Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay - An Intellectual Biography

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay - An Intellectual Biography

Product ID: 24879

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Author: Amiya P Sen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2008
Language: English
Pages: 133
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195695038


Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s writings, in many ways, determined the intellectual and cultural content of modern Hinduism and Hindu nationalism. They also contributed significantly to the critical self-consciousness of the English-educated Indian middle classes. Most importantly, Bankim Chandra was one of the earliest writers to have dealt with the Indian response to the moral and intellectual challenges posed by the West.

This critical biography presents an insightful analysis of Bankim Chandra’s life, thought, and works. Amiya P. Sen discusses how Bankim Chandra’s writings influenced the nascent Indian nationalism of the late nineteenth century, but with paradoxical results. On the one hand, Bankim Chandra asserted a distinctively Hindu identity, which produced a bonding based on shared religious sentiments. On the other, his evocative use of Hindu religious idioms and symbols diluted the very substance of the unity he envisaged for the nation by antagonizing non-Hindus.

This book analyses the predominant themes in Bankim’s writings and also details his impact on the development of Bengali language press and literature. Including two appendices on his life and major writings, and a readings list, this volume will be informative reading for students and teachers of modern Indian history and politics, as well as general readers.


Situating Bankim Chandra
A Life Lived in Fullness
Bankim Chandra and the Birth of New Bengali Press and Literature
Redefining Religion in a Modern World
The Nation as Mother: Bankim Chandra and Advancing Hindu Nationalism
The Last Years

Chronology of Events
Chronological List of Major Literary Works

Suggested Readings