[Freedom Struggle] Suhrawardy-Sarat Bose agreement, Bengal Pact, Features, Consequences

MrunalIndian-History77 Comments

Mrunal's Win22 Series for Economy Updates for UPSC Prelims & Mains 2022
  1. Events leading to Bengal Pact
  2. Bengal Pact: Features
  3. Why Bengal Pact failed?

Events leading to Bengal Pact

  • Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, then CM of Bengal supported the “Two nation” theory and Pakistan. But He feared India will get Bengal’s industrialized regions and Calcutta, while (East) Pakistan will only get the poor-backward areas of Bengal.
  • Bengali Hindu leader Sarat Chandra Bose believed that division of Bengal between India and Pakistan, will ruin its culture and economy.
  • But Since Hindus would not agree to a “United” Bengal joining Pakistan and Muslims would not agree to a “United” Bengal joining India, therefore Suharawardy and Sarat Bose decided to carve out a Sovereign nation – “United Bengal”, free from both India and Pakistan, and jointly run by both Hindus and Muslims.
  • They sought Gandhi’s help, Gandhi supported this idea in hope to counter Jinnah’s two nation theory. But maintained that all decisions for “united Bengal” should be taken on mutual consent among Hindus and Muslims.

Therefore, Suharawardy and Sarat Bose drafted an agreement. This is known as “Bengal Pact” or “Suhrawardi-Sarat Bose agreement” or “Sarat Formula” on 20th May 1947.

Suharawardi Sarat Bose agreement formula bengal pact

Bengal Pact: Features

  1. Bengal would become an independent state
  2. Bengal’s Constitution will be drafted by an assembly of 16 Muslims, 14 Hindus= 30 members.
  3. Interim government with Muslim CM and Hindu Home minister, until this Constitution is drafted.
  4. Proportional representation of Hindus and Muslims in the legislature.
  5. A candidate who wins majority votes of his own community and 25% votes of other community, would be declared elected
  6. Hindus (including Scheduled Caste Hindus) and Muslims will have equal share in military and Police jobs.

Why Bengal Pact failed?

  • Assam CM Gopinath Bordoloi complained Mountbatten, “if Bengal became a separate country, Assam will be cutoff from India & Calcutta port. This will ruin Assam’s tea business & economy.”
  • Jinnah agreed to separate Bengal country IF Congress gave him WHOLE Punjab.
  • Obviously, Congress, Nehru and Patel opposed.
  • Shyamaprasad Mukharjee’s Hindu Mahasabha also started “Bengali Hindu Homeland Movement” for creation of separate state for Bengali Hindus within Indian dominion.
  • Bengal’s Muslim league also backtracked, “we agree to formation of Pakistan and Muslim dominated Bengali areas joining (east) Pakistan. We have nothing to do with demand for separate Bengal country made by Suharawardy and Sarat Bose.”
  • Seeing no consensus among Congress and Muslim league for “united” Bengal, Lord Mountbatten decided to partition Bengal between India and Pakistan.
  • Now, picture becomes clear that Calcutta will go to India. Chief Minister Suharawardy fears that Hindu will kill him because of his involvement in “Direct action Day”. He runs away to Dubai Dhaka, abandoning the plan of United Bengal nation and accepts to live under Jinnah’s (East) Pakistan (Where he would later become the Prime Minister.)
  • Now, Sarat Chandra Bose is isolated. He seeks Gandhi’s support
  • But Nehru and Patel requested Gandhi not to support Sarat Bose on this matter. Therefore, Gandhi asked Sarat to abandon the idea of United Bengal nation.

And thus, Suhrawardi-Sarat Bose agreement = #EPICFAIL

Mock Question

(GS1) Q. Examine the events leading to Suharawardi-Sarat Bose agreement, why did it fail to create United Bengal nation? (200 words)

Event leading to:

  • Muslim league leader and Bengal CM Suharawardi was in favour of creation of Pakistan, but feared that rich areas of Bengal will go to India.
  • Congress leader Subhash Chandra Bose feared division of Bengal will ruin its economy and culture.
  • Since neither Hindu nor Muslims would agree to a “United” Bengal joining either Pakistan OR India respectively, the only solution was a United Bengal- free from India and Pakistan.

