Tarashankar Bandopadhyay | Brief Biography


Tarashankar Bandopadhyay | Brief Biography

Tarashankar Bandopadhyay Brief Biography

Tarashankar Bandopadhyay | Brief Biography

Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay was a renowned Indian writer who wrote in the Bengali language. He wrote 65 novels, 53 story books, 12 plays, 4 essay books, 4 autobiographies, 2 travel stories and composed many songs.

Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay was born to Haridas Bandyopadhyay and Prabhavati Debi in Labpur, Birbhum district of West Bengal. He passed the matriculation examination in 1916 and joined the intermediate class at the prestigious St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. While studying there, he joined the non-cooperation movement. He was jailed for a year in 1930 and after his release in 1931, he devoted himself to literature and social work. He worked diligently among the people of his village during natural calamities and epidemics. His love for the poor and helpless is reflected in his short stories and novels. They rejected the social norms of the time and mingled freely with the so-called lower classes of Dom, Bagdi, Sadgop and Baori. He married Uma Shashi Debi and had two sons named Sanat and Sarit and two daughters named Ganga and Bani.

Like a breath of fresh air, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay broke away from the poetic convention in novels and wrote prose touching the lives and relationships of common people. It broke the apathy that prevailed in a conservative society that believed in hypocrisy and masking reality. It was only during the thirties of the twentieth century that realism replaced romance in literature, and unbiased writing became the norm of the time. The works of Tarashankar Bandopadhyay are like a breath of fresh air as they do not reject reality but look at the world from a new perspective. From the rich and powerful landlords to the lowest of the low, that is, the poor, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay’s protagonists are as diverse as his characterizations. Some of his works like ‘Radha’ were scandalous mainly because of the age and time during which they were written. His views were progressive and he believed that the physical relationship between a man and a woman can, to an extent, override the existing law and order that the society follows. He produced a large amount of compositions that are popular even today and are much loved by his ardent fans and followers. This brilliant soul pervaded all spheres of Bengali life and reflected the vast spectrum of life in the backdrop of the socio-political milieu of that era. His works are fondly remembered by his devoted readers because of his ability to portray a non-judgmental reflection of life in general with care and leave it to the readers to make their own impression.

Tarashankar was a versatile writer whose works include ‘Ganadevata’, ‘Jalsaghar’, ‘Abhijan’, ‘Raj Kamal’, ‘Bicharak’, ‘Kavi’ etc. His historical novel ‘Ganna Begum’ is a notable effort for its conventionality. Value. The Jnanpith Award that Tarashankar Bandopadhyay received in 1967 was due to his novel ‘Ganadevata’, which revolves around the role of a schoolmaster trying to remove tyranny from his village. His novel ‘Jalsaghar’, immortalized in celluloid by Satyajit Ray, explores the natural decay of the feudal system and values that surround a Zamindari family that has fallen on bad times. His masterpiece would be ‘Abhijan’ which narrates the adventures of a cab driver in a society full of hypocrites. ‘Bicharak’ portrays the dilemma of a judge in pronouncing the verdict in a murder case and ‘Kavi’ talks about the life of a gypsy poet who moves around with a group of dancers and prostitutes. Tarashankar Bandopadhyay also led the Indian delegation of writers to the Asian Writers’ Conference in Tashkent in 1957. In 1970, he was elected President of the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad. He was a member of the West Bengal Legislative Council during 1952–60 and the Rajya Sabha for six years from 1960–66.

Tarashankar Bandopadhyay died on 14 September 1981 at Ghatshila, West Bengal.

His book ‘Jalsaghar’ has been immortalized in an extraordinary film by eminent filmmaker Satyajit Ray

Tarashankar received the Rabindra Puraskar in 1955 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1956 for his novel ‘Arogya Niketan’. He received the Jnanpith Award in 1966 for his novel ‘Gandebata’. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1962 and the Padma Bhushan in 1969. 0 0 0.


“Tarashankar Bandopadhyay” by Encyclopedia of Indian Literature, Volume 1
“Tarashankar Bandopadhyay: A Study of His Life and Works” by Sanjib Kumar Choudhury
“Tarashankar Bandopadhyay: The Voice of Rural Bengal” by Sudhindra Bhattacharya. ***

N.B. This article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Brief Biographies of Prominent Bengali Writers‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Biography by M. Menonimus:

  1. The World Writers-Brief Biographies
  2. Introduction to World Writers
  3. Introduction to World Personalities
  4. Love of Reputed Persons
  5. Brief Biographies of Prominent Bengali Writers
  6. Brief Biographies of Eminent Monarchs
  7. Brief Biographies of Ancient Thinkers and Writers ..

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)
  16. Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works
  17. Reviews of Charles Dickens’ Works
  18. Reviews of John Milton’s Literary Works
  19. Reviews of Some Iconic Travelogues

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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