(Last Updated on : 01-08-2014)
Devdas, represents, the mellowness of the adolescent passion, which was assassinated by the customary chains of the contemporary ethico-moral tradition. Devdas is a vivid picture of rural Bengal, based on the division and discrimination on the basis of class and caste. The innocent passion of love and affection fall short before the social fanaticism. The interrelationship among the individuals was delimited by the status, symbolized by class and money.
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhya, the stalwart of the Bengali Literature, born in 15th September 1876, in Debanandapur of Hooghly district. Being a product of rural Bengal, Sarat Chandra had a first hand experience of the rural politics based on fanatic orthodoxy and unproductive morality. The shrewd manipulation of the socially challenged individual according to the needs of the social administrator mortified the novelist. In the early phase of his career, the elemental subject of his works mainly was the inhibition of the naive passion by social conservatism.
The story line of Devdas centers round the agonized soul of Devdas, the youngest son of the affluent Brahmin family in rural Bengal. The novel opens with the inseparable acquaintance of Devdas with Parvati, the girl of an affluent Merchant family. The story develops with the maturity of their pubescent emotions, which was intensified with the short separation of Devdas from Parvati, popularly identified as Paro. After the homecoming of Devdas, when their adolescent ardor was about to find expression, it was the society, which comes forward to crush the affectionate adoration of the young souls. In spite of being equally affluent, the social difference was considered as the barrier behind their union. However, Paro was forced to marry a person, of her father's age to maintain the face of family. Finally in a blatant disregard of "purdah", when Paro rushed to see Devdas lying dead in front of her house, it was the unkind ethico-moral restrictions, which prohibit her to have a glance of her beloved, who was already dead.
Devdas entirely demonstrates the life of a tormented soul, who could live neither for himself, nor for his love and finally deserted his life. Apparently, it is evident that the reckless life of the protagonist Devdas, is responsible behind his final predicament, but the ethico-moral code, defined by the grotesque society, which rejected him the union with his love is no less responsible for his ultimate destiny. The title truly signifies all the youngsters of the contemporary society, who were perished by the ineffective social fanaticism.
The novel, published in serials in Bharatbarsha, a monthly magazine. It was published by GCS as a book on 30th June 1917 (Asharh of [B] 1324). Highly acclaimed in its days, Devdas was translated into Gujarati by Brajlal Thakkar in the year 1925 and Naresh Mitra made a silent film of it in 1929. Pramathesh Barua's film Devdas, for Bengali screen was released on 3rd March 1935 and on 21st September in Hindi.