Brahaminical Political Parties have No Sympathy for the Helpless peasantry in crisis as Urea prices set to shoot up 40%.Rural world is to be destroyed.What a PORIBARTAN! Three Farmers Committ Suicide in Mamata Ruled Bengal as No One buys Paddy or Potatao and the Peasantry is Trapped into Debt Infinite!The situation is very complex in Bengal as National Persident Waman meshram has clarified time and again that the root of all the problems is the Brahaminical system. It is proved in Bengal as the SC, ST, OBC and even Muslim communities identify themselves with Brahamins and deny their glorious identity having a long history!
Subhash Chandra Bose knew that the British are not going to listen to Gandhi's so called Ahimsa and that is why he exhorted "Azad Hind Sena", the army that he had formed to march to Delhi. To obtain Freedom it was necessary to fight and to shed blood, thought Subhash Chandra Bose. We have to understand a historical event the convention of the Congress party held in Tripura. Gandhi's candidate was Pattabhi Sittaramaiya whom he had nominated to stand in the election for the seat of the president of the Congress party. People thought who would dare to put up a candidate against the candidate that Gandhi had put up. But Subhash Chandra Bose himself stood up to fight against the candidate put up by Gandhi and won the election. When Subhash Chandra Bose assumed the President ship of the Congress Party and began work he was so disturbed from doing his work properly that he had to resign from the President ship. Not only did he resign from the Presidentship he also resigned the primary membership of the Congress party. Afterwards he formed a new organization called as the " Forward Bloc". This implied that the Congress party was a backward bloc. It also implied that Congress was a casteist party, a sanatani party. The question is why did Gandhi disturb and trouble Subhash Chandra Bose in his work as president of the Congress party? Because Subhash Chandra Bose was a Kayastha and Kayastha's are Shudras in the VarnaVyavastha.
There are many theories about the origin of the name Banga or Bangla. Some linguists believe that the name originates from the Tibetan word, "Bans" which means wet or moist and Banga (Bengal) is a wet country crisscrossed by a thousand rivers and washed by monsoons and floods from the Himalayas. Some others believe that the name originated from the Bodo (original Asamese in North Eastern India) "Bang La" which means wide plains. This theory is extremely plausible. Another school suggests the name comes from the name of Prince Banga. According to legend, Prince Banga, the son of King Bali and Queen Sudeshna of the Lunar dynasty was the first to colonise Bangla. What is probably the real root is from the name of the original people of Bangla. This also is taken from legend. One of the tribes who according to a claim emerged from the Indus Civilization after its demise had entered the plains of Bengal while others went elsewhere. They were called the Bong tribe and spoke Dravidian. We know from many ancient Aryan texts of a tribe called Banga that existed in that region.
Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and
Time - SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY Eighty FivePalash Biswas
Brahaminical Political Parties have No Sympathy for the Helpless peasantry in crisis as Urea prices set to shoot up 40%.Rural world is to be destroyed.
What a PORIBARTAN! Three Farmers Committ Suicide in Mamata Ruled Bengal as No One buys Paddy or Potatao and the Peasantry is Trapped into Debt Infinite!The situation is very complex in Bengal as National Persident Waman meshram has clarified time and again that the root of all the problems is the Brahaminical system. It is proved in Bengal as the SC, ST, OBC and even Muslim communities identify themselves with Brahamins and deny their glorious identity having a long history!
There are many theories about the origin of the name Banga or Bangla. Some linguists believe that the name originates from the Tibetan word, "Bans" which means wet or moist and Banga (Bengal) is a wet country crisscrossed by a thousand rivers and washed by monsoons and floods from the Himalayas. Some others believe that the name originated from the Bodo (original Asamese in North Eastern India) "Bang La" which means wide plains. This theory is extremely plausible. Another school suggests the name comes from the name of Prince Banga. According to legend, Prince Banga, the son of King Bali and Queen Sudeshna of the Lunar dynasty was the first to colonise Bangla. What is probably the real root is from the name of the original people of Bangla. This also is taken from legend. One of the tribes who according to a claim emerged from the Indus Civilization after its demise had entered the plains of Bengal while others went elsewhere. They were called the Bong tribe and spoke Dravidian. We know from many ancient Aryan texts of a tribe called Banga that existed in that region.
Mind you,Bengali peasantry consists of the Excluded Communities ie Sc,ST,OBC and Minorities. SC 17percent,ST 7 percent, Muslim 27 percent and OBC 42 percent makes the Bengali demography complete. Muslims and OBC were the Bonded Vote bank of the outgoing Left front which have crossed the fences to make the Poribortan Possible. Mamata declared herself Matua and the Matua Anti brahaminical Mulnivasi movement Brahaminised after Guruchand Thakur who alike Jyotiba Phule refused to join the Brahamin`s freedom movement, tagged itself with the Zionist Brahaminical Hegemony. The Matua movement which was responsible for the Election of DR BR Ambedkar to write Indian Constitution ensuring constitutional safeguards for all the Excluded communities reduced to becom the tool in Brahamin hands as SC, OBC, ST leaders as well Muslim leaders have been coopted to undermine the Mulnivasi national Movement linked with Bengal.Last time, while we succeeded to organise Mulnivasi Bamcef national Convention for the First time, the Matua leaders arranged a Rally in Kolkata which was joined by all Brahaminical Parties.
The situation is very complex in Bengal as National Persident Waman meshram has clarified time and again that the root of all the problems is the Brahaminical system. It is proved in Bengal as the SC, ST, OBC and even Muslim communities identify themselves with Brahamins and deny their glorious identity having a long history.
Land Reforms so much so hyped were introduced by harichand Thakur and Guruchand Thakur. But the marxists credited themselves with land reforms which was linked to Green Revolution, Urbanisation and Industrilisation. the Rural world already tottering under Marxist regimented rule, is further undermined by Mamata brand PORIBARTAN. As the Economy and Society are captured by the Brahamins only and the Shudras coopted support them, the Mulnivasi Bahujan have no other option but to commit suicide. It is greatest Irony as Bengali Peasantry lead numbers of Uprising aignst British Rule ie Sanyasi Vidroh, Neel Vidroh, Santhal Vidroh, Chuar Vidroh, Munda revolt and so on, has the only option and that is Opting Suiside! Just because, bengali Mulnivasi bahujan have surrendered to Brahaminical system. Hopefully after Durgapur Convention, Bamcef and Bharat Mukti Morcha Networking linked all the Nineteen districts and most of the subdivision. If the national mulnivasi Mukti andiolan revived in Bengal, we hope to reverse the trend and bengal might be the base and strength of the Liberation Movement as it had been!
As waman Meshram Ji pointed out rightly, the Bengali Mulnivasi bahujan must be made aware of the History, specifically the OBC communities must know the facts that The movement run by Jotirao Phule till 1890 was a regional movement. Even when Savitrimai Phule carried this movement forward; it was a regional movement. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj carried this movement forward through Bhaskarrao Jadhav. Why did Chhatrapati Shahu feel the need to run this movement even when he was a king himself? It was because even for Shahu. Maharaj the Brahmins recited the Mantras meant for the Shudras. The mantras to be recited during the pooja are different for the Shudras and the Brahmins. Shahu Maharaj protested against this. But the Brahmins insisted that only the mantras meant for the Shudras will be recited. But Shahu Maharaj opposed this by saying that his forefather was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who was given the status of a Kshattriya and as he was the descendant of Shivaji Maharaj he too was a Kshattriya. Brahmins retorted by saying that they had given a temporary concession to Shivaji Maharaj and his descendants will not benefit from that past concession given to a forefather. The descendants therefore will not be considered as Kshattriyas. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj therefore had to run this movement because the Brahmins considered him as a Shudra. This movement was a regional movement. When Babasaheb assumed leadership of this movement he swore that he shall transform this movement into a nationwide movement. It took Babasaheb 26 years to do this. He called a convention of the Scheduled Castes Federation on 1819 July 1942 in Nagpur. In this convention 50000 men and 25000 women participated from all over the country. In that convention Babasaheb gave the message that our struggle was not for power or pelf but for independence. However this does not mean that our people do not want power or pelf. Our people should want it. But some people want power and pelf at the cost of independence. They want to compromise with their freedom to gain power and pelf. They want to compromise with their self respect. After Babasaheb's demise the leaders compromised freedom and self respect to get power and pelf. They got power but with power they also got despair and slavery. We do not know how many people actually understood the significance of the convention of the Scheduled Castes Federation held in Nagpur in 1942. But this convention left a deep impact on one person. This person was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Immediately on the 9th of August after Babasaheb had transformed his movement into a national movement, Gandhi launched "Quit India Movement" from Bombay, only three weeks after the SCF convention. He asked the British to Quit India. One more event which is important is that on 9th August 1942 on Singapore Radio, Subhash Chandra Bose gave a slogan," Give me blood and I will give you Freedom". Subhash Chandra Bose knew that the British are not going to listen to Gandhi's so called Ahimsa and that is why he exhorted "Azad Hind Sena", the army that he had formed to march to Delhi. To obtain Freedom it was necessary to fight and to shed blood, thought Subhash Chandra Bose. We have to understand a historical event the convention of the Congress party held in Tripura. Gandhi's candidate was Pattabhi Sittaramaiya whom he had nominated to stand in the election for the seat of the president of the Congress party. People thought who would dare to put up a candidate against the candidate that Gandhi had put up. But Subhash Chandra Bose himself stood up to fight against the candidate put up by Gandhi and won the election. When Subhash Chandra Bose assumed the President ship of the Congress Party and began work he was so disturbed from doing his work properly that he had to resign from the President ship. Not only did he resign from the Presidentship he also resigned the primary membership of the Congress party. Afterwards he formed a new organization called as the " Forward Bloc". This implied that the Congress party was a backward bloc. It also implied that Congress was a casteist party, a sanatani party. The question is why did Gandhi disturb and trouble Subhash Chandra Bose in his work as president of the Congress party? Because Subhash Chandra Bose was a Kayastha and Kayastha's are Shudras in the VarnaVyavastha. For e.g. Balasaheb Thackeray, a Kayastha. Balasaheb Thackeray's father was Keshav Sitaram Thackeray who was involved in the movement of the Shudras and the atiShudras. The Maharashtrian Shudras and the atiShudras gave him the title of 'Prabodhankar'. Prabodhankar means the one who awakens and instructs. K.S. Thackeray knew that the Brahmins consider the Kayasthas as Shudras. In Shivaji's time the Brahmins used to oppose Shivaji but Kayasthas used to support him. The person sent by Shivaji to Benares to meet Gagabhatt was not a Brahmin but a Kayastha. Gandhi meted out such treatment to Subhash Chandra Bose because Subhash Chandra Bose was a Kayastha. Babasaheb Ambedkar was an atiShudra in this Varna Vyavastha. Thus an AtiShudra launched a nationwide movement and a Shudra gave a call to march to Delhi. Gandhi thought that if his freedom struggle were to slip towards these two different movements then the whole movement will go into the hands of the Shudras. In such a situation what will become of us in free India thought Gandhi.
The administration has asked the farmers to open an account at nearby banks, so that the government could make direct payments, thus eliminate middlemen.However, by the time the government declared its support price, the distress sale of paddy has been almost complete. The small farmers, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the Bengal's peasantry, are traditionally depended on moneylenders as the commercial banks and cooperative banks are reluctant to offer credit to small farmers.
In the last two months, eight farmers committed suicide in Burdwan district, while the ninth such incident was reported from North Bengal's Coocbehar district. The state administration continues to deny any case of farmers' suicide, even as there are sporadic cases of farmers' agitation in the rural Bengal. There, in some cases, the farmers have taken the extreme steps of burning the paddy to draw attention to their plight.
Bengali singer turned Tinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has left West Bengal government under shame with his song on farmers suicide. He forced the government to pay heed to the farmers.
After incurring heavy losses and getting inapproapriate prices for their products, several farmers committed suicide in West Bengal.
For praising the slain and arrested Maoist leaders, Suman faced criticism from Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee. With his song, Suman reminded the government that farmers were used to defeat CPI(M).
'Kannay Kaan Dao' (Pay Heed to the Tears) song can be sing like this in English, "Maa Mati Manush government, you may call the opposition in whatever name but you need the farmers, what is the cost of the potato sacks stored in cold storage and rice at easy prices, when will the farmers in the Maa Mati Manush regime sell as they are all starving."
Questioning the government, Suman wrote some lines, "Come and answer whether the owners of the mill buy the rice at government prices or less than that."
Suman criticised Mamata for fake her promises that she will turn Kolkata into London. Suman said that "The new government has come to power at the price of the martyrdom of the villagers with a new name of change. There is no need of making London, rather look into the plight of the farmers."
Meanwhile, the Congress and the opposition Left Front alleged the government for the mismanagement of agriculture in the state.
The West Bengal government on Monday denied reports of farmers' suicide for failing to get the right price of their produce in Burdwan and Bankura districts but assured it would probe the matter.
"Reports about farmers' suicide in a section of media are not correct," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters on the sidelines of a programme.
Farmers' agitations led by the Left bloc and the Congress party are continuing in the districts. Tomorrow, Left-affiliated peasants' organisations are observing a strike in rural Bengal. The announcement has failed to get a positive response from chief minister Mamata Banerjee, indicating that the Trinamool Congress government has little or no clue about tackling the grave crisis.
Murshidabad, a district where agriculture is the main occupation of most of the people, has peasants totalling 36 lakhs. But the record of Central Cooperative Bank, which is responsible for offering credit to the farmers through its 390 branchs, is abysmally poor. In 2008-09, the bank gave loan to 16,818 peasants to the tune of Rs 15.30 crore. In the following year, the number of the peasants doubled: 30,220 of them got loan from the bank — to the tune of Rs 30 crore. Year 2010-11 had 34,533 peasants who got loan amounting to a total Rs 48 crore.
The record makes it evident that banks cover only a small fraction of the peasantry. The rest are dependent on the rural moneylenders. Therein lies problem with today's crisis in the state's agriculture. The reluctance of the banks to forward credit to small farmers pushes them to take loan from moneylenders.
According to peasants in Burdwan and Murshidabad, rural businessmen, who deal in fertiliser and pesticide among other, also act as moneylenders. They offer credit to the poor peasants at a monthly rate of 10% interest (annual rate 120%) and realise the loan in kind that is by taking the produce of the peasants.
In Murshidabad's Boroa. Ananda Gopal Das committed suicide in June 2010. After that, his family paid back the loan Das had from the local cooperative bank. Later, when they tried to apply for fresh loan, the bank rejected their application. The family was thus forced to take loan from the moneylender.
Das's family hold that though the banks charge seven per cent interest against agriculture loan, they don't encourage small farmers much. Thus, the paddy is put on distress sale by the small farmers who have taken advance from the moneylenders. The same paddy, when the administration enters into the scene, is resold to the government by the middlemen-cum-moneylenders. The crisis in state's agriculture deepens triggering off the farmers' suicide in Bengal.
Baidyanath, an aged tribal in Memari's village, has been cultivating a local landlord's plot as a bargadar. "True, the government has announced that it would purchase paddy from the farmers with MSP (minimum support price), but we are yet to get that," the peasant says.
Like Baidyanath, many farmers, who can afford to wait, have been compelled to hold on to their produces — with the hope for a better price in the coming months. For the record, there are 200 quintals of paddy lying unsold in the house of Saha, the latest victim of the tragedy. After the first incidents of farmers' suicide reported in the media, the government announced its MSP for this season as Rs 1,080 and Rs 1,120 — depending on the quality of the produce. The administration has asked the farmers to open an account at nearby banks, so that the government could make direct payments, thus eliminate middlemen.However, by the time the government declared its support price, the distress sale of paddy has been almost complete. The small farmers, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the Bengal's peasantry, are traditionally depended on moneylenders as the commercial banks and cooperative banks are reluctant to offer credit to small farmers.
Lower Caste Movements efforts to obliterate the social backwardness of some groups or communities in the society. Bengali society throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries remained broadly divided into the Hindu and Muslim communities. In that sense, the inner divisions of the Hindu society tended to be perfunctory. Thus, the social scenario in Bengal betrayed features quite different from those in Central India and some parts of the Deccan, where the Muslim population was relatively small as a result of which the anti-Brahmin movements thrived there.
The forms of discrimination against the untouchables in Bengal differed from that in Maharastra or South India. In Bengal, caste rigidities were never strong enough to keep the untouchable population in a state of perpetual servitude. In this context, the types of discrimination faced by depressed or scheduled caste leaders likejogendranath mandal were not the same as those experienced by Ambedkar in Maharastra.
In Bengal the list of scheduled castes included not only the 'untouchables' but also several Ajalchal castes ritually ranked a step above them. The colonial bureaucracy enlisted communities under the Scheduled Caste grouping not much in accordance to their ritual status, but more in terms of their economic status. Therefore, it has been argued that since the intensity of untouchability was relatively weak in Bengal, compared to some other regions of India, movements such as those demanding right of entry to temples could never become a major plank in the movement for the removal of untouchability. Therefore lower caste protest did not always demand the complete removal of untouchability. Scholars like Masayuki Usuda have argued that these movements took the form of joint efforts in which socially backward castes too participated. The problems of untouchability and those of social ostracism were reflected in the antagonisms that prevailed between the indigent Chhotoloks (low born) and the rich Bhadraloks (men enjoying a higher status by virtue of their ritual ranking, education and other virtues) in the society. At times movements among the Bengali untouchables assumed class connotations.
However, such movements need to be analysed in two different ways. In the first place, such movements are sometimes considered as manifestations of protest against a dominant system of social organisation that sanctioned disabilities and inflicted deprivation on certain subordinate groups. On the other hand such movements, it has been argued, could be interpreted as expressions of ambitions or aspirations that sought accommodation and positional readjustments within the existing system of distribution of power and prestige. It would be worthwhile to argue that within such 'untouchable' social groups, different levels of social consciousness and different forms of political action emerged, which inevitably were incorporated within a single movement.
In Bengal, due to their socio-economic backwardness, some of the lower or 'untouchable' castes developed worldviews that were fundamentally different from that of the nationalists and this led to their alienation from mainstream politics. However within the same social movement of such ritually 'inferior' castes, there could be a convergence of different tendencies - some protestant and some accommodating. In fact, as a result of such tendencies, lower caste social protest in spite of the immense possibilities of initiating some fundamental changes in society or polity, fell far short of the cherished goals.
