With the Mughal conquest of Bengal beginning the last decades of the sixteenth century their local governors made frenetic efforts to settle land and expand agriculture. Large parts of East Bengal were nothing but thickly forested swamps in those days. People staying on the margins of society involved in boating, fishing etc who were loosely speaking Hindus but actually of no religion became part of this Mughal imperial design. They were settled on land and induced to farm and they were socially moored by small mosques led by spiritual preceptors who came into convert the locals to a new way of life. There was not much opposition because these were new areas but the local Hindu communities that existed reacted by closing their ranks and becoming more conservative. This had the result of expulsion of many Hindus from the fold on the grounds that they had been polluted by contacts with the Muslims. These Hindus of course became Muslims. The net result was that more people started becoming Muslims.Kingshuk Nag: How did Bengalis become Muslims?