?THE ANTI-PARTITION MOVEMENT(1905-1911) NAME –ARATRIK DAS CLASS-BA LLB (A) ROLL NO. – 024 UNIVERSITY OF PETROLEUM AND ENERGY STUDIES COLLEGE OF LEGAL STUDIES DEHRADUN The Anti-Partition movement (1905-1911): An Effort To Understand The behavior, charectar and backgroud of the movement NAME OF THE FACULTY:SUBMITTED BY: Dr. Vinita SinghARATRIK DAS ROLL-024 CERTIFICATE TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN This is to certify that ARATRIK DAS, student of BA LL. B (Hons. , I semester has successfully completed the Dissertation on the project titled “THE ANTI-PARTITION MOVEMENT: An Effort To Understand The behavior, charectar and backgroud of the movement under my guidance and supervision is an original work of student and is being submitted in partial fulfillment for the award of Integrated BA LL. B (Hons. ) from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies for the requirement of the course of study w. e. f. August 2012-2017. This report has not been submitted earlier to University of Petroleum and Energy Studies or any other University/Institute for the fulfillment of the requirement of the course of study.
Also no part of this project may be used an reproduced by other, either accidentally or commercially without the written consent of author and his/her mentor/supervisor. Signature of StudentSignature of Supervisor ARATRIK DAS Place: Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Date: DECLARATION We, hereby declare that this report is the work of my research done on the topic ANTI-PARTITION MOVEMENT: An Effort To Understand The behavior, charectar and backgroud of the movement . This report herein pertains to the study I have carried out, along with the support of my mentor, Dr.
Vinita Singh. I have put utmost care and enthusiasm in preparing the same and thus hold that the data reported is true and valid to my knowledge. Thanking You. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PLAN OF PARTITION MOTIVE OF THE PARTITION REACTION TO THE PARTITION ANTI-PARTITION MOVEMENT REVOLUTIONARY ACTIVITY SWADESHI BOYCOTT NATIONAL EDUCATION SPREAD OF SWADESHI MOVEMENT ACROSS INDIA IMPACT OF SWADESHI MOVEMENT CRITICSM OF THE MOVEMENT EXTREMIST PHRASE SURAT SPLIT ANNULMENT OF THE PARTITION INTRODUCTION
The early twentieth century were stormy. This was the time when the greatest disaster in history took place. The political scenario has undergone a change. The British began to feel a little uncomfortable. The simmering discontent. Political discontent has been growing due to the government’s inability to organize effective relief during the plague and famine. To stem the discontent, the British played political asset with great aplomb. For the first time, they used their political divide and conquer game with great force.
From 1870, the British began to encourage Hindus and Muslims to form their own political parties to establish their distinct religious identities. This was perhaps the beginning of the municipalization of the policy. Colombia is not only encouraged the two communities to form political parties along religious lines, they have taken several positive steps to create a situation in which Hindus and Muslims would be forced to think of a way that if their identity religion is in peril. This effort led to the partition of Bengal in 1905.
West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar was on one side and the former East Bengal and Assam was on the other. The score was made along communal lines. This score gave impetus to the religious divide and, as a result of this, All India Muslim League and All India Hindu Mahasabha was formed. Both organizations aim to inflame communal passions. BACKGROUND Partition of Bengal in 1905 made ?? October 16 in the Viceroyalty of Lord Curzon (1899-1905), proved to be a momentous event in the history of modern Bengal. The idea of partition of Bengal did not start with Curzon.
Bengal, which included Bihar and Orissa since 1765, was certainly much too large for a single province of British India. The first province became too large for efficient administration and required reorganization and smart division. The Lieutenant Governor of Bengal had to administer an area 189,000 square miles and in 1903 the population of the province increased to EUR 78. 50 million. Therefore, many districts in eastern Bengal were virtually ignored because of isolation and lack of communication that has made ?? good governance almost impossible.
Calcutta and its neighboring districts attracted all the energy and attention of the government. The condition of the peasants was miserable in the tax absentee landlords, and trade, commerce and education has been compromised. The administrative machinery of the province was under-staffed. Especially in East Bengal, in the campaign to cut by rivers and streams, no attention has been paid to the special difficulties of police work until the last decade of the 19th century. Organized piracy in the waterways had existed for at least a century.
