Social Scientist. v 6, no. 65 (Dec 1977) p. 34.


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Communal Ailitudes io British Policy:

The Case of the Partition of Bengal igo^

BENGAL \\«'is partitioned in 1905 tbc scheme of partition, as devised by the Btitish government of India, WAS denounced by the Hindu < ommu-nity of Bengal and supported by the Muslim community. This paper attempts to examine the icasons l»ehind the conflicting attitudes adopted towards the partition by the ditTcrcnt communities— Hindu, Muslim and Bi itish.

Ac coi cling to the Bliti^h govcTtsrncnt the plincipal motive lor the partition was that of admini^tiative convenience. Bengal, \\ itii a population of seventy-eight million .i-nd an a?ea of 18^,000 square mile'3 ^Bihar. Chota Nao;pui and Oli^sa being included in it) was loo LnL,e ^ province to be eihcientiv adininistcied. Therefoic, vviKii in 1903, A H 1. Fraser, tlie Lieutenant-Govetnui of Bengal, proposed that the Dacca and Mvmensingh distric ts should Ije separated froin Bengal and transferred to Assam^ Lord Cuizon icadih agiccd vvitli him. Fiaset's mc'tive was, of course, not puiel\ administrative. It uab political, too. Dacca and Mymensingh di^tiicts should be sepal atcd from Ben^aL he pointed out to Curzon, because these two were ^thc hotbed of the purely Bengali movement, unfriendly if not seditious in charade!, and dominating the whole tone of Bengali administration.551 Curzon agreed with Eraser's assessment and proposed to iclieve Bengal of its ^elements of weakness



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