Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay portrait.jpg
Born(1876-09-15)15 September 1876 ৩১শে ভাদ্র, ১২৮৩ বঙ্গাব্দ
Debanandapur, Hooghly district, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in West Bengal, India)
Died16 January 1938(1938-01-16) (aged 61) ২রা মাঘ, ১৩৪৪ রবিবার
Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Kolkata, West Bengal)
OccupationWriter, novelist
NationalityBritish Indian
Period19th century – 20th century
Literary movementBengali Renaissance
Notable works
Notable awardsJagattarini Award
(by the Calcutta University)
SpouseShanti devi (m. 1906–1908)
Hironmoyi devi (m. 1910–1938)
Signature of Sarat-Chandra-Chattopadhyay.svg

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, alternatively spelt as Sarat Chandra Chatterjee (Bengali: শরৎচন্দ্র চট্টোপাধ্যায়; 15 September 1876 or ৩১ শে ভাদ্র ১২৮৩ বঙ্গাব্দ – 16 January 1938), was a Bengali novelist and short story writer of the early 20th century. Most of his works deal with the lifestyle, tragedy and struggle of the village people and the contemporary social practices that prevailed in Bengal. He remains the most popular, translated, and adapted Indian author of all time.[1][2]

Early life

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was born on 15 September 1876 (৩১ শে ভাদ্র, ১২৮৩ বঙ্গাব্দ),[3] in a Bengali Brahmin family in Debanandapur, a small village in Hooghly, West Bengal.[4]

Birthplace of Sarat Chandra in Debanandapur, Hooghly
Birthplace of Sarat Chandra in Debanandapur, Hooghly

Sarat Chandra spent most of his childhood at his maternal uncle's home[5] in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Chandra spent his childhood in extreme poverty. Chandra was a daring, adventure-loving boy. His education began at Pyari Pandit's pathshala, an informal village school and later he joined Hooghly Branch High School.[6] He was a good student and got a double promotion that enabled him to skip a grade.[7] He passed his Entrance Examination (public examination at the end of Class X) but could not take his F.A. (First Arts) examination or attend college due to lack of funds.[8]

House of Chattopadhyay

Main article: Sarat Chandra Kuthi

After returning from Burma, Chattopadhyay stayed for 11 years in Baje Shibpur, Howrah. Then he made a house in the village of Samta, in 1923, where he spent the later twelve years of his life as a novelist. His house is known as Sarat Chandra Kuthi. The two-storied Burmese style house was also home to Sarat Chandra's brother, Swami Vedananda, who was a disciple at Belur Math. His and his brother's samadhi are within the house's compound. Trees like bamboo and guava planted by the renowned author still stand tall in the gardens of the house.[9]


The phenomenal popularity of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay has been attested by some of the most prominent writers as well as literary critics across India in their writings.[10] Most of the authors in Assam and Odisha, at least before the Independence, read him admiringly in original Bengali; rest of India read him in translations in varying quality. Publishers were never tired of reprinting his works; he remains the most translated, the most adapted and the most plagiarized author.[10] His novels also reached a number of people through the medium of film and he is still an important force in Indian cinema. O. N. V. Kurup[10] writes "...Sarat Chandra's name is cherished as dearly as the names of eminent Malayalam novelists. His name has been a household word". Dr Mirajkar[11] informs "the translations of Sarat Chandra created a stir amongst the readers and writers all over Maharashtra. He has become a known literary personality in Maharashtra in the rank of any popular Marathi writers including H. N. Apte, V. S. Khandekar, N. S. Phadke and G. T. Madkholkar". Jainendra Kumar,[10] who considers that his contribution towards the creation and preservation of cultural India is second, perhaps, only to that of Gandhi, asks a rhetorical question summing up Sarat Chandra's position and presumably the role of translation and inter-literary relationship: "Sarat Chandra was a writer in Bengali; but where is that Indian language in which he did not become the most popular when he reached it?"


Further information: Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay filmography

His works have been made into around fifty films in many Indian languages.[10] Particularly, his novel Devdas has been made into sixteen versions, from Bengali, Hindi to Telugu. Parineeta has also been made thrice in Hindi. In 1957 Bardidi was made by director Ajoy Kar. Rajlakshmi O Srikanta and Indranath Srikanta O Annadadidi by Haridas Bhattacharya in 1958 and 1959 respectively, Majhli Didi (1967) by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Swami (1977), for which he was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Story, are other adaptations. Another famous film Chhoti Bahu (1971) is based on his novel Bindur Chhele. His novel 'Datta' was adapted into a Bengali film as Datta (film) in 1951 directed by Saumyen Mukhopadhyay starring Sunanda Banerjee and Manoranjan Bhattacharyya with Ahindra Choudhury as Rashbehari,[12][13] and again in 1976 starring Suchitra Sen and Soumitra Chatterjee. The film Sabyasachi (film) was released in 1977 based on his work Pather Dabi. The other movies based on his novel were Nishkriti, and Apne Paraye (1980) by Basu Chatterjee, starring Amol Palekar.[14] The Telugu film Thodi Kodallu (1957) is also based on this novel. Gulzar's 1975 film, Khushboo is majorly inspired by his work Pandit Mashay. The 1961 Telugu film Vagdanam by Acharya Aatreya is loosely based on his novel Datta. Also the 2011 film Aalo Chhaya is based on his short story, Aalo O Chhaya.'Chandranath'is also another film made based on his novel in the year 1957 and Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar played the main role.


