Extremists' Anti-partition Campaign (1905–08)

Extremists' Anti-Partition Campaign (1905–08)


Beginning in 1905, the Anti-Partition Campaign under Extremist was launched. During the anti-partition Bengal movement, extreme politics began to develop inside the Congress. Many young leaders, known as Neo-Nationalists or Extremists, lost hope when the British government refused to annualize the division of Bengal in the face of widespread demonstrations from the people of Bengal, evoking compassion from the Indian people. Important extreme figures were Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Aurobindo Ghosh. They were branded as extremists because they thought that the only way to succeed was by taking chances. 
Extremists' Anti-Partition Campaign (1905–08)

Background Information For The Extremist Anti-Partition Campaign

•    The Extremists held a solid belief that Indians alone held the key to solving their own issues and had little faith in the good intentions of the British. They called for unambiguous swaraj, or self-rule.
•    After 1905, extremists like B.G. Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Aurobindo Ghosh, etc. quickly assumed control of the anti-partition movement in Bengal. This was due to a number of factors:
1.    The government of East Bengal had resorted to suppressive measures, including atrocities against students, many of whom were subjected to corporal punishment, a ban on public singing of Bande Mataram, restrictions on public meetings, the prosecution and long imprisonment of swadeshi workers, clashes between police and citizenry. The government of East Bengal was actively supporting communalism and even tried to crush the nationalist movement.

Rise of Extremists

•    The Extremists (or the Garam Dal) dominated the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal from 1905 to 1908, this time frame is often referred to as the "Era of Passionate Nationalists."
•    Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal (Lal-Bal-Pal) were the leaders of this extremist organization.
•    When the extremists gained control of the movement's leadership, they called for expanding the boycott beyond foreign goods and educational institutions to include municipal governments, legislative councils, and other government services in order to undermine British hegemony in India.
•    Bipin Chandra Pal referred to this as non-cooperation and described it as passive resistance or an unwillingness to provide any volunteer service for the government.
•    Aurobindo Ghosh developed the concept further in a series of articles published in Vande Mataram in April 1904 and advanced the philosophy of "organized and relentless boycott," which included civil disobedience of unjust laws.
•    All other issues, including the desire for Bengal's unity, were put on hold by the extremist call for swaraj.
•    Independence from foreign domination has now taken the place of the partition of Bengal as the primary political issue in India.
•    Swaraj became the nation's objective as a direct result of the partition of Bengal, it is obvious.
•    It was Tilak who first said, "Freedom is my birthright, and I will have it."

Programme For Extremists

•    The Extremists called for passive resistance in addition to swadeshi and a boycott of government schools, colleges, government employment, government services, courts, legislative councils, municipalities, and government titles, among other things, after Dadabhai Naoroji stated at the Calcutta session (1906) that the Congress's goal should be self-government or swaraj.
•    The intention, in the words of Aurobindo, was to "make administration under present conditions impossible by an organized refusal to do anything that will help either British commerce in the exploitation of the country or British officialdom in the administration of it."
•    With the slogan "India's Independence from Foreign Rule," militant nationalists hoped to transform the anti-partition and Swadeshi Movement into a widespread uprising.
•    The Extremists pushed the idea of Indian independence to the forefront of Indian politics as a result. Self-sacrifice was required to achieve independence.
Extremists' Anti-Partition Campaign (1905–08)

New Forms of Struggle By Extremist

•    Boycott of Foreign Goods included the refusal of washermen to wash foreign clothing as well as the boycott and public burning of foreign fabric, salt, and sugar. It also included the reluctance of priests to officiate at ritual marriages involving the exchange of foreign goods.
•    Public gatherings, processions, and other significant tactics of mass mobilization began to emerge as modes of popular expression.
•    Samitis have become a well-liked and successful method of social mobilization. One example is Ashwini Kumar Dutta's Swadesh Bandhab Samiti (in Barisal).
•    To motivate the locals, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, Subramania Siva, and a group of solicitors created the Swadeshi Sangam in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
•    This Samiti increased political awareness among the general populace through magic lantern lectures, swadeshi songs, physical and moral training for their members, social service during famines and epidemics, school organization, swadeshi craft training, and arbitration courts.
•    The idea was to communicate political messages to the public by using customary celebrations and events.
•    For instance, Tilak's Ganapati and Shivaji celebrations were used as a platform for swadeshi preaching not just in Bengal but also in western India.
•    Bengal also employed conventional types of folk theatre for this function.
•    Self-reliance, also known as "Atma shakti," was encouraged. This required the restoration of the nation's honor, confidence, and sense of dignity as well as the social and economic revival of the villages.
•    In actuality, it involved campaigns against alcoholism, early marriage, the dowry system, caste injustice, and other issues.
•    Aurobindo Ghosh, the college's founding principal, established Bengal National College in the manner of Tagore's Shantiniketan. National schools and colleges subsequently popped up all throughout the nation.
•    It is important to recognize Satishchandra Mukherjee's contribution to national education. Self-help had previously been promoted in business and academia by his newspaper Dawn, which had been published since 1897, and his Dawn Society, which had been established in 1902.
•    The Bhagabat Chatuspathi was founded by Mukherjee in 1895, setting the foundation for the national education movement.
•    He played a significant role in the establishment of the National Council of Education. He afterwards accepted a position as a lecturer at the Bengal National College, rising to the position of principal after Aurobindo left.
•    To organize a system of literary, scientific, and technical education along national lines and under national direction, the National Council of Education was founded on August 15, 1906.
•    Vernaculars were to be used to offer education.
•    A Bengal Institute of Technology was founded for technical instruction, and money was obtained to send students to Japan for advanced study.
•    Swadeshi textile mills, soap and match manufacturers, tanneries, banks, insurance firms, and stores are just a few examples of how the swadeshi spirit has been made evident. Instead of being built on business acumen, these companies were founded on patriotism.
•    All types of nationalists were influenced by the songs penned by Rabindranath Tagore, Rajnikant Sen, Dwijendralal Ray, Mukunda Das, Syed Abu Mohammad, and others.
•    On this occasion, Tagore wrote Amar Sonar Bangla, which eventually served as inspiration for Bangladesh's quest for independence and became the nation's anthem.
•    Abanindranath Tagore's paintings bucked the dominance of Victorian naturalism in the Indian art world by taking cues from Ajanta, Mughal, and Rajput paintings.
•    The Indian Society of Oriental painting, which was established in 1907, initially awarded a fellowship to Nandalal Bose, who had a great influence on Indian painting.


The grounds for the birth of militant nationalism were therefore established when the partition of Bengal was announced in 1905, and the Indian national movement had reached its second stage. The radical demand for Swaraj subsumed all other concerns, including the need for Bengal's unity. The basic question of Indian politics became independent of foreign domination as the partition of Bengal became a side issue. It is obvious that the partition of Bengal was the triggering event that led to swaraj being a national objective.

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