The partition of Bengal in 1947 and The Role of the Hindu MahaSabha

Keywords= “ Dewani”, “ Rammohan Roy”, “ Swadeshi Movement”, “ Hindu Mohasabha”, “Census”

Authors

  • Swarnendu Chakraborty
    swarnenduc@aol.com
    Assistant Professor in History, D.H.M.College Bhatar, Purbo Burdwan, West Bengal,
January 25, 2022

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According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the English word “De-colonization” means liberation of colonies from their foreign overlords. After the 2nd world war, the De-colonization of the Asia African continent began due to different economic-political-strategic factors. However, in many instances, this process brings partition of an undivided country into 2\3 smaller successor States with forceful mass migration, refugee crisis, loss of monetary and human resources due to violent civil wars between different ethno-religious groups. After the battle of Plessey (1757) granting of Dewani to the English East India Company (1765), Bengal became the center of the British power in East India. The British city of Calcutta became the most prominent city in Asia as the capital of British India. Through the efforts of some European and native academicians, a mixture of Anglo-British culture happened. The Bengali thinkers taught the nation the first lessons of patriotism during the colonial period. At the beginning of the 20th century, the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, divided Bengal into two parts in 1905. The Bengali masses protested publicly against the partition. R.Tagore and other Bengali thinkers guided the agitation. This protest movement was known as the Swadeshi movement. In 1911, the division was cancelled, but the capital of British India had been shifted from Calcutta to Delhi. After the establishment of the Muslim League. (1906), The Hindu MohaSabha (1915)  and enactment of the Morle-Minto (1909), Montegu-Chamesford (1919), the communal harmony between the Bengali Hindu and Muslim community decreased. After the 2nd world war, it became clear that the British Empire in the Indian sub-continent would collapse soon. During the power transfer process, the division of the sub-continent into two different countries became inventible. My aim in this study is to point out the role of the Hindu MahaSabha in the partition of Bengal in 1947. I will try to point out whether the division of Bengal was necessary or the rise of Bengali communalism forced it. I will try both analytical and descriptive research methods to answer my questions.