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The Space between Nation and Empire: The Making and Unmaking of Eastern Bengal and Assam Province, 1905–1911

  • Iftekhar Iqbal
Abstract

The article examines the spatial turn in the contestations between the Indian nation and the British empire, as manifested in the creation and annulment of a new province at the turn of the twentieth century. The province, Eastern Bengal and Assam, was a culmination of the British Indian empire's eastern gaze since the early nineteenth century across northeastern India, Burma, and southern China. While the new province was expected to facilitate the empire's eastward transregional engagements, the national resistance to the scheme was influenced more by the comfort zone of the agro-ecological regime of the plains of the Bengal Delta, imagined to be capable of sustaining the Bengali nation in decline. The province was dismantled within six years in the face of the razing national movement, but a century later its legacy returns as India looks east.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
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