Year Award Category Film(s) Result
1978 Filmfare Awards Best Story Swami Won


Sarat Chandra wrote novels, novellas, and stories.[15] Sarat Chandra used to visit village after village, mingle with the local people and outside Bengal, in foreign, he spent several days and the experience which he gathered was the reason of his unique and elegant style of his literary works.

His first novel was Badadidi (1907), which was published in the Bharati and made him well known. He went on to write several stories and novels, including

He also wrote essays, which were anthologized in Narir Mulya (1923) and Svadesh O Sahitya (1932). Shrikanta, Charitrahin, Devdas, Grihadaha, Dena-Paona and Pather Dabi are among his most popular works. Pather Dabi was banned by the British Government because of its revolutionary theme. His posthumous publications include Chhelebelar Galpa, Shubhada (1938), Sheser Parichay (1939), Sharat Chandrer Granthabali (1948) and Sharat Chandrer Aprakashita Rachanabali (1951).

He wrote some essays including Narir Itihas (The History of Women) and Narir Mulya (The Value of Women). Narir Itihas, which was lost in a house fire, contained a history of women on the lines of Spencer's Descriptive Sociology. While the second, Narir Mulya gives a theory of women's rights in the context of Mill's and Spencer's arguments.[16]


Plays Sarat Chandra converted three of his works into plays.


Other works


See also


  1. ^ "A History of Indian Literature 1911–1956: Struggle for Freedom: Triumph and Tragedy|South Asia Books (1 September 1995)". Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay — Vagabond Messiah | FCCI". Journal of Indian Cinema. 15 September 2020. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  3. ^ Sarker, Subhash Chandra (January–February 1977). "Sarat Chandra Chatterjee: The Great Humanist". Indian Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. 20 (1): 50. JSTOR 24157548.(subscription required)
  4. ^ George, K. M., ed. (1997). Masterpieces of Indian literature. New Delhi: National Book Trust. p. 187. ISBN 978-81-237-1978-8.
  5. ^ "Saratchandra Chattopadhyay: Literary Giant who is Timeless". Hindustan Times. 20 September 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  6. ^ Suresh, Sushama, ed. (1999). Who's who on Indian stamps (1st ed.). Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Angel Guimera, 11): Mohan B. Daryanani. p. 73. ISBN 8493110108.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ "শরৎ রচনাবলী | Sarat Rachanabali". Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  8. ^ Sinha, BY J. N. (9 January 2015). "The mortals of Devdas".
  9. ^ House of Sarat Chandra Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b c d e "A History of Indian Literature 1911–1956: Struggle for Freedom: Triumph and Tragedy|South Asia Books (1 September 1995)". Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  11. ^ "A History of Indian Literature 1911–1956: Struggle for Freedom: Triumph and Tragedy|South Asia Books (1 September 1995)". Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  12. ^ YouTube
  13. ^ Moviebuff
  14. ^ Gulzar; Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 337. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
  15. ^ "Remembering Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the 'Awara Masiha'". The Indian Express. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  16. ^ Shandilya, Krupa (2017). Intimate Relations: Social Reform and the Late Nineteenth-Century South Asian Novel. Northwestern University Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-8101-3424-9 – via Project MUSE.(subscription required)
  17. ^ "Classic Saratchandra | Penguin Books India". Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Hindi Belt: A glimpse into an unfamiliar world". The Hindu. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Remembering Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, the 'Awara Masiha'". Indian Express. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  20. ^ Vishnu Prabhakar and (tr.) Jai Ratan (1990). Great Vagabond: Biography and Immortal Works of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. South Asia Books.((cite book)): CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)


  • Ganguly, Swagato. "Introduction". In Parineeta by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2005. (English translation)
  • Guha, Sreejata. "Introduction". In Devdas by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2002. (English translation)
  • Roy, Gopalchandra. Saratchandra, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata
  • Sarat Rachanabali, Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata
  • Prithwindra Mukherjee. "Introduction" in Mahesh et autres nouvelles by Saratchandra Chatterji. Paris: Unesco/Gallimard, 1978. (French translation of Mahesh, Bindur chhele and Mejdidi by Prithwindra Mukherjee. Foreword by Jean Filliozat)
  • Dutt, A. K. and Dhussa, R. "Novelist Sarat Chandra's perception of his Bengali home region: a literary geographic study". Springer Link
  • Sil, Narasingha Prasad. The life of Sharatchandra Chattopadhyay: drifter and dreamer. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2012.
  • Das, Sisir Kumar, "A History of Indian Literature 1911–1956: Struggle for Freedom: Triumph and Tragedy", South Asia Books (1 September 1995), ISBN 8172017987
Filmfare Award for Best Story