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II
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• ..
l.ITER.ATURE
OF
BENGAl.
PROVASH RONJANDEY
ACADEMY FOR DOCUMENTATION
&
RESEARCH ON CHILDREN'S LITERATURE..
4/l, JadaJJ,..GJaoah ....
CALCUTTA-700 061
\',
Children's Literature of Bonaal
First Edition : 1978
Pr/
1009
,t34D37
Price : ladia : Rs. s·oo I ForeJp : us '
Publisher:
Shri Nirm.al Gopal Chatterjee
Publication Division
Academy for Documentation &
Research on Children's Literature,
Calcutta
Printer:
Rajdhani Printing
117/1, Bepin Behari Ganguly Street
Calcutta-12
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Foreword
Preface
CONTENTS
One : Children's Books
Two :Children's Periodicals
v
VII
I
22
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FOREWORD
In 'his book "Children'.s 'Literature of Bengal" Provash
Ronjan'Dey, surveys'the cfiiltiren's 'literatures of India, from
the beginning of the 19th century up to the middle of the 20th .
:Bar languages such as English, German and French, surveys
-ofthis type.have Jong.been in .existence. It is very important
that all national children's literatures of the world are treated
in the .same way. The histol'>y of the Bengali literature,
presented here, is thus welcome.
Some day it will be possible to write the history of world
literature for children. There are some who have tried to do
this already, but the difficulties are very great so long as all
national literatures are not sufficiently surveyed. Also from
this viewpoint the book and its planned sequels, depicting
.children's literature in the thirteen other regional languages
of India. are to be received with satisfaction.
Studying the world literature for children it is striking to
what extent this literature is a common property of many
.countries. ln my own country Sweden-half of the books
published for children are translated from other languages
than Swedish. This was already the case in the 17th and the
18th centuries.
From Provash Ronjan Dey's book it is seen that similar
.conditions are found in Bengal too. We find the old Greek
names of AEsop and Homer, the Englishman Defoe's Robinson
Crusoe, the tales of the Dane Hans Christian Andersen, the
Brothers Grimm, the German fairy tale collectors, and
Pinocchio by the Italian Lorenini (Collodi), to mention
European examples known in our part of the world. The
importance for Bengali children's literature of the British
presence in India is obvious, but this has not necessarily to
he seen as a negative · trait. Of course it may seem a bit
')
c o ~ l c a l to flnd atodea of European sovereigns as Peter the
Great of Russia and Philip the Second of Spain instead or·
at'ories from the rich treasures of Bengali history and folk
literature. On the other hand it reminds me that the Euro-
peans and Americans have been brought up with the stories
of old Greek and Roman heroes.
Children's literature to a certain extent is and ought to be
an international literature, and for this reason the history of·
Bengali children's literature is of interest also outside India.
Gote Klingberg·
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
President,.
International Research Society for Children's Literature.
J
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PREFACE
The Academy for "Documentation and Research on Child-
1:'en's Literature" was established by some writers and research
workers in the year 1976 and now serves as a documentation
.and information centre and supplies informations and mate-
rials to researchers, publishers, libraries · and organisations
working for children's literature. The Academy organised
National Seminar on Children•s Literature which was held in
·Calcutta from 17th to J 9th March, 1978. Twenty six writers
and editors from Amritsar, Allahabad, Bhubaneswar, Bareilly,
Barasat, Jalpaiguri, · Jammu & Kashmir, Kanpur, Kerala,
'Pune, Varanashi and from many other places of India partici-
pated in the seminar.
As a part of the programme for the ''International year of
..child-1979" the Academy is planning to publish short history
of Children's Literature in 14 volumes containing history of
14 regional languages of India for national distribution.
"Children's Literature of Bengal" is the first publication of
cthe series.
It is not possible to give a detailed account of the children's
•literature within a limited space as it is a history of two
·Century which has a long and glorious background which was
started at the beginning of the nineteenth century. However I
am trying to give short idea on Children's Literature in
Bengali, one of the regional languages of India in a nutshell.
This publication is nothing but a reference seeking to provide
'basic informations. It does not claim to be comprehensive or
exhaustive. Though every possible efforts have been taken,
there may be errors and ommissions and if detected that will
be rectified in the next edition.
I am grateful for the co-operation received from Shri
Dhirendra Lal Dhar, President of the Academy and other
membtn of Academy in publiahinJ this book. I am also tha$-
ful, Anil
hfJJ*d to,publiab tbe:book in short t1me. To 1-must
!. '. . :·,· . '
apwa· my aratit.,.de for the troubles taken by Mr. Gote
K,liaabera of the University, Sweden and President
of the '.'IQternatioaal Resew;ch, Society .for Children's.
ture" for me iri my with his. Foreword.
· ·. ProJaah :a.J.ao Dey·.
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F
Joaladra Nath Sarker
Aabanindra Nath
Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury
Kulada Ranjan Roy
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l'ramada RaJ jan R0y
Sunirmal Bose
Sukha Lata Rao
ltlrtfek Das Gupta Dakshina Ranjan Mitra Majumder
Sukumar Roy
Mohan Lal Gangopadhya Mani Lal Gangopadhya
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Sourindra Nath Mukherjee Khagendra Nath Mitra
Sukumar Dey Sark;,er
Rabindra Lal Ray
• ' I '
ONE
Tbe dawn of the 19th century saw the beainniag of
JWOH. It was during tlis period the childreii'.s literatUI:e·; of
ltnaal was also born. · The missioaaries of Serampore lai4
IU foundation by briaging out rhe first chiidrea's. jounw
"Diadarshan". But the leap towards consolidation
ot children's literature was the establsllment • of tM Sc:beoJ
Boot Society to prepare and publish. cheap books useful for
IObools. The members of the Society were_;_Radhakanla
Ram Kamal Sen, Maalvi Hyder Ali, Mauhli Mohammed
Rashid and Mritunjoy' Tarkalankar. The British paramount
power assisted it to meet the ever increasing dcmaad for text
books in the schools, set up to produce cJerks. The children's
literature in Bengal, thus had its roots in the text books and
·in the domain of education. The accent was on making these
text books as interesting and easy rea.ting as possible; Ia
their seventh report the Society congratulated .itself that ·their
eft'orts for the improvement of Bengali Janpage had been
crowned with success. The writers of boolls published by
:tbem were Radhakanta Deb, Tarini.Cbaran Mitra ... Ramkamal
Sen, Tarachand Datta, and Captain Stuart. Stuart's book
was "ltihas Katha", which was subsequently renamed as
••Upadesh Katha'. Besides a short history of England, it
' oontaiaed a few advices with· a dictionary as aa appeadix.
Raja Rammohan Roy and Clark Marsliman, were cona-
boraton of Digdarshan. Raja Rammohan wrote on scientific
toplcl aad his efforts were original.
11
Nitikatha" was published in 1818 and it was divided into
1
three parts. After Nitikatha, Tarac.band Datta's ·•:t.tanoran-
janetihas" was published·in-1819. It was not a text book but
merely a collection of eighteen stories and essays. . The book
1
wu 8nt published as · one volume., Later owing ,to its popu-
; Jarlty I tecond volume was
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ManoraDjanetihas was followed in 1820 by Ram Kamal
"Hitopadesha". It was a selection of. 49 fables and
moral teachings taken from Bishnu Sharma's "Hitopadesha",
as acknowledged in its preface. Ram Kamal Sen was one
of the few who as early as that held strongly to the view that
a change of :View does change the fundamental· bearings of
man. Some of the stories of Ram ,Kamal Sen, however,
appeared differently in Vidyasagar's K,tthamala. Hitopadesha:
was meant for preaching moral. . "Banpla Siksba Grantha" by
Radba Kanta.Deb, inl821, • a view to teach
Bengali Language. It contained alphJbets, essays, Grammar,
History and Mathematics; But the pr.,ttice of writing first in
English and then translating· them. Bengali, lent a peculia-
rly alien twist to '!fhe language. The Bengali of the
essays were more Sanskritic than ever before and they lacked
punctuatioa marks.
Wood's Henry" was published in 1824,
:dealt with the .Jife of an orphan boy Henry. Twelve years
tater "Jananankur" a collection of moral stories was published
in 1836. In the same year Sadachar Deepak: was also
'PUblished. It contained 48 pages and was priced half-an-anna.
'It was popular for 14long years at a stretch. The reason for
its popularity was the variety of stories. Sadacbar Deepak
bad. for its aim the improvement of morals, teaching readers
to be god-fearing, and making them truthful an:d courageous.
Some 4<of the stories were forerunners of psycho-analytical
short stories of the future and there were evident attempts
of creating artistic literature. The characters were all
historical, which had been skillfully utilised as materials
stories, dramas and poems.
In 1838 .Gopal Lal Mitra's "Jnan ·was
published. It frankly admited · that it.. .translated from
English. In 1842 Iswar Gupta wrot.e patriotic poems in the
. Sanbad Probhakar which aroused patriotic sentiment,&.
Besides patriotic themes, social .. problems of those days.also
found place in his writings. "Nitidarshan" :was published in
1840. It was a collection of lectures 08 morals delivered
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by Ram Chandra Bidyabagish to the students of Hindu
College.
Hindu College was established iQ. 18$9 to jmpart education
through the medium · of Bengali. Bidyabagisb was its first
.principal. Next year "Tatwa Bodhini Pathsala" was founded
by Debendra Natb Tagore with almost identical aims and
objectives. Vedanta HiPduism was taught here to C<?Unteract
Christian infiuence exe*d by the missionaries through their
English Schoois. Akshoy KuDJar Datta fl&s one of its
Soon the need for juvlnile literature and scbool,books were
felt to promote our dch cultural heritage and e.lU'ich our
mother tongue. Datta was ll contemporary of
Vidyasagar, both beina::born in the same year (1820). They
left the deepest impressiotl on the children's of . theit
days. Their style served as example to muy a literatures
of later days and both of them did a job .in impro.
ving the Bengali language. Later in 1843, the Pathsala wa•
was shifted to Bansberia village and on that occasiop Akshoy
Datta delivered a magni:ficient speech in Bengali which was
.published in the "Tatwabodhini Patrika".
Gourisankar Bidyabagisb's "Jnanprodeep" was published
in 1840. From the foreword of the book it was revealed that it
intended to teach morals to children and, as such all its stories
;had moral lessons. The book,however, failed to be popular,
and inspite of the author's desire to publish four volumes, only
two volumes saw the light of the day. The secopd volume
came out in 1853, twelve years after the first. Th'
of the book was Sanskritic.
By the middle of the 19th century Bengali poetry began to
ilourish, but under the infiuence of English models. So far
as the development of the Bengali children's literature was
concerned durina the age of the School Society-the
Society itself wind after twelve years of It continue4
in a moribund stage afterwards and perhaps its final
.decay ·came during the age of Vidyasagar. The style and
language of their books were neither literary nor classical
merely one of text bookS. The unrhythmic la1:1guaae, hackoe ..
3
;ted style· and inclination to imitation have all acted as
ments to its success.
Several years following 1840 was the period of the
Jink in Bengali children's literature. The period lacked in any
original· work worth mentioning. For twenty five years the
translators ruled the day although were being added
to· them. It was Vidyasagar who lifted Bengali
Jiterature from its mortal inertia while Akshay Datta kept
adding life lllld jest to by his writings.
In 1847 "Betala Pancbabinsati" by Vidyasagar was
published. Rabindranath Tagore then wrote "The pride of
·Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar's character was his indomitable-
personality". This personality comment about Vidyasagar led
him to break asunder from the- earlier fetters and introduce;
for the first time in Bengali Prest· a rare artistic skiH. The
changts that English education brought in• Bengali life during
·tile 19th centuey began to be evident during Vidyasagar's timer
He was the foremost of those who were responsible for this-
change. His great works came to fruition first in literature-:.
juvenile literature, to be more precise. About llis language,
Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prosad Sastri once said, "It was he
-who :first taught chaste Bengali 'to the Bengalees and much can
be gained eveb by the::nrst ranks if they go• through his "Katha-
mala", · "Charitabali''• He was the forerumner of aD age, the:
maker of Bengali children's literature and it all started with his
"Betal Pailchabinsati" in 1847. was published by
'the Fort William College for the use of its students.
Although "Betal Panchabinsati" was mean& for the adult
students of the Fort William College, it was used in almost aU
the schools; and' even adorned die shelves of the
readers beyond the : orbit of schools. The sacred touoh· of
Vidyasagar purified the children's literature of all the previous-
·and uninteresting moralities and gave.. it a new
dimension. . Vidyasagar's c._'"Betal Panc:Pabinsati" crossed the·
thresh-hold of ·schools." "His style had in:O.uenced q1,1ite. a.
num&er of juvenile :writers ...
... '- r. UBodhodaya".
,:4
Manjari" were his works for the chi.biren. was
translation from AEsop's Fables. ,He changed some fables
-to fit in with the custom of our land, For instance, he changed
the golden egg producing hen into a duck. The translation
was so natural that it appeared like originals. The language
was simple though rich in vocabulary and diction.
In Jiban Charit, he collected the life-sketches of Galilio,
Newton and other renowned scientists. No one before
Vidyasagar had ventured on this path. ''Barnaparichaya"
·surpassed his former at1iempts, not only in production pattern,
but also in the techniqle of teaching the language. A five or
-six year old child could very easily get at the meaning of
the story of "Bhuban" . absolutely It was an original
-story, perhaps the first of its kind written during the British
period.
During 1849-1850 Madanmohan Tarkalankar, the poet,
was the first to introduce poetry in Bengali children's literature.
He published the three •olumes of the ''Sisusikha".
The period under review saw the establishment of a new
.organisation "Banga Samaj", transcribed in
English as .the Vernacular Literature Committee. With it was
incorporated "Gurhasthya Bangia Pustak Sangraha". The
maiden venture was "Robinson Crusor Bhraman
·Brittanta" which was translated by John Robinson, It rarely
smocked off translation. The book characterized by 14
woodcuts was probably the first illustrated children's book in
Bengali. The secon4 publication being ''Shakespearer Krita
Galpa", translated by Doctor Bayor.
In 1850 was published from Serampore tl;te first part of
·"Balak Bodhetihas" written by Keshab Chandra Karmakar.
lt contained seventeen precepts supplemented by ·seventeen
-stories. The author was free. from the influence of Vidyasagar.
Rajkrishna Bandopadhaya's "Nitibodh" was published in
.1851. lt' was adopted from the "Moral Glass Book" of
Robert and William Chambers and, .·was revised by
Vidyasagar: ·UAkhyan · published ·in 1863 was
haps .Vidya&agar!s last to chjklren's .. tit,erature.
s
It was 'Dot translation 'but collections from a few· Englislt
books to teach certain · moral · principles and intricacy of
Bengali composition.
In 1852 was published Akshoy Kumar Datta's "Charupath'"
Part I. It was onci of the best children's books during that
period. Of course the points were 'gathered from English
books · but the texture was entirely Akhoy Kumar's own.
Rajnarayart BoSe, however, in course of a speech
that Devendranath Tagore and Vidyasagar used to revise his
early manuscriptg extensively. . Fro. the introduction of
"Charupath" we learn that most Of the articles were reprinted
from ''Tatwa · Bodhini Patrika" .and ''Pravakar,"
contained a number of sGientific essays land some were inten-
sely' patriotic which could inspire children. Moreover
Akshoy Kumar was the first to introduce the concept of class
consciousness an<t the role of. ·peasants and labourers in the
modern society which was .not mentioned by any of the earlier
writers. It was something really bold and novel of Akshoy
Dutta to stress at that time that the labourers were the real
producers of all wealth and to incorporate the idea in
Childrens' books. Between 1853-1·856 about half a dozen
children's books were published.
Gouri Sankar Tarkabagis's. "Jnan Prodeep" Part II was
published after''Chanipath" in 1853 and its language was not S<>"
much shackled to Sanskrit. In 1854 was published Tarka
Bagis's ''Niti Ratna", a Bengali poetry, based on Sanskrit.
Tarasankar Tarkaratna's literature was no less contributory
to children's literature. His "Kadambari", a free translatioa
of ·sanskrit "Kadambari'' was a brillant example of elegant
Bengali prose. The book was used as a text book in upper
classes of the Bengali medium schools. Christian School Book
Society published "Bangiya Pathabali" in four parts in 1854.
It was at this time that Madhusudan Mukhopadadhya tran-
slated a few pieces from Hans Anderson. His. "Duck
published between 1857 and 1860 was widely read by aU.
Madbusudan Mukhopadhyay then had well established himself
as ajuvenile writer. The· second edition of the ".Duck
6
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came out in 1859. It was illustrated with The name
ohhe engraver appears to be Ramdban I)as, ·a goldsmith o£
Simla, Calcutta. Christian School Book Society's Bangaiya
Pathabali was publilhed in 1863.
Kalikrishna Bhattacharya's was publishe4
in 1858. The book was revised by fswar Chandra Kaviratna.
It followed the traditions earlier pursued by Keshab Chandra
Kabyaratna and Dwatik Nath Bidyabbushan, starting
a Sanskrit couplet a® then illustrating the same. Bengali
writings by then had, advanced beyond Sanskrit infiuence,s
with pauses based English syntaxes.
. Kalikrishna lacked all *bese qualities.
"Bichar:• by MadJwsudan Mukbopadhaya was published .in
the same year. It deaJtwith the naughtiness of the students
and j\lstice and therel>y taught them discipline. It
that it was not a prescribed text book.
1
As

