Kolkata is the political capital of West Bengal. Even though this fact constitutes an important part of its history, yet there are several other facts that count in its rich and popular history. The strings of events that can be dated back to 300 years ago constitute a rich and significant history of this metropolitan city.
Owing to its strategic location, the capital city of West Bengal has witnessed upsurges with respect of momentous social and political scenarios. This is exactly why Kolkata holds a significant place in the context of history in the entire world.
Kolkata had remained inhabited for more than 2000 years, though documented historical evidences are available from British rule. Kolkata has also undergone some monarchical and bureaucratic rules which made its history so significant in the chronological description of Indian subcontinent and also the rest of the globe.
British East India Company embarked on dominating Kolkata in 1690. Much before the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, Portuguese, French or British has set up townships in Kolkata, and this city remained an important trading post. Kolkata, a culturally rich city and ethnically diverse, owes its roots to the Gupta and Maurya period.
In 1690, Job Charnock arrived in Kolkata and the British put up Fort William in 1702. It was constructed to station the British troops and also serve it as the regional base. Later, a major tiff between the British and King Siraj-Ud-Daula took place following which Robert Clive made Fort William as the regional base of the East India Company.
British fortified their dominance and rule on Calcutta after the city was declared as the capital city of British India. When it was 1850, Calcutta entered into an industrialization phase where the Governor General of Kolkata, Richard Wellesley, toiled hard to develop the architecture of the city and make it the City of Palaces. This is the era when the melange of Indian culture and British has given birth to a new Babu class. It’s an acclaimed and respected hierarchy in the society that consisted of the anglophile urban educated elite of upper caste Hindu communities.
Coming down in its lane of events began a phase of Renaissance due to the rendezvous of westernization and education. Renaissance in Bengal was the time in history that can be reminisced owing to its connection with the development of Bengal intellect.
Commencement of freedom struggle
This specific period resulted to a number of social reform movements. This time frame can also be considered to be the source of bubbling rages among the people for independence. With developing intellect, rose the demand and understanding for freedom. Hence, the city became the hotspot for Indian Independence struggle. Following the Sepoy mutiny, in 1905, the partition of Bengal led to extensive public protests as well as shun of British goods. These internal stresses resulted in the transfer of the capital of British Indian from Kolkata to Delhi. Nevertheless, the city remained a hub for independence struggle and trade.
Now, the city has improved a lot in various spheres and remains a key metro in the country.