Radcliff Award

Radcliff Award

by Past Papers Inside
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The Radcliffe Award is the result of an official proposal declared on 3 June 1947 by Lord Mountbatten concerning India’s separation into two independent states – India and Pakistan.

The president of the Boundary Commissions of India was appointed to Sir Cyril John Radcliffe, who had gained a reputation in the late 1930s and served in the British Ministry of Intelligence during World War II. However, Radcliffe’s election as Chairperson of the Boundary Committee did not create a great deal of confusion, since he had neither an Indian history nor prior

knowledge in awarding these disputes.

1). At the same time, he decided that the tea-producing districts of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri would go to West Bengal, except the five Muslim majority thanas (police stations) of the Boda-Debiganj-Panchagarh area.

2). While the Muslims in Murshidabad and Navadwip were furious to find themselves in West Bengal, Hindus in five southern thanas of Jalpaiguri expressed bitterness against their inclusion in East Bengal.

3). According to the June 3 plan, the Bengal legislative assembly was to divide itself into two parts, one comprising of the representatives of the Muslim majority districts and the other of the Hindu majority ones.

4). He accepted the Congress’ argument about the importance of the Murshidabad and Nadia river system for the survival of the Hugli and gave the whole of Murshidabad to West Bengal.

5). According to East Bengal Land Records and Survey (1951), out of the total area of 257478 sq km of the old province of Bengal, the newly created province of East Bengal got an area of 130383.19 sq. km from undivided Bengal and 12393.15 sq. km from Assam (a major portion of the district of Sylhet).

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6). The majority of the representatives of the Hindu majority districts voted in favor of the partition of Bengal while those of the Muslim majority districts voted against it.

7). Significantly, it was only after this vote that the Boundary Commission was set up to determine the final border between East Bengal and West Bengal.

8). On the other hand, West Bengal got an area of nearly about 72520 sq.km with 21.19 million people, of which nearly 5.3 million were Muslims.

9). Based on this vote the rationale for partition into East Bengal and West Bengal was found.

10). Moreover, he also decided that Khulna would go to East Bengal, except for those parts that fell to the west of the River Mathabhanga.

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