Madhusudan
became pioneer in publishing an extra book of
general interest.
Ram Narayan Tarkaratna's "Hitakathabali" was published
the next year -along with Kangal Haranath's ''Bijoy Basanta"
tbe first original novel· in Bengali Juvenle litereture. . In its
introduction Haranath stressed that the book was meant for
boys. It became very popular amongst the children and
not less than fourteen editions were printed: Dwarakanath
Bjdyao bbusan, the editor of "Som Prokash'' had written
six or seven books viz. Nitisar 1st, 2nd, and 3rd volume, Rome
Rajyer Itihas, Greece Desher Itish and Upadeshamala 1st and,
2nd. volume. ·
Vernacular Literature Society did not only translate books
and stories, but also complied books first in English and
then translated them into Bengali. The first was-"Advut
Itisa". It is not history in the ordinary sense of the term
but anecdotes of conquerers. There were two other books of
adventure-"Taimurlanger Brittanta" and "Sikandar Saber
Digbijoy". The first was published in 1856 and the second
in 1860. Both of them seem to have been translated by Ram
Naraya!l ·
7
Following Vidyuagar's Jiban Charit which was in great
Clen:tand in the midclle of the 19th century, Mathurariatll
Tarakaratna published in 1859, a biography of a few great
foreigners like James Watt, Howard, Columbus and
with that of Emperor Akbar. In the same year. was
published "Prani Brittanta'' by Satkari Datta. Paswabali was
published 35 year earlier. Paswabali or Prani was not tran-
slation though based on a book ·of Natu_ral History in English.
It had an easy style an4 each piece ha<l woodcut illustrations.
The identity of the.engraver was not known.
After "Prani Brittaata" came out Madhusudan Mukho-
padhya's "Jeeb Rahasaya'' a booklet of 99 pages with
twenty-two articles. It was the first Bengali rapid reader for
School children. Priya Madhab Bose when barely 18, pub-
lished a book entided "Joan Ratnamala" in 1858. In 1861,
Taralc: Brahma Gupta published "Prani Bidya". Though not
of a very higb standard, the attempt was original. Jn the
jntroduction the author hoped to publish its second part
which, however did. not see the light of the day. The book
was perhaps the direct result of Satkari Dutt's .. Prani Tatwa••
and Madhnsudan Mukhopadhya's "Jeeb Rahasya". In the
same year was published the second part of "Jeeb
under the joint authorship of Long and Madhusudan Mukho-
padhya .. Towards the beginning of the 19th century attemptS
were made to teach science to our boys. But hardly any
attempt worth the name was made to popularise physics and
chemistry. In 1884 was published Prasanna Kumar
Mukhopadhya's scientific discourses "Balbodh". In can not
be ascertained now whether it was a text book. Its language
foUowed the language of the then modern scientific bocks. It
is a compendium of seven scientific essays on man, air,
water, the stars and the planets. In course of the next
five years about five or six scientific books were published.
:Ouring the age of Vidyasagar, juvenile books of verse were
published. Earlier writings were not of very high order and
were meantfor schools only.
In 1863 was published "Kabita Kaumudi" ·1st part by
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Harishchandra Mitra. In 1867 and 1375 its second and third
parts were ·published. "Cllarit Maojuri'' by Kaliprasanria
Roy contained several life sketches of British GoverOO.l'
Generals together with a piece on mutiny. Certain portiO:QS
of the book were translations by Kamal Krishna Bhatta"
charya which was acknowledged in the introduction. Perhaps '
.as a rejoinder to this, the great patriot Bhudeb Mukhopadhya
brought out "Charitartbak:". The characters selected were aU
<>f Indian patriots.
' Michael Madhusudan Datta wrote a few pieces of moral
poems for the children. The most popular of these was
4
'Rasal 0 Swarnalatika". 4 long descriptive verses by Dina·
bandhu Mitra were pub1ish.ed in "Banga Darsban" (1879 A.D.).
We. learn from India Office catalogue that Haricharan Dey's
"Kabitamanjuri" was published from Calcutta in 1868. It was
followed by Gopal Chandra Datta's "Kabitamanjnri'' in 1871.
In 1873 was brought out from Pacca Hem Chandra Chatto-
padhya's ''Jnanmanjari"another book <>f verses. In that year was
published from Calcutta Mathuranath Tarkalankar's poetical
collection "Kabitamanjari". They were mostly poems on morals
.and were descriptive in nature. Jadugopal Chottapadhaya's
books ofpoemswas probably published in 1870 or 1871.
In 1876 _was published the "Hitopakhyanmala", 3rd part.
tt was adapted from Gulistan and Bustan, the immortal poems
of Iran. The language of the book was simple, easy and racy
but it was difficult for children. to appreciate the lessons.
During the next four years we come across no further
publications. May be a few books were published but they
were not available. 'Books of th·ose days were mostly on
morals like "Nitimala" ( 18R2). A year earlier Rajkrishna Ray's
"Sisukabita'' was published The book contained didactic
verses on pen, paper, book, inkpot, school, animal and many
other things.
In 1887 Rajani Kanta Gupta published his "Arya Kirti".
The articles were original but a little bit heavy and followed
:Sanskrit diction. The ianguage was even referred p as an
ideal of chaste Bengali.
'9
One year after "Aryakirti": was published in 1888.,
The book was 'printec:t. by Tinkari Chakravarti from
Chandanagore. The book we neither had the number
of pages nor could· it be ascertained who was the author. In.
1886 was published an unique book 'Kabita Kanika' for the
boys. Of the thirty poems of this book 20 belonged to teenagers,,
two to the publisher himself and eight carne from the
immortal pen of Jogindtanath· If we are to believe
the publisher, all the poems were writteb by boys.
At the end of ·the ·19th · ceQtury Bireswar Pande
. acquired fame of beiqg a writer for,.Jhe children. At the
request of the Education Department, · tp cater moral le,ssons-
to school children, Pande wrote his "Acyapath" in 188&. The
Editor of Sanjibani, Krishna Kumar Mitra· brought out
"Sukhpatb'• at about that time. With the advent of Rajani
Kanta Gupta the tide of· writing turned towards original
themes and Krishna Kumar Mitra was no exception.
Swarnakumari Devi's "Galpa Salpo" was published in 1889.
The authoress had in view, the teaching of morality to the
children. The stories were all original and homely. The.
language was. quite racy. The periodicals of the .day were.
mostly in prose. The age of Vidyasagar was the age of
prose and translation. The flood gates .of prose were opened
by Vidyasagar himself. In its wake followed biographical
sketches, scientific essays, historical narratives, short stories
of varieties that enriched the contemporary juvenile literature
and built up a solid foundation for the future stalwarts. This
age also witnessed the birth of some immortal poems.
barring the periodicals all other .attempts were aimed at for·
imparting school· education. It was no easy job to release
juvenile literature from the shackles of text-book syllabus and
and lead it to its own path of variety and . glory. As the
schools had no fixed courses of study there was some liberty
for the writers. Madhusudan Mukhopadhy8i ,was one who
. UDtilised this liberty to his best advantage.
Jogindranath Sarkar's ''Hasi-0-Khela" was published in.
1891. The author wrote in its introduction "Although
10
thfte is no dearth: of'school text-books for our boys and
Jilltdly any prize and home study books are available. Hasi-0-
K.hela was,publishedto meet this demand. If we receive public·.
sympathy we hope to p1,1blish another illustrated home study
book entitled "Chhabi-0-Galpa". "School Book Society" had.
earlier expressed their desire to publish prize books, whK:h,,
however, did never . :materialise. Kalikri'shna Bhattacharya.
brought out '' Jiban Adarsha" :for both home and schools. But
what Jogindranath produced. were literary classics•
meant for home studyl•nd prize purposes. The contents were
quite different from earlierchildren's literature. Both childrenr
and' their guardians. , were grateful to Jogindranath. But
Jbgindranath Sarkar, to the idea of periodicals collec-·
ted variety of poems,,,stories, essays on animals, puzzles,
and letters. Hence we may say that the 19th century juvenile"
journals paved the way for this.
Naba Krishna Bhattacharya, Upendrakishore Ro.y Chow-
dhury, Promoda Charan, Sen, Rajkrishna Roy, Jogendranath.
Bose were a few stalwarts of that age. Juvenile literature of-
this period drew heavily from the_ folk literature of
which by and large was the richest store house. In,
''Hasi-0-Khela" Jogindranath Sarker for the first time wrote
fairy tales. No book was published before this in the.
language. Even the dialogues in stories were written in chaste
Bengali. Upendra Kishore used the colloquial expression in
dialogues. In the month of January, 1891 was published.
Nabakrishna Bhattachary's ''Sisuranjan Ramayana".
· Abanindranath Tagore's "Sakuntala", and Upendra Kishore
Roy Chowdhury's "Chheleder Ramayana" were widely
read till then. Both these works were published betweea
1894-96. About the year 189 5 three or four biographies were·
also published. Sambhu Chandra Vidyaratna, wrote on the
lives of our .oountrymen of repute in two parts. It was his-
sitnplicity ofdiction and brilliant imagery that made Upendra .
Kishore so endearing to the children. Perhaps he presented.
them as best as he could without being affected by his mood,
and likings. The result was delightful ·for children and it
11
gradually became popular among tlmm. Jogindranath Sarker,
Naba Krishna and later Dakshina Ranjan Mitra Mazumder
.also created some immortal classics: It was very di:flicult
cater to· those who had just come in contact with the life
and the world around ·them as those minds soar high
on imagination. Abanindra Nath's "Rajkahini" was meant fGr
the adolescents and· unique in this respect. The style and len•
. guage of Upendra Kishore was different .from the earlier works.
They were a mixture of the standard and the colloquial. But
Abanindranath relied oq the colloquial diction of Calcutta.
·He wrote the whole of "Sakuntala" in colloquial style, thus
the circle left' incomplete by Jogindranath Sarker.
All his writings appeared like 'paintings• in the literary frame ..
and the sketches were superb. In 1896 publisbecl
Abanindrannth's "Khirer Putul" -an original writing, and a
unique creation. We did not come across any earlier book in
which both the characters and the situations were en.tirely
original. Although no real story, historical character or
mythology formed its basis. The infiuence of the 'Ramayana'
could be traced to a large extent. Hanuman in the Ramayana
was of great assistance in delivering Sita and in Khirer Putul
we find a face-burnt monkey delivering Duorani (neglected
queen) from her sufferings. It was written in the .form of a
fairy tale, ending as a comedy with the victory of the sufferer.
Perhaps Jnanada Nandini Debi dramatised her "Satbhati
·Champa•• and "Napit-0-Seyal" (the barbar and the jeckal) and
had them acted by the boys and girls. The dialogues of
"Satbhai Champa" was not so forceful, but that of "Napit-0-
Seyal" (the dramatic version of 1'akdumadum) was how•
ever, very forceful and elegant at the same time. In the fifth
act of the drama Napit-0-Seyal was a scene where the groom
swaps the bride with the jackal which reminds us of the feudal
days when women were looked upon as men's cha.ttels. This
social outlook was the result of the tradition born out of feudal
-set up. Towards the end of the 19th century Rabindranath,
tipendra Kishore and Jnanada Nandini wrote dramas for the
-children, with the sole purpose of delighting them.
12
Several poems of Rabindranath's "Sisbu" appeared during
the last decade of the 19th century. But quite a few of them'
were beyond the cOmprehension of the children for whom they
were mainly composed.
A child bas little sense of distinguishing the probable
from the improbable. He sees little of the outer world and
.likes to move about according to his own taste and imagina- ·
tion. In the process be builds up a world from which
derives pleasure. Petbaps none, before Rabindranath wrote
·poem! from the points of the children. "Sisbu" bad earned an.
immortal place in Bengali juvenile literature.
Jogindranatb Sarkar, published his --Hasi Kbusbi
1
', 1st part
on the 16th September, 1897. His "Rangacbabi" was publi-·
shed a year earlier-both written and illustrated by him for the
. children. "Hasi K.husi'' was the first attempt to introduce the·
Bengali alphabets through the medium of verses. Jogindranatb
took 'Cbbaras' as the medium for introducing the alphabets.
May be the pedagogists could find faults with him, but it
temains a fact that 61 long years have not dimmed their
·P<>putarity in Bengal. After this was Jogindranatb's "Khelar
which was published in 1898. It also contained fairy
;tales. Another great work of Jogindranatb was the collection'
Bengali "Chharas" published in 1899. Ramendra Sundar
Trivedi wrote in its introduction 'Bengali liter.ature lacked such
attempts for the past few years. Jogindranath Sarkar the
publisher of this work devoted himSelf to this task and be of
·aft the Bengalees is the pioneer in this venture',
Although the book is called Cbbara" (rhymes-
·ror the little girls). Most of the Cbbaras refer to little boys and
1
bnly a few to girls. It is difficult to date these chbaras.
11
Books on the lives and habits of animals were published in
··19th century' but they were air school books. At the
1
beginning of the 20th century (t9(}lJ, · Dwijendranatb Bose
Jogindtanatb with, his •iJibjail,u''. Dwijendranatb
'had '. fascile: pen and Sitnple style.-- ,The illustratio.ns were
also of a high order. It described the vertebates and their
bbaracteristics ·· through :local· episbde& ..... :The writer bad a.
li3
•·
'"Scientific bent of mind and he J,tever stooped to -ntytbs:ad
·legends.
From the days of Vidyasagar Bengali laJlguage became
Anglo-phile. Gradually it enriched its . vocabularies from
·several languages. This gave the Bengali language an inde-
pendent character .which influenced children's literature also.
Although_ in the 19th century no. collection of selected
.articles from local journals· were published, yet with the
· beginning of the 20th century HeJil.endraprasad Ghosh published
{1901) "Asharo Galpa" a prime Ill the line. Upendra
Kishore was the first :to introduce children to the pre-historic
.age. · The bo.ok was e£rtitled 1"Sekaler and was
· serialised in ''Mukul" and was, in 1903. All the
pictures were by the author himself. Several stories of "Ashare
.Oalpa" were published in Mukai. Upendra Kishore
wrote in an easy style tuned for; children. His treatment of
. scientific subjects was no exception.
Mo'nomohan Sen · also a place of honour in chil-
-dren's literature, His ''Khokar Daptar" was published in 1907.
· The poems of its first part were all of one syllable. The
·second part contained combined words an,d was published a
'·little later. These poems were .intended to teach spelling. HiS
''Mohonbhog" was published later and it contained a -few'
humurous poems.
The folk tales of Bengal the "Thakur-mar Jhuli" of Dak-
·-tihina Ranjan Mitra Majumder was published in the year 1907.
The book was illustrated by Dakshinaranjan Mitra
Majumdar himself. A few illustrations were multicoloured
-which was never used earlier in children's literature. Dakshi·
na Ranjan wrote several books. Many a!narrater,followed hiQ;J.
•in their attempts to publish fairy tales but nolle could reach
the heights.attained by Jhuli''. .In the introduction
,to "Thakurmar Jhuli" Dakshina Ranjan· used the V{Ord "Sishu
.Sahitya" along with '·'Rupkatha". His "Thakurmar Jhuli" was
better heard as a song than read. That .is . VfhY it could not
.be so popular.
Before Dakshina Ranjan, Bengali folk tales were collectc4
14
by !lev: tat Bebari De. His "Folk tales of Bengjll". was
'highly appreciated ._by the .. Jndians and Englishmen alike. Its
aim was to acquaint . foreiiners with our folk tales. But folk
tales were no juvenile literature as such. . As literature impro-
rved, a part of the folk tale .automatically came within the
purview of childrens literature.. Boys and girls found pleasure
in them but not the adults.
"Thakurmar Jhuli" , did not only open up an inexhaus-
tible source of delight to the readers but became a trend
setter as well. One them "Hind'\lsthani lJpakatha" was
writteQ, by Sita Santa It was, of course no
priginal work-a of the folk tales of Hindusthan.
ln 1808 Sivnath Shastri published his "Upakatha", based on
foreign sources Grim brother's and Anderson's collections.
Although ·the books .bear the word "Anubad", they were not
)iteral .translations. The purpose of the Qc>ok was to impart
moral lessons to the studepts. of "Nitisikkha Vidyalaya". ·
In the same year was publishet\ Manilal · G angopadhyay's
."'Japani Manus", a folk tale adopted /rom some Japanese
stories. Two years after this in 1910, was published Manilars
"''.lhunjhumi'.'. The. book was illustrated, anp was in a
prose form, but it , included a. poePJ,. written by poet
· .Satyendranath Datta. All these stories were of foreign
inspiration.
Hemendra Kumar Roy was the . \yho introduced
.adventure stories in Bengali. His famous book "Jakher
was published in ·1931. · ··
. In 1910 was published "Tun Tunir Boi" by Upendra
J(ishore Roy Chowdhury. Its introduction reads:
"But as the evening falls and children fall asleep without
taking their supper, women of East Bengal tell these
stories to them to keep them awake. The boys can
hardly forget the sweetness of these ·stories even when
they· grow up .......
The stories were popular in West Bengal The stories
.of "Tun Tunir Boi" were told by the simple rustic of Bengal
}S
and that is ·why the picture of. the ·domestic life ·of Bengal
peasantry was so well painted :in them. Upendra Kishore
be only dcck:Cd them in his own language.
Poet Nabakrishna Bhattacharyya published "Tuktuke-
Ramayan'' in 1910. Within 1918 a few more juvenile versions.
of the "Ramayana" came out, but none could challenge the:
first one.
from 1910 to 1918 several original books as well as many
translations were published. But most of them are not
available now. Only a few names can be scanned from the
announcements in the periodicals of those days. Dinendra
Kumar Ray, Barada Kanta Mazumdar, Binodini Debio.
Satyachanin Chakraborty, Kartict Das Gupta- and Jogendra
Nath Gupta are a few of them: Dinendra Roy's "Chheleder
:Majar Galper Boi", Ramkamal Bidyabhusa.tl's "Saral<
Ramayan", Dwijendra Nath Neogi's "Koutuk Kahini",.
Abinash Oasgupta's "Majar Boi" were popular in those
days.
. Baradakanta enriched Bengali juvenile literature in·
periodicals by small biographies, stories and ··by ·editing
·Ramayan and Mababharat. His "Sati Kata Granthabali' ..
depicted the lives of two renowned. women of ancient India.
Like him Satadal Basini Biswas also :wrote the story of"
Behula's life. In Bharat Gourab series were published the
>biographies of·'Rammoban, Vidyasagar, Maharshi Debendra-
nath, Buddha. Ashoka, · Shivaji. Rana Protap, Keshab
Chandra, Bonkim Chandra and many others;
Haraprasanna Dasgupta used to delight boys of those days
with his humourous poems. His "Rangila .. was published in
1?14.
It appears juvenile literature was being enriched during the
decade of the 19th century by various original writings.
But of foreign classics. never cea$ed nor were the
adaptations. Kulada Ranjan Roy · tops the list in this field
with his "Tom Kakar Kutir", "Odessy" and ''Illiad". At
that time was pubHshed · Pryambada Debi's ·adaptation of
Karlokalede's · Pin®Cio · as · ·Panchtilal: Charu Chandra
-r6
/ -'/

