Comparison between Canada/Quebec and India/Bengal
by alexandrepeterson on April 1, 2014 - 7:30pm
Although Canada has a totally different culture from India and that both countries are far apart, they still share certain similarities between each other. In effect, both of them have had to deal with the decision to separate one of their provinces in two or not. Canada separated Quebec in two parts for a couple of years, whereas India resisted to separating one of its provinces in two : Bengal. In the late 18th century, the anglophone loyalists that recently immigrated to the province of Quebec did not feel comfortable with the French system. So, although they were a minority, they pressured the British government who by the Constitutional Act in 1791, separated the province in two: Upper and Lower Canada. Most of the english-speaking loyalists were located in Upper Canada, whereas the French Canadians were located in Lower Canada. Eventually, Quebec became one single province once again, even if the population is still separated between anglophones and francophones. A bit more than one hundred years later, a similar situation happened in India. The country was populated mostly by Hindus, the province of Bengal being the exception : most of the people who lived in this province were Muslims. "Lord Curzon, the Governor General of India from 1898 to 1905 (…) proposed to divide Bengal into two new provices, one of which would have a Muslim majority"(Embree & Carnes, n.d). Of course, the INC were against that separation because it would set the Hindus and the Muslims against each other. So, although both countries have totally different cultures and ways of thinking, practically the same situation happened to both due to the cultural differences that exist within each country.
Course readings : "Defining a Nation : India on the Eve of Independence, 1791" ; Authors : Ainslie T. Embree & Mark C. Carnes.