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What If Bengal emerged as a unified nation post 1947 ?

Following the dissolution of the British Raj, Should Bengal have emerged as an independent nation ?

  • Yes, Bengal should have emerged as an independent nation held together by Bengali Culture.

    Votes: 19 63.3%
  • No, as history has shown, Muslims & Dalits couldn't have lived with the abusive landowning brahmins.

    Votes: 11 36.7%

  • Total voters
    30
  • Poll closed .

DalalErMaNodi

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Imagining what could have a been a strong, vibrant, democratic state

In 1947, the Partition of British India was essentially the partition of the presidencies of Bengal and Punjab and people of these two provinces suffered the most due to the bifurcation.

In the run-up to the dates of independence with the suspense of the pending disclosure of Redcliffe line, mass riots broke out across Punjab forcing 1.5 million people from east to west and vice versa within the province before, during and immediately after August 14 and 15.

A kind of violent population exchange took place, and almost all the Muslims were dispatched to Pakistan from Indian Punjab, and similar things happened to Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistani Punjab in the reverse direction.

Punjab or, at least the Western part of it, was central to the idea of Pakistan; whereas Bengal, or the eastern part of it, a much bigger area by population, wasn’t.

Punjab was also a core issue for the Sikhs -- almost all of whom lived in that one province where they had the heartland of their short-lived, independent empire, before the British colonial occupation of it in mid-19th century.

Also, not much violence took place in Bengal, at least during the actual Partition. But because of the partition, the Hindus of East Bengal who were sizeable and economically well-off suffered a lot.

A momentum to migrate from their ancestral homes in the East Bengal for West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura developed gradually, induced by both pull and push factors of migration over the next two decades.

A vast and relatively well-off settled population slowly and quietly got uprooted from the land, where their forefathers lived since time immemorial.

But it was the majority of the Bengali-Hindu leadership of the then Bengal who pitched for the Partition of Bengal to salvage a smaller than half-Bengali Hindudom in the western part of the province for the community.

A flawed understanding

But their assessment of Bengali Hindu interests had been highly flawed. The vast Hindu population of the bigger part of Bengal gradually became a refuge after 1947 in neighbouring parts of India, including West Bengal itself. In neither of the places were these mostly penniless refugees welcomed.

A new and almost everlasting social cleavage emerged between the natives and the refugees. Generations went through big struggles and were tormented mentally. In Assam, the Axomiya treated them like unwanted intruders and second class citizens.

As time passed, West Bengal turned from the richest province of India into an insignificant one. The supply of raw materials for jute mills from the east dried up as East Bengal set up its own jute mills.

Before 1947, Kolkata was the capital of the vast province of Bengal and the rich across the presidency had commercial, property, investment, employment, and many other interests and ties in Kolkata. After 1947, not anymore.

What happened to West Bengal?

Now, West Bengal, once the birthplace of the rich modern Bengali culture, has become a state in India increasingly dominated by Hindi culture backed by north and western Indian corporate interests. Unlike Bangladesh, hardly any major capitalist in West Bengal is Bengali, and the loyalty of dominant capitalists in the state of western and north India, mostly of Bania origin, lies elsewhere.

Also, unlike Bangladesh, the market of West Bengal isn’t protected, and West Bengalis aren’t in charge of that. Hasn’t it become more like a colony of north and western India, the way East Bengal was of West Pakistan between 1947 and 1971 ?

In hindsight, one has to ask the question of what the West Bengali Hindu gained by their decision to bifurcate Bengal, especially when there was a hasty yet concrete proposal for an independent United Bengal by important leaders like Suhrawardy, Sarat Bose, Abul Hashim, and Kiran Shankar Roy?

Why did the Bengali Hindu leadership get so carried away by the words of Mountbatten, Nehru, Kripalini, Kalipada Mukherjee, Syamaprashad, and so on, who never had either a genuine insight of the intricacies of Bengal or who had a default agenda in contradiction with the interest of all Bengalis?

On part of the Muslim League, some important leaders like Khawaja Nazimuddin and Maulana Akram Khan opposed the idea of United Bengal fearing the perpetuation of Hindu domination in Bengal, and with the prospect of Dhaka’s not becoming the political nerve centre replacing Kolkata.

But in the end, it was an emotion swayed Bengali Hindu call that resulted in the division of the presidency. The All India Congress leadership never understood the uniqueness of Bengal as Kripalini brutely put it, that they have to get as many territories as possible for India. The interest of the common people, and a better future for a big presidency were never on their focus.

