Partition of Bengal

The partition of Bengal shook India in 1905. Lord Curzon, one of the most powerful British rulers gave affect to the partition. With a population of over 80 million, it was difficult to administer the province so a line was drawn between the Hindu dominated West Bengal and the Muslim dominated East Bengal. Dacca became the capital of the new Muslim majority province comprising Eastern Bengal and Assam. West Bengal with Hindu majority was administered from Calcutta. The birth of the Eastern Bengal and Assam’ province was considered as a blessing and a moment of relief for the Muslims whereas it was an eyesore for the Hindus.

The Hindu community was aghast at the creation of the Muslim majority province and even a movement was launched against the partition. Calcutta’s Bengali Hindu elite protested vehemently against this partition. Large rallies and protests on the streets were carried out frequently all over the country and the British goods were also boycotted.

The impassioned anti-government speeches brought the common man in the streets. Though Jinnah was not very vocal about the issue of the partition of Bengal but its effects were to alter his life and career tremendously in the future. The partition of Bengal gave the Muslims of Bengal adequate representation in the power structure and awakened political consciousness among them which led to the formation of the Muslim League in 1906.

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