HOME
The Info List - Bengali Hindus





Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
(Bengali: বাঙালি হিন্দু) are ethnic Bengali adherents of Hinduism, and are native to the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
speak Bengali, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family and adhere to the Shakta
Shakta
and Vaishnava
Vaishnava
traditions of their native religion, Hinduism.[8][9] The Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population is mainly concentrated in the Indian state of West Bengal
Bengal
where they are majority (70.54%) and it is also called the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
homeland which is created on the time of partition of India
India
to ensure a safe homeland for Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
in the Bengal region of Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
by Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, and in Islamic Bangladesh, they are the second-largest group just after Bengali Muslims. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
also form a majority of 60% in the Indian state of Tripura, due to mass migrations from East Pakistan
East Pakistan
and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
in the latter half of the 20th century. There are significant numbers of Bengali-speaking Hindus in many states of India, including Assam, Karnataka (especially in the capital of Bangalore), Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Odisha, and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.[10][11] There is also a diaspora.

Devi Durga
Durga
Sculpture by Sandalwood, Found in Murshidabad, West Bengal; Now kept in Indian Museum, Kolkata

Around the 8th century, the Bengali language
Bengali language
branched off from Magadhi Prakrit, a derivative of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
that was prevalent in the eastern region of the Indian Subcontinent at that time.[12] During the Sena period (11th – 12th century) the Bengali culture developed into a distinct culture within the Hindu
Hindu
civilisation. With the spread of Islam
Islam
in the region in subsequent centuries, Islamic characteristics grew among Bengalis
Bengalis
who converted to Islam. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were at the forefront of the Bengal
Bengal
Renaissance in the 19th century. The Bengal region was noted for its participation in struggle for the independence from the British rule.[13][14] At the time of independence of India
India
in 1947, the province of Bengal
Bengal
was partitioned between India
India
and East Pakistan, part of the Muslim-majority state of Pakistan. Millions of Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
migrated from East Bengal
Bengal
(later Bangladesh) and settled in West Bengal
Bengal
and other states of India. The migration continued in waves through the fifties and sixties, especially during the 1950 East Pakistan
East Pakistan
genocide and the 1964 East- Pakistan
Pakistan
riots.[15] In 1971, during the Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Liberation War, an estimated 2.4 million Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were massacred by the Pakistani army.[16] Estimates for the total number of people killed by Pakistan
Pakistan
Army range from 300,000[17] to 3,000,000.[18]

Contents

1 Ethnonym 2 Ethnology 3 History

3.1 Ancient period 3.2 Medieval period 3.3 Early modern period 3.4 British rule, Renaissance, struggle for Independence 3.5 Post-partition period

4 Geographic distribution

4.1 Indian States other than West Bengal 4.2 Outside Indian Subcontinent

5 Culture

5.1 Economy 5.2 Literature 5.3 Art

6 Religion

6.1 Festivals

7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 Bibliography

Ethnonym[edit] The Hindus are a religious group,[19] native to the Indian subcontinent, speaking a broad range of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages and adhering to the native belief systems, rooted in the Vedas. The word Hindu
Hindu
is popularly believed to be a Persian exonym for the people native to the Indian subcontinent. The word is derived from Sindhu,[20] the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
name for the river Indus
Indus
and it initially referred to the people residing to the east of the river. The Hindus are constituted into various ethno-linguistic subgroups, which in spite of being culturally diverse, share a common bond of unity. The word Bengali is derived from the Bengali word bangali. The English word Bengali denoting the people as well as the language is derived from the English word Bengal
Bengal
denoting the region, which itself is derived ultimately from the Bengali word Vanga which was one of the five historical kingdoms of Eastern India. According to Harivamsa, Bali, the king of the asuras had five sons from his wife Sudeshna through sage Dirghatama. The five sons namely Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, Pundra
Pundra
and Sumha went on found five kingdoms of the same name in the eastern region of the Indian subcontinent. In ancient times Vanga proper consisted of the deltaic region between Bhagirathi, Padma and Madhumati, but later on extended to include the regions which now roughly comprise the Indian state of West Bengal
Bengal
and Bangladesh. In India, they tend to identify themselves as Bengalis[21] while in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
they tend to identify themselves as Hindus.[22] In the global context, the terms Indian Bengali[23] and Bangladeshi Hindu[24] are respectively used. In India, Bengali generally refers to Bengali Hindus, excluding a significant number of Bengali Muslims
Bengali Muslims
who are also ethnically Bengalis.[25] The 'other' is usually identified as 'non-Bengali', a term that generically refers to the Hindu
Hindu
people who are not Bengali speaking, but sometimes specifically used to denote the Hindi
Hindi
speaking population. Ethnology[edit] The Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
constitute of numerous endogamous castes, which are sometimes further subdivided into endogamous subgroups. The caste system evolved over centuries and became more and more complex with time. In the medieval period, several castes were boycotted by the ruling classes from time to time and this isolation continued till the 19th century. These social boycotts were somewhat discriminatory in nature. After the Renaissance, the rigidity of the caste system ceased to a great extent, so much so that the first celebrated intercaste marriage took place as early as in 1925. The Bengali Hindu
Hindu
families are patriarchal as well as patrilocal and traditionally follow a joint family system. However, due to the Partition and subsequent urbanisation, the joint families have given way to the nuclear families. The Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were traditionally governed by the Dāyabhāga school of law, as opposed to the Mitākṣarā school of law, which governed the other Hindu ethno-linguistic groups. In [India, after the promulgation of the Hindu
Hindu
code bills, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
along with other Hindus are being governed by a uniform Hindu
Hindu
law. There are two major social subgroups among the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
– the ghotis and the bangals. The Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
who emigrated from East Bengal
Bengal
(Bangladesh) at the wake of the Partition and settled in West Bengal, came to known as the bangals, while the native Bengali Hindus of West Bengal
Bengal
came to known as ghotis. For several decades after partition, these two social subgroups possessed marked difference in their accents and their rivalry was manifested in many spheres of life, most notably in the support for the football clubs of East Bengal
Bengal
and Mohun Bagan respectively. Several such differences have eased with passing years. History[edit] Ancient period[edit]

