This is also true.
State lines are not often determined by language or even ethnic majority but on the whim of the colonial powers.
West Bengal for example and East Bengal were divided on religious lines. East Bengal being the former East Pakistan and current Bangladesh.
The Bhill community for example, in central and western India, is actually the majority ethnic community in many of the states, yet, they are split up over four states, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan. They are infact a linguistic majority, and yet due to oppressive power structures that privileges certain people, are not looked upon with favour by the Indian Government
In many cases the state boundaries have remained the same as the ones definted by the British.
Myanmmar for example borders India to the East, many villages have houses that literally sit atop the political line that divides the two countries.
Yes- as I briefly mentioned before- we must not forget the impact of Orientalist thinking on colonial powers (and through colonial powers). We can see traces of its legacies everywhere, even in our language today. Thank you for providing some context.
I’ll add that Pakistan would have easily been able to take over the area that was the Bengal because post-colonialism, “Bangladesh” would have been left with a fairly weak infrastructure. This can be said about many corrupt governments worldwide; they continued to reinforce preexisting colonial structures of power after the British had already left. So we have a system (weak state) that already does not benefit the people, or the state in itself, but those already in power. Fast forword to military coups or hostile takeover from other countries. And then we have Pakistan and it’s history with colonialism, and things really can’t get much messier.
Bangladesh was not divided directly from colonial powers, although as you can see, but in analysis you can see the that colonialism, well, left no area behind. However when it was included as India, that is an example of Orientalism. In contrast, in Africa, colonial powers divided groups into different states, as to avoid revolting. We can’t be certain how many colonial authorities were aware of the different ethnic groups and main languages, but it is safe to say that the colonial authorities were afraid that dividing ethnic groups by state would allow them to united against imperialism. Divide them by different languages and cultures within one state, let’s called it [insert random, irrelevant French, British, etc name] and hope that these people won’t get along or understand each other!
On naming, well don’t even get me started on the several “Indies.” (And no, I am not really digressing. It’s all relevant, and all related.)
Readers: If any of you are interested in learning about Orientalism, the previous link is the Orientalism tag from my tumblr. There are a few explanatory posts that might be helpful for introducing yourself to the concept. Other links also lead to relevant tags on my tumblr.
You can also learn about how colonial powers arbitrarily named states in Africa through the “Scramble for Africa.” I may edit this and see if I can come back with more links.
Also, for those contesting my use of “North America” and the “UK” please read this.