Asian/Middle Eastern History/Indian History
Why did the English Decide to partition Bengal?
The provincial state of Bengal had an area of 189,000 miles and a population of nearly 8 crores (80 million). It included the Hindi-speaking regions of Bihar, the Oriya-speaking regions of Orissa as well as the Assamese-speaking region of Assam, making it a huge administrative entity. Moreover, the capital Calcutta was the capital of the entire British India. Lord Curzon, the Governor General of India decided to address both these problems by partitioning Bengal into two entities, which would result in a Muslim-majority in the eastern half, and a Hindu-majority in the western half. This he hoped would reduce the administrative pressures as well divide the population on religious grounds, quelling the Indian Independence Movement.