Prophecy Fulfilled: Partition of Bengal

By Usman Khan

In July 1905, a decision was taken by the British Government to put in effect the partition of Bengal [1], which was announced in July 1905 by the Viceroy of India, Lord Corzon.

Sir Joseph Bampfylde Fuller [2], (1854-1935) was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of the new province of Eastern Bengal on 16 October 1905. Sir B. Fuller took various measures to maintain order in the new province and he became a controversial figure as he attempted to rouse the religious fervour of the population to gain greater support for his cause. There is also a suggestion the whole partition plan was in order to implement a policy of “divide and rule”. [3]

Across India a national anti-British movement was stimulated that involved non-violent and violent protests, boycotts and even an assassination attempt against the Governor of the new province of West Bengal.

Subsequently the Promised Messiah (as) received a revelation, dated 11th February 1906, which says:-

“Relating to the order that had been given concerning Bengal at first, they (i.e. the Bengalis) will be conciliated now.” 

This prophecy was published in the February 1906 edition of the Review of Religions.[4]

Many of the opponents ridiculed this prophecy, as was the norm, however the unfolding events proved wrong all the doubters.

The nationalist sentiments at the time were very challenging for the British Government and when Sir B. Fuller submitted his recommendation to the central government for the cancellation of the affiliation of two schools, for their active involvement in the anti-partition movement, the Government declined to support Sir B. Fuller. This was the last straw for the Lieutenant-Governor who duly tendered his resignation.[5]

It is interesting to note that the prophecy declares the order of the partition would not be cancelled, but that a conciliatory policy would be adopted by the Government. In the September 1906 issue of the Review of Religions[6] mention is made that some astrologers made prophecies that the order of partition would be completely annulled. Since this did not materialise it demonstrates that these astrologers were playing with mere conjecture. However the Promised Messiah’s (as) prophecy was completely fulfilled. Firstly by the fact that the order of partition remained intact (the policy of partition was rescinded much later in 1911); and secondly the resignation of Sir B. Fuller was met with great joy by the parties opposed to partition and assuaged the excited feelings of the Bengalis.

The September 1906 Review of Religions states:

“Another evidence of the adoption of a conciliatory policy by the Government of India is to be met within the appointment of the new Lieutenant-Governor, the Hon’ble Mr. Hare, as the following two quotations show. Speaking of Sir Bampfylde Fuller, the Amrita Bazar Patrika, a leading Bengali paper, says : “His high-handedness kept the national feeling alive. The Swadeshi[7] movement owes its vigor to his pitiless policy of crushing it down. If he had remained, the Bengalis would have gained in every way. His departure, in one sense is thus a great loss to the national cause, and the people have no reason to rejoice at his resignation. The likelihood is that his successor will follow a quite conciliatory policy. Of course this is very desirable, but, at the same time, it may prove exceedingly injurious to our national growth, unless the people remain constantly on their guard.”

The article in the Review of Religions goes on to say:

“The circumstances which have led to the resignation of Sir B. Fuller are a clear indication that the Bengalis are being conciliated by the Government even at the sacrifice of it own highest interests. The students of two schools having behaved riotously, the Lieutenant-Governor recommended the disaffiliation of the two schools after having satisfied himself that the teachers had instigated the boys. The Government of India asked Sir B. Fuller to withdraw his recommendation, upon which he tendered his resignation. Had not the Government been bent upon carrying out a conciliatory policy in Bengal at any cost, it could not have preferred the resignation of a Lieutenant-Governor to the disaffiliation of two schools whose students and teachers had been guilty of gross misconduct. Could anyone guess six months before the resignation of Sir B. Fuller that the Bengali agitators would be thus conciliated?  There were no doubt men who entertained hopes that a Liberal Government in England may set aside the order of partition, but no one ever thought of the conciliatory policy that has been adopted by the Government. The prophecy of the Promised Messiah was unique in this respect, for it reveals a knowledge of the future which is far beyond the knowledge of man. No one can point out a single instance in which such an opinion should have been expressed on the basis of conjecture at the time when this prophecy was made public. Almighty God revealed this deep secret of the future to His messenger so that the world may know that it is He whose will is carried out in the world and that He reveals His will to His messenger, the Promised Messiah. I would like to see any remarks by the papers that laughed at the prophecy at the time of its publication.”

[2] ‘Banglapedia’: National Encyclopaedia of Bangladesh: http://www.bpedia.org/F_0188.php

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swadeshi_movement

[5] The Straits Times, 23 August 1906, “Sir B. Fuller’s Resignation”: http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes19060823-1.2.6.aspx

[7] An Indian independence movement

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