Dancing Ganesha
Ganesha
sculpture from North Bengal, 11th century CE, Asian Art Museum of Berlin (Dahlem).

In the ancient times, some of the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were seafaring people as evident from Vijay Singha's naval conquest of Lanka,[26][27] the tales of merchants like Chand Sadagar
Chand Sadagar
and Dhanapati Saudagor whose ships sailed to far off places for trade and establishment of colonies in South East Asia. By the 3rd century B.C.E. they were united into a powerful state, known to the Greeks as Gangaridai, whose military prowess demoralised Alexander from further expedition to the east.[28][29] Later the region of Bengal
Bengal
came under Maurya, Shunga and Gupta rule. In the 7th century, Shashanka
Shashanka
became the independent Hindu ruler of Gauda. He successfully fought against his adversaries Harshavardhana
Harshavardhana
and Bhaskaravarmana and protected the sovereignty of the people. Medieval period[edit]

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the founder of Gaudiya Vaishnavism

In the middle of the 8th century, the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
nobility democratically elected Gopala as the ruler of Gauda, ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in [Bengal, ending almost a century of chaos and confusion. The Buddhist Pala rulers unified Bengal
Bengal
into a single political entity and expanded it into an empire, conquering a major portion of North India. During this time, the Bengali Hindus excelled in art, literature, philosophy, mathematics, sciences and statecraft. The first scriptures in Bengali Charyapada was composed during the Pala rule. The Pala were followed by the Senas who made far reaching changes in the social structure of Bengali Hindus, introducing 36 new castes and orthodox institutions like kulinism. The literary progress of the Pala and Sena period came to a halt after the Turkish conquest in the early 13th century. Except for Haridas Datta's Manasar Bhasan no significant literary work was composed for about a century after the conquest.[30] Even though the ruling classes resisted the invaders, Gauda, the centre of Bengal
Bengal
polity, fell to the Islamic invaders. During this period hundreds of temples and monasteries were desecrated. The next attack on the society came from the Islamic missionaries.[31] Local chieftains like Akananda, Dakshin Ray and Mukut Ray, resisted the missionary activities. The Pathan occupation of Bengal
Bengal
was limited to the region of Gauda, the rest of which was held in sway by different Bengali Hindu
Hindu
rulers. Islam
Islam
religion gradually spread throughout the Bengal
Bengal
region, and many Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were forcefully converted to Islam. In the early 15th century, the Pathan rule of Gauda was overthrown by the Bengali Hindu nobility under the leadership of Ganesha. When the Delhi-based Mughals tried to bring Bengal
Bengal
under their direct rule, the Bengali Hindu chiefs along with some Bengali Muslims
Bengali Muslims
consolidated themselves into confederacies and resisted the Mughals. After the fall of the confederacies, the Mughals brought a major part of Bengal
Bengal
under their control, and constituted a subah. Early modern period[edit] During the decline of the Mughal Empire, Nawabs of Bengal
Bengal
(who were Muslim) ruled large part of Bengal. During the reign of Alivardi Khan. a Nawab, the severe taxation and frequent raids made the life miserable for the ordinary Bengali people.[32] A section of the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
nobility helped the British East India
India
Company in overthrowing the Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah
Siraj ud-Daulah
regime. After obtaining the revenue rights, the East India
India
Company imposed more oppressive taxation that led to the famine of 1770, in which approximately one third of the Bengali population died of starvation.[33] The British began to face stiff resistance in conquering the semi-independent Bengali Hindu
Hindu
kingdoms outside the pale of Muslim occupied Bengal. In some cases, even when their rulers have been captured or killed, the ordinary people began to carry on the fight.[citation needed] These resistances took the form of Bhumij (Chuar is a deragatory term used by the English to denote the Bhumij) and Paik Rebellion. These warring people were later listed as criminal tribes[citation needed] and barred from recruitment in the Indian army. In 1766, the British troops were completely routed by the sanyasis and fakirs or the warrior monks at Dinhata, where the latter resorted guerilla warfare. Bankim Chandra's Anandamath
Anandamath
is based on the Famine and consequential Sannyasi Rebellion.[34] British rule, Renaissance, struggle for Independence[edit] According to author James Jeremiah Novak, as British rulers took power from Bengal's ruling Muslim
Muslim
class, they strategically catered to Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
(a majority in Bengal
Bengal
region at that time).[35] The British rule destroyed the bases of Bengali Muslim
Muslim
society.[35] Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
got favours from the British rulers, and experienced development in education and social mobility. In the 19th century, the elite class of Bengali Hindu
Hindu
people underwent radical social reforms and rapid modernisation; the phenomenon came to be known as the Bengal Renaissance.