With administrative difficulties, the problems of famine, defense or language had at one time or another asked the government to consider the redefinition of administrative boundaries. Ad hoc efforts have been made ?? to reorganize the administrative units of Bengal. In 1836, the upper provinces were sliced ?? out of Bengal and placed under a Lieutenant Governor. In 1854, the Governor General in Council was relieved of the direct administration of Bengal was placed under a Lieutenant Governor. At the time it took Curzon partition scheme Bengal three long years to reach maturity.
To follow the course of its development, we can mention the masterful summary of Sumit Sarkar given in his The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal: “After the Orissa famine of 1866, Sir Stafford Northcote has suggested a reduction in the size of the great Bengal Presidency (which included, besides the good Bengal, the entire Bihar, Orissa and Assam) for reasons of administrative efficiency in 1874 Assam (along with Sylhet) was severed from Bengal to form a Chief Commissioner and in 1898 Lushai Hills were added to it.
Proposals for partitioning Bengal were first considered in 1903. Initial pension Curzon was on grounds of administrative efficiency. It was probably during the noisy demonstrations and adverse reaction to the initial plan, the first officials considered the potential benefits of divided Bengal. Originally, the division was made ?? on geography rather than a communal basis openly. “Political considerations” in this regard seems to have been a “coup”. The government’s argument is that the partition of Bengal was purely an administrative measure with three main objectives.
First, he wanted to relieve the government of Bengal part of the administrative burden and ensure a more efficient management in the suburbs. Second, the government seeks to promote the development of Assam back (headed by a Chief Commissioner) by extending its jurisdiction to provide an outlet to the sea Third, the government felt it was urgent to unite the various sections of the population speaking Uriya under one administration. There were other proposals to separate Chittagong and the districts of Dhaka (then Dacca) and Mymensigh Bengal and Assam to attach.
Similarly Chhota Nagpur should be removed from Bengal and integrated with the central provinces. The government’s proposals were officially released in January 1904. In February 1904, Curzon made ?? an official tour of the eastern districts of Bengal to assess public opinion on the government’s proposals. He consulted the main personalities of the various districts and speeches at Dhaka, Chittagong and Mymensigh explaining the government’s position on the partition. It was during this visit that the decision to move from an expanded system possessed his mind.
This would involve the creation of a new autonomous province under a Lieutenant Governor in the Legislative Council, an independent authority funding and transfer of territory as would justify a fully equipped administration. The expanded program has received the consent of the Government of Assam and Bengal. The new province would be in the state of Hill Tripura, the Divisions of Chittagong, Dhaka and Rajshahi (excluding Darjeeling) and the district of Malda amalgamated with Assam. Bengal was to not only make these vast territories in the East, but also to give the central provinces of the five states Hindi language.
To the west, it would gain Sambalpur and a minor extent of five states Uriya French central provinces. Bengal would be left with an area of 141. 580 square miles and a population of 54 million, of which $ 42 million would be Hindus and 9 million Muslims. The new province was to be called ‘East Bengal and Assam “with its capital at Dhaka and subsidiary headquarters at Chittagong. It will cover an area of 106. 540 square miles with a population of 31 million, including 18 million Muslims and 12 million Hindus.
His administration would consist of a Legislative Council, a board of Revenue of two members, and the jurisdiction of the Calcutta High Court would be left standing. The government has stressed that the new province would have a clearly demarcated western boundary and well defined geographical, ethnological, linguistic and social characteristics. The most striking feature of the new province was that it will focus on its own limits the population of Bengal hitherto ignored and neglected typical homogenous Muslim.
Moreover, the entire tea industry (except Darjeeling), and most of the jute growing area would be placed under a single administration. The Indian government has issued a final decision in a resolution dated 19 July 1905 and the partition of Bengal was carried out on October 16 of the same year. MAP SHOWING PARTITON OF BENGAL INDIAN MAP AT THE TIME OF THE PARTITION THE PARTITON : Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India has decided to partition Bengal for administrative purposes, the creation of a new province of East Bengal and Assam, with a population of 31 million and its capital Dhaka.
