West Bengal- India
West Bengal is a state in eastern India. With Bangladesh,
which lies on its eastern border, the state forms the
ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. To its northeast lie the states
of Assam and Sikkim and the country Bhutan, and to its southwest,
the state of Orissa. To the west it borders the state of Jharkhand
and Bihar, and to the northwest, Nepal.
The region that is now West Bengal was a part of a number of empires
and kingdoms during the past two millennia. The British East India
Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of
Plassey in 1757 CE, and the city of Kolkata, then Calcutta, served
for many years as the capital of British India. A hotbed of the
Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal
was divided in 1947 into two separate entities, West Bengal—a state
of India, and East Pakistan belonging to the new nation of Pakistan.
Following India's independence in 1947, West Bengal's economic and
political systems were dominated for many decades by Marxism,
Naxalite movements and trade unionism.
An agriculture-dependent state, West Bengal occupies only 2.7% of
the India's land area, though it supports over 7.8% of Indian
population, and is the most densely populated state in India.
West Bengal has been ruled by the CPI(M)-led Left Front for three
decades, making it the world's longest-running
democratically-elected communist government. While the state has
seen a resurgence in its economy from late 1990s after decades of
stagnation, it still faces poverty, social tensions and bureaucratic
corruption. A major cultural center since the colonial period, West
Bengal is the native land of many notable poets, writers, artists
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