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
was a leading figure of the Renaissance who promoted India
India
and Hinduism
Hinduism
to the world

Public media like press and theatres became vents of nationalist sentiments, apolitical organisations had given way to political platforms, secret revolutionary societies emerged and the society at large became restive. With rising nationalism among Bengali Hindus, the British rulers applied divide and rule policy, and started to make favours to Bengali Muslims.[35] To keep the rising Bengali Hindu
Hindu
aspirations at bay, the British partitioned the province in 1905 and along with some additional restructuring came up with two provinces – Eastern Bengal & Assam
Assam
and Bengal
Bengal
itself, in each of which the Bengali Hindus were reduced to minorities. The Bengali Hindus, however, opposed to the Partition tooth and nail, embarked on a political movement of Swadeshi, boycott and revolutionary nationalism. On 28 September 1905, the day of Mahalaya, 50,000 Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
resolved before the Mother at Kalighat
Kalighat
to boycott foreign goods and stop employing foreigners.[36][37] The British Raj
British Raj
finally annulled the Partition in 1911. The Raj, however, carried out some restructuring, and carved out Bengali Hindu
Hindu
majority districts like Manbhum, Singbhum, Santal Pargana and Purnia
Purnia
awarding them to Bihar
Bihar
and others like Cachar
Cachar
that were awarded to Assam, which effectively made the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
a minority in the united province of Bengal. The Britishers also transferred the capital from Calcutta
Calcutta
to New Delhi. The revolutionary movement gained momentum after the Partition. Bengali revolutionaries collaborated with the Germans during the War to liberate British India. Later the revolutionaries defeated the British army in the Battle of Jalalabad and liberated Chittagong. During the Quit India
India
Movement, the revolutionaries liberated the Tamluk
Tamluk
and Contai
Contai
subdivision of Midnapore
Midnapore
district from British rule and established the Tamralipta National Government.

Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
who constituted 44% of the province, were awarded less than a third of the representation in the legislature.

