Missionaries Interface: Comparing the Development of Assamese and Oriya Literary Culture in the Nineteenth Century
Nineteenth century Indian literary and cultural conventions were the outcome of several historical turning points. One such phenomenon was the intensifying of missionaries’ activities with the objectives of Christian propagation and religious conversion in the country. For the purpose, missionaries wrote, translated and printed massive amount of religious and secular literature and the genre of prose was the vehicle. While doing so, they introduced to the Indian literary soil a new form, and developed an identifiable literary pattern, a common literary core, and interrelatedness throughout the country which can be considered as the result of their taking the stronghold of certain cultural and literary reigns from weaker hands. This essay examines the missionaries’ role and functions in the development of the literary modernity in the nineteenth century India by taking a comparative case study of Assam and Orissa. It takes into consideration both similarities and differences in the development of prose, translation, text books and print technology.
Keywords: missionaries; Assamese and Oriya literature; Buranjis; Bakhars, Prabodh Chandrika; Indian literature.
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