Making of Bengali Literary Culture in the 18th Century: The Case of Cachar and Tripura

By Tanima Dey

This paper intends to unpack the processes that shaped the contours of Bengali literary culture in Cachar and Tripura during the eighteenth century. In the context of shared political fortunes by Cachar and Tripura with Bengal since the ancient times, the socio-religious, cultural and linguistic similarities of these regions with Bengal were a spontaneous historical process. But eventually patronage extended by the rulers of both Cachar and Tripura resulted in the making of prolific Bengali literary cultures. But this corpus of literature produced beyond the ‘mainland of Bengal’ are often termed as residual and dialectic in nature, therefore do not feature in the ‘standard’ definition of Bengali language and literarines in the modern parlance. This paper attempts to draw attention to the cultural context of vernacularization in these two regions which essentially happened through the instrument of the Bengali language and the associated cultural elements of premodern Bengal.  

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