14. It has frequently been alleged in the Press that the Partition is the root cause of all recent troubles in India. The growth of political unrest in other parts of the country and notably in the Deccan before the Partition of Bengal took place disproves that assertion, and we need not ascribe to the Partition evils which have not obviously flowed from it. It is certain, however, that it is, in part, at any rate, responsible for the growing estrangement which has now unfortunately assumed a very serious character in many parts of the country between Mahomedans and Hindus. We are not without hope that a modification of the Partition, which we now propose, will, in some degree at any rate, alleviate this most regrettable antagonism.
15. To sum up, the results anticipated from the Partition have not been altogether realised, and the scheme, as designed and .executed, could only be justified by success. Although much good work has been done in Eastern Bengal and Assam, and the Mahomedans of that Province have reaped the benefit of a sympathetic administration closely in touch with them, those advantages have been in a great measure counterbalanced by the violent hostility which the Partition has aroused amongst the Bengalis. For the reasons we have already indicated we feel bound to admit that the Bengalis are labouring under a sense of real injustice which we believe it would be sound policy to remove without further delay. The. Durbar of December next affords a unique occasion for rectifying what is regarded by Bengalis as a grievous wrong.
16. Anxious as we are to take Bengali feeling into account, we cannot overrate the importance of consulting at the same time the interests and sentiments of the Mahomedans of Eastern Bengal. It must be reMembered that the Mahomedans of Eastern Bengal have at present an overwhelming majority in point of population, and that if the Bengali-speaking divisions were amalgamated on the lines suggested in our scheme, the Mahomedans would still be in a position of approximate numerical equality with, or possibly of small superiority over, the Hindus. The future Province of Bengal, moreover, will be a compact territory of quite moderate extent. The Governor-in-Council will have ample time and opportunity to study the needs of the various communities committed to his charge. Unlike his predecessors, he will have a great advantage in that he will find ready to hand at Dacca a second capital, with all the conveniences of Ordinary Provincial headquarters. He will reside there from time to time, just as the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provinces frequently resides in Lucknow, and he will in this way be enabled to keep in close touch with Mahomedan sentiments and interests. It must also be borne in mind that the interests of the Mahomedans will be safeguarded by the special representation which they enjoy in the Legislative Councils j while as regards representation on local bodies they will be in the same position as at present. We need not therefore trouble YC1ur Lordship with the reasons why we have discarded the suggestion that a Chief Commissionership or a semi-independent Commissioner-ship within the new Province might he created at Dacca.
17. We regard the creation of a Governorship-in-Council of Bengal as a very important feature of our scheme. It is by no means a new one. The question of the creation of a Governorship was fully discussed in 1867 to 1868 by the Secretary of State and the Government of India , and a Committee was formed, on the initiative of Sir Stafford Northcote, to consider it and that of the transfer of the capital elsewhere. In the somewhat voluminous correspondence of the past the most salient points that emerge are :-