wrote "hesoper .· Galpar•. and "Robinson !.
Crusoe". His "Bhater Janmakatha"· describes rice from its
stage of cultivation in form o(, paddy ..to its ultimate consump ... ·.
tion, in rhymes. No one attempted earlier to acquaint our1.
boys with the daily necessities in such a versified form.
In 1915 Nagendranath Gangopadhyay's "Hate Chand
Kapale Surji", Saraj Kumar Bandyopadhay'.s "Aiupora"·
Abanindranath's "Bhutpatrir Desh", Sukhalata Rao's ••Ar.o
Galpa" were published,•
Jagac;iananda Ray .wrote profusely on Physjes, Botany,
study of the birds arN insects and on many other things.
:Put the only book 1.9, see the light of day before 1918 wa& '
"Graha Nakshatra". i;Before this · book no one wrote on
Astronomy for the children. Till 1914 bo attempt was made'
to present Shakespeare to children. In 19'6 a book named
••sudkhor-o-Saodagar" an adaptation of the Merchan&
of Venice was published from.Chittagong. It is to be deeply
regretted that the form in which it reached us gave us no
clue as to who its author WaS.. Thus we find that a·number of
authors wrote on various topics to enrich the stores of kndw•
ledge of our boys and girls. Thet;'e were poets,
artists and jour.t;1alists among them. Some of them . wrote
only for the children.
Jagadananda Roy's "Pokamakar" published :in 1919, was
probably the first •book on · insects. ·His famous. book
"Gachpala"was published in 1921. As in its introduction
no one before him attempted to write on botanical subjects.
was illustrated by Nandalal Bose, Asit Kumar Halder and a few
students of arts of Santiniketan. The book had the typical style
of Jaaadananda. Next he published his Rang Sap".
A year after he published 'Banglar Pakhi'. The three boob
refered to above were attempted to acquaint our boys and
airls with their immediate environments. Among his successors
in the line were Debiprosad Chatterjee ·and Sukumar De
Sarker.
Bengali children's literature has a fairly riCh collection
of tairy tales, fables and B9t11 fairy tales, myths and
17
legends belonged to the. class of folk tales. Among the
. natives Bengali, Hindusthani, Adibasi, Oriya and Santali were
more important. Panchatantra, Hitopodesa and Buddhist
Jatakas had also enriched it. The former two belonged to
the type of fables dealing mainly with a world in which the
animals had been allowed the human qualities of speech,
reason and wisdom. These were neither fairy tales nor legends
but they were folk tales, after all. The adventures of the
princes, giants and goblins, fairies, and magicians, doing
super-human jobs, defeating demons, were worth mentioning.
Witty stories of Gopal Bhar were also found in Bengali litera-
tu.r.e. So they must be at least a century old as Gopal Bhar
had been identified as the court Jester of Krishnachandra Roy,
the feudal lord of Krishnagar. U pendta Kishore Roy Chou-
dhuri who succeeded Dakahina Ranjan Mitra Mazumder, was
a stalwart in writing fairy tales. Satya Cbaran Chakravarty
was another popular story teller of those days. Dagobart, a
translation was very popular in his days. Sibratan Mitra's
"Sanjher Katha" was published in 1919. Prior to this in
1918 came out Satya Charan Chakravorty's "Thakurmar
Jhola... Next come out in 1920 his "Thakurda's Jhola"
and after that "Thandidir Galpa". Thakurdar Jhola contained
seven big fairy tales. Chakravorty nowhere disclosed the
source of his inspiration.
Sibratan Mitra followed a different line. He wrote in his
first book Sanjher Katha --"Old village housewives of those
days or old granddadas were never ending sources of these
fairy tales .. We collected these fairy tales so long current
in these areas in three volumes-Sanjher Katha, Nisir Katha
and Usar Katha. None of these fairy tales had been published
before". Sibratan Mitra was a resident of Suri, Birbhum.
He probably published his own books-Sanjber Katha,
Nisir Kantha (1933) and Kalpa Katha. Sanjher Katha and
Nisir Katha contained seven fairy tales each. They were
profusely illustrated.
Kartick Chandra Das Gupta was another successful fairy
tale writer well. known among the children. He p11;blished
18

seven volumes of fairy tales from 1923 to 1941. Most of these
fairy tales were collected from East Bengal. "Tultul" and "Sat
Rajyer Galpa" came out in 1923 and 1928 respectively. He
was a poet too. His "Phuljlturi" and "Tai were published
in 1913 and 1915 respectively.
In 1924 a new horizon was opened in the world of Juvenile
literature with the publication of "Sisu Bharati". This was
an encyclopaedia of general knowledge edited by Jogendranath ·
Gupta. It contained 11 volumes, of which 10 were published ·
during the life time of the editor and the last volume was a
posthumous one. He had to his credit about one hundred
works mostly for the children.
With the advent of Swadeshi movement lives of great men,
national heroes and characters from history received their due '
importance. Historian Brojendranath Banerjee, wrote a few
1
historical books for the children. "Raja Badsah" published
in 1921 was his first book. In 1922 came out ''Ranadanka"
and in 1929 was published "Sivaji Maharaj".
In 1928 was published "Baporoah"by Akhil Neogy whose·
pen name is "Swapaoburo". It described the life of a village
boy, Two years after that in 1930 was published Girindra
Sekbar Bose's "Lal Kalo". It dealt romantically with the
Uvea of Red and Black ants inhabiting with human qualities.
The impact of Civil Disobedience Movement fell directly
oa tbe children's literature. Bimal Sen headed a new genera
Ia jllvtaUelitorature with his "Maru Yatri", "Phuljhuri'' and
abrldpd translation ()f Gorky's mother as "Ma". Of these, .
tlat "PbuJ,Jburi" ooatainod short stories about the atrocities
of lrlelab Oftlotrl In India and was naturally proscribed.
Wleb bla powerful pen be tried to infuse a new desparate
loaalaa for Jlberatloa amonst our youth. His was the only ·
name of those days who dealt directly with patriotic and
seditlous themes.
In the second decade of the twentieth century humourous .
poems appeared in Bengali Juvenile Literature. Sukumar Roy·
was tlle leading light among them all. No one has as yet
surpassed him. Even the stores of ·drama-lets smacks of
19
humour: But it ·was 16ft f0r Sibram · Chakraborty and
Roy to infusejuvemle literature with the spirit of·
innocent humour.. Both of them were contemporaries and
bad their maiden stories published in 1936. So fat as we know
Sibram's ''Sur-walla Babu" was the predecessor of Rabindra
Lal Roy's ''Nutan Kichu". Although both of them were
cteative artists, their medium was different. Sibram's main ·
resource was "Panning". He did not spare even himself in
punning. In 1937 was his most famous book "Bad •
Theke Paliye". Sribram wrote a few· dramas and books of
poems as well. But he excelled in short stories with an ordinary
motif and a simple plot. His only object was to create ·
bhmourous situation. He wielded a powerful pen but he never
it to lash at the unhealthy prejudices ingrained in the ·
minds of our
Rabindra Roy created humour out of the newness and ·
incongruities of plot. and situations. His Nutan Kichu, Halka
Khata, Bolito Ha8bo Na, Birbahur Baniadi Chaal were •
tains of hw;nour, so to say. Roy had not written much, but
be bad already es.rned a permanent position by virtue of those ·
few writings. He was one with Sibram Chakravorty in enjoying.
at the cost of aunts and uncles. Lila Majumdar also writes
vein for the children.
Sukumar De Sarkar introduced a completely new line i1f
writing on animal .life. In 1938 was published his "Dui
K.huni" a book about two dogs. Main theme of his books were
the wild lives .of beasts and birds. He has, however, attributed.·
1\Uman qualities to them. These are neither fables nor
scielitific dissertations but mere stories of a new. type. Hardly ·
aDY other.writcrr bad ventured on this theme ever before.
By the :middle of 1942 came out Nihar Ranjar Gupta's
"Sankar" in two volumes and Dhirendra Lal Dbar's "Galpo
Haleo Satya". Dhar collected these episodes from great men's
childhood. He introduced a new technique in Bengali litera-
ture. A year later out Raj at Sen's ''Makarsa". It is
wrjtten about the life lD a child lifters' colony and the Writing
bas a touch of mystery about it.
20
.. Lullaby" is a common children everywhere. That
this can be adapted to the patriotic themes and used to inspire
the youths were shown by Sukanto Bhattacharyya. Sukanta
breathed his last in 1947 whep. he was only twenty one. His
.. Mithekara" and "Abhijan" were published in 1951 and 1953
respectively. Abhijan is a drama in the form of poems. It
has only one female character and it is a tragedy-and a grim
tragedy at that. It is a rare addition to Bengali children's
literature.
Bengali juvenile literature has no dearth of scientific
subjects. Publication i,tf Rabindranath's "Biswa Parichay' in
1937 created a stir in the literary world of Bengal. "Janbar
Katha" edited by Debi J?rosad Chatterjee was an encyclopoedia
of nature. Kshitindra Narayan Bhattac)iju'ya is another
,writer who did much to popularise science among the childre1;1
in Bengal. In 1927 was published his "Bijnao Buro".
Not many war stories have so far appeared in Bengali.
But no one has been able to surpass Dhirendra Lal Dhar in
that. He had written more than eight books on war stories
from 1938 to 1960. His writings are directed to arouse patrio:.
tism in children and hatred for cruelty in war. It should be
noted, however, that almost all his stories are imaginary,
His stories covered Abyssinian war, Sino-Japanese war and
Russo-German war. ,
Production of Bengali books has improved in all its aspects
during the recent years. Modern books compare favourably
with their western counterparts. They are profusely illustra-
ted, and the illustrations are of a very high
21
TWO
In Bengal/a considerable number of periodicals of various
types for juvenile readers, partioularly school students, had
been published since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Most of them first appeared in Calcutta while a few in some
suburbs or mufussil towns. Some in form of monthlies, while
a few were weeklies and fewer were fortnightlies. There was
a solitary instance of the publication of a daily. But so far
as our knowledge goes, almost all of them succumbed
immaturely. Of all the existing juvenile periodicals of Bengal,
'Mauchak' -is the oldest.
In l8l8 Serampore Baptist Mission published a monthly
magazine, named •Digdarsan', under the editorship of John
Clerk Marshman. It was intended only for young. Calcutta
School Book Society too recognished its educative value and
purchased many copies for distribution among the students.
And we like to consider this magazine as the first Bengali
juvenile periodical. We could not find any illustration in the
·magazine. It contained articles on Geography, Agriculture,
Zoology. Physics, accounts of geographical explorations and
historical events. The language of Digdarsnan was more or
less easy and simple, although Bengali prose style was still
then in its infancy. Its chief object was to impart l ~ s s o n s to
the students on Science and History.
After four years, in February 1822 Calcutta School Book
Society published a monthly named "Paswavali" for juvenile
readers. The Society was founded on the 4th July, 1817.
Its immense contribution to spread education in Bengal is
beyond doubt. The growth of Bengali juvenile literature of
the nineteenth century was to a great extent due to its efforts.
In each issue of 'Paswavali' an account of an animal was
published with a picture of that animal on the first page.
The pictures were printed from a wood-cut block. The Society
also published a collection of all the issues of Paswavali as a
priZe-book for the students. It was the convention of the
Society to compose the article first in English and then
22
translate them into Bengali. And that is the reason for which
we find in the mqgazine the English original in one page and,
its translation in the next. In the first issue of the second
phase of Paswavali we find an account of a Dog. Ram Chan ..
dra Mitra edited and published sixteen issues of Paswavali
both in Bengali and English. Paswavali should be recognised
as the second children's magazine in Bengali. Of course, it
was not like a magazine as there used to be only one article
in each issue, Its obje<!t was to propagate scientific kn0W·
ledge abput animal life.
On the 31st Deceniber. 1831 Krishnadhan Mitra published
another morithly for juvenile readers, named "Jnanoday".
One could find in its pages historical and geographical tales
and accounts, parables and instructions on morality. Of
course the lifetime of this magazine ended after the intermit•
tent publication of only twenty issues. In Paswavali we find
the use of western punctuation marks like comas, semi-colons,
full stops etc. But most of the compositions in Jnanoday
were original and so only full stop (.) was used generally at
the end of a paragraph and 'iti' or 'end' at the conclusion of
an article in observance of Sanskrit convention.
In 1844, the Calcutta School Book Society published
another science magazine for children, named, 'Pakshir
Brittanta' under the editorship of Ram Chandra Mitra. Its
span of life was very short. Then appeared on the 26th April,
1853, "Vidyadarpana" a monthly magazine for children,
published and edited by Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendranath
Chattopadhyay respectively. We find the following review in
the 'Sambad Prabhakar·.
A new monthly magazine under the title of "Vidyadarpan"
had been published by Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendranath
Chattopadhyay. A reading of it had brought pleasures to
us. The manazine consisted of sixteen pages and the price
was two annas only. Both Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendra-
babu are not more then fifteen. but readers were surprised,
going through their writings at such a tender age".
After this the Christian Vernacular Education Society
23
'
I ,
I I
.,
,Ublish-ed another monthly magazine for· children, named
'Satyapradip', in January,1860. This was published regularlyr
for consecutive five years and it proved its popularity. Another
monthly magazine, named 'Abodh-Bandhu', appeared under
tbe editorship of 1ogendranath Ghosh in 1866. Next year.
he handed over the proprietary rights and editorship to poet
BibarilalChakraborti. Abodh-bandhu first appeared in .186l
and then it ran for a very short period. But neither proso
no.r poems nor the materials printe4 in this magazine were
suitable for juvenile readers. Majot part of Biharilal's
'Nisarga-sandarsan' and a portion of his "'Surabala' were printed
in Abodh-bandhu. Perhaps most of the articles published
in this magazine were Beharilal's own writings. We havo
found no pictorial illustration excepting .one printed in issue of
second yearfrom a wood cut block. Biharilal must be regar-
ded as the pioneer in introducing book-reviews in a children's
periodical like Abodh-bandhu as a regular feature.
In July, 1869, 'Jyotiringan', another juvenile ma_gazine,
was published. The magazine contained monocoloured pic·
tures drawn by an English artist and printed from a wood-
cut block made after English model. The prime obje::t of
the magazine was.to facilitate combination of moral teaching
·and pleasure for ladies, boys and gids.
· After nine years, in 1878, Bharat Barshiya Brahma Samaj
published an illustrated fortnightly for juvenile readers. The
.name of the magazine was 'Balak-Bandhu'. The editor of
Balak Bandhu was Brahmananda Kesab Chandra Sen, a great
teligious and social reformer of. India. ·Balak-Bandhu was
the first Bengali fortnightly for juvenile readers.· Its object
was to provide education with pleasure. In almost every issue
. a few verses composed by boys and girls were published.
Even the translation of some poems by young boys were
published. With its twentieth issue · the convention of
publishing national and international news in the first page
. was introduced. The fortnightly did not live long and nor
regular either. .On 15th 1881 'Balak Band.bu'
reappeared as a.mpnthly only to disappear soon. In 1886, it
24
became a fortnightly, as·it was origi11ally and met. its end soon.
Then it 1891• it again appeared as a monthly. It contained
scientific articles, stories, parables. poems and verses, riddles,
grammar and· arithmetical treatises, and method of correct
Bengali composition. The language use.d in Balak Bandhu
was as matured as that of the twentieth century. It was simple,
lucid and elegant. We find in every issue of Balak Bandhu a
few monocoloured pictorial illustrations, the artists remained
.anonymous. As a matter of fact, Balak Bandhu ushered in . a
new era in the history of Bengali children's periodicals.
In 1880, another juvenile monthly magazine was published
under the title of 'Bala!k-Hitaishi', which was edited by Janaki
Prasad De. The first Bengati weekly magazine for juvenil'
.readers was published in November, 1881. Its name was
"Aryakahini'.
Then appeared on 1st January, 1884, "Sakha" the famous
monthly magazine for children. For the first three years from
1883 to I 885 it editor was Pramada Charan Sen, who was also
its founder. This poor man made enormous sacrifices and
suffered a good deo.l of hardship for the sake of this periodi-
:cal. Unfortunately, on 21st June, 1885, he breathed his last.
prematurely. Then, from July, 1886, Pandit Sibnath Sastri
took up the editoaship, which shouldered till the end of
1886. Then for the next one year (1887) it was edited by
Annadacharam Sen, who was succeeded by Nabakrishna
Bhattacharya, Due to his endeavours Sakha could survive for
:another three years, i.e. upto 1890. In 1894, Bhubanmohan
Roy published another magazine named 'Sathi', and to keep
the memory of Sakba going he renamed it as 'Sakha 0 Sathi'.
'Sakha was so tremendously popular among the children
·Of Bengal that even to day the surviving readers often
recollect the sweet memory of the most favourite journal of
their childhood days.
Upendra Kisore Roy Chowdhury, an immortal name in
the history of juvenile literature, was one of the
regular contributors to Sakha. 'Sakha' ·was enriched with
scientific and historical ·essays and the stories were like its
2S
I !
predecessors'. Though it mainly followed the ways of Balak
Bandhu, it has some original feature. One of them was the
publication of short biographies of great men of foreign lands
and the picture, we find in the pages of Sakha, were very
distinct and admirable, though they · were printed front
wood-cut blocks.
The aim of the magazine, as declared by the editor in its
first issue, was the development of character of our children
and spread of knowledge among them through the stories and
articles. The editor himself composed an excellent moral.
'Bhimer Kapal' which was published serially from the first
year. 'Sakha' was undoubtedly much more advanced in
printing, illustration and composition than its predecessors.
In 1883, monthly magazine, 'Balika' was published from
Dacca, under the editorship of Akshoy Kumar Gupta. In the
same year (1883) another monthly named 'Suniti' was published
by Bhudhar Chottapadhaya. Its aim was to introduce Aryan
culture to our children and youth and to instil Arayan spirit
in their heerts.
We do not know how far it could achieve its noble aim
but it disappeared after it was one year old. The same year
saw the publication of 'Balyabandhu' which was edited by
Rev. J. E. Pen, and the object of which was to propagate
Christianity among the children.
The appearance of 'Balak' an excellent monthly
in 1885, under the editorship of Jandanandini Devi, wife of
Satyendranath Tagore, is a memorable incident in the history
of Bengali periodicals. In the first issue of Balak we find
Rabindranath's famous poem, "Bristi pare tapur tupur nadey
elo ban". In the page of 'Balak' we also find Rabindranatb
Tagore's famous novel 'Rajarshi' and most of his short
humourous plays, now included in his 'Hasyakautuk'. Many
of its contributors were members of the Tagore family. Balak
also followed the tradition of publishing scientific and histori-
cal essays, travels, stories, poems, plays, synopsis of news and
articles by children ·themselves. After a year Balak merged
with "Bharati", a monthly for adults.
26
We have come to k_now the publication of a monthly,.
named 'Siksha', in 1888, by Students Association of Banagrm •.
Brajendranath Bandopadhyay mentioned the name of 'Sisu-
bandhab' a monthly magazine, published in 1890 and edited
by 0. M. Roose.
The seed sowed by 'Digdarsan' in 1881 in the field of
Bengali juvenile literature had sprouted forth and grown into
a big plant full of twigs and boughs, flowers and foliages in
seventy-seven years. The growth was manifested in 'Mukul'·
published in 1895, edited by Sibnath Sastri. All the great
talents like Rabindra:iiath, Jagadish Chandra, Ramendrasundar,.
Acharya Jogesh Chandra, Ramananda Chattapadhyay, Bipin
Chandra Pal, Jogindranath Sarkar, Girindra Mohini Dasi,_
Nabakrishna Bhattacharya and Hemendra Prasad Ghosh, who
enhanced the wealth and majesty of the treasure of Bengali
literature with valuable gems were the regular contributors
of Mukul. Stories and poems, scientific and geographical
essays, of travels and animal studies, biographies •..
riddles were published regularly in Mukul. The editor himself
replied to. readers' ·· querries. Children contributed to Mukul
and in the second issue of the second year we find a narrative
poem. 'Nadi' by Sukumar Roy, a child of 8. In course of
time, this very child proved himself to be a genius and left
behind him an immortal fame for his unique creation of
dramas, poems and stories for children.
In 1896, a monthly, 'Saisab Sakha' was published, the
editor was Gurupra,sanna Dasgupta. In 1898, an educational
monthly magazine was published. The name was
and it was edited by Rajeswar Gupta. In the second page of
the first issue, the editor declared that its mission was to
educate our children. Besides a few stories and poems, all its
articles were dry and boring. We think it was more useful to
the guardians and teachers than to children.
In 1898, another magazine, named 'Kusum' was _published
under the initiative of a few students. In the concluding year
of · the nineteenth century, Basantakumar Basu published a
·monthly magazine, named 'Prakriti'. One of the four aims of-
27
r
,,
,,,
this periodical, as stated by the editor, was to i!Dpart and
improve the knowledge of the students in their own language.
It was doubtful whether they could live up to their objectivef
as it was under the supervision of school or college 'Students;
The editor expressed his desire of having the school student$
as both subscribers and · contributors. But from the compo-
·sition and subject matters of the articles appeared that the
magazine was not suitable for the juvenile readers. We find
·in Prakriti two essays, one short story and a poem by Dakshina
Ranjan Mitramajumdar. But these were much too inferior to
his classic creations like 'Thakurmat Jhuli'.
Some· compositions of Surendranath ·nas Gupta and
Kumudranjan Mallick also wete published in Pakriti. Of
course, those were not suitable for the school students •. Botb.
in contents and composition Prakriti, could not show any
·variety or novelty and it simply followed the steps of the other
contemporaries. The editor of Prakriti tried to impart some
-ethical lessons through some valuable English quotations.
The span of Prakriti's life was not more than four years.
A comparison between the childrens' periodicals of the
past century and those of the present, reveals bold eforts•and
·experiments of the nineteenth century. They served as beacon
lights to the of this century. Of course, there baa
been a tremendous progress in. printing, blocks and papers and
many artists have earned fame just by illustrating and decora-
ting the childrens' magazines.
At the begining of the twenteeth century, perhaps
·was no juvenile periodicals. In 1907, 'Nababidhan Brahmo
Samaj published an illustrated monthly, named 'Prakriti'.
Their articles could not attain very high literary standard, but
they were quite appropriate for young boys and girls. In
Prakriti some of the scientific essays of Acharaya Jogeschandra
were published. A year after the publication of 'Prakriti' an
,article of Jogeshchandra, named "Chini" (Sugar) was pub-
lished. It explained in the form of a story, )low sugar can be
produced from the mixture of coal and water. Among tbe
.new features in Prakriti, 'Atnader Oeser Katba' and. 'Swasthya