Jinnah initially supported the idea of United Bengal, but as he saw no progress, he backtracked later. Gandhi gave it a patient hearing, but was powerless to do anything.

Inclusivity and fairness

The United Bengal proposal had a few important points which indicated a move towards inclusivity and fairness. Proportional representation and a confessional system with rotational premiership and presidency were implied. Parliamentary representation would have been proportional to the population, and government jobs were to be half for the Muslims and half for the non-Muslims, comprising general Hindus, schedule castes, and other minorities.

Within the Hindu pie, a fair chunk was kept for the scheduled caste. For Bengal’s constituent assembly, 16 Muslims and 14 Hindu members were proposed. The interim government would have had a Muslim prime minister and Hindu home minister. Had the negotiation got a real start with all the major Congress and Muslim League factions of Bengal on board, further details would have come out in this promising five points line.

Ironically, the Bengali Hindus vehemently opposed the 1905 division of Bengal and their mobilization, agitation, and revolutionary acts forced the British to annul the first partition of Bengal in 1911. In 1947, the same group went ahead for the partition of the presidency. Many Bengali Hindus tried to justify the 1947 division of Bengal with Kolkata and Noakhali riots of 1946.

There were a few thousands deaths, and in these two places and perhaps in some other places too, people were worried for some time. But these were no way even near to the bloodbath of Punjab or Jammu massacre.

Bengalis could have lived with the memories of these isolated incidents, and time would have healed that. There would have been a gradual shift towards a fair Hindu-Muslim equation in Bengal without much hardship for any community. A joint Bengali Hindu-Muslim society and culture would have flourished. But that was not to be.

A great prospect for the people

A United Bengal would actually have encouraged the entire northeast to join the independent state and make something like the third grouping of Cabinet Mission plan.

The Bengali and Assamese language and cultures are very close anyway, and Assam, a faraway place from Delhi, would not have any direct land connection to northern India due to the presence of big Bengal in between. Neither did it have any direct access to the sea.

Overall, an independent United Bengal would have been a great prospect for the people of the presidency, or even the entire eastern part of the sub-continent. It would have combined the energy of the rising Muslims with the knowledge and expertise of already advanced Hindus to a great effect.

It also would have reduced the suffering of people who migrated, by retaining them in their native places. It would have allowed the growth of a very promising independent democratic state in the eastern part of the sub-continent and, by now, that state would probably have been a major continental power in Asia.

But that one emotional call to divide Bengal in a historically watershed moment has jeopardized a lot of things of immense prospect.



Source



To help put this into perspective :

Population :

WB : 91 Million
BD : 164 Million

GDP (Nominal) :

WB : 180 Billion USD (19 - 20)
BD : 347.9 Billion USD (19 - 20)

GDP per Capita :

WB : 1500 USD
BD : 2065 USD


Bear in mind, West Bengal was historically the more well developed part of Bengal and had a more affluent and educated upper and middle class.
 

Jobless Jack

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Was not going to happen. Espacially when the entire Pakistan movement originated in Bengal. I think better question would be what would have happned if west bengal assam and tripura joined pakistan in 1947
 

Atlas

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If greater Bangladesh was established in 1947 ,it would be fantastic.

But hindutva ideology of vinayak savarkar actually screwed up this plan.
 

Atlas

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Was not going to happen. Espacially when the entire Pakistan movement originated in Bengal. I think better question would be what would have happned if west bengal assam and tripura joined pakistan in 1947
Pakistan movement was simply the movement of separate homeland for Muslims in this region. Well when Binayak savarkar wanted Muslims in subordinate status ,there was no way for Muslim leaders but to choose different homeland. All were agreed then for partition. The threat of hindutva actually caused Muslim feel insecured.

So Bengal was partitioned because of hindutva aggravation .
 
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Jobless Jack

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Pakistan movement was simply the movement of separate homeland for Muslims in this region. Well when Binayak savarkar wanted Muslims in subordinate status ,there was no way for Muslim leaders but to choose different homeland. All were agreed then for partition. The threat of hindutva actually caused Muslim feel insecured.

So Bengal was partitioned because of hindutva aggravation .
still would have been awkward.. imagine backing off a movement you originated
 

Tom-tom

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In short there would have been a very high degree of possibility of a united Bengal turning into a **** infested mini - india.

As hardcore bengali hindus would have felt threatened or insulted livining under Muslim majority bengal.

The other scenario being is a mass influx of hindus from United bengal into india.

If the large number hindus stayed in bengal then india would have used it's raw tentacles to stir trouble in bengal.


