English Enclave

Cricket field brawl generated Vande Mataram

This might appear as both stunning and novel to many but the latest researches do suggest that “Vande Mataram” of Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay did originate from the cricket field. And the brawl between Babu Bankim Chattopadhyay (then Deputy Collector of the Murshidabad District) and Colonel Duffin, Commanding Officer at Berhampore Cantonment at the Barrack Square (now called Square Field) at Behrampore in the said district. And it was the evening of December 15, 1873 when a few British soldiers was busy in playing cricket under the command of Colonel Duffin and watched by many English and Indian gentleman. Babu Bankim was on his palanquin while going back to his residence and there was indeed a negligible mistake, instead of moving to lane sidewise bearers preferred to cross the field. This single act not only stopped the sport for a while but out of rage Colonel Duffin pulled Babu Bankim from the palanquin and thrashed him severely. Even if the fierce struggle ended in the court room along with an apology from the Colonel in the open, it left an indelible mark on his psyche leading to the birth of Vande Mataram.

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