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Modern History: Division of Bengal, Surat Split And Minto Morley Reforms

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Bengal Division:

  • On 16th October, 1905, Lord Curzon through a royal proclamation reduced the old province of Bengal in size by creating East Bengal and Assam out of rest of Bengal.
  • Main objective of this move was to set up a communal gulf between the Hindus and the Muslims.
  • Swadesi andolan was started against British in 1905 against Bengal division. People started boycotting foreign goods.
  • In 1911, Bengal was reunited and Delhi was declared as new capital. Lord Hardinge was the governor general at that time.

Surat Split, 1907:

The INC split into two groups – the extremists and the moderates at the Surat session in 1907. The Extremists were led by Bal, Pal, Lal while the moderates by G.K. Gokhale.

Indian Council Act,1909 or Minto Morley reforms

  • Total numbers of members in Governor Council increased to 60.
  • Direct elections were introduced,but only tax payers could participate.
  • First time executive (ministerial) post given to indian. Sir S.P Sinha was the law minister at that time.
  • Separate electorate system for Muslims was introduced, which means only Muslims can vote for Muslims.

Home rule movement:


  • The movement was started by B.G. Tilak in Poona in April 1916 and Annie Besant and S.Subramania Iyer at Adyar near Madras in September 1916.
  • Main demand was not complete independence but self-government under the hand of British.

Lucknow pact, 1916

  • Congress first time recognized Muslim league. Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who was the member of congress and Muslim league, broke the ice between these two parties. Sarojini Naidu called him “Ambassador of Hindu Muslim unity”
  • Extremist rejoined congress after their Surat split.