The Bengal Renaissance was a social reform movement which took place during the nineteenth and early 20th centuries in undivided Bengal during the period of British rule. It started with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and ended with Rabindranath Tagore. Bengal in the nineteenth century was a unique blend of religious and social reformers, scholars, literary giants, journalists, patriotic orators and scientists. All these elements merged to form the image of a renaissance thereby marking the transition from the medieval to the modern.
In the Indian independence movement Bengal played a major role. Major leaders in the freedom movement were Chittaranjan Das, Surendranath Banerjea, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bagha Jatin, Khudiram Bose, Surya Sen, Binoy-Badal-Dinesh, Sarojini Naidu, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rashbehari Bose and several others. Several people of Bengal laid their lives in the freedom struggle and many were exiled in Cellular Jail of Andaman.
In the 20th century modern Bengal became a witness to a major historical incident. This was the partition of the state. The first partition occurred in 1905 and the second partition in 1947. Bengal was split into the state of West Bengal of secular India and a Muslim region of East Bengal under Pakistan. It was renamed East Pakistan in 1958. East Pakistan rebelled against Pakistani military rule. They became independent republic of Bangladesh after a war of independence against the Pakistani army in the year 1971.