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But have also been responsible for genocide and racism of the worst kind Their cuisine is justly celebrated but few remember the cause and effect of millions of Bengalis dying of famine Renowned for their liberal attitudes they are also capable of virulent religious fundamentalism Argumentative and meditative pompous and grounded hypocritical and wise flippant and deep Bengalis are all this and much much With erudition wit and empathy this book manages to capture their very essence Unarguably it is t. Last week I spent some time with a community that is large in size intellectual and somehow even if i don t know them their culture and their food is something that has always attracted me My knowledge about their background was very less until recently when I read The Bengalis A Portrait of a Community by Sudeep ChakaravartiThis absolutely gorgeous book is a versatile description of a community that exists in every corner of the world The Bengalis is not just about the culture the food the language The Bengalis is an euphoric emotion something that you feel when you are reading this bookA one single paragraph defines the complete book mr K Where What Why in lush gunfire prose We are garrulous argumentative and liberal conservative and moderate often in the course of the same argument opinionated often contemptuous of those not Bengali eager to be appreciated by those not Bengali blithely unmindful of such hypocrisy intensely curious not merely curiosities feminists chauvinists misogynists ultra leftist leftist rightist ultra rightist haters of colonialists lovers of colonialism bashers lovers of colonialists in a range from Britain to Pakistan lovers of bashers of colonialism bashers revolution minded in theory and sometimes in practice entirely evolution minded in practice among the gentlest people on earth among the most vicious people on earth creators and perpetuators of the most vicious gangs and political gangsterism lovers of love lovers of hatred lovers of life lovers of death lovers of our land lovers of the lands of those not Bengali lovers of rivers and rain vastly literate vastly illiterate lovers of words literature poetry theatre cinema art any art form worth a form lovers of witty comebacks and innuendo populous not to be confused with popular although we can sometimes be that too pompous uick to anger uick to laughter loud noisy eager transporters of such noise to some of the uietest places on earth inveterate travellers perhaps the greatest users of that odd phrase sinikbewty exhibitionists drama ueens often colour blind when attempting Western clothing and interior decor exuisite wielders of colour in art sufferers of some of the greatest famines the phrase bhookha Bang li the hungry starving Bengali still endures in northern India and Pakistan fanatical about food creators and worshippers of some of the most delicately flavoured foods on earth fanatical about football strangely fanatical about Argentine and Brazilian football players nobody else matters except occasionally the French or Portuguese terrible losers weavers of the most exuisite fabrics of form and colour wearers and exporters of such exuisite fabrics of exuisite design lately wearers of the most exuisite fabrics rendered hideous with overwrought design unarguably the greatest users of balaclavas in the world other than terrorists and special operations personnel they sometimes call their Hollywood stamped versions ski masks we call our simpler version m nkicap We are confounding And as you already know we are legion A non fiction the book may not be everyone s cup of tea But for minds like me who need to read something new and fresh every time this book has proven to be a gem in my collection And definitely goes without saying this is a must read and one of the best books of 2018 for me

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The Bengalis

The Bengalis are the third largest ethno linguistic group in the world after the Han Chinese and the Arabs A uarter of a billion strong and growing the community has produced three Nobel laureates world class scientists legendary political leaders and revolutionaries iconic movie stars and directors and an unending stream of writers philosophers painters poets and musicians of the first rank But bald facts aside just who are the Bengalis What is the community all about stereotypically and beyond ster. I picked up The Bengalis as being a Non Resident Bengali or a Probashi Bangali as we are called wanted to know the history and depth of the Bengalis What makes us so different firm others Why are we such snobs Why do we think we are a superior race Also a lot of history of Bengal of which I was not very familiar with details And therefore I came to know of the Bengal Famine and why the North Indians call us Bhookha Bangali The book deals with the whole of Banglasphere which includes Bangladesh Bengalis in Silchar Tripura the whole of Assam infact and the Non Residents who have made it big in their own sphere all over the world Some of the mannerisms habits that are described in the book are so true I was laughing through it in aircrafts hotels restaurants home wherever I was reading it The book has detailed descriptions of the Naxalite movement the Pre Independence Bengali Freedom fighters the British PeriodA fascinating read Especially if you like history It also addresses the history and the birth of Bangladesh Many a part of which I had heard in hushed voices from my parents when I was a small child and I was not supposed to listen I remember the drive in my father s car on Jessore Road after the war was overwith destruction strewn across everywhere I grasped it even though I was a child of only 5 years old thenIt addresses the Hindu Muslim issues in great detail and without a trace of Partisan The authors antecedents are in Bangladesh and a part of his family married into Mussalmans At the end it leaves us Bengalis with the hope that we will rise from the ashes and come to glory and prosperity as we did many decades ago Yes we are Bengalis A must read for all Bengalis and those interested in the Bengalis For others I am afraid it will be a heavy read

