Dastan-Go: ‘The Literary Revolutionary’… ‘The Lost Messiah’… Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay

tell me Is there time to tell stories and listen? Maybe it would have happened. Or it wouldn’t happen. But one thing definitely happens. Tales, stories are interesting for everyone. It would be better if they were present on time. If not, it’s in the past, although it’s not a bad thing. Because they are always not only telling us something, but also teaching. It brings us memories of our times. Even after sweetening the serious spices, it is drunk smoothly. That is why ‘Dastaan-Go’ has started, the process of bringing interesting stories to your loved ones. It will try to continue this process. From Monday to Friday, every day…


Sir, Sights of this type are rarely found. This when a man of letters writes a biography of another. And this biography should also become famous in the country and the world like the writer about whom it has been written. However, there are few such examples in India. One of them is Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay himself and his biography ‘The Stray Messiah’. This book was written by Vishnu Prabhakar ji, a great musanif (writer) of Hindi adab. in 1974. And as Vishnu Prabhakar himself writes: “When the first edition (of Wandering Messiah) was published, I was afraid that my Bengali friends might resent some of my establishments. But I was not happy when I got the first letter from the editor of a Bengali magazine He wrote that you did a very important and lasting work which we could not do.

Sir, who wouldn’t be interested to know about this “lost messiah” Sharat Chandra. By the way, many people must know a lot about them. However, today is the occasion of his birth anniversary, so let’s do a little review in the form of this story. Sir, Hooghly is a district of present day West Bengal. At the same time, Sarat Babu was born on September 15, 1876 in the city of Devnandpur. Motilal and Bhuvanmohini were one of Chattopadhyay’s nine children. It is said that Motilal ji could not last long in a job. Therefore, the financial situation of the house was also not maintained. There was often turmoil. Because of this, Sarat Babu’s college education could not be completed. Although he had started to study the strange world before. This someone must have been 16-17 years old, in 1893, when he became interested in this world.

The writings of Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore) and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay had a profound effect on Sarat Babu, from the beginning. And in this sense, at the age of 18, he wrote the first novel called ‘Basa’. Although this novel of his was not printed, it is said that. Since the financial situation was in turmoil, he soon had to find work. In this regard, he went to Burma and started working as a clerk in the Public Works Department. This would be around 1895-96. A person named Bangchandra joined him in Burma. He was a great scholar but also a drunkard and a casual guy. It is said that it was from the life of Bangchandra that Sarat Babu was inspired to write his famous novel ‘Characterheen’. But it is said that this novel was not easily written nor was it easy to print.

Sarat Babu had to write this novel twice. When he first wrote, his house in Burma burned down. 500 pages written in it were destroyed. After that, he rewrote it. After that, when we started trying to print it, there were also difficulties. In Bengal, a magazine called ‘Bharatvarsha’ was published at that time. He was in a peculiar mood. Dwijendralal Rai started it in the last years of his life. He used to be its editor. This could have happened about 1911-12, because by May 1913 Rai Saheb had died. So sir, when Sarat Babu came to Rai Saheb with his novel, he flatly refused to print it. He said, “This creation is against social ethics.” However, even then, Sarat Babu did not disappoint. They kept trying. Finally in 1918 this novel could be published.

However, something happened about 10-12 years ago. Sarat Babu once came to Calcutta from Burma. There he accidentally left some of his compositions with a friend. The friend arranged for one of them (Badi Didi) to be printed as a series of stories without informing Sharat Babu. That is, 1907. It is said that only two installments were published that readers were shocked. They started saying, “Somewhere Gurudev Rabindranath does not write after changing the name!” However, he gradually realized that it was indeed the work of an emerging writer, Sarat Chandra. This is how Sharat Babu’s process of fame began. However, he himself found out after four or five years. It is possible that only when he has reached Rai Saheb will he manage to publish a ‘characterless’ novel. But his fame did not affect Rai Saheb.

