Main Causes of Partition of Bengal

Main Causes of Partition of Bengal in 1905:

There are many causes of partition of Bengal in 1905. Main twos amongst them are as follows-

01.    Governor of British in India observed that it was the vast territory, so administration didn’t function properly. It needs a fragmentation or division of British-India in its territorial boundary. 

02.   Muslims were in favor of this partition relieving them from lower condition under the Hindu hegemony. So, partition of Bengal was held under the auspicious of Lord Curzon, British viceroy of India in 1905. 

Partition of Bengal:

Partitioning Bengal was first considered in 1903. There were also additional proposals to separate Chittagong  and the districts of Dhaka and Mymensingh  from Bengal and attaching them to the province of Assam. Similarly, it was taken incorporating Chhota Nagpur with the central provinces.

The government officially published the idea in January 1904, and in February, Lord Curzon made an official tour to eastern districts of Bengal to assess public opinion on the partition. He consulted with leading personalities and delivered speeches at Dhaka, Chittagong and Mymensingh explaining the Government’s stand on partition.

The new province would consist of the state of Hill Tripura, the Divisions of Chittagong, Dhaka and  Rajshahi and the district of Malda incorporated with Assam province. Bengal was to surrender not only these large eastern territories but also to cede to the Central Provinces the five Hindi-speaking states. On the western side it was offered Shambalpur and five minor Oriya-speaking states from the Central Provinces. Bengal would be left with an area of 141,580 sq. miles and population of 54 million, of which 42 million would be Hindus and 9 million Muslims.

The new province was named Eastern Bengal and Assam with Dhaka as its capital and subsidiary headquarters at Chittagong. Its area would be 106,540 sq. miles with a population of 31 million, where 18 million would be Muslims and 12 million Hindus. Administration would consist of a Legislative Council, a Board of Revenue of two members, and the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court would be left undisturbed. The government pointed out that Eastern Bengal and Assam would have a clearly demarcated western boundary and well defined geographical, ethnological, linguistic and social characteristics. The government of India promulgated their final decision in a resolution dated July 19, 1905 and the partition of Bengal was effected on October 16 of same year.


Consequences of Partition of Bengal: This created a huge political crisis among the Hindu- Muslims and Governor rules also.

a. Disheartening Muslim community: The Muslims in East Bengal had the impression that a separate region would give them more opportunity for education, employment etc. Their dreams were not fulfilled because of rising clashes.

b. Protest by the so-called Hindu nationalist: However, the partition was not liked by the people in West Bengal and a huge amount of nationalist literature was created there during this period. Opposition by Indian National Congress was led by Sir Henry Cotton who had been Chief Commissioner of Assam, but Curzon was not to be moved. Later, Cotton, now Liberal MP for Nottingham East coordinated the successful campaign to oust the first lieutenant-governor of East Bengal, Sir Bampfylde Fuller.


c. Amar sonar Bangla written by Tagore: In 1906, Rabindranath Tagore wrote Amar Shonar Bangla as a rallying cry for proponents of annulment of Partition, which, much later, in 1972, became the national anthem of Bangladesh.


Reunited of Bengal in 1911:

Due to these political protests, the two parts of Bengal were reunited in 1912. A new partition which divided the province on linguistic, rather than religious, grounds followed, with the Hindi, Oriya and Assamese areas separated to form separate administrative units. The administrative capital of British India was moved from Kolkata to New Delhi as well.

However, conflict between Muslims and Hindus resulted in new laws having to be introduced so as to satisfy the political needs of both groups.


From the above discussion, we may find out that partition of Bengal was the demand of Bengal Muslim people who lived mainly in the Eastern part of United India. Muslims were highly undermined by the Hindu Zaminders, and other Hindus in the case of political, economic and all types of cultural contexts. Muslim had no right in expressing their views at that time. For being powerful part, Hinduism made greater protest against Governors rule and Governors were compelled to reunite the Bengal in 1911. As consequence, Muslims in Bengal, furthermore, remained under the control of Hindu hegemony. 


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    • Md. Taohidul Islam Toha on June 8, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Thanks jonab Mahmud vai for sharing an important history. Carry of luck..

    1. thankx for sharing your knowledge with public

        • Syed Kiyanoosh on July 17, 2017 at 11:24 am

        Things were different for the vast majority of Muslims of East Bengal -were Economically, financially, educationally, culturally poor and neglected. The sons and daughters of peasants, workers , small traders etc also needed education , business and employment. These facts were overlooked. They used to be treated with disdain and neglect. Only the upper class Muslims ‘Ashraf’ class has access to the facilities. Social injustice was rife. Muslims fared no better than the Harijans or tribals . That situation had to change . So, partition of Bengal of 1905 was welcomed by the Muslims. The terrorist movement went against the interest of Muslims.

          • Subzero on February 28, 2019 at 7:07 am

          What do you mean by terrorist movement??
          I understand that the Muslim lower classes were bitterly neglected but does that give you the right to call the Anti-Partition movement a ‘terrorist movement’???

    • Badhon on August 31, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Thanx a lot….it’s very helpful….salute your site….

    • Muhammad Zia Ul Bangulzai on December 23, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Sir thanx a lot ur and I need such kind of the notice in Partition of Bengal because I am studing in Pakistan studies in Balochistan University Quetta agine thanks ur …….

    • Maham on February 3, 2016 at 10:36 pm


    • Subzero on February 28, 2019 at 7:06 am

    In reply To Syed Kiyanoosh,

    What do you mean by terrorist movement??
    I understand that the Muslim lower classes were bitterly neglected but does that give you the right to call the Anti-Partition movement a ‘terrorist movement’???

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