a reasonably cohesive regional entity for hundreds of years prior to the British colonization of the Indian subcontinent and through the British rule, this province was split into West Bengal and East Pakistan at the time of Indian/Pakistani independence in 1947. Note that division of Bengal on a religious basis was a feat the British had attempted but abandoned in face of popular protest. It was left to Indians to implement it. While West Bengal became a state in the Indian union, East Pakistan was paired off with West Pakistan, an entity 1500 miles away across the breadth of India to form Pakistan. East and west Pakistans had nothing (not food, not language) in common but Islam. This cathartic state of affairs continued till East Pakistan managed to overthrow its West Pakistani oppressors in 1972, form the nation of Bangladesh, and install, for most of its existence, an indigenous set of oppressors.