The lower caste movements since the last decades of the nineteenth century were organised and largely led by the Namashudras of Eastern Bengal and theRajbangshis in the North. They organised and led two of the most powerful movements among the Scheduled Castes of Bengal. In fact when scheduled caste politics emerged in the province in the 1930s, they provided it with both leadership and a popular support base. Moreover, these two communities by and large remained aloof from the nationalist movement. The Namasudras (2,087,162 as per 1911 census) constituted the largest agrarian caste in Eastern Bengal and their alienation from the Congress led anti-British agitation weakened the nationalist movement. Similarly, the Rajbangshis who too were a dominant caste in North Bengal exhibited apathy for the Congress led freedom movement and this possibly explains much of the weaknesses of the nationalist movement in this region.
The Namasudras who were earlier known as Chandals (a term derived from the Sanskrit chandala, a representative term for the untouchables) lived mainly in the Eastern districts of Bengal. According to the census of 1901, more than 75 percent of the Namasudra population lived in the districts of Bakerganj, Faridpur, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jessore and Khulna. Moreover, it has also been pointed out in several studies that a contiguous region comprising northeastern Bakerganj, southern Faridpur and the adjoining Narail, Magura, Khulna and Bagerhat districts contained more than half of this caste population. In North Bengal a section of Kochs, who began to call themselves Rajbangshis from the early nineteenth century, also lived in a contiguously definable region. By the early years of the twentieth century more than 88 percent of the Rajbangshi population lived in the districts of Rangpur, Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and the princely state of Cooch Behar. Presumably, this sort of geographical moorings, which has been explained in terms of the tribal origin of both the communities, accounted for their strength. The loss of such geographical anchorage in 1947 contributed to the decline of their movements.
Both Namasudras and Rajbangshis bore the stigma of untouchability and in most cases the various social disabilities from which they suffered created a considerable social distance between them and the privileged upper castes of Bengal - the Brahmins, Kayasthas and Baidyas. Apart from their low social standing, the majority of the Namasudras were tenant farmers with or without occupancy rights while a few were sharecroppers or bargadars, whose numbers proliferated towards the end of the 1920s. Thus the fundamental dichotomy in Bengal agrarian relations coincided, in the case of the Namasudras, with the caste hierarchy. However, a miniscule group among the Namasudras did move up the economic ladder by taking advantage of the process of reclamation that had started in the area (mostly in the three East Bengal Divisions of Dhaka, Rajshahi and Chittagong). Consequently, while some Namasudras set themselves up as big peasants or tenure holders, some others took to moneylending and trade and somewhat later to education and various professions.
In the case of the Rajbangshis the situation was quite different, as they were better placed than the Namasudras in terms of their ranking in the agrarian structure. In Rajshahi division the Rajbangshis constituted about 10.68 percent of the rent receiving population. Among the Rajbangshi 'cultivators', although many were sharecroppers or adhiyars, a substantial section happened to be rich peasants, enjoying various grades of tenurial rights as jotedars and chukamidars. Incidentally, the wide-scale clearing of jungle areas over large parts of Northern Bengal resulted in the establishment of some big zamindari houses by the Rajbangshis. However, it needs to be borne in mind that these inner contradictions did not come to the fore till the end of the 1930s as both the Namasudras and the Rajbangshi elite were not able to carve out a separate identity for themselves and consequently remained attached to the peasant community.
Under the influence of certain liberal religious sects, a sense of self-respect developed among the Namasudras. In fact, these liberal as well as radical sects under the leadership of charismatic gurus like Keshab Pagal or Sahalal Pir challenged the hierarchic Hindu caste system and preached a simple gospel based on devotion (bhakti) and spiritual emotionalism (bhava). In 1872-73, the Namasudras under the leadership of Dwarkanath Mandal, tried to bolster their self-esteem by undertaking a social and economic boycott of the upper castes. The failure of this movement led to the establishment of the Matua sect - an organised religious sect under the influence of Sri Guru Chand Thakur. The Guru, who came from a rich peasant household, preached the elimination of caste, equality of men and women and the possibility for spiritual relief through performance of secular duties. Subsequently, the message of the movement found expression through the shlogan of hate kam mukhe nam (work with the hands, chant with the mouth). At about the same time, several other lower caste spiritualists like Prabhu Jagatbandhu (1871-1921) spread their teachings among the Namasudras of Faridpur and Jessore. Jagatbandhu's teachings formed the core of the religious beliefs of the Mahanta sect.
The conversion of the Namasudras to Christianity was another phenomenon that deserves special mention. The Christian denominations, namely, the Baptists, Anglicans and Roman Catholics converted a fairly large number of Namasudras in Faridpur and Bakerganj.
From the early years of the twentieth century, the Namasudra Samiti gained in prominence and 'uplift meetings' were regularly organised to disseminate the message of the caste movement. At the same time Jatras and mass contact drives, such as those for the collection of musthi (handful of rice) were frequently organised for the purpose of mobilisation. From 1912, the Bengal Namasudra Association provided the movement with a more formal organisational network. Thus as the movement progressed, it encompassed within it two distinct levels of consciousness and action, one represented by the elite and the other by their peasant followers.
In the case of the Rajbangshis, the movement for self-respect was organised by the members of the affluent section of the community. From the 1890s, the influence of Sanskritisation could be clearly seen and there was an effort to characterise the Rajbangshis as Vratya (fallen) Ksatriyas. At the same time, from 1912 onwards the Rajbangshi elite organised a series of mass thread wearing ceremonies in order to boast their Ksatriya status. Moreover, efforts were also undertaken to establish links with the Bharatiya Ksatriya Mahasabha.
Since the early years of the twentieth century both the Namasudras and the Rajbangshis sent requests to the colonial bureaucracy to bring them under the orbit of preferential treatment. Apart from extending preferential treatment to them in matters of education and employment, sympathies were also sought from the colonial bureaucracy over matters related to political participation. While the position of the Namasudra and Rajbangshi elite in the local bodies showed signs of improvement, their representation in the provincial legislature was still negligible. But more importantly, in order to gain special political privileges, the lower caste elite consciously advocated an anti-Congress and pro-British stance. At the same time, the lower caste elite, particularly the Namasudras who had actively opposed theswadeshi movement of the Congress, favoured a blatantly separatist line in the wake of the constitutional proposals of the 1910s and 1920s seeking greater devolution of power among various Indian groups. Almost immediately after the Mont-Ford proposals, the Rajbangshi and Namasudra elite pressed for greater representation for depressed communities in Bengal. As a result of these demands, the Reform Act of 1919 provided for the nomination of one representative of the depressed classes to the Bengal Legislature.
Since the early 1920s the pro-British stance became more pronounced and the lower caste elite in pursuit of greater political privileges became more critical of the Congress policy to speak on behalf of the nation. Consequently, for them nationalism assumed a different meaning. In spite of being critical of the Hindu social order and championing an anti-Congress position they were not anti-nationalists as such. In other words the lower caste elite were in quest of a nation based on the principles of substantive rather than the nominal citizenship being offered to them by the Congress.
However, it would be wrong to surmise that the lower caste elite consistently favoured a political approach distinct from that of the nationalist mainstream. Occasional convergence did take place. For instance, in the 1920s, some of the Namasudra and Rajbangshi elite, notably Keshab Chandra Das, Mohini Mohan Das, and Upendranath Barman favoured a policy of collaboration with the nationalists. Understandably, anti-Congress feeling ran high among the less privileged Namasudra and Rajbangshi peasantry. Interestingly, as a part of their protest against social and economic discrimination Namasudra and Rajbangshi peasants entered into bitter strife with dominant landholding groups, comprising both high caste Hindus and Muslims.
By the 1930s, with institutional concessions pouring in, the lower caste elite became more and more unmindful of the interests of their peasant followers and showed more interest in Council politics and Constitutional debates. But, to keep their influence intact over their rural following, they did at times expose issues closely related to the lives of the peasants. In the 1930s, their political separatism became all the more pronounced because of a distinct tilt towards Ambedkar's brand of separatist scheduled caste politics. But by the mid-1930s, the lower caste elite began to lose popular support, more because of the emergence of political outfits like the krishak praja party, which had a pronounced peasant orientation. But with the Krishak Praja Party turning away its face from the scheduled caste constituency on the eve of the 1937 elections, the lower caste elite was once more able to recover their lost political base. But more importantly, during this period the Congress was also able to woo a section of the lower caste elite.
In the 1937 elections, the scheduled castes won 32 out of the 256 seats in the Bengal Legislative Assembly. The composition of the 32 successful candidates revealed a shift in political allegiances. In addition to 23 Independent members, 7 were elected on Congress support and the hindu mahasabha backed 2.
Since the late 1930s, the lower caste movement lost much of its momentum and autonomy as class divisions began to surface. The lower caste elite could no longer sustain their links with their rural following. The onset of depression and the resultant hardships of the peasantry forced a substantial section of the rural proletariat, irrespective of caste affiliation, to draw closer to the Kisan Sabha agitations. In the Jalpaiguri-Dinajpur region throughout the early 1940s, common caste identity failed to stem the conflict between the Rajbangshi Jotedars and the Adhiyars, over the latter's demand for a greater share of the harvest. This conflict culminated in the tebhaga movement of 1946-47. But more importantly, the hobnobbing between the Independent Scheduled Caste party and Krishak Praja Party-Muslim League ministry also proved to be a short-lived one. The establishment of the Bengal Provincial Scheduled Caste Federation also did not signify the rise of a third political alternative.
In retrospect it needs to be argued that lower caste community identity was always in a process of change, thereby resulting in fragmentation. In fact, the fragments and particles that fell apart were appropriated by the other wider identities of nation, religion or class. In that sense, the integration of the lower castes, more particularly in the 1940s, with various other political streams such as Congress led nationalism or Hindu Mahasabha instigated communalism or the Communist led Kisan Sabha were rooted in the very logic of such movements. [Raj Sekhar Basu]
Bibliography Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, Caste, Politics and the Raj, Calcutta, 1990;Namasudras, London, 1998; Usuda Masayuki, 'Pushed towards the Partition: Jogendranath Mandal and the Constrained Namasudra Movement', in H Kotani (ed), Caste System, Untouchability and the Depressed, Delhi, 1997.
Brahaminical Political Parties have No Sympathy for the Helpless peasantry in crisis as Urea prices set to shoot up 40%.Rural world is to be destroyed.Urea prices are set to soar by as much as 40 per cent. An inter-ministerial consultation process is expected to begin next week, before the Cabinet takes a final call.Farmers in India use about 28 million tonne of urea annually, of which 6-8 million tonne is imported. The uptrend in prices of imported urea and that of feedstock necessary for domestic production has pushed up the government's subsidy bill for the sector to nearly Rs 100,000 crore, from the budgeted Rs 54,000 crore.
The government has also announced a Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) on P&K fertilisers (such as DAP and MOP) with effect from April 1, 2010, to boost indigenous production.
Earlier this month, a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee cleared a proposal to free prices of urea and bring it under the NBS policy.
As per the proposal, the government has decided to raise urea prices by 10 per cent in the first year of the policy, following which the industry would be free to determine prices.
Presently, urea continues to be governed by the New Pricing Scheme—III (NPS—III), which has been extended provisionally until further orders.The proposal has the backing of the finance ministry, which is keen to limit the fiscal breach.
Urea, which accounts for over half of country's total fertiliser consumption of 52 million tonne, is the only soil nutrient whose price is controlled by the government. Urea prices were last revised up in April 2010 to Rs 5,310 a tonne from Rs 4,830. The government pays producers the difference between the retail price of urea and its production cost as subsidy.
Last year, it notified a nutrient-based subsidy regime for fertilisers, but kept politically sensitive urea out of it. Currently, the amount of subsidy for each of the nutrients - phosphates and potassium- is provided to the producer or importers at a fixed rate.
Manufacturers are free to price these decontrolled fertilisers in line with international prices, as India relies on imports to the extent of 90% for phosphatic fertilsiers and 100% for potassic ones.
Because of hardening global prices, the domestic prices of non-urea fertilisers, chiefly di-ammonium phosphate, have risen sharply after the switch to nutrient-based subsidy. This has led to indiscriminate use of urea by farmers much to the chagrin of domestic manufacturers and soil experts. Overuse of urea has also created soil imbalance, leading to decline in soil fertility.
Green Revolution was introduced to do the groundwork for Free Market economy.Big Dams, Infrastructure, Fertilsers, Genetically Modified seeds, Nuclear Energy, pesticides and chemicals should be credited to Green revolution which set the ground for MNCs and Foreign Capital Inflow.Reforms drive is targeted to the Mulnivasi Bahjan inhibited Rural world living on farming and agri based livelihood.
Busines Line reports that Decontrol of phosphatic and complex fertiliser prices has triggered foreign investors' interest in fertiliser makers like Chambal Fertilisers, Coromandel International and Rallis among others.
The move comes even as the Government has not been able to formulate a policy for deregulation of urea prices, despite approval from an Empowered Group of Ministers.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) have increased their exposures to fertiliser stocks in the recent quarters. This is even as they have pruned their holdings in interest rate-sensitive sectors such as auto, capital goods and infrastructure among others.
RCF SEES BIG JUMPRashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCF), in which the Government owns 92.5 per cent, has seen the biggest jump in FII holding. The FIIs have more than tripled their stake to 0.19 per cent of the total holding over past two quarters.
Analysts attribute the rising FII interest in fertiliser firms mainly to the decontrol of non-urea fertiliser prices last year. The Government, last fiscal, had brought all non-urea fertilisers under the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) regime and freed them from price controls. This has provided pricing power for fertiliser firms and helped them post better profit margins.
FREE PRICING"The impact is visibly evident in the past four to five months when the prices of fertilisers such as DAP (diammonium phosphate) have shot up and the Government has not interfered," said Mr Tarun Surana, Research Analyst at Sunidhi Securities.
Prices of DAP have shot up from Rs 12,000 per tonne to Rs 18,200 per tonne in the past four to five months, Mr Surana said. The monsoon-dependent fertiliser sector is largely considered defensive in nature in line with FMCG and consumption segment. "Good monsoons this year has resulted in strong demand," Mr Surana said.
UREA DECONTROL"FIIs start accumulating whenever they anticipate some big announcement. Since there is talk of urea decontrol, which may happen next year, they are accumulating fertiliser stocks and will continue to do till it (decontrol) happens," said Mr Kishore P. Ostwal, CMD, CNI Research.
Urea is the only fertiliser that remains under Government control. The Group of Ministers in August had referred the urea decontrol policy to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. Reports suggest that the Prime Minister's Office has directed the Fertiliser Ministry to accelerate the urea decontrol policy, amidst resistance from the Fertiliser Minister, Mr M.K. Azhagiri, to the proposed move.
A person familiar with this development told Business Line, "With international prices going up, it has necessitated an increase in the maximum retail price for urea. This will help domestic companies to get better returns and invest further."
The urea price was last revised on April 1, 2010, from Rs 4,830 a tonne to Rs 5,310 a tonne. He claimed that such a move is likely to get support from the Finance Ministry as this will reduce its subsidy burden. On apprehensions of an adverse impact on inflation, the source pointed out that the contribution of fertiliser in the cost of production for farm output has come down significantly over the past few years.
In fact, the industry claims that the cost of fertiliser in the overall cost of agriculture produce has come down from 11 per cent to 9 per cent.
Urea is the only controlled fertiliser, where the difference between the cost of production of urea as assessed by Fertiliser Industry Coordination Committee (known as the retention price) and the statutorily fixed sale price is paid as subsidy under the Retention Price-cum Subsidy Scheme.
Such a scheme ensures uniform sale price to the farmers besides a reasonable return (12 per cent) on capital investment to the manufacturers.
According to various estimates by the Government and the industry, subsidy on urea is in the 60-75 per cent range, depending on the fuel used for production. On the other hand, subsidy on imported urea has gone up to 90 per cent, industry sources claimed.
At present, of the total demand of nearly 28 million tonnes, 21.5-22 million tonnes are met through domestic sources.
Mr U.S. Awasthi, CEO, IFFCO, said that the existing price level is unsustainable and is hurting investment prospects. No new investment in capacity addition in urea has taken place since 1997. He said the price revision will stop indiscriminate use of urea which, in turn, is good for the soil and ground water.
He also believed that a 40 per cent price hike is justified as farmers, in any case, pay Rs 400 per 50-kg bag in many places because of various reasons, including middle-men. A 40 per cent hike would take the price to nearly Rs 7,500, which is close to the current actual market price, he added.
India imported 18.4 lakh tonnes of urea and 30.64 lakh tonnes of other fertilisers, including di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and muriate of potash (MOP), during the April-July period this fiscal.
The country imported a total of 66.10 lakh tonnes of urea and 131.78 lakh tonnes of other fertilisers in the entire 2010—11 fiscal, according to government data.
The import of DAP stood at 20.16 lakh tonnes till July in the current fiscal, as against 74.11 lakh tonnes in the 2010—11 fiscal. Import of MOP in the first four months of this fiscal stood at 3.05 lakh tonnes, compared to 45 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal.
The country had imported 1.06 lakh tonnes of MAP (mono—ammonium phosphate) and 6.37 lakh tonnes of various grades of fertilisers till July in the 2011—12 fiscal.
Domestic production of urea is stagnant at 210 lakh tonnes.
To encourage phosphatic and potassic (P&K) fertiliser production in the country, the government has reduced customs duty on phosphoric acid, an important ingredient, from 5 per cent to 2 per cent.
History of BanglaThe ancient, medieval, and colonial history of Bangladesh covers a period from antiquity to 1947, when India was partitioned. So the history of Bangladesh prior to 1947 is a history of India of which Bangladesh was a part. In fact, the history of India is a history of Bengal for the large part. Today Bangladesh is an independent nation within the Indian subcontinent, but is less than half of the old Bengal or Bangla.
The modern state of Bangladesh officially came into existence through a people's liberation war in 1971. Bangladesh is the eastern part of Bangla. Bangladesh (East Bangla) and West Bangla (India) are the same nation and together they once formed the major part of Bangla (Banga or Gaur). There were some other parts of Bangla though that are no longer within East or West Bangla. Bangla was divided into East and West parts by the British, first in 1905, but it proved unpopular and was reversed in 1911. Later during the partition of India, rich Muslim landlords in the East supported the division. So again since 1947, Bangla is divided into at least two parts. Bangla was ultimately ruined by this division and today there are even those who have
been culturally so much derooted that they feel that the people of the other Bangla are foreigners! That is one of the greatest achievement of British imperialism. Bangla was one of the most important centres of India and now it is a ruined nation no longer a potential threat to the west. Its long and great history is forgotten by the world and also many Bangalees today. Even though Bangladesh is a modern state, her history can be traced back to about 1000 BC. There are many theories about the origin of the name Banga or Bangla. Some linguists believe that the name originates from the Tibetan word, "Bans" which means wet or moist and Banga (Bengal) is a wet country crisscrossed by a thousand rivers and washed by monsoons and floods from the Himalayas. Some others believe that the name originated from the Bodo (original Asamese in North Eastern India) "Bang La" which means wide plains. This theory is extremely plausible. Another school suggests the name comes from the name of Prince Banga. According to legend, Prince Banga, the son of King Bali and Queen Sudeshna of the Lunar dynasty was the first to colonise Bangla. What is probably the real root is from the name of the original people of Bangla. This also is taken from legend. One of the tribes who according to a claim emerged from the Indus Civilization after its demise had entered the plains of Bengal while others went elsewhere. They were called the Bong tribe and spoke Dravidian. We know from many ancient Aryan texts of a tribe called Banga that existed in that region.