The (Ganges) Brahmaputra and Padma physically defined the first partition of Bengal. East Bengal prospered, Dhaka assumed its former status as capital and Chittagong became an important port Sea. Given below is the proclamation of the partition : Governor general is pleased to establish territories currently under the administration of the Chief Commissioner of Assam for e t re for the Indian Councils Act of 1861 … a province the provisions of this Act relating to the e the aboration of laws and e g Parliaments for peace and good order of pr e s idences Fort St.
George and Bombay is applicable and direct that the said province shall e t re call e and known as the province of East Bengal and Assam …. Governor general in Council is pleased to declare the day of October 1905 as the perioud during which these provisions come into force and 15 as the number of advisors that the Lieutenant Governor may from e s igner for his help in the aboration laws and parliaments. Governor general in Council is further pleased to e c larer and name in the constitution of the said province of East Bengal and Assam, the districts of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Faridpur, Backergunge, Tippera, Noakhali, Chittagong,
Chittagong Hill Tracts, Rajashahi, Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri , Rangpur, Bogra, Pabna, and Malda which now form part of the division of Bengal Pr e s idence Fort William cease to be submitted or included within this division, and shall will be submitted and included within the Lieutenant Governor of the Province of East Bengal and Assam. The reason behind the partition which has been officially announced, it is the province of Bengal was too large to be managed by a single governor and was therefore shared the administrative purpose.
But the real reason behind the partition was political and not administrative. East Bengal was dominated by Muslims and Hindus in West Bengal. Partition was yet another part of the “divide and rule” policy. The following excerpts from the letter of February 2, 1905 Curzon St. John Brodrick, Secretary of State for India, give an idea of ?? its objectives in the partition of Bengal “Calcutta is the center from which the Congress Party is manipulated throughout Bengal, and even the whole of India.
His best shooters son and its most frothy orators all reside here. ‘s Perfection their machines, and the tyranny that allows him to exercise are truly remarkable They dominate public opinion in Calcutta. they affect the High Court, which frighten the local government, and they are sometimes not without serious influence on the Government of India. Their whole activity is directed towards the creation of a powerful organization they may one day be able to force a weak government to give them what they want.
Any action accordingly which divide the Bengali-speaking population, which would allow independent centers of activity and influence grow, which would dethrone Calcutta from its place as the center of the plot successful, or would weaken the influence of the lawyer class, who have the entire organization in their hands, is intensely and deeply felt by them. The outcry will be loud and very fierce, but as a native man said: – “My countrymen always howl until something is settled, then they accept it. ” The partition of Bengal was the largest in the reign of Lord Curzon event.
It was done mainly for reasons of administrative convenience. Bengal at the time was the largest province of India extends to 1, 89, 000 square miles with a population of 80 million. It was composed of Bengal, Behar and Orissa and was under the center of a lieutenant governor. After Lord Curzon took over as Governor General of India the debate on partition started due to the following problems: 1. Vastness of the province: The province was spread on the surface of 1, 89, 000 square miles with a population of 80 million, which was too large to be managed by a Lieutenant Governor.
He could not make a turn for the entire province due to its vastness both in its mandate. 2. Limited sources of communication: communication sources in the provinces have been limited due to rivers and forests. The rule of law and order of the provinces was also worse because of the lack of policy and management in-effective. Therefore, the need to partition the province was considered jointly. 3. Unlike the language: There were also differences between languages ?? and civilization native of West Bengal and East Bengal.
The natives of West Bengal considered themselves superior in civilization resident of East Bengal. The condition required for the division of provinces. 4. Need of the time: The division of Bengal was the need of time to develop trade in East Bengal and promote the port of Chittagong, which could be done by dividing the provinces. 5. Partition: The partition of Bengal was thus calculated to restore the effectiveness of government and administration on the one hand and encouraged local initiatives for the progress and development of the other.
Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal and formed two new provinces of manageable size – East and West Bengal. East Bengal consisted of Dhaka Mamansingh, Assam, Kaula, Rangpur and Bogra district, the Dhaka was the capital of East Bengal was a Muslim majority province, while Bihar and Orissa constituted a separate province of be called as West Bengal with the capital of Calcutta and become the Hindu-majority provinces. ACTUAL MOTIVE OF THE PARTITION The main reason for the partition was purely political. Hindus were in a better position in terms of economic status, professional qualifications, etc, as Muslims.
During the pre-Sepoy Mutiny, Section Hindu traders greatly helped the British while their Muslim counterparts do not. The British were angry. With the widespread Hindu Western education is a great way, but Muslims could not. A sense of deprivation crept in. Maybe the feeling of deprivation was designed. When discontent grew in the beginning of this century, the British capitalized on this feeling of deprivation. A sense of inferiority was there. The British simply add fuel to the fire. Suddenly, the two communities have become aware of their religious identity.
The net result is the partition of Bengal. The trigger score is still healing. But if the administration was only terconnections power structures and governance speakers, Bengali critics of the regime were quick to respond to local, provincial, and every Indian.? Yet, for allthere was no reason for new provinces may not have knowledge of the literature, a crucial restwas carved out of the large, unexplained non Bengali language: namely, the ideological content of basepeople of Orissa and Bihar rather than division nationalism itself, “a sense of national solidarityAppropriate Bengal.
The real motives behind the govern-against imperialism, political and economic foreign. Ment plan was not difficult to see: first, to divide the force that was contrary to the interests of the population Troublesome Bengalis of Calcutta from the issue of the Indian subcontinent “a feeling that Bengalis of eastern districts, and second, to pro-“could not be reduced to a catalog of rivalry be- promote the interests, and thus courting the favor of interpolation and Indians vying for government patron large Muslim population of East Bengal as a com-age “3.
Even within Marxist historiography, there is hardly a Munal counterweight to the great Hindu majority new observation that the actual content of nationalist “Educated middle class” that dominated the vivid political ideologies can not simply be inferred from the competition tics of the region} Communalism Communalism plays a key role in the analysis of the true nature of riots between Hindus and Muslimsin Bengal in 1906 and 1907, after an unsuccessful attempt was made ?? y the British Government to divide Bengal in 1905 and also to analyze the subsequent policy developments that led to the founding of the Muslim League in 1906 and Ulti- ron in the partition of India in 1947. To understand the socio-political impact of the partition of Bengal in 1906, firstly im- pressure of “communitarianism” arouses our attention. Communalism found different interpretations through the ages. But the basic idea remains more or less the same. “The term” communitarianism “.. efers to the tendency of people to perceive their interests as identical to those of their religious group, the tendency to re- gard the values ?? and activities of members of other religious groups foreign or hostile, the trend of religion in determining political affiliation tion, the trend of group conflicts occur between members of different religious communities “- John Mclane R (partition of Bengal in 1905: A Political analysis). Even today to scrutinize the problems of discrimination called common India, an account of the most recent term as interpreted in recent times, is important cant. The term is widely used in the Indian context to describe the mutual hostility between communities based on religion “- Jaya Chatterjee (BengaI Divided). These definitions are more relevant today when it seems that the people of the land have not learned from their past mistakes and are ready to run into the same difficulty water that their people did in the early 1900’s. Relation between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal before 1900 But the scenario is not always the same. Before 1906 conflict between Hindus and Muslims in Bengal was rarely seen in relation to other states of India.
There were reports stray incidents of cow-slaughter festivals, religious and social repre- tion of advisory and statutory organizations, education and self-government job, but they remained only small friction, but never caused a large com- internal discord. Muslim society in general before 1906 was a step back, full of discrimination tions between them, divided into classes based on social and economic stand- points. Muslims of the lower classes were despised by elite Muslims and so- Social contact was avoided as much as possible.
In retrospect, the Muslim elite had more in common with the wealthy Muslim underclass Hindu upper class. Despite contacts overnight, there was almost no way of integration between Hindus and Muslims. Therefore, ignorance and indifference prevailed. No awareness effort was made ?? by one of the two communities to understand and pathise with sym other mode of life inherent, features and cultures. In addition, the attitudes of many religious and community Hindus Mus- LIMS has no means of communication between the two impossible.
