Partition of Bengal (1905-1911)

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March 31, 2019
April 13, 2019

Partition of Bengal (1905-1911)

reasons behind partition of bengal

Partition of Bengal (1905-1911)

1. General understanding about the partition of Bengal

The partition of Bengal was another landmark in the history of India. Bengal being a province of a large population of 78.5 million as well as large area was difficult to be administered proficiently. Therefore, Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, took the decision to develop a scheme to divide Bengal to ensure effective management and proficiency. According to the scheme, Bengal had to be divided into two provinces i.e. western Bengal and eastern Bengal. The eastern Bengal had an area of 10,640 square miles having its center at Dhaka, had a population of 31 million with Muslim majority population i.e. 18 million. On the other hand, western Bengal was a Hindu majority province having a total population of 54 million out of which 45 million people were Hindus.

The decision of partition of Bengal was announced by Lord Curzon- the Viceroy of India, on 19 July 1905.

The proclamation for the partition of Bengal was issued in September 1905.

October 16, 1905, is a landmark in the history of the subcontinent as the partition of Bengal came into being.

2. Detailed background for the decision of partition of Bengal

The partition of Bengal was essentially and purely an administrative decision as Lord Curzon was a sincere administrator and keen for development of Bengal. But, western Bengal was a Hindu majority state while eastern Bengal with Muslim majority state. With the partition of Bengal, the chances of development opportunities for Muslims were about to increase dramatically. Before the partition of Bengal, Muslim workers were crushed under Hindu landlords. Due to poor administration, few funds were allotted to the education system for eastern Bengal.

3. Anti-partition Movement

Parting Bengal into two provinces was due to administrative concerns but Hindu alleged that Lord Curzon attempted to draw a line between the Hindus and Muslims and branded this a nonsense policy of divide and rule. Moreover, they were observing the leading opportunities for the Muslims in eastern Bengal as compared to Hindus.

Two events famous about political crisis aroused after the partition of Bengal

1. Band i Mataram

2. Swadeshi Movement

Band i Mataram: Band i mataram (HAIL TO THEE, MOTHER) was national script of Indian nation written in Bengali script in order to protect worship of Shivaji (mother goddess) as national hero.

Swadeshi movement:  Swadeshi Movement was Indian independence movement and to rejuvenate Indian nationalism.

Hindu presented agitation in the form of boycott of American goods. An atmosphere of terrorism spread across Bombay, Poona, and Punjab. Bombing, shooting and blasting events grew common. Resultantly, authorities had to reunify both provinces in order to end the protest.

4. Reunification

On December 1911, King George announced that both provinces had to be reunified. The capital was established at Dehli in an attempt to appease Hindus. The anarchist movement was supported by the Indian national congress (Indian national congress was established in 1885).

5. Results of these movements

These movements made sure that both Hindus and Muslims cannot live together. They are different in any way. These movements intensified tensions between Hindus and Muslims. These movements resulted in arousing nationalism between both Hindus and Muslims and both started struggling for a separate homeland.

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