Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib

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Penguin UK, Jul 19, 2011 - History - 656 pages
Land of Two Rivers chronicles the story of one of the most fascinating and influential regions in the Indian subcontinent. The confluence of two major river systems, Ganga and Brahmaputra, created the delta of Bengal—an ancient land known as a centre of trade, learning and the arts from the days of the Mahabharata and through the ancient dynasties. During the medieval era, this eventful journey saw the rise of Muslim dynasties which brought into being a unique culture, quite distinct from that of northern India. The colonial conquest in the eighteenth century opened the modern chapter of Bengal’s history and transformed the social and economic structure of the region. Nitish Sengupta traces the formation of Bengali identity through the Bengal Renaissance, the growth of nationalist politics and the complex web of events that eventually led to the partition of the region in 1947, analysing why, despite centuries of shared history and culture, the Bengalis finally divided along communal lines. The struggle of East Pakistan to free itself from West Pakistan’s dominance is vividly described, documenting the economic exploitation and cultural oppression of the Bengali people. Ultimately, under the leadership of Bangabandhu Mujibur Rahman, East Pakistan became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Land of Two Rivers is a scholarly yet extremely accessible account of the development of Bengal, sketching the eventful and turbulent history of this ancient civilization, rich in scope as well as in influence.
 

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Contents

About the Author
Maps
EARLY MEDIEVAL BENGAL
EMERGENCE OF BENGAL IN HISTORY
LATE MEDIEVAL PERIOD
Bengal Becomes a Province of the Mughal Empire
Appearance of Europeans
Era of Independent Nawabs of Bengal
Towards a Nation in the Making
Growth of Muslim Separatism
First Partition of Bengal
First Phase
Over a Decade of HinduMuslim Camaraderie
Agni Yug Second Phase
Unmaking of a Nation
Parting of Ways

The Battle of Plassey
End of Independent Nawabs of Bengal
Era of Warren Hastings
MODERN BENGAL
Agrarian Industrial and Economic Changes
AntiGovernment Popular Disturbances
Bengal Renaissance
Hindu Religious Reform Movements
Rise and Fall of Netaji Subhas Bose
The Last Hour of United Bengal
Second Partition of Bengal
EAST BENGAL UNDER PAKISTAN 35 The Decimation of the Muslim League
The Power Struggle between East Bengal and West Pakistan
WEST BENGAL
Illustrations
Endnotes

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