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The Raj & the Bengali People

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Item Code: HAX444
Author: Sunil K. Datta
Publisher: Firma KLM Private Limited, Calcutta
Language: English
Edition: 2002
Pages: 186
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 300 gm
Book Description
About The Book

This book is ne history nor chronological accounts of a people. It is simply a treatise on Bengali nationalism that has hardly any mention in any prevalent history books. There are books on Bengal history but not precisely on Nationalism' which is the raison d'être of this book. Bengali nationalism struck first in the reign of the Pala Dynasty when the Bengali language originated. Then in the reign of King Hussain Shah it blossomed with all its glory but during the reign of the Raj it blossomed with all the petals, fully flourished. In India there are/were many races but there was one nation, i.e. the Bengali nation. But strangely speaking. No sooner had the British left the country than the Bengali nationalism had a diminishing fall though the vestige faintly lingered for a decade and a half.

This is what has been feebly attempted upon in the book and in doing so some age- old never-to-be disputed and well-established ideas and beliefs have been massively jolted at. A spade has been called a spade but no twist and turn has been resorted to facilitate the writings. An all-out effort has been roped in to make it easy reading.

About The Author

The author teaches English. He has interest in many disciplines of human knowledge ranging from language and literature to pop culture. He has profound empathy for Bengali speech and people. The present-day vulgarisation of chaste and colloquial Bengali with the influx from erst-while East Pakistan and the overall degradation and decadence of the Bengali culture pain him much. He has written a book 'Bengali Phonetics- a New Approach' to retain the chastity of the standard Bengali speech. His present book The Raj and the Bengali People' is the glaring manifestation of his concern for the Bengali race and refinement.

A true Bengali, he loves both Bengali and English for he believes every educated Bengali should know the two languages equally well as we drew our life force from English. It was the mastery of the language that gave us a lead over the rest of the country and enriched our life, literature and culture.

At the age of 68, he is ever active and ever creative.


Going through the history of Bengal one will certainly notice that Bengal rose into prominence only three times throughout her total history-one was during the reign of the Pala Dynasty and to some extent the Senas, the second that of King Hussain Shah and third and final the British regime. The last one was the zenith of Bengali supremacy which may invite adverse criticism but it is true that Bengali- ness which is akin to Bengali nationalism had a faint beginning in the reign of king Sasanka and after passing through many a see-saw battle reached the culmination in the days of the "Raj" and in the long run bit the dust along with the departure of the same.

It is really a wonder how such a marvellous feat did a people achieve within a short span of roughly one hundred and fifty years. History does not speak of any nation which has such a wonderful record achieved within such a short period. After coming in contact with the Greek scholars and learning European nations took hundreds of years to reap the harvest of the contact. Bengal came in contact with the English People precisely in the 18th century and reaped the harvest in the 19th century, though it is also a fact that the English evangelists with uncommon missionary zeal ignited the soul of Bengal for the thirst for knowledge and learning. Perhaps we the Bengali people, though the gentle-folk, were also ready to be roused.

This unique character of the Bengali people has induced me to trace the Bengali nationalism and compose a paean on them who are now no longer a force to reckon with. In Indian perspective the people had all along suffered humiliation but it retaliated and cocked a snook at the rest of the sub-continent by gaining an all-round development in the period of the Raj. It is true that during the Raj we had never won any battle nor set up any kingdom but simply by dint of our intellect and mastering their language we really became the master of the whole sub-continent right from the field of education to law and administration. It was, indeed, we who ran the British administration as well as that of many princely states.

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