A Framework for Understanding Muslim Rule of Bengal

It is essential for the Hindu Bengali to clearly understand the events and impact of the Islamic rule in Bengal (Indian West Bengal and Bangladesh of today). It is only in this way that the Hindu Bengali can relate today's radicalization of Bangladesh  and West Bengal's southern part and bordering areas. The Hindu Bengali must realize that he is a minority in the Bengali landscape - out of every 100 Bengalis, 70 Bengalis are Muslims and 30 Bengalis are Hindu.

In order to understand social history and human rights scenario of Hindus as it actually transpired during the Muslim age of Bengal, a critical analysis of the Islamic texts themselves is absolutely imperative, and in this regard a proper framework is an understandably a key pre-requisite. I have been able to read only Riaz-us-Salatin by Salim, but there are plenty of other texts in Persian and Urdu which can be used to piece together the Islamic history of Bengal.

I provide one such sequential framework below.

Set 1: Bengal and Eastern India
1. Riaz-us-salatin by Ghulam Husain Salim
2. Tabaqat-i-nasiri of Minhaj-i-Siraj
3. Tarikh-i-firuzshahis of Ziauddin Barani and of Shams Siraj Afif
4. Tarikh-i-mubarak shahi of Yahya bin Ahmad

Set 2: Afghan and Mughal histories
1. Abbas Sarwani's tarikh-i-shahi
2. Abul Fazl's ain-i-akbari and akbarnamah

Set 3: General histories of the Mughals
1. Badauni's muntakhab-ut-tawarikh
2. Nizamuddin Bakhshi's tabaqat-i-akbari and also tarikh-i-firishta
3. tuzuk-i-jahangiri
4. padshanamah
5. alamgirnamah

Set 4: Nawabi period
1. Salimullah's tarikh-i-bangalah
2. Sayyid Ghulam Husain Tabatabai's siyar-ul-mutakhkherin

With this framework, an objective historian can understand the Islamic history of Bengal (and eastern India). If used in conjunction with Hindu works of this period, a complete and clear scenario can probably be pieced together.

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