Page:Chandrashekhar (1905).djvu/5

This page has been validated.


TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.


The name of Bunkim Chandra Chatterjee as a Bengali novelist has been sufficiently familiarised to the literary public by translations of some of his best novels by Mrs. Knight and Mr. H. A. D. Phillips. The extent of his fame even in Europe can be well imagined from the fact that one of his novels has been translated in German. He is unquestionably the best Bengali novelist that Bengal has yet produced.

Bunkim is pre-eminently the best product of English education in India, and no one occupies a higher position in the literary world of India to-day than he. Whatever might have been the greatness and glory of India in remote antiquity, Bunkim found it a different India altogether. The divine Sanscrit which had once been the living and fertilising influence was no longer living but dead. The mother dead, her children led a forlorn and moribund existence. The vernaculars of India which have their origin in Sanscrit were no longer the vehicles of noble and exalted thoughts, but a poor, weak, worthless clothing for crude and work-a-day ideas. The advent of the English flooded the land with Western thoughts and ideas. They came as manna to famished India and as nectar