Sunday, January 15, 2012

Revocation of Bengal Partition - 1911

In the very first session of the newly constituted Imperial Legislative Council, the Government oassed the Indian Press Act of 1910, with support of the non-official Indian members, including Gokhale. The nature of this repressive Act has been mentioned above. The support of the Moderates to such a measure shows how far they had drifted away from the nationalities.
Towards the end of 1910 India had a new Viceroy Lord Hardinge, and anew secretary of state, Lord Crewe, in place, respectively, of Lord Minto and Lord Morley. Both hardinge and crewe felt that the unrest in India was chiefly due to the Partition of Bengal, and there would be no peace until this grievous wrong was remedied.The initiative in the matter was taken by Crewe, but the new Viceroy was afriad to take any step as it was opposed by all the high officials whom he consulted. But as soon as hardinge realized the seriousness of the situation in the two Bengals, he made up his mind and carried his whole Council with him. Advantage was taken of the visit of their Royal majesties, George V and Queen Mary, to India to announce the new proposals in the Delhi Durbar on 11 december, 1911.
So far as Bengal was concerned, the status quo was not restored. The Capital of British india was removed from Clcutta to Delhiand the territories comprised in the two Bengals were redistributed as follows;
1. Bihar, Chotonagpur, and Orissa were constituted into a province under a Lieytenant-government,
2. Assam reverted to a new chief-Commissionership,     
3. The rest constituted the Province of Bengal under a Governor.
The annulment of the partition of Bengali-speaking region was, no doubt, highly welcome in Bengal. But it came ti too late to check the growth of nationalism  -- including its militant aspect -- to which that unfortunate measure gave birth. This was highlighted by the bomb thrown at Lord Hardinge on 23 Dec, 1912, on the occasion of his State entry into Delhi, the new Capital- city of India. Lord Hardinge was badly wounded  ; the man holding the umbrella  over him was killed, and another servant seriously wounded.
The new India was being heralded by the cry for Home Rule in public and conspiracy for armed revolt on a big scale in secret .