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The Anti-Partition or Swadeshi and Boycott Movement

Posted on : 15 Feb 2020

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  • On 20 July 1905, Lord Curzon issued an order dividing the province of Bengal into two parts: Eastern Bengal and Assam and the rest of Bengal. It was said that the existing province of Bengal was too big to be efficiently administered by a single provincial government. However, the officials who worked out the plan had also other ends in view. They hoped to stem the rising tide of nationalism in Bengal.
  • The Indian National Congress and the nationalists of Bengal firmly opposed the partition.
  • 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.
  • Its most prominent leaders at the initial stage were moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjee and Krishna Kumar Mitra; militant and revolutionary nationalists took over in the later stages. In fact, both the moderate and militant nationalists cooperated with one another during the course of the movement.
  • The partition took effect on 16 October 1905 and it was declared as a day of mourning throughout Bengal.
  • 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. Acharya P.C. Ray organized his famous Bengal Chemical Swadeshi Stores.
  • The Swadeshi movement had several consequences in the realm of culture. There was a flowering of nationalist poetry, prose and journalism. The patriotic songs written at the time by poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Rajni Kant Sen, and Mukunda Das are sung in Bengal to this day.
  • 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 AurobindoGhosh as principal was started in Calcutta
  • A remarkable aspect of the Swadeshi agitation was the active participation of women in the movement. The traditionally home-centered women of the urban middle classes joined processions and picketing.
  • Many prominent Muslims joined the Swadeshi movement including Abdul Rasul, the famous barrister, Liaquat Husain, the popular agitator, and Guznavi, the businessman.
  • The cry of Swadeshi and Swaraj was soon taken up by other provinces of India. Movements of support for Bengal's unity and boycott of foreign goods were organized in: Bombay, Madras, and northern India.

Article Related Questions

  1. Consider the following statements regarding Swadeshi and Boycott Movement
    1.The leadership for the movement was provided by extremists leaders throughout its entire course.
    2.The peculiar feature of this movement was the absence of Muslim participation.
    3.There was an active participation of traditionally home-centered women.
    Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  2. 1.1 and 2 only

    2.2 and 3 only

    3.3 only

    4.1, 2 and 3

    Right Ans : 3 only

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