The Raj and The Bengali People -Sunil K Datta

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This book is no 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 to facilitate the writings. An all-out effort has been roped in to make it easy reading.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.

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