Minorities and the State: Changing Social and Political Landscape of Bengal

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Abhijit Dasgupta, Masahiko Togawa, Abul Barkat
SAGE Publications, Jun 6, 2011 - Political Science - 236 pages

Minorities and the State discusses the plight of two numerically significant religious minority groups: Hindus in Bangladesh and Muslims in West Bengal, India. In this volume, academics from India, Bangladesh, and Japan examine the formation of minority identity at the time of partition of India in 1947 and in subsequent decades. The articles emphasize the crises and coping strategies, migration, and state- and local-level politics affecting minorities.

By utilizing data from varied sources like field work, archival research, and secondary sources, this volume explores deprivation and different dimensions of minority life from political, economic, civil society, gender, and literary perspectives.

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About the author (2011)

Abhijit Dasgupta is Professor of Sociology at the, University of Delhi. His research interests include agrarian structure, sociology of development and the sociology of minorities and marginalised communities. He has co-edited the following books: Bengal: Communities, Development and States (1994); State, Society and Displaced People in South Asia (2004); and Minorities and the State: The Changing Landscape of Bengal (2011). He has authored Growth with Equity: The New Technology and Agrarian Change in Bengal (1998).

Masahiko Togawa is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Hiroshima University, Japan. He has written several books and papers on religion and society in West Bengal and Bangladesh. He is the author of An Abode of the Goddess: Kingship, Caste, and Sacrificial Organization in a Bengal Village; Syukyou ni Kousuru Seija (The Saint who resists ‘Religion’, in Japanese); Syncretism Revisited: Hindus and Muslims over a Saintly Cult in Bengal (Numen); Women within the Hierarchy (Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies), and co-editor of Gram Bangla: Itihas, Samaji o Artniti (in Bengali). He is a member of the executive board of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies (JASAS).

Abul Barkat is Professor and the Chair, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a reputed researcher in the field of contemporary economic growth in Bangladesh, political economy of human development, and minorities and the state. He is the author of a number of books, which include Development as Conscientization; Political Economy of Khas Land in Bangladesh; An Inquiry into Causes and Consequences of Deprivation of Hindu Minorities in Bangladesh through the Vested Property Act: Framework for a Realistic Solution; Political Economy of Land Litigation in Bangladesh; and Political Economy of Vested Property Act in Rural Bangladesh. Besides, he has written extensively in Bengali on economic and political issues. He is the elected President (2010–11) of Bangladesh Economic Association.

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