Jogendra Chandra Basu's Model Bhagini in its Historical Context

My M.A. thesis is on one of the most prominent but now forgotten figures of the late 19th. century Bengali society and literature, Jogendra Chandra Basu (1854-1905). He was the founder-editor of most popular newspapers and magazines in English, Hindi and Bengali in a span of about more than 20 years (1881-1905). His "Bangabasi Press" published numerous popular, journals, periodicals and his own novels, sketches and essays, catering mostly to the local readership, specially in the small towns and villages in Bengal, where the so-called mainstream vernacular and English press hardly found any easy access. What was the secret of his popularity? Was it his conservative outlook that found its supporters among a certain section of the then society or his adherence to the high ideals of brahmanic Hinduism or the sensationalised newspaper reportings or his satire, not very subtle, expressed in simple language of the commoners, which often appealed to their rural sense of humor? My work is simply an attempt to have a deeper look into the inner tensions in the split society, which was on the verge of entering the impending modern age, and yet a part of it was still trying to clutch to the older values. Specially in the light of a much popular (even popular than many of the mainstream works, which was later considered as pioneer works of that time) satirical novel "Model Bhagini", the confrontations between these two groups come out clearly. Every society in change experiences the same conflicts within itself. In course of my work I've come across only two books directly dealing with the persona of this editor-writer, without whom the study of the late 19th century movements and the turmoil in the then Bengali society among the pro- and anti-modern sections seems to be incomplete; Amiya P. Sen's "Hindu Revivalism in Bengal" from Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1993 and Shymananda Banerjee's "National Awakening and the Bangabasi" published by the Amitava-Kalayan Publication, Calcutta, 1968.

Jogendra Chandra Basu's Model Bhagini in its Historical Context.   (PDF)