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PAPERS RELATING TO THE DURBAR CHANGES.

12. We elaborated at the outset our proposal to make Delhi the future capital of India, because we consider this the key-stone of the whole project, and hold that according as it is accepted or not, our scheme must stand or fall. But we have still to discuss in greater detail the leading features of the other part of our scheme.

13. Chief amongst them is the proposal to constitute a Governorship-in-Council for Bengal. The history of the Partition dates from 1902. Various-schemes of territorial redistribution were at that time under consideration, and that which was ultimately adopted had at any rate the merit of fulfilling two of the chief purposes which its authors had in view. It relieved the over-burdened administration of Bengal, and it gave the Mahomedan population of Eastern Bengal advantages and opportunities of which they had perhaps hitherto not had their fair share. On the other hand, as we have already pointed out, it was deeply resented by the Bengalis. No doubt sentiment has played a considerable part in the opposition offered by the Bengalis, and, in saying this, we by no means wish to underrate the importance which should be attached to sentiment even if it be exaggerated. It is, however, no longer a matter of mere sentiment but, rather, since the enlargement of the Legislative Councils, one of undeniable reality. In pre-reform scheme days the non-official element in these Councils was small. The representation of the people has now been carried a long step forward, and in the Legislative Councils of both the Provinces of Bengal and Eastern Bengal, the Bengalis find themselves in a minority, being outnumbered in the one by Beharis and Ooriyas, and in the other by the Mahomedans of Eastern Bengal, and the inhabitants of Assam. As matters now stand, the Bengalis can never exercise in either Province that influence to which they consider themselves entitled by reason of their numbers, wealth and culture. This is a substantial grievance which will be all the more keenly felt in the course of time, as the representative character of the Legislative Councils increases and with it the influence which these Assemblies exercise upon the conduct of public affairs. There is therefore only too much reasons to fear that, instead of dying down, the bitterness of feeling will become more and more acute.

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