The word ‘Bankim Chandra’ describes in Bengali ‘the moon as it appears on the second day of the bright fortnight’. The moon then grows and fills out over the next twelve nights.
For a long time, young Bankim Chandra’s intelligence was the talk of the town. A student would consider it the greatest compliment he had ever received if his teachers said, "Ah, there is another Bankim Chandra in the making".
Bankim Chandra was never obsequious towards the British. The arrogance of the white men never frightened him. As a Deputy Magistrate, he was once insulted by a Colonel. He refused to take it lying down and extracted an apology from the offending officer. He once served under a British officer named Munro. One day,Bankim Chandra met Munro near Eden Gardens. A British officer in those days expected any subordinate Indian official to show his respect by bowing modestly before him. Bankim Chandra merely walked past Munro. An enraged Munro transferred Bankirn Chandra to a different place.
Bankim Chandra did for Bengali fiction what Michael Madhusudan Dutt had done for Bengali poetry, that is, he brought in imagination. Chatterjee was more fortunate than Dutt as he did not have to set up his own diction from the very start. The prose style was already standardized; what Bankim Chandra did was to discard its verbosity and give it a large measure of informality and intimacy.
"It is not in human nature for the conquered to respect the conquerors or regard them as selfless benefactors, and for the conquerors to shrink from employing physical force. ...this racial animosity is the natural result of our present condition; there will be no end of it so long as the foreigners rule over us ..."
--- Bankim Chandra
"I have no ill feeling towards either English or Englishmen........It is very good to study English as much as possible...(but) pure silver is better than gilt brass...A true Bengali is better than one who poses as an Englishman .......Bengal will not progress as long as educated people and scholars do not express themselves in Bengali."
--- Bankim Chandra in the first issue of ‘Bangadarshan’