Analyzing the British Colonial Policy of Dive and Rule & Its Influence

How the British Colonia Policy of dive and rule influenced Muslims to be part of Pakistan

In this article we will try to analyze how British colonial policy of divide and rule led the great majority of Muslims in East Bengal to demand they become part of Muslim Pakistan (East Pakistan) in 1947.

The British arrived in the Indian subcontinent largely with the motive of exhibiting the trade and commerce with the Indians and eventually, they established the English East India Company in the year 1600 for the purpose of the trade in spices, gems, cotton, indigo and several other commodities from the Indian subcontinent. The East India company was though, executing It’s trade practices from India, but it’s administrative control was completely in the hands of the British authorities and the British parliament, there in the Great Britain. British were predominantly imperialistic and ambitious in nature.

Their such ambitions gradually started taking shape, when they got the ‘diwani’ or the royalty as well as tax collection rights of the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. From this point in the history of the Indian subcontinent, the imperialistic motives of the British started gaining the ground. Gradually, British got the hold of other such provinces of the Indian subcontinent and became a dominant force by the time of the first half of the 19th century. They also acquired the administrative hold of several princely states by implementing the exploitative policies like that of the policy of lapse. British generally kept large armies and exhibited several diplomatic actions for gaining the administrative control of the rich provinces as well as princely states of the Indian subcontinent.

British saw the deep rooted religious and cultural divide, which existed in the whole subcontinent and well understood that the two major religious communities of the subcontinent, that is, Hindus and Muslims do not hold good and cordial terms with each other and it would be quite beneficial for them if these two communities can be divided or polarized. Thus, by exhibiting the policy of the ‘divide and rule’, the British authorities had undertaken several measures like separate electorate for Muslims, community specific privileges and perks, etc., which eventually led to the polarization or division between the Hindu and Muslim communities of the subcontinent.

Further, the famous act of Lord Curzon, who had been the viceroy of India, that is, the ‘partition of Bengal’ into the East Bengal, which was a Muslim stronghold region and the West Bengal, which was dominated by the Hindus. British cited the convenience of administrative control as the reason for this partition, but, the actual reason was the British desire to weaken out the Bengal, which was actually the center of the Indian nationalism during that time. The partition of Bengal resulted in the division or polarization of the Hindus and Muslims on the basis of religion.

With further such discriminative policies and actions, British were largely successful in dividing the two communities, which become deep rooted by the time of 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was divided into Pakistan and India. During the formation of India and Pakistan, referendum were undertaken across the subcontinent and people had the choice to go with either of the Pakistan or India. Eventually, Muslim dominated regions like Sindh, parts of Punjab province, East Bengal opted to go with the Pakistan and Hindu dominated regions chosen to head with the India. East Bengal, which had the great majority of the Muslim population, thus, chosen to be a part of the newly created nation of the Pakistan.

Though, East Bengal was the part of Pakistan only till the year 1971, when the India-Pakistan war of 1971 led to the formation of the separate new nation of the Bangladesh, which was actually the province of the East Bengal only. Though, East Bengal was an integral part of the Pakistan, but the geographical divide, administrative rifts and control issues resulted in the formation of Bangladesh in 1971 from the East Bengal province, as a aftermath of the India-Pakistan war.

Thus, the imperialistic ambitions of the British eventually resulted in the partition of the Indian subcontinent, where, the great Muslim majority of the East Bengal province opted to be a part of the newly created nation of the Pakistan. Once being a very cordially related and full with the motives of brotherhood, fraternity and compassion, the two major religious communities of the Indian subcontinent, the Hindus and Muslims were divided or polarized by the evil colonial policy of the divide and rule of the British, which eventually became deep rooted and taken the two communities further apart with time.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post