East Bengali refugees
East Bengali Refugees refers to the people who left East Bengal following the partition of Bengal, which was part of the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. A majority of these refugees were Hindus.
In 1947, Bengal was partitioned into the Indian state of West Bengal and the Pakistani province of East Bengal. East Bengal was later renamed East Pakistan, which subsequently broke away from Pakistan to form the independent country of Bangladesh. Most of Sylhet district in Assam also joined East Pakistan and was subsequently considered to be East Bengal.
The majority of East Bengali refugees settled in the new state of West Bengal, but a significant number[quantify] also moved to the Barak Valley of Assam and the princely state of Tripura which eventually joined India in 1949. Around 0.5 million were also settled in other parts of India, including the East Pakistan Displaced Persons' Colony (EPDP) in Delhi (subsequently renamed Chittaranjan Park) and Orissa. The estimated 0.5 million Bengalis in Delhi and 0.3 million in Mumbai are also largely East Bengali refugees and their descendants.
The exact number of refugees has never been officially collected and estimates vary considerably.
In the immediate aftermath of partition, commonly attributed figures suggest around 3 million East Bengalis migrating to India and 864,000 migrants from India to East Pakistan. Indian government estimates suggest around 2.6 million migrants leaving East Bengal for India and 0.7 million migrants coming to East Pakistan from India.
Migration continued, primarily from East Pakistan to India, right up to the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, both on an on-going basis and with spikes during periods of particular communal unrest such as the 1964 riots and the 1965 India-Pakistan War, when it is estimated that 600,000 refugees left for India. Estimates of the number of refugees up to 1970 are over 5 million to West Bengal alone. This includes around 4.1 million coming between 1946–1958 and 1.2 million coming between 1959 and 1971.
Another major influx came in 1971 during the Bangladesh Liberation War. It is estimated that around 10 million East Bengali refugees entered India during the early months of the war, of whom 1.5 million may have stayed back after Bangladesh became independent.
The outflow of Hindus from East Bengal had a particularly negative effect on the Hindu community of East Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh, as a significant portion of the region's educated middle class and political leadership left. The heights reached by many of the East Bengali migrants and their descendants, including Amartya Sen's Nobel Prize and Megh Nad Saha's pioneering work in Astrophysics are considerable.
Notable refugees and migrants
- Achintyakumar Sengupta (Noakhali; literature)
- Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri (Barisal,theoretical physicist)
- Amlan Datta (Comilla, economist and educationist )
- Anil Biswas (Barisal, Music)
- Anil Karanjai (Painter)
- Amartya Sen (Dhaka, economics/academia)
- Amar Mitra (Khulna, Writer)
- Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay (Dhaka, Novelist)
- Arundhuti Mukherjee (Barisal,Cinema)
- Arun Mitra (Jessore, Poet)
- Asit Sen (Film Director, Dhaka)
- Atin Bandyopadhyay (Dhaka, Bengali literature)
- Basudeb Dasgupta (Novelist, Short Story Writer)
- Bibhas Chakraborty (Sylhet, Bengali theater)
- Bijon Bhattacharya (Faridpur, cinema)
- Bimal Roy (Indian Cinema)
- Binoy Ghosh (Jessore, Sociologist, Author and Journalist)
- Bhanu Banerjee (Dhaka, Cinema)
