ABSTRACT

Ritual purity, well into the post-Independence period was a crucial consideration for all clean caste Hindu villagers. They preserved a clear distance from the lower castes in general, and from the ritually very polluting muchis in particular. The bhadralok was defined by his education. Because of this and also because of the parallel development of fiction and debate, and of the modern Bengali language, the bhadralok’s was a very literature-conscious culture, centring on novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and on conducting debates through the medium of literature. elimmaster’s notebook suggests that foremost in the minds of himself and his peers was a keen appraisal of the need for cooperation and on institution-building for the improvement of the village, together with a vision of state-assisted development. In Gopinathpur one kayastha-family consisted of well-educated government employees and first-rate bhadralok. The head-of-family, Paritas, had retired from practice as a lawyer to pursue a landlord bhadralok life-style in his ancestral village.