The fragmentation of Bengal and Assam in 1947 was a crucial moment in India's socio-political history as a nation state. Both the British Indian provinces were divided as much through the actions of the Muslim League as by those of Congress and the British colonial power. Attributing partition largely to Hindu communalists is, therefore, historically inaccurate and factually misleading. The Partition of Bengal and Assam provides a review of constitutional and party politics as well as of popular attitudes and perceptions. The primary aim of this book is to unravel the intricate socio-economic and political processes that led up to partition, as Hindus and Muslims competed ferociously for the new power and privileges to be conferred on them with independence. As shown in the book, well before they divorced at a political level, Hindus and Muslims had been cleaved apart by their socio-economic differences. Partition was probably inevitable.
Table of Contents
1. The Hindu-Muslim Differences: The socio-economic and cultural dimensions 2. Divide and Rule: The Communal Award and its Implications in Bengal 3. Politics of Accommodation and Confrontation : The second partition of Bengal 4. An Alternative to Partition: The United Bengal Scheme 5. Redefining Borders: The Boundary Commission and the partition of Bengal 6. Construction and Consolidation of Identities: The Sylhet referendum and partition 7. History of Partition or Partition of History?: Fractured and wounded voice of the people
Bidyut Chakrabarty is Professor in Political Sciences and chair of Political Sciences at the University of Delhi, India.