Perhaps the greater discrimination lie in the field of government jobs, educational opportunities and agrarian opportunities. Although no obvious hostility was in view for all by- particular person, a general dislike for Muslims still brewed in the spirit of the Hin- due because they were one-time leaders. Stories were heard and spread over Muslim domination and oppression on the one hand, and the Hindu heroic rebellion against them another. Consequently, such a passive hostility is natural. But what was the situation tion, co-existence more or less peaceful between Hindus and Muslims was always assisted in Bengal before partition.
Steps to partition Bengal at the time of Lord Curzon was the largest and most populous province not capable of being governed by a single person, or the discs official races. Thus, in 1903, a It has been proposed to separate Chittagong Division and the districts of Dhaka and Mymensingh Bengal and add with the province of Assam. This proposal met with overwhelming opposition from all strata of society, rich land lords and landless poor, political leaders and labor classes and both Hindus and Muslims.
The protest meetings, processions, brochures and widely expressed opinion of the general public newspaper articles opposing even the idea of separating people by geographical boundaries. During his tour in East Bengal, Curzon witnessed the people’s solidarity Bengal, the center of nationalism in India. The only way to guarantee the British Regime NEAP was the bud of nationalism and to do this, the sense of solidarity among Bengali people must be crushed. In East Bengal, the Muslim large rear- ity pose no danger to the British as the new privileges granted to them make them loyal to the British government.
At the same time, Bengal Bengalis cease to be a majority after that it would be tied with Bihar and Orissa. Cal- cutta, the center of the new nationalism found lose its importance as Bengali Hindus with their advanced political consciousness will be a minority in the new province of Bengal. Thus in 1905, the British decided to redraw the boundaries of Bengal and halved parts: West Bengal, with a population of 54 million, of which $ 42 million would Hindus and 9 million Muslims in Calcutta as its capital, and Bengal and East Assam with a population of 31 million, 18 million are Muslim and 12 million Hindus in Dhaka as their capital.
The land must be transferred from Bengal the new province was composed of the districts of Chittagong and Dhaka divisions, those of Rajshahi division except Darjeeling and Malda district. Curzon sent the scheme in London in February 1905. It was sanctioned by the Secretary- silence of State for India, St. John Brodrich in June, and the announcement of the for- tion of the new province was released in July 20, 1905. The province of Bengal LORD CURZON George Curzon was the eldest son of Baron Curzon. It was perhaps the most important British politician in modern times has failed in his quest to become Prime Minister.
He was born in 1859 and proved to be a brilliant student. Curzon was an ambitious man who tended to see problems in clear terms. He took strong positions and rarely recognize common ground. He became a force in the Conservative Party and served as Viceroy of India. He introduced reforms angry Lord Kitchner – Chief of the British army in India. It was at that time a strong supporter of the Empire and the imperial mission of Great Britain. Interestingly, today it is best known for expanding the Western knowledge of Indian art, archeology and literature.
Before and after World War I, he led the fight against women’s suffrage, which is part of the reason he never achieved his goal of becoming Prime Minister. George was a brilliant student. He attended the prestigious Eton public (private) school. At Eton College, he won a record number of academic awards. He entered the University of Oxford in 1878. He was elected president of the Oxford Union in 1880 – a great honor. Although George did not win first, he was named a Fellow of All Souls College in 1883. The Marquis of Salisbury in November 1891 appointed Curzon as his Secretary of State for India.
Curzon lost this position when Earl of Rosebery formed a Liberal government in 1894. The general elections of 1895, the Conservative Party returned to power. Curzon was given the post of Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Three years later, the Marquess of Salisbury was granted the title Baron Curzon of Kedleston, and appointed Viceroy of India. Once in India, Curzon introduced a series of reforms sweeping the British civil service and in India. He also angered Lord Kitchener, who had taken command of the Indian Army in 1902. Lord Curzon was one of the largest of the British viceroys.
