East Bengal

East Bengal

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Encyclopedia
East Bengal (Purbo-bongo) was the name used during two periods in the 20th century for a territory that roughly corresponded to the modern state of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. Both instances involved a violent partition
Partition (politics)
In politics, a partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory considered a homeland by some community. That change is done primarily by diplomatic means, and use of military force is negligible....

 of Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

.

First partition, 1905–1912 (Indian period)



Also see Indian Independence Movement

The first instance of the name was during the British rule of India. British governance of large swathes of Indian territory began with Robert Clive's victory over the Nawab of Bengal
Nawab of Bengal
The Nawabs of Bengal were the hereditary nazims or subadars of the subah of Bengal during the Mughal rule and the de-facto rulers of the province.-History:...

, Siraj ud-Daulah
Siraj ud-Daulah
Mîrzâ Muhammad Sirâj-ud-Daulah , more commonly known as Siraj ud-Daulah , was the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The end of his reign marks the start of British East India Company rule over Bengal and later almost all of South Asia...

, at the Battle of Plassey
Battle of Plassey
The Battle of Plassey , 23 June 1757, was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing Company rule in South Asia which expanded over much of the Indies for the next hundred years...

 in 1757. The victory gave the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 dominion over Bengal, which became the headquarters of British administration in the sub-continent. After the Indian rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

 (known as the "Mutiny"), the British government took direct control away from the East India Co., and established its imperial capital at Calcutta
Kolkata
Kolkata , formerly known as Calcutta, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River, it was the commercial capital of East India...

, the city founded by the Company. By 1900, the British province of Bengal constituted a huge territory, stretching from the Burmese border to deep into the Ganges valley.

With the assumption of Lord Curzon to the office of Viceroy of India, British India was finally put under the charge of a man who considered himself an expert in Indian affairs. Curzon, seeing the logistical problems of administering such a large province, proposed to divide Bengal. Bengal, henceforth, would encompass Calcutta and the western territories, roughly comprising modern West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

, Bihar
Bihar
Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

, and Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

. Eastern Bengal and Assam, the new province, would roughly encompass modern Bangladesh and the northeastern states of India (then all grouped under the heading of Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

, with its capital at Dacca).

While Curzon claimed the action was one merely founded upon administrative principles, the growing nationalist movement, which originated with the educated elite of Calcutta and the Bengali aristocracy, took the action as an attempt to cut off Bengal's Hindu intellectual leaders (based in Calcutta) from the majority Muslim agriculturalists of the east, dividing the nationalist movement along lines of class and religion. The partition of Bengal, effected in July 1905, sparked a firestorm in the nationalist movement. The partition was revoked in 1912, but it was accompanied by slicing off the non-Bengali portions of the province – creating two additional provinces, Assam
Assam
Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

 and Bihar and Orissa
Bihar and Orissa
Bihar and Orissa was a province of British India which included the present-day Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa. The territories were conquered by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries, and were part of the Bengal Presidency, the largest British province in India. Bihar and...

 (both themselves further subdivided after Indian independence) – and the shifting of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

.

In the now divided Bengal, East Bengal comprised an area of 196540 square miles (509,036.3 km²) that included 18 million Muslims and 12 million Hindus. The (old) Bengal area had 141580 square miles (366,690.5 km²) with a majority of 42 million Hindus and 9 million Muslims.

Second partition, 1947–(Pakistani period)


Bengal was divided into two provinces
Partition of Bengal (1947)
The Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of the Partition of India, was a religiously based partition that divided the British Indian province of Bengal between India and Pakistan...

 on 3 July 1946 in preparation for the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

 - the Hindu-majority West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

 and the Muslim-majority East Bengal. The two provinces each had their own Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

. In August 1947 West Bengal became part of India and East Bengal became part of Pakistan. Tensions between East Bengal and the western wing of Pakistan led to the One-Unit policy. In 1955, most of the western wing was combined to form a new West Pakistan
West Pakistan
West Pakistan , common name West-Pakistan , in the period between its establishment on 22 November 1955 to disintegration on December 16, 1971. This period, during which, Pakistan was divided, ended when East-Pakistan was disintegrated and succeeded to become which is now what is known as Bangladesh...

province while East Bengal became the new province of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

. This system lasted until 1971 when East Pakistan declared independence during the Liberation War of Bangladesh and the new nation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

was formed. However Pakistan did not recognise Bangladesh until February 22nd 1974, and diplomatic relations were established on January 18th 1976.

