Monday, September 28, 2020
Home Variety Culture and History Noboborsho: While detractors hail Akbar for the Bengali calendar, Bengalis need to remember Shashanka...

Noboborsho: While detractors hail Akbar for the Bengali calendar, Bengalis need to remember Shashanka Deva

Would wish for a very happy new year to all, with a hope that the Indic civilization shall be able to maintain its originality and defend itself against all invasions, political or cultural, for all times to come.

I have noticed a peculiar problem with some of the online content related to Noboborsho/Bengali New Year for a couple of years at least. I’m sure you would have seen those cordial content pieces, which talk about how our cherished Bengali Calendar was promulgated by the Mughal ruler Akbar in order to align revenue collection better with the local season cycles. If the problem hasn’t hit you yet, think about this. We are sitting on 1426 BE or Bongabdo, on the verge of welcoming 1427. And the Mughal ruler Akbar’s reign started as recently as 1556 BCE… just around 5 centuries back. I didn’t know if this was shocking or hilarious… or outright sinister!

The Beginning of an era

Bongadbo or the Bengali Era begins in 594 CE. The reigning ruler was Maha Samanta, and later Gaudeshvara, Shashanka or Shashanka Deva. He has variously been deduced to be a feudatory of, or have been descended from, the Later Guptas of Magadha. In either case, he disassociated from Magadha towards the end of the 5th Century CE and established the first historically known independent kingdom of Bengal. It was called the Kingdom of Gauda then, with its capital at Karna Suvarna, modern day Murshidabad district of West Bengal.

The earliest archaeological references to Bongabdo are found in a couple of millennium old terracotta Shiva Temples in the villages of Dihargram & Sonatapan in the Bankura district of West Bengal, before the arrival of the Central Asian invaders in Bengal.

The Confusion

Detractors have been trying to credit Bongabdo variously to the 16th century CE Mughal ruler Akbar or an Allauddin Hussain Shah, a ruler of the Bengal Sultanate, striding the 15th & 16th centuries CE.

- Advertisement -

One wonders, how an entire millennium could have been cooked up into thin air by detractor theorists. Satyam Infotech account book cooks need to take note! The logic presented is, a Hussain Shah or an Akbar would have taken the Hijri Calendar, starting 622 CE, & adapted it to a solar format – to aid in agrarian revenue collection – with some support from existing native calendars. I again wonder why a Shashanka cannot at least figure in such a long list of possibilities.

Have you considered what such a proposition might entail, as against a straight native Indic Bengali Calendar theory? Lunar changes to Solar. Calendar terms, month names etc. change from Arabic/Farsi to Sanskrit/Bengali. This whole shebang is easily & conveniently avoided if we go by the Shashanka route, which is definitely more intuitive. But perhaps water flows against gravity for revisionist theorists.

Real Motive of Detractors

So, what is it actually about? The East Pakistani faction, though endorsing the ‘separate Muslim homeland’ theory, was more comfortable with a Bengali flavour to it. This was what they wanted with a Calendar too. They wanted a Bengali Calendar for sure, which they celebrate with considerable fanfare, now that they have political independence. Puritans might even consider such celebration idolatrous! And it’s in this context that the idea of a native Indic pre-Islamic origin Bengali Calendar may be adding further insult to injury for the fundamentalists. And that’s where emerges the idea of looking for Calendar heroes from Akbar to Hussain Shah.

What are we supposed to do

Now that was their perspective and their fight. But for an Indic Bengali, who cherishes the Bengali cultural framework, in the context of the broader Indic cultural context, & for other Indics as well, it is very important to know the devil & cull it from the cultural mind space without further delay. Honestly, there’s very less scope for any more delay, given how ‘idolators’ are becoming endangered globally with every passing century, decade & year.

That’s where the battle is, salvaging the people & the culture, concept by concept, year by year, if we are to see any semblance of free civilization remaining in the globe… or at least in the Subcontinent.

As a corollary, maybe, reconsider your thoughts on the CAA, if you’re still confused about ‘secular’ propriety. Notwithstanding which camp you belong to, this is plain civilization vs. savagery, and you would need to pick your choose, because though civilization may provide you with choice, savagery would never.

And what do the emergent ‘Bengali nationalists’ do?

Simple, stick to their ideas of Bengali pride but with some sprinkling of real history. What can be more glorious than the idea of a Bengali Calendar promulgated by the very founder of the conception of Bengal/Gauda/Vanga? A quick reading through Shashanka’s politico-military achievements should definitely aid. He was successful in uniting smaller geographical units from all over current West Bengal, Bangladesh, parts of Bihar and Assam. Shouldn’t the last bit be quite enough to quench the sub-national ethos, considering the ordeal of Bengalis under Assam NRC and cultural ordeals of the North East Bengalis in general? That’s some food for thought for such friends of mine.