- Buddhadev Bose (Comilla; literature)
- Chuni Goswami (Kishoreganj; football)
- Comrade Muzaffar Ahmed (Noakhali; politics, founder of Communist Party of India)
- Debabrata Biswas (Maymensingh, Tagore song)
- Dwijendranath Maitra (Rajshahi, Physician)
- Geeta Dutt (Faridpur, Singer)
- Gopal Chandra Bhattacharya (Faridpur, entomologist and naturalist)
- Gour Kishore Ghosh (Jessor, writer & Journalist)
- Haradhan Bandopadhyay (Kushtia, Cinema)
- Hemanga Biswas (Sylhet; music)
- Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri (Jhalokati District, Historian)
- Hiralal Chakraborty (Noakhali; Publisher - Founder of Prakashani Limited and Nababidhan Press)
- Humayun Kabir (Faridpur; literature and academics)
- Ila Mitra (Rajshahi, human rights activist)
- Jagadish Gupta (Kushita, Author-Poet)
- Jibananda Das (Barisal, poet)
- Jogen Chowdhury (Faridpur, Painter)
- Jogendra Nath Mandal (Barisal; politics, First Law Minister, Pakistan (1947–1950)
- Jyoti Basu (Dhaka; politics, Chief Minister, West Bengal 1977-2000)
- Kazi Abdul Wadud (Faridpur; literature)
- Kumar Roy (Dinajpur, Bengali theater)
- Lokesh Chandra Chakraborty (Noakhali; Principal - David Hare Training College, Jadavpur)
- Madhabi Mukherjee (Barisal; cinema)
- Mahasweta Devi (Dhaka; literature, human rights)
- Manohar Aich ( Comilla, Body Builder)
- Manoj Mitra ( Khulna, Bengali theatre )
- Megh Nad Saha (Dhaka; science)
- Mohit Chattopadhyaya (Barisal, dramatist)
- Monotosh Roy (Dhaka, Indian bodybuilder)
- Mrinal Sen (Faridpur; cinema)
- Narayan Debnath (Bikrampur, comics-artist)
- Narendranath Mitra (Faridpur; literature and journalism)
- Dr. Nihar Ranjan Gupta (Jessore,Physician, Novelist)
- Nirad Chaudhuri (Mymensingh; author)
- Nirmalendu Chowdhury (Sylhet; music)
- Nabendu Ghosh (Dhaka, Bengali literature, Indian Cinema Scriptwriter)
- P. C. Sorcar (Tangail, Magician)
- P. C. Sorcar, Jr. (Tangail, Magician)
- Pankaj Roy (Dhaka; Cricketer)
- Pannalal Ghosh (Barisal, Indian flute (bansuri) player and composer)
- Paran Bandyopadhyay ( Jessore, Cinema)
- Prafulla Chandra Sen (Khulna,Indian politician and former Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1961–1967)
- Paritosh Sen (Dhaka, Painter)
- Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi (Dinajpur, politics)
- Rajen Tarafdar (Rajsahi; Bengali Cinema)
- Ritwik Ghatak (Dhaka; cinema)
- Rudraprasad Sengupta (Bengali theatre)
- Sabitri Chatterjee (Comilla, Bengali cinema)
- Sachin Dev Burman (Comilla; music)
- Samaresh Basu (Dhaka, Bengali Literature)
- Sandhya Roy (Cinema)
- Shankha Ghosh (Chandpur,Poet and critic)
- Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (Dhaka - Bikrampur; writer)
- Somnath Hore (Chitagong, Sculptor & Muralist)
- Suchitra Sen (Pabna, cinema)
- Sudhi Ranjan Das (Telirbagh, 5th Chief Justice of India)
- Sunil Gangopadhyay (Faridpur; writer)
- Surajit Chandra Sinha (Mymensingh,Anthropologist)
- Susobhan Sarkar (Dhaka, Historian)
- Tapan Raychaudhuri (Barisal, Historian)
- Tarun Majumdar (Bogra, Cinema)
- Tulsi Lahiri (Rangpur; music and cinema)
- Ustad Alauddin Khan (Brahmanbaria; music)
- Ustad Bahadur Hossain Khan (Dhaka; music)
- Utpal Dutt (Barisal, theatre)
- Vilayat Khan (Mymensingh; music)
- US State Department, "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976", Volume XI, South Asia Crisis, 1971", Page 165
- "Commonly Attributed Figures"
- "Indian Government Estimates"
- "One Million Refugees in 1950"
- "Kolkata's Refugee Population"
- "600,000 refugees left for India"
- "Refugees up to 1970"
- "Refugee numbers from 1959 - 1971"
- "1.5 Million Refugees remain"