Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sharat Chandra Chatterjee (1876-1938): The most popular Bengali novelist (2)

(In the last post I discussed briefly about Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. Today, I like to post the second part of the article.)
Why Sarat Chandra Chatterjee is so popular? It is not very difficult to answer this question. Among Bengali novelists, he could first depict social issues and everyday life that touch the ordinary people. His heroes are not exactly demigods. They come from middle class background. His heroines are not raving beauty too. They are very ordinary people like the boy or the girl next door. Of course, they have something extraordinary in them or else the readers would not become engrossed with the novels of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. All his characters possess inner strength to an admirable level. That is why they are attractive. In the novels, they do not try to achieve something great- rather their achievements are limited to the aspirations of ordinary life. Their tragedies are like that too.
In his attempt to draw attention of the readers to the social problems, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee can be easily compared with Charles Dickens. Sarat Chandra spoke defiantly against the caste system among Hindus and abuse and discrimination against women in most of his novels and short stories. He called for having a humanistic approach towards marriage and family life. He faced bitter criticism from the Orthodox Hindus for this but he never stopped writing what he believed.
(More discussions will follow about this great writer in the coming days too.)


  1. koresh5:29 PM

    i am very happy to see about sarat , as he is my beloved writer, who influenced me most, n named my daughter as sivani. in internet am not getting full fledged information about his life n criticism of his literature.

  2. Anonymous1:30 AM

    i am truely happy to see an attempt in unfolding sharat chnadra chatterji. its importent to know about these writers who have influenced bengali literature so much. but there is one thing i am very interested to knoe and that is about th women in sharat chandra. most of his female charecters share one thing in common- they are in the own way sbversive(in the positive sense of the term).