Anti-partition Campaign Under Moderates (1903-05)

Anti-Partition Campaign Under Moderates (1903-05)


Men like Surendranath Banerjea, K.K. Mitra, and Prithwishchandra Ray served as the movement's leaders. In December 1903, the government made public its decision to divide Bengal. Bengal's 78 million people (approximately a fourth of the population of British India) were cited as the official justification for the decision as having become too big to manage. This was somewhat true, but the British wanted to undermine Bengal, the hub of Indian nationalism, which was the main motivation behind the partition plan. 
Anti-Partition Campaign Under Moderates (1903-05)

Background Information About The Moderate Anti-Partition Movement

•    The opposition to Lord Curzon's plan to divide the province of Bengal gave rise to the anti-partition movement, which gave rise to the current movement.
•    To exert pressure on the government and stop the unfair partition of Bengal, moderates started the Anti-Partition Campaign.
•    Public meetings were organized, petitions were delivered to the authorities, and views were published in Hitabadi, Sanjibani, and Bengalee newspapers.
•    When Bengal originally vowed to boycott foreign goods, the partition triggered protests there. 

Moderates' Anti-Partition Movement - Features

•    On August 7, 1905, a large assembly assembled in the Calcutta Townhall passed the Boycott Resolution, thereby establishing the Swadeshi Movement.
•    Following this, the leaders scattered throughout Bengal to spread the word of a boycott of Liverpool salt and Manchester textiles.
•    Bengal marked a day of mourning on October 16, 1905, the day the split was officially enacted.
•    People observed fasts, bathed in the Ganges, and marched barefoot in processions while singing Vande Mataram, which almost unintentionally evolved into the movement's anthem.
•    The national song of contemporary Bangladesh, "Amar Sonar Bangla," was written by Rabindranath Tagore and chanted by throngs of people marching through the streets.
•    As a representation of the unity of Bengal's two parts, rakhhis were linked to one another's hands.
•    Large crowds listened to remarks given by Ananda Mohan Bose and Surendranath Banerjee later in the day. After the meeting, the movement had raised 50,000 rupees in a short period of time.
•    The movement quickly extended to other regions of the nation, with Tilak serving as the movement's leader in Poona and Bombay, Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh in Punjab, Syed Haider Raza in Delhi, and Chidambaram Pillai in Madras.
Anti-Partition Campaign Under Moderates (1903-05)

Position of The Congress In The Anti-Partition Movement

•    The Indian National Congress, led over by Gokhale, decided in 1905 to oppose Curzon's reactionary policies and the partition of Bengal, as well as to support the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal.
•    The militant nationalists under the leadership of Tilak, Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh wanted the campaign to transcend Bengal and move above a boycott of imported products in order to develop into a full-fledged political mass uprising with the aim of obtaining swaraj.
•    The Moderates, who at the time controlled Congress, were averse to going so far.
•    However, the Calcutta Congress (1906), presided over by Dadabhai Naoroji, marked a notable advancement when it was stated that the Indian National Congress's objective was "self-government or swaraj like the United Kingdom or the colonies" of Australia or Canada.
•    The INC's Surat session (1907), when the party split, had important repercussions for the Swadeshi Movement due to the Moderate-Extremist division regarding the pace of the movement and tactics of fight.


The anti-partition campaign, which was started in opposition to the British plan to divide Bengal, gave rise to the Boycott and Swadeshi movement. With the start of the Swadeshi movement around the turn of the century, the Indian National Movement advanced significantly. The INC embraced the need for a Swadeshi movement and backed the Boycott and Swadeshi Movement in Bengal during the Benaras Session of 1905, presided over by G.K. Gokhle. On August 7, 1905, the INC voted to boycott British products at a convention held in Calcutta. It was initially implemented as a strictly economic tool to support the growth of Indian manufacturing.

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