Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2015)
The reflection of modernist, rationalist and nationalist ideas in the writings of two great Bengali Muslim litterateurs: Syed Mujtaba Ali and Syed Wajid Ali (1919-1949)
Author(s): Soumitra Kumar Sinha
Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the thinking of two extraordinary Bengali Muslim intellectuals in the realm of modernism, rationalism and nationalism in the period under review. So far in our study period, two major tendencies are discernible: i) On the part of the orthodox Muslim society, supported by some intellectuals, to identify Bengali Muslims with the Muslim world of the Middle East; and ii) On the part of most Hindus, to identify Bengali Muslims as aliens to Bengal, whose existence and interests could, as far as education, literature, politics and economy were concerned, be largely ignored. There was, however, a third tendency, which was gradually to gain attention: namely on the part of the Bengalis, both Hindu and Muslim, of a more rational, secular outlook to seek in tolerance and mutual respect. In this paper I shall try to analyse the secular and rationalistic mentality of Bengali Muslims which is reflected in the writings of Syed Mujtaba Al and Syed Wajid Ali.