This article maps the intricate topography of the ostensibly unified but veritably fractured Muslim search for identity in contemporary West Bengal. More specifically, it engages in a comprehensive, qualitative, interpretive investigation of the performance of two linguistically distinct Muslim literary traditions (Bengali and Urdu) in determining the context in which the community negotiates and asserts its identity. The interplay between 'religion', 'nation' and 'region' in the consciousness of Muslim literati and its implications for the religious/secular dimension of Muslim identity is researched in a quest to interrogate how and why the uniqueness of the West Bengal case, derived from history, still holds true. Literature and language, this article clearly confirms, serve as powerful tools for identity construction. © 2012 SAGE Publications.