The British, unable to control the revolutionary activities, decided to hinder the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
people through administrative reforms. The Government of India
India
Act 1919 introduced in the 144 member Bengal Legislative Assembly, 46 seats for the Muslims, 59 for the institutions, Europeans & others and left the rest 39 as General,[N 1] where the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were to scramble for a representation. The situation worsened with the Communal Award of 1932, where in the 250 member Bengal
Bengal
Legislative Assembly a disproportionate 119 seats were reserved for the Muslims, 17 for Europeans, Anglo-Indians & Indian Christians, 34 for the institutions, and the rest 80 were left as General.[38] The Communal Award further divided the Hindus into Scheduled Caste
Caste
Hindus and Caste Hindus.[38] Out of the 80 General seats, 10 were reserved for the Scheduled Castes.[N 2] In response the leading Bengali Hindu landholders, lawyers and professionals signed the Bengal
Bengal
Hindu Manifesto on 23 April 1932 rejecting the justification of reservation of separate electorates for Muslims in the Bengal
Bengal
Legislative Assembly.[39] In 1946, the Muslim
Muslim
League supporters started a series of violent attacks against Hindus in Kolkata
Kolkata
in the name of Direct Action Day, which escalated into the bloodiest communal riots between Hindus and Muslims of modern India. After the initial attacks, rapes and killings by Muslims, Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
joined hands with Sikhs and non-Bengali Hindus in attacking Muslims and ultimately it turned out to be a violent reprisal that resulted in heavy casualties of Muslims, finally forcing the government to stop the mayhem. Later in the year, the Muslim
Muslim
League government orchestrated the infamous Noakhali genocide.[40] The Direct Action Day
Direct Action Day
and the Noakhali genocide
Noakhali genocide
prompted the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
leadership to move for the creation of a Bengali Hindu
Hindu
majority province by partitioning Bengal. At that time, the movement for creation of Pakistan
Pakistan
was in full swing and Bengal
Bengal
was supposed to form one of its constituent provinces. After the failure of United Bengal plan when it became evident that all of Bengal
Bengal
would go to Pakistan, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
voted for the Partition of Bengal.[41] On 23 April 1947, the Amrita Bazar Patrika
Amrita Bazar Patrika
published the results of an opinion poll, in which 98.3% of the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
favoured the creation of a separate homeland.[42][43] The proposal for the Partition of Bengal was moved in the Legislative Assembly on 20 June 1947, where the Hindu members voted 58–21 in favour of the Partition with two members abstaining.[N 3] The Boundary Commission awarded the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
a territory far less in proportion to their population which was around 46% of the population of the province, awarding the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
majority district of Khulna to Pakistan. However, some Bengali Muslim
Muslim
majority districts such as Murshidabad
Murshidabad
and Malda were handed to India. Post-partition period[edit] After the Partition, the majority of the urban middle class Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population of East Bengal
Bengal
immigrated to West Bengal. The ones who stayed back were the ones who had significant landed property and believed that they will be able to live peacefully in an Islamic state. However, after the genocide of 1950, Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
fled East Bengal
Bengal
in thousands and settled in West Bengal. In 1964, tens of thousands of Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were massacred in East Pakistan
East Pakistan
and most of the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
owned businesses and properties of Dhaka
Dhaka
were permanently destroyed[44] During the liberation war of Bangladesh, an estimated 2.4 million Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were massacred in Bangladesh.[16] The Enemy Property Act of the Pakistan
Pakistan
regime which is still in force in the new incarnation of Vested Property Act, has been used by successive Bangladeshi governments to seize the properties of the Hindu
Hindu
minorities who left the country during the Partition of India
India
and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
liberation war. According to Professor Abul Barkat of Dhaka
Dhaka
University, the Act has been used to misappropriate 2,100,000 acres (8,500 km2) of land from the Bengali Hindus, roughly equivalent to the 45% of the total landed area owned by them.[45] The refugee rehabilitation became an acute crisis and hundreds of refugees were rehabilitated in the inhabitable terrains of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and the Andamans. Apart from that thousands of Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
had also immigrated to Assam, Tripura
Tripura
and other regions of the North East. In the Barak Valley
Barak Valley
region of Assam, where the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
were in a majority because of the inclusion of Sylhet
Sylhet
into Pakistan, and subsequent immigration of Bengali Hindus from Sylhet
Sylhet
into Cachar, an impasse was arrived at on the question of language. The government of Assam
Assam
had unilaterally imposed Assamese as the sole medium of education. In response, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
began peaceful demonstrations demanding Bengali as the optional medium of primary education in the Barak Valley
Barak Valley
region. The situation took an ugly turn on 19 May 1961, when eleven Bengali Hindu
Hindu
protesters including a minor girl were gunned down by the police at the Silchar railway station.[46][47][48] Subsequently, the Assam
Assam
government allowed Bengali as the medium of education in Barak Valley.[46] However, the rise of ethnic militancy in the eighties and nineties once again made the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
vulnerable in the North East. The United Liberation Front of Asom, National Democratic Front of Bodoland, Muslim
Muslim
United Liberation Tigers of Assam
Assam
and National Liberation Front of Tripura
Tripura
militants have selectively targeted the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
people, prompting the latter to form the Bengali Tiger Force.[49] Discrimination against Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population is not limited to the North East. In Jharkhand, the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
demand of making Bengali the second official language has not been met, in spite of the fact that the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population forms the second largest linguistic group in the state. In Bihar, many Bengali Hindu
Hindu
refugees are denied land owning rights and caste certificates.[50][51][52] On the other hand, massive infiltration from Bangladesh
Bangladesh
has substantially altered the demography in West Bengal
Bengal
so much so that Bengal
Bengal
Hindus have been reduced to minorities in the border regions and occasionally, there have been violent clashes between Muslim
Muslim
and Hindu
Hindu
mobs in Bengal.[53] Geographic distribution[edit] Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
constitute a minority ethnic group of the total population in both Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and India,[54] forming less than 10% of the population in both countries. From the sixties onward, like many other ethnic groups of India, many Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
began to emigrate outside India, mostly to pursue higher studies or in search of lucrative careers. This gave rise to a sizeable expatriate Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population in many parts of the world. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
form a majority in West Bengal, with a population of 64,385,550 (70.54%), while in Bangladesh, Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
are the second largest community with a population of 15,726,800 (9.6%). Before India
India
became independent, the city of Dhaka
Dhaka
(present capital of Bangladesh) had a significant number of Bengali Hindus, but their numbers have since considerably dwindled, being outnumbered by Bengali Muslims. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
are at present the second largest community after Muslims in Dhaka
Dhaka
at 1,476,000 (8.2%). Indian States other than West Bengal[edit] Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
are the second largest community in Assam
Assam
with a population of 3 million (9%). They are concentrated in the Barak Valley region. In Jharkhand
Jharkhand
the Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population is 2.5 million (8%). There is also a significant number of Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
residing in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, estimated approximately 100,000 comprising 26% of the population. Bengali is also the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, despite it lacking official status. Outside Indian Subcontinent[edit] UK has a huge portion of Bengali Hindu
Hindu
population. Former Cricketer Isa Guha
Isa Guha
and Rhona Mitra
Rhona Mitra
are prominent descendants of Bengali Hindu diaspora. Culture[edit] Further information: Culture of Bengal

