By Joya Chatterji
While prior reports of the tip of British rule in India have focused on the negotiations of the move of energy on the all-India point or have thought of the emergence of separatist politics among India's Muslim minorities, this examine presents a second look of the historical past of Bengal concentrating on the political and social techniques that ended in the call for for partition in Bengal and tracing the increase of Hindu communalism. In its so much startling revelation, the writer exhibits how the call for for a separate place of origin for the Hindus, which used to be fuelled by means of a wide and strong element of Hindu society inside Bengal, was once visible because the simply approach to regain effect and to wrest energy from the Muslim majority. the image which emerges is one in all a stratified and fragmented society relocating clear of the mainstream of Indian nationalism, and more and more preoccupied with narrower, extra parochial issues.
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Extra resources for Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947
4 per cent over the period between 1923-24 and 1931-32. Similarly, in the Presidency Division, where Muslims 24 Bengal divided Hindus of the locality continued to hold sway over the institutions of local self-government throughout much of Bengal. 20 Once the Communal Award had been made, however, this local dominance could never be translated into control at the provincial level. By settling for separate electorates and reservation of seats, the Award made impossible the adjustments and alliances by which the Hindu bhadralok might have been able to convert local influence into provincial power, thus shattering the political ambitions of the most articulate and organised section of Bengali society.
Gallagher overlooked this point. H e argued instead that it w a s in the districts of West Bengal that H i n d u s would gain from joint electorates, while in East Bengal they would lose. O n the contrary, however, in the late twenties a n d early thirties, while Muslims improved their position in local government all over Bengal, it was primarily in the H i n d u heartland of West Bengal that Muslim representation in these bodies actually began t o exceed their p r o p o r t i o n in the p o p u l a t i o n as a whole.
And I am very much afraid that if the idea gains ground amongst them that they are not being given a fair chance under the new Constitution, they will turn from it in despair'. 11 Zetland's fears were justified. The Award was seen by the bhadralok as a frontal attack upon their position, and they reacted with indignant outrage. Such unanimity had been rare in bhadralok politics since the death of Chittaranjan Das in 1925. Das had appointed no successor, and his death had been followed by an unseemly struggle for the three famed 'crowns' of Calcutta (the Bengal Congress, the Council and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation) between his two favourite lieutenants, Jatindra Mohan Sengupta and Subhas Chandra Bose.
Bengal Divided: Hindu Communalism and Partition, 1932-1947 by Joya Chatterji