He was a seasoned politician and very young, only 40 at the time of his appointment. He was an energetic and capable. His understanding of Asian business was better than another British government of the time. He understood the Indian problems and answers to most of them. Its purpose was to strengthen the British Empire in India. The reforms were very wide, too popular to assess in detail ant here. Many, such as measures to deal with the plague and protect farmers were of great benefit to the Indians Imperialist until his fingertips Curzon was the hope of rising imperialist wing of the Conservative Party.
In his student years as president of the Oxford Union, he earned the doggerel: My name is George Nathaniel Curzon, I am a superior person, My cheek is pink, my hair is smooth, I dine at Blenheim once a week. For a man like Churchill – another bird of the same feather, but in a lighter shade, not from conviction, but for convenience – which belonged to the same party, Curzon was one of those “upper Oxford pedants” for that democracy, even the Tory variety, was anathema. . A measure to divide Bengal was very unpopular.
It was at that time a strong supporter of the Empire and the imperial mission of Great Britain. Interestingly, today it is best known for expanding the Western knowledge of Indian art, archeology and literature. One of these reforms was to preserve the Indian archaeological treasures. His numerous reforms disrupted many British leaders whose main interest was to maintain the established order with a minimum of local agitation. The new Conservative leader, Arthur Balfour, began to question the judgment of Curzon. Curzon in 1905 was forced out of office. REACTION TO THE PROPOSAL
The publication of the original proposals by the end of 1903, had aroused unprecedented opposition, especially among the influential educated middle-class Hindus. The proposed territorial adjustment seemed to touch the existing interest groups and consequently led to fierce opposition. The lawyers of Calcutta apprehended that the creation of a new province would mean the creation of a Court of Appeal in Dhaka and to diminish the importance of their own High Court. Journalists feared the emergence of local newspapers, which would limit the flow of Calcutta Press.
The business community of Calcutta visualized the movement of commerce from Calcutta to Chittagong, which is closer, and logically the cheapest port. The Zamindars who owned large estates in both the west and east Bengal foresaw the need to maintain separate institutions in Dhaka which could result in additional costs. Educated Bengali Hindus felt that this was a deliberate blow inflicted by Curzon in the national consciousness and the growing solidarity of the Bengali-speaking population of people.
The Hindus of Bengal, which controlled much of the trade in Bengal and the various professions and directed rural society, said that the Bengali nation would be divided, making them a minority in a province, including the whole of Bihar and Orissa. They complained that it was a veiled attempt by Curzon to strangle the spirit of nationalism in Bengal. They firmly believed that it was the main purpose of the Government to encourage the growth of a Muslim power in Eastern Bengal as a counterweight to thwart the rise rapid of the Hindu community educated.
Economic, political and community interests together to intensify the opposition to the measure of the partition. The Indian and specially the Bengali press against the decision of the score from the beginning. The British press, the Anglo-Indian press and even some administrators also opposed the proposed measure. The score evokes strong protests in West Bengal, especially in Calcutta and gave a new boost to Indian nationalism. Now, the Indian NATIONAL Congress was destined to become the main platform of the Indian nationalist movement.
He exposes the strength and unusual vigor and went from a pressure group of the middle class to a mass nationwide organization. The direction of the Indian national Congress saw the partition as an attempt to “divide and rule” and as evidence of the vindictive antipathy of the Government towards the bhadralok outspoken intellectuals. Mother Goddess worshipping Hindu Bengali believes that the score reverted to vivisection of their ‘province of the mother ‘. «» Band-Mataram ‘ (Hail Fatherland) almost became the Indian national anthem of the national Congress. Defeat of the partition became the immediate target of bengali nationalism.
Agitation against the partition is manifested in the form of mass meetings, rural unrest and a SWADESHI movement to boycott the importation of British manufactured goods. Swadeshi and Boycott were weapons binoculars of this nationalism and Swaraj (independence) its main objective. Swaraj was first mentioned in the presidential speeches of Dadabhai Naoroji as the objective of the Congress session Calcutta in 1906. Leaders like SURENDRANATH BANERJEA and journalists such as Krishna Kumar Mitra, Director of the Sanjivani (13 July 1905) have urged people to boycott British products, observe mourning and breaking contact with official bodies.
At a meeting in Calcutta 7 August 1905 (acclaimed as the birth of Indian nationalism) a resolution to refrain from buying British products as long that “the partition resolution is not withdrawn” has been accepted successfully. This national spirit has been popularized by the patriotic songs of DWIJENDRALAL ROY, RAJANIKANTA SEN and RABINDRANATH TAGORE. Comme with other political movements of the day this also made a religious connotation. S Puja were offered to underline the solemnity of the occasion.
The Hindu religious fervour reaches its peak on September 28, 1905, the day of the Mahalaya, the day of new moon before the puja, and thousands of Hindus gathered at the Kali temple in Calcutta. In Bengal, the cult of Kali, Consort of Shiva, had always been very popular. She possessed a two-dimensional character with attributes involved in both generators and destructive. Simultaneously, she took great pleasure in bloody sacrifices, but it was also revered as the great mother associated with the design of the Bengal as the homeland.
This design provides a solid foundation for the support of the political objectives stimulated by the religious excitement. Kali has been accepted as a symbol of the homeland, and the priest administers the Swadeshi vow. Such religious flavor could and should give the movement a widespread appeal among the Hindu masses, but at the same time that the flavor has aroused hostility in Muslim minds average. Gatherings of huge protest before and after the division of Bengal on October 16, 1905 has attracted millions of people previously not involved in politics.
The Swadeshi movement as an economic movement would have been perfectly acceptable for Muslims, but the movement has been used as a weapon against the partition (of which the largest body of made Muslims support) and as he often had a religious colouring added, he antagonized the Muslim minds The new tide of national sentiment against the Partition of Bengal originating in Bengal spilled over into different regions in India Punjab, Central Provinces, Poona, Madras, Bombay and other cities. Instead of wearing foreign made outfits, the Indians vowed to use only swadeshi (indigenous) cottons and other clothing materials made in India.
Foreign garments were viewed as hateful imports. The Swadeshi Movement soon stimulated local enterprise in many areas; from Indian cotton mills to match factories, glassblowing shops, iron and steel foundries. The agitation also generated increased demands for national education. Bengali teachers and students extended their boycott of British goods to English schools and college classrooms. The movement for national education spread throughout Bengal and reached even as far as Benaras where Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya founded his private Benaras Hindu University in 1910.
The student community of Bengal responded with great enthusiasm to the call of nationalism. Students including schoolboys participated en masse in the campaigns of Swadeshi and Boycott. The government retaliated with the notorious Carlyle Circular that aimed to crush the students’ participation in the Swadeshi and Boycott movements. Both the students and the teachers strongly reacted against this repressive measure and the protest was almost universal. In fact, through this protest movement the first organised student movement was born in Bengal.
Along with this the ‘Anti-Circular Society’, a militant student organisation, also came into being. The anti-partition agitation was peaceful and constitutional at the initial stage, but when it appeared that it was not yielding the desired results the protest movement inevitably passed into the hands of more militant leaders. Two techniques of boycott and terrorism were to be applied to make their mission successful. Consequently the younger generation, who were unwittingly drawn into politics, adopted terrorist methods by using firearms, pistols and bombs indiscriminately.
The agitation soon took a turn towards anarchy and disorder. Several assassinations were committed and attempts were made on the lives of officials including Sir andrew fraser . The terrorist movement soon became an integral part of the Swadeshi agitation. Bengal terrorism reached its peak from 1908 through 1910, as did the severity of official repression and the number of ‘preventive detention’ arrests. The new militant spirit was reflected in the columns of the nationalist newspapers, notably the Bande Mataram , Sandhya and Jugantar .
The press assisted a great deal to disseminate revolutionary ideas. In 1907, the Indian National Congress at its annual session in Surat split into two groups – one being moderate, liberal, and evolutionary; and the other extremist, militant and revolutionary. The young militants of Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s extremist party supported the ‘cult of the bomb and the gun’ while the moderate leaders like Gopal Krishna Gokhale and Surendranath Banerjea cautioned against such extremist actions fearing it might lead to anarchy and uncontrollable violence.