Various Bengali fish and seafood served with rice and dessert

traditional Bengali wedding

Fish Market of bengali

Economy[edit] Bengali Hindu
Hindu
society used to be caste-oriented throughout centuries and the professional status of men depended exclusively on the hierarchical caste divisions. Some professions such as weaving, pottery, carpentry, blacksmithing etc. have always been carried out by special Hindu
Hindu
caste groups in Bengal. In traditional Bengali Hindu society, nearly every occupation is carried on by a ranked hierarchy of specialised caste groups- not only artisan occupations but also personal and domestic service functions such as barbering, laundering, latrine cleaning as well as non-menial tasks such as priesthood. However, with the introduction of British rule and appearance of urban civilisation, the former rural agrarian and artisan economy gradually crumbled and gave way to modern middle class economy. However, agriculture, land tenure, farming and fishing form the predominant economic activity in most of the rural area till now. A small but significant section of rural people carry out small trades and businesses. In urban and semi-urban areas, most of the people are engaged in business, industry, government and private service sectors, self-employing works and intellectual pursuits. Unemployment has persisted in a certain minuscule section of the community. Literature[edit]

Savitri-Satyavan story on Kalighat
Kalighat
Painting, 3rd quarter of the 19th century.

The proper Bengali literary history begins with the early Vaishnava literature like the Shreekrishna Kirtana
Shreekrishna Kirtana
and the Vaishnava
Vaishnava
padavalis followed by translation literatures like Ramayana
Ramayana
and Srikrishna Vijaya. In the medieval period literary works on the life and teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
were composed. This period saw the emergence of Shakta
Shakta
padavalis. The characteristic feature of Bengali Hindu
Hindu
literature in the middle age are the mangalkavyas, that glorify various Hindu
Hindu
gods and goddesses often using folkloristic backgrounds. The early modern period saw a flurry in the literary activity especially after the emergence of the Bengali press. The first Bengali prose Raja Pratapaditya Charitra was written during this time. The Renaissance saw a rapid development in modern Bengali literature. Most of the epics, poems, novels, short stories and dramas of the modern classical literature were written during this period. The Bengal Literary Society that later came to be known as Bangiya Sahitya Parishad was founded. The literary development during the Renaissance culminated in Rabindranath's Nobel prize
Nobel prize
for literature. In the Post-Partition period, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
pioneered the Hungry generation, Natun Kabita and the little magazine movements. Of late, some of them have made their mark in contemporary English literature. Art[edit] The Kalighat
Kalighat
school of painting flourished in Bengal
Bengal
in the early modern period, and especially after the first paper mill was set up in 1809. During the rise of nationalism in the early 20th century, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
pioneered the Bengal
Bengal
school of art. It provided the artistic medium of expression to the Hindu
Hindu
nationalist movement. Though the Bengal
Bengal
school later gave way to modernist ideas, it left an enduring legacy. In the post-liberalisation phase of India, modern art acquired a new dimension as young artists like Devajyoti Ray, Sudip Roy and Paresh Maity started gaining international recognition. Devajyoti Ray
Devajyoti Ray
is known for introducing Pseudorealism, which is one of the most original genres of Indian art today. Religion[edit]

Dakshineshwar Kali
Kali
Temple, Kolkata: a spiritual centre of Bengali Hindus

Shiva Temple, Puthia, Rajshahi.

The Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
generally follow the beliefs and practices that fall under the broad umbrella of Hinduism. Majority of them follow either the Shakta
Shakta
or the Vaishnava
Vaishnava
traditions, and some follow a synthesis of the two. The minor traditions include Shaiva
Shaiva
etc. A significant minority is atheist who do not follow any rituals. Brahmoism
Brahmoism
is also found among Bengali Hindus. Apart of the parent tradition, the Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
usually affiliate themselves to one of the many sects that have come to be established as institutionalised forms of the ancient guru-shishya traditions. Major amongst them include the Ramakrishna Mission, Bharat Sevashram Sangha, Bijoy Krishna Goswami, Anukul Thakur, Matua, ISKCON, Gaudiya Math, Ananda Marga, Ram Thakur
Ram Thakur
etc. Festivals[edit] According to a famous Bengali proverb, there are thirteen festivals in twelve months. Bengali Hindus
Bengali Hindus
celebrate all major Indian festivals. The year begins with the Bengali New Year's Day or Pohela Boishakh which usually falls on 15 April. Traditional business establishment commence their fiscal year on this day, with the worship of Lakshmi and Ganesha
Ganesha
and inauguration of the halkhata (ledger). People dress in ethnic wear and enjoy ethnic food. Poila Baishakh is followed by Rabindra Jayanti, Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra
and Janmashtami
Janmashtami
before the commencement of the Pujas. The puja season begins with the Vishwakarma Puja and is followed up by Durga
Durga
Puja, the greatest and largest Bengali Hindu
Hindu
festival. It is commemoration of the victory of the good over the evil. According to Chandi Purana, goddess Durga
Durga
killed Mahishasura, the evil demon and saved the devas. Rama
Rama
the prince of Ayodhya
Ayodhya
invoked the blessings of goddess Durga
Durga
in a battle against Ravana
Ravana
of Lanka. Durga Puja
Durga Puja
is the commemoration of Rama's victory over Ravana
Ravana
and it ends in Bijoya Dashami, corresponding to the North Indian festival of Dusshera. Durga Puja is followed by Kojagari Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Puja, Kali
Kali
Puja, Bhai phonta, Jagaddhatri
Jagaddhatri
Puja. The winter solstice is celebrated a Paush Sankranti in mid January, followed by Netaji Jayanti and Saraswati Puja. The spring is celebrated in the form of Dolyatra or Holi. The year ends with Charak Puja and Gajan.

