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Soon after the survey of the top 100 Britons searched in 2002, the BBC conducted a similar survey to find the greatest Bengali personality in the history of the Bengali nation for thousands of years. In 2004, the BBC’s Bengali service media conducted a survey from February 11 to March 22 with the most significant Bengali title of all time. Bangladeshis from Bangladesh, India (West Bengal, Tripura, Assam State), including Bangladesh, are participating in the survey. A total of 140 people nominated for the survey. The BBC started announcing the names of the top 20 from March 26, where a name announced on the daily average of 20 people. On the final day of April 14, which was also the first Baishakh (Bengali New Year), the BBC declared Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bengali of all time, based on the voting of Bengalis living in the world.

Methodology

In describing the voting process, the BBC’s Bangla service said that they followed the most sophisticated voting system to avoid any kind of error or controversy. Participants asked to nominate five choices instead of one to find the greatest Bengali on priority. Each voter’s top nominee given five points, the second nominee four points. Thus one point was given to the last fifth nominee. Based on the total points, the final list of the most magnificent Bengali survey made.

Observations

The BBC reports that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman scored almost double as much as second-place Rabindranath Tagore. In contrast, Tagore himself composed double as much as Kazi Nazrul Islam and Nazrul got double AK Fazlul Haq. There was not much difference in points between the remaining 17 people.

The top six politicians are on the list with various writers and social reformers. The final list includes two evangelists, a scientist and an economist. Begum Rokeya was the only woman and Amartya Sen was the only survivor who made it to the top 20.

Greatest Bengalis of all time (Top 20)

1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman the Top Greatest Bengali of all time

Title: Bangabandhu (Friend of Bengal)
Introduction: Politician, Leader of Independence, President, Prime Minister
Notability: Founder of Bangladesh. He was a lowly politician who established Bangladesh as a sovereign country from Pakistan. He led the Bengalis to decades-long struggle for independence against dictatorial rule, resulting in the liberation of Bangladesh through the 1971 liberation war. After the War of Independence, he served as President of Bangladesh twice and once as Prime Minister. In a military coup that almost killed the entire family.

2. Rabindranath Tagore

Title: Kobi Guru(Teacher of Poems)
Introduction: Author, Nobel Prize Winner
Notability: Many have referred to Bengali as Shakespeare. The most successful and influential writer of Bengali literature. Winner of the first Nobel Prize from Asia. The national songwriter in India and Bangladesh.

3. Kazi Nazrul Islam

Title: Bidrohi Kobi (Rebel Poet)
Introduction: Author, National Poet
Notability: Renowned for his life-long struggle and brilliant writing against British colonial rule. Romantic and religious (both Islamic and Hindu) are equally popular for poetry and song. In 1972, the national poet of Bangladesh recognized.

4. A. K. Fazlul Huq

Title: Sher-e-Bangla (Tiger of Bengal)
Introduction: Politician, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Governor
Notability: During British rule, the first Prime Minister of undivided Bengal. For the first time, the democratically elected leader of the Bengali nation. After partition, he served as the chief minister and governor of East Pakistan.

5. Subash Chandra Bose

Title: Netaji (Honorable Leader)
Introduction: Politician, Nationalist Activist
Notability: One of the legends of the Indian independence movement. He built his own army to fight the British colonial rule. He traveled around the world, seeking support and assistance for India’s independence.

 

6. Begum Rokeya

Title: Bengali woman is the pioneer of awakening
Introduction: Social Reformer
Notability: Bengali woman is the pioneer of renewal. Despite having a conservative social system at that time, he started his education himself and later became a famous author and educator. She is the source of inspiration for millions of young women and women in education and self-reliance.

7. Jagadish Chandra Bose

Title: Acharya (Influential Mentor)
Introduction: Scientist
Notability: A significant contribution to the research of radio and microwave optics. Contributing to the evolution of plant science. Establishment of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent.

8. Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani

Title: Mazlum Jananeta (Leader of the Oppressed)
Introduction: Politician
Notability: British India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were known as influential political figures during the period. The most popular way of expressing solidarity with life for the oppressed people.

9. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar

Title: Vidyasagar (Ocean of Knowledge)
Introduction: Social Reformer
Notability: Corrected the Bengali alphabet and print system. In Bengal, Hindu widows introduced various social reforms, including remarriage. As a result, he married his son with a widow.

10.Raja Ram Mohan Roy

Title:
Introduction: Social Reformer
Notability: Satidah favors social reforms such as the abolition of customs, child marriage and inheritance of women in the property.

11. Syed Mir Nisar Ali Titumir

Title:
Introduction: Rebel Activist
Notability: Famous for its fight against landlords and British colonial rulers. Build a historic bamboo fort and become a legend by fighting against British troops.

12. Fakir Lalon Shah

Title: Baul Shamrat (Emperor of Bauls)
Introduction: Philosopher
Notability: Baul is one of the most respected bulls in the cultural personality and history of Bengal. He compared to Confucius in China. Tagore, Nazrul and Allen Ginsberg have influenced many celebrities.

Read More about Fakir Lalon Shah Biography

13. Satyajit Ray

Title:
Introduction: Filmmaker, Academy Award Winner
Notability: Satyajit Ray is the second Indian Oscar winner. Introduced a new era in Indian cinema. One of the most successful writers in Bengali literature of modern times. He also has a talent for music and illustration.

14. Amartya Sen

Title:
Introduction: Economist, Nobel Prize Winner
Notability: Prominent Indian economist.Nobel Prize winner in economics.

15. Language Movement Martyrs

Title: Bhasha Shaheed (Language Martyrs)
Introduction: University Students
Notability: On February 21, 1952, a mass rally fired against the decision of the Pakistani government to deny Bangla as the official language. Following the announcement of UNESCO in 1999, the day was celebrated worldwide as International Mother Language Day.

16. Muhammad Shahidullah

Title:
Introduction: Educationist
Notability: He was a prominent Bengali educator, multilingualist and researcher.

17. Swami Vivekananda

Title:
Introduction: Religious Preacher
Notability: An important person who preached Hinduism in Western society. Yoga is a notable preacher.

18. Atisa Dipamkara

Title:
Introduction: Religious Preacher
Notability: A Bengali Buddhist monk. He brought Buddhism to Bengal and helped propagate from Tibet to Sumatra.

19. Ziaur Rahman

Title:
Introduction: Military Personal, President, Freedom Fighter
Notability: One of the heroes of the Bangladesh Liberation War. Announced the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Former President of Bangladesh. Founder of Cirque.

20. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

Title:
Introduction: Politician, Prime Minister
Notability: An influential Bengali politician who served as the Prime Minister of undivided Bengal and later as the Prime Minister of Pakistan during British rule.

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