Just as two centuries earlier the Jesuits at Madura, in the extreme south, composed works in Tamil, which are still acknowledged as classical by native authors, so did the Baptist mission at Serampur, near Calcutta, first raise Bengali to the rank of a literary dialect.
The occasion though not the cause of trouble arose from the partition of Bengal, which was represented by Bengali agitators as an insult to their mother country.
It was there that he first came into collision with the Bengali Brahman, Nuncomar, whose subsequent fate has supplied more material for controversy than any other episode in his career.
His reputation as a writer among his own countrymen was early assured, and the 30 poetical and 28 prose works composed by him in Bengali are now regarded as classics.
Indeed, so close was the resemblance that for a time Bengali was used as the court and official language of the province under British rule.
As a rule Bengali is the language of Bengal proper, Hindi of Behar and Chota Nagpur, and Oriya of Orissa.
Serious popular agitation followed this step, on the ground (inter alia) that the Bengali population, the centre of whose interests and prosperity was Calcutta, would now be divided under two governments, instead of being concentrated and numerically dominant under the one; while the bulk would be in the new division.
Lama Ugyen Gyatso, a semi-Tibetan, who was originally a teacher of Tibetan in a Darjeeling school, was trained by the Indian Survey Department as a surveyor, and being deputed to take tribute from his monastery to Tashilhunpo, he secured permission in 1879 from the Tashilhunpo authorities for Sarat Chandra Das, Bengali schoolmaster at Darjeeling, to visit that monastery, where his name was entered as a student.
He gave a printingpress to the Samaj, and established a monthly journal called the Tattwabodhini Patrikd, to which the Bengali language now owes much for its strength and elegance.
Hinduism has also impressed its language upon the province, and the vernacular Assamese possesses a close affinity to Bengali, with the substitution of s for the Bengali ch, of a guttural h for the Bengali h or sh, and a few other dialectic changes.