Bengalis in Burma looks at Bengali migrations and settlements in Burma from 1886 until the end of the British rule in Burma in 1948. As a result of British colonial policies, thousands of Bengalis from various classes and places in Bengal migrated to Burma and established Bengali communities in different parts of the country. The book provides a study of a vast body of Bangla writings on Burma written during this period by the Bengalis, a majority of whom went to Burma in various capacities and with various objectives. It takes note of a complex network of power, subjugation, and resistance which is integrally related to these acts of representation in Bangla textual discourses. Drawing on stories, political discussions in Bangla journals, unknown autobiographies, travelogues, and uncelebrated poems, it explores the ways contemporary Bengalis looked at Burma for various reasons and wondered about their locations within colonial systems.
An important contribution to the study of South Asia, the book brings forth issues of representation, colonial knowledge system, and modernity. It will be of interest to students and researchers of history, literature, migration studies, colonialism, and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
1. Prologue 2. Historical Background of Burma-Bengal Cultural Relations 3. Describing Burma Mulook: Burma in Bangla Literary Discourses (1886–1937) 4. Distrust and Riots (1937–1948) 5. World War II and Burma: Heroism, Violence and Exodus (1938–48) 6. Epilogue
Parthasarathi Bhaumik is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. He co-edited Memory, Images, Imagination: An Anthology of Bangla and Oriya Writings on Colonial Burma (1886–1948). He worked with the British Library, UK as a Chevening Fellow, and built a database on ‘Nationalism, Independence, and Partition in South Asia (1900–1950)’. He is presently the Joint Director of the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University, and engaged in archiving resources pertaining to the history and cultures of South Asia.