Proposal and Act of Partition

The government officially published the idea of Partition in Bengal in January 1904, justifying the move on administrative grounds. The province was deemed too large, and proper care needed to be taken of the Eastern regions, which had suffered in the past from poor communication with the hub of Kolkata and surrounding West Bengal. The new province created was to be called 'Eastern Bengal and Assam', with its capital in Dhaka. It would consist of the state of Hill Tripura, the Divisions of Chittagong, Dhaka and Rajshahi (excluding Darjeeling) and the district of Malda amalgamated with Assam. Bengal, having had an area of 189,000 sq miles and a population of 78.5 million, was to be reduced to an area of 141,580 sq. miles and a population of 54 million. The new province was not only to have clearly defined geographical boundaries, but also a prescribed demographic, with particular linguistic, religious, and ethnological characteristics. Most importantly, 'Eastern Bengal and Assam' would give the Bengali Muslim population, hitherto a minority, a separate province in which they could thrive as the majority religion. The Partition of Bengal was duly affected on 16 October 1905.

Reaction and Growth of Sectarianism
The Partition movement was strongly opposed from the beginning by the Bengali Hindu middleclass, who felt it was a deliberate blow by the British against the solidarity of the Bengalispeaking population. They believed the British government was fostering a strong Muslim nation in order to keep within check the rapidly growing Hindu power in the West. This period saw the growth of the Indian National Congress, who condemned the Partition as a thinly veiled attempt at British 'divide and rule'. The Congress grew from a middle-class pressure group to become the main platform for a nation-wide nationalist movement centred on the goals of Swaraj (self government) and Swadeshi (boycotting the import of British manufactured goods).

The majority of Muslims, at first distrustful of the Partition, were consequently won over to the proposition of the 'Eastern and Assam' state, which - they were assured by the British authorities - would focus directly on the needs of their people. The Swaraj and Swadeshi movements were duly opposed by the majority of Bengali Muslims as means to secure a prevention of the partition, and the rallying cries of a movement that was defining itself through Hindu militarism and religious fervour.

Height of Sectarianism

supported by the Mohammedan Provincial Union (founded in 1905) and All India Muslim League (1906). from both Muslims and Hindu groups.suite101.a moderate wing and an extremist militant party headed by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and his 'cult of the bomb and gun'. developed into a movement with an active terrorist wing. Terrorist activity. However. End of Partition On 1st April 1912 the British government formally annulled the Partition of Bengal.Anti-partition agitation. giving Muslims a territorial identity inevitably lead to the growth of separatist Muslim politics. The Muslim community was pushed into developing their own communal stance. 1905 to 1911. as well as encouraging a newly virulent strain of Indian Hindu nationalism. Aftermath The Partition of Bengal marks a turning point for nationalism in India. and in 1907 the Indian National Congress split into two groups . reached its peak in 1910-1911. From one point of view the disastrous experiment of 'Eastern Bengal and Assam' may have served to fortify Bengali solidarity. as a reaction to the increasingly uncontrollable sectarian violence. initially peaceful and constitutional.cfm/partition_of_bengal_1905#ixzz0g0PUHY7Q . Read more at Suite101: Partition of Bengal 1905: History of the Partition of Bengal Under British Rule.

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