_,.Raksha' were noteworthy. In the first, one would find the,
Geographical Bengal and India as a whole, and,
in the second the .tules of Hygiene were pUblished regularly.
Another feature was to compose story from a given picture.
'Prakriti' survived for more than eight years.
In 1910 another illustrated juvenile monthly 'Toshini' was
published from Dacca under the editorship of Anukul Sastri.
The animal life and the Bengali translation of Rabinson
Crusoe published in Toshini were very pleasing to children .•
ln the fifth year a few issues of 'Toshini' contained some poems.·
composed by boys and girls. Of course, on the whole the
literAry standard of the poems published 'Tosbini' were not
very high. In 'Toshini' we find novels. stories, essays, poems
and one or two plays. · '
In 1912 an illustrated juvenile monthly magazine, named.
•sisu' was published in Calcutta, under the supervision of
Baradakanta Majumdar.
Till1912 childrens' periodicals were founded and run either
by some individuals or by some religious institutions. From.
1912 business establishments started taking interest. It started
with the Sandesh. Editor of the Sandesh, Upendra Kishore·
Roy Chowdhury was the proprietor of Messrs. U. Ray &
the famous blockmaker. History of the periodical were
dlosely associated with the history· of the firm. After the-,
stoppage of the Sandesh, another publishing concern started a
journal edited by· the proprietor himself.
"Mouchak" the wonder among the children journals
started in April 1920, and is still continuing. All the well-
known authors have enriched it with their contributions. In·
the very first year it was blessed with the co-operation of
Abanindranath Tagore. His Buro Angla was . published from
first issue.
. ,•{n the year 1921 "Amar Desh" under the editorship of Sisir-
Kumar Mitra, and "Anjali" under the editorship of Phanindra
Nath Paul and Dhirendranath Mukhopadbyaya were published.
In 1923 came into being another juvenile journal of distioc- ·
tion 'Khokakhuki'. Nisikanta sen was its editor. He had
19
I
!
i
I
'I
II)
i I
I ,
!
great knack in editing juvenile journals. It soon achived
-quite good circulation. In the same year was published .
"Phuler Renu". It is not known how long it lived and who
was its editor, In 1927 was published the :'Yadughar" under
the joint editorship of Premankur Atarthi and Girija K. Bose,
but it did not last long. The same year saw the publication
.of the "Pattari" under the editorship of Biren Roy. Next
year Mohini Mohan Mukhopadhyay joined as editor. In
that very year was published another monthly the "Benu"
edited by Bhupendra Kishore Rakshit Roy. But tbe Benu
could not play long for its audience. In 192-J, appeared from
Dacca now in Bangia Desh, another juvenile monthly
"Rajbhog". StJdhangeu Sekher Gupta and Satyendra Sankar
Das Gupta were its joint editors. The "Rajbhog" also enjoyed
.a very short life. In 1927 appeared "Ramdhanu". The
journal was founded by Bisweswar Bhattacharya, who·
offered the editorship to his son Manoranjan Bhattacharya,
:Since his untimely demise his youngest brother Kshitindra
Narayan Bhattacherjee is editing the journal very ably.
In 1928 ''Chitra" was published under the joint editorship
.of Mohanlal Gangopadhyay and Sati Kanta Guha. In·
1929 was published the Maspayala under joint editorship of
Kshitish Ch. Bhattacharya and Akhil Neogy. It was the,
.,cheapest juvenile journal of those days. For its get-up and.
richness of articles it soon earned popularity ; but
to paucity of funds it could not survive for long. It was,
however, republished a few years later, but it met the same ·
fate after a .. months of its re-appearance. From Rangpur
in North Bengal was published 'Arun' .in 1927. It was edited
by Sitesl:l Chandra Khan. The Calcutta Y.M.C.A. published
·"(;hat,ra .Sakha" under the editorship of C.S. Pattarson a
few months before the "Maspayala" was published. But the
pape,r pould not last long, nor could it earn any popularity.
In 1930 we come to know of a periodical-"Naba Aloke",
furthar details are available about it. In that year was
published the "Saji" under the editorship of Lalit Moban
;Mqkherjee. That , year Priya . Nath Das brought
3Q:
out the "Ankur". Tl\en in 1934 was published the ''Mohan
Benu" under the editorship of the Sri Rabindranath Sen,
and ''Dhruba" with Birendranath Ghosh as its editor. In 'this
year the journal Ragmasal was published which lasted for
twelve years. During that time five editors looked after its
publication. The first editor was Premendra Mitra, followed
by Hemendra Kumar Roy and Satikanta Guha, next came
joint editors Kamakshi Prosad Chatterjee and Debiprosad
Chatterjee. Pravat Kiron Basu, known as Kakababu edited
the journal "Jalchabi". Probhat Kiron Basu was a poet and
story teller of repute. One year after that Provat Kiron Basu
brought out another journal the "Bhaibon". In year 19 38
•Pathsala' under editorship of Harendra Nath Sen, "Alo" under
joint editorship of Ramaprasad Mitra and Kumudranjan Das,
"Sisu Saogat" under editorship of Md. Nasiruddin, "Kachi
Katha" under editorship of Nihar Ranjan Sinha and Anil
Kumar Chakraborty from Krishnagar were published. In 1938
"Chalakhata•• was published under the joint editorship of
Bani Debi and Minati Ghosh. Then in 1940 Rabiranjan
Mitra Majumdar edited and published the 'Rupkatha' and
Bijan Kumar Ganguly published and edited the 'Sikha'. In
1941 was brought out the 'Kishore Bangia' under the editor-
tbip of Arup, the pen name of Swami Premaghananda. It
was a periodical of distinctive character.
'' Adarsha" was the first juvenile fortnightly in Bengali.
It was published in 1931. Its editor was Harishikesh Bhowmik.
But it was very shortlived. came out in 1346 "Kishore
All&" under the editorship of Keshab Chakraborty. Though
tbortlived, it created a stir in the juvenile world for some-
time. In 1951 was published the "Kishorbarta" but it could
not live long.
Junenile weeklies are limited to a few names. Even then
it is not yet certain which one came out first. In 1939 under
the joint editorship of Kshitish Bhattacharya and Bisu
Mukherjee was published "Rabibar". So far our knowledge
aoes this was the first of its kind in Bengali. It was rather
short lived and was irregular in appearance. After nine years
'31
of the abdve attempt was published .. Chotoder Mahal'', undw
the editorship of K.hagendranath Mitra. It ceased publication
after a few weeks and two years later it reappeared under the
same editorship. In the year 1950 under the same editorshiP'
of Khagendra Nath Mitra was published 'Natun Manus'. It
could not last long either.
In 1954 "Danpiteder Asar" was published. Then in 195&
was published 'Sri Charanesu'. In 1958 was· published the,_
'Fulki' under the editorship of Profulla Roy. It did not live
long. In the same year was published from Howrah
Agrani with Dilip Kumar Bag as its editor.
In 1948, an event happened which was as significati'C: as it
was revolutionary. The significant event was the publication
of "Kishore" a newspaper for the children, under the:
editorship of Khagendra Nath ·Mitra on the 4th of April
Unfortunately it could not live for more than eight
The Kishore was quite distinctive in catering the news, language,
spelling and contents. Set'.ltences were short but colloquial,_
and easily understandable. The news covered were those-
that the boys and girls should know and club-news occupied
a good deal of space. Its reporters were all young boys and
they collected news from all ovet Calcutta, Usual news were
purchased from the Reuters and other news offices. It haG>
its cinema corner, our village, sports, children of the
·tands, news of clubs and associations besides other topics.
The most popular one was our village which was written by
village school boys. Photos, sketches, cartoons, alpano
appeared regularly in Kishore, Editorials were topical. It
enjoyed the glory of being the fi.rst and only daily news paper-
for boys and girls published in India.
32
members of Academy in publishing this book. 1 am also thank-
ful to Sbri Anil Chandra Chakrabarty for proof reading which
helped to publish the book in short time. To conclude, I must
express my gratitude for the troubles taken by Mr. Gote
Klingberg of the Gothenburg University, Sweden and President
of the ''International Society for Children's Litera-·
ture" for encouraging me in my work with his Foreword.
Provasb Ronjan Dey,
Jogindra Nath Sarker Aabanindra Nath
Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury Kulada Ranjan Roy
lllCJll b1
ful to
helped
ex pres
Kling!
of the
ture"
J'ramada RaJ jan R0y
Sunirmal Bose
Sukha Lata Rao
Sukumar Roy
.lt'artick Das Gupta
Daksbina Ranjan Mitra Majumder
Mohan La! Gangopadhya
Mani Lal Gangopadbya
memh
ful to
helped
ex pres
Klingl
of the
ture"
Sourindra Nath Mukherjee
Sukumar Dey Sarker
Khagendra Nath Mitra
Rabindra Lal Ray
ONE
The dawn of the 19th century saw the beginning of
prose. It was during this period the children's literature·; of
Bengal was also born. The missionaries of Serampore laid
its foundation by bringing out the first chiidren's journal
" Digdarshan". But the first leap towards _consolidation
of children's literature was the establishment of the School
Book Society to prepare and publish cheap books useful for
schools. The members of the Society were-Radhakanta Deb,
Ram Kamal Sen, Maulvi Hyder Ali, Maulvi Mohammed
Rashid and Mritunjoy Tarkalankar. The British paramount
power assisted it to meet the ever increasing demand for text
books in the schools, set up to produce clerks. The children's
literature in Bengal, thus had its roots in the text books and
in the domain of education. The accent was on making these
text books as interesting and easy reading as possible;· In
their seventh report the Society congratulated .itself that their
efforts for the improvement of Bengali language had been
crowned with success. The of · books published by
them were Radhakanta Deb, Tarini Charan Mitra. Ramkamal
Sen, Tarachand Datta, and Captain Stuart. Stuart's book
was "Itihas Katha", which was subsequently renamed as
·•Vpadesh Katha'. Besides a short history of England, it
contained a few advices with a dictionary as an appendix.
Rujn Rammohan Roy and Clark Marshman, were colla-
hornlorN of Digdarshan. Raja Rammohan wrote on scientific
topic!! und his eiTorts were original.
" Nitikatha" was published in 1818 and it was -divided into
three parts. After Nitikatha, Tarachand Datta's ''Manoran-
jnnctihas" was published in 1819. It was not a text book but
rneroly a collection of eighteen stories and essays. • The book
• wus first published as one volume. . Later owing to its popu-
, Jarity u second volume

...ITER.!• ... JadaJJ. II 4/l. CALCUTTA-700 061 '. PROVASH RONJANDEY ACADEMY FOR DOCUMENTATION & RESEARCH ON CHILDREN'S LITERATURE.. . ..GJaoah ..~.~n'''''''''7''' . CHI·~LDREN'S l.... • ... . .ATURE OF BENGAl. .

