Bengali Political Science: History, Figures, Movements, and Governance

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Which movement was NOT a part of the political landscape in Bengal during the anti-colonial struggles?

Who established the Bengal Presidency in 1772?

Who played a pivotal role in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971?

Which prominent figure was associated with the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal?

After India's independence in 1947, Bengal was divided into which two regions?

Which famous leader had a significant influence on Bengali politics during the colonial era?

Who is known as the Father of the Nation in Bangladesh?

Which movement aimed to address the economic disparities between East Pakistan and West Pakistan in the 1960s?

Who led the Left Front government in West Bengal for three decades?

What political ideology has been championed by figures like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mamata Banerjee in Bengal?

Which movement emerged in West Bengal in the late 1960s with the aim of overthrowing the government?

Which political figure is associated with the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal?


Bengali Political Science: Exploring History, Key Figures, Movements, and Governance

Bengal, a region spanning across modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, has a rich and complex political history that makes it a captivating subject of study within the field of political science. From the early days of the Bengal Presidency to contemporary political movements, this region has witnessed political evolution, ideological shifts, and the emergence of prominent figures who have significantly influenced the course of Bengali politics.

History of Bengali Politics

The Bengal Presidency, established in 1772, was the first British administrative unit in India. The region witnessed the rise of nationalism and anti-colonial movements like the Swadeshi Movement, the Non-Cooperation Movement, and the Quit India Movement. Key figures such as Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and Mahatma Gandhi played pivotal roles in shaping Bengal's political landscape during this period.

After India's independence in 1947, Bengal was divided into Bengal (East Pakistan) and West Bengal. Political unrest and the Bangladesh Liberation War led to the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. The partition of Bengal and the subsequent formation of Bangladesh heavily influenced Bengali politics, with figures like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Indira Gandhi making significant impacts.

Key Political Figures in Bengal

East Bengal/Bangladesh

  • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: A central figure in Bangladesh's history, Mujibur Rahman is known as the Father of the Nation. He led the Bengali nationalist movement, the Awami League, and served as the first President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

West Bengal

  • Mamata Banerjee: As of the present day, Mamata Banerjee is the Chief Minister of West Bengal and the leader of the All India Trinamool Congress party. Her political career spans over four decades, making her one of the most influential political figures in West Bengal.

Political Movements in Bengal

East Bengal/Bangladesh

  • The Language Movement: In 1952, Bengali-speaking students of Dhaka University protested against the Pakistani government's decision to impose Urdu as the only official language. The Language Movement played a significant role in galvanizing the Bengali nationalist sentiments.
  • The Six Point Movement: In the 1960s, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with other political leaders, proposed the Six Point Demand, which aimed to address the political, economic, and linguistic disparities between East Pakistan and West Pakistan.

West Bengal

  • Naxalite Movement: The Naxalite Movement, also known as the Naxalite-Maoist insurgency, was a violent Maoist-inspired revolutionary movement that emerged in the late 1960s in West Bengal. The movement aimed to overthrow the government and establish a people's republic.

Governance in Bengal

East Bengal/Bangladesh

  • The Bangladesh Liberation War: The conflict between Pakistan and East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) in 1971 resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's leadership played a crucial role in Bangladesh's emergence as a sovereign nation.

West Bengal

  • The Left Front: In West Bengal, the Left Front, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist), dominated the state's political scene for three decades. The Left Front government was known for implementing various social welfare schemes and industrial policies.

Political Ideologies in Bengal

  • Secularism: Bengal has a strong tradition of secularism, which is reflected in its political discourse. This ideology has been championed by political figures such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Mamata Banerjee.
  • Nationalism: Bengali nationalism has been a significant force in shaping Bengal's political landscape, as evidenced by the Swadeshi Movement, the Language Movement, and the Six Point Movement.
  • Marxism: The Left Front's dominance in West Bengal reflects the influence of Marxism in the region's political ideologies. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) advocated for land reforms, redistribution of wealth, and a broad-based welfare state.

In conclusion, Bengali political science is an intriguing field of study that combines the region's rich history, vibrant political movements, and diverse political ideologies. The contributions of prominent figures and the ongoing evolution of political discourse make Bengal a worthwhile subject of exploration for scholars and political enthusiasts alike.


Explore the intricate political history of Bengal, from the Bengal Presidency to contemporary movements. Learn about key figures like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Mamata Banerjee, as well as significant movements such as the Language Movement and the Naxalite Movement. Dive into the governance structures in East Bengal (Bangladesh) and West Bengal, and understand the diverse political ideologies that have shaped Bengal's landscape.

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