On a side note I don't like this face lift, there's to much going on visually, I can't even read the some posters username as the color blends in with the background..
 

gom poa

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there would be no hope for "Bengali muslims" in that reality.
Hindus believe that India is their holy land.
 

bête noire

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On a side note I don't like this face lift, there's to much going on visually, I can't even read the some posters username as the color blends in with the background..
Background shouldn't change every time (better to let us select in preferences) and most importantly, I think the user box should be white instead of green.
 

Homo Sapiens

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Sovereign united Bengal was totally impossible. Neither the Bengali Hindus were willing to live in a state where Bengali Muslims are majority nor the Bengali Muslims were willing to live in undivided India under the domination of Bengali and Non Bengali Hindus. So 1947 partition of Bengal was forgone conclusion. In that times, Hindu Mahasabha was campaigning partition of Bengal and creating a Hindu majority West Bengal province even if India remain united and was enjoying wide support among Hindus who were fed up with Muslim Chief Ministers of Bengal. So, contrary to the dream of some Bangladeshi people like this author, Bengal was never destined to be united, partition or no partition. If we had not achieved East Pakistan, it is very likely that there would have been two Bengal in current undivided India, Muslim Majority East Bengal and Hindu majority West Bengal.
 
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Protest_again

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To help put this into perspective :

Population :

WB : 91 Million
BD : 164 Million

GDP (Nominal) :

WB : 180 Billion USD (19 - 20)
BD : 347.9 Billion USD (19 - 20)

GDP per Capita :

WB : 1500 USD
BD : 2065 USD


Bear in mind, West Bengal was historically the more well developed part of Bengal and had a more affluent and educated upper and middle class.
Please inflation inflated numbers can only fool Banglas. If your percapita is so high, where is the consumption?

Car sales

Bangladesh 16783 (2019)
West Bengal 104819 (fy 2019)

2 wheelers

Bangladesh 487000
West Bengal 1600000

Smart Phones sales

Bangladesh 7 million (half are < taka 7000)
West Bengal 12 million (India 150 million)

Tractor sales

Bangladesh 8000 approx
West Bengal > 20000

Commercial vehicles

Bangladesh <5000 trucks for the whole country (lol)
West Bengal 54350 trucks (commercial vehicles)

West Bengal revenue is about 3 trillion taka just as Bangladesh 3.2 trillion taka. It doesn't worry about defence, railway, foreign affairs, telecommunications etc which are part of union budget.

West Bengal is a revenue surplus state and its fiscal deficit is only 2 percent unlike 5.5% of Bangladesh. Hence low inflation induced GDP growth.

Comeback with inflated ego, when people of west bengal actually visit Bangladesh for basic health care needs. Lol.
 

DalalErMaNodi

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Please inflation inflated numbers can only fool Banglas. If your percapita is so high, where is the consumption?

Car sales

Bangladesh 16783 (2019)
West Bengal 104819 (fy 2019)

2 wheelers

Bangladesh 487000
West Bengal 1600000

Smart Phones sales

Bangladesh 7 million (half are < taka 7000)
West Bengal 12 million (India 150 million)

Tractor sales

Bangladesh 8000 approx
West Bengal > 20000

Commercial vehicles

Bangladesh <5000 trucks for the whole country (lol)
West Bengal 54350 trucks (commercial vehicles)

West Bengal revenue is about 3 trillion taka just as Bangladesh 3.2 trillion taka. It doesn't worry about defence, railway, foreign affairs, telecommunications etc which are part of union budget.

West Bengal is a revenue surplus state and its fiscal deficit is only 2 percent unlike 5.5% of Bangladesh. Hence low inflation induced GDP growth.

Comeback with inflated ego, when people of west bengal actually visit Bangladesh for basic health care needs. Lol.

West Bengalis can't afford to visit nowhere lol, we can afford to visit India for whatever we need, we run WB tourism sector including their medical tourism sector.


And you're non Bengali so shush.
 

Sugarcane

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I don't think there was any point undoing 1911 partition of Bengal. But East Bengal should have been independent state at time of 1947 partition but this wasn't suitable for congress as it would have set precedent for other states going independent and Hindustan would have remain limited to cow belt.
 

Protest_again

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West Bengalis can't afford to visit nowhere lol, we can afford to visit India for whatever we need, we run WB tourism sector including their medical tourism sector.


And you're non Bengali so shush.
Lol. You completely lost sense of reality.

20200823_002209.jpg


This is your reality. Keep bolstering our West Bengal revenue with your incompetence. No worries from our side.
 
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