'irI I .al Gopal Chatterjee Publication Division Academy for Documentation & Research on Children's Literature.Children's Literature of Bonaal First Edition : 1978 Pr/ 1009 . .! .. ~'I ~~ ..t34D37 Price : ladia : Rs. \ r. I I . ' \'. f CONTENTS Foreword Preface One : Children's Books Two :Children's Periodicals v VII I 22 s·oo I ForeJp : us ' 'lf Publisher: Shri Nirm. Calcutta I ! .I l J~l. !' . Bepin Behari Ganguly Street Calcutta-12 Jl r' ·.l Printer: Rajdhani Printing 117/1.

but the difficulties are very great so long as all national literatures are not sufficiently surveyed. the tales of the Dane Hans Christian Andersen. depicting .have Jong.children's literature in the thirteen other regional languages of India. the Englishman Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Also from this viewpoint the book and its planned sequels. Some day it will be possible to write the history of world literature for children. and Pinocchio by the Italian Lorenini (Collodi). We find the old Greek names of AEsop and Homer. the Brothers Grimm.countries. but this has not necessarily to he seen as a negative · trait. The histol'>y of the Bengali literature. This was already the case in the 17th and the 18th centuries. The importance for Bengali children's literature of the British presence in India is obvious. Of course it may seem a bit 'J' . is thus welcome. are to be received with satisfaction. to mention European examples known in our part of the world.conditions are found in Bengal too. It is very important that all national children's literatures of the world are treated in the .same way. surveys -ofthis type. surveys'the cfiiltiren's 'literatures of India.been in . From Provash Ronjan Dey's book it is seen that similar . Studying the world literature for children it is striking to what extent this literature is a common property of many . ln my own country Sweden-half of the books published for children are translated from other languages than Swedish. from the beginning of the 19th century up to the middle of the 20th . :Bar languages such as English. There are some who have tried to do this already. presented here. i FOREWORD In 'his book "Children'.s 'Literature of Bengal" Provash Ronjan'Dey. the German fairy tale collectors. German and French.existence.~i r 'i .

libraries · and organisations working for children's literature. there may be errors and ommissions and if detected that will be rectified in the next edition. Allahabad.. On the other hand it reminds me that the Europeans and Americans have been brought up with the stories of old Greek and Roman heroes. Bhubaneswar.. one of the regional languages of India in a nutshell. · Jammu & Kashmir. As a part of the programme for the ''International year of .and information centre and supplies informations and materials to researchers. Though every possible efforts have been taken. President of the Academy and other ') . Children's literature to a certain extent is and ought to be an international literature. International Research Society for Children's Literature. and for this reason the history of· Bengali children's literature is of interest also outside India. Sweden President. Varanashi and from many other places of India participated in the seminar.child-1979" the Academy is planning to publish short history of Children's Literature in 14 volumes containing history of 14 regional languages of India for national distribution. This publication is nothing but a reference seeking to provide 'basic informations. Bareilly. Twenty six writers and editors from Amritsar. However I am trying to give short idea on Children's Literature in Bengali. J "\I \ !'''' •literature within a limited space as it is a history of two ·Century which has a long and glorious background which was started at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Barasat. Kanpur. 1978. The Academy organised National Seminar on Children•s Literature which was held in ·Calcutta from 17th to J9th March. Kerala. publishers.co~lcal to flnd atodea of European sovereigns as Peter the Great of Russia and Philip the Second of Spain instead or· at'ories from the rich treasures of Bengali history and folk literature. Gote Klingberg· PREFACE The Academy for "Documentation and Research on Child1:'en's Literature" was established by some writers and research workers in the year 1976 and now serves as a documentation . Jalpaiguri. It does not claim to be comprehensive or exhaustive. I am grateful for the co-operation received from Shri Dhirendra Lal Dhar. It is not possible to give a detailed account of the children's University of Gothenburg. "Children's Literature of Bengal" is the first publication of cthe series. 'Pune.

'IQternatioaal Resew.publiab tbe:book in short t1me.for Children's.. Sweden and President of the '. '. Joaladra Nath Sarker Aabanindra Nath T~ore .liaabera of the G~thenburg University. ~~ Sb~i Anil Cb~dra Chakra~. ' apwa· my aratit.J. Lite~a­ ture" for en~ouraging me iri my ~ork with his.r-~~ f~..ch. ProJaah :a. membtn of Academy in publiahinJ this book.de for the troubles taken by Mr.· . I am also tha$ful. Gote K.··· Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury Kulada Ranjan Roy .ao Dey·. '. Foreword.Proof r~ading ~b~ F · ·. Society . :·. To con~lude. .hfJJ*d to.). 1-must !.

l'ramada RaJ jan R0y Sukha Lata Rao ltlrtfek Das Gupta Dakshina Ranjan Mitra Majumder Sunirmal Bose Sukumar Roy Mohan Lal Gangopadhya Mani Lal Gangopadhya "' .I.lpc uprc ~.mem fu1 tc hf. oftb tur~· '. lQiD.

'. Ramkamal Sen.''1 I • ..itself that ·their eft'orts for the improvement of Bengali Janpage had been crowned with success. Jarlty I tecond volume was publi~hed. It was not a text book but merely a collection of eighteen stories and essays. of ltnaal was also born. thus had its roots in the text books and ·in the domain of education._Radhakanla De~ Ram Kamal Sen. set up to produce cJerks. Raja Rammohan Roy and Clark Marsliman.Cbaran Mitra .ting as possible...men ful t he1p 1. Mauhli Mohammed Rashid and Mritunjoy' Tarkalankar. it ' oontaiaed a few advices with· a dictionary as aa appeadix. Tarini. But the firs~ leap towards consolidation ot children's literature was the establsllment • tM Sc:beoJ Boot Society to prepare and publish. Later owing . • ' ~ I ' exp1 Klill ot'tl ture ONE Tbe dawn of the 19th century saw the beainniag of hua~i JWOH. cheap books useful for IObools.. .. After Nitikatha. The book 1 wu 8nt published as · one volume. The members of the Society were_.tanoranjanetihas" was published·in-1819. L· (' Sukumar Dey Sark. 11 Nitikatha" was published in 1818 and it was divided into 1 three parts. Stuart's book was "ltihas Katha". The children's literature in Bengal. Maalvi Hyder Ali.' of Sourindra Nath Mukherjee Khagendra Nath Mitra . Ia their seventh report the Society congratulated . which was subsequently renamed as ••Upadesh Katha'.band Datta's ·•:t. '.er Rabindra Lal Ray . Raja Rammohan wrote on scientific toplcl aad his efforts were original. The writers of boolls published by :tbem were Radhakanta Deb. Tarachand Datta. Besides a short history of England. It was during tlis period the childreii'. were conaboraton of Digdarshan.to its popu. Tarac. The British paramount power assisted it to meet the ever increasing dcmaad for text books in the schools.s literatUI:e·.. · The missioaaries of Serampore lai4 IU foundation by briaging out rhe first chiidrea's. jounw "Diadarshan". The accent was on making these text books as interesting and easy rea. and Captain Stuart.

Some 4<of the stories were forerunners of psycho-analytical short stories of the future and there were evident attempts of creating artistic literature.tthamala. wa~" . Th' languag~ of the book was Sanskritic.translated from English. problems of those days. the Pathsala wa• was shifted to Bansberia village and on that occasiop Akshoy Datta delivered a magni:ficient speech in Bengali which was . lent a peculiarly alien twist to '!fhe language. Hitopadesha: was meant for preaching moral. social .e patriotic poems in the .had moral lessons. essays. Grammar. was•wJ:". 49 fables and moral teachings taken from Bishnu Sharma's "Hitopadesha". The Bengali Langu~ge of the essays were more Sanskritic than ever before and they lacked punctuatioa marks. The reason for its popularity was the variety of i~s stories. 'It was popular for 14long years at a stretch. both beina::born in the same year (1820). Wood's ~·cboto Henry" was published in 1824. Vedanta HiPduism was taught here to C<?Unteract Christian infiuence exe*d by the missionaries through their English Schoois. They left the deepest impressiotl on the children's li~rature of ..Gopal Lal Mitra's "Jnan Chand~ik''' ·was published. teaching readers to be god-fearing. It was a selection of. and inspite of the author's desire to publish four volumes. Besides patriotic themes. Sadacbar Deepak bad.decay ·came during the age of Vidyasagar. The book. Ram Kamal Sen was one of the few who as early as that held strongly to the view that change of :View does change the fundamental· bearings of man. but under the infiuence of English models. failed to be popular. Hindu College was established iQ.in impro."Banpla Siksba Grantha" by Radba Kanta. History and Mathematics. . Aks~-~y Datta was ll contemporary of Vidyasagar.however. The style and language of their books were neither literary nor classical bu~ merely one of text bookS. It continue4 in a moribund stage afterwards and perhaps its final . Some of the stories of Ram . Gourisankar Bidyabagisb's "Jnanprodeep" was published in 1840. Bidyabagisb was its first .ManoraDjanetihas was followed in 1820 by Ram Kamal Sen~s "Hitopadesha". "Nitidarshan" :was published in 1840.books were felt to promote our dch cultural heritage and e. The secopd volume came out in 1853. dramas and poems. The unrhythmic la1:1guaae.Jife of an orphan boy Henry.. Akshoy KuDJar Datta fl&s one of its teachers~ Soon the need for juvlnile literature and scbool.Kamal Sen. In 1838 . In 1842 Iswar Gupta wrot.Deb. only two volumes saw the light of the day.principal. inl821.theit days. as acknowledged in its preface. for its aim the improvement of morals. It contained 48 pages and was priced half-an-anna. and making them truthful an:d courageous. ving the Bengali language. So far as the development of the Bengali children's literature was concerned durina the age of the School ~ook Society-the Society itself wind after twelve years of exi~. The characters were all historical. It frankly admited · that it. Later in 1843. In the same year Sadachar Deepak: was also 'PUblished. as such all its stories . Twelve years tater "Jananankur" a collection of moral stories was published in 1836. twelve years after the first. however. Next year "Tatwa Bodhini Pathsala" was founded by Debendra Natb Tagore with almost identical aims and objectives. which had been skillfully utilised as materials f~r stories.lU'ich our mother tongue. From the foreword of the book it was revealed that it intended to teach morals to children and. 3 2 .itte~swith a view to teach Bengali Language. Sanbad Probhakar which aroused patriotic sentiment.ttice of writing first in English and then translating· them. It was collection of lectures 08 morals delivered a a I fl by Ram Chandra Bidyabagish to the students of Hindu College. ~bich :dealt with the . It contained alphJbets. in~ Bengali. Their style served as example to muy a literatures of later days and both of them did a remarka~ job . But the pr.published in the "Tatwabodhini Patrika". 18$9 to jmpart education through the medium · of Bengali.also found place in his writings. By the middle of the 19th century Bengali poetry began to ilourish..&. appeared differently in Vidyasagar's K. hackoe.

. The period under review saw the establishment of a new .Committee~s maiden venture was "Robinson Crusor Bhraman ·Brittanta" which was translated by John Robinson. "It was he -who :first taught chaste Bengali 'to the Bengalees and much can be gained eveb by the::nrst ranks if they go• through his "Kathamala".·was thQr~Jlghly revised by Vidyasagar: ·UAkhyan Manjuri~' · published ·in 1863 was per~ haps . It was Vidyasagar who lifted Bengali children~s­ Jiterature from its mortal inertia while Akshay Datta kept adding life lllld jest to by his writings. it was used in almost aU the schools. lt' was adopted from the "Moral Glass Book" of Robert and William Chambers and.He changed some fables -to fit in with the custom of our land. ··~kbyan . but also in the techniqle of teaching the language.Vidyasagar's c.:4 Manjari" were his works for the chi. About llis language. He published the three •olumes of the ''Sisusikha". it a new dimension. A five or -six year old child could very easily get at the meaning of the story of "Bhuban" .Cbarit~'. juvenile literature.1851. from the influence of Vidyasagar.~i~K. The translation was so natural that it appeared like originals.athamala:!'j r. num&er of juvenile :writers. ~\Jiban. During 1849-1850 Madanmohan Tarkalankar. The .Vidya&agar!s last conttibuti~n to chjklren's .. translated by Doctor Bayor. In 1850 was published from Serampore tl. "~athamala" was translation from AEsop's Fables. not only in production pattern. The language was simple though rich in vocabulary and diction. The secon4 publication being ''Shakespearer Krita Galpa".._'"Betal Panc:Pabinsati" crossed the· thresh-hold of ·schools. was the first to introduce poetry in Bengali children's literature. lt contained seventeen precepts supplemented by ·seventeen -stories." "His style had in:O. Newton and other renowned scientists.dak: Samaj".ted style· and inclination to imitation have all acted as impe~ ments to its success.. a.biren. to be more precise. The changts that English education brought in• Bengali life during ·tile 19th centuey began to be evident during Vidyasagar's timer He was the foremost of those who were responsible for thischange.absolutely unaided~ It was an original -story. Rajkrishna Bandopadhaya's "Nitibodh" was published in . . Several years following 1840 was the period of the missin~ Jink in Bengali children's literature.erature. For instance. The author was free. s . Rabindranath Tagore then wrote "The pride of ·Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar's character was his indomitablepersonality". It rarely smocked off translation. The book characterized by 14 woodcuts was probably the first illustrated children's book in Bengali. '. and' even adorned die shelves of the gener~l readers beyond the : orbit of schools.the Vernacular Literature Committee. No one before Vidyasagar had ventured on this path. This personality comment about Vidyasagar led him to break asunder from the. for the first time in Bengali Prest· a rare artistic skiH. In 1847 "Betala Pancbabinsati" by Vidyasagar was published. the poet. The sacred touoh· of Vidyasagar purified the children's literature of all the previousobscuriti~s ·and uninteresting moralities and gave. he changed the golden egg producing hen into a duck.earlier fetters and introduce.organisation "Banga Bh~sa Anu~. With it was incorporated "Gurhasthya Bangia Pustak Sangraha". . For twenty five years the translators ruled the day although ~arieties were being added to· them...1ite. Although "Betal Panchabinsati" was mean& for the adult students of the Fort William College. His great works came to fruition first in literature-:. the: maker of Bengali children's literature and it all started with his "Betal Pailchabinsati" in 1847. "Hitopadesha~~ was published by 'the Fort William College for the use of its students.uenced q1. tit. The period lacked in any original· work worth mentioning.te first part of ·"Balak Bodhetihas" written by Keshab Chandra Karmakar. Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prosad Sastri once said. he collected the life-sketches of Galilio. perhaps the first of its kind written during the British period.. .. UBodhodaya". · "Charitabali''• He was the forerumner of aD age. ''Barnaparichaya" ·surpassed his former at1iempts. transcribed in English as . In Jiban Charit.

