Anti-Partition Movement in Bengal (1905)

Anti-partition movement

Introduction: One of the main objects of the Partition of Bengal was to divide the unity of the people of Bengal. Lord Curzon divided the territories of Bengal in such as way that the western part formed the Hindu majority area and the eastern part formed the Muslim majority area. The partition of Bengal finally took place on 16th October, 1905.

The anti-partition movement was participated by all classes of Bengali people. The entire national leadership was involved in it.

Protest by the Muslims: The partition of Bengal intended to prop up the Muslim leaders as a counter to the Congress. But the Muslims also appealed to the government to change the decision. Nawab Syed Amir Hussain, Secretary of Central National Muhammadan Association, maintained that ‘the partition is neither necessary nor desirable’.

Meetings and appeals: There were several protest meetings as part of anti-partition movement. Journalists of Bengal launched a campaign against the proposal for partition of Bengal.

Proposal of boycott: The government of India remained unmoved. Announcement for the decision of partition of Bengal was made on 19 July 1905. Krishna Kumar Mitra announced the proposal of boycott through his Sanjibani. The proposal was accepted in a meeting held at Bagherhat in Khulna. Leaders of Bengal toured the country urging the boycott of British goods. The boycott aimed at creating economic pressure on England.

Boycott movement: The Boycott movement spread like fire all over Bengal. Students forced the shopkeepers to stop selling British goods by organizing picketing. They boycotted government schools and colleges.

The day of partition: 16 October 1905 was the day of partition. The day was called a day of national mourning. There was a general strike. People fasted. They walked bare foot to take a bath in the Ganga and sang Vandemataram. Hindus and Muslims tied rachis on each other’s hand as a symbol of unity.

Swadeshi movement: From boycott the movement soon turned to the path of Swadeshi. It was felt that both Boycott and Swadeshi were inseparable to anti-partition movement. The industrial products of British industries were being sold everywhere in India. The common people used to buy these goods. These industrial goods were giving severe blows to our handicraft and cottage industries. A vigorous drive was made for the production and sale of Swadeshi goods. The Swadeshi movement activated new movements in the realm of culture.

The government adopted a reign of terror to suppress their anti-partition movement but failed to curb the movement. At last, in 1911, the British Government could not but revoked the partition of Bengal.

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