Geology and archaeology tell us that Bangla was formed 1 to 6.5 million years ago and the first known human habitation goes back to 100, 000 years in the past. Paleolithic tools and implements from a hundred thousand years ago have been found in Deolpota in West Bangla and 15, 000 year old implements have been found in South East Bangladesh. New Stone Age civilisation, showing connection with that of Bihar, Orissa and Asam existed in Bangla around 3000 to 1500 BC.
Then suddenly a metal processing civilization appears. Archaeology has not been able to find the missing link from stone tools to metal tools use. This might suggest the influx of a new people into the region and maybe this goes hand in hand with the legends. The Indus civilization ended around 1800 BCE and there is a marked change in Bangla around this time...this ties in with the story of the Bong and Al peoples. Recently an ancient city has been discovered in West Bangla at Chandraketugarh near Berachampa, in North 24 Pargana. The city is presumed to be of King Chandraketu from the Gupta era (4th to 6th century AD) but will await carbon 14 tests. Statues of Goddess Yakshi have been discovered here. At Berachampa is another location of interest. Here the'khana-mihir's dhibi was found, a site with Gupta temples. In Jessore, Bangladesh (East Bangla), the Bharat Bhanya site has been tentatively assigned to the Gupta period as well. (Md. Shafiqul Alam, Deccan College, Pune 411 006)
We can assume cities existed in ancient Bangla, however, not many ruins dating back in or before the first millennium BC have been located. Certainly some cities like Pundra are refered to in ancient Aryan texts before there was much contact between the Aryans and the Bangales. Were the ruins such as ChandraketuGarh (Gaur) built upon older cities of the past?
In the ancient Aryan texts, Purs were mentioned describing forts or cities of the Drabirs of the Indus civilization. The interesting thing is names of places in the Indus region often end with -Pur and likewise in Bangla, place names commonly end in -Pur.
A Lost History
Many assume that South India and Bengal were backwaters because of the lack of interest of the Aryan scriptures in them. They were not backwaters but simply they were non-Aryans. Since Bangla and South India were not Aryan, they are not highlighted in the history of the Aryans or North India. However, since there were powerful kingdoms and cities in Bangla that were in close proximity to the Aryans, Bangla is mentioned somewhat. Also because of Buddha's travellings, there are some more references. (Note: the earliest references are mostly disdainful. If anyone travelled to the Drabir land, then their would be pennances and ritual sacrifices). Dance forms seem to have originated in Drabir India. South Indians have given us several unique dance forms and Gaur of Bangla has also given us unique dance forms. From the ruins of ancient Indus civilization we find dancing girl figurines which indicate the origin of the dances of India.
Even the ancient texts, however, whether intentionally or not, reveal the greatness of Bangla. In Bhishma-parban, the Bangalee kings heroically face attacks from the Pandus or conquerors of Upper India. There is a description of the encounters between the Pandus and the mighty ruler of the Bangas. While some of the Bangalee kings fought on elephants, others rode on ocean-bred steeds of the hue of the moon. What were these ocean bred steeds of the hue of the moon? Were they ships? In the very ancient times, Pundra, Gaur (Gaud or Garh), Rarh (Radha, Ladha), Sumha, Bajra (Brahma), Tamralipti, Samatata, Banga and Anga comprised Bangla. At one time Gaur was the name used for the Bangla region but the name Banga later became popular. This might reflect the prominence of the regions in a period whose history is lost. Banga is first mentioned in the Aiterya Aranyaka, a Hindu scripture. The book mentions Banga as a non-Aryan (Drabir) nation. In the Aitareya Brahma, the people of Pundra tribe (along with Andhra, Shabara, Mulinda and Mutiba tribes) is called dasyu, clearly non-Aryan or Drabir.
Bangla is also mentioned in the Mahabharat, one of the four great epics. In the great war of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharat, a Bangalee king fought for the Kaurabs (Kaurabs are supposed to be the villains. They are most probably Aryans and so this might show the beginings of Aryan-Drabir alliance makings.). In another instance, King Basudeb of Gaur (old name for Bangla) fought with Krishna in Dwarka, a port city in Gujarat on the western part of India. The Mahabharat also mentions three Bangalee princes who try for the hand of princess Draupadi. In this epic, some Bangalees are mentioned as untouchables. These were the coastal tribes of Bangla who were called Mlechchha. All the tribes in Bangla (and Kalinga, a South East Indian empire and even Magadh and Anga (Bangla) were considered non-Aryan. Banga and Kalinga were Drabir even in Mahabir's time and Aryanization only began with Ashok when part of it was under the Mauryan empire. As Aryanization penetrated into Manu classified Bangla (Pundra), Shaka and Drabira as fallen Kshatryias (Kshatriyas were the warior or ruling caste). This was an attempt to incorporate them into the Aryan caste system. Towards Arjun's time, Mahabharat and the Bayu and Matsyapuranas also call Bangalees (Pundra and Banga, Sumhas) Kshatriyas. And later the Jaina Pragyapana calls Bangaless (Banga and Rarh) Aryans signifying the beginning of absorption. It was probably then that the caste system became rigid and oppressive to maintain segregation.
"The Culture of India is pre-Aryan in origin. As in Greece, the conquered countries civilized the conquerors. The Aryan Indian owed his civilization and his degeneration to the Dravidians as the Aryan Greek to the Mycaeneans." -- Hall: Ancient History of the Near East
It was only during the Gupta rule around the 4th century period that Aryanization fully penetrates Bangla. The caste structure is instilled and Brahmans (highest caste) are mentioned. Batsyan in his Kamsutra (the bible of sex) mentions Brahmans in Bengal. Vatsayana talks about handsome Bangalees who painted their nails to attract girls. Ancient Bangalee men painted their nails to attract girls. This is the earliest mention of coloring nails. In the ancient Indus, girls used lipstick which is also another first use.
Ancient Hindu Center
Many think that the concepts of karma and transmigration of the soul, the practice of yoga, the worship of Shib, Debi and Bisnu, and other rituals that are not Vedic came from the Aryans. However, these are now believed to have existed in Bangla before Aryanization. This is also supported by the fact that today at least Yoga and Shiva are associated with the Indus civilization which existed before the coming of the Aryans. The cultivation of rice and other crops such as the betel leaf, coconut, tamarind and nut, the Hindu dress of dhuti, marriage rituals with vermilion and turmeric, and many other customs come from pre-Aryan ancestors.
Age of Glory
Bangla history in the 1st millennium BC was that of glory and expansion. This period is connected not to North India but to South India and the Eastern Asia. Its expansion was a maritime expansion. Bengal was an ancient seafaring nation, possibly a continuation of the seafaring of the Indus days. As early as 544 BC, Bangalee prince, Bijay Singha of Bangla established the first kingdom in Sri Lanka. The ancient name of Sri Lanka, Singhal comes from the name of Bijay Singha. The Sri Bijaya empire of Indonesia that dominated East Asia for over a millennium bears Sri Bijaya's name, possibly meaning that it was founded by him. This empire is known to have been a strong indian centre as early as 135 AD by the Chinese, which means that Indians (Bangalees) were there earlier in history, possibly the 6th/5th century BC, if Sri Bijaya founded the empire. From here the region of cambodia to Vietnam was dominated by the ancient Bangalees. Madras was another kingdom established by the Bangalees. These show that Bangla was a well organized land even in antiquity. This period of expansion is unmatched in later history. An intersting point to note: the Madras people are Tamil (Dramila) were the original Bagnalees same as Tamils?
In India, the ancient kingdoms were called Mahajanapadas. There were several of them all over Northern India. Anga, Ashmak, Avanti, Chedi, Gandhar, Kashi, Kosala, Magadha ( in Bihar and later annexed part of Bangla and adjoining areas when it started expansion), Matsya, Shursen and Batsa (today: Kasuambi in Bihar, King of Batsa, Udayana was Buddha's follower) were the major kingdoms. Some Mahajanapadas like Banga, Kamboj, Koliya, Kuru, Lichhavi, Moriya, Panchal, Shakya (Buddha's family ruled here), and Brijji were republican states. The republican states were not ruled by kings but had assemblies of senior and responsible elders called 'Gana-parishad'. (This is still visible in villages in India.) The Magadha, Kosala, Batsya (Bihar), and Avanti (Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh) were the most notable kingdoms of ancient India.
Anga: Anga was an ancient kingdom. The people were originally Drabir but were absorbed early in the Aryanization process. They had become part of Magadha in the 6th century BC. Anga was part of Bangla but now mostly lies in Bihar, including her capital, Monghyr.
Avanti: A kingdom near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. He warred with Magadh,
Kosala, and Batsa. Eventually Magadha emerged victor.
Gandhar: Present day Afganistan. Afganistan was part of India until the 10th century when it was overrun by foreign invaders.
Kashi: Today Kashi remains as the famous holy city Banarasi or Banaras.
Kosala: Of all the small kingdoms in North India, the history of Magadha and Kosala are documented well, because of Buddha and Mahabir's presence there. There are references to Bangla, since Buddha had travelled there to preach. Kosala was an empire roughly the size of Britain and is also the birth place of Raam, the Hindu Avatar. It existed in Central North India, with capital at Ayoddhya. Shrabasti, Kushabati and Saket were its other famous cities. Archeological excavations have shown the remains of a great empire there, which existed sometime between the end of the Harappan civilization and the emergence of historical empires in India whose tales might be recorded in the Mahabharat and Ramayan. The legendary Tirthankaras of Jain are also from here. Kosala was ruled by Prasenajit during the time of Buddha, around the 6th century BC.
Magadh: Neighbouring Magadh (an ancient Drabir nation) started getting powerful in the 7th century BC. It started out as a sixth of the size of Kosala in the extreme south east of Bihar. Its old capital was at Rajgriha (Rajgir) in present day Bihar. In the 6th century BC, it was definitely a major power under King Bimbisara. (It must be noted that Bimbisara had married Prasenajits' sister.) Part of the rise in Magadh's power was due to its king Bimbisara's bold new strategy. Until then in Magadh the armies were loyal to the different tribes but Bimbisara changed this making the armies loyal to himself. Magadh is the first kingdom recorded in Indian history that attempted to create a great empire. There is evidence that Buddha himself had counseled the King Bimbisara of Magadha as how to subjugate and annex the neighboring Lichabi republic (D.P. Singhal pg. 57). Later Bimbisara became the first patron of Buddhism. Buddha had highly influenced Bimbisara. The capital of Magadh also became Buddha's homebase. There were thousands of Magadhans who had converted to buddhism by then. It must be noted that Prasenajit later converted too, leading to massive success of early Buddhism. By the time Magadha started to expand, there was probably a high degree of Aryan penetration into Magadh, as evidenced by the fact that Buddha spoke Maghdi Sanskrit, which is an Aryan language. Magadha was probably one of the first Aryo-Drabir synthesis centres. Both the Buddhist and Jain religion (which in antiquity originates in Kosala) developed here. In its early stage it anexed the smaller kingdoms of Kashi, Madra and Anga (Bangla). And also lost in antiquity, Prasenjit carried out a long protracted war with Magadh. Eventually Prasenajit was deposed by his son and Kosala was overwhelmed by Magadh. Thus Magadh now stretched all across Northern India becoming the first historical empire of North India. King Ajarsatru, son of Bimbisara started the task of building the empire in 490 BC and Magadh was extended under great Nanda kings as far west as Punjab. The Nanda kings had set up an effective ministrative system that was necessary to run their large empire. The huge four-fold army of two hundred thousand infantry, twenty thousand cavalry, two thousand chariots and three thousand elephants. They introduced the stem of standard weights and measures (if this is the one used in modern India then it is remarkable that it was base 16 like ancient Indus). The Nanda Kings were patrons of art and literature. By the time Alexander conquers northern India in 326 BC, Magadh was a great empire under the Nandas and this was the seed from which the Mauryan empire germinated, retaining the great bureaucracy, army and passion for arts and literature of the Nanda kings.
Earliest Western References
Gangariday (Bangalee) king had 4 thousand war trained elephants. The periods just before the Mauryan empire and after it is almost nonexistent in India. However, some history can be collected from Greek sources. The first western reference comes from Alexander's invasion of India. Alexander had conquered much of the "known world" and had defeated the western kingdoms of India. They were stopped at the Magadh empire. The Greek historians suggest that Alexander retreated fearing valiant attacks of the mighty Gangariday and Prasioi empires which were located in the Bangla region. Alexander's historians refer to Gangariday as a people who lived in the lower Ganges and its tributaries. These empires attest the level of organization of the peoples of Bangla region. These names are again mentioned by Diodorus. He describes Gangariday as a nation beyond the Ganges, whose king had 4 thousand war trained and equipped elephants. Later Periplus and Ptolemy also indicate that Bangla was organized into a powerful kingdom at the onset of the first millennium AD. When Greek historian Periplus talks about India in the first century AD, apparently he speaks of Bangla. He says, "There is a river near it called the Ganges (Ganga)" ...On its bank is a market town which has the same name as the river, Ganges (Ganga). Through this place are brought malabathrum and Gangetic spikenard and pearls and muslins of the finest sorts, which are called Gangetic. It is said that there are gold mines near these places, and there is a gold coin which is called caltis. And just opposite this river there is an island in the ocean, the last part of the inhabited world towards the east, under the rising sun itself, it is called Chryse; and it has the best tortoise-shell of all the places on the Erythrean Sea" (Sudheer's India's Contribution to the World's Culture). ... But the waves utterly overwhelmed it, and Chryse sank and disappeared in the depths..." --( Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.33.4)
It is apparent that these empires existed before the Mauryan empire and continued after the fall of that empire. Some believe Bangla was part of the Mauryan Empire. However, it seems that these two kingdoms continued to exist even after the Mauryan empire. Part of Bangla, namely Anga and Pundra were probably under the Mauryan empire but the rest of Bangla remained outside the Mauryan empire. It is possible that these two empires entered into alliance with the Magadhans prior to the formation of the Mauryan empire thus retaining independence. Or simply the Bangla empires might have been too powerful (note they had more war elephants than the Mauryans which might indicate their power).
The ancient western reference to the Muslin shows that the legendary fabric is not a new export of Bangla but ancient. It must take its rightful place with cotton and silk fabrics that go back in time in Bangla. The British colonialists deliberately destroyed the Muslin production (to market the Britsh cotton in India) by brutally chopping the Muslin weavers' thumps off.) The Muslin was legendary because a 50 meter long Muslin fabric could be squeezed into a matchbox. Today's Muslin is a different fabric altogether. The technology is lost.
".......As to young ladies damping down their muslin gowns to make them cling was probably not an English affectation, more than it might have been a French fad, and during 1795-1810 than the English Regency that was 1810-1820. Fashion plates of the period, especially from Heideloff's "Gallery of Fashion" and "Ackermann's" show English ladies more "bundled up" than their French counterparts. There were some fantastic extremes of fashion during the French Directorie period, but the influenza outbreaks during 1795-1805 probably had
more to do with cold wet winters and shortages of food, especially during wartime than what ladies wore--men died of influenza too and doctors couldn't blame it on them wearing muslin gowns, cashmere shawls and sandals even in the coldest weather. Besides, only a very few could afford gowns and shawls of such expensive materials, especially as muslin couldn't stand up to hard wear and the needed frequent washing to keep it clean and white......." Cindy Abel
Health Sciences Library, USA
Alexander's Indian Adventure
In 518 BC, King Darius of Persia had conquered North West India including
parts of Punjab. The Indian kings of this region were subordinate kings of
Persia. The Persians coined the term Hindu to describe the people of India. It was a mispronunciation of Sindhu, the large river of western India, now in Pakistan.
When Alexander defeated Persia (around 320s BC), and came to India, he met the subordinate states of Persia. These states were nonetheless powerful. Alexander wanted to go to the famed city of Taksha Shila (Taxila, North India) across the Sindhu River (Indus). On his way there, he defeated the Ashwakas, who attacked him, in a fierce battle. By the time he attacks Purus (another Western Indian kingdom), he needs the alliance of two other kingdoms of India. Ambhi, King of Taksh Shila made alliance with Alexander (was this alliance made before Alexander entered India?). Another king Shashi Gupta also entered into alliance. They were enemies of Purus. It took the three kings to finally defeat Purus, in a very hard battle. As he proceeded eastwards, he was daunted by greater tasks and his army had lost its morale, forcing him to turn back. As mentioned earlier, he probably did not want to meet with the organized armies of the independent Indian empires of Magadh, Gangariday and Prasoi.
At the end of his adventure, Alexander had conquered the states of Kekaya, Gandhara and Punjab in Northwest India. During the subsequent centuries, Indo-Greek trade picked up. Along with trade of goods, ideas were exchanged. Indian astrology was influenced by the Greeks. The Indians adopted the 12 Zodiac signs. Indian philosophy and science also permeated into Greek culture at the same time.
Age of Empires: Mauryan Empire
The Mauryan Empire owes its name to Mura, mother of Chandra Gupta. Mura was a lower caste woman and Chandra Gupta was the illegitimate son of her and the Magadhan king. According to legend, the Nanda King, Dhananda, who ruled during the time of Alexander's invasion had an illegitimate son by a Shudra (lower caste) woman called Mura. When Alexander came to India, Chandra Gupta had met him as a young man and through him, Alexander probably learned of the organized armies of the East. Two years after Alexander departed, Chandra Gupta started a war against his father. He was aided in this by his Guru and foster father, Bishnu Gupta, who is popularly called Kautilya or Chanakya. Kautilya is the writer of the Artha Shastra, the first great political treatise of the world. In 322 BC, Chandra Gupta became the Emperor of Magadh and Bishnu Gupta became his able Prime Minister. Chandra Gupta extended his empire as far west as the Indus (Sindhu) river in modern day Pakistan, recovering much of India that was lost to foreign invasions of the Persians and the Greeks. In 305 BC, the Greeks, under Alexander's general Selucas (then king of Babylon), returned and met Chandra Gupta in battle. This time they did not face a provincial king of Western India but an emperor from Eastern India. Selucas was defeated. Chandra Gupta, however, was very generous with the defeated general, and only took parts of Selucas' land as compensation and even gave 500 elephants as a gift. He also married Selucas' daughter thereby creating an alliance. The nature of the alliance is not known but given the nature of ancient India's political overlord ship, Selucas probably ruled an independent kingdom under the Mauryan empire. From Megasthenes, a Greek ambassador at Chandra Gupta's court, we learn that this new empire was extremely oranised, much like modern states of today. Chandra Gupta's capital, Pataliputra (now known as Patna, in Bihar, India) was the greatest city. It was certainly the largest city as well. In this empire even certain central villages were fortified. The first great highway of history was built that still exists today as the Grand Trunk Road. The road was flanked by trees and milestones. One of the first great secret services was also born here under the guidance of Kautlya. People from all rank and file were included in the service. Even the emperors of this empire would go out in disguise to see the needs of the city.
