West Bengal

West Bengal
State
Official seal of West Bengal
Seal
Location of West Bengal in India
Location of West Bengal in India
Country   India
Established 26 January 1950
Capital Kolkata
Largest city /
Largest metro
Kolkata
Districts 23
Government
 • Body Government of West Bengal
 •  Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi
 •  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ( TMC)
 • Legislature West Bengal Legislative Assembly (295 * seats)
 •  High Court Calcutta High Court
Area
 • Total 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi)
Area rank 14th
Population (2011) [1]
 • Total 91,347,736
 • Rank 4th
 • Density 1,029/km2 (2,670/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Bengali
Time zone IST ( UTC+05:30)
ISO 3166 code IN-WB
Vehicle registration WB
HDI Increase 0.509 (medium)
HDI rank 9th (2011) [2]
Literacy 77.08% (2011 census) [3]
Official language Bengali [4]
Website wb.gov.in
^* 294 elected, 1 nominated

West Bengal ( l/) is an Indian state located in Eastern India on the Bay of Bengal. It is India's fourth most populous state, with over  million inhabitants (as of 2011). It has an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region, it is bordered by Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north; it shares borders with five Indian states: Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.

Ancient Bengal was the site of several major janapadas. In the 2nd century BCE, the region was conquered by the emperor Ashoka. In the 4th century CE, it was absorbed into the Gupta Empire. From the 13th century onward, the region was ruled by several sultans, powerful Hindu states, and Baro-Bhuyan landlords, until the beginning of British rule in the 18th century. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and Calcutta served for many years as the capital of British India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in an expansion of Western education, culminating in developments in science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengal Renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal – a state of India – and East Bengal – the part of the newly created nation of Pakistan that later became Bangladesh. Between 1977 and 2011 the state was administered by the world's longest elected Communist government.

A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is ranked sixth in terms of contributions to India's net domestic product. [5] The state's cultural heritage, besides varied folk traditions, includes notable authors in literature, including Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, as well as scores of musicians, film-makers, and artists. Kolkata is known as the "cultural capital of India". West Bengal is also distinct from most other Indian states in its enthusiasm for the sport of association football, as well as cricket, the national sport. [6] [7] [8]

Etymology

The origin of the name Bengal (Bangla and Bongo in Bengali) is unknown. One theory suggests that the word derives from "Bang", a Dravidian tribe that settled the region around 1000 BCE. [9] The Bengali word Bongo might have been derived from the ancient kingdom of Vanga (or Banga). Although some early Sanskrit literature mentions the name Vanga, the region's early history is obscure. [10]

At the end of British rule over the Indian subcontinent, the Bengal region was partitioned in 1947 along religious lines into east and west. The eastern part came to be known as East Bengal, and the western part came to known as West Bengal, which continued as an Indian state. In 2011 the Government of West Bengal proposed a change in the official name of the state to Poschimbongo ( Bengali: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ Pôshchimbônggô). [11] This is the native name of the state, literally meaning western Bengal in the native Bengali language. In August 2016 the West Bengal Legislative Assembly passed another resolution to change the name of West Bengal to "Bangal" in Hindi, "Bengal" in English, and "Bangla" in Bengali. Despite the Trinamool Congress government's strong efforts to forge a consensus on the name change resolution, the Indian National Congress, the Left Front, and the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed the resolution. However, it now awaits approval by the Indian Parliament. [12]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Wes-Bengale
Ænglisc: West Bengal
অসমীয়া: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ
Bân-lâm-gú: West Bengal
беларуская: Заходняя Бенгалія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Заходняя Бэнгалія
भोजपुरी: पश्चिम बंगाल
brezhoneg: Kornôg Bengal
Cebuano: West Bengal
Deutsch: Westbengalen
ދިވެހިބަސް: ވެސްޓު ބެންގާލް
Ελληνικά: Δυτική Βεγγάλη
Fiji Hindi: West Bengal
ગુજરાતી: પશ્ચિમ બંગાળ
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Ostont Bongal
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sî Bengal
한국어: 서벵골 주
hrvatski: Zapadni Bengal
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: পশ্চিমবঙ্গ
Bahasa Indonesia: Benggala Barat
íslenska: Vestur-Bengal
עברית: מערב בנגל
कॉशुर / کٲشُر: مغربی بنگال
қазақша: Батыс Бенгал
Kiswahili: West Bengal
لۊری شومالی: بأنگال أفتونئشین
latviešu: Rietumbengāle
Lëtzebuergesch: Westbengalen
македонски: Западен Бенгал
მარგალური: ბჟადალი ბენგალი
Bahasa Melayu: Benggala Barat
монгол: Өрнө Бенгал
Nederlands: West-Bengalen
नेपाल भाषा: पश्चिम बंगाल
norsk nynorsk: Vest-Bengal
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Gʻarbiy bengaliya
پنجابی: لیندا بنگال
português: Bengala Ocidental
Qaraqalpaqsha: Batıs Bengal (shtat)
Runa Simi: Kunti Banla
Simple English: West Bengal
slovenščina: Zahodna Bengalija
српски / srpski: Западни Бенгал
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Zapadni Bengal
svenska: Västbengalen
Tagalog: West Bengal
Türkçe: Batı Bengal
Türkmençe: West Bengal
українська: Західний Бенгал
Tiếng Việt: Tây Bengal