Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay is widely recognized as the first novelist in India. He was born in 1838 in the village of Naihati in Bengal, India. He was a poet, novelist, essayist, journalist, and songwriter. He wrote in both Bengali and English, and his works are considered to be some of the most influential in Indian literature.
Chattopadhyay’s first novel, Rajmohan’s Wife, was published in 1864. It was the first Indian novel written in English, and it was an immediate success. The novel tells the story of a young widow, Indirabai, who is forced to marry her late husband’s brother, Rajmohan. The novel follows Indirabai’s struggles to adjust to her new life and her journey to find her own identity.
The novel was revolutionary for its time, as it addressed the issues of gender roles and the oppression of women in Indian society. Chattopadhyay’s novel was a stark contrast to the traditional Indian literature of the time, which focused mainly on religious and mythological themes.
Chattopadhyay went on to write several other novels, including Durgeshnandini, Kapalkundala, and Devi Chaudhurani. He also wrote several essays and short stories, as well as the national song of India, Vande Mataram.
Chattopadhyay’s works are still widely read and studied today. He is remembered as one of the most influential writers in Indian literature, and his novel Rajmohan’s Wife is considered to be a classic of Indian literature. He is credited with paving the way for future Indian novelists and is remembered as the first novelist in India.