Tagore came from a wealthy Bengali family. He went abroad in 1877 to study law in England but soon returned to India.
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, was ultimately adopted as the Indian national anthem. Other writings include The Poison Tree (tr. 1884) and Krishna Kanta's Will (tr. 1895).