Anandmath is, a Bengali fiction, written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and published in 1882. Set in the background of the Sannyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century, it is considered as one of the most important novels in the history of Bengali and Indian literature. Its importance is heightened by the fact that it became synonymous with the struggle for Indian independence from the British Empire. The plot of the novel reveals the various dimensions of life in the backdrop of the Sannyasi Rebellion—such as the plight of the people wrecked by lack of food and hunger that drove them to the brink of cannibalism, the militant rebels, and women’s participation alongside their husbands. The rebellion was fought by the Sannyasi’s or monks and the common multitudes who took up arms against the tyranny of the British colonisers and their excesses, especially taxes in such a time of privation. Bankim also gave us the song ‘Vande Mataram’ which became the rallying call for rebels. The first two stanzas eventually became the National song of India. One of the gems of Indian Literature, ‘Anandmath’ carries a deep sentiment of nationalism which was the essence of the freedom struggle. The novel was banned by the British. The ban was lifted later by the Government of India after independence. This book was translated into English by Nares Chandra Sengupta in 1906.
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee was a well-known and highly appreciated Indian novelist, poet, and journalist. He was graduated from Calcutta University in 1858 and obtained a degree in Law in 1869. He bagan his career as a Deputy Collector of Jessore, then he was promoted as a Deputy Magistrate and retired from the government service in 1891. He began his literary career as a writer of verse. He then turned to fiction. Durgeshnandini, his first Bengali romance, was published in 1865. His other famous novels are Kapalkundala (1866), Mrinalini (1869), Vishbriksha (1873), Chandrasekhar (1877), Rajani (1877), Rajsimha (1881), and Devi Chaudhurani (1884). Anand Math (1882) is his most famous novel which contains the song “Bande Mataram”, which was later adopted as National Song.