The city of Kolkata has a history of more than three centuries. It is still bustling with life as a modern metropolis. Similarly the corporation which was first established under a Royal charter in 1726 during the initial years of the British colonial history has experienced democracy over the time. Any analysis of this political growth reveals the various economic and strategic considerations of the British Government. This also highlights the various aspects of the urban local-self government in India in general and Bengal in particular. Any meaningful insight into this episode will definitely begin with Lord Mayo’s proposals of 1870 and finally reach the mayor-in-council system introduced in the mid-eighties, coming across the legendary Calcutta Municipal Act of 1923 by Sir S.N. Banerjea. History shows how the corporation of Calcutta became a centre of decentralization and the mechanism of self expressions for the natives of pre-independent India. The corporation lent a true training in democratic learning to the natives, especially, the middle class Bengali intelligentsia. The more representative the corporation became, greater became its involvement in the sensitive politics of Bengal. The corporation still continues to play a diversified role in the present century in the life of Bengal.
Local-Self-Government, Acts, Decentralization, Participation, Democratisation, Liberalism, Mayor-in-Council.