Page:Nil Durpan.djvu/12

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of bowmen, another, of slingsmen like David of old. Another company consists of brickwallas, for which purpose they have even, as I hear, collected the scattered bricks about my own compound. Another company consists of balewallas. Their business is merely to send unripe bale fruits at the heads of the lattials. Again another division consists of thalwallas who fling their brass rice-plates in a horizontal way at the enemy which does great execution. Again, another division consists of rolawallas who receive the enemy with whole and broken well-burned earthen pots. The Bengali women do at times great execution with this weapon."

[From a letter of Rev. C. Bomwetsch, dated 25.1.1860 to the Editor, Indian Field]

The brief survey in the foregoing paragraphs helps to give the reader an idea about the social and political milieu in which the Nil Darpan was written. In fact it was written when Lord Canning, writing to the Home Government, said: "I assure you that for about a week it caused me more anxiety than I have had since the days of Delhi…and from that day I felt that a shot fired in anger or fear by one foolish planter might put every factory in lower Bengal in flames."

Its impact on the different strata of the society was great. As the publisher of the English version of the Nil Darpan Rev. J. Long was imprisoned and fined. His fine was paid by that great son of Bengal, Kaliprasanna Sinha. Rev. Long's cell became a place of pilgrimage to both Indians and Europeans.


To come to the drama, NIL DARPAN is firmly based on facts. To use a modern phraseology, it is documentary in nature. Its characters and situations are largely drawn from real life. The hero, Nabin Madhab, and his brother, Bindhu Madhab, bear a marked resemblance to Bishnu Charan Biswas and Digambar Biswas of the Chowgacha