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Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay or Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (26 June 1838 –8 April 1894) was a Bengali writer, poet and journalist. He was the composer of India’s national song Vande Mataram, originally a Bengali and Sanskrit stotra personifying India as a mother goddess and inspiring the activists during the Indian Independence Movement. Chattopadhyay wrote thirteen novels and several ‘serious, serio-comic, satirical, scientific and critical treaties’ in Bengali. His works were widely translated into other regional languages of India as well as in English.

Born to an orthodox Brahmin family, Chattopadhyay was educated at Hooghly Mohsin College founded by Bengali philanthropist Muhammad Mohsin and Presidency College, Calcutta. He was one of the first graduates of the University of Calcutta. From 1858, until his retirement in 1891, he served as a deputy magistrate and deputy collector in the Government of British India.

Chattopadhyay is widely regarded as a key figure in literary renaissance of Bengal as well as the broader Indian subcontinent.Some of his writings, including novels, essays and commentaries, were a breakaway from traditional verse-oriented Indian writings, and provided an inspiration for authors across India.When Bipin Chandra Pal decided to start a patriotic journal in August 1906, he named it Vande Mataram, after Chattopadhyay’s song. Lala Lajpat Rai also published a journal of the same name.

Chattopadhyay was born in the village Kanthalpara in the town of North 24 Parganas, Near Naihati,in an orthodox Bengali Brahmin family, the youngest of three brothers, to Yadav Chandra Chattopadhyaya and Durgadebi. His father, a government official, went on to become the Deputy Collector of Midnapur. One of his brothers, Sanjib Chandra Chattopadhyay was also a novelist and his known for his famous book “Palamau”.He was educated at the Hooghly Mohsin College and later at the Presidency College, graduating with a degree in Arts [Law] in 1857. He was one of the first two graduates of the University of Calcutta namely he and Jadunath Bose.He later obtained a degree in Law as well, in 1869.
He was appointed as Deputy Collector, just like his father, of Jessore, Chattopadhyay went on to become a Deputy Magistrate, retiring from government service in 1891. His years at work were peppered with incidents that brought him into conflict with the ruling British. However, he was made a Companion, Order of the Indian Empire in 1894.

Chattopadhyay was married at a very young age of eleven, he had a son from his first wife, who died in 1859. He later married Rajalakshmi Devi. They had three daughters.