free read The Bengalis

Eotype In order to find the answers to these and related uestions the author a Bengali born and steeped in his own culture but objective enough to give us a balanced reckoning of his fellows delves deep into the culture literature history and social s of the Bengalis He writes with acuity about the many strengths of the community but does not flinch from showing us its weaknesses and tormented history He points out that Bengalis are among the most civilized and intellectually refined people on earth. A little self righteous and obsessive about the subliminal superiority complex the book is a good read in parts to acuaint oneself of the history of ethnic violence famine religious integration and strife Raj era grandour and descent into chaos under a relentless regime of de industrialisation that has afflicted the Bengalis The uniueness of this book lies in expanding the ambit of conversation to Banglasphere including West Bengal Bangladesh regions of Assam and even Birmingham to take a holistic stock of a people that span borders and cultures in a most expansive manner


10 thoughts on “The Bengalis

  1. says:

    As a Bengali not from Bengal I am curious about the eccentricities of our community I picked up ‘The Bengalis’ in the hope that it would help me understand the history of my people who spread over the Indian states of West Bengal parts of Bihar Chhattisgarh and Odisha most north eastern states and pretty much

  2. says:

    Being a probashi Bengali the author has put in great effort to present a comprehensive image of the Bengalis as a community Author has in a very lucid manner tried to present the genesis of the land the culture the language and the politics of Bengal In the Bengalis author has not restricted himself to West Bengal but speaks for Banglasphere which includes Bengali community in Bangladesh Assam Tripura other north easte

  3. says:

    I picked up The Bengalis as being a Non Resident Bengali or a Probashi Bangali as we are called wanted to know the history and depth of the Bengalis What makes us so different firm others? Why are we such snobs? Why do we think we are a superior race? Also a lot of history of Bengal of which I was not very familiar with details And therefore I came to know of the Bengal Famine and why the North Indians call us Bhookha Bangali The book dea

  4. says:

    A little self righteous and obsessive about the subliminal superiority complex the book is a good read in parts to acuaint oneself of the history of ethnic violence famine religious integration and strife Raj era grandour and descent into chaos under a relentless regime of de industrialisation that has afflicted the Ben

  5. says:

    I wish this book was written by someone from a lower middle class background or a dalit or a minorityHaven't we heard the perspective from a privileged babu enough already?I am not saying Sudeep babu is at fault here He can

  6. says:

    Choose this book to know history about Eastern India This book gives good coverage of partition history of Bengal and situation of North Eastern State As the author is himself Bengali he discusses psychological characteristics of Bengalis in humorous way

  7. says:

    My review of this book is also available to read on uint “The Bengali is at once an existentialist delight and nightmare cast in perpetual drama” says Sudeep Chakravarti about his people in the introduction of his latest non fiction book titled The Bengalis A Portrait of a Community In the book Chakravarti a seasoned journalist who has authored numerous bestselling works of narrative non fiction Red Sun Highway 39 Clear Hold

  8. says:

    Last week I spent some time with a community that is large in size intellectual and somehow even if i don’t know them their culture and their food is something that has always attracted me My knowledge about their background was very less until recently when I read The Bengalis A Portrait of a Community by Sude

  9. says:

    Sudeep Chakravarti one of my favourite authors since Red Sun

  10. says:

    Being a probashi Bengali I learnt so much about my own community Sudeep is funny generous expansive and ultimately fair i

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