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Sub-Regional ‘Essences’ And The Regional Self

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to show how the agenda of a redefined jati intertwined with applications of samaj to both sub-regional and regional contexts to explain and connect local distinctiveness to the overarching notion of the Bengali samaj and approximate the notion of pan-regional unity. As the cultural and samajik variations of specific sub-regions in Bengal were supposed to endow Bengali-ness with its unique dimensions, there was a spate of sub-regional histories from the second half of the nineteenth century. A predominant theme in the notion of Bengali-ness applied in sub-regional contexts was cultural Aryan-ness. The intent of the literati's discourse on sub-regional histories was to apprehend a jatiya unity through accounts of local samajs. The literati explained the blending of Aryan and non-Aryan religious streams with reference to samajik upheaval in fourteenth century Bengal.

Keywords: Aryan; jati; literati's discourse; non-Aryan; sub-regional samajs



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