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Bankim Chandra Chatterjee

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee or Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, who is considered as the father of Hindu Rashtra, has written three novels all in the last ten years of his life: Anandmath, Debi Choudhurani and Sitaram. All of them can be justly described as anti-Muslim. B.C.C played an important role in reducing Indian nationalism to Hindu nationalism, which is anti-Muslim to the core. Anandmath, a Bengali novel written by B.C.C outlines the concept of Hindu Rashtra and is considered as the Bible by the proponents of Hindu Rashtra. B.C.C played an important role in the degradation of Indian nationalism to communal nationalism and introduced the song ‘Vande Mataram’ through his novel which equated nationalism to mother worship. Anandmath narrates the story of Hindu sanyasi rebellion against Muslims. Novel romanticizes the attack on Muslims, it describes how the Hindu sanyasis (sanatans) torched Muslim houses and looted everything. The novel also describes how the sanatans killed the Musalman who refused to recite ‘I salute thee mother’ which is still followed by hindutva terrorists.

B.C.C was very fond of British rulers and never considered them as people who loot India, and he preached that ‘Muslims are our sole enemy’. His love for British masters could be seen in the last lines of Anandmath, where when some of the sanatan cadres who have succeeded in overthrowing Muslim rulers now wanted to fight against Britishers, a mystic leader appears and pacifies them that the sanatan virtue could only be restored under the rule of Englishman as King, so the sanatans should not wage war against them. The leader convinces the sanatans that they have become successful by eliminating Muslim rule and now should let the English reign continue.  It reads “the Englishman is our ally King. Moreover, none possesses such power who can win the war with the Englishmen ultimately“. The novel glorifies the imperialist masters, who destroyed lives and properties of Indians, and they are depicted as brave and superior souls. Importantly B.C.C was appointed directly to the post of Deputy Magistrate in the year 1858, the first Indian to be appointed to such a post immediately after 1857. Bankim retired as District Magistrate in the year 1891. He was conferred with the titles of Rai Bahadur and CIE by the British Crown. He was none other than a stooge for British imperialism and part of British exploitation program in India.

M.R.A. Baig’s analysis of the novel and the song deserve attention. “Written as a story set in the period of the dissolution of the Mughal Empire, the hero of the novel, Bhavananda, is planning an armed uprising against the Muslims of Bengal. While busy recruiting, he meets Mahendra and sings the song ‘Bande Mataram’ or ‘Hail Mother’. The latter asks him the meaning of the words and Bhavananda, making a spirited answer, concludes with: ‘Our religion is gone, our caste is gone, our honour is gone’. Which caste is B.C.C. pointing here? Dalit, Adivasis or OBCs? It is clear that Bankim’s articulation on ‘Bharat’ is nothing but re-establishing the Brahmanical supremacy (caste based social order).

Through Anandmath B.C.C introduced the sectarian cry of ‘Bande Mataram’ as the national cry. Due to the personification of the land and equating it into goddesses Kali and Durga, there were many oppositions to its singing in national gatherings of freedom struggle. The original five-stanza song of ‘Bande Mataram’ was cut down to two stanzas, which only describes the beauty of the land mass.  RSS was very unhappy when Indian constituent assembly adopted ‘Jana gana mana’ as the national anthem, and wants it to be replaced it with ‘Bande Mataram’, we have to remember that RSS was also unhappy about the Indian constitution and want it to be replaced with ‘Manu Smriti’. We are going through a period where the preachings of B.C.C through Ananthmath is reaping its fruits, as the sanatans dreamed, ‘will the day come when we shall break mosques and build temples on their sites?‘. Today Bankim’s grandsons are killing Muslims and dalits in the name of cow protectionism and orchestrating anti-national drama in campuses across India.

A person with the character of pro-British, anti-Muslim and a castiest is projected as the national leader by Hindutva group. Historically, ‘national leaders’ from the Hindutva camp, Savarkar, Hedgewar, Golwalkar, Vajpayee, Advani are all pro-British and pro-Brahmanical. Today Modi continues that legacy. One side he is pushing the anti-people policies (pro-imperialist) like cashless economy, GST, privatizing the railway; on the other side he is escalating the sanskrit imposition, communal riots, cow nationalism. Hindu Rashtra is nothing but the Brahmanical empire established on caste based social order along with facilitating the finance capital to loot the country without any obstructions.

In the first quarter of 20th century, Kakori martyrs (including Ram Prasad Bismil and  Ashfaqullah Khan) and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) were waging a war against the British imperialism. Despite knowing the fact he will be hanged, to trigger the political consciousness of Indian masses against British imperialism, Bhagat Singh has voluntarily participated in the Parliament bomb attack in 1929 with pamphlet ‘To make the deaf hear’ against labour laws. Bhagat Singh has fought against the British imperialism and parasite Indian bourgeois class. He strongly criticized the caste system and religion. Their slogan ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long Live Revolution) was a replacement to ‘Vande Mataram’ in the freedom struggle; even after a century ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ represents the voice of working masses.

Who should we celebrate? A person who lived as an imperialist stooge until his death or a legend who sacrified his life to liberate the working masses from the yoke of British imperialism and caste system. One day ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ will definitely destroy the Hindu Rashtra.

Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle, an independent student body recognized by IIT Madras

apsc@smail.iitm.ac.in  apsc.iitm@gmail.com

3 Comments

  1. Bankim Chadra was a stooge of British,hence richly rewarded by British.He had a hatred for Muslims.

  2. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The thought of bankim should be repulsed by vast majority of deprived masses. There are many writers following bankim path. Their ideology of Hindu fanatic thought should also be denounced

  3. Saheli Chowdhury says:

    I had read somewhere that in the first edition of Anandamath, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay had made the Sanatans fight with the British, not with Muslims. But he changed the entire storyline in the next edition, withdrew the first, and after that he got the important post in British India.