Durga
Durga
Puja, the largest festival of Bengali Hindus

Kali
Kali
Puja, a major festival of Bengal

Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra
at Dhamrai in Dhaka
Dhaka
district, Bangladesh

A traditional Durga
Durga
idol

The Bengali Hindu
Hindu
diaspora celebrate Durga Puja
Durga Puja
all over the world.

See also[edit]

Hinduism
Hinduism
portal Religion portal India
India
portal Bangladesh
Bangladesh
portal Bengal
Bengal
portal

East Bengali refugees Hinduism
Hinduism
in Bangladesh Hinduism
Hinduism
in West Bengal

Notes[edit]

^ There were no separate electorates for Hindus, in spite of them being minorities in the province. ^ The Caste
Caste
Hindus were supposed to contest in the 70 General seats. However as per the Poona Pact between Gandhi and Ambedkar, 20 General seats were reserved for Scheduled Castes. ^ Rup Narayan Roy and Jyoti Basu, the two Communist Party MLAs abstained.

References[edit]

^ "Scheduled Languages in descending order of speaker's strength - 2001". Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013.  ^ Sanghamitra, Niyogi (2008). "Immigrant Sub-National Ethnicity: Bengali-Hindus and Punjabi-Sikhs in the San Francisco Bay Area". Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston on 31 July 2008. Unpublished manuscript. Retrieved 4 December 2010.  ^ "Know Bangladesh". Bangladesh
Bangladesh
National Portal. 27 June 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2017.  ^ "What Are London Kalibari's Aims for the Future?". London Kalibari. Retrieved 5 December 2010.  ^ The Australian people:an encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins. Cambridge University Press. 2001. p. 186. ISBN 9780521807890. Retrieved 6 December 2010.  ^ "Bengali" (PDF). Asia Harvest. Retrieved 31 March 2011.  ^ "Indian Associations and portals in Sweden". GaramChai.com. Retrieved 17 October 2010.  ^ "What Is Hinduism?", p. 27 ^ "The Home and the World", by Rabindranath Tagore, p. 320 ^ B.P. Syam Roy (28 September 2015). "Bengal's topsy-turvy population growth". The Statesman.  ^ Population by religious community: West Bengal. 2011 Census of India. ^ "Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis", p. 351, by Kunal Chakrabarti, Shubhra Chakrabarti ^ " Muslim
Muslim
freedom martyrs of India". Two Circles. Retrieved 26 December 2012.  ^ "Role of Muslims in the Freedom Movement-II". Radiance Weekly. Retrieved 26 December 2012.  ^ " Bengal
Bengal
Partition Stories: An Unclosed Chapter", p. 26, by Bashabi Fraser ^ a b Gumaste, Vivek. "The Hindu
Hindu
genocide that Hindus and the world forgot". India
India
Tribune. Retrieved 1 March 2011.  ^ " Bangladesh
Bangladesh
war: The article that changed history – Asia". BBC. 25 March 2010.  ^ " Bangladesh
Bangladesh
sets up war crimes court – Central & South Asia". Al Jazeera. 25 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2011.  ^ Tagore, Rabindranath. "Atmaparichay". Society for Natural Language Technology Research. Retrieved 8 June 2011.  ^ Garg, Ganga Ram (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu
Hindu
world (Volume I). Concept Publishing Company. p. 3. ISBN 81-7022-374-1. Retrieved 5 June 2011.  ^ Sandipan Deb (30 August 2004). "In Apu's World". Outlook. Retrieved 12 March 2011.  ^ Ghosh, Shankha (2002). ইছামতীর মশা (Ichhamatir Masha). Swarnakshar Prakashani. p. 80.  ^ Ghosh, Sutama (2007). ""We Are Not All the Same":The Differential Migration, Settlement Patterns and Housing Trajectories of Indian Bengalis
Bengalis
and Bangladeshis in Toronto" (PDF). Canada
Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved 3 March 2011.  ^ "Bengali Hindu
Hindu
Migrant: Ashim Sen – Bradford". Bangla Stories. Retrieved 3 March 2011.  ^ Bose, Neilesh (2009). "Anti-colonialism, regionalism, and cultural autonomy: Bengali Muslim
Muslim
politics, c.1840s – 1952". DAI/A 70-08. Tufts University. Retrieved 16 March 2011.  ^ Sen, Dinesh Chandra (1999). Brihatbanga Volume I. Deys Publishing, p. 54. ^ Bangali Charitabhidhan Volume I. Sansad, p. 341. ^ "When he (Alexander) moved forward with his forces certain men came to inform him that Porus, the king of the country, who was the nephew of that Porus whom he had defeated, had left his kingdom and fled to the nation of Gandaridai... He had obtained from Phegeus a description of the country beyond the Indus: First came a desert which it would take twelve days to traverse; beyond this was the river called the Ganges
Ganges
