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Partition of Bengal and the Rise of Extremism - Swadeshi Movement

The partition of Bengal in 1905 provided a spark for the rise of extremism in the Indian National Movement. Curzon's real motives were: To break the growing strength of Bengali nationalism since Bengal was the base of Indian nationalism.

Partition of Bengal and the Rise of Extremism

 

The partition of Bengal in 1905 provided a spark for the rise of extremism in the Indian National Movement.

Curzon's real motives were:

To break the growing strength of Bengali nationalism since Bengal was the base of Indian nationalism.

 

To divide the Hindus and Muslims in Bengal.

To show the enormous power of the British Government in doing whatever it liked.

On the same day when the partition came into effect, 16 October 1905, the people of Bengal orgainsed protest meetings and observed a day of mourning. The whole political life of Bengal underwent a change. Gandhi wrote that the real awakening in India took place only after the Partition of Bengal.

 

The anti-partition movement culminated into the Swadeshi Movement and spread to other parts of India.

 

The aggressive nationalists forced Dadabhai Naoroji to speak of Swaraj (which was not a Moderate demand) in the Calcutta Session of Congress in 1906. They adopted the resolutions of Boycott and Swadeshi. The Moderate Congressmen were unhappy. They wantedSwaraj to be achieved through constitutional methods. The differences led to a split in the Congress at the Surat session in 1907. This is popularly known as the famous Surat Split. The extremists came out of the Congress led by Tilak and others.


Swadeshi Movement

The Swadeshi Movement involved programmes like the boycott of government service, courts, schools and colleges and of foreign goods, promotion of Swadeshi goods, Promotion of National Education through the establishment of national schools and colleges. It was both a political and economic movement.

The Swadeshi Movement was a great success. In Bengal, even the landlords joined the movement. The women and students took to picketing. Students refused using books made of foreign paper.

The government adopted several tough measures. It passed several Acts to crush the movement. The Swadeshi volunteers were ram        beaten badly. The cry of               was forbidden. Schools and colleges were warned not to allow their students to take part in the movement or else their, aid would be stopped. Some Indian government employees lost their jobs. Extremist leaders Bala Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh were imprisoned and deported.


Achievements of Extremists

The achievements of extremists can be summed up as follows:

          They were the first to demand Swaraj as a matter of birth right.

          They involved the masses in the freedom struggle and broadened the social base of the National Movement.

          They were the first to organize an all-India political movement, viz. the Swadeshi Movement.


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