‘Vande Mataram’, India’s national song, was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1882.
Chattopadhyay wrote this song as part of his novel, Anandamath. It was Tagore who composed his song. Chattopadhyay is considered to be a pioneer in the revival of Bengali literature in the 19th century and his work inspired some of the most famous writers like Tagore, Surendranath Dutt, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, etc.
Chattopadhyay wrote the national song in a 19th-century house located in the Naihati area of present-day Kolkata. The house is situated on the banks of Jora Ghat and now runs as a museum of Chinsurah.
He was one of the first graduates of Calcutta University and was appointed as the Deputy Collector of Jessore. He got promoted to Deputy Magistrate and retired from government services on 1891. He started his literary journey from writing a column in the weekly newspaper called Sangbad Prabhakar.
His major publications in 1865 and 1866, ‘Durgeshnandini’ and ‘Kapalkundala’, made him famous and the novels were translated into other languages as well. In 1872, Chattopadhyay started publishing a weekly magazine called Bangadarshan which had stories, sketches, historical and random essays, and devotional and religious articles.
He gained a huge fan base from his writings and wrote his famous novels ‘Chandrasekhar’ and ‘Rajani’ in 1877. His work titled ‘Vishabriksha’ attracted the eyes of a London newspaper which wrote an article titled “Have you read the Poison Tree of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee?”
His most notable work,’ Anandmath’, is set in the background of the Sanyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century and narrates the struggle of a Sanyasi for freedom from the British empire.