Lord Curzon, the full name was George Nathaniel Curzon. He was born in Kedleston Hall on January 11, 1859. His first wife was Mary Leiter, who died in 1905 in his arms due to severe illness. He had a relationship with famous British Novelist “Elinor Glyn,” but he didn’t marry her. His second wife was “Grace Elivna.”. In 1919-1924 he also remained Foreign Secretary of Britain, where he played a significant role in British policymaking during his terms in office.
In India, he made the famine commission of 1899-1900, the Commission on Irrigation, the Police Commission, the Education Commission, the enactment of the Indian Universities Act, 1904, the Land Resolution of 1902, the Punjab Land Alienation Act 1900, and the establishment of Imperial Departments of Agriculture.
Famine in India (1899-1900)
The monsoon rains in central India failed in 1899. This drought destroyed crops across a 1,230,000-square-kilometer (474,906-square-mile) area, affecting nearly 60 million people. As the lack continued for a second year, food crops and livestock died, and people began to starve. The Indian Famine of 1899-1900 claimed the lives of millions of people, possibly as many as 9 million.
Many of the famine victims lived in areas of colonial India that were administered by the British. Lord George Curzon was concerned about his budget, and he didn’t invest money to save people from dying. Even though Britain had profited handsomely from its Indian holdings for over a century, the British stood by and let millions of people in the British Raj starve to death. One of several events sparked calls for Indian independence, which grew in volume throughout the first half of the twentieth century.
Indian Universities Act, 1904
The Universities Act of 1904 was enacted due to discussions held at the Educational Conference in Shimla in 1901 and recommendations made by the Universities Commission in 1902. It went into effect on September 1, 1904.
The Indian Universities Act came after a thorough investigation into the needs of contemporary higher education, intending to devise solutions to such issues. While the original UNIVERSITY ACT of 1857 established the university’s role as primarily an examining and degree-awarding institution, this Act of 1904 attempted to amend and consolidate its powers. Universities should also make provisions for providing instruction to their students, according to the report.
Partition of Bengal (1905)
The partition of Bengal during the tenure of Lord Curzon was the most specific event. This event had significant purposes regarding the administration. The two substantial portions or divisions were of Bengal at that time. The divisions were Assam &Bengal and West Bengal covering a population of almost 31 million people.
Due to the large population and more significant area of Bengal province, it wasn’t easy to administer the Bengal Province. The eastern region of Bengal was much neglected. So Lord Curzon decided to divide Bengal. Lord Curzon did this on the date of 16 October 1905.
Facts about the partition of Bengal
It was the fact that Bengal had a population of almost 80 million at the time. Bengal had a vast area that was Hindu speaking. Besides Hindu speaking, there were also Assam speaking areas in Bengal. Based on these 2 facts, in 1904, the Government decided to do the partition of Bengal.
Reason for the partition of Bengal
Lord Curzon’s primary emphasis was that as the Bengal’s eastern is going to neglect and ignored day by day. This was the main reason to separate the Bengal so that proper administrative services applied there.
British were mainly irritated by the fact that Bengal had a vast population at that time. As Hindus were in far better condition than the Muslims, this threat of a vast population was also on the other hand.
The proposal gained much better and positive feedback from the Muslims. Muslims welcomed the partition of Bengal for the following reasons:
Muslims, as in the majority, had fewer agricultural and administrative services. So this partition could benefit the Muslims as the Muslims living in the Decca were having their promising cultural and social advancements as Calcutta’s Muslims.
This partition can uplift the political aspects of the Muslims. This could lead to the formation and then the maintenance of the separate government representative actions.
Hindus refused it for the various reasons:
As Muslims were getting opportunities, it was the main opposite reason for the Hindus. All the members of Hindus refused this proposal. Hindu activists’ press was similar to Hindu activists’ press. In the province’s press, Hindus had a near-total monopoly. They wanted at that time to emerge new newspapers that would have reduced revenues. The lawyers of Hindus were also against this partition because they thought that the new province would have its new courts and judges. It can harm their practices. In reaction to this, Hindu started the Swadeshi Movement.
Swadeshi Boycott Movement (1905-1911)
The Boycott and swadeshi movement began in 1905 with the BENGAL PARTITION and lasted until 1908. The pre-Gandhian movement was the most successful. The partition plan was initially met with fierce opposition, including extensive press campaigns, numerous meetings and petitions, and large conferences held at the Calcutta Town Hall in March 1904 and January 1905. IN this movement, Hindu started to boycott British products and use Made in India Products.
Bal Gangadhar Tilak led the Swadeshi and Boycott movements. Bal Gangadhar Tilak was charged for sedition (Crime against the State) and sentenced to six years in Mandalay (Burma). From 1915, Mahatma Gandhi’s later movements, such as the Satyagraha and Non-Cooperation movements, were based on the Swadeshi movement.
Annulment of Partition of Bengal
Hindus made all their best possible ways for Annulment of Partition of Bengal . They directed Lord Hardinge and also India’s Governale- general against this partition. Thus, when Majesty George V’s made his visit to Indo-Pakistan. The Second Darbar was held there in Delhi on December 12, 1911. In that darbar the Annulment of Partition of Bengal happend.
He was succeeded by the Earl of Minto.
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