This book attempts to understand the commercial and social history of erstwhile Bengal in terms of its links with it neighbouring countries in the northern region of the Bay of Bengal. It touches upon the key issues in both maritime and territorial history such as the early medieval trade revolution and its impact on the borders of Bengal.
The discussion focusses on Southeast Bengal - the most economically developed area of Bengal in terms of transport networks, agriculture, artisan products and trade. Most of this area underwent two major transformations in the twentieth century: once as a result of the formation of East Pakistan in 1947 and a second time after the formation of Bangladesh in 1971. The volume concludes with certain major issues of concern between India and Bangladesh at the turn of the twenty-first century.
Preface, Acknowledgements, Abbreviations
Map 1 - Places mentioned in Bengal and Arakan: 5th to 13th centuries
Map 2 - Land and sea routes of the Eastern Indian Ocean: 13th to 15th centuries
2. Conceptual Formulations
3. Key Issues: Bengal
4. Introducing Bengal
5. The Debated Century
6. Networks and States in South Asia
7. Unities of Time and Space in Bengal
8. Bengal in the Indian Ocean Centred World Economy