Chatterjee, Bankim Chandra
, 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 Tagore
, was ultimately adopted as the Indian national anthem. Other writings include The Poison Tree
(tr. 1884) and Krishna Kanta's Will
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