There was a representation of moderate Hindu revivalism as it was being articulated in the second half of the nineteenth century. Hindi writers from Banaras, the sacred city of Kāśī, were coming under traditional core group of Hinduism. (Vasudha Dalmia, 2007, 90) They seemed to be involved in Hindu identity formation which challenged the conceptualisation of the missionary and the Hindu reformist and sought support of the Orientalist.
Bhāratendu Hariścandra, the Banaras’s primary literary figure, recognized Hindu dharma as the source of reform. He has taken a leading role in demanding the formation of Hindu identity through publication, education and being attached to various public institutions. Bhāratendu as a Vaiṣṇava claimed that depraved and corrupt society can be improved in social aspect and religious aspect in his speech on Bhārat kī Unnati kaise ho sakatī he. The articulation of refined Hindu identity continued to immensely influence on contemporary and later Hindi writers over a decade.
Hindi literature truly functioned as a public sphere. (Francesca Orsini, 2002; Vasudha Dalmia, 1996) Structure of emotions of the people in Hindi belt was practically exposed and Hindu identity discourse spread out in modern literary genres, especially satirical drama.
This paper attempts to examine the refined elements of Hindu identity through the analyses of satire and humour of the characters in the satirical dramas Vaidikī hiṃsā hiṃsā na bhavatī and Pākhaṇḍa Viḍambana of Bhāratendu Hariścandra.