The name ohhe engraver appears to be Ramdban I)as. Nitisar 1st. "Duck Prince"~ published between 1857 and 1860 was widely read by aU. Kalikrishna Bhattacharya's ''Nab~nitisar" was publishe4 in 1858. Calcutta. "Jnan Prodeep" Part II was published after''Chanipath" in 1853 and its language was not S<>" much shackled to Sanskrit.Kalikrishna lacked all *bese qualities. The book was revised by fswar Chandra Kaviratna. "Bichar:• by MadJwsudan Mukbopadhaya was published .Duck Prince'~ 6 came out in 1859. and 3rd volume. Rajnarayart BoSe. Christian School Book Society's Bangaiya Pathabali was publilhed in 1863. It deaJtwith the naughtiness of the students and j\lstice and therel>y taught them discipline.and ''Pravakar." "Charupath'~ contained a number of sGientific essays land some were intensely' patriotic which could inspire ~the children. The first was-"Advut Itisa". In 1852 was published Akshoy Kumar Datta's "Charupath'" Part I. It appear~ that it was not a prescribed text book. It was at this time that Madhusudan Mukhopadadhya translated a few pieces from Hans Anderson. It is not history in the ordinary sense of the term but anecdotes of conquerers. Fro. Gouri Sankar Tarkabagis's. Greece Desher Itish and Upadeshamala 1st 2nd. It was illustrated with woo~ut. Madbusudan Mukhopadhyay then had well established himself as ajuvenile writer. based on Sanskrit. however. . Christian School Book Society published "Bangiya Pathabali" in four parts in 1854. 2nd.in the same year. Between 1853-1·856 about half a dozen children's books were published. 1 As 3~uch Madhusudan became pioneer in publishing an extra c~qicular book of general interest. mention~ in course of a speech that Devendranath Tagore and Vidyasagar used to revise his early manuscriptg extensively. 7 I ~ . There were two other books of adventure-"Taimurlanger Brittanta" and "Sikandar Saber Digbijoy". the editor of "Som Prokash'' had written six or seven books viz. The first was published in 1856 and the second in 1860. It became very popular amongst the children and not less than fourteen editions were printed: Dwarakanath Bjdyao bbusan. Tarasankar Tarkaratna's literature was no less contributory to children's literature. volume. starting wi~ a Sanskrit couplet a® then illustrating the same. Bengali writings by then had.not mentioned by any of the earlier writers. the introduction of "Charupath" we learn that most Of the articles were reprinted from ''Tatwa · Bodhini Patrika" . Moreover Akshoy Kumar was the first to introduce the concept of class consciousness an<t the role of.s with pauses based ~n English syntaxes. but also complied books first in English and then translated them into Bengali. His "Kadambari". The· second edition of the ". Unfortu~~tely . a free translatioa of ·sanskrit "Kadambari'' was a brillant example of elegant Bengali prose. a Bengali poetry. It was onci of the best children's books during that period. . · Vernacular Literature Society did not only translate books and stories. advanced beyond Sanskrit infiuence. It followed the traditions earlier pursued by Keshab Chandra Kabyaratna and Dwatik Nath Bidyabbushan. Of course the points were 'gathered from English books · but the texture was entirely Akhoy Kumar's own. In 1854 was published Tarka Bagis's ''Niti Ratna". ·a goldsmith o£ Simla. It was something really bold and novel of Akshoy Dutta to stress at that time that the labourers were the real producers of all wealth and to incorporate the idea in Childrens' books. ·peasants and labourers in the modern society which was .It was 'Dot translation 'but collections from a few· Englislt books to teach certain · moral · principles and intricacy of Bengali composition. Ram Narayan Tarkaratna's "Hitakathabali" was published the next year -along with Kangal Haranath's ''Bijoy Basanta" ~ tbe first original novel· in Bengali Juvenle litereture. The book was used as a text book in upper classes of the Bengali medium schools. Both of them seem to have been translated by Ram Naraya!l Bidyaratna~ · and. His. Rome Rajyer Itihas. In its introduction Haranath stressed that the book was meant for boys.

'Books of th·ose days were mostly on morals like "Nitimala" ( 18R2). book. the stars and the planets. air. Paswabali or Prani was not translation though based on a book ·of Natu_ral History in English. Priya Madhab Bose when barely 18. But hardly any attempt worth the name was made to popularise physics and chemistry. paper. In course of the next five years about five or six scientific books were published. 3rd part. In 1876 _was published the "Hitopakhyanmala". :Ouring the age of Vidyasagar.ed in "Banga Darsban" (1879 A. In the same year. The language of the book was simple. the immortal poems of Iran. It had an easy style an4 each piece ha<l woodcut illustrations. the great patriot Bhudeb Mukhopadhya brought out "Charitartbak:". the attempt was original. however did. In 1867 and 1375 its second and third parts were ·published. '9 . school. Taralc: Brahma Gupta published "Prani Bidya". ' . In the same year was published the second part of "Jeeb Rahasya~· under the joint authorship of Long and Madhusudan Mukhopadhya . published a book entided "Joan Ratnamala" in 1858. inkpot. The most popular of these was 4 'Rasal 0 Swarnalatika". The characters selected were aU <>f Indian patriots.\ Following Vidyuagar's Jiban Charit which was in great Clen:tand in the midclle of the 19th century. not see the light of the day. A year earlier Rajkrishna Ray's "Sisukabita'' was published The book contained didactic verses on pen. Columbus and Bonapart~ alon~ with that of Emperor Akbar. Towards the beginning of the 19th century attemptS were made to teach science to our boys. to appreciate the lessons.l' Generals together with a piece on mutiny. animal and many other things. was published "Prani Brittanta'' by Satkari Datta. The identity of the. ' Michael Madhusudan Datta wrote a few pieces of moral poems for the children.. 4 long descriptive verses by Dina· bandhu Mitra were pub1ish. In 1873 was brought out from Pacca Hem Chandra Chattopadhya's ''Jnanmanjari"another book <>f verses.).engraver was not known. It is a compendium of seven scientific essays on man. The ianguage was even referred p as an ideal of chaste Bengali. "Cllarit Maojuri'' by Kaliprasanria Roy contained several life sketches of British GoverOO. Paswabali was published 35 year earlier. Though not of a very higb standard. In that year was published from Calcutta Mathuranath Tarkalankar's poetical collection "Kabitamanjari".. a biography of a few great foreigners like James Watt. juvenile books of verse were published. Howard. We. Jadugopal Chottapadhaya's books ofpoemswas probably published in 1870 or 1871. In 1884 was published Prasanna Kumar Mukhopadhya's scientific discourses "Balbodh". In 1861. Its language foUowed the language of the then modern scientific bocks. It was followed by Gopal Chandra Datta's "Kabitamanjnri'' in 1871. Certain portiO:QS of the book were translations by Kamal Krishna Bhatta" charya which was acknowledged in the introduction. The articles were original but a little bit heavy and followed :Sanskrit diction. fire~ water. The book was perhaps the direct result of Satkari Dutt's . Earlier writings were not of very high order and were meantfor schools only. In 1863 was published "Kabita Kaumudi" ·1st part by \8 •. During the next four years we come across no further publications. They were mostly poems on morals . May be a few books were published but they were not available. It was the first Bengali rapid reader for School children. In can not be ascertained now whether it was a text book. \ Harishchandra Mitra.and were descriptive in nature. In 1887 Rajani Kanta Gupta published his "Arya Kirti". tt was adapted from Gulistan and Bustan. Perhaps ' . easy and racy but it was difficult for children. learn from India Office catalogue that Haricharan Dey's "Kabitamanjuri" was published from Calcutta in 1868. Jn the jntroduction the author hoped to publish its second part which. After "Prani Brittaata" came out Madhusudan Mukhopadhya's "Jeeb Rahasaya'' a booklet of 99 pages with twenty-two articles.as a rejoinder to this. Mathurariatll Tarakaratna published in 1859.Prani Tatwa•• and Madhnsudan Mukhopadhya's "Jeeb Rahasya".D.

~. Even the dialogues in stories were written in chaste Bengali. earlier expressed their desire to publish prize books. were literary classics• meant for home studyl•nd prize purposes.hela was. It was hissitnplicity ofdiction and brilliant imagery that made Upendra.. This age also witnessed the birth of some immortal poems. Sambhu Chandra Vidyaratna.day were. Promoda Charan. The. by Tinkari Chakravarti from Chandanagore.publishedto meet this demand. Kalikri'shna Bhattacharya. 1891. Swarnakumari Devi's "Galpa Salpo" was published in 1889. mostly in prose. the teaching of morality to the children. The flood gates .Jhe children. But what Jogindranath S~rkar produced. brought out '' Jiban Adarsha" :for both home and schools. If we are to believe the publisher..of prose were opened by Vidyasagar himself. ''Hasi-0-Khela" Jogindranath Sarker for the first time wrote fairy tales. The age of Vidyasagar was the age of prose and translation..oountrymen of repute in two parts. sympathy we hope to p1. In. 1891 was published. If we receive public·.. Krishna Kumar Mitra· brought out "Sukhpatb'• at about that time.was one who . The book was 'printec:t. scientific essays. two to the publisher himself and eight .attempts were aimed at for· imparting school· education. language was.One year after "Aryakirti": was published in 1888.UDtilised this liberty to his best advantage. Upendra Kishore used the colloquial expression in dialogues. and likings. The stories were all original and homely. acquired fame of beiqg a writer for. Pande wrote his "Acyapath" in 188&. The authoress had in view. essays on animals. At the end of ·the ·19th · ceQtury Bireswar Pande . About the year 189 5 three or four biographies were· also published. Yet~ barring the periodicals all other . Naba Krishna Bhattacharya. As the schools had no fixed courses of study there was some liberty for the writers. "School Book Society" had. Hence we may say that the 19th century juvenile" journals paved the way for this. Bose were a few stalwarts of that age. Nabakrishna Bhattachary's ''Sisuranjan Ramayana".were grateful to Jogindranath. however. . In.. The author wrote in its introduction "Although 10 thfte is no dearth: of'school text-books for our boys and girls. Of the thirty poems of this book 20 belonged to teenagers. Upendrakishore Ro. Both these works were published betweea 1894-96. No book was published before this in the.stories.y Chowdhury. Jilltdly any prize and home study books are available. colloquia~­ language. · Abanindranath Tagore's "Sakuntala". Jogindranath Sarkar's ''Hasi-0-Khela" was published in. all the poems were writteb by boys. historical narratives. Both childrenr and' their guardians. puzzles. The Editor of Sanjibani.:materialise.1blish another illustrated home study book entitled "Chhabi-0-Galpa". In its wake followed biographical sketches. But Jbgindranath Sarkar. The periodicals of the . · tp cater moral le. Jogendranath. Juvenile literature ofthis period drew heavily from the_ folk literature of Bengal~ which by and large was the richest store house. Perhaps he presented.~others carne from the immortal pen of Jogindtanath· Sark~. ~tinging to the idea of periodicals collec-· ted variety of poems. whK:h. With the advent of Rajani Kanta Gupta the tide of· writing turned towards original themes and Krishna Kumar Mitra was no exception. Sen. and Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury's "Chheleder Ramayana" were widely read till then. wrote on the lives of our . did never . The contents were quite different from earlierchildren's literature. Hasi-0K. quite racy. short stories of varieties that enriched the contemporary juvenile literature and built up a solid foundation for the future stalwarts. The result was delightful ·for children and it 11 . In the month of January. Madhusudan Mukhopadhy8i . them as best as he could without being affected by his mood. Rajkrishna Roy. glory..ssonsto school children. At the request of the Education Department. It was no easy job to release juvenile literature from the shackles of text-book syllabus and and lead it to its own path of variety and . The book we s~cured neither had the number of pages nor could· it be ascertained who was the author. 1886 was published an unique book 'Kabita Kanika' for the boys. ~urns:· and letters. Kishore so endearing to the children.

Although the book is called "Kbukumonh~ Cbbara" (rhymes·ror the little girls).u''. Most of the Cbbaras refer to little boys and 1 bnly a few to girls.form of a fairy tale. and the sketches were superb. They were a mixture of the standard and the colloquial. Jogindranath Sarker. It described the vertebates and their bbaracteristics · through :local· episbde&. But Abanindranath relied oq the colloquial diction of Calcutta. · Dwijendranatb Bose ~fonowed Jogindtanatb with. He sees little of the outer world and . thus ~ompleting the circle left' incomplete by Jogindranath Sarker. His "Rangacbabi" was publi-· shed a year earlier-both written and illustrated by him for the . ·He wrote the whole of "Sakuntala" in colloquial style.also created some immortal classics: It was very di:flicult t~ cater to· those who had just come in contact with the life and the world around ·them as those minds soar high on imagination. Dwijendranatb 'had '. After this was Jogindranatb's "Khelar ~satbi" which was published in 1898. It is difficult to date these chbaras.tales.ttels. The dialogues of "Satbhai Champa" was not so forceful. May be the pedagogists could find faults with him. It was written in the .-. A child bas little sense of distinguishing the probable from the improbable. "Sisbu" bad earned an. We did not come across any earlier book in which both the characters and the situations were en. Although no real story. historical character or mythology formed its basis.guage of Upendra Kishore was different . Abanindra Nath's "Rajkahini" was meant fGr the adolescents and· unique in this respect. It also contained fairy . published his --Hasi Kbusbi 1'.The illustratio. Perhaps Jnanada Nandini Debi dramatised her "Satbhati ·Champa•• and "Napit-0-Seyal" (the barbar and the jeckal) and had them acted by the boys and girls..tirely original. At the 1 beginning of the 20th century (t9(}lJ. In the process be builds up a world from which ~e derives pleasure. Jogindranatb Sarkar. 11 Books on the lives and habits of animals were published in 'th~ ··19th century' but they were air school books. Several poems of Rabindranath's "Sisbu" appeared during the last decade of the 19th century. 12 li3 . fascile: pen and Sitnple style. In the fifth act of the drama Napit-0-Seyal was a scene where the groom swaps the bride with the jackal which reminds us of the feudal days when women were looked upon as men's cha. The infiuence of the 'Ramayana' could be traced to a large extent.. :The writer bad a.ns were also of a high order. but that of "Napit-0Seyal" (the dramatic version of 1'akdumadum) was how• ever. Towards the end of the 19th century Rabindranath. Jogindranath Sarkar the publisher of this work devoted himSelf to this task and be of ·aft the Bengalees is the pioneer in this venture'. immortal place in tb~ Bengali juvenile literature. Ramendra Sundar Trivedi wrote in its introduction 'Bengali liter.children. tipendra Kishore and Jnanada Nandini wrote dramas for the -children. his •iJibjail.ature lacked such attempts for the past few years.· tion. and a unique creation. 1st part on the 16th September.gradually became popular among tlmm.husi'' was the first attempt to introduce the· Bengali alphabets through the medium of verses... The style and len• . Another great work of Jogindranatb was the collection' ·~f Bengali "Chharas" published in 1899. Petbaps none. Naba Krishna and later Dakshina Ranjan Mitra Mazumder . with the sole purpose of delighting them. But quite a few of them' were beyond the cOmprehension of the children for whom they were mainly composed. ending as a comedy with the victory of the sufferer. Hanuman in the Ramayana was of great assistance in delivering Sita and in Khirer Putul we find a face-burnt monkey delivering Duorani (neglected queen) from her sufferings. but it temains a fact that 61 long years have not dimmed their ·P<>putarity in Bengal. In 1896 wa~ publisbecl Abanindrannth's "Khirer Putul" -an original writing. Jogindranatb took 'Cbbaras' as the medium for introducing the alphabets. very forceful and elegant at the same time. This social outlook was the result of the tradition born out of feudal -set up. "Hasi K.. 1897.from the earlier works. All his writings appeared like 'paintings• in the literary frame . before Rabindranath wrote ·poem! from the points of the children.likes to move about according to his own taste and imagina.

· · . collection of selected . Before Dakshina Ranjan.. did not only open up an inexhaustible source of delight to the readers but became a trend setter as well.intended to teach spelling. The folk tales of Bengal the "Thakur-mar Jhuli" of Dak·-tihina Ranjan Mitra Majumder was published in the year 1907.. children. The stories . In 1910 was published "Tun Tunir Boi" by Upendra J(ishore Roy Chowdhury. included a.. by Sita Devi. The ·second part contained combined words an. Gradually it enriched its . book was illustrated. VfhY it could not .be so popular. Its introduction reads: "But as the evening falls and children fall asleep without taking their supper.lhunjhumi'. of course no priginal work-a tran~lation. Two years after this in 1910." The stories were popular in West Bengal t~o. Hemendra Kumar Roy was the ~pioneer .endraprasad Ghosh published {1901) "Asharo Galpa" a prime ven~ure Ill the line. Its aim was to acquaint .articles from local journals· were published. Although_ in the 19th century no."'Japani Manus".is .J. a part of the folk tale . His ''Khokar Daptar" was published in 1907. This gave the Bengali language an independent character . The. That . written by poet ·.to "Thakurmar Jhuli" Dakshina Ranjan· used the V{Ord "Sishu . HiS ''Mohonbhog" was published later and it contained a -few' humurous poems.attained by "T~RU\. of the folk tales of Hindusthan.'"Scientific bent of mind and he J. But folk tales were no juvenile literature as such. poePJ.foreiiners with our folk tales. anp was in a prose form. ~.of "Tun Tunir Boi" were told by the simple rustic of Bengal 14 }S . From the days of Vidyasagar Bengali laJlguage became Anglo-phile. they were not )iteral . The purpose of the Qc>ok was to impart moral lessons to the studepts. His "Thakurmar Jhuli" was better heard as a song than read..r Jhuli''.tever stooped to -ntytbs:ad ·legends.. Boys and girls found pleasure in them but not the adults.adventure stories in Bengali. women of East Bengal tell these stories to them to keep them awake. Upendra Kishore wrote in an easy style tuned for. The boys can hardly forget the sweetness of these ·stories even when they· grow up . Bengali folk tales were collectc4 •· by !lev: tat Bebari De. Many a!narrater. .. Upendra Kishore was the first :to introduce children to the pre-historic .In the introduction .Oalpa" were al~ published in Mukai. His treatment of . and was · serialised in ''Mukul" and was. scientific subjects was no exception. The book was illustrated by Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar himself.'.Satyendranath Datta.age. · In the same year was publishet\ Manilal ·G angopadhyay's . \yho introduced . · The bo.which influenced children's literature also.translations. As literature improrved.ok was e£rtitled 1"Sekaler ~atha".~and Santa Devi~ It was. but it . Several stories of "Ashare . All these stories were of foreign inspiration. These poems were . Mo'nomohan Sen · also occupj~s a place of honour in chil-dren's literature.. · The poems of its first part were all of one syllable.automatically came within the purview of childrens literature. was 'highly appreciated . One ~f them "Hind'\lsthani lJpakatha" was writteQ.followed hiQ. •in their attempts to publish fairy tales but nolle could reach the heights.bear the word "Anubad". His "Folk tales of Bengjll". Dakshi· na Ranjan wrote several books.Sahitya" along with '·'Rupkatha". of "Nitisikkha Vidyalaya". Although ·the books . was published Manilars "''. yet with the · beginning of the 20th century HeJil. His famous book "Jakher Dhan~' was published in ·1931.. "Thakurmar Jhuli" . . A few illustrations were multicoloured -which was never used earlier in children's literature. publ!~ed in 1903. ln 1808 Sivnath Shastri published his "Upakatha". a folk tale adopted /rom some Japanese stories._by the . vocabularies from ·several languages.d was published a '·little later. All the pictures were by the author himself. Jndians and Englishmen alike. based on foreign sources Grim brother's and Anderson's collections.