Shubho Noboborsho

Would wish for a very happy new year to all, with a hope that the Indic civilization shall be able to maintain its originality and defend itself against all invasions, political or cultural, for all times to come.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Debpratim De
Debpratim De has experience with the Banking and IT industries and also association with Startups. He is an Engineering and Management graduate and ideologically aligned to the idea of preserving the integrity of the Indic Civilization.

Related Articles

Trending now

Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh, world leaders concerned

The historical conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh region dates back to 1921 when the Soviet Union forcibly merged the predominantly ethnic Armenian region with Azerbaijan.

“Have no regrets”, Balika Vadhu director takes on his father’s business of selling vegetables as upcoming film projects get stalled

The Balika Vadhu director Ram Vriksha Gaur has been selling vegetables in his hometown of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.

Columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni who used Jaswant Singh’s death to target Modi, had once insulted and left Singh in tears, senior journalist reveals

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who had extended support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 elections has been a very vocal Modi critic and Pakistan sympathiser.

PM Modi’s call for UN reforms should be the beginning of our resurgent foreign policy

India could look to pursue a seven-point agenda to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Madhya Pradesh: Special DG Purshottam Sharma brutally assaults his wife, video goes viral on social media

The accused's son has filed a complaint with the state DGP and has sent a copy of the assault video.

Arrested gangster Feroz Ali killed after UP Police car crashes on the way to Lucknow

UP's wanted Gangster Feroz Ali killed in road accident while being brought by police from Mumbai.

Recently Popular

AajTak ke camera se nahi bach payegi Deepika Padukone: As the actor makes her way to NCB, IndiaToday does everything they criticise Republic for

The Aaj Tak reporter added several non-essential information about Deepika Padukone to claim that the coverage was exclusive

Argentina: Legislator kisses bare breast of his girlfriend during online parliament session, resigns after the video goes viral

Juan Emilio Ameri claimed that he assumed that the camera was off and wanted to check out his girlfriend's new breast implants

“Your time of death has come”, radical Islamists attack actress-politician Nusrat Jahan on social media after she poses as Goddess Durga

An Instagram user, Sagar Hossain, questioned Nusrat Jahan, "Why do you support Hindus despite being a Muslim?"

Hours after expressing displeasure over new BJP team, Subramanian Swamy retweets report that hails Priyanka Gandhi

Snubbing the demand of Subramanian Swamy to remove BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya, BJP had retained in the new party team

India Today editors’ tussle with Republic TV is ruining their own credibility, one tweet at a time: Read how

Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep's sly, targeted tweets against Republic TV are only helping to take their own credibilities further down, and exposing their own hypocrisy.

Maharashtra: Close to Anil Deshmukh’s residence in Nagpur, gambling den operator lynched to death. Video goes viral

Maharashtra state home minister Anil Deshmukh's residence is barely 1 km away from where the stabbing took place.

‘If I want to burn my tractor, what problem do you have’: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh defends Youth Congress workers

Congress leaders have been opposing and spreading lies against the new agriculture laws.

Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh, world leaders concerned

The historical conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh region dates back to 1921 when the Soviet Union forcibly merged the predominantly ethnic Armenian region with Azerbaijan.

MP Special DG caught beating his wife in viral video says what he did was ‘not a crime’, gets relieved of duties: Read the...

ADG, Madhya Pradesh, Purshottam Sharma has been relieved of his duties after a video of him beating his wife went viral on social media.

“Have no regrets”, Balika Vadhu director takes on his father’s business of selling vegetables as upcoming film projects get stalled

The Balika Vadhu director Ram Vriksha Gaur has been selling vegetables in his hometown of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.

Columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni who used Jaswant Singh’s death to target Modi, had once insulted and left Singh in tears, senior journalist reveals

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who had extended support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 elections has been a very vocal Modi critic and Pakistan sympathiser.

PM Modi’s call for UN reforms should be the beginning of our resurgent foreign policy

India could look to pursue a seven-point agenda to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Madhya Pradesh: Special DG Purshottam Sharma brutally assaults his wife, video goes viral on social media

The accused's son has filed a complaint with the state DGP and has sent a copy of the assault video.

Delhi Police Special Cell comes to rescue of NDTV employee M Atharuddin for plasma therapy

Atharuddin alias Munne Bharti had put out a tweet in the morning requesting urgent plasma donation.

Arrested gangster Feroz Ali killed after UP Police car crashes on the way to Lucknow

UP's wanted Gangster Feroz Ali killed in road accident while being brought by police from Mumbai.

Another temple attacked in Andhra Pradesh, Nandi idol vandalized in Chittoor

The 12th century Kasi Visweswara Swamy temple was attacked recently where miscreants had damaged the Nandi idol. There have been several such attacks in recent days.

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
456,499FollowersFollow
17,300SubscribersSubscribe