Bengal has long been one of the key centres of civilisation and culture in the Indian subcontinent. However, Bengali identity – "Bengaliness" – is complicated by its long history of evolution, the fact that Bengal is now divided between India and Bangladesh, and by virtue of a very large international diaspora from both parts of Bengal. This book explores a wide range of issues connected with Bengali identity. Amongst other subjects, it considers the special problems arising as a result of the division of Bengal, and concludes by demonstrating that there are many factors which make for the idea of a Bengali identity.
Being Bengali: At Home and in the World: Some Speculations Mridula Nath Chakraborty 1. The University of Dhaka and National Identity Formation in Bangladesh Fakrul Alam 2. Does Caste Matter in Bengal? Examining the Myth of Bengali Exceptionalism Sekhar Bandyopadhyay 3. Producing and Re-producing the New Woman: A Note on the Prefix ‘Re’ Sibaji Bandyopadhyay 4. The Refugee Woman and the New Woman: (En)gendering Middle-Class Bengali Modernity and the City in Satyajit Ray’s Mahanagar (The Big City 1963) Paulomi Chakraborty 5. Re-Visioning the Subject of Intimacy: Rabindranath Tagore and Post-Colonial Habitations Subhajit Chatterjee 6. Religion and the Demonic Form of Sacralization: The Case of Swami Vivekananda Vijay Mishra 7. In Pursuit of the ‘Authentic’ Bengali: Impressions and Observations of a Contested Diaspora Nayanika Mookerjee 8. Being Bengali Abroad: Identity Politics among the Bengali Community in Britain Ali Riaz 9. Eternal Bengal Ranabir Samaddar 10. Bengal(is) in the House: The Politics of National Culture in Pakistan, 1947-1971 Saadia Toor