Bankinchrandra Chattopadhyay wrote many Bangali novels from 1865 to 1884, most famous novel being Anand Math (1880). Anand Math contained the song “Bande Mataram”, which was written in 1876. Anand Math started appearing in the magazine, Banga Darshan, during 1880 to 1882. Its concept itself generated ripples in people’s minds, as it was a novel, which speaks of revolutionaries who live and die for their motherland. 1883 saw a stage version of Anandmath, wherein the first singing of the song took place. Bankimda passed away in 1894. In the 1896 convention of the Indian National Congress a full-unabridged version of Vande Mataram was sung. None other than the great personality-Rabindranath Tagore sang it. In the 1901 Congress, again it was rehearsed, with Dakshanrajan Sen as the composer. Thereafter it became a norm to start the Congress convention with Vande Mataram.
The year 1905 was memorable to Vande Mataram in many ways. In this year the song crossed the boundaries of Bengal, spread like a jungle fire throughout the nation which would oust the British rule. No sooner than the Partition of Bengal was declared, thousands of angry Bharatiyas protested the decision in a unanimous voice: Vande Mataram. Indian freedom struggle had got it’s march song. The British government realized the potential and nuisance value of Vande Mataram. Saraladevi Chaudharani, niece of Ravindranath Tagore, sung it despite protest in the 1905 Congress convention.
It was translated into English by Shree Auribindo Ghosh to conform to its universality and eventually. The militant revolutionaries who faced the gallows recited Vande Mataram as their last words. This includes Madanlal Dhingra, Praful Chaki, Khudiram Bose, Suryasen, Ramprasad Bismil and many more. Even the great martyr Bhagat Singh addresses a letter to his father with Vande Mataram. Subhashchandra Bose had adopted this song for his Indian National Army. In 1937, the Congress leaders, owing to misconceptions from certain minorities, appointed a committee to interpret Vande Mataram. The first two stanzas were adopted as a national song. Other stanzas bearing reference of the nation as ‘Mother Durga’ were omitted.
Khudiram Bose, a young political activist from Bengal, was not only one of the most prominent figures in India’s fight for freedom from British rule, but also the youngest revolutionary that the Indian independence movement had witnessed. Inspired by the speeches of Sri Aurobindo, Khudiram Bose took part in the secret planning sessions that were held by Sri Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita. Shortly after, in the year 1904, Khudiram Bose shifted from Tamluk to the main town of Medinipur at the age of 15.
In the year 1905, Khudiram Bose became involved with the political party Jugantar to show his disobedience to the British government following the Partition of Bengal the same year. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki from Jugantar were sent to the town of Muzaffarpur in Bihar to carry out the killing of Kingsford, the magistrate of Calcutta Presidency. The two revolutionaries went to Muzaffarpur, adopted the code names of Haren Sarkar and Dinesh Roy respectively, and took shelter in the ‘dharmashala’ of Kishorimohan Bandopadhyay. They decided to shoot Kingsford when he was on his way from the European Club to his home or vice versa.
On April 30, 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki took position outside the European Club and targeted the carriage of Kingsford as it moved out of the club at around 8:30 in the evening. The bombs and the pistol shots hit the carriage. Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki immediately fled the place of crime thinking that their task were complete, only to be informed later that it was the wife and daughter of barrister Pringle Kennedy who were traveling inside Kingsford’s carriage. On May 1, 1908, Khudiram Bose was taken under arrest for his involvement in the Muzaffarpur killings. Khudiram Bose who surprised many by embracing his death gracefully by going to the gallows on August 11, 1908 with a smile on his face.