Surendranath Banerjea, though one of the front-rank leaders of the anti-Partition agitation, was not in favour of terrorist activities. When the proposal for partition was first published in 1903 there was expression of Muslim opposition to the scheme. central national muhamedan association , chowdhury kazemuddin ahmad siddiky and Delwar Hossain Ahmed condemned the proposed measure. Even Nawab salimullah termed the suggestion as ‘beastly’ at the initial stage. In the beginning the main criticism from the Muslim side was against any part of an enlightened and advanced province of Bengal passing under the rule of a chief commissioner.
They felt that thereby, their educational, social and other interests would suffer, and there is no doubt that the Muslims also felt that the proposed measure would threaten Bengali solidarity. The Muslim intelligentsia, however, criticised the ideas of extremist militant nationalism as being against the spirit of Islam. The Muslim press urged its educated co-religionists to remain faithful to the government. On the whole the Swadeshi preachers were not able to influence and arouse the predominantly Muslim masses in east Bengal.
The anti-partition trend in the thought process of the Muslims did not continue for long. When the wider scheme of a self contained separate province was known to the educated section of the Muslims they soon changed their views. They realised that the partition would be a boon to them and that their special difficulties would receive greater attention from the new administration. The Muslims accorded a warm welcome to the new Lieutenant-Governor bampfylde fuller . Even the Moslem Chronicle soon changed its attitude in favour of partition. Some Muslims in Calcutta also welcomed the creation of the new province.
The mohammedan literary society brought out a manifesto in 1905 signed by seven leading Muslim personalities. The manifesto was circulated to the different Muslim societies of both west and east Bengal and urged the Muslims to give their unqualified support to the partition measure. The creation of the new province provided an incentive to the Muslims to unite into a compact body and form an association to voice their own views and aspiration relating to social and political matters. On 16 October 1905 the Mohammedan Provincial Union was founded.
All the existing organisations and societies were invited to affiliate themselves with it and Salimullah was unanimously chosen as its patron. Even then there was a group of educated liberal Muslims who came forward and tendered support to the anti-partition agitation and the Swadeshi Movement. Though their number was insignificant, yet their role added a new dimension in the thought process of the Muslims. This broad-minded group supported the Indian National Congress and opposed the partition. The most prominent among this section of the Muslims was khwaza atiqullah .
At the Calcutta session of the Congress (1906), he moved a resolution denouncing the partition of Bengal. abdur rasul , Khan Bahadur Muhammad Yusuf (a pleader and a member of the Management Committee of the Central National Muhamedan Association), Mujibur Rahman, AH abdul halim ghaznavi , ismail hossain shiraji , Muhammad Gholam Hossain (a writer and a promoter of Hindu-Muslim unity), Maulvi Liaqat Hussain (a liberal Muslim who vehemently opposed the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy of the British), Syed Hafizur Rahman Chowdhury of Bogra and Abul Kasem of Burdwan inspired Muslims to join the anti-Partition agitation.
There were even a few Muslim preachers of Swadeshi ideas, like Din Muhammad of Mymensingh and Abdul Gaffar of Chittagong. It needs to be mentioned that some of the liberal nationalist Muslims like AH Ghaznavi and Khan Bahadur Muhammad Yusuf supported the Swadeshi Movement but not the Boycott agitation. A section of the Muslim press tried to promote harmonious relations between the Hindus and the Muslims. ak fazlul huq and Nibaran Chandra Das preached non-communal ideas through their weekly Balaka (1901, Barisal) and monthly Bharat Suhrd (1901, Barisal).
Only a small section of Muslim intellectuals could rise above their sectarian outlook and join with the Congress in the anti-partition agitation and constitutional politics. The general trend of thoughts in the Muslim minds was in favour of partition. The All India muslim league , founded in 1906, supported the partition. In the meeting of the Imperial Council in 1910 Shamsul Huda of Bengal and Mazhar-ul-Huq from Bihar spoke in favour of the partition. The traditional and reformist Muslim groups – the