Published Paper Details:

Kashi in the Writings of Saratchandra Chottopadhyay


Kashi, Sarat Chandra Chottopadhyay, Widowhood, Ashram, Traditional Beliefs, Outcast, Abandonment, Pilgrimage.

Kashi is attributed as the cultural capital of India. From time immemorial, the Bengali community share a soulful relationship with this holy city situated beside the Ganges. It is one of the few cities of the world having more than one name, that is Kashi, Banaras and Varanasi. It is not only sacred to the Shaiba, Sakta, Vaishnab sects of the Hindu religious community but also holy to the Jain and Buddhist faith. Sarnath located near this city is regarded as one of the holy sites by the Buddhists. One will find the reference of Kashi in Bengali literature for a long period of time. Kashi have been the theme and setting in the writings of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Thakur, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay, Ashapurna Debi etc. We find the appearance of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay in the literary scene in the first half of twentieth century. The society then was full of rituals such as polygamy and child marriage which compelled women to become widows at a very young age. Moreover, it was highly difficult for the women folk to remarry which is why they lived a secluded life in the Ashrams and Dharamshalas of Kashi. A section of these widows followed prostitution. It can also be observed that few early aged widows used to leave their houses and used to elope with their lover. The very same widows used to come to Kashi in order to shed their sins after they used to be rejected by their lovers. Apart from these instances, women both widowed and married used to live their remaining life in Kashi to attain salvation. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay illustrated these women and their stories in his novels and short stories with acute sympathy. With time our society evolved. Today a widow does not require to live in Kashi but the Mutts and Ashrams exists still. These institutions of Ashrams and widowhouses carry the legacies of Bengali diaspora. Even today Kashi is highlighted as a centre for education, spiritualism and tourism in Bangla literature.


Paper ID : tirj/January23/article-9

Page No : 96-102

Published In :Volume 3, Issue 1

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) : 

E ISSN : 2583-0848

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