Importance of Studying Society and Culture in Medieval Bengal

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CenRaPS Journal of Social Sciences

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Due to the scope of comfortable human habitation and easy access to the rich natural resources Bengal Delta attracted many people groups of different ethnic and religious backgrounds since prehistoric period. Like many other ancient migratory groups, a large number of Central and West Asian people groups also settled down and established new political rules in medieval Bengal. Although they brought new cultures and religious trends, because the common trend in the Delta, medieval Bengal experienced momentous cultural adoptions and admixtures, providing the scope of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies living side by side for centuries and eventually helped formation of the final stage of Bengali Civilization. However, the legacy was systematically diminished through the propaganda history produced by Anglocentric colonial scholarship. The excessive success of the colonial ‘divide and rule’ policy further destroyed socio-cultural harmony in the region and ultimately ended up creating severe social fractions, cultural complexities, and ethno-religious conflicts. So much so that Bengali Hindus started to see Bengali Muslims to be some unwelcomed foreigners while the Bengali Muslims continue blaming the Brahmanical tradition to be a devil migratory force that vanquished the long lasting Buddhist tradition. Consequently the socio-cultural divisions reached at its worst condition possible and often encouraging religious extremism today. In this context, this study proposes that intensive studies of the medieval socio-cultural traditions following a well-planned academic framework beyond the Anglocentric tradition can help wane the veritable pain of social divisions and religious detestations Bengal experiencing today.


Anahtar Kelimeler

Bengal Delta, Medieval period, Anglocentric scholarship, Cultural conflict, Ethno-religious extremism, Bangladesh


1st CenRaPS Conference on “Bangladesh in the 21st Century”

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Siddiq, Abu B. (2020). Importance of Studying Society and Culture in Medieval Bengal. In: Siddiq, Abu B. & Islam, M. Ramizul (eds.), Book off Abstracts. 1st CenRaPS Conference on “Bangladesh in the 21st Century” (pp. 4). Istanbul: CenRaPS Journal of Social Sciences. ISBN: 978-625-400-335-6