Provincial Government


After absorption into the Dominion of Pakistan, the province of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 (former East Bengal) was administered by a ceremonial Governor
Governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 and an indirectly-elected Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

. During the year from May 1954 to August 1955, executive powers were exercised by the Governor and there was no Chief Minister.
Tenure Governor of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

15 August 1947 - 31 March 1950 Sir Frederick Chalmers
31 March 1950 - 31 March 1953 Sir Feroz Khan Noon
Feroz Khan Noon
Malik Sir Feroz Khan Noon, KCSI, KCIE, Kt was a politician from Pakistan.-Early life:Born on 18th of June 1893 at village Hamoka,tehsil Khushab, Punjab. He was educated at Aitchison College, Lahore....

31 March 1953 - 29 May 1954 Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman
Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman was a Pakistani politician and an important Muslim figure during British India, as an eminent National level leader of the All India Muslim League hailed from the United Provinces . The most strong supporter of the Pakistan movement and Muhammad Ali Jinnah...

29 May 1954 - May 1955 Iskandar Ali Mirza
May 1955 - June 1955 Muhammad Shahabuddin
Chief Justices of Pakistan
The Chief Justice of Pakistan heads the Supreme Court of Pakistan. These are the names of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Pakistan .-List:-See also:* Supreme Court of Pakistan* Pakistan Bar Council...

 (acting)
June 1955 - 14 October 1955 Amiruddin Ahmad
14 October 1955 Province of East Bengal dissolved

Tenure Chief Minister of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

Political Party
15 August 1947 - 14 September 1948 Khawaja Nazimuddin
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Hajji Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE , was the second Governor-General of Pakistan, and later the second Prime Minister of Pakistan as well.-Early life:...

Muslim League
Muslim League (Pakistan)
Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

14 September 1948 - 3 April 1954 Nurul Amin
Nurul Amin
Nurul Amin , was a prominent Bengali leader of Pakistan's Muslim League who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the only first and the last Vice President of Pakistan from 1970 till 1971...

Muslim League
3 April 1954 - 29 May 1954 A. K. Fazlul Huq
A. K. Fazlul Huq
Not to be confused with the cricket ground in Dhaka Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq was a well-known Bengali statesman in the first half of the 20th century...

United Front
29 May 1954 - August 1955 Governor's Rule
August 1955 - 14 October 1955 Abu Hussain Sarkar Krishak Sramik Party
14 October 1955 Province of East Bengal dissolved

Former provincial symbols of East Pakistan (1955-1971)


The main (4) ex-provincial icons were the Royal Bengal Tiger, Oriental Magpie Robin, Banyan tree and the Water Lily all have been nationalised by the People's Republic Of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 since 1972.

See also

  • Partition of Bengal (1947)
    Partition of Bengal (1947)
    The Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of the Partition of India, was a religiously based partition that divided the British Indian province of Bengal between India and Pakistan...

  • British India
  • West Bengal
    West Bengal
    West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

  • History of Pakistan
    History of Pakistan
    The 1st known inhabitants of the modern-day Pakistan region are believed to have been the Soanian , who settled in the Soan Valley and Riwat almost 2 million years ago. Over the next several thousand years, the region would develop into various civilizations like Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley...

  • History of Bangladesh
    History of Bangladesh
    The history of Bangladesh as a nation state began in 1971, when it seceded from Pakistan. Prior to the creation of Pakistan in 1947, modern-day Bangladesh was part of ancient, classical, medieval and colonial India....

  • Barak Valley
    Barak Valley
    Barak Valley is situated in the southern part of the Indian state of Assam.It's another name is East Bengal or Northeast Bengal The main city of the valley is Silchar. The place is named after the Barak river. Barak valley mainly consists of three districts namely Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi...