UPSC Exam  >  UPSC Notes  >  History for UPSC CSE  >  Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1

Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 | History for UPSC CSE PDF Download

THE PARTITION OF BENGAL

  • The conditions for the emergence of militant national ism had thus developed when in 1905 the partition of Bengal was announced and the Indian national movement entered its second stage. On Curzon issued an order dividing the province of Bengal into two parts: Eastern Bengal and Assam with a population of 31 million and the rest of Bengal with a population of 54 million, of whom 18 million were Bengalis and 36 million Biharis and Oriyas. 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 political ends in view. They hoped to stem the rising tide of nation-alism in Bengal, considered at the time to be the nerve centre of Indian nation-alism.
  • The nationalists saw the act of partition as a challenge to Indian nationalism and not merely an adminis-trative measure. They saw that it was a deliberate attempt to divide the Bengalis territorially and on religious grounds for in the Eastern part Muslims would be in a big majority and in the Western part Hindus and thus to disrupt and weaken nationalism in Bengal.
  • It would also be a big blow to the growth of Bengali language and culture. They pointed out that administrative efficiency could have been better secured by separating the Hindi speaking Bihar and the Oriya speaking Orissa from the Bengali speaking part of the province. Moreover the official step had been taken in utter disregard of public opinion. Thus the vehemence of Bengal’s protest against the partition is explained by the fact that it was a blow to the sentiments of a very sensitive and courageous people.

THE ANTI-PARTITION MOVEMENT

  • The Anti-Partition Movement was the work of the entire national leadership of Bengal and not of any one section of the movement. Its most prominent leaders at the initial stage were moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjea and Krishna Kumar Mitra; militant and revolutionary nationalists took over in the later stages. In fact both the moderate and militant The Anti-Partition Movement was initiated on 7 August 1905. On that day a massive demonstration against the partition was organised in the Town Hall in Calcutta. From this meeting delegates dispersed to spread the movement to the rest of the province.
  • The partition took effect on 16 October 1905. The leaders of the protest movement declared it to be a day of national mourning throughout Bengal. It was observed as a day of fasting. There was a hartal in Calcutta.People walked barefooted and bathed in the Ganga in the early morning hours. Rabindranath Tagore composed the national song, Amar Sonar Bangla, for the occasion which was sung by huge crowds parading the streets. This song was adopted as its national anthem by Bangladesh in 1971 after liberation. The streets of Calcutta were full of the cries of ‘ Bande Mataram which overnight became the national song of Bengal and which was soon to become the theme song of the national movement. The ceremony of Raksha Bandhan was utilised in a new way. Hindu and Muslims tied the rakhi on one another’s wrists as a symbol of the unbreakable unity of the Bengalis and of the two halves of Bengal.
  • In the afternoon, there was a great demonstration when the veteran leader Ananda Mohan Bose laid the foundation of a Federation Hall to mark the indestructible unity of Bengal. He addressed a crowd of over 50,000.

THE SWADESHI AND BOYCOTT

  • The Bengal leaders felt that mere demonstrations, public meetings and resolutions were not likely to have much effect on the rulers. More positive action that would reveal the intensity of popular feelings and exhibit them at their best was needed. The answer was Swadeshi and Boycott. Mass meetings were held all over Bengal where Swadeshi or the use of Indian goods and the boycott of British goods were proclaimed and pledged. in many places public burning of foreign cloth were organised and shops selling foreign cloth were picketed.
  • An important aspect of the Swadeshi Movement was the emphasis placed on self reliance or Atmasakti’. Self-reliance meant assertion of national dignity, honour and self confidence. In the economic field, it meant fostering indigenous industrial and other enterprises. Many textile mills, soap and match factories, handloom weaving concerns, national banks, and insurance companies were opened. Acharya P.C. Ray organised his famous Bengal Chemical Swadeshi Stores. Even the great poet Rabindranath Tagore helped to open a Swadeshi store.
  • 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, Rajani Kant Sen. Syed Abu Mohammed and Mukunda Das are sung in Bengal to this day. Another self-reliant, constructive activity undertaken at the time was that of National Education. National educational institutions where literary, technical, or physical education’ was imparted were opened by nationalists who regarded the existing system of education as denation-alising and, in any case, inadequate. On 15 August 1906, a National Council of Education was set up. A National College with Aurobindo Ghose as Principal was started in Calcutta.

THE ROLE OF STUDENTS, WOMEN, MUSLIMS AND THE MASSES

  • A prominent part in the Swadeshi agitation was played by the students of Bengal. They practised and propagated Swadeshi and took the lead in organising picketing of shops selling foreign cloth. The government made every attempt to suppress the students. Orders were issued to penalise those schools and colleges whose students took an active part in the Swadeshi agitation; their grants-in-aid and other privileges were to be with-drawn, they were to be disaffiliated, their students were not to he permitted to compete for scholarships and were to be barred from all service under the government.
  • Disciplinary action was taken against students found guilty of anticipating in the nationalist agitation. Many of them were fined, expelled from schools and colleges, arrested, and sometimes beaten by the police with lathis.
  • The students, however, refused to be cowed down. A remarkable aspect of the Swadeshi agitation was the active participation of women in the movement. The traditionally home-centred women of the urban middle classes joined processions and picketing. From then on they were to take an active part in the nationalist movement.
  • Many prominent Muslims joined the Swadeshi Movement including Abdul Rasul, the famous barrister, Liaquat Hussain, the popular agitator, and Guznavi, the businessman. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad joined one of the revolutionary terrorist groups. Many other middle and upper class Muslims, however, remained neutral or, led by the Nawab of Dhaka, (who was given a loan of Rs. 14 lakh by the Government of India), even supported Partition on the plea that East Bengal would have a Muslim majority. In this communal attitude, the Nawab of Dhaka and others were encouraged by the officials. In a speech at Dhaka, Lord Curzon declared that one of the reasons for the partition was “ to invest the Mohammedans in Eastern Bengal with a unity which they have not enjoyed since the days of the old Mussalman Viceroys and Kings”.

ALL INDIA ASPECT OF THE MOVEMENT
The cry of Swadeshi and Swaraj was soon taken up by other provinces of India.
Movements in support of Bengal’s unity and boycott of foreign goods were organized in Bombay, Madras and northern India. The leading role in spreading the Swadeshi Movement to the rest of the country was played by Tilak. Tilak quickly saw that with the inauguration of this movement in Bengal, a new chapter in the history of Indian nationalism had opened. Here was a challenge and an opportunity to lead? popular struggle against the British Raj and to unite the entire country in one bond of common sympathy.

GROWTH OF MILITANCY

  • The leadership of the Anti-Partition Movement soon passed to militant nationalists like Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghose. This was due to many factors.
  • Firstly, the early movement of protest led by the Moderates failed to yield results. Even the Liberal Secretary of State, John Morley, from whom much was expected by the moderate nationalists, declared the Partition to be a settled fact which would not be changed. Secondly, the Governments of the two Bengals, particularly of hast Bengal, made active efforts to divide Hindus and Muslims. Seeds of Hindu-Muslim disunity in Bengal politics were perhaps sown at this time. This embittered the nationalists. But, most of all, it was the repressive policy of the government which led people to militant and revolutionary politics. The Government of East Bengal, in particular, tried to crush the nationalist movement. Official attempts at preventing student participation in the Swadeshi agitation have already been mentioned above. The singing of Bande Mataram in public streets in East Bengal was banned. Public meetings were restricted and sometimes forbidden. Laws controlling the Press were enacted. Swadeshi workers were prosecuted and imprisoned for long periods. Many students were awarded even corporal punishment. 
  • From 1906 to 1909, more than 550 political cases came up before Bengal courts. Prosecutions against a large number of nationalist newspapers were launched and freedom of the Press was completely suppressed Military police was stationed in many towns where it clashed with the people. One of the most notorious examples of repression was the police assault on the peaceful delegates of the Bengal Provincial Conference at Barisal in April 1906. Many of the young volunteers were severely beaten up and the Conference itself was forcibly dispersed. In December 1908, nine Bengal leader, including the venerable Krishna Kumar Mitra and Ashwini Kumar Dutt, were deported. Earlier, in 1907, Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh had been deported following riots in the canal colonies of the Punjab. In 1908, the great Tilak was again arrested and given the savage sentence of 6 years imprisonment. Chid ambaram Pillai in Madras and Harisarvottam Rao and other in Andhrawere put behind bars.
  • As the militant nationalists came to the fore, they gave the call for passive resistance in addition to Swadeshi and Boycott. They asked the people to refuse to cooperate with the Government and to boycott government service, the courts, government school and colleges and municipalities and legislative councils, and thus, as Aurobindo Ghose put it, to make the administration under present condition impossible. The militant nationalist tried to transform the Swadeshi and Anti Partition agitation into a mass movement and gave the slogan of independence from foreign rule. Aurobindo Ghose openly declared: ‘Political freedom is the life breath of a nation. Thus, the question of partition of Bengal became a secondary one and the question of Indias freedom became the central question of Indian politics. The militant nationalists also gave the call for self-sacrifice without which no great aim could be achieved.
  • It should be remembered, however, that the militant nationalists also failed in giving a positive lead to the people. They were not able to give effective leadership or to create an effective organisation to guide their movement. They aroused the people but did not know how to harness or utilise the newly released energies of the people or to find new forms of political struggle. Passive resistance and non-cooperation-remained mere ideas. They also failed to reach the real masses of the country, the peasants. Their movement remained confined to the urban lower and middle classes and zamindars. They had come to a political dead end by the beginning of 1908. Consequently, the government succeeded to a large extent in suppressing them.
  • Their movement could not survive the arrest of their main leader, Tilak and the retirement from active politics of Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobind Ghose.
  • But the upsurge of nationalist sentiments could not die. People had been aroused from their slumber of centuries; they had learned’ to take a bold and fearless attitude in politics. They had acquired self-confidence and self-reliance and learnt to participate in new forms of mass mobilization and political action. They now waited for a new movement to arise. Moreover, they were able to learn valuable lessons from their experience. Gandhiji wrote later that “after the Partition, people saw that petitions must be backed up by force and that they must be capable of suffering”. The Anti-Partition agitation infact marked a great revolutionary leap forward for Indian nationalism. The later national movement was to draw heavily on its legacy.

GROWTH OF REVOLUTIONARY NATIONALISM

  • Government repression and frustration caused by the failure of the leadership to provide a positive lead to the people ultimately resulted in revolutionary terrorism. The youth of Bengal found all avenues of peaceful protest and political action blocked and out of desperation they fell back upon individual heroic action and the cult of the bomb. They no longer believed that passive resistance could achieve nationalist aims. The British must, therefore, be physically expelled. As the Yugantar wrote on 22 April 1906 after the Barisal Conference: ‘The remedy lies with the people themselves. 
  • The 30 crores of people inhabiting India must raise their 60 crores of hands to stop this curse of oppression. Force must be stopped by force. But the revolutionary young men did not try to generate a mass revolution. Instead, they decided to copy the methods of the Irish terrorists and the Russian Nihilists, that is, to assassinate unpopular officials. A beginning had been made in this direction when, in 1897, the Chapekar brothers assassinated two unpopular British officials at Poona. In 1904, V.D. Savarkar had organized the Abhinava Bharat a secret society of revolutionaries. After 1905, several newspaper shad begun to advocate revolutionary terrorism. The Sandhya the Yugantar in Bengal and the Kalin Maharashtra were the most prominent among them
  • In December 1907 an attempt was made to the life of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, and in April 1908 Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki threw a bomb at a carriage which they believed was occupied by Kings ford, the unpopular Judge at Muzaffarpur. Prafull a Chaki shot himself dead while Khudi Boss tried and hanged. The era or revolutionary terrorism had begun. Many secret societies of terrorist youth came into existence. The most famous of these were the Anushilan Samiti whose Dhaka Section a lone had 500 branches, and soon revolutionary terrorist societies became I active in the rest of the country also. They became so bold as to throw a bomb at the Viceroy Lord Hardinge, while he was riding on an elephant m a state procession at Delhi. The Viceroy was wounded.
  • The revolutionaries also established centres of activity abroad. In London, the lead was taken by Shri Krishna varma, V.D. Savarkar, and Har Dayal, while in Europe Madame Cama and Ajit Singh were the prominent leaders. Terrorism too gradually petered out. In fact, terrorism as a political weapon was bound to fail It could not mobilize the masses; in fact it had no base among the people. But the terrorist did-make a valuable contribution growth of nationalism in India. As historian has put it, “they gave us back the pride of our manhood. Because of their heroism, the terrorists became immensely popular among their compatriots even though most of the politically conscious people did not agree with their political approach.
The document Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 | History for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course History for UPSC CSE.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC
162 videos|652 docs|359 tests

FAQs on Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 - History for UPSC CSE

1. What is the significance of the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra in understanding the Nationalist Movement?
Ans. The Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra provides a comprehensive and detailed account of the Nationalist Movement in India. It covers various aspects such as the rise of nationalism, the role of leaders, important events, and the impact of the movement on India's struggle for independence. This book is highly regarded for its accuracy and analysis, making it an essential resource for understanding the Nationalist Movement.
2. How does the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra differ from other books on the Nationalist Movement?
Ans. The Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra stands out from other books on the Nationalist Movement due to its extensive research, unbiased perspective, and detailed analysis. Unlike some other books, it provides a holistic view of the movement, discussing both the contributions and limitations of various leaders and organizations. The book also covers lesser-known aspects and regional movements, making it a comprehensive resource for understanding the Nationalist Movement.
3. Can the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra be helpful for competitive exams?
Ans. Yes, the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra is immensely helpful for competitive exams. Its comprehensive coverage of the Nationalist Movement, coupled with its analytical approach, makes it a valuable resource for exam preparation. The book provides important insights, facts, and arguments that can be used to answer questions related to the Nationalist Movement in various competitive exams.
4. Is the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra suitable for beginners studying the Nationalist Movement?
Ans. Yes, the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra is suitable for beginners studying the Nationalist Movement. It presents the information in a clear and concise manner, making it easy for beginners to understand the complex historical events and concepts. The book also provides a timeline and context for the Nationalist Movement, helping beginners grasp the chronological sequence of events and their significance.
5. Can the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra be used as a reference for academic research on the Nationalist Movement?
Ans. Yes, the Old NCERT book by Bipan Chandra can be used as a reference for academic research on the Nationalist Movement. Its extensive research, detailed analysis, and accurate portrayal of historical events make it a reliable source for academic purposes. However, it is important to supplement the information with other scholarly works and primary sources to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the Nationalist Movement.
162 videos|652 docs|359 tests
Download as PDF
Explore Courses for UPSC exam

How to Prepare for UPSC

Read our guide to prepare for UPSC which is created by Toppers & the best Teachers
Signup for Free!
Signup to see your scores go up within 7 days! Learn & Practice with 1000+ FREE Notes, Videos & Tests.
10M+ students study on EduRev
Download the FREE EduRev App
Track your progress, build streaks, highlight & save important lessons and more!
Related Searches

Extra Questions

,

Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 | History for UPSC CSE

,

past year papers

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

video lectures

,

Exam

,

mock tests for examination

,

pdf

,

Objective type Questions

,

Viva Questions

,

practice quizzes

,

study material

,

Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 | History for UPSC CSE

,

MCQs

,

Summary

,

Semester Notes

,

Sample Paper

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

ppt

,

Old NCERT Summary (Bipan Chandra): Nationalist Movement- 1 | History for UPSC CSE

,

Free

,

Important questions

;