Thus Suharawardi-Sarat Bose agreement / Bengal pact was signed in May 1947, with following features

  1. Bengal would become an independent state
  2. Its Constitution will be drafted by a joint assembly of Hindus and Muslims.
  3. Hindus and Muslims will get Proportional representation in legislature but equal share in military and Police jobs.

Why failed?

  1. Opposition from Assam that it’d cut their link to Calcutta port and rest of India.
  2. Jinnah accepted with caveats, But Congress and Hindu Mahasabha opposed vehemently.
  3. June 1947: Given the lack of consensus, Mountbatten’s partition plan divided Bengal between India and Pakistan. Both Congress and Muslim League accepted.
  4. Suharawardi stepped down as CM, left for Dhaka.
  5. Isolated Sarat Bose did not get support from Gandhi due to opposition from Nehru and Patel.

Thus, Suharawardi-Sarat Bose’s movement fizzed out and their dream for a United Bengal nation could not materialize.
~190 words

  • Frontline May 2, 2014. Page 106.
  • Tushar Gandhi’s book “Let’s kill Gandhi”, Chapter 10 “A Lonesome Mahatma” Page 300 to 304
Indian History Freedom Struggle Pratik Nayak

77 Comments on “[Freedom Struggle] Suhrawardy-Sarat Bose agreement, Bengal Pact, Features, Consequences”

  1. friends can any clear me that a science graduate can opt urdu literature as optional in ias mains 2014. .

  2. Fellow aspirants n mrunal sir pls guide….which books to use for practising maths n reasoning portion of csat paper…mrunal sir hs suggested books in ssc portion…can same work fr upsc??

  3. thanks a ton mrunal sir,only one request can u please correct the technical glitch in ecomics articles (archives section).great help thanks a ton

  4. Addendum to Counter Arguments:Purely for the sake of argument and “Balanced Approach”

    Paul H. Appleby says that auditing is a very general function and that auditing is not administration. An under-secretary of administrative ministry knows more than the CAG. The CAG is understood to have a negative view where it is looking for faults rather than doing an objective analysis of actions.

    Appleby has called Auditing a pedestrian function. CAG has been over glorified.

  5. surely i will do the needful. just mail a reminder to me. Thank you. my number is 9960267227

  6. which is best book to study for medieval history?
    1. Satish chndra
    2. Romilla thapar

    I have read romilla thapar. Do i have to read satish chandra also?

  7. why salt is produced in tamil nadu ,gujrat and rajasthan? though india has a long coastal areas like orissa,bengal,kerela?

    1. Why would anyone waste precious fertile land to produce such a cheap selling commodity like salt. Per kg of unrefined salt fetches merely few paise, not even Rupee 1

  8. mrunal sir,,,can you start prelims test series for all of us,,,coz we really need this,,,make a time table accrdingly evry one will their test within time limit,,then show result nd rank ….atleast it will give us a fair picture of ur preparation…thanks.

  9. This is an excellent strategy as its not provided by any coaching centre or any monthly magazine……….as it gives total grip over current affairs along with its foundations

  10. Some additional info on Muziris heritage site:

    Project highlights:-

    The largest heritage conservation project in India
    The first Green Project of the Government of Kerala
    Involvement of multiple Government Departments and convergence
    More than 25 museums to appreciate the Muziris Heritage
    A research and academic institution to support the project
    Major improvements in infrastructure
    Integration with local communities through native resource persons for data collection, survey etc

  11. did anybody hv an idea , what test will prove that HE/SHE is a Transgender? since T-gender will be in OBC , expire job seeker will miss used this OBC related relaxation. that means T-GENDER PopulatIon will increase NOT A GOOD IDEA SIRJEE!!!

  12. CAG found that Raja is totally awesome… hahahhahahahaha
    I was reading the article… ok… suddenly this line comes… I can’t stop myself from laughing.

  13. Mrunal Bhai,
    i have been reading your articles continuously in a stretch for past 3 days…i have to say you are awesome…i have never seen a person do so much for others that too for free…Thanks bhai for helping me in my preparations..

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