Being Bengali: At Home and in the World

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Mridula Nath Chakraborty
Routledge, Mar 26, 2014 - Social Science - 254 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

at home and in the world some speculations
1
1 The University of Dhaka and national identity formation in Bangladesh
11
2 Does caste matter in Bengal? Examining the myth of Bengali exceptionalism
32
a note on the prefix re
48
engendering middleclass Bengali modernity and the city in Satyajit Rays Mahanagar The Big City 1963
69
Rabindranath Tagore and postcolonial habitations
92
6 Ethical responsibility and the spectres of demonic sacralisation in Swami Vivekananda
114
impressions and observations of a contested diaspora
140
identity politics among the Bengali community in Britain
159
9 Eternal Bengal
181
the politics of national culture in Pakistan 194771
202
Index
234
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About the author (2014)

Mridula Nath Chakraborty is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Writing and Society Research Centre at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, the University of Western Sydney, Australia.