Originally written in 1882, by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee Anandamath takes the reader back to Bengal in the clutches of the famine, the backdrop of the pre-independence struggle and the turmoil of human lives caught in this frame of time. 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. It is considered one of the most remarkable works of Bangla language and Indian literature. 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.