05 November, 2012

The Plough and The Pen : Peasantry, Agriculture, and the Literati in Colonial Bengal

The Plough and The Pen : Peasantry, Agriculture, and the Literati in Colonial Bengal

By- Bipasha Raha

Since the 1830s Bengal witnessed a vast outpouring of creative writing. Their authors came from diverse social background. In some cases their portrayal of the peasantry was a manifestation of their coherent agrarian thinking. The interest centred on the legal and social status of peasants; types of tenures and their obligations; organization of agrarian production; impact of world economic forces on agrarian economy and; existing land legislations.

This book brings forward hitherto unexplored aspects of literati perception of peasants and agriculture in colonial Bengal. It focuses on representation of the peasant in different literary genres, on issues related to agriculture and rural resuscitation at a time when there was intensification of the nationalist movement and the necessity of acquiring a mass base becomes crucial for some members of the literati. Analysis of vernacular literature, including tract literature and those authored by men not well known socially, much of it still untapped, makes this book a pioneering one. 

This book will be of interest to students, researchers and scholars of history, sociology, literature and South Asian studies.  

Bipasha Raha is Associate Professor of History at Visva-Bharati (a central University), Santiniketan. She was awarded the Charles Wallace Fellowship by the Charles Wallace India Trust.

ISBN  978-81-7304-941-5   2003   318p.   Rs.975/Pounds 50

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