Towards the end of his life, Chandra Gupta had abdicated his throne in favor of his son and had gone to Belgola, Mysore with a Jain sage. The Jain sage had predicted drought and famine correctly. At Belgola, he fasted till death, entreating the Gods to end the drought.
His son, Bindusara, ruled in relative peace from the Hindu Kush to Mysore. Kalinga (present day Orissa) was outside his rule though. At this time India had peaceful relations with the Syrians and the Greeks. Then came, in 276 BC, the great Ashok son of Bindusara who litterally conquered all India. He was probably the greatest king to have ever ruled in this world. Not the size of his empire but the noble ideals of this man made him great. Pillars proclaiming him as a just and wise ruler exist all over India. In Gandhar (Afganistan) and other western areas, the inscriptions are in Greek as opposed to Brahmi that was the script of India. These show that the Greek rulers in the northwest were his subordinates. Ahsok had become a Buddhist and was a very peaceloving just king who was also the first ecologically concerned king. He set up the first animal preserves in the world.
However, he started out as a hungry conqueror. On the ninth year as emperor he attacked Kalinga (Orissa), one of the last Drabir nations on the North East, other than Bangla. (NOTE: Anga, Banga, Kalinga are classified together possibly due to their common heritage.) The battle that ensued was one of the most memorable and toughest of ancient India. Ashok won but was deeply affected by the carnage. Ashok was aghast at his own doing. He only found relief in Buddhism and thus marked the making of a new Ashok, a man of peace. He dedicated the rest of his life to public welfare. He sent missionaries to spread Buddhism to Greece, Egypt and Sri Lanka. Ashoka died as the first people's emperor in 272 BC, who believed love to be superior to war.
The Mauryan empire was the greatest of all Indian empires. The greatest extent of the empire under emperor Ashok stretched as far north as Tashkent, in modern day Uzbekistan, including Afganistan and covered part of Iran and Tajikistan to Myanmar in the East. Remnants of this are still visible. It can be observed in the Indian names still existing from east Asia to central Asia. Tashkent is the corruption Taksha Khand and Quandahar is the corruption of Gandhaar. It is important to note here that originally Afganistan (Upa-Gana-Stan) was an integral part of India. There are other Indian names even further west. Pundra Bardhan (West Bangla) and Anga (Bangla) were part of the Mauryan empire but it is however, not sure if all of Bangla was in the Mauryan empire. As mentioned earlier, it might be that the other Banglas retained their independence. Bangla port Tamralipti introduced the landlubber Mauryan emperors' to seafaring. Ashok's descendants, for various reasons, which include pacifism, saw the decline of the empire. Finally the Mauryan empire ended violently in 185 BC. In 185 BC, an army commander in chief, Pushya Mitra, assasinated the last Mauryan emperor during a parade of his troops. Some suggest this was a reaction of Brahmins against the highly Buddhist rulers.
Pushya Mitra returned many of Brahmins to power. He also allowed the killing and sacrificing of animals. It was a return to strict Hindu religion. Pushya Mitra was not, however, to enjoy his rule long in peace. Within two years of the fall of the Mauryan emperors, once again came the invasion of foreigners. The King of Bactria, Demetrius, who was probably subordinate under the Mauryans, invaded and conquered the North West Indus region. Further encroachment was stopped by Pushya Mitra in a series of Indo-Greek wars. Pushya Mitra ruled for 36 years and was not a bad ruler. His reign saw the mark of intellectual fermentation. Patanjali, the great grammarian lived in this period. Art and literature also further developed. PushyaMitra never assumed the title of emperors but founded the Sunga dynasty. During Sunga reign the Mauryan empire reverted to the old Magadhan empire and the Sungas were ardent patrons of the Hindu. They persecuted Buddhists and destroyed many Buddhist stupas. However, they were not totally intolerant of Buddhism shown by the facts that the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi was enlarged and the great stupa at Bharhut was erected during the Sunga period. The Sunga rulers caused the empire to break up into different kingdoms with their in-fighting.
The last Sunga king, Deba Bhumi, was killed by his minister, Basu Deb in about 75 BC. The Kanva dynasty ruled after that for a short period till 30 BC, when they were overthrown by the Andras (originally Drabir). This marks the beginning of a period of chaos that was to last for three hundred years. During this period, the Indo-Greek Buddhist Kings set up independent states in the northwest. Soon they were replaced by Central Asian tribes of Shakas (Scythians?) and Pahalavas. These people promptly got absorbed into Indian culture. The Kushanas followed also from Central Asia. They established a great Buddhist empire in the west stretching from Kabul to Banaras. They too had become Indianized while adding to Indian culture significantly. This empire spread Mahayana Buddhism all over the world. The empire existed even in the 2nd century AD.
Around 200 BC, the Satabahanas emerged from Maharastra. They ruled Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and even regions of South India. Gautamiputra
Satakarni of the Satabahanas defeated the Shakas and his empire stretched from Kathewad, Malwa and Rajasthan in the north to the river Krishna in the south and from the Arabian Sea in the west to the Bay of Bangla in the East.
It should be noted that towards the end of the Mauryan Empire, Kalinga had once again become powerful and had thrown off the Mauryan rulers. Kalinga became extremely powerful under Kharabela and conquered the Southern India, whose history is not known very well. He even defeated Agni Mitra, son of Pushya Mitra and had sacked the capital of Magadha.
Bangla history in this period between the Mauryan rule and Gupta rule (the next great empire) is not known clearly. However, we know from the Greek sources, mentioned above, that the Gangaridai and the Prasoi empires continued to exist in this period. They probably retained independence through the Mauryan Empire. This is also the period when Bangla became Buddhist. By the time the Guptas enter Bangla, it is predominantly a Buddhist nation. Before the Guptas, Bangla history probably became more connected with Eastern Asia more than India (except probably Kalinga). During this period it appears that the Bangalees spilled into Burma, Thailand and all the way to Vietnam. The Mons of Thailand and Burma were dominated by Bangla / Kalingas. Their history also was probably more connected to Indonesia whose ancient script is very similar to Proto-Bangla. And maybe they kept connection with Sri Lanka.
North India remained divided and the west was once again under foreign rule until the rise of the Guptas. In the south, however, powerful empires rose to prominence. Chera (Kerala), another ancient sea-faring nation of South West coast of India, who might also be descended from the Indus civilization, at this time traded with the Romans as they had with the Greeks and the Jews and Egyptians earlier. Out of the chaos in North India, rose a new Chandra Gupta in 320 AD. He married the Lichabi princess, Kumara Debi. Kumara Debi was the heiress to the throne thus bringing Chandra Gupta to power. The Lichabi republic once annexed by Magadh now annexed Magadh and created a new empire under the Gupta dynasty. Once again Magadha became the centre of the empire. Under Samudra Gupta, son of Chandra Gupta, the empire was further extended. He recovered the Western India and extended his rule to the South of India as far as Sri Lanka. The south was not conquered but subordinated by treaties. The Gupta era is called the Golden Age of India. India became the leader of all spheres of life in this period. Some of the greatest architecture and art comes from the Guptas. The most powerful of the Southern empires were Bakataka empire (250 - 500 AD). The Gupta's never conquered them and ended up making a treaty.
In the early phase of Gupta expansion, they defeated Bangla and annexed her. Two Barmans kings of Bangla are defeated. This is the first mention of the Barmans. As Bangla came under their rule, Tamralipti again served as a major port. Once again under the Guptas, India became a great nation, in strength, culture, spirituality and science. The first wave of Hun invasions were defeated by the Guptas so convincingly that they decided to give up their plans to invade India for decades, turning their attention to the Roman empire, devastating her. Were these Barmans the emperors of the Gangaridai and Prasoi empires? The Barmans as will be seen are very active throughout Indian history. They come from Drabir lines as in Bangla, and South India. Were the Barmans big players in the ancient Indus civilization?
Post Gupta North India
The Guptas came to an end around the 5th century AD after being weakened by the Huns and the Kanauj ruler Yasho Dharma. This was a very chaotic period in all India as well as Bangla. Rapid changes took place in lordship across all India. Different subordinate states around the Gupta empire started declaring independence. .."Indian cities are prosperous and stretch far and wide. There are many guest houses for travelers. There are hospitals providing free medical service for the poor. The bihars and temples are majestic.
People are free to choose their occupations. There are no restrictions on the movement of the people. Government officials and soldiers are paid their salaries regularly. People are not addicted to drinks. They shun violence. The administration provided by the Gupta rulers is fair and just." ...Chinese traveler Fa Hien, during the reign of Chandragupta II.
A Short History Of Bengal by Tanmoy Bhattacharya
A History of the Indian People by D. P. Singhal
:: THE HISTORY OF BANGLADESH ::--
It is not easy to give a historical account of ancient Bengal. There is very little recorded history of the land, language, and its people. The history of Bengal is one of the most complex in the world.
The territory inhabited by Bengal-speaking people goes beyond the boundary of Bengal, which stretches from the Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south, from Brahmaputra, Kangsa, and Surma in the east to Nagar, Barakar and Suvarnerekha in the west. The majority of people in the western areas are Hindus, while in the east Muslims predominate. Although there are strong feeling towards Bengali and Bangladeshi nationalism, broadly speaking the term Bengal designates the Bengali-speaking area.
In most characteristic feature of the Bengali landscape is its vast river system which characterizes the Bengali people and their literature. Among the main rivers the Ganges and the Padma are the two most important and these are referred to in many literary compositions, including the carya poems. Bengal was famous in ancient times for river and sea crafts. The arts of navigation, boat building and maritime warfare developed because of the many rivers and the long seacoast. Bengal carried on a large sea trade mostly through the ancient seaport of Tamralipta. River and sea voyages are often characterized in Bengali folklore and literature, particularly in the Manasa and Chandi poems composed later than the caryas.
Being situated in the extreme east of India, Bengal served as the connecting land link between the sub-continent, Burma, South China and the Malay Peninsula and Indo-China. Bengal not only acted as intermediary in trade and commerce but also played an important role in the cultural association between the diverse civilizations of South East and Eastern Asia. An inscription in the Malay Peninsula of the fourth or fifth century A.D. records the gift of a great captain Buddhagupta, who was probably Bengali. It is also said that it was a Bengali prince, Vijaya, the Pala period. There is an affinity between the scripts used on Javanese sculptures and the proto-Bengali alphabets. The influence of ancient Bengal was of Tibet and China.
Diverse civilization and cultures met in the Bengal delta. Various races entered India during pre-historic times through the North West of the Indian sub-continent and lived there until they were driven further east. Bengal continually attracted people from outside.
There are many accounts and references which point out that the ancient people of Bengal were different in race, culture and language from the Aryans who compiled the Vedic literature. The original inhabitants of Bengal were non-Aryan. Many linguists and anthropologists believe that the early tribes of Bengal were Dravidian, but belonged to a separate family1.
The early history of Burma and Thailand tells us that before the arrival of Tibeto-Chinese tribes, these countries were inhabited only by Mon-Khmer people. Dravidians from Bengal and Kalinga migrated there and became the ruling race. Later, when non-Aryan Indians assimilated the Brahmic culture they introduced the Sanskrit language and traditions as well. It is interesting to note that a Bengal Tribe, the Gaudas, and a royal family, the Palas, were considered to have an oceanic connection.
Lying at the crossroads of South-East Asia, South Asia and Central Asia, Bengal attracted people from the early civilizations of the fertile crescent: Central Asia Arabia, China and Europe, as well as from India and karnataka .the people of Bengal are composed of diverse racial element: Northern Indian Aryan longheads, Alpine shortheads, Dravido-Munda longheads and Mongolian shortheads. The presence of a Negroid element has been traced among the Nagas of Assam but not among the Bengali people. We find dialects of the languages spoken within Bengal from ancient times: the Austric (Mon -khmer and Kol), the Dravidian, the Sino- Tibetan or Tibeto-Chinese and the Indo -European (Aryan).
It used to be accepted that the Brahmins and other high castes of Bengal were descended from the Aryan invaders who imposed their culture upon the primitive barbarian tribes of Bengal. Although we know very little of pre-Aryan Bengali civilization, it is now generally held that the foundations of the agriculture -based village life, which is also believed to be one of the foundations of Indian civilization, were laid by the Nishadas or Austric -speaking peoples of Bengal. According to Dr. S. K.Chatterji, the Austric tribes of India belonged to more then one group of the Austro- Asiatic section, i.e. to the kol, the khasi and the mon -khmer group2. They brought with them a primitive system of agriculture. The Nishada were succeeded by the Alpine race, who form the main element of the present -day Bengalis The ideas of karma and transmigration, the practice of yoga, the concept of the divinity of Shiva, Devi and visnu, and the ritual of puja as opposed to the Vedic ritual of home, all these are thought to be per- Aryan .the cultivation of rice and some important crops such as coconut, tamarind, and betel leaf and nut, the Hindu dress of dhuti, marriage rituals with vermilion and turmeric, and many other customs have come to us from our pre-Aryan ancestors.
Gradually indigenous tribes, such as the Vangas, Sumahs, sabaers, Pulindas, Kiratas and Pundras, were brought into the framework of Aryan society by classifying them as Kshatiyas. It must have taken many centuries before the Aryans from the midland and the people of Bengal were brought under a rigid Aryan society .An increasing number of high class Aryans arrived in Bengal during the early centuries of the Christian ear, including followers of Brahminism and jainism .The essential features of Aryan society were present in Bengal by the fifth century A.D.
The little we know of the earliest period of Bengal is found by studying Vedic literature, Braahmin scripts composed in Sanskrit from 1500 B.C to 600
B.C the land known as Bengal finds no proper mention in the Vedic hymns. Rather, Some deprecatory references indicate that the primitive people in the Vedic hymns. Rather, some deprecatory references indicate that the primitive people in Bengal ware different in race and culture form the Vedic beyond the boundary of Aryandom and who were classed as 'dasyus', which in Bengali means robbers. Among these people we find mention of the pudras. Pundranagara, the ancient capital of Bengal, was located in the Bengal. An old Brahmi inscription discovered at Mahastangar in Bogra further proves the existence of Pundranagara. In the other classic, the Aitareya Aranyaka, the name of the Vangas, an early Bengal tribe has been traced. Because Bengal was different in race and culture from the Aryans who compiled the Vedic literature, it was not given the importance which it deserved.
The first clear references to the Vangas occur in the ancient epics and the Dharmasutras. In the great epic Mahabharata the Vangas and the Pundras are referred to as well-bred Kshatriyas, while the people of the Bengal sea coast are referred to as Mlechchas or untouchables. The Bhagavata Purana classes them as sinful people while Dharmasutra of Bodhayana prescribes expiatory rites after a journey among the Pundras and Vangas. Jaina writers of the Acharanga-sutra describe the land of the Ladhas in West Bengal as a pathless country inhabited by a rude people who attacked peaceful monks. However the Jaina authors of the epic Prajnapana includes the Vangas and Ladhas as Aryans while Dravidians rank as Mlechacchas or barbarians. The earliest Buddhist literary reference to Vanga is contained in the Milinda-panho. The Milinda-panho mentions Vanga as a maritime country where trading ships came from various parts of the world.
The bodhayana Dharmasutra divides the land into ethnic and cultural divisions which were held in varying degrees of esteem. The holiest was Aryavarta, followed by Arattas, the pundras, the Sauviras, the Vangas and the Kalingas. The regions inhabited by these people were regarded as outside the Vedic. Culture. People who lived among these local folks even for a short period were required to go through sacrificial rites. In the epic Vanaparvan we find more detail of the topography of Bengal during the epic age. We also learn that the poets of Northern India held Bengal in esteem.
In Tirtha-yatra of the epic Mahabharata, the Karatoya, Padma and Bhagirathi, the lower parts of the Ganges became recognized as sacred places. In Bhishma-parvan the Bengali kings heroically face attacks from the Pandus or conquerors of Upper India. There is a lively description of the encounters between the Pandus and the 'mighty ruler of the Vangas. Wgile some of the Bengal kings fought on elephants, others rode on 'ocean-bred steeds of the hue of the moon.'4
Kautilya's Artha-Sastra, from the end of the fourth century B.C., describes the fine quality of silk and other crafts made in Pundra, Suvarnakudya and Vanga or Banga. The oldest Indian treatise on the training and diseases of elephants, the Hastyayur Veda, ascribed to Pala Kapya, is a Work compiled during the Sutra period (600-200BC). Its author is described as a man from 'where the Lauhitya (Brahmaputra, a river in Bangladesh) flows towards the sea', which implies that Bangladesh is near the mouth of Ganges.5
Dated history begins only in 326 B.C., when the warriors of the Gangaridai and the Prasioi resisted the threatening onslaught of Alexander, who gad advanced to the Hyphasis and was eager to penetrate deeper into the interior of India, Bengal. We do not possess any detailed information about the social and political history of Bengal before this event although we can guess that there was an organized society and people before the advance of Alexander in Bengal. Greek and Latin writers refer to the ancient people of Bengal as the Gangaridai or the 'people of the Ganges region.' Historians of Alexander refer to the Gangaridai, a people who lived in the lower Ganges and its tributaries.
The classical scholar Diodorus locates the nation of the Gangaridai, whose king had four thousand elephants trained and equipped for war, beyond the Ganges. It may be reasonably inferred from the Latin and Greek scholars' accounts that at about the time of Alexander's invasion, the Gangaridai were a very powerful nation. The accounts of the periplus and ptolemy indicate that during the early centuries of the Christian era the whole of deltaic Bengal was organized into a powerful kingdom. From the fourth century A.D. onwards the epigraphic records show chronological periods such as the Gupta, early post-Gupta, Pala and Sena ages, which give us some idea. The Brihat-Samhita of Varahamigira from the sixth century A.D. distinguishes North, Centerland Eastern Bengal. In the seventh century A.D., a Gauda King had his capital at Karnasuvarna near Murshidabad.
