Mother Bengal

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Map of the Bengal.

The Mother Bengal (Bengali: বাংলা মা , Bangla Maa), a female personification of Bengal was created during Bengali renaissance and later adopted by the Bengali nationalists.[1] In Bengaldeshi poetry, literature and patriotic song, she has become a symbol of Bangladesh, considered as a personification of the Republic. The Mother Bengal represents not only biological motherness but its attributed characteristics as well – protection, never ending love, consolation, care, the beginning and the end of life. In Amar Sonar Bangla, the national anthem of Bangladesh, Rabindranath Tagore has used the word "Maa" (Mother) numerous times to refer to the motherland i.e. Bengal. Despite her popularity in patriotic songs and poems, her physical representations and images are rare.


Partition of Bengal (1905)[edit]

During the period of বঙ্গভঙ্গ Bônggôbhônggô[2][3] (Partition of Bengal (1905)) - when the ruling British empire had the province of Bengal (of undivided India) split into two parts, many Bengali intellectuals joined cultural and political movement against the partition. The partition took place in October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas. The Hindus of West Bengal who dominated Bengal's business and rural life complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Odisha.[3] It was during this time the Mother Bengal was an immensely popular theme in Bengali patriotic songs and poems and was mentioned in several of them, such as the song ″Dhana Dhanya Pushpa Bhara″ and ″Banga Amar Janani Amar″ (Our Bengal Our Mother) by Dwijendralal Ray. These songs were meant to rekindle the unified spirit of Bengal, to raise public consciousness against the communal political divide.

Bangladesh Liberation War[edit]

Many of Bengali patriotic songs were regularly played on the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, the clandestine radio station broadcast to revolutionaries and occupied population during the Bangladesh Liberation War.[4] some of these patriotic songs, such as “Jonmo Amar Dhonno Holo Maa-go” and “Bangla Moder Bangla Maa Amra Tomar Koti Shontan” have significant representations of “Mother Bengal”. She was an icon of freedom and democracy against all forms of dictatorship. These patriotic songs are still immensely popular in Bangladesh and West Bengal .

In art and literature[edit]

In his patriotic song, known as Aaji Bangladesher Hridoy (1905), the poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote the following depiction of Bangladesh or Bengal:[5]

When did you come out of the heart of Bangladesh,
O, Mother dear, with such inexplicable splendor!
It’s impossible to take away eyes from you!
The doors of your golden temple have unlocked.
Your right hand holds the blazing sword, the left one takes away fear,
Smile of affection on the eyes, the third eye glaring.
O Mother dear, how uniquely you reveal yourself!
The cloud of your untied hair conceals thunders
Ends of your sunlight coloured robes flutter in the horizon!
It’s impossible to take away eyes from you!
The doors of your golden temple have unlocked.
When impassionately did not look up seemed
Poor mother stayed back home , desolate, destitute.
Your torn clothes vanish now, meager smile disappear.
Beams of light scatter from your feet into entire sky
O Mother, your appearance astounds me.
You flood the world with the flow of happiness on the distressed nights
O the mindblower, your word of fearlessness drum the heart
It’s impossible to take away eyes from you!
The doors of your golden temple have unlocked.

This is most probably only picturesque details of Mother Bengal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Symbols of Water and Woman on Selected Examples of Modern Bengali Literature in the Context of Mythological Tradition
  2. ^ John R. McLane, "The Decision to Partition Bengal in 1905," Indian Economic and Social History Review, July 1965, 2#3, pp 221–237
  3. ^ a b Encyclopedia Britannica, "Partition of Bengal"
  4. ^ Syed Badrul Ahsan (2012-12-01). "1971 and the songs we sang". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  5. ^