Orissa town remembers Bankim Chandra on death anniversary

April 8th, 2008 - 3:58 pm ICT by admin  

Jajpur, April 8 (IANS) Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, renowned Bengali novelist and the composer of national song “Vande Mataram”, was remembered in an Orissa town where he had served as deputy magistrate, on his 114th death anniversary Tuesday. Dozens of officials offered floral tributes to his portrait in the office of the sub-collector at Jajpur town in the coastal district of Jajpur, some 120 km from here. Chatterjee had worked as deputy magistrate here from 1882 to 1884.

“The then deputy magistrate is now known as sub-collector. However, the incumbency chart of the Jajpur sub-collector’s office doesn’t have the name of the great patriot,” Jajpur Sub Collector Susanta Kumar Mohanty told IANS.

“We came to know about his links with our district two years ago following media reports. We then brought a photo of his and have placed it in office since then and have been observing his birth and death anniversary,” he said.

Chatterjee was born June 27, 1838 in Knathalpara village of West Bengal’s 24 Paraganas district. After his education at Hoogly College, he was offered the post of deputy magistrate and collector at Jajpur. He held the post from 1859 until he retired in 1891. He died April 8, 1894.

Chatterjee had composed “Vande Mataram” in 1876 and it was adopted as the national song at the Varanasi session of the All India Congress Committee on Sep 7, 1905.

During his two years of service in Orissa, he stayed in the official residence of the Jajpur deputy magistrate on the banks of Baitarani river.

The noted writer is said to have penned “Devi Chaudharani”, based on a real life story, during his stay in town, said Prafulla Chandra Samal, a teacher here.

“It was his 13th novel, which he started writing in 1882 here,” he said.

The novel was published in 1884 and is based on the plight of a village girl called Prafulla, Samal said.

“The girl, married into a zamindar family, was ill-treated by her father-in-law and was forced to leave the house,” said Narayan Padhi, a retired professor and researcher.

“After her mother’s death, she met Bhavani Pathak, a dacoit, who encouraged her to take revenge and baptises her as Devi Choudhurani,” he added.

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