Saturday, March 25, 2023

Partition of Bengal – Short Notes

Partition of Bengal took place on 16th Oct 1905 (Lord Curzin), cancelled on 12th Dec 1911 by visiting Royal Majesty George V during Delhi Darbar due to pressure by Swadeshi movement (Lord Charles Hardinge, 1910-1916)


  • Population 80m, Large area, around 6 lac km.
  • The eastern part of Bengal was backwards and far from Calcutta.
  • Efficient administration was difficult – famines
  • Besides, there was also the need to develop trade and commerce in East Bengal and promote the Port of Chittagong (Hindus unhappy)


  • Eastern Bengal and Assam were merged with Dhaka as capital – Muslim more than Hindus
  • The old province consisted of Western Bengal, Bihar and Orissa


  • Muslims were happy as rich Eastern Bengal was more autonomous now (whole tea industry, majority jute plantations)
  • Hindus angry on becoming a minority in East
  • Extremist Hindu leaders started Swadeshi movement (1905-1911) to boycott British goods to get swaraj ‘self-rule’ (Bal Gangadhar Tilak ‘Lokmanya’ in Bengal, Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab, Bipin Chandra Pal)
  • Hindus from all spheres, from traders to layers to students and journalists joined in for own reasons… e.g. Dhaka had been a centre of academics and journalism (Hindus feared Muslims’ voice would now dominate the press)
  • Riots… attempts were made on the lives of everyone, including Lord Minto


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