Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lord Curzon (contd-1)

The new Indian Viceroy Lord Curzon (1899-1905) autocratic measures  as revealed in Municipaliries Act (1899) and Indian Universities Act (1904) evoked severe protests from the educated elite of Bengal. While feeings were already very tense, Curzon's next bombshell in the Plan of Bengal Partition drove the Bengali nation almost into a revolt.
The scheme of Bengal Partition was not a novelty in India. It had been brewing in the minds of the British administration as early as 1868, when Sir Stafford Northcote after the terrible orissa famine had suggested a reduction of the large-sized Bengal Presidency for administrative convenience .After the organisation of Assam into a separate province under a chief commissioner (1874) no fresh and effective drive for territorial dismemberment was made until we come across Bengal's Lt. Governor Andrew Fresher's scheme (March 1903) proposing the transfer of the Chittagong division and the districts of Dacca and Mymensingh to Assam which obtained the approval of the Government of India in the Risley letter, 3 December, 1903. The proposal as finally sanctioned by the Home Government (9June)revealed a few more changes in the process . It was decided that the divisions of Chittagong, Dacca and Rajshahi minus Darjeeling as well as Malda and Hill Tipperah would go to Assamto form the province of "Eastern Bengal and Assam" under a new Lt. Governor. The official announcement was releasedon 19 July, 1905.