The word ‘Bengali’ evokes a lot of emotion and is synonymous with art, culture, food, music, cinema and everything connected to finer aspects of life. Truly as the famous saying goes, “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow!”, a Bengali was considered an intellectual leader during the British Raj. However, soon decay set in after independence and the Bengali Bhadralok seems to be still stuck with reminiscing in the retrospective!
It is sad that once the cultural flag bearer of India is today, nothing but isms – communism, factionalism, marxism, naxalism, fatalism, capitalism, idealism, etc. Renowned writer Nirad Chaudhuri said, “No one can deny that in the 19th century, the Bengali people created a new life, not only for themselves, but for the entire Indian people, by their intellectual and moral effort…. But for the present day Bengalis, all that is now a thing of the past, except for retrospective, senseless and unmanly bragging…”
Here is a taaungue-in-cheek take on the state of Bengali culture –
Olphaabets in Bangalee Deekshinary
Bengalis — the pride of Bengal. What makes them tick?
The Dying Traits of the Bangali