Bihar Diwas: Origin and how Bihar was carved out of West Bengal

March 22 marks the formation day of the state of Bihar and is called as ‘Bihar Diwas’. Each year the Government of Bihar declares the day as a public holiday that applies to companies, offices, and schools that comes under the jurisdiction of the State and Central government. The day is celebrated by organising programmes and events including performances by Bollywood personalities and announcement of initiatives by the government. You will be surprised to know that the day is celebrated not only in India but also in countries including Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Britain, and Trinidad. Do you know why March 22 is celebrated as Bihar Diwas and which event does it commemorate? Well, the pages of history give you the answer. It was the day when the British carved out Bihar from Bengal Presidency in 1912.

Historical notes
On October 22, 1764, the Battle of Buxar was fought between the forces of the East India Company led by Hector Munro and the joint army of the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh and the Mughal King Shah Alam II. The battle was fought at Buxar and was a massive victory for the East India Company. The defeat resulted in the Mughals and Nawabs of Bengal losing control over the territories and the East India Company according to the Diwani rights – the right to administer the collection and management of revenues. The territories consisted of the current state of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, and Bangladesh.

In 1911, King George V was coronated in Delhi and the capital of British India was shifted to Delhi. On March 21, 1912, Thomas Gibson Carmichael, the new governor of Bengal took charge and announced that from the next day, March 22, the Bengal Presidency will be split into four subhas of Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, and Assam.

The brain behind the celebration
Bihar Diwas was first celebrated on a large-scale in 2010 in the tenure of Nitish Kumar. He is the current Chief Minister of Bihar who also served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 2005 to 2014 and from 2015 to 2017. He was looking for a day that could be the state’s official day of celebration. Taking into consideration the fact that the state of Bihar was carved out from the Bengal Presidency on March 22, 1912, the day was selected as Bihar Diwas.

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