About the Book
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya is well-known as the creator of India’s national song, ‘Bande Mataram’, and as a novelist who pioneered the art form in India with acclaimed classics like Ananda Math, Bishabrikha and Devi Chaudhurani. As critics have recognized, few writers in world literature have been so accomplished in both philosophy and art. So extensive was his output on religion and Hinduism, and so erudite his articulation, that Aurobindo Ghosh called him a rishi, while Nirad C. Chaudhuri believed that Bankim had ‘one of the greatest Hindu minds, perhaps equalled in the past – whole of the Hindu past – only by the great Samkara’. Many Threads of Hinduism brings together some of Bankim’s important writings on religion, Hinduism in particular, and includes his thoughts on the Vedas, nationalism, the origins of religion, the conflict between one god and many gods, and the need for mass education. There are also pieces comparing the Brahmins of yore to India’s colonial masters at the time, the British, and excerpts from his translation of and commentary on the Bhagavadgita, which remained incomplete when he died. Beautifully translated by Alo Shome, this is an introduction to a different facet of a celebrated novelist and an important addition to the corpus of books on religion.
About the Author
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya was one of India’s best known writers, with novels like Ananda Math, Bishabrikha and Devi Chaudhurani, among others. His British superiors honoured him with the titles of Rai Bahadur in 1891 and Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (CMEOIE) in 1894. Alo Shome is a homemaker. She has taught foreign students at the English Language Teaching Institute, Symbiosis, Pune, for three years and from time to time coached adults and youngsters at home in English. Her hobbies are reading, cooking and spending time with her granddaughters.