The discovery of terracotta figurines of the Sunga period at Mahastangarh proves that the city of pundrabardhana continued to flourish even after the fall of the imperial Mauryas who ruled over India before Alexander came.
Fragments of a huge image, the pedestal of which bore an inscription was discovered in Silua, Noakhali, belong to the second century B.C. The inscriptions of the age of Samudragupta disclose the existence of new kingdoms. The establishment of the Gupta empire marks the end of the independence of the various states that flourished in Bengal at the beginning of the fourth century A.D.
When the Mauryas ruled over the greater part of India, the upper region of Bengal also came under their rule. Chandra Gupta Maurya established his rule in 321 B.C. After the Mauryas the Guptas ruled India as well as the upper part of Bengal, which was identified as Pundrabardhan. The Gupta kingdom was founded by Chandra Gupta in 321A.D.A stone inscription from the period of a Gupta king, Samudra Gupta, refers to Samatat and Pushkaran as two independent states. While Samatat referred to East Bengal, Pushkaran meant West Bengal. At the end of the Gupta reign two independent kingdoms were established in Bengal: Samatat and Gaura. Around 606 A.D. Shasanka became the ruler of Gaura and succeeded in uniting many parts of Bengal into one kingdom. During his reign Bengal became known as an independent country, but after his death it disintegrated into smaller states. From the period of Shasanka, Pundra, Gaura and Vanga became three important regions of Bengal. Next were the Pala kings, who originally came from Karnataka, and ruled between the eighth and twelfth centuries; they first ruled over Varendra and then gradually brought Vanga and Magadh under their rule. The Sena rulers succeeded the Palas, who originally came from Karnataka. Both the Pala and Sena rulers used the title 'King of Gaura' although they ruled entire Bengal.
The name Vanga or Banga was abhorred by the Aryans who succeeded the Senas, and avoided by the Palas and Sena rulers, but it became the sole identity of Bengal under Muslim rule. When Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turk, conquered Bengal in 1204 it became known as Banga and Gaura. Ilias Shah established full control over all the provinces of Bengal and became known as the Sultan of Bengal; he founded Sonargaon as his capital. During the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar Bengal became known as 'Subah Bangla' and the Europeans who came to India at that time called the land Bengala which eventually became Bengal. British Bengal consisted of five divisions which took the boundary of Bengal up the Himalayas in the north, including Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim, the Bay of Bengal in the south, Chittagong and Assam in the east and Bihar and Orissa in the west. In 1905 Bengal was divided and East Bengal and Assam Province were created. Even after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the eastern Province of Pakistan was known as East Bengal until 1956. In 1971 East Pakistan finally became a totally independent country. This is the history of Bangladesh, which took a thousand years to become an independent identity.
The literary references in the Vedic, epic and Sutra texts do not represent chronological facts. It is therefore necessary to look at other Indian and foreign literature and early epigraphs for historical information about ancient Bengal.
Though the name Banga has been used since the earliest centuries for one for one of the regions of Present Bangladesh, the name Vangala-desa has been mentioned in epigraphic and literacy records since the eleventh century A.D. It was Vangala, rather than the Vanga of earlier references that gave its name to the eastern subah or province of the Mughal empire that stretched from Chittagong to Garhi. Historian Abu'l-Fazl regarded Vanga and Vangala as identical. The derivation of the name Vangala supports its identification with the part of old Vanga intersected by 'khals'or canals, dides and bridges that was known as Bhati or 'downstream' or 'land of tide and ebb' during the time of Akbar and Lama Tartan. Taranath refers to 'Bati' near the mouth of the Ganges. It is in this land that Gastaldi (1561A.D.) Places Bangala6.
It may be presumed that Bengal had developed a culture of its own which was non-Vedic and non-Aryan. It is true that the Aryan culture, and the Vedic, Buddhist and Jaina religions influenced Bengal. The primitive culture became absorbed but it also influenced its adopted religion. The diffusion of the Vedic culture is seen during the Gupta period, evidenced by epigraphic inscriptions. The Vedic influence became stronger in Bengal during the Pala period. The Varman and the Sena kings were patrons of the Vedic culture.
When the Chinese traveler Fa Hien came to Bengal in the fifth century the country was flourishing in Aryan learning and culture. Huen Tsang visited Bengal during the first half of the seventh century and found that the Bengalis had great respect for their learning. According to him Mahayana and Hinayana Buffhism, Brahminism and Jainism exited in harmony. From about the second millennium B.C. Aryanization in India extended to the Ganges Valley. The non-Aryans the Dravidians and the Kol (another aboriginal people,) fought with the Aryans and eventually made peace with them. Many non-Aryans remained unaffected by Aryan culture and language for quite some time, although they were looked down upon as "Sudras" by the Aryan settlers or the "Vaisas". The Dravidian culture was not possessed a philosophy which influenced the Aryans. Some of the cosmic notions seem to be Dravidian. The composite culture of Bangladesh reflects a synthesis of Dravidian and Aryan culture. The eastern Aryans were a mixed people. The Vedic Aryans called the non-Vedic Aryans Vratyas, outcasts or people without rights, who could obtain admission into the Vedic community by performing a sacrifice. Bengal was Aryansized much later than other parts of India.
The rise of the anti-Brahmin and the anti-sacrificial ideas of the Buddhists and the Jains among the eastern people or Bengalis shows that other strong traditions were established before the Brahmins came and that Vedic ideas brought by the Brahmin did not inspire the masses. According to Dr. Dinesh Chandra Sen, the country was for centuries in open revolt against Hindu orthodoxy. Buddhist and Jain influences were so great that the Hindu code of Manu prohibited all contact of the Hindus with this land; hence Brahminism could not thrive there for many centuries. With the revival of Hinduism the Sanskrit pundits did not accept works in Bengal were carried away to Nepal and Burma as Buddhism was gradually suppressed in India by the Brahmins. Sanskrit scholars from outside Bengal who brought about a Hindu revival in Bengal abhorred the simple Bengali language.
A number of old Bengali inscriptions of this period, consisting of copper plates on which are recorded deeds of grants of land made to Brahmins, are extant. Brahmins were given gifts of land so that they might settle in Bangladesh. Although Bengal adopted the Aryan civilization and culture, it never became a stronghold of Brahminc orthodoxy. Even as late as the early part of the nineteenth century, when Bengali was highly developed, orthodox Brahminc were highly critical of the publication of Bengali translations of the Hindu scriptures by Rajah Ramona Roy who a reformer.
There in no definite evidence as to when Buddhism originated in Eastern India and Bengal. The reference to Vanga as an important center of Buddhism can be found in a Nagarijunikonda inscription which can be dated to the second or third century A.D. It includes Vanga in a long list of well-known countries converted to Buddhism. A line of Buddhist kings ruled in East Bengal towards the close of seventh century A.D. Buddhism flourished in Bengal in the seventh century. The Buddhist scholars of Bengal in the seventh century A.D. largely contributed to the development of the Nalanda monastery which was situated in Magadha.
In Bengal, Buddhism spread rapidly among those people who never took to the Aryan caste system. Aryanization in Bengal began from the time of Asoka in the third century B.C.
Of the two forms of Buddhism practiced in India, Mahayana and Hinayana, Mahayana became more widely accepted in Bengal. The Mahayana form of Buddhism developed forms of mysticism, known as Vajrayana and Tantrayana, which dealt with certain deeper metaphysical issues. In Bengal Buddhist mysticism had three important forms: Vajrayana, Shahajayana and Kalachakrayana. Vajrayana and Shahajayana represented different aspects of the same mysticism. The first was concerned in which ceremonies had no place. The siddha authors of Caryagiti treated this aspect of mysticism.
The earliest Bengali Buddhist teacher to achieve distinction outside Bengal is Shilabhadra. Hiuen Tsang came to India to study under Shilabhadra, who was then in charge of Nalanda. Shilabhadra and Atisa Srigana Dipankara, another great Buddhist scholar and reformer, were both born in Bangladesh but converted Tibet to Bengali Buddhism and enriched Tibetan literature by writing in both Sanskrit and Tibetan.
Bengali Baul songs, which are considered close to Carya poems in mysticism, are a synthesis of Shahajia Buddhism, Vaisnava Shahajia and Indo-Persian Sufism. Tagore was highly influenced by the Baul songs of Bangladesh. Murshidi, an old form of folk mimic, perhaps bears the last traces of Buddhist influence. One finds the impression of maya borrowed from the Buddhists. 'The world is nothing - we have to leave it behind' forms a common theme. 'Like the dew on the grass the body is transient' is an essential message.
Among ancient works the Atharva Veda hymns were highly mystical poems composed earlier than the Buddhist mystical songs and may have directly influenced the later. The Hindu Krishna legend, an essential element of Vaishnavism in Bengal which was formed in Bengal as early as the sixth or seventh century A.D., was also inspired by Buddhism in Bengal. Evidence of this is found in the sculptures of Paharpur, the oldest of which probably belong to sixth or seventh centuries A.D. and the latest to the eighth century A.D. The Krishna legend was highly popular by the seventh century A.D.
Bengal influenced Tibet in many ways and vice versa. The form of the Buddhist religion and monastic order in Tibet was largely shaped by number of famous Buddhist scholars from Bengal. The Tibetan chronicles give detailed accounts of these.
According to the Tibetan book, Pag Sham Jon Zang Of the eleventh century, Bengal occupied first place in the field of art. Tibetan opera or old drama combines singing and dancing, which immediately reminds one of the Carya Nryta and Carya singing which is still founded in Nepal and Bhutan today. Dance movements in Tibetan opera correspond with lyrics and melodies much as in the Carya Nrytas or dance. Some movements, such as bowing with the hands clasped and scriptures. The use of metaphors in the Caryas.
Between 581 and 600 A.D. Srong Tsan founded a powerful kingdom in Tibet. He led a victorious campaign to India possibly Bengal since the campaign is commemorated in both Bengal and Assam. Through the influence of his Buddhist queen from Nepal he was converted to Buddhism and Indian. Invited Pundits to Tibet, and had Bengali alphabets.
The form of the Buddhist religion and monastic order in Tibet was largely shaped by a number of famous Buddhist teachers from Bengal. The Tibetan chronicles have preserved detailed accounts of these Pundits from Bengal, in particular from the Pala Kingdom; they not only preached the Bengali culture and civilization. In the middle of the eighth century A.D. Santirakshita was invited to Tibet by the king there. According to Pag Sham Jon Zang (compiled in 1747 A.D.) Santirakshita was born into the royal family of Zohar, which is the phonetic equivalent of Sabhar, outside Dhaka. On his advice the king to the Lama in Tibet. After Santirakshita, Kamalasila went to Tibet invitation of the king. Another great scholar from Bengal invited by the king of Tibet during the middle of eleventh century was Atisa Dipankara. Born in 982 A.D. near Dhaka, Atisa's village is still known as Vajrayogini and his original home site is called 'Nastik Punditer Vita' or 'abode of the non-believer learning as the Chief Monk. According to Tibetan tradition Dipankara went to Tibet at the age of fifty-nine and spent the last thirteen years of his life in Tibet. When he reached Tibet he translated many treatises into Tibetan. In Bsam Yes Monastery in 1042 he found many Sanskrit manuscripts which no longer existed in Bengal or India so he translated them into Tibetan. Because of him a vast number of Sanskrit and Pali literature is preserved in Tibet. He died in 1054 at the Snye-thang Monastery. The Chinese believe that many original manuscripts are buried under that monastery which is not too far from Lhasa.
The Anargha-raghva composed by the poet Murari during the latter half of the eighth century A.D. mentions Champa as the Capital of the Gaudas. The people of Champa in Bengal founded a colony in Cochin China, as I was told during my visit there. It will be interesting too trace similarities there with those of Bengali culture.
The Muslim Pathans occupied Bengal early in the thirteenth century from Bulk, Oxus and settled in the plains of Bengal. Dr. Sukumar Sen writes in his History of Bengali Literature (p.33): It is true that the whole of Bengal did not fail into the hands of the Turk adventurers in the course of a few great monasteries and universities were soon abandoned by the pundits and priests. This established social and cultural milieu was shattered and a new Bengali people emerged. This regeneration is personified in Chaitanya. The pundits' and poets' writing were silent but not the singers of the mystic cults and folk culture of the common people. Middle Bengali native and lyric poetry flourished for centuries.
The Muslim emperors learnt the Bengali language and lived with the people. Mosques and temples rose side by side. The Muslim rulers ordered translations of Sanskrit classics into Bengali for the first time for the common people to understand. Poet Vidyapati prased Nasir Shah and Sultan Giasuddin for their intellectual patronage. Mahabharata was translated into Bengali. Muslim sultans patronized translations of Sanskrit and Persian works. Brahmins were compelled to write in Bengali. Bengali was adopted in Assam, Nefa, Orissa, Arakan, Ranchi and Bihar. Bengali Puthi literature was highly influenced by Muslims and the Persian language. The Muslims introduced many Persian, Arabic and Turkish words into Bengali. Dr. Dinesh Chandra Sen points out. 'This elevation of Bengali to a literary status was brought about by several influences of which the Mohammedan conquest was undoubtedly one of the oremost.7 An enriched folk culture grew up in Bangladesh due to both the Hindu and Muslim common masses and Bengali was its vehicle. Bengali was the common language and literature of the masses. The majority of the Muslims of Bengal, being convert from the Krishna and Nath. The unity between Hindus society, continued with their ancient cults such as the Sahajiya, Krishna and Nath. The unity between Hindus and Muslims in Bengali arose out of racial oneness, common interest and the communal life of the village. It was usual for Hindus and Muslims to take part in each other's social and religious festivals.
A new culture, based on folk culture thus emerged in Bengali. The decline of orthodox Brahminism and classical Hidus culture, well before the Muslim conquest, and their virtual extinction after the conquest gave the new Bengali culture full opportunity to grow. Bengali literature found room to expand in the gap left by Sanskrit.
The Ancient Period of BengalOur knowledge of Bengali life in this ancient period is fragmentary. Some descriptions of Bengali people, and some aspects of bengali food habits, culture,transportation, possessions, dress, society, religion, technology, literature, and arts are discussed in the respective pages. A brief outline of this period is supplied below.
History begins by definition in the historic period, the early phase is thus defined as the period from the beginning of the historic period (before the 5th century AD) till the Gupta period (ending in 550 AD). After the decline of the sarasvati-sindhu civilization, direct foreign trade with India restarted only in the centuries before the birth of christ, when trade with the Ptolemaic Egyptian ports (like Berenice, Nechesia, and Myos Hormos) allowed the Indians major benefits instead of the Arab intermediaries. The importance of the Indian trade increased in the first century BC when the Romans took over Egypt, and is underscored by Pliny's mention that the trade balance with India was draining the Roman empire, and in the laments of emperor Tiberius. In addition, in the maurya period, the trade route from eastern china through the desert and pamir, Afganisthan and Persia, all the way to the mediterranean was accessible to the major Indian empire. This contact increased during thesaka and kusana period. In fact this foreign trade was the major reason for the continuing power struggles in western India. The eastern ports of Gange and Tamralipti find mention from the very first century AD; sounagoura (possibly wari/vaTeshvar near DhAkA with occupation dating back to at least 450 BC) is mentioned in the early second century AD, and trade with Tibet, Myamar, and the southeast asian states like suvarNadvIpa is attested from a later period. Because of all this trade, the period from the 2nd centuy BC to the 7th century AD found the rise of international cross-influence and a pan-Indian culture: in literature, in language, in the scripts, and in arts. Overall, even though Bengal was never as rich as the western and southern parts of the country, trade seems to have been an important component of the economy in addition to farming, which, of course, had been the mainstay since the prehistoric period. The society was basically feudal, and like elsewhere in India, the Gupta period is a golden age in Bengal, with trade and well-minted gold coins.
No doubt the Hindus, Jainas and Buddhists preachers brought the aryan influence to Bengal early in this period, in addition to the influence that came through themauryyas and the shuGgas; and local religious traditions started becoming discernible in Bengal. However, the complete aryanization probably had to wait till the age of the Guptas who were Hindu but supported the Buddhists and Jainas as well. It is to be noted however that aryanization here refers to the introduction of the aryan caste system and hindu religious ceremony into Bengal; and was equally accepted by the hindus and majoity of the jains and buddhists leading family lives. The term is somewhat misleading as much of the hindu tradition all over India including Bengal and including some of the ceremonial structure and most of the pantheon of modern hindu gods largely traces its origins to non-'aryan', (dravidian and tribal) cultures as much as to the culture shared with other Indo-European people.
The golden period in Indian history was, however, not to last. The fall of Rome in 475 AD, the wrenching away of the chinese trade route by the Huns in the fifth century, and the rise of the Islamic power around the eighth century and them capturing the major western trading posts, and the slow decay of the eastern ports led to a major change in the economic and social landscape. The resulting fall in the centralized power, and the return to a more agricultural pattern led to the rise of insular and local identities. Coming on top of the advent of the foreign influences not only through trade but also directly with the Yueh-chi zaka kusana, Ahira (2–3 cent AD), huNa (5–6 cent AD), and gujar-gurjar turaSkas (7–9 cent AD), and this rise of the regional kingdoms in the second half of the 7th century, the regional characteristics started dominating, in religion, arts and language, changing economic structures gave rise to feudalism, and it is counted as the beginning of medieval times in Indian history.
So also in Bengal, After the fall of the Guptas, different small kingdoms arose, and, some bengalis spread out into the rest of India in search of fortunes. For example, the gadAdhara of vArendrI, who in the 10th century founded a small kingdom in belArI in South India under the suzerainty of rASTrakUTa kRSNa III was probably a descendant of these expatriates. However, in Bengal, except for shashAGka, no powerful kings arose here, but bengal was very much in the fray of North Indian politics. As opposed to the situation under harSavarddhana in the UP region, the increasing influence of brahminism in Bengal in this period precluded state support for buddhism and jainism, even though they were popular religions, and the buddhist vihAras started. The only exception were the possibly foreign origin khaD.gas.
