The long journey from West Bengal to Bangla

Context

  • The British first partitioned Bengal in 1905. When Indian gained Independence, but as two countries, the eastern side became East Pakistan while the remaining became part of India as West Bengal. East Pakistan, however, was short-lived and became Bangladesh in 1971 breaking away from Pakistan.
  • Over the years, several demands have been made, for reasons that could be either political or administrative, to change the name of West Bengal. The first such demand can be traced back to 1999, when the then chief minister Jyoti Basu took the initiative. At that time, “Bangla” and “Paschim Bangla” were considered, but the parties concerned could not reach a consensus.