Role of Bengalis in Political Movements of Bihar, here we have tried to bring some facts about Bengalis influence in political movement in early stage ranging from 1860 to 1912.
The first half of the 19th century is noticed by a series of conspiracies and rising culminating in the revolt of 1857. But the second half witnessed absence of any open challenge to the alien ruler. change appear just after the great revolt of 1857.
The movement was, no doubt, was full of meaning and significance with lessons for both parties. for Indians the superiority of British arms and resourcefulness of government become quit clear. for British the saw the impossibility of running government without association of Indians in civil administration.
In the Post ‘Mutiny’ (an open rebellion against the authorities by soldiers) period the Bengalis in Bihar made a great impact on the political life of the province. there were Bengali families in Bihar prior to the arrival of British rule. some Bengalis came to Bihar as employee of the European Trading Company in Bihar, and some also as independent traders. but most of them came to this part due to English education. these English educated Bengalis were perhaps the first to organise themselves and assert their right in the form which later known as ‘Constitutional’.
As Early as 1 April 1870 a strike was observed in the Patna College as a mark of protest against the behavior of the Head Master, Behrendt. to cope the situation seven studens were expelled from the college but it further worsen the situation and bitterness among the guardians and people of the town. Deputations (a group of people appointed to undertake a mission) waited on Principal of the College and other authorities but situation not improved. ultimately government institured a judical enquary into the matter.
During the investigation College authorities trid to prove that dismissal of Bengalis Pandit from the institution were because of Bengali students were principal agitators and some external agency behind the scene. But the 2nd Party tried to prove that Behrendt was harsh, unfair and was harassing student. Most of the charges against Behrendt were found true and all expelled students were to rejoin their classes.
In other walks of public life also educated Bengalis had been making great impression. In 1868 when in Champaran farmers fefuses to sow indigo on their lands in estate of Bettiah Raj. Their cause was taken up by the ‘Hindoo Patriot’ of culcutta. In patna itself Guru Prasad Sen, a leading lawer brought out he first Englis newspaper in Bihar, called ‘The Behar Herald’ in 1875.
During Bengalis long administrative association, the Biharies learnt much in public affairs and activities from a number of Bengalis. The Government could not view all these developements with equanimity. The growing influence of educated Bengalis became a matter of deep concern for govt. In Bihar the government tried to combat the Bengali influences by various means.
Despite the fact that Bengalis in Bihar holds much political influence they could not become the natural leader of the people of Bihar, because of their exclusiveness. they could not merge their identity with Biharis.
the bengalis have settled in several provinces out of Bengal but the do not easily give up the peculiarities of theier race. Even after living for three or four generation in other provinces, the Bengalis in most such places reamin Bengalis. Even they have converted these places into Bengalis mohallas.Sachindra Nath Sanyal, great revolutionary leader
16 March 1872, Convocation of the Calcutta University, the candidates from Bihar were Bengalis. another move on the part of the government to drive hostility between Biharis and Bengalis was to force the question of employment of Biharis in Bihar and they succeeded in their gem which finally led to separation of Bihar from Bengal, causing much bitterness further.
In the name of increasing employment for Biharis, the Bihari-Bengali feeling was born, in which the press played a significant role. ‘The Englishman’ of Bengal write a long editorial on 27 November 1879 under the Caption ” The Intellectual Capacity of Bengalis“. under this circumstances the Bihari newspapers also adopted the anti-Bengali tone.
In these changing situation Bengalis has formed their own social, religious and cultural organisations in different part of Bihar. they were influenced by the events in Bengal.. The earliest sociaties were perhaps founded in 1868 called ‘Brahmo Samaj’. the membership of all these places was exclusive to Bengalis. The Bengalis has also formed ‘Hindu Dharma Pracharini Sabha or Hari Sabha’ at the several district. it was a religious society where Bengali students and members meets on sunday to read the Gita like books and to sing religious songs.
In 1906 Banga Sammilani Sabha established at Bhagalpur to promote social and political interests of bengalis in Bihar. Again in 1009 Purnima Sammilan Society at Patna was established to promote brotherly, natural social feeling amongst Bengalis.
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