During shashAGka, the buddhists were probably actually persecuted, and some religious artifacts destroyed. But, three things need to be stated in this context. First, brahminical hinduism in the early period was very strongly against religions like buddhism which did not follow its rituals, and often explicitly criticized all ritual as meaningless or worse. Buddhists were considered inauspicious and their houses unclean. Many kings and kingdoms tried to expel them. Second, destruction of religious property in the ancient world was not uncommon; through the ages it was indulged in by such great rulers as puSyamitra Sunga, srI harSa of kashmir, pulakeshI II, subhAta varmaNa of the parmars, mahendra varmaNa, and rAjendra cola. The aims were varied: it was sometimes political as when at the end of the 12th century the malva parmars destroyed the jain temples and mosques for arab traders in the trade dominated chalukya gujarat, it was sometimes symbolic as when the rashtrakutas sent elephants to mow down pratihara temples in the 10th century, it was sometimes economic as when harshadeva of kashmir decided to appoint deva utpATana nAYakas to loot hindu and buddhist temples at the end of the 11th century, and it was sometimes religious like karnataka jaina temples being taken over by the shaivaites who destroyed the original and put idols of shiva in it. As shashAGka was fighting the buddhist harSavarddhana, the motives mght not have been entirely religious vengeance. Third, it seems that traditional stories of extreme religious intolerance such as the one about the southern shaivaite king srimaravarman killing 8000 jains on a single day in late 7th century are not told about this reign, even though only accounts by religious and political opponents of shashAGka have survived to date.
In general, vaishnava hinduism was on the rise among the populace. Trade seems to have further reduced and currency devalued (even during shashAGka, land is being valued in cowries, not gold dInAra or silver drahma). In fact, during the last hundred years, metal currency disappeared. The trading post of tAmralipta is hardly ever mentioned after this period; Mithila, which used to be touched by eight trade routes earlier, now does not seem to be mentioned at all. Most urban centers seemed to be in decay, and the land turns rural with increasingly small holdings from the pressure on land. But the state still seems rich.
Following this period, much of Bengal was ruled by the palas for about four hundred years (8th-11th century AD). Stories of gopAla's election, dharmapAla's conquests, the kaivarta revolt, and mahIpAla's popular policies fill Bengali folklore. However, during this period, trade seems to have further reduced and the region became mainly agricultural, though traders still seem important personages in the society. The capital keeps shifting in this agricultural society: at various times it was in pATaliputra, mudgagiri, rAmavati, vaTaparvataka, vilAsapUra (haradhAma), sahAsagaNDa, kAJcanapUra, and kapilavasaka. The feudal structure became more ornate along with increased bureaucracy. Poverty becomes apparent in Bengal at least in some selections from carYAgIti (10th-12th cent AD) andsaduktikarNAmRta (11th-12th cent. poems collected in 1206 AD). Even though the pAla and candra states were mahAyAnI buddhist (as was the first kambojaruler) in name and in deed at least till the early 11th century, the society in all of Bengal (excepting, naturally, those of the buddhists who had renounced the worldly life and lived in the saGghas) followed the brahminical class division; but was quite tolerant. Land grants to buddhist organizations are found alongside those to brahmins. The buddhist vihAras at nAlanda, vikramashIlA, odantapurI and sAranAtha flourished. Bengali language and literature rose to prominence in this period.
When however the sena and barman kings (12th-13th cent A.D.) came from the south (karNATa and probably kaliGga respectively), replaced the pAla and candra dynasties respectively, and established a strict hindu (but otherwise similar) regime much more characteristic of their home regions (since the time of andhra-sAtavAhana period though the times of pallava-cola-cAlukya) and north India than Bengal of that period, the tolerance reduced and the caste system became very rigid and the influence of buddhism reduced, and to some extent was forcibly reduced. This intolerance extended to the extant kamboja kingdom as well. The documents of this period reflect that the lower castes are not even mentioned in the royal edicts. The trading class no longer seems socally respectable, beaureaucracy seems to have reached new heights and feudal lords becomes very powerful. This is the period when Bengal developed its own brahminical tradition, rules and laws.
Islam also started spreading slowly, especially in the magadha region. When the turkish invaders started coming in to bengal, the society was ill-prepared to deal with the threat. The slow corruption of the sena era and its religious rigidity had made it inflexible, slow, poor, and too dependant on fatalism and astrology; to the extent that the horse-riding swift-moving turks were almost seen as the inevitable future brought about by kalki, the last incarnation of viSNu.
But, Bengal, by this time had a self-sufficient village agrarian economy, almost no long distance trade, a feudal system and a distinct regional identity, its own language and script, artistic and cultural styles, and distinct religious tradition. The vedic rituals were weak and knowledge based philosophies were less important, emphasis was rather on the very physical feelings and aesthetics. This, in turn, led to a very humanistic religious streak, a bigger recognition of property rights of women, and a coupled rise of the romantic and physical aspects of the lore of rAdhA and kRSNa, and the slow but steady rise of the cult of feminine shakti which played such an important role during the medieval period ushered in by the Turkish conquest.
HE GLOBAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY
H I S T O R Y N O T E S
Man of East Bengal
THE BLACKS OF EAST BENGAL: A NATIVE'S PERSPECTIVE
By HOREN TUDU*
posted by RUNOKO RASHIDI
A Native's Perspective: An IntroductionThe Black race in its entirety has been the victim of subjugation and extermination by the Caucasoid race from the dawning of modern humanity. However, it truly remarkable that this unique community has survived and accomplished remarkable feats that have redefined the world in every possible way. As the groundbreaking historian Runoko Rashidi has often used the words "Black" and "African" interchangeably, I will remain loyal to his terminology and define all members of the Black race to be of Austroloid and Negroid descent. This merger of noble humanity is to include all the Aborigines of Australia, New Guinea, The Philippines, and Indonesia. It embraces the proto-Austroloids of Bangladesh and eastern India, the lower castes and tribal Dravidians of India, Sri-Lanka, the Andaman/Nicobar Islands, and ultimately all members of the African continent and its far-reaching diasporas on the western hemisphere of the Earth.
One of the most daunting tasks for a truth finder is to form an unbiased perspective in an era where most historical documents are corrupted by Euro-centric bigotry and Indo-Aryan white supremacy. There are few if any documents written truly from a native's perspective. I will attempt to provide an account that exposes a truth, of which many in the world are simply not ready to bring to light and internalize. Moreover, it forces us as human beings to genuinely view the world for what it is. The truth hurts far more than the facade that allows so many in the world to live comfortable lives.
It is the primary focus of this document to answer many serious questions: Who were the inhabitants of East-Bengal before the arrival of the Muslims? Where are those people now? How have the Arabs and the Hindus destroyed Bangladesh? Most importantly, how can Pan-African politics help unite and possibly save the country?
Saotals women expressing their lives
The Original Inhabitants of BengalThe word Bangladesh is derived from the term "Vangla", a word given by the Bodo Aborigines of Assam to connote "wide plains." The original inhabitants of modern day Bangladesh were the Proto-Austroloid Kols, otherwise known as Kolarians. The term Kol has ubiquitously been corrupted by the Aryan-Sanskritic speakers to the word "kalu", meaning both "black" and "ugly" in almost all of the 16 languages of the Indian Sub-Continent. The Kolarians are a Dravidian sect, whose descendant communities can be found also in West Bengal and elsewhere in the eastern belt of the Indian-Subcontinent. Most geological scholars will contend that most of Bangladesh was fashioned 1 to 6.5 million years ago during the tertiary era. Semi-recent excavations in the Deolpota village of western Bengal seem to suggest that a Paleolithic civilization in the region existed about one hundred thousand years ago. A 10,000 to 15,000 year old stone structure in Rangamati is the primary evidence of Paleolithic civilization along with a hand axe found in the mountainous inclines of the Feni district. This Neo-stone age began 3,000 B.C. lasting almost 1500 years. Similar tools were found in Sitakunda of the eastern region Chittagong, and near Comilla district. The sparsely forested hills in eastern Bengal strewn with fertile valleys imparted a hospitable location for Neolithic settlements.1
Physically, the indigenous people were longheaded, dark skinned, broad-nosed, and short in stature. Sometimes labeled as "Negritos" and "Negroids", their physical features are unchanged today among the lowest castes of Bengal, mainly the peasants, as well as 95% of population of Bangladesh today who derive from these lower castes and tribes.
The Aryan Invasion and Destruction of Ancient Bangladeshi CivilizationMost present day anthropologists and scholars will confirm that the people of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization were of the same racial stock as the present day Bangladeshis and lower castes of India. The Indus Valley Civilization marked a period of wealth and prosperity in Indian history. Noted developments include the development of yoga, the erection of ziggurats and the discovery of zero. All these inventions were later appropriated by the Aryan priests in what must have been the greatest case of scientific theft on record. The golden Harappan age came to an abrupt and brutal end when hordes of barbaric Aryans swept into India in 1500 BC through the Khyber Pass. Most of these Caucasians were under the flexible leadership of the moon worshipping Aryan named Indra. The 1000 years that followed imparted irreversible destruction and darkness. During this Vedic Dark Age (1500 BC - 500 BC) no civilization survives, no writing, nor any trace of the existence of even a semi-civilization. There is, even now in the late 21st century, complete ignorance concerning this era of Indian history. It was a seemingly endless orgy of slaughters and massacres of native Bangladeshis by the Caucasoid, barbaric invaders who considered it meritorious to butcher those of a different race, a Black race.2
Bharata launched the second Aryan invasion from Afghanistan, and conquered much of the upper Ganges valley. The mayhem and murder continued throughout this period, by the end of which no trace of the Indus Valley civilization was left and the Aborigines had been displaced from all of Northwest India. The massacres perpetuated by the Aryans in India during the 1000 years of the Vedic Dark Ages are unparalleled in history, exceeding the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis (which was inspired by the Vedic Aryans), and the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spaniards and Portuguese. Almost all of the 5 million inhabitants of the Indus Valley civilization perished, the rest being displaced east into Bangladesh and south into present day Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Thus, Bangladesh is a melting pot of various Black tribes with a separate Mongoloid presence to the east in modern day Myanmar.3
The armies of `Lord' Ram initiated the Aryan invasion into Bengal during 600 BC. Subsequently, the apartheid varna system was strictly imposed. Those Black Aborigines who accepted Aryan enslavement were relegated to the `Clean Sudra' caste, and those who fought the Aryans were relegated to the "Untouchable" outcastes of Dalits and Adivasis. The worship of the Aryan religion of Vaishnavism was introduced and the aboriginal king of Kol was promptly murdered. In contrast to north India, the number of Dravidian Blacks was much higher and the number of Aryans low. Hence, extermination of the non-Aryan native population was not possible here in Bengal, as it had been done in north India, but a progressive agenda of Aryanization of the Kolerians and their assimilation into the varna system of racial apartheid was undertaken by the Aryans. Today the natives of East-Bengal speak Bengali or Bangla, a Sanskrit based Indo-European tongue hybridized with various indigenous Dravidian elements.4
The Arabs Come to BengalThe conversion of the native Bengalis to Islam began in the 8th century, when the Arabs began invading north India and present day Pakistan. Additionally, other East African Muslims were transplanted into India; most historians agree that 5-12% of the Muslims that entered India were Ethiopian mercenaries. Because Brahmanical tyranny and oppression of native Bengalis had reached a climax, the Muslims were hailed as liberators and saviors. Islam gained much support by the lower caste and "untouchable" Bengalis because it allowed them for the first time in their lives to reach upward mobility in society. Many indigenous and Hindu worshipping sites were destroyed and transformed into mosques. Although many Arabs freely mixed with the native Black population, the majority kept themselves racially distinct, keeping various titles such as ADM (Abu D. Muhammed), Sheikh and Sayed. Many Brahmans remained Hindu as well as a large number of low castes and "untouchables" masquerading under the false identity of Brahmanism. The others that were forcibly converted retained their caste names such as "Chowdhury", "Biswas", and "Das"5.
photo credit: K.L.Kamat
Copyright © 1996-2002, Kamat's Potpourri.
All Rights Reserved
The Legacy of the Arabs and the HindusHitherto, most Sheikhs and Sayeds boast of their light skin complexions and will not marry into a Black Aboriginal family. Even though these descendants of Arabs and Caste Hindus identify themselves as ethnic Bengalis, they have always looked down upon native Bengalis as "Village Kalus"(another term for "nigger") and remain highly bigoted with regard to skin color. In modern times, Arab Sayed landowners have collaborated with the Brahman landowners to slaughter the tribal Santhals and Kols for financial gain via acquisition of tribal land. Most Muslim Aborigines from the village are in destitute poverty and remain illiterate; they typically work as housemaids and servants of the Arab Bangladeshis especially in places like the Chittigong district. They have no concept of their Aboriginal/tribal ancestry and have made no attempt to join hands with their tribal brothers that are raped and tortured every year by Hindu landowners all throughout Bengal, east and west. Most Islamic scholars in Bangladesh have written out the pre-Islamic past brainwashing the Black Bengalis into believing that they are dark skinned Arabs and are racially distinct from the Austroloid tribals. Today, the residual "untouchables" that did not convert to Islam perform the most inhuman and menial forms of labor as sanctioned by the Bangladeshi government. They are forced to work with human carcasses and clean human feces from the street gutters as their ancestors have done for centuries under Hindu oppression.
The introduction of a Caucasoid racial element into Bangladeshi society has had one of the most devastating effects on the development of the country. Most upwardly mobile and successful men tend to marry tall, and lighter skin women with long noses. The influx of India's openly racist film industry has done more to shatter whatever moral ethos the Black Bengali women carried before the Aryans and Arabs came to Bengal, Black is not beautiful in Bangladesh although 90-95% of the population is black Austroloid.
Following Bangladesh's independence in 1971, there has been a strong lack of political unity within Bangladesh because most politicians and government leaders are bigoted Caucasoids that only seek to better the financial standing of the Sayed and Sheikh elite rather than work for the better welfare of the people. Persons such as Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina are extremely corrupt and have done absolutely nothing in terms of social programs for the poor and illiterate Black majority.
Baby Naznin, "The Black Diamond," a famous singer of
Bangladesh. She is one of the few modern Bangladeshi
women to embrace Pan-Africanism in South Asia
The Need of The Hour: Pan-Africanism in Bangladesh and All of the Black WorldDuring the African-American Holocaust of North-America, the Black descendants of slaves were forced to engage the cruel Anglo-Caucasian oppressor without any assistance whatsoever from the world at large, it was largely a local effort and a astonishing one indeed for many victories were won and many intellectuals were produced to assist fellow Blacks worldwide. In the coming decade the Black race as whole faces new and precarious predicaments such as HIV, crime, illiteracy, and infant mortality. These are only but a few to name, but the local populations on average cannot possibly solve them without help from their blood brothers and sisters from across the globe. With the Aborigines of Australia, The Philippines, and Andaman Islands nearing extinction along with massive proliferation of AIDS in Africa, Pan-Africanism is the need of the hour! According to the article "Pan-Negroism and the Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka" written by Hadwa Dom of the Dalitstan Journal, the collaboration between Blacks has been proven effective in the struggle for humanity and the right to exist. In this effort, Nelson Mandela has provided military manpower in aid of the indigenous Black LTTE rebels in Sri Lanka leading to several important military successes. Only time can tell whether globally, the Black race will survive into the next millennium.6 I am confident that it will.
*Horen Tudu is a Bangladeshi-Santhal born and raised in the United States. He is a staunch Pan-Africanist and research specialist. His work emphasizes on the Dalit and tribal historical/political situation of Bangladesh and India. He may be contacted at email@example.com
References1) "BANGLADESH TOWARDS 21ST CENTURY", published by the Ministry of Information, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. ASNIC
2) "The Bible of Aryan Invasions 1500 BC - 1000 AD Vol. 2" by Prof. Uthaya Naidu
3) "The Bible of Aryan Invasions 1500 BC - 1000 AD Vol. 3" by Prof. Uthaya Naidu
5) "BRAHMIN GOLD The Plunder of Paradise Vol.III Exploitation of Individual Nations" by Shankar Nadar
6) "Pan-Negroism and the Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka" Dalitstan Journal Volume 1, Issue 3, December 1999 written by Hadwa Dom
Also see following:
NDIA - HISTORY
1. Non-Aryan or Aboriginal Races
Our earliest glimpses of India disclose two races struggling for the soil. The once was a fair-skinned people, who had lately entered by the north-western passes—a people of Aryan (literally "noble") lineage, speaking a stately language, worshipping friendly and powerful gods. The other was a race of a lower type, who had long dwelt in the land, and whom the lordly new-comers drove back before them into the mountains, or reduced to servitude on the plains. The comparatively pure descendants of these two races in India are now nearly equal in number, there being about 18 millions of each; their mixed progeny, sprung chiefly from the ruder stock, make up the mass of the present Indian population.
The lower tribes were an obscure people, who, in the absence of a race-name of their own, are called the non-Aryans or aborigines. They have left no written records; indeed, the use of letters, or of the simplest hieroglyphics, was to them unknown. The sole works of their hands which have come down to us are the rude stone circles and upright slabs or mounds beneath which, like the primitive peoples of Europe, they buried their dead. From these we only discover that, at same far distant but unfixed period, they knew how to make round pots of hard, thin earthenware, that they fought with iron weapons, and that they wore ornaments of copper and gold. The coins of imperial Rome have been found in their later graves. Earlier remains, lying in the upper soils of large areas, prove that these ancient tomb-builders formed only one link in a chain of primaeval races. Long before their advent, India was peopled, as far as the depths of the Central Provinces, by tribes unacquainted with the metals, who hunted and warred with polished flint axes and other deftly-wrought implements of stone similar to those dug up in northern Europe. And even these were the successors of yeí ruder beings, who have left their agate knives and rough flint weapons in the Narbadá valley. In front of this far-stretching background of the Bronze and Stone Ages, we see the so-called aborigines being beaten down by the newly arrived Aryan race.
The struggle is commemorated by the two names which the victors gave to the early tribes, namely, the Dasyus, or "enemies," and the Dásas, or "slaves." The last remains to this day the family name of multitudes of the lower class in Bengal. The new-comers from the north prided themselves on their fair complexion, and their Sanskrit word for "colour" (varna) came to mean "race" or "caste." Their earliest poets, at least three thousand and perhaps four thousand years ago, praised in the Rig-Veda their gods, who, "slaying the Dasyus, protected the Aryan colour," who "subjected the black-skin to the Aryan man." Moreover, the Aryan, with his finely-formed features, loathed the squat Mongolian faces of the aborigines. One Vedic singer speaks of them as "noseless" of flat-nosed, while another praises his own "beautiful-nosed" gods. The same unsightly feature was commented on with regard to a non-Aryan Asiatic tribe, by the companions of Alexander the Great on his Indian expedition, at least a thousand years later. The Vedic hymns abound in scornful epithets for the primitive tribes, as "disturbers of sacrifices," "gross feeders on flesh," "raw-eaters," "lawless," "not-sacrificing," "without god," and "without rites." As time went on, and these rude tribes were driven back into the forest, they were painted ins till more hideous shapes, till they became the "monsters" and "demons" of the Aryan poet and priest. Their race-name Dasyu, "enemy," thus grew to signify a goblin or devil, as the old Teutonic word for enemy has become the English "fiend."