Baradakanta enriched Bengali juvenile literature in· periodicals by small biographies. fables and legends~ B9t11 fairy tales.. Keshab Chandra. stories and ··by ·editing ·Ramayan and Mababharat. women of ancient India. But tran~lation of foreign classics. Maharshi Debendranath. But most of them are not available now.Chittagong. His "Sati Kata Granthabali' . Kartict Das Gupta.· Galpar•. but none could challenge the: first one. to its ultimate consump. Barada Kanta Mazumdar. boys with the daily necessities in such a versified form. In 1915 Nagendranath Gangopadhyay's "Hate Chand Kapale Surji". ·His famous. tion. sciehtists~ artists and jour. Asit Kumar Halder and a few students of arts of Santiniketan. Crusoe". No one attempted earlier to acquaint our1. The book had the typical style of Jaaadananda. myths and 17 . was published in 1?14. Haraprasanna Dasgupta used to delight boys of those days with his humourous poems. Binodini Debio. Like him Satadal Basini Biswas also :wrote the story of" Behula's life. was probably the first •book on · insects. Satyachanin Chakraborty.wrote profusely on Physjes. of the "Ramayana" came out. Bengali children's literature has a fairly riCh collection of tairy tales. It is to be deeply regretted that the form in which it reached us gave us no clue as to who its author WaS. Poet Nabakrishna Bhattacharyya published "TuktukeRamayan'' in 1910. Dinendra Kumar Ray. "Odessy" and ''Illiad". Jagadananda Roy's "Pokamakar" published :in 1919.t. In Bharat Gourab series were published the >biographies of·'Rammoban. Saraj Kumar Bandyopadhay'. Bonkim Chandra and many others. In 19'6 a book named ••sudkhor-o-Saodagar" an adaptation of the Merchan& of Venice was published from.J~t decade of the 19th century by various original writings.iananda Ray . depicted the lives of two renowned.. The three boob refered to above were attempted to acquaint our boys and airls with their immediate environments. Sukhalata Rao's ••Ar. paddy . It appears juvenile literature was being enriched during the . Within 1918 a few more juvenile versions.and that is ·why the picture of. Rana Protap. His "Rangila. Vidyasagar. Some of them . A year after he published 'Banglar Pakhi'.1alists among them. never cea$ed nor were the adaptations. Thus we find that a·number of authors wrote on various topics to enrich the stores of kndw• ledge of our boys and girls. and "Robinson !. in rhymes. Thet. His "Bhater Janmakatha"· describes rice from its stage of cultivation in form o(. Botany.tl's "Saral< Ramayan".o Galpa" were published. Abinash Oasgupta's "Majar Boi" were popular in those days.. Only a few names can be scanned from the announcements in the periodicals of those days.. see the light of day before 1918 wa& ' "Graha Nakshatra". Kulada Ranjan Roy · tops the list in this field with his "Tom Kakar Kutir".• Jagac.. Ashoka. Ramkamal Bidyabhusa. I~ was illustrated by Nandalal Bose. book "Gachpala"was published in 1921.. Among his successors in the line were Debiprosad Chatterjee ·and Sukumar De Sarker. Next he published his ~'Mach Rang Sap". Dwijendra Nath Neogi's "Koutuk Kahini". the ·domestic life ·of Bengal peasantry was so well painted :in them.Before this · book no one wrote on Astronomy for the children. study of the birds arN insects and on many other things. · Shivaji. Till 1914 bo attempt was made' to present Shakespeare to children. from 1910 to 1918 several original books as well as many translations were published.'e were poets. At that time was pubHshed · Pryambada Debi's ·adaptation of Karlokalede's · Pin®Cio · as · ·Panchtilal: Charu Chandra ~~dyopadbray / -'/ -r6 wrote "hesoper .s "Aiupora"· Abanindranath's "Bhutpatrir Desh". i.and Jogendra Nath Gupta are a few of them: Dinendra Roy's "Chheleder :Majar Galper Boi". wrote only for the children. Upendra Kishore be only dcck:Cd them in his own language. :Put the only book 1. ·. As sta~d in its introduction no one before him attempted to write on botanical subjects. . Buddha.9.

~---------------------------------------------------------·. Dagobart. Panchatantra. the feudal lord of Krishnagar. natives Bengali. It described the life of a village boy. His "Phuljlturi" and "Tai Tai'~ were published in 1913 and 1915 respectively..e. In the second decade of the twentieth century humourous . He was a poet too. Hitopodesa and Buddhist Jatakas had also enriched it. Thakurdar Jhola contained seven big fairy tales. It contained 11 volumes. Bimal Sen headed a new genera Ia jllvtaUelitorature with his "Maru Yatri". "Raja Badsah" published in 1921 was his first book. Among the . In 1922 came out ''Ranadanka" and in 1929 was published "Sivaji Maharaj". The former two belonged to the type of fables dealing mainly with a world in which the animals had been allowed the human qualities of speech. Of these. With the advent of Swadeshi movement lives of great men. He wrote in his first book Sanjher Katha --"Old village housewives of those days or old granddadas were never ending sources of these fairy tales . In 1928 was published "Baporoah"by Akhil Neogy whose· pen name is "Swapaoburo". We collected these fairy tales so long current in these areas in three volumes-Sanjher Katha. Sibratan Mitra was a resident of Suri. No one has as yet surpassed him.. Satya Cbaran Chakravarty was another popular story teller of those days. Sanjher Katha and Nisir Katha contained seven fairy tales each. Birbhum. known among the children. The impact of Civil Disobedience Movement fell directly oa tbe children's literature. Hindusthani. doing super-human jobs. In 1924 a new horizon was opened in the world of Juvenile literature with the publication of "Sisu Bharati". Witty stories of Gopal Bhar were also found in Bengali literatu. It dealt romantically with the Uvea of Red and Black ants inhabiting with human qualities. "Phuljhuri'' and abrldpd translation ()f Gorky's mother as "Ma". Sibratan Mitra followed a different line. and magicians.blished 18 seven volumes of fairy tales from 1923 to 1941. These were neither fairy tales nor legends but they were folk tales.r. Next come out in 1920 his "Thakurda's Jhola" and after that "Thandidir Galpa". Oriya and Santali were more important. class of folk tales. a translation was very popular in his days. He p11. Sukumar Roy· was tlle leading light among them all. Wleb bla powerful pen be tried to infuse a new desparate loaalaa for Jlberatloa amonst our youth. Chakravorty nowhere disclosed the source of his inspiration. Nisir Katha and Usar Katha.. So they must be at least a century old as Gopal Bhar had been identified as the court Jester of Krishnachandra Roy. Sibratan Mitra's "Sanjher Katha" was published in 1919. "Tultul" and "Sat Rajyer Galpa" came out in 1923 and 1928 respectively. poems appeared in Bengali Juvenile Literature.Jburi" ooatainod short stories about the atrocities of lrlelab Oftlotrl In India and was naturally proscribed. tlat "PbuJ. None of these fairy tales had been published before". U pendta Kishore Roy Choudhuri who succeeded Dakahina Ranjan Mitra Mazumder. was a stalwart in writing fairy tales. They were profusely illustrated. were worth mentioning. wrote a few 1 historical books for the children. The adventures of the princes. after all. Two years after that in 1930 was published Girindra Sekbar Bose's "Lal Kalo". reason and wisdom. Nisir Kantha (1933) and Kalpa Katha. legends belonged to the. His was the only · name of those days who dealt directly with patriotic and seditlous themes. This was an encyclopaedia of general knowledge edited by Jogendranath · Gupta. Most of these fairy tales were collected from East Bengal. Even the stores of ·drama-lets smacks of 19 . Historian Brojendranath Banerjee. . Adibasi. Prior to this in 1918 came out ~ Satya Charan Chakravorty's "Thakurmar Jhola. of which 10 were published · during the life time of the editor and the last volume was a posthumous one. He probably published his own books-Sanjber Katha. Kartick Chandra Das Gupta was another successful fairy tale writer well. He had to his credit about one hundred works mostly for the children. fairies. national heroes and characters from history received their due ' importance. defeating demons. giants and goblins.

He did not spare even himself in punning. Birbahur Baniadi Chaal were fou~. Sukanta breathed his last in 1947 whep.rned a permanent position by virtue of those · few writings. In 1938 was published his "Dui K. Not many war stories have so far appeared in Bengali. Sribram wrote a few· dramas and books of poems as well. Kshitindra Narayan Bhattac)iju'ya is another . It should be noted.life. It is wrjtten about the life lD child lifters' colony and the Writing bas a touch of mystery about it.tf Rabindranath's "Biswa Parichay' in 1937 created a stir in the literary world of Bengal.. their medium was different. His writings are directed to arouse patrio:. Halka Khata. Bengali juvenile literature has no dearth of scientific subjects. "Janbar Katha" edited by Debi J?rosad Chatterjee was an encyclopoedia of nature. So fat as we know Sibram's ''Sur-walla Babu" was the predecessor of Rabindra Lal Roy's ''Nutan Kichu". That this can be adapted to the patriotic themes and used to inspire the youths were shown by Sukanto Bhattacharyya. at the cost of aunts and uncles. Sibram's main · resource was "Panning". that almost all his stories are imaginary. Modern books compare favourably with their western counterparts. Production of Bengali books has improved in all its aspects during the recent years. so to say. But he excelled in short stories with an ordinary motif and a simple plot. Lullaby" is a common d~for children everywhere. It is a rare addition to Bengali children's literature. Main theme of his books were the wild lives . Although both of them were cteative artists.. His only object was to create · bhmourous situation. Bolito Ha8bo Na. He had written more than eight books on war stories from 1938 to 1960.. His stories covered Abyssinian war. It has only one female character and it is a tragedy-and a grim tragedy at that. Dhar collected these episodes from great men's childhood.1 in Bengal. Sino-Japanese war and Russo-German war. He has.• tains of hw. He introduced a new technique in Bengali literature. He was one with Sibram Chakravorty in enjoying.· 1\Uman qualities to them. These are neither fables nor scielitific dissertations but mere stories of a new.huni" a book about two dogs. but be bad already es. and situations. They are profusely illustrated. however. He wielded a powerful pen but he never u~d it to lash at the unhealthy prejudices ingrained in the · minds of our youth~ Rabindra ~~ Roy created humour out of the newness and · incongruities of plot. Sukumar De Sarkar introduced a completely new line i1f writing on animal . His . Publication i.of beasts and birds.writer who did much to popularise science among the childre1. His Nutan Kichu. 20 . . he was only twenty one. A year later cam~ out Raj at Sen's ''Makarsa". Roy had not written much. By the :middle of 1942 came out Nihar Ranjar Gupta's "Sankar" in two volumes and Dhirendra Lal Dbar's "Galpo Haleo Satya". In 1927 was published his "Bijnao Buro". type. Abhijan is a drama in the form of poems. Hardly · aDY other. tism in children and hatred for cruelty in war. In 1937 was publisb~d his most famous book "Bad • Theke Paliye". a 21 . But no one has been able to surpass Dhirendra Lal Dhar in that. however.humour: But it ·was 16ft f0r Sibram · Chakraborty and ~bindralal Roy to infusejuvemle literature with the spirit of· innocent humour. Both of them were contemporaries and bad their maiden stories published in 1936. and the illustrations are of a very high sta~dard.nour. Lila Majumdar also writes ~·humorous vein for the children. attributed.writcrr bad ventured on this theme ever before. Mithekara" and "Abhijan" were published in 1951 and 1953 respectively.

In Paswavali we find the use of western punctuation marks like comas. dra Mitra edited and published sixteen issues of Paswavali both in Bengali and English. Of course the lifetime of this magazine ended after the intermit• tent publication of only twenty issues. After this the Christian Vernacular Education Society 23 22 . "Vidyadarpana" a monthly magazine for children. And that is the reason for which we find in the mqgazine the English original in one page and. Most of them first appeared in Calcutta while a few in some suburbs or mufussil towns. Calcutta School Book Society too recognished its educative value and purchased many copies for distribution among the students. In the first issue of the second phase of Paswavali we find an account of a Dog. One could find in its pages historical and geographical tales and accounts. full stops etc. published and edited by Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendranath Chattopadhyay respectively. The Society was founded on the 4th July. Its span of life was very short. On the 31st Deceniber. In each issue of 'Paswavali' an account of an animal was published with a picture of that animal on the first page. The pictures were printed from a wood-cut block.. A new monthly magazine under the title of "Vidyadarpan" had been published by Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendranath Chattopadhyay. It contained articles on Geography. named. partioularly school students. almost all of them succumbed immaturely. The language of Digdarsnan was more or less easy and simple. Then appeared on the 26th April. 1853.) was used generally at the end of a paragraph and 'iti' or 'end' at the conclusion of an article in observance of Sanskrit convention. We find the following review in the 'Sambad Prabhakar·. The growth of Bengali juvenile literature of the nineteenth century was to a great extent due to its efforts. 1817. After four years. But so far as our knowledge goes. had been published since the beginning of the nineteenth century. although Bengali prose style was still then in its infancy. going through their writings at such a tender age". Agriculture. named "Jnanoday". The manazine consisted of sixteen pages and the price was two annas only. 'Mauchak' -is the oldest. Of all the existing juvenile periodicals of Bengal. the Calcutta School Book Society published another science magazine for children. Ram Chan. But most of the compositions in Jnanoday were original and so only full stop (. 1831 Krishnadhan Mitra published another morithly for juvenile readers. accounts of geographical explorations and historical events. It was intended only for young. In 1844. its translation in the next. And we like to consider this magazine as the first Bengali juvenile periodical. In l8l8 Serampore Baptist Mission published a monthly magazine. Some in form of monthlies. There was a solitary instance of the publication of a daily. parables and instructions on morality. 'Pakshir Brittanta' under the editorship of Ram Chandra Mitra. while a few were weeklies and fewer were fortnightlies. Both Priyamadhab Basu and Yogendrababu are not more then fifteen.TWO In Bengal/a considerable number of periodicals of various types for juvenile readers. Its chief object was to impart l~ssons to the students on Science and History. Of course. It was the convention of the Society to compose the article first in English and then translate them into Bengali. semi-colons. in February 1822 Calcutta School Book Society published a monthly named "Paswavali" for juvenile readers. Zoology. Its immense contribution to spread education in Bengal is beyond doubt. The Society also published a collection of all the issues of Paswavali as a priZe-book for the students. it was not like a magazine as there used to be only one article in each issue. Physics. named •Digdarsan'. under the editorship of John Clerk Marshman. but readers were surprised. We could not find any illustration in the ·magazine. Paswavali should be recognised as the second children's magazine in Bengali. A reading of it had brought pleasures to us. Its obje<!t was to propagate scientific kn0W· ledge abput animal life.

stories. from July. In 1894. boys and gids. riddles.· Its object was to provide education with pleasure. named 'Abodh-Bandhu'.. In 1880. Pandit Sibnath Sastri took up the editoaship. parables. prematurely. Then. Due to his endeavours Sakha could survive for :another three years. · After nine years. was published. who was also its founder. Next year. upto 1890. This was published regularlyr for consecutive five years and it proved its popularity. ·Balak-Bandhu was the first Bengali fortnightly for juvenile readers. Another monthly magazine.name of the magazine was 'Balak-Bandhu'. another juvenile monthly magazine was published under the title of 'Bala!k-Hitaishi'. 1884. Its name was "Aryakahini'. 'Jyotiringan'. Then it 1891• it again appeared as a monthly. was one of the regular contributors to Sakha.1860. With its twentieth issue · the convention of publishing national and international news in the first page . The language use. another juvenile ma_gazine. an immortal name in the history of Ben~ali juvenile literature. I . i. 'Sakha' ·was enriched with scientific and historical ·essays and the stories were like its 24 2S . 1886.anonymous.l of hardship for the sake of this periodi:cal. 1881. its end soon. a great teligious and social reformer of. Abodh-bandhu first appeared in . 1885. Bharat Barshiya Brahma Samaj published an illustrated fortnightly for juvenile readers. he handed over the proprietary rights and editorship to poet BibarilalChakraborti. Bhubanmohan Roy published another magazine named 'Sathi'. The prime obje::t of the magazine was. . 1869. Biharilal must be regarded as the pioneer in introducing book-reviews in a children's periodical like Abodh-bandhu as a regular feature. This poor man made enormous sacrifices and suffered a good deo.mpnthly only to disappear soon. The first Bengati weekly magazine for juvenil' . Even the translation of some poems by young boys were published. was introduced. on 21st June..r poems nor the materials printe4 in this magazine were suitable for juvenile readers. Then appeared on 1st January. But neither proso no. in 1878. For the first three years from 1883 to I 885 it editor was Pramada Charan Sen.e. 1881 'Balak Band.one printed in issue of second yearfrom a wood cut block. The fortnightly did not live long and nor regular either. In 1886. Unfortunately. Then for the next one year (1887) it was edited by Annadacharam Sen. "Sakha" the famous monthly magazine for children.bu' reappeared as a.Ublish-ed another monthly magazine for· children. In almost every issue . appeared under tbe editorship of 1ogendranath Ghosh in 1866. who was succeeded by Nabakrishna Bhattacharya. As a matter of fact. We find in every issue of Balak Bandhu a few monocoloured pictorial illustrations. Perhaps most of the articles published in this magazine were Beharilal's own writings. The . he breathed his last.d in Balak Bandhu was as matured as that of the twentieth century. named 'Satyapradip'. It contained scientific articles. The editor of Balak Bandhu was Brahmananda Kesab Chandra Sen. In July. grammar and· arithmetical treatises. lucid and elegant.to facilitate combination of moral teaching ·and pleasure for ladies. a few verses composed by boys and girls were published. which was edited by Janaki Prasad De.I I ' . which h~ shouldered till the end of 1886. Majot part of Biharilal's 'Nisarga-sandarsan' and a portion of his "'Surabala' were printed in Abodh-bandhu. Upendra Kisore Roy Chowdhury. Balak Bandhu ushered in . it became a fortnightly. 'Sakha was so tremendously popular among the children ·Of Bengal that even to day the surviving readers often recollect the sweet memory of the most favourite journal of their childhood days. The magazine contained monocoloured pic· tures drawn by an English artist and printed from a woodcut block made after English model.readers was published in November. as·it was origi11ally and met. poems and verses. It was simple. India. in January. the artists remained . We havo found no pictorial illustration excepting .On 15th De~mber.a new era in the history of Bengali children's periodicals.186l and then it ran for a very short period.. and method of correct Bengali composition. and to keep the memory of Sakba going he renamed it as 'Sakha 0 Sathi'.

