Praja Party

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The Praja Party, initially called the Council Praja Party (Bengali: প্রজা সমিতি Proja Shomiti "People's Committee") or the Bengal Praja Party (Bengal Tenant Party) and later renamed the Nikhil Banga Praja Samiti (All Bengal Tenant Association) then the Krishak Praja Party (Bengali: কৃষক প্রজা পার্টি Krishôk Proja Parṭi "Farmer People's Party"), was a political party of Bengal in the latter days of British India. Formed in July 1929, it lasted until 1937. The name Praja Party is a generic term which covers all of the party's different phases.

History[edit]

A K Fazlul Huq, Founder of the Party

The party was formed within the Bengal Province Legislative Council, as a loose parliamentary group of eighteen of the thirty Muslim members, led by A. K. Fazlul Huq, after the elections held in June 1929. By the end of 1929, it had evolved into a party with a wider scope called the Nikhil Banga Praja Samiti.[1][2]

The party began by committing itself to support the majority decision in all matters in the Legislative Council. It also aimed to champion the cause of tenants and the working classes and to support the dyarchy and the appointment of ministers selected by the party.[1]

The party found a good campaign issue in the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1928.[1]

As the Nikhil Banga Praja Samiti, in its second phase, the party added a new way of Bengal politics by activating the people of Calcutta's rural hinterland with the slogan of "Land to the tillers!". Its aim was not egalitarianism or revolution. Its leaders were a group of Muslims drawn from the lesser landowners and the higher grades of farmers who sought to dislodge the existing Muslim leadership of the Province of Bengal, who were generally greater Muslim landlords and rich Urdu speaking merchants of Calcutta. The Nikhil Banga Praja Samiti was formed late in 1929 with Sir Abdur Rahim as its President, and its initial activities were confined to holding annual conferences and adopting resolutions demanding the redress of the grievances of the workers on the land.[1][2]

There was a split in the Samiti in 1934, when Sir Abdur Rahim was elected President of the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi and Huq's faction took control, installing Huq as President.[1]

In April 1936, the party was renamed the Krishak Praja Party to turn it into an election machine to fight the first Provincial elections held under the Government of India Act 1935. The title of Krishak Praja Party (Peasant Tenant Party) was chosen to appeal to rural voters, seeking the abolition of zamindari (Landlordism). Soon after the 1937 elections, despite electoral success, the party broke up.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Praja Party at banglapedia.search.com.bd
  2. ^ a b Historical Synopsis at southasianmedia.net