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Partition Of Bengal 

Partition Of Bengal

  • The conditions for the emergence of militant nationalism had developed when in 1905 the partition of Bengal was announced Partition Of Bengal
  • On 20 July 1905, Lord Curzon issued an order dividing the province of Bengal into two parts i.e. Eastern Bengal and Assam with a population of 31 million and the rest of Bengal with a population of 54 million, of whom 18 million were Bengalis and 36 million were Biharis and Oriyas.
  • The Indian National Congress and the nationalists of Bengal firmly opposed the  Partition Of Bengal .
  • The Anti-Partition Movement was initiated on 7 August 1905.
  • On that day, a massive demonstration against the partition was organized in the Town Hall in Calcutta.
  • The partition too effect on 16 October 1905.
  • The leaders of the protest movement declared it to be a day of national mourning throughout Bengal.
  • Swadeshi and Boycott
  • Mass meetings were held all over Bengal where Swadeshi or use of Indian goods and boycott of British goods were proclaimed and pledged.
  • At many places, public tannings of foreign cloth were organized and shops selling foreign cloth were picketed.
  • The Swadeshi movement gave a great deal of encouragement to Indian industries.
  • Many textile mills, soap and match factories, handloom weaving concerns, national banks, and insurance companies were opened.
  • The Swadeshi movement had several consequences in the realm of culture.
  • There was a flowering of nationalist poetry, prose, and journalism.
  • National educational institutions where literary, technical, or physical education was imparted were opened by nationalists who regarded the existing system of education as denationalizing and, in any case, inadequate.
  • On 15 August 1906, a National Council of Education was set up.
  • A National College with Aurobindo Ghose as principal was started in Calcutta.
  • Role of Students, Women, Muslims, & Masses
  • A noticeable part in the Swadeshi agitation was played by the students of Bengal.
  • They practiced and propagated swadeshi and took the lead in organizing picketing of shops selling foreign cloth.
  • They were perhaps the main creators of the swadeshi spirit in Bengal.
  • The government made every attempt to suppress the students.
  • Orders were issued to penalize those schools and colleges whose students took an active part in the Swadeshi agitation: their grants-in-aid and other privileges were to be withdrawn.
  • Many students were fined, expelled from schools and colleges, arrested, and some time beaten by the police.
  • However, students refused to be cowed down.
  • The traditionally home-centered women of the urban middle classes joined processions and picketing.
  • Likewise, from this time, students were taken an active part in the nationalist movement.
  • Many prominent Muslims joined the Swadeshi movement including Abdul Rasul, the famous barrister, Liaquat Husain, the popular agitator, and Guznavi, the businessman.
  • Tilak quickly observed that with the inauguration of this movement in Bengal, a new chapter in the history of Indian nationalism had opened i.e. the challenge and an opportunity to lead a popular struggle against the British Raj and to unite the entire country in one bond of common sympathy.
  • The Governments of the two Bengals, particularly of East Bengal made active efforts to divide Hindus and Muslims.
  • Seeds of Hindu-Muslim disunity in Bengal politics were perhaps sown at this time, which embittered the nationalists.
    • As the consequences of Swadeshi movement:
    • Shouting of ‘Bande Mataram’ in public streets in East Bengal was banned;
    • Public meetings were restricted and sometimes forbidden;
    • Laws controlling the press were enacted;
    • Swadeshi workers were prosecuted and imprisoned for the long periods;
    • Many students were given corporal punishment;
    • Prosecutions against a large number of nationalist newspapers were launched and freedom of the press was completely suppressed;
    • Military police was stationed in many towns where it clashed with the people;
    • In December 1908, nine Bengal leaders, including the venerable Krishna Kumar Mitra and Ashwini Kumar Dutt were deported;
    • Earlier in 1907, Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh had been deported; and
    • In 1908, the great Tilak was again arrested and given the savage sentence of 6 years imprisonment.
  • Growth of Revolutionary Terrorism
  • Government repression and frustration caused by the failure of the political struggle ultimately resulted in revolutionary terrorism.
  • The Yugantar wrote on 22 April 1906 after the Barisal Conference: “The remedy lies with the people themselves.
  • The 30 crores of people inhabiting India must raise their 60 crores of hands to stop this curse of oppression.
  • Force must be stopped by force.”

  • The revolutionary young men did not try to generate a mass revolution.
  • Instead, they decided to copy the methods of the Irish terrorists and the Russian Nihilists, that is, to assassinate unpopular officials.
  • In 1897, the Chapekar brothers assassinated two unpopular British officials at Poona.
  • In 1904, V.D. Savarkar had organized the Abhinava Bharat, a secret society of revolutionaries.
  • After 1905, several newspapers had begun to advocate revolutionary terrorism.
  • The Sandhya and the Yugantar in Bengal and the Kal in Maharashtra were the most prominent among them.
  • In April 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb at a carriage, which they believed was occupied by Kingsford, the unpopular Judge at Muzzaffarpur.
  • Prafulla Chaki shot himself dead while Khudiram Bose was hanged.
  • Many secret societies of terrorist youth came into existence.
  • The most famous of these was the Anushilan Samiti whose Dacca section alone had 500 branches.
  • Soon terrorist societies became active in the rest of the country also.
  • They became so bold as to throw a bomb at the Viceroy, Lord Harding, while he was riding on an elephant in a state procession at Delhi.
  • The Viceroy was wounded.
  • The terrorists also established centers of activity abroad.
  • In London, the lead was taken by Shyamji Krishnavarma, V.D. Savarkar, and Har Dayal, while in Europe Madam Cama and Ajit Singh were the prominent leaders.
  • The terrorists did mike a valuable contribution to the growth of nationalism in India.

Partition Of Bengal  – Partition Of Bengal  – Partition Of Bengal

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