all its articles were dry and boring. monthly magazine. Though it mainly followed the ways of Balak Bandhu. In 1883. synopsis of news and articles by children ·themselves. another magazine. The aim of the magazine.. Children contributed to Mukul and in the second issue of the second year we find a narrative poem. a monthly for adults.sanna Dasgupta. a child of 8. Pen. Girindra Mohini Dasi. a~counts of travels and animal studies. published in 1890 and edited by 0. now included in his 'Hasyakautuk'. Many of its contributors were members of the Tagore family. In 1898. In the second page of the first issue. was the development of character of our children and spread of knowledge among them through the stories and articles. The appearance of 'Balak' an excellent monthly Magazine~ in 1885. All the great talents like Rabindra:iiath. the editor declared that its mission was to educate our children. stories. named 'Siksha'. flowers and foliages in seventy-seven years. it has some original feature. One of the four aims of27 26 . We have come to k_now the publication of a monthly. in 1888. E. a monthly. In the first issue of Balak we find Rabindranath's famous poem. travels. In course of time.I ! predecessors'. Stories and poems. under the editorship of Akshoy Kumar Gupta. M. edited by Sibnath Sastri. named 'Kusum' was _published under the initiative of a few students. The seed sowed by 'Digdarsan' in 1881 in the field of Bengali juvenile literature had sprouted forth and grown into a big plant full of twigs and boughs.. as declared by the editor in its first issue. we find in the pages of Sakha. Basantakumar Basu published a ·monthly magazine. In the concluding year of · the nineteenth century. 'Balika' was published from Dacca. poems. In 1896. "Bristi pare tapur tupur nadey elo ban". In 1898. readers' · querries. scientific and geographical essays. under the editorship of Jandanandini Devi. 'Nadi' by Sukumar Roy. Roose. 'Bhimer Kapal' which was published serially from the first year._ Nabakrishna Bhattacharya and Hemendra Prasad Ghosh. Ramananda Chattapadhyay. One of them was the publication of short biographies of great men of foreign lands and the picture. poems and stories for children. an educational monthly magazine was published. Jogindranath Sarkar. though they · were printed front wood-cut blocks. Besides a few stories and poems. 'Sakha' was undoubtedly much more advanced in printing. In the same year (1883) another monthly named 'Suniti' was published by Bhudhar Chottapadhaya. The growth was manifested in 'Mukul'· published in 1895. We do not know how far it could achieve its noble aim but it disappeared after it was one year old. The name was "Anajali'~ and it was edited by Rajeswar Gupta. named 'Prakriti'. After a year Balak merged with "Bharati". illustration and composition than its predecessors. biographies •. Ramendrasundar. Balak also followed the tradition of publishing scientific and historical essays. this very child proved himself to be a genius and left behind him an immortal fame for his unique creation of humourou~ dramas. wife of Satyendranath Tagore. We think it was more useful to the guardians and teachers than to children. J. The same year saw the publication of 'Balyabandhu' which was edited by Rev. by Students Association of Banagrm •. Acharya Jogesh Chandra. who enhanced the wealth and majesty of the treasure of Bengali literature with valuable gems were the regular contributors of Mukul. is a memorable incident in the history of Bengali periodicals. The editor himself replied to. riddles were published regularly in Mukul. and the object of which was to propagate Christianity among the children. The editor himself composed an excellent moral. Jagadish Chandra. Brajendranath Bandopadhyay mentioned the name of 'Sisubandhab' a monthly magazine. Its aim was to introduce Aryan culture to our children and youth and to instil Arayan spirit in their heerts. the editor was Gurupra. 'Saisab Sakha' was published. Bipin Chandra Pal. were very distinct and admirable. In the page of 'Balak' we also find Rabindranatb Tagore's famous novel 'Rajarshi' and most of his short humourous plays. plays..

He had 19 . those were not suitable for the school students •. published from first issue. Botb.new features in Prakriti. In 1910 another illustrated juvenile monthly 'Toshini' was published from Dacca under the editorship of Anukul Sastri.article of Jogeshchandra. In 1923 came into being another juvenile journal of distioc. perhaps ther~ ·was no juvenile periodicals. U. was to i!Dpart and improve the knowledge of the students in their own language. under the supervision of Baradakanta Majumdar. as stated by the editor. Till1912 childrens' periodicals were founded and run either by some individuals or by some religious institutions. But these were much too inferior to his classic creations like 'Thakurmat Jhuli'. Some· compositions of Surendranath ·nas Gupta and Kumudranjan Mallick also wete published in Pakriti. 1912 business establishments started taking interest.Raksha' were noteworthy. named 'Prakriti'. Among tbe . Their articles could not attain very high literary standard. on the whole the literAry standard of the poems published ~n 'Tosbini' were not very high. stoppage of the Sandesh. .•{n the year 1921 "Amar Desh" under the editorship of SisirKumar Mitra. •sisu' was published in Calcutta. The editor of Prakriti tried to impart some -ethical lessons through some valuable English quotations. there baa been a tremendous progress in. 'Nababidhan Brahmo Samaj published an illustrated monthly. essays.· tion 'Khokakhuki'. one would find the. After the-. All the wellknown authors have enriched it with their contributions. It started with the Sandesh. 'Prakriti' survived for more than eight years. At the begining of the twenteeth century.r .. periodical. Of course. 'Swasthya ~ this _. Another feature was to compose story from a given picture. and is still continuing. In· the very first year it was blessed with the co-operation of Abanindranath Tagore. In 1907. But from the compo·sition and subject matters of the articles i~ appeared that the magazine was not suitable for the juvenile readers.tules of Hygiene were pUblished regularly. and "Anjali" under the editorship of Phanindra Nath Paul and Dhirendranath Mukhopadbyaya were published.. History of the periodical were dlosely associated with the history· of the firm. . · ' In 1912 an illustrated juvenile monthly magazine. They served as beacon lights to the periodical~ of this century.. Of course. blocks and papers and many artists have earned fame just by illustrating and decorating the childrens' magazines. but they were quite appropriate for young boys and girls. stories. and. in the second the . Upendra Kishore· Roy Chowdhury was the proprietor of Messrs. In the first. It explained in the form of a story. )low sugar can be produced from the mixture of coal and water.• ln the fifth year a few issues of 'Toshini' contained some poems. reveals bold eforts•and ·experiments of the nineteenth century. In Prakriti some of the scientific essays of Acharaya Jogeschandra were published. His Buro Angla was . in contents and composition Prakriti. another publishing concern started a journal edited by· the proprietor himself. The animal life and the Bengali translation of Rabinson Crusoe published in Toshini were very pleasing to children. Of course. The span of Prakriti's life was not more than four years. could not show any ·variety or novelty and it simply followed the steps of the other contemporaries. named.· composed by boys and girls. printing. poems and one or two plays. It was doubtful whether they could live up to their objectivef as it was under the supervision of school or college 'Students. named "Chini" (Sugar) was published. Ray & Son~ the famous blockmaker. Geographical account!~ ~f Bengal and India as a whole. The editor expressed his desire of having the school student$ as both subscribers and · contributors. 'Atnader Oeser Katba' and. From. We find ·in Prakriti two essays. "Mouchak" the wonder among the children journals started in April 1920. Nisikanta sen was its editor. . one short story and a poem by Dakshina Ranjan Mitramajumdar. A year after the publication of 'Prakriti' an . A comparison between the childrens' periodicals of the past century and those of the present. In 'Toshini' we find novels.. Editor of the Sandesh.

ra . In 1941 was brought out the 'Kishore Bangia' under the editortbip of Arup. Junenile weeklies are limited to a few names. Pattarson a few months before the "Maspayala" was published. In 1938 "Chalakhata•• was published under the joint editorship of Bani Debi and Minati Ghosh. "Kachi Katha" under editorship of Nihar Ranjan Sinha and Anil Kumar Chakraborty from Krishnagar were published. In the same year was published . I great knack in editing juvenile journals. Bhattacharya and Akhil Neogy. The journal was founded by Bisweswar Bhattacharya. '' Adarsha" was the first juvenile fortnightly in Bengali. but it did not last long. months of its re-appearance. For its get-up and. Nasiruddin. N~xt came out in 1346 "Kishore All&" under the editorship of Keshab Chakraborty. It was. But tbe Benu could not play long for its audience.S. Pravat Kiron Basu.in 1927. So far our knowledge aoes this was the first of its kind in Bengali. richness of articles it soon earned popularity . It soon achived -quite good circulation. In· 1929 was published the Maspayala under joint editorship of Kshitish Ch. the pen name of Swami Premaghananda. In year 19 38 •Pathsala' under editorship of Harendra Nath Sen.of the "Pattari" under the editorship of Biren Roy. Probhat Kiron Basu was a poet and story teller of repute. In 1939 under the joint editorship of Kshitish Bhattacharya and Bisu Mukherjee was published "Rabibar". StJdhangeu Sekher Gupta and Satyendra Sankar Das Gupta were its joint editors.Sakha" under the editorship of C. known as Kakababu edited the journal "Jalchabi".A. sam~ year Priya . But the pape. It is not known how long it lived and who was its editor. appeared from Dacca now in Bangia Desh. It was a periodical of distinctive character. It was the. but o~ing to paucity of funds it could not survive for long. The same year saw the publication .hat. From Rangpur in North Bengal was published 'Arun' . In 1927 appeared "Ramdhanu". In 1930 we come to know of a periodical-"Naba Aloke". followed by Hemendra Kumar Roy and Satikanta Guha. It was rather short lived and was irregular in appearance. ~o furthar details are available about it. next came joint editors Kamakshi Prosad Chatterjee and Debiprosad Chatterjee.M. "Sisu Saogat" under editorship of Md. Its editor was Harishikesh Bhowmik. but it met the same · fate after a f~w . Though tbortlived. however. In 1951 was published the "Kishorbarta" but it could not live long. The Calcutta Y. In 1927 was published the :'Yadughar" under the joint editorship of Premankur Atarthi and Girija K. published ·"(. In that year was published the "Saji" under the editorship of Lalit Moban . One year after that Provat Kiron Basu brought out another journal the "Bhaibon".a very short life. another juvenile monthly "Rajbhog". "Alo" under joint editorship of Ramaprasad Mitra and Kumudranjan Das. In 192-J.Mqkherjee.. It was published in 1931. "Phuler Renu". After nine years '31 3Q: . The first editor was Premendra Mitra.of Mohanlal Gangopadhyay and Sati Kanta Guha. But it was very shortlived. Tl\en in 1934 was published the ''Mohan Benu" under the editorship of the Sri Rabindranath Sen. and ''Dhruba" with Birendranath Ghosh as its editor. In that very year was published another monthly the "Benu" edited by Bhupendra Kishore Rakshit Roy.r pould not last long. who· offered the editorship to his son Manoranjan Bhattacharya. Even then it is not yet certain which one came out first. The "Rajbhog" also enjoyed . nor could it earn any popularity. In 'this year the journal Ragmasal was published which lasted for twelve years. . In 1928 ''Chitra" was published under the joint editorship . Then in 1940 Rabiranjan Mitra Majumdar edited and published the 'Rupkatha' and Bijan Kumar Ganguly published and edited the 'Sikha'. During that time five editors looked after its publication.cheapest juvenile journal of those days. republished a few years later. Next year Mohini Mohan Mukhopadhyay joined as editor.C. It was edited by Sitesl:l Chandra Khan.i I 'I II) I ! I ! i . it created a stir in the juvenile world for sometime. :Since his untimely demise his youngest brother Kshitindra Narayan Bhattacherjee is editing the journal very ably. Nath Das brought out the "Ankur". Bose. That .

our village. It did not live long._ 'Fulki' under the editorship of Profulla Roy. sports. In 1954 "Danpiteder Asar" was published. It haG> its cinema corner._ and easily understandable. alpano appeared regularly in Kishore. In 1958 was· published the. The most popular one was our village which was written by village school boys. could not last long either.hagendranath Mitra. under the: editorship of Khagendra Nath ·Mitra on the 4th of April 1948~ Unfortunately it could not live for more than eight months~ The Kishore was quite distinctive in cateringthe news. Its reporters were all young boys and they collected news from all ovet Calcutta. news of clubs and associations besides other topics. Usual news were purchased from the Reuters and other news offices.Chotoder Mahal''. It enjoyed the glory of being the fi. sketches. Photos.rst and only daily news paperfor boys and girls published in India. an event happened which was as significati'C: as it was revolutionary. spelling and contents. It 32 . Editorials were topical. children of the o~lter ·tands. In the same year was published from Howrah 'Abhinava~ Agrani with Dilip Kumar Bag as its editor. In 1948. The news covered were thosethat the boys and girls should know and club-news occupied a good deal of space. In the year 1950 under the same editorshiP' of Khagendra Nath Mitra was published 'Natun Manus'. undw the editorship of K..of the abdve attempt was published . language. cartoons. It ceased publication after a few weeks and two years later it reappeared under the same editorship. The significant event was the publication of "Kishore" a ~aily newspaper for the children. Then in 195& was published 'Sri Charanesu'. Set'.ltences were short but colloquial.

To conclude. Gote Klingberg of the Gothenburg University. Provasb Ronjan Dey. I must express my gratitude for the troubles taken by Mr.members of Academy in publishing this book. Sweden and President of the ''International Rese~rch Society for Children's Litera-· ture" for encouraging me in my work with his Foreword. 1 am also thankful to Sbri Anil Chandra Chakrabarty for proof reading which helped to publish the book in short time. Jogindra Nath Sarker Aabanindra Nath T~ore Upendra Kishore Roy Chowdhury Kulada Ranjan Roy .

lllCJll b1 ful to helped ex pres Kling! of the ture" J'ramada RaJ jan R0y Sukha Lata Rao .lt'artick Das Gupta Daksbina Ranjan Mitra Majumder Sunirmal Bose Sukumar Roy Mohan La! Gangopadhya Mani Lal Gangopadbya .

· In their seventh report the Society congratulated . Rujn Rammohan Roy and Clark Marshman. Maulvi Hyder Ali. Jarity u second volume w~s publi~hed. Tarachand Datta.memh ful to helped expres Klingl of the ture" ONE The dawn of the 19th century saw the beginning of B~ng~li prose. Tarachand Datta's ''Manoranjnnctihas" was published in 1819. Raja Rammohan wrote on scientific topic!! und his eiTorts were original. Sourindra Nath Mukherjee Khagendra Nath Mitra Sukumar Dey Sarker Rabindra Lal Ray . • The book • wus first published as one volume. Tarini Charan Mitra. thus had its roots in the text books and in the domain of education.ivided into d three parts. The accent was on making these text books as interesting and easy reading as possible.itself that their efforts for the improvement of Bengali language had been crowned with success. The British paramount power assisted it to meet the ever increasing demand for text books in the schools. The children's literature in Bengal. Later owing to its popu. But the first leap towards _ consolidation of children's literature was the establishment of the School Book Society to prepare and publish cheap books useful for schools. " Nitikatha" was published in 1818 and it was . It was not a text book but rneroly a collection of eighteen stories and essays. Maulvi Mohammed Rashid and Mritunjoy Tarkalankar. which was subsequently renamed as ·•Vpadesh Katha'. and Captain Stuart. The members of the Society were-Radhakanta Deb. Ramkamal Sen. of Bengal was also born. The missionaries of Serampore laid its foundation by bringing out the first chiidren's journal " Digdarshan". Stuart's book was "Itihas Katha". were collahornlorN of Digdarshan. Ram Kamal Sen. The writer~ of · books published by them were Radhakanta Deb. It was during this period the children's literature·. Besides a short history of England. it contained a few advices with a dictionary as an appendix. set up to produce clerks. After Nitikatha. .