brihaspati wrote:nageshks ji,
it was both "unable to stop" plus the preexisting and deepening mullah-INC axis. It was also about keeping Assam-"Hindu" under pressure. The more this region can be kept bleeding each other locally - the better for JLN-dynasty and the coterie around it lighting up Lutyen's aura in Mughal jaulush.
Thanks, B-ji. The Assamese Hindu has been kept under pressure by the Muslim League and the British since the early 1870s, when they started importing labour to Brahmaputra valley to cultivate tea and rice. The real game changer was in the 1910s and 1920s, though, when about 10% of the total population of Assam was brought from Bengal, as much to cultivate the land there as to cut down the Hindus of Assam. I would guess that the same model was studied and re-implemented by the Islam-pasand Congress. Funnily enough, again roughly 10-15% of Assam population was once more imported in the 70s-90s.
you are forgetting the case of "referendum". The then Assam congress apparently did its best to prevent Bengali Hindus of Sylhet managing to vote in the referendum. Maybe they did not want any Muslim at all, so thought of shedding the entire area. Alternatively, just like in Bihar the fire of "Ahom in existential crisis because of Bengalis" was lighted up by the Brits at about the same time it was done in Bihar and UP - so, the then Assam pradesh congress's mindset was merely an anticipation of the "Bangali kheda" movement to come.
My own take is that Assam government, particularly the bureaucracy, even at the time of partition, was heavily Bengali. Assamese feared that the addition of Sylhet (which shares little in common with the Assamese speaking Brahmaputra valley) would swamp the new state with Bengalis and render Assamese completely valueless. Also, the Assamese opposed bringing in Sylhet as part of Assam, but I have never seen any opposition by Gopinath Bordoloi to accession of Sylhet to India (they just didn't want it as part of Assam). Large parts of Assam were already Muslim-ised by then (Dhubri district, which was a part of the bigger Goalpara district, even had a Muslim majority even at the time of partition, so fear of Muslims had little to do with it). Muslims formed about 45% of the erstwhile British Goalpara district, Kamrup had 39% and Nagaon had 35% Muslims in 1941 census. Assamese Hindus had little fear of Muslims in Brahmaputra valley in 1947, since they were, at the time, weak and powerless, impoverished cultivators who barely eked out a living, tilling plots for many Assamese landlords. Even the 1961 agitation was about language - not according official status to Bengali in the Bengali speaking Barak valley. It is only the demographic threat to Assam as a whole that has brought about any Hindu unity in today's Assam.
In "Bengal" the Nehruvian apparent "readiness" to concede was checked by the intransigence of the groups containing people like Atulya Ghosh: whose bargaining power probably led in their potential value as a younger batch of Bengal Congress who could be used against the "big-five" including Sarat Bose. Sarat Bose et al were favouring united Bengal and even potential separate independence, together with Fajlul Haque. Ghosh et al opposed this and hence turned up against Bose group. Eliminating the Bose group from Bengal Congress influence was more important for Nehruvian dynastic Delhi coterie - so they made a show of giving in to Roy/Ghosh group (or rather the so-called Hooghly group - with a significant origin in anarchist/Left initial forays, Ghosh was among the group who were introduced to Lenin's works in jail by Bhupendranath Dutta).
The way this concession/territorial business was conducted, reflects more a concern to weaken the regional congresses, division of the political forces of the "hindu", and if possible to traumatize them for generations in a way that would prevent them taking serious involvement in politics that could threaten dynastic coterie power.
Fantastic insights. Thanks, B-ji.