BFoundation | Bengali Nationalism
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Bengali Nationalism

Bengali nationalism is rooted in the expression of pride in the history and cultural, intellectual and revolutionary heritage of Bengal. The region’s territory is divided between Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal and the southern part of the Indian state of Assam and Tripura . Arising in the 19th century with the Bengal Renaissance and the Indian independence movement, it would be the central influence in the Bengali Language Movement, the Bangladesh Liberation War and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Bengali nationalism is rooted in the expression of pride in the history and cultural heritage of Bengal.[citation needed] In what is described as the Bengal Renaissance, the introduction of Western culture, science and education led to a major transformation and development of Bengali society. Bengal became a centre of modern culture, intellectual and scientific activities, politics and education under British Raj.

The first social and religious reform movements such as the Brahmo Samaj and Ramakrishna Mission arose in Bengal, as did national leaders and reformers such as Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sri Aurobindo, Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Swami Vivekananda. Bengali literature, poetry, religion, science and philosophy underwent a massive expansion with the works of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Debendranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Satyendra Nath Bose, Jagdish Chandra Bose and Kazi Nazrul Islam.

The Young Bengal, and Jugantar movements and newspapers like Amrita Bazar Patrika led the intellectual development of India. The Calcutta-based Indian National Association and the British Indian Association were the earliest political organisations in India.