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Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (23 July 1898 – 14 September 1971) was an Indian novelist 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 several songs. He was awarded Rabindra Puraskar, Sahitya Akademi Award, Jnanpith Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
|Born||23 July 1898|
Labhpur, Birbhum district, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Died||14 September 1971 (aged 73)|
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
|Notable awards||Rabindra Puraskar |
|Spouse||Umashashi Devi (m. 1916)|
Family members and relativesEdit
Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay was married to Umashashi Devi in 1916. Their eldest son Sanatkumar Bandyopadhyay was born in 1918; the youngest son Saritkumar Bandyopadhyay was born in 1922; the eldest daughter Ganga was born in 1924; the second daughter Bulu was born in 1926 but died in 1932; the youngest daughter Bani was born in 1932.
He passed the Matriculation examination from Labhpur Jadablal H. E. School in 1916 and was later admitted first to St. Xavier's College, Calcutta and then to South Suburban College (now Asutosh College). While studying in intermediate at St. Xavier's College, he joined the non-co-operation movement. He could not complete his university course due to ill health and political activism. During these college years, he was also associated with a radical militant youth group and was arrested and interned in his village.
He was arrested in 1930 for actively supporting the Indian independence movement, but released later that year. After that he decided to devote himself to literature. In 1932, he met Rabindranath Tagore at Santiniketan for the first time. His first novel Chaitali Ghurni was published on the same year.
In 1940, he rented a house at Bagbazar and brought his family to Calcutta. In 1941, he moved to Baranagar. In 1942, he presided over the Birbhum District Literature Conference and became the president of the Anti-Fascist Writers and Artists Association in Bengal. In 1944, he presided over the Kanpur Bengali Literature Conference arranged by the non-resident Bengalis living there. In 1947, he inaugurated Prabasi Banga Sahitya Sammelan held in Calcutta; presided over the Silver Jubilee Prabasi Banga Sahitya Sammelan in Bombay; and received Sarat Memorial Medal from the University of Calcutta. In 1948, he moved to his own house at Tala Park, Calcutta.
In 1952, he was nominated to be a member of the legislative assembly. He was a member of the West Bengal Vidhan Parishad between 1952–60. In 1954, he took Diksha from his mother. In 1955, he was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar by the Government of West Bengal. In 1956, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award. In 1957 he visited Soviet Union to join the preparatory committee of the Afro-Asian Writers' Association and later went to Tashkent at an invitation from the Chinese Government as the leader of the Indian Writers delegation at the Afro-Asian Writers' Association.
In 1959, he received the Jagattarini Gold Medal from the University of Calcutta, and presided over All India Writer's Conference in Madras. In 1960, he retired from the West Bengal Legislative Assembly but was nominated to the Parliament by the President of India. He was a member of Rajya Sabha between 1960–66. In 1962, he received Padma Shri; but the death of his son-in-law broke his heart and to keep himself diverted he took to painting and making wooden toys. In 1963, he received Sisirkumar Award. In 1966, he retired from the Parliament and presided over Nagpur Bengali Literature Conference. In 1966, he won the Jnanpith Award and in 1969, he received Padma Bhushan and was honoured with the title of Doctor of Literature by the University of Calcutta and the Jadavpur University. In 1969, he was given the fellowship of Sahitya Akademi, in 1970 became the president of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad/Vangiya Sahitya Parishad. In 1971, he gave the Nripendrachandra Memorial Lecture at Visva-Bharati University and D. L. Roy Memorial Lecture at the University of Calcutta.
Bandyopadhyay died at his Calcutta residence early in the morning on 14 September 1971. His last rites were performed at the Nimtala Cremation Ground, North Calcutta.
Tarasankar mainly flourished during the war years, having produced in that period a large number of novels and short stories. Most of his early short stories were published in periodicals Bangasri and Prabasi. Sukumar Sen observed:
Banerji is happiest in his regional stories and novels. He knows quite well the men and the nature of the part of the country he belongs to (Birbhum district in West Bengal), and his stories are always interesting.
- Tripatra (1926)
Short story collectionsEdit
- Chakmaki (1945)
List of all songs for which Lyrics were composed by Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay
- on YouTube
- Devi, Mahashweta (1983) . Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay. Makers of Indian Literature (2nd ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. pp. 77–79.
- Bardhan, Kalpana, ed. (1990). Of Women, Outcastes, Peasants, and Rebels: A Selection of Bengali Short Stories. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 22 – via Questia.
- Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), (1976/1998), Samsad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (in Bengali), Kolkata: Sahitya Samsad, ISBN 81-85626-65-0, p 195
- "Jnanpith Laureates Official listings". Jnanpith Website. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- Sen, Sukumar (1979) . History of Bengali Literature (3rd ed.). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 345. ISBN 81-7201-107-5.