which had a width of thirty two stadia, and a greater depth than any other Indian river; beyond this again were situated the dominions of the nation of the Prasioi and the Gandaridai, whose king, Xandrammes, had an army of 20,000 horse 200,000 infantry, 2,000 chariots and 4,000 elephants trained and equipped for war".... "Now this (Ganges) river, which is 30 stadia broad, flows from north to south, and empties its water into the ocean forming the eastern boundary of the Gandaridai, a nation which possesses the greatest number of elephants and the largest in size." –Diodorus Siculus (c.90 BC – c.30 BC). Quoted from The Classical Accounts of India, Dr R.C. Majumdar, p. 170-72/234 ^ Gangaridai#During Alexander's invasion ^ Sarkar, Jagadish Narayan (1981). Banglay Hindu-Musalman Samparka (Madhyayuga). Kolkata: Bangiya Sahitya Parishad. p. 53.  ^ "When the Islamic missionaries arrived they found in several instances that the conquering armies had destroyed both the temples of revived Hinduism
Hinduism
and the monasteries of the older Buddhism; in their place—often on the same sites—they built new shrines. Moreover, they very frequently transferred ancient Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist stories of mir. Quoted in The Interaction of Islam
Islam
and Hinduism. Retrieved 9 September 2015. ^ Chaudhuri, B.B. (2008). Peasant history of late pre-colonial and colonial India. Pearson Education India, p. 184. ^ Kumar, Dharma, Raychaudhuri, Tapan & Desai, Meghnad (1983). The Cambridge economic history of India, Volume II. Cambridge University Press, p. 299. ^ Bangali Charitabhidhan Volume I. Sansad, p. 489. ^ a b c Novak, James Jeremiah (1 January 1993). Bangladesh: Reflections on the Water. Indiana University Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-253-34121-1.  ^ Das, S.N.(ed). The Bengalis: The People, their History and Culture. Genesis Publishing, p. 214. ^ Beck, Sanderson. Ethics of Civilization Volume 20: South Asia 1800–1950. World Peace Communications ^ a b Government of India
India
Act, 1935, 26 GEO. 5. CH. 2., Fifth Schedule, p. 245. ^ Mitra, N.N.(ed), Indian Annual Register, Volume I, Jan–Jun 1932, p. 323. ^ Sinha, Dinesh Chandra; Dasgupta, Ashok (2011). 1946: The Great Calcutta
Calcutta
Killings and Noakhali Genocide. Kolkata: Himangshu Maity. p. 218. ISBN 978-81-922464-0-6.  ^ Fraser, Bashabi and Sengupta, Sheila (ed). Bengal
Bengal
Partition Stories: An Unclosed Chapter. Anthem Press, p. 26. ^ Roy, Haimanti (2009). A Partition of Contingency? Public Discourse in Bengal, 1946–47. Cambridge University Press, p. 2. ^ Roy, Tathagata. My People, Uprooted. Ratna Prakashan, p. 131. ^ Ghosh Dastidar, Sachi (2008). Empire's Last Casualty: Indian Subcontinent's vanishing Hindu
Hindu
and other Minorities. Kolkata: Firma KLM. pp. 131–134. ISBN 81-7102-151-4.  ^ Barkat, Abul; Zaman, Shafique uz; Khan, Md. Shahnewaz; Poddar, Avijit; Hoque, Saiful; Uddin, M Taher (February 2008). Deprivation of Hindu
Hindu
Minority in Bangladesh: Living With Vested Property. Dhaka: Pathak Shamabesh. pp. 73–74.  ^ a b " Silchar
Silchar
rly station to be renamed soon". The Times of India. Silchar. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Ganguly, M. (20 May 2009). "All for love of language". The Telegraph. Ranchi. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Baruah, Sanjib. " India
India
against itself: Assam
Assam
and the Politics of Nationality". University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999, p. 105. ^ "Now Bengali militants raise heads in Assam". The Indian Express. India. 18 August 1998. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Kumar, Madhuri (26 October 2010). "JD(U) Bangla bait for Bengalis
Bengalis
in Bihar". The Times of India. Patna. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Chhotoray, Sudarshan. "The Other Side of Kindness". Focus Orissa. Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.  ^ "Indians, Bangladeshis in same Orissa family!". The Indian Express. Kendrapara. 29 January 2009. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Vij-Aurora, Bhavna (13 February 2008). "Demography survey on eastern border". The Telegraph. Kolkata. Retrieved 30 November 2010.  ^ Togawa, Masahiko (2008). " Hindu
Hindu
Minority in Bangladesh
Bangladesh
– Migration, Marginalization and Minority Politics in Postcolonial South Asia" (PDF). Discussion Paper Series. Hiroshima University. 6: 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2011. 

