lang_benBengali (বাংলা) is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written using the Bengali script. With about 193 million native and about 230 million total speakers, Bengali is one of the most spoken languages in the world. The National song and the National anthem of India, and the National anthem of Bangladesh were composed in Bengali.
Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. It is now the primary language spoken in Bangladesh and is the second most commonly spoken language in India. All the Indo-Aryan languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati are called the daughters of Sanskrit.
With a rich literary tradition arising from the Bengali Renaissance, Bengali binds together a culturally diverse region and is an important contributor to Bengali nationalism. In former East Bengal (today Bangladesh), the strong linguistic consciousness led to the Bengali Language Movement, during which on 21 February 1952, several people were killed during protests to gain its recognition as a state language of the then Dominion of Pakistan and to maintain its writing in the Bengali script. The day has since been observed as Language Movement Day in Bangladesh, and was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999.
Bengali is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal and parts of Assam and Tripura. Besides this region it is also spoken by majority of the population in the union territory Andaman and Nicobar Islands.