Nevertheless, all of them could not have been savages. We hear of wealthy Dasyus, and even the Vedic hymns speak much of their "seven castles" and "ninety-forts." In later Sanskrit literature the Aryans make alliance with aboriginal princes; and when history at length dawns on the scene, we find some of the most powerful kingdoms of India ruled by dynasties of non-Aryan descent. Nor were they devoid of religious rites, nor of cravings after a future life. "They adorn," says a very ancient Sanskrit treatise, 2 "the bodies of their dead with gifts, with raiment, with ornaments, imagining that thereby they shall attain the world to come." These ornaments are the bits of bronze, copper, and gold, which we now dig up from beneath their rude stone monuments. In the great Sanskrit epic which narrates the advance of the Aryans into southern India, a non-Aryan chief describes his race as "of fearful swiftness, unyielding in battle, in colour like a dark blue cloud."
Thrust back by the Aryans from the plains, these primitive peoples have lain hidden away in the recesses of the mountains, like the remains of extinct animals which zoologists find in hill-caves. India thus forms a great museum of races, in which we can study man from his lowest to his highest stages of culture.
Among the rudest fragments of mankind are the isolated Andaman islanders in the Bay of Bengal. The old Arab and European voyagers described them as dog-faced man-eaters. The English officers sent to the islands in 1855 to establish a settlement found themselves surrounded by quite naked cannibals or a ferocious type, who daubed themselves when festive with red earth, and mourned in a suit of olive-coloured mud. They used a noise like weeping to express friendship or joy, bore only names of common gender, which they received before birth; and their sole conception of a god was an evil spirit who spread disease. For five years they repulsed every effort at intercourse by showers of arrows; but the officers slowly brought them to a better frame of mind by building sheds near the settlement, where these poor brings might find shelter from the tropical rains, and receive medicines and food.
The Anamalai hills, in southern Madras, form the refuge of a whole series of broken tribes. Five hamlets of long-haired wild-looking Puliars live on jungle products, mice, or any small animals they can catch, and worship demons. Another clan, the Mundavars, shrink from contact with the outside world, and possess no fixed dwellings, but wander over the innermost hills with their cattle, sheltering themselves under little lead-sheds, and seldom remaining in one spot more than a year. The think-lipped small-bodied Kaders, "Lords of the Hills," are a remnant of a higher race. They file the front teeth of the upper jaw as a marriage ceremony, live by the chase, and wield some influence over the ruder forest-folk. These hills, now very thinly peopled, abound in the great stone monuments (kistvaens and dolmens) which the primitive tribes used fro their dead. The Nairs of south-western India still practice polyandry, according to which a man's property descends not to his own but to his sister's children. That system also appears among the Himálayans tribes at the opposite extremity of India.
In the Central Provinces the aboriginal races form a large proportion of the population. In certain districts, as in the feudatory state of Bastár, they amount to three-fifths of the inhabitants. The most important race, the Gonds, have made some advances in civilization; but the wilder tribes still cling to the forest, and live by the chase, and some of them are reported to have used, within a few years back, flint points for their arrows. The Máris wield bows of great strength, which they hold with their feet while they draw the string with both hands. A still wilder tribe, the Máris, fly from their grass-built huts on the approach of a stranger. Once a year a messenger comes to them from the local rájá to take their tribute of jungle products. He does not enter their hamlets, but beats a drum outside, and then hides himself. The slay Márís creep forth, place what they have to give in an appointed spot, and run back again into their retreats.
Further to the north-east, in the tributary states of Orissa, there is a poor tribe, 10,000 in number, of Juangs or Patuas, literally the "leaf-wearers", whose women formerly wore no clothes. Their only vestige of covering was a few strings of beads round the waist with a bunch of leaves tied before and behind. Those under the British influence were clothes in 1871 by order of Government, and their native chief was persuaded to do the same work for the others. This lead-wearing tribe had no knowledge of the metals till quite lately, when foreigners came among them, and no word exists in their native language for iron or any other metal. But their country abounds with flint weapons, so that the Juangs form a remnant to our own day of the Stone Age. "Their huts," writes the officer who knows them best, "are among the smallest that human beings ever deliberately constructed as dwellings. They measure about 6 feet by 8. The head of the family and all the females huddle together in this one shell, not much larger than a dog-kennel." The boys and the young men of the village live in one large building apart by themselves; and this custom of having a common abode for the whole made youth of the hamlet is found among many of the aboriginal tribes in distant parts of India. The Kandhs of Orissa, who kept up their old tribal ritual of human sacrifice until it was put down by the British in 1835-45, and the Santáls in the west of Lower Bengal, who rose in 1855, are examples of powerful and highly developed non-Aryan tribes.
Proceeding to the northern boundary of India, we find the slopes and spurs of the Himálayans peopled by great variety of rude tribes. As a rule they are fierce, black, undersized, and ill-fed. They formerly eked out a wretched subsistence by plundering the more civilized hamlets of the Assam valley,—a means of livelihood which they are but slowly giving up under British rule. Some of the wildest of them, such as the independent Abars, are now employed as a sort of irregular police, to keep the peace of the border, in return for a yearly gift of cloth, hoes, and grain. Their very names beat witness to their former wild life. One tribe, the Akas of Assam, is divided into two clans, known respectively as "The eaters of a thousand hearths," and "The thieves who lurk in the cottonfield."
Whence came these primitive peoples, whom the Aryan invaders found in the land more three thousand years ago, and who are still scattered over India the fragments of a prehistoric world? Written records they do not possess. Their oral traditions tell us little, but such hints as they yield feebly point to the north. They seem to preserve dim memories of a time when the tribes dwelt under the shadow of mightier hill ranges than any to be found on the south of the river plains of Bengal. "The Great Mountain" is the race-god of the Santáls, and an object of worship among other tribes. The Gonds, in the heart of Central India, have a legend that they were created at the foot of Dewálagiri Peak in the Himálayas. Till lately they buried their dead with the feet turned northwards, so as to be ready to start again for their ancient home in the north.
The language of the non-Aryan races, that record of a nation's past more enduring than rock inscriptions or tables, of brass, is being slowly made to tell the secret of their origin. It already indicates that the early peoples of India belonged to three great stocks, known as the Tibeto-Burman, the Kolarian, and the Dravidian. The Tibero-Burman tribes cling to the skirts of the Himálayans and their north-eastern offshoots. They crossed over into India by the north-eastern passes, and in some prehistoric time had dwelt in Central Asia, side by side with the forefathers of the Mongolians and the Chinese. Several of the hill languages in Eastern Bengal preserve Chinese terms, others contain Mongolian. Thus the Nágás in Assam still use words for three and water which might almost be understood in the streets of Canton.
The following are the twenty principal dialects of the Tibeto-Burman group:—(1) Cáchárí or Bodo, (2) Garo, (3) Tripura or Mrung, (4) Tibetan or Bhutiam (5) Gurung, (6) Murmi, (7) Newar, (8) Lepcha, (9) Miri, (10) Aka, (11) Mishmi dialects, (12) Dhimal, (13) Kanáwari dialects, (14) Míkír, (15) Singpho, (16) Nága dialects, (17) Kuki dialects, (18) Burmese, 919) Khyeng, and (20) Manipuri.
"It is impossible," writes Mr Brandreth, "to give even an approximate number of the speakers included in this group, as many of the languages are either across the frontier or only project a short distance into our own territory. The languages included in this group have not, with perhaps one or two exceptions, both a cerebral and dental row of consonants, like the South-Indian languages; some of them have aspirated forms of the surds, but not of the sonants; others have aspirated forms of both. The languages of this group even those which most diverge from each other, have several words in common, and especially numerals and pronouns, and also some resemblances of grammar. In comparing the resembling words, the differences between them consist often less in any modification of the root-syllable than in the various additions to the root. Thus in Burmese we have ná 'ear; 'Tibetan, rna-ba; Magar, na-kep; newar, nai-pong; Dhimal, ná-háthong; Kiranti dialects, ná-pro, ná-rek, ná-phák; Nága languages, te-na-ro, te-na-rang; Manipuri, na-kong; Kupui, ka-ná; Sak, aka-ná; Karen, na-khu; and so on. It can hardly be doubted that such additions as these to monosyllabic roots are principally determinative syllables for the purpose of distinguishing between what would otherwise have been monosyllabic words having the same sound. These determinative are genrally affixed in the languages of Nepál and in the Dhimal language; prefixed in the Lepcha language, and in the languages of Assam, of Manipur, and of the Chittagong and Arakan hills, Words are also distinguished by difference of tone. The tones are generally of two kinds, described as the abrupt or short, and the pausing or heavy; and it has been remarked that those languages which are most given to adding other syllables to the root make the least use of the tones, and vice versa; where the tones most prevail the least recourse is had to determinative syllables."
The Kolarians, the second of the three non-Aryan stocks, seem also to have entered Bengal by the north-eastern passes. They dwell chiefly in the north, and along the north-eastern edge of the three-sided table-land which covers the southern half of India. Some of the Dravidians, or third stock, appear, on the other hand, to have found their way into the Punjab by the north-western passes. They now inhabit the southern part of the three-sided table-land, as far down as cape Comorin, the southernmost part of India. It appears as if the two streams of the Kolarian tribes from the north-east and the Dravidians from the north-west had converged and crossed each other in Central India. The Dravidians proved the stronger, broke up the Kolarians, thrust aside their fragments to east and west, and then rushed forward in a mighty body to the south.
It thus happened that, while the Dravidians formed a vast mass in southern India, the Kolarians survived only as isolated tribes, scattered so far apart as soon to forget their common origin. One of the largest of the Kolarian races, the Santáls, dwells on the extreme eastern edge of the three-sided table-land of Central India where it slopes down into the Gangetic valley of Lower Bengal. The Kurkus, a broken Kolarian tribe, inhabit a patch of country about 400 miles to the west, and have for perhaps thousands of year been cut off from the Santáls by mountains and pathless forests, and by intervening races of the Dravidian and Aryan stocks. The Kurkus and Santáls have no tradition of a common origin; yet at this day the Kurkus speak a language which is little else than a dialect of Santáli. The Savers, once a great Kolarian tribe, mentioned by Pliny and Ptolemy, are now a poor wandering race of woodcutters of northern Madras and Orissa. Yet fragments of them have lately been found deep in Central India, and as far west as Rájputána on the other side.
The nine principal language of the Kolarian group are—(1) Santáli, (2) Mundári, (3)_ Ho, (4) Bhumij, (5) Korwa, (6) Kharria, (7) Juang, (8) Kurku, and perhaps (9) Savar. Some of them are separated only by dialectical differences.
"The Kolarian group of languages," writes Mr Brandreth, "has both the cerebral and dental row of letters, and also aspirated forms, which last, according to Caldwell, did not belong to early Dravidian. There is also a set of four sounds, which are perhaps peculiar to Santáli, called by Skrefsrud semi-consonants, and which, when followed by a vowel, are changed respectively into g, j, d, and b. Gender of nouns is animate and inanimate, and is distinguished by difference of pronouns, by difference of suffix of a qualifying noun in the genitive relation, and by the gender being denoted by the verb. As instances of the genitive suffix, we have in Santáli inren hopon, 'my son,' but in-ak orak, 'my house,' There is no distinction of sex in the pronouns, but of the animate and inanimate gender. The dialects generally agree in using a short form of the third personal pronoun suffixed to denote the number, dual and plural, of the noun, and short forms of all the personal pronouns are added to the verb in certain positions to express both number and person, both as regards the subject and object, if of the animate gender,—the inanimate gender of languages, apparently, has such a logical classification of its nouns as that shown by the genders of both the South-Indian groups. The genitive in the Kolarian group of the full personal pronouns is used for the possessive pronoun, which again takes all the post-positions, the genitive relation being thus indicated by the genitive suffix twice repeated. The Kolarian languages generally express grammatical relations by suffixes, and add the post-positions directly to the root without the intervention of an oblique form or genitive or other suffix. They agree with the Dravidian in having inclusive and exclusive forms for the plural of the first personal pronoun, in using a relative participle instead of a relative pronoun, in the position of the governing word, and in the possession of a true causal form of the verb. They have a dual, which the Dravidians have not, but they have no negative voice. Counting is by twenties instead of by tens, as in the Dravidian. The Santáli verb, according to Skrefsrud, has twenty-three tenses, and for every tense two forms of the participle and a gerund."
The compact Dravidians in the south, although in after days subdued by the higher civilization of the Aryan race which pressed in among them, were never thus broken into fragments. Their pure descendants consists, indeed, of small and scattered tribes; but they have given their languages to 46 millions of people in southern India, That some of the islands in the distant Pacific Ocean were peopled either from the Dravidian settlements in India, or from an earlier common source, remains a conjectural induction of philologers, rather than an established ethnological fact.1 The aboriginal tribes in southern and western Australia use almost the same words for I, thou, he, we, you, &c., as the fishermen on the Madras coasts, and resemble in many other ways the Madras hill tribes, as in the use of their national weapon the boomerang.
Bishop Caldwell recognizes twelve distinct Dravidian languages:—(1) Tamil, (2) Malayálim, (3) Telugu, (4) Kanarese, (5) Tulu, (6) Kudugu, (7) Toda, (8) Kota, (9) Gond, (10) Khond, (11) Uráon, (12) Rájmahál.
"In the Dravidian group," writes Mr Brandreth, "there is a rational and an irrational gender of the nouns, which is distinguished in the plural of the nouns, and sometimes in the singular also, by affixes which appear to be fragmentary pronouns, by corresponding pronouns, and by the agreement of the verb with the noun, the gender of the verb being expressed by the pronominal suffixes. To give an instance of verbal gender, we jave in Tamil, from the root sey, 'to do,' seyd-án, 'he (rational) did;'—seyd-ál, 'she (rational) did; seyd-adu, 'it (irrational) did;' seyd-ár, 'they (the rationals) did; seyd-a, 'they (irrationals) did;'—the full pronouns being avan, 'he;' aval, 'she;' adu, 'it;' avar, 'they;' avei, 'they.' This distinction of gender, though it exists in most of the Dravidian languages, is not always carried out to the extent that it is in Tamil. In Telugu, Gond, and Khond it is preserved in the plural, but in the singular the feminine rational is merged in the irrational gender. In Gond the gender is further marked by the noun in the genitive relation taking a different suffix, according to the number and gender of the noun on which it depends. In Uráon the feminine rational is entirely merged in the irrational gender, with the exception of the pronoun, which preserves the distinction between rationals and irrationals in the plural; as as, 'he,' referring to a god or a man; ád, 'she,' or 'it,' referring to a woman or an irrational object; but ár, 'they,' applies to both men and women; abrá, 'they,' to irrationals only. The rational gender, besides human beings, included the celestial and infernal deities; and it is further subdivided in some of the languages, but in the singular only, into masculine and feminine. An instance of this subdivision in the Tamil verb was given above.
"The grammatical relations in the Dravidian are generally expressed by suffixes. Many nouns have an oblique form, which is a remarkable characteristic of the Dravidian group; still, with the majority of nouns, the post-positions are added directly to the nominative form. Other features of this group are—the frequent use of formatives to specialize the meaning of the root; the absence of relative pronouns, and the use instead of a relative participle, which is usually formed from the ordinary participle by the same suffix as that which Dr Caldwell considers as the oldest sign of the genitive relation; the adjective succeeding the substantive; of two substantives, the determining preceding the determined; and the verb being the last member of the sentence. There is no true dual in the Dravidian languages. In the Dravidian languages there are two forms of the plural of the pronoun of the first person, one including, the other excluding, the person address. As regards the verbs, there is a negative voice, but no passive voice, and there is a causal form."
We discern, therefore, long before the dawn of history, masses of men moving uneasily over India, and violently pushing in among still earlier tribes. they crossed the snows of the Himálayans and plunged into the tropical forests in search of new homes. Of these ancient races fragments now exist in almost exactly the same stage of human progress as they were when described by Vedic poets over three hundred years ago. Some are dying out, such as the Andaman islanders, among whom only one family in 1869 had so many as three children. Others are increasing, like the Santáls, who have doubled themselves under British rule. Taken as a whole, and including certain half-Hinduized branches, they number 17,716,825, or say 18 millions, equal to three-quarters of the population of England and Wales. But while the bolder or more
Isolated of the aboriginal races have thus kept themselves apart, by far the greater portion submitted in ancient times to the Aryan invaders, and now make up the mass of the Hindus.
In Bengal and Assam the aborigines are divided into nearly sixty distinct races. In the North-Western Provinces sixteen tribes of aborigines are enumerated in the census of 1872. In the Central Provinces they numbered 1 _ millions,—the ancient race of Gonds, who ruled the central table-land before the rise of the Marhattás, alone amounting to 1 _ millions. In British Burmah the Karens, whose traditions have a singularly Jewish tinge, number 330,000. In Oudh the nationality of the aboriginal tribed has been stamped out beneath successive waves of Rájput and Mahometan invaders. In centres of the ancient Hindu civilization, the aboriginal races have become the low-castes and out-castes on which the social fabric of India rests. A few of them, however, still preserve their ethical identity as wandering tribes or jugglers, baskets-weavers, and fortune-tellers. Thus the Náts, Bediyas, and other gipsy clans are recognized to this day as distinct from the surrounding Hindu population.
The aboriginal races on the plains have supplied the hereditary criminal classes alike under the Hindus, the Mahometans and the British. Formerly organized robber communities, they have, under the stricter police administration of our days, sunk into petty pilferers. But their existence is still recognized by the Criminal Tribes Act, passed in 1871, and occasionally enforced within certain localities of northern India.
The non-Aryan hills races, who figured form Vedic times downwards as marauders and invaders, have ceased to be a disturbing element. Many of them appear as predatory clans in Mahometan and early British India. They sailed forth from their mountains at the end of the autumn harvest, pillaged and burned the lowland villages, and retired to their fastnesses laden with the booty of the plains. The measures by which many of these wild races have been reclaimed mark some of the most honourable episodes of Anglo-Indian rule. Cleveland's Hill-Rangers in the last century, and the Bhíls and Mhairs in more recent times, are well-known examples of marauding races being turned into peaceful cultivators and loyal soldiers. An equally salutary transformation has taken place in many a remote forest and hill tract of India. The firm order of British rule has rendered their old plundering life no longer possible, and at the same time has opened up to them new outlets for their energies. Their character differs in many respects from that of the tamer population of the plains. Their truthfulness, sturdy loyalty, and a certain joyous bravery, almost amounting to playfulness, appeal in a special manner to the English mind. There is scarcely a single administrator who has ruled over them for any length of time without finding his heart drawn to them, and leaving on record his belief in their capabilities for good.