Bibliography[edit]

Ray, Nihar Ranjan (2009). Bangalir Itihash (Adi Parva). Dey's Publishing. Bandyopadhyay, Rakhaldas (2008). Bangalar Itihash. Dey's Publishing. ISBN 81-7079-866-3. Sen, Dinesh Chandra. Brihatbanga. Mitra, Satish Chandra. Jashor Khulnar Itihash. Ghosh, Binoy. Paschimbanger Sanskriti. Inden, Ronald B., Nicholas, Ralph W. (2005). Kinship in Bengali Culture. DC Publishers. ISBN 81-8028-018-7. Bhattacharya, S.K. (1987). Genocide in East Pakistan/Bangladesh. A Ghosh. ISBN 0961161434. Kamra, A. J. Prolonged Partition and its Pogroms. Voice of India. Roy, Tathagata. My People, Uprooted. Ratna Prakashan. Bando, Ramen (2004). Ethnic Cleansing in Bangladesh. CAAMB. Pramanik, Bimal (2005). Endangered Demography. G.C. Modak. Dastidar, Sachi G (2008). Empire's Last Casualty: Indian Subcontinent's vanishing Hindu
Hindu
and Other Minorities. Firma KLM. ISBN 81-7102-151-4. Sengupta, Nitish (2002). History of the Bengali-Speaking People. UBS Publishers. ISBN 81-7476-355-4.

v t e

Bengali Hindus

Society

Groups

Babu Bangal Bhadralok Ghoti

Castes

Aguri Bagdi Baidya Baishya Kapali Baishya Saha Barujibi Bauri Brahmin Chunaru Dom Gandhabanik Subarna Banik Hari Kaibartya Kansabanik Karmakar Kayastha Mahato Mahishya Malla Namasudra (Namassej) Pirali Brahmin Pundra Sadgop Shunri Yogi

Religion

Books

Bhagavad Gita Chandi Panchali Matuasmritokotha

Sects

Brahmo Kartabhaja Shaiva Shakta Vaishnava

Orders

Adi Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Ananda Marga Bharat Sevashram Sangha Brahmo
Brahmo
Conference Organisation Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Gaudiya Math International Society for Krishna Consciousness Matua Mahasangha Ramakrishna Math Ramakrishna Mission Ramakrishna Order Ramakrishna Sarada Math Ramakrishna Sarada Mission Sadharan Brahmo
Brahmo
Samaj Self-Realization Fellowship Sri Aurobindo Ashram Vedanta Society World Brahmo
Brahmo
Council Yogoda Satsanga Society of India

Festivals

Poila Baisakh Rabindra Jayanti Akshaya Tritiya Buddho Purnima Shashthi Savitri Brata Ambubachi Mela Dhamrai Jagannath Roth Jhulan Purnima Janmashtami Bhadu Ganesh Chaturthi Vishwakarma Puja Durga
Durga
Puja Lakshmi
Lakshmi
Puja Diwali Kali
Kali
Puja Bhai Phonta Nabanna Jagaddhatri
Jagaddhatri
Puja Kalpataru Day Swami Vivekananda's Birthday Makar Sankranti Maghotsab Saraswati Puja Maha Shivaratri Dol Purnima Holi Gajan Pratapaditya Utsav Ekadashi Kumbh Mela Gangasagar

Culture

Music

Rabindra Sangeet Shyama Sangeet Kirtan

Dance

Gaudiya Nritya Rabindra Nritya Natya

Literature

Vaishnava
Vaishnava
Padavali Mangal-Kavya Panchali Kallol Hungry generation

Folk Culture

Folk Art

Dhokra Sholapith

Folk Dance

Raibenshe Chhau Paika Dhamail

Folk Dance

Alkap Gombhira Kavigan

Others

Bengali Hindu
Hindu
mythology and culture Bengali Hindu
Hindu
diaspora

v t e

Ethnic groups in Bangladesh

Indo-Aryans

Barua Bengalis Bishnupriya Manipuris

Austro-Asiatic

Khasiya Mahle Munda Santals

Dravidian

Kurukh Malto Sauria Paharia

Tibeto-Burman

Bawm Chak Chakma Garo Khumi Khyang Kuki Lushei Marma Mro Pankho Rakhine Tanchangya Tripuri

Others

Armenians (Dhaka) Burmese (Rohingyas) Chinese Indians Nepali

.