But his fame took its toll on his family, family, family. But on the contrary. His writings, which were published even before the publication of the novel ‘Characterless’, are said to have angered Sarat Babu’s relatives. He was even described as a “total sleeper”. Considered ‘vagrant’. They considered him “different from themselves.” But Sharat Babu was still writing. Added new relationships. He was becoming famous as “Doctor Babu” among the porters and workers in the narrow streets of Burma. Because the pain of people who belong to this kind of lower class used to be highlighted through their words. It also showed people stumbling in Calcutta. He was explaining the excesses that happened in Rangoon in the past. Therefore, this weak sector had started to consider him as their ‘messiah’.

sarat chandra chattopadhyay birth anniversary

Meanwhile, in 1914, he had a novel ‘Parineeta’. As such, it tells the love story of its characters: Lalita and Shekhar. But at the same time, the society of that time, especially the ‘Brahmo Samaj’, also makes strong comments about orthodoxy. It brings to the fore what kind of conflict there was between the common Bangla Samaj and the Brahmo Samajis. Similarly, in the second famous novel ‘Devdas’ (1917), he tells the story of a young man, who cannot accept his girlfriend because of social prestige. But then, in this pain, he ruins his life by drowning in alcohol. With this kind of writing, Sarat Babu even annoyed the ‘contractors of society’. Now I would tease them. Taking a front against them. Alleging this, ‘He has taken the initiative to disorient our culture’. These “social people” also began to consider them separate from themselves.

On this, not only the family and the ‘society contractor’, Sarat Babu also angered the British government. For example, in 1926 one of his novels ‘Pather Dabi’ came out, i.e. ‘The Claimant of the Path’. This novel was written on the basis of the “Bengal Revolution”. It was first serialized in a magazine called ‘Bangwani’. Then, when it was printed in book form, it is said that in three months about three thousand copies were sold. In a panic, the British government confiscated the novel. He forbade it. There are three characters in this novel. ‘Sabyasachi’, a dangerous revolutionary. He has snubbed the nose of the British government. Bharti, a Christian girl. Whose education has begun in the missionary school. But he is also in love with his country. And the third father ‘Apoorva’ immersed in English and the third son of a Brahmin mother stuck to traditions.

Through these three characters, Sharat Babu has exposed not only the British government but also the conservatism of the society. It shows the life of the revolutionaries. At the same time, with these writings, he was also brought to the status of “literary revolutionary”. The status that became ‘pather dabi’. An aspirant on the path of honor. That is why today, even after so many years, Sharat Babu is remembered. It is said that the way he opened the knots of the woman’s mind with his ‘writing’, the way he presented the woman in different facets, such an example is not found anywhere in the world. People also say so that Sarat Babu used Mahatma Gandhi’s saying, “Hate the sin, not the sinner,” word for word in his “writing”. That is why they often tell the story of the fall of woman and highlight her sublime and brilliant character.

They do a lot like this, Sharat Babu. That is why people sometimes remember him for his carelessness. Sometimes for clarity. Sometimes we remember his Chandramukhi, sometimes Devdas or ‘Srikanth’. Sometimes he remembers his ‘widow didi’, who is dedicated to the whole town. But in the end, he has no one except Sharat. Everyone turns their backs on him. Similarly, the ‘large section’ of society had turned their backs on Sharat Babu. That is why when Vishnu Prabhakar wandered to hear about him, people used to say, ‘Leave me, Maharaj, what was there in his life that you cannot rest without telling anyone?’ Some people would even say, “Take a close look at the lives of two or four scoundrels and scoundrels.” Saratchandra biography will be ready. However, when this biography (the wandering messiah) came to the fore, then it was said forever, “If there was a great storyteller other than Tagore in Bengali literature, then Saratchandra Chattopadhyay.”

Tags: Hindi Literature, news in hindi, Hindi writer, News 18 Hindi Originals

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