776-2 Chandogya Upanished, quoted in Muir's Sanskrit Texts.
778-1 See the authorities in Bishop Caldwell's Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Language, pp. 78-80, &c. (ed. 1857).
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| Pala Empire|
|Language(s)||Pali, Sanskrit, Prakrit|
|Religion|| Buddhism |
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
|- Gopala is elected king in a democraticelection.||750|
|- 850 est.||4,600,000 km2(1,776,070 sq mi)|
|Today part of|| Afghanistan |
The Pāla Empire was an Indian imperial power, during the Classical period of India, that existed from 750–1174 CE. It was ruled by a Buddhist dynasty from Bengal in the eastern region of the Indian subcontinent, all the rulers bearing names ending with the suffix Pala (Modern Bengali: পাল pāl), which means protector. The Palas were often described by opponents as the Lords of Gauda. The Palas were followers of theMahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. Gopala was the first ruler from the dynasty. He came to power in 750 in Gaur by a democratic election. This event is recognized as one of the first democratic elections in South Asia since the time of theMahā Janapadas. He reigned from 750–770 and consolidated his position by extending his control over all of Bengal. The Buddhist dynasty lasted for four centuries (750–1120 CE) and ushered in a period of stability and prosperity in Bengal. They created many temples and works of art as well as supported the Universities of Nalanda andVikramashila. Somapura Mahavihara built by Dharmapala is the greatest Buddhist Viharain the Indian Subcontinent.
The empire reached its peak under Dharmapala and Devapala. Dharmapala extended the empire into the northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent. This triggered once again the power struggle for the control of the subcontinent. Devapala, successor of Dharmapala, expanded the empire to cover much of South Asia and beyond. His empire stretched from Assam and Utkala in the east, Kamboja (modern day Afghanistan) in the north-west and Deccan in the south. According to a Pala copperplate inscription Devapala exterminated the Utkalas, conquered the Pragjyotisha (Assam), shattered the pride of the Huna, and humbled the lords of Pratiharas, Gurjara and the Dravidas.
The death of Devapala ended the period of ascendancy of the Pala Empire and several independent dynasties and kingdoms emerged during this time. However, Mahipala I rejuvenated the reign of the Palas. He recovered control over all of Bengal and expanded the empire. He survived the invasions of Rajendra Chola and the Chalukyas. After Mahipala I the Pala dynasty again saw its decline until Ramapala, the last great ruler of the dynasty, managed to retrieve the position of the dynasty to some extent. He crushed the Varendra rebellion and extended his empire farther to Kamarupa, Orissa and Northern India.
The Pala Empire can be considered as the golden era of Bengal. Never had the Bengali people reached such height of power and glory to that extent. Palas were responsible for the introduction of Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet, Bhutan and Myanmar. The Palas had extensive trade as well as influence in south-east Asia. This can be seen in the sculptures and architectural style of the Sailendra Empire (present-day Malaya, Java,Sumatra). The Pala Empire eventually disintegrated in the 12th century weakened by attacks of the Sena dynasty followed by the invasion of Bakhtiyar Khilji's Muslim armies.
Origin of the Palas
The Ramacharitam of Sandhyakar Nandi attests that Varendra (or North Bengal) was the fatherland (Janakabhu) of the Palas. In the Bangarh Copperplate inscription of Mahipala I, it has been stated that Mahipala recovered his ancestral homeland (Rajyam Pitram) from the usurpers (which was until that time occupied by the Kamboja-Pala Kingdom).
The caste origin of the Palas is not clearly stated in any of the numerous Pala records. The Khalimpur copper plate inscription of Dharmapala, the second Pala emperor, states that Gopala I was a son of a warrior (Khanditarat) named Vapyata, grandson of a highly educated man (Saryavidyavadat) named Dayitavishnu, andhe himself was elected to the throne of Bengal.
The Ballala-Carita says that "The Palas were low-born Kshatriyas", a claim reiterated by the historianTaranatha in his "History of Buddhism in India" as well as Ghanaram Chakrabarty in his Dharmamangala (both written in the 16th century CE). The Ramacharitam also attests the fifteenth Pala emperor, Ramapala, as aKshatriya. As Gopala I was a Buddhist, he was also branded as a Śudra king in some sources.According to Manjuśree Mūlakalpa, Gopala I was a Śudra.
Arabic accounts tell us that Palas were not kings of noble origin [not of aryan origin?]. According toAbu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak (in Ain-i-Akbari), the Palas were Kayasthas. There are even accounts that claim Gopala may have been from a Brahmin lineage.
Matsyanyaya and the ascendancy of the Palas
After Shashanka's reign, Bengal was shrouded in obscurity and was shattered by repeated invasions. During the reign of Manava, Bengal was invaded and divided between Harshavardhana and Bhaskaravarman. In 730 CE Jayavardhana of the Shaila Dynasty from Central India invaded Bengal and killed the king of Pundra Kingdom. Yasovarman (725–752) of Kannauj killed the king of Magadha and Gauda. Later Lalitaditya Muktapida (724–760) of Kashmir who defeated Yasovarmana invaded Bengal. Sri Harsha of Kamarupa conquered Anga, Vanga, Kalinga and Odra. The social and political structure of Bengal was devastated. According to Tāranātha: Every single Brahman, every Kshatriya, every Elite became all powerful in their areas and surrounding regions. This condition has been described by him as Matsyanyaya (Eating of small fish by the big fish) or the Dark Age of Bengal. Disgusted at the situation the desperate people of Bengal made a bold move which marked a glorious period in the history of the sub-continent. They elected Gopala, a popular military leader, as their king by a democratic election which was probably the only democratic election in medieval India.
After the Buddhist king Harsha Vardhana, Buddhism faced the possibility of extinction. The Palas emerged as the champion of Buddhism, and they patronized Mahayana Buddhism. The Palas supported the Universities of Vikramashila and Nalanda which became the premier seats of learning in Asia. The Nalanda University which is considered one of the first great universities in recorded history, reached its height under the patronage of the Palas.
The Palas were responsible for the spread of Mahayana Buddhism to Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and the Malay archipelago. Bengal became famous in the Buddhist world for the cultivation of Buddhist religion, culture and other knowledge in the various centres that grew under the patronage of the Pala rulers. Buddhist scholars from the Pala empire travelled from Bengal to the Far-East and propagated Buddhism. A few outstanding individuals among them are Shantarakshit, Padmanava, Dansree, Bimalamitra, Jinamitra, Muktimitra, Sugatasree, Dansheel, Sambhogabajra, Virachan, Manjughosh and many others. But the most prominent was Atish Dipankar Srigyan who reformed Buddhism in Tibet after it had been destroyed by king Langdharma. Although the Palas were Buddhists, they had also given support to Saiva ascetics, typically the ones associated with the Golagi-Math. Besides the images of the Buddhist deities, the images of Vishnu,Siva and Sarasvati were also constructed during the Pala dynasty rule.
Main Pala rulers
- Gopala I (756–781)
- Dharmapala (781–821)
- Devapala (821–861)
- Mahendrapala, Shurapala I, Vigrahapala I (861–866)
- Narayanapala (866–920)
- Rajyapala (920–952)
- Gopala II (952–969)
- Vigrahapala II (969–995)
- Mahipala I (995–1043)
- Nayapala (1043–1058)
- Vigrahapala III (1058–1075)
- Mahipala II (1075–1080)
- Shurapala II (1080–1082)
- Ramapala (1082–1124)
- Kumarapala (1124–1129)
- Gopala III (1129–1143)
- Madanapala (1143–1162)
- Govindapala (1162–1174)
Peace and Expansion
Gopala united all of Bengal and brought peace and prosperity in the region. The period of anarchy ended with his election. The Pala kings devoted themselves in public welfare and social reform. The Palas adopted the policy of religious toleration and co-existence of the Buddhistsand the Hindus. Pala kings won the heart of the people by welfare activities like digging tanks and establishing towns took place in many folklores in the rural areas of Bengal. The Mahipala Geet (Songs of Mahipala) is still popular in the rural areas.
Palas adopted aggressive policy and began the period of expansion under Dharmapala and Devapala. At its height Dharmapala's empire covered most of northern and central region of the Indian Subcontinent. His successor Devapala extended the boundaries of the empire further to Assam in the east, Kamboja in the north-wast and the Deccan in the south. Devapala united much of South Asia under his rule, a feat only achieved before by Ashoka the Great. The successors of Devapala had to contend with the Gurjara-Pratihara and the Rashtrakutas for the supremacy of the Kannauj Triangle. After Narayanpala the Pala empire declined but was revived once more under the vigorous reigns ofMahipala and Ramapala.
Pala rule was Monarchial. King or Monarch was the centre of all power. Pala kings would adopt Imperial titles like Parameshwara,Paramvattaraka, Maharajadhiraja. Pala kings appointed Prime Ministers. The Line of Garga served as the Prime Ministers of the Palas for 100 years. Garga | Darvapani | Someshwar | Kedarmisra| Bhatta Guravmisra Pala Empire was divided into separate Bhuktis (Provinces), Bhuktis into Vishayas (Divisions) and Mandalas (Districts). Smaller units were Khandala, Bhaga, Avritti, Chaturaka, and Pattaka. Administration covered widespread area from the grass root level to the imperial court. The Pala copperplates mention following administrative Posts:Raja, Rajanyaka, Rajanaka, Ranaka, Samanta and Mahasamanta (Vassal kings), Mahasandhi-vigrahika (Foreign minister), Duta(Head Ambassador), Rajasthaniya (Deputy), Aggaraksa (Chief guard), Sasthadhikrta (Tax collector), Chauroddharanika (Police tax),Shaulkaka (Trade tax), Dashaparadhika (Collector of penalties), and Tarika (Toll collector for river crossings), Mahaksapatalika (Accountant),Jyesthakayastha (Dealing documents), the Ksetrapa (Head of land use division) and Pramatr (Head of land measurements), theMahadandanayaka or Dharmadhikara (Chief justice), the Mahapratihara, Dandika, Dandapashika, and Dandashakti (Police forces), Khola(Secret service). Agricultural posts like Gavadhakshya (Head of dairy farms), Chhagadhyakshya (Head of goat farms), Meshadyakshya (Head of sheep farms), Mahishadyakshya (Head of Buffalo farms) and many other like Vogpati, Vishayapati, Shashtadhikruta, Dauhshashadhanika,Nakadhyakshya.
The proto-Bangla language was born during the reign of the Palas. The Buddhist texts of theCharyapada were the earliest form of Bangla language. This Proto-Bangla language was used as the official language in Tibet, Myanmar, Java and Sumatra. Texts on every aspect of knowledge were compiled during the Pala Rule. On philosophy: Agama Shastra by Gaudapada, Nyaya Kundali by Sridhar Bhatta, Karmanushthan Paddhati by Bhatta Bhavadeva; On Medicine: Chikitsa Samgraha, Ayurvedidvipika, Bhanumati, Shabdachandrika, Dravya Gunasangraha by Chakrapani Datta; Shabda-Pradipa, Vrikkhayurveda, Lohpaddhati by Sureshwara; Chikitsa Sarsamgraha by Vangasena; Sushrata by Gadadhara Vaidya; Dayabhaga, Vyavohara Matrika and Kalaviveka byJimutavahana etc. Atisha compiled more than 200 texts. The great epic Ramacharitam written by Sandhyakar Nandi, the court poet of Madanapala was another masterpiece of the Pala literature. The Pala copperplate inscriptions were of excellent literary value. This distinctive inscriptions were called Gaudiya Style.
Pala art and architecture
The most brilliant side of the Pala Empire was the excellence of its art and sculptures. Palas created a distinctive form of Buddhist art known as the "Pala School of Sculptural Art." The gigantic structures of Vikramshila Vihara, Odantapuri Vihara, and Jagaddala Vihara were masterpieces of the Palas. These mammoth structures were mistaken by the forces of Bakhtiar Khilji as fortified castles and were demolished. The Somapura Mahaviharaa, a creation of Dharmapala, at Paharpur, Bangladesh, is the largest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian subcontinent, and has been described as a "pleasure to the eyes of the world." UNESCO made it World Heritage Site in 1985. Sompur Bihara, also built by Dharmapala, is a monastery with 21 acre(85,000 m²) complex has 177 cells, numerous stupas, temples and a number of other ancillary buildings. In 1985, the UN included the Sompur Bihara site in the world Cultural Heritage list. The Pala architectural style was followed throughout south-eastern Asia, China, Japan and Tibet. Bengal rightfully earned the name "Mistress of the East". Dr. Stella Kramrisch says: "The art of Bihar and Bengal exercised a lasting influence on that of Nepal, Burma, Ceylon and Java". Dhimanand Vittpala were two celebrated Pala sculptors. About Sompura Mahavihara, Mr. J.C. French says with grief: "For the research of the Pyramids of Egypt we spend millions of dollars every year. But had we spent only one percent of that money for the excavation of Sompura Mahavihara, who knows what extraordinary discoveries could have been made."---"The Art of the Pala Empire of Bengal," p. 4.
Pala foreign relations
Palas came in contact with distant lands through their conquests and trades. The SailendraEmpire of Java, Sumatra and Malaya was a colony of the Palas. Devapala granted five villages at the request of the Sailendra king Balputradeva of Java for the upkeeping of the matha established at Nalanda for the scholars of that country. The Prime minister of the Balputradeva Kumar Ghosha was from Gauda. Dharmapala who extended his empire to the boundary of the Abbasid Empireand had diplomatic relations with the caliph Harun Al-Rashid. Coins of Harun-al-Rashid have been found in Mahasthangarh. Palas maintained diplomatic and religious relation with Tibet. During the military expeditions of the Pala kings the Pala generals would establish kingdoms of their own in Punjab and Afghanistan. Recent discoveries in the Punjab hills showed the influence of the Pala Dynasty. There is a strong and continuous tradition that the ruling families in certain states are descended from the "Rajas of Gaur in Bengal". These states are Suket, Keonthal, Kashtwar andMandi. In the ancient Rajput states tradition has immense force and accuracy. Of Kashtwar it is related that Kahan Pal — the founder of the state — with a small band of followers arrived in the hills in order to conquer a kingdom for himself. He is said to have come from Gaur, the ancient capital of Bengal and to have been a cadet of the ruling family of the place. The demise of theTurkshahi rule in Gandhar and the rise of the Hindushahi dynasty in that region might have connection to the invasion of the Palas in that region.
Pala armed forces
Palas had fourfold army consisting of: infantry, cavalry, elephants and chariots. In the copperplates of Vatsaraja Dharmapala had been mentioned as the owner of unlimited number of horses, elephants and chariots. It is amazing that when the use of chariots had been backdated in India and other parts of the world the kings of Bengal still depended on four-horsed heavy chariots. Being a riverine land and swarthy climate Bengal was not good enough for breeding quality war-horses. So the Palas had to depend upon their vassal kings for war horses. Pala copperplate inscriptions reveal that mercenary forces were recruited from the Kamboja, Khasa, Huna, Malwa, Gujarat, and Karnata. The Kamboja cavalry were the cream of the Pala army who would later become as powerful as the Janissary army of theOttoman Empire. The Kamboja forces maintained smaller confederates (Sanghas) among themselves and were staunch follower of their commander. Palas had the army divided into following posts: Senapati or Mahasenapati (General) controlling foot soldiers, cavalry, soldiers riding elephants and camels, and the navy, and the various army posts like Kottapala (Fort guards) and Prantapala (Border guards). Palas had a huge army and the legend of "Nava Lakkha Shainya" (Nine lac soldiers) were popular during the reigns of Dharmapala and Devapala. According to Hudud al-Alam a Persian text written in 982–983 Dharmapala possessed an army of 300,000 soldiers. According to Sulaiman the Arab traveller Devapala set out for his every military expedition with an army of 50,000 elephants and his army had 10,000–15,000 slaves for the maintenance and caretaking of his armies.
Palas legacy gets remembered not much in Bengal but elsewhere in Asia. Tibet's modern culture and religion is heavily influenced by Palas. Palas are credited with spreading Buddhism to Tibet and around the world through missionaries. Atisa, a Palan, is a celebrated figure in the Tibetan Buddhism in tradition and in establishment. Atisa also invented bodhichitta or known as "mind training" that is practiced around the world today. Another important Palan figure in Tibetan Buddhism is Tilopa who founded the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhismand developed the Mahamudra method, a set of spiritual practices that greatly accelerated the process of attaining bodhi (enlightenment). Palas literature is widely studied by Buddhist around the world. Pala architectural style was copied throughout south-eastern Asia, China, Japan, and Tibet. Nalanda University and Vikramshila University are two of the greatest Buddhist universities ever recorded in history.
| Preceded by |
|Bengal dynasty|| Succeeded by |
|Middle kingdoms of India|
|Timeline:||Northwestern India||Northern India||Southern India|
6th century BCE
- History of India
- Sompur Bihara
- Kamboja Dynasty of Bengal
| ||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (July 2010)|
- Mahajan, V.D. (1960, Reprint 2007), Ancient India, S. Chand & Company, New Delhi, ISBN 81-219-0887-6.
- ^ "The Pala Dynasty". lotuss culpture. Retrieved 2009-06-11.
- ^ Scott, David (May 1995). "Buddhism and Islam: Past to Present Encounters and Interfaith Lessons". Numen 42 (2).
- ^ Epigraphia Indica, XXIV, p 43, Dr N. G. Majumdar
- ^ The History and Culture of the Pālas of Bengal and Bihar, cir. 750 A.D.-Cir 1200AD, 1993, p 37, Jhunu Bagchi
- ^ The Dacca University Studies, 1935, p 131, University of Dacca
- ^ Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, p 316, Dr J. L. Kamboj
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- ^ History of Ancient Bengal, 1971, p 427, Ramesh Chandra Majumdar – Calcutta
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- ^ Caste and Chronology of the Pala kings of Bengal, J. C. Ghosh, The IHQ, IX, 1983, pp 487–90
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- ^ http://www.discussanything.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-62248.html
- ^ http://www.lotussculpture.com/pala.htm
- ^ Bagchi, Jhunu (1993). The History and Culture of The Pālas of Bengal And Bihar (Cir. 750 A. D. – Cir. 1200 A. D.. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications. p. 19. ISBN 81-7017-301-9.
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- ^ Chattopadhyaya, Alaka (1967). Atisa and Tibet. Calcutta: Motilal Banarsidas Publishers Pvt. Ltd.. ISBN 81-208-0928-9.
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