Eighty One Years of
BENGALEE ASSOCIATION, BIHAR
Bengalee Association, Bihar is the central organization representing 14 lakh Bengali speaking population of Bihar. This Association was registered as per Societies Registration Act on 7th April 1938. The famous Legal luminary of Patna High Court, Barrister Late Priya Ranjan Das (P.R.Das) was the first President.
Why the Bengalee Association, Bihar was formed?
Around 1905 the national movement of Freedom struggle, led by Bengal was at the peak. To douche the fire of Freedom Movement, British
government divided Bengal into two parts. Unfortunately this division instead of diminishing the fire took the shape of mass movement. The Viceroy of India Lord Curjon had to resign. In 1910 Lord Hardinge took over as Viceroy. By this time the freedom struggle had became violent. The disobedience movement had nearly stalled the administration and governance. In 1911 the Capital of India was changed from Kolkata to Delhi. But In 1908, two important things happened in Bihar. The first was injury of Ullaskar Dutta and Prafulla Chakravarty during a bomb blast near the Digharia Hills at Deoghar. They were experimenting with a hand-bomb. Prafulla Chakravarty died and police could get the clue of these activities. In 1908, in Muzaffarpur, Khudiram Bose tried to kill Kingsford by throwing a bomb. In 1909, Barin Ghosh was hanged for another bomb case. All these violent activities disturbed the British rulers. On the plea of good governance, and basically to stop the spread of armed struggle into Bihar and Orissa, in 1912, British government divided the large Bengal Province into, two provinces, Bengal and Bihar and Orrisa combined.
Bihar was the second home of Bengalees, constituting nearly 40 % of urban population. Taking one step ahead, as per their ‘divide and rule’ policy, to create mistrust between Bengali speaking population and Non- Bengali speaking of Bihar, a domicile system was introduced. Any service, education and business to any Bengali speaking population were banned till they live for 10 years in Bihar or if they can prove that they have no connection with Bengal. For Government jobs Bengali-speaking population was nearly banned. No Bengali speaking person still working as temporary employee were to be made permanent employee. The Bengalees were denied their fundamental rights regarding service, education and commerce. All of a sudden the Bengali speaking population, who were son of the soil, became a linguistic minority group and outsider.
The only possible course left was to fight the British rulers by forming an organization for the purpose of protecting the rights and privileges. A representative meeting of Bengalis of Bihar was convened on 12th February 1938 in the Anglo-Sanskrit Hall at Patna. 72 Bengalis assembled in Central Hall of the School. It was decided that Bengalee Association, Bihar should be formed. The President of the meeting was Shri Hem Chandra Mitra of Chapra. Barrister P. R. Das, Ex Judge of Patna High Court was elected to be the first President of the Association. On 13th February 1938, in the house of Shri P. R. Das, the Committee members sat together and formed the constitution. In a meeting of 27th March, the Constitution was passed. On 7th April 1938, it was registered under Society’s Registration Act as “BENGALEE ASSOCIATION, BIHAR”.
Achievements of Bengalee Association, Bihar
The Aims of the Association are:-
(a) To promote unity, solidarity, co-operation and fellowship between the Banglabhashis and other communities in Bihar.
(b) Conserve the Bengali language and its culture.
(c) Safeguard the rights given to Bengali as a linguistic minority by the Constitution of India and State laws.
(d) Establish, acquire, affiliate and maintain educational, cultural and philanthropic institution.
(e) Assist and preserve existing educational and cultural institution, established and managed by the Bengalis of the State of Bihar.