Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bangladesh, Recapitulation (1857-1947)

In an article published in The Telegraph of June 27, 2005, entitled "Maro oned in their Myths", Asok Mitra , Ex-Finance minister 0f W.B.,posed the question,
"If the partition of 1905 were allowed to stand"
The Crisp answer was that Eastern Bengal might noty have followed Mohammed Ali Jinnah's line. He pointed out that " the myopic Hindu Bengali had consistently refused to take into account the impact of the anti-partition agitation on the mind of the Bengali Muslim community. The latter would have gained substancially were the partition not interfered with. Curzon's orinal decision, whatever its motive , had offered hope of rapid economic and social progress to Muslim masses of Bengal. They had been left way behind since the commencement of the raj. they bore the brunt of underdevelopment of agriculture - and the economy in general- under colonial rule, besides suffering, the oppression and repression let loose by the Hindu zamindars.....Had the decision to partition Bengal been allowed to stand, the spread of education among the Muslims would have led to the quick emergence of a sensitive Musilim intelligentsia with a heightened social consciousness. perhaps, from within this category, there would have sprung an excitin crop of thinkers and ideologues who would be inclined to define objective reality in terms of class and not on the basis of the religious divide.... had all these things happened , the Muslim League would have come a cropper evenas the bigoted Hindu oligarchies were stopped in their track. To sum up if the partition of 1905 was allowed to stand, there would have been no partition of either Bengal or India in 1947." For that matter, Calcutta might well have continued as the country's capital. Certainly "no prime minister would have even daredto describe it as a dying city.
Sukharanjan Sengupta's book , Curzon's Partition of Bengal and aftermath bears the subtitle , "history of the Hindu-muslimconficts over political domination leading to the second partition,1947."Its very last paragraph reads;
"now what a contrast thew history had witnessed on 16th oct, 1905 and on 19 Aug 1947. On the first occasion Bengalis in Calcutta congregated at the feet of the monument and declared that "they would unsettle the settled fact" by opposing the formation of "the new province of Eastern Bengal". But the same Bengalis in Calcutta on Aug 19,1947, had accepted with no regret what Sir Cyril Radcliffe had done to them.
Ten years after the second partition the leading Muslim intellectual of 20th century Bengal, Syed Badrudozza in a conversation with Mr. Sengupta , lamented that perhaps it has fallen to the lot of Bengal that its existence shall remain in division .
But history says since the time of Harshabardhan (605 A.D),

Mahasthangarh, the oldest archaelogical site in Bangladesh,700 BCE and was the ancient capital of the Pundra Capital

Pala Empire under Dharmapala

Pala Empire under Devapala