First Partition of Bengal

The decision to effect the Partition of Bengal was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The partition took place in 16 October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas.

The Hindus of West Bengal who dominated Bengal’s business and rural life complained that the division would make them a minority in a province that would incorporate the province of Bihar and Orissa.

Indians were outraged at what they recognised as a “divide and rule” policy, where the colonisers turned the native population against itself in order to rule, even though Curzon stressed it would produce administrative efficiency.

The partition animated the Hindus and led the Muslims to form their own national organization on communal lines. Bengal was reunited in 1911 in an effort to both appease the Bengali sentiment and have easier administration but it caused resentment among the Bengali Muslims who thought that they benefited from the partition and the resentment lasted until the end of the British rule which ended with the partition of Bengal in 1947.

The second partition was in 1947, Bengal again was divided into the state of West Bengal of India and the province of East Bengal under Pakistan, renamed East Pakistan in 1958.