"‘in retribution for the partition of his beloved Golden Bengal’"
Map of Bengal division - Credit: Meister
When India gained independence in 1947, the North-Easterly region Bengal was partitioned along religious lines. The predominantly Hindu West Bengal went to India while the Eastern region became the province of East Pakistan. The circumstances of partition were bloody, and rising political discontent and cultural nationalism resulted in widespread religious riots in East Pakistan.
On 25 March 1971 opposition to the ruling Pakistan government came to a head with the Bangladesh Liberation war. After nine months of bitter fighting the military forces of Pakistan surrendered on 16 December 1971 and the region became the now independent country of Bangladesh.
The region has a very strong folk and cultural tradition and is home to around 250 million people making it one of the most densely populated areas on Earth.