Bengali muslims stand clueless, especially younger generation, when asked about their swinging loyalties in their nation’s history. They opposed the British colonial rule by joining the pakistan movement under the muslim league, which partitioned united Hindustan. Within five years they revolted starting with the Language movement, followed by full blown liberation movement in 1971. They revolted against the very thing they died for in the past, ie muslim pakistan.
Bengalis drifted away from their pre-partition policy of ‘hate the hindus’ to ‘hate the pakistanis’. But in religion, they remained muslims just as much as they were under british or pakistani governments. With one important deviation.
Bengali muslims now turn defensive at the slightest hint of any islamization of state and government. They are happy to be muslims but they fear that going towards an islamic identity will invite another bloody genocide. A legacy they inherited from their 25 year status as east pakistan.
National pride, self esteem, identity and culture feed into that wholistic thing called civilization. East bengali muslims are going through a process of discovering and re-discovering, learning and unlearning those special episodes in their history which shaped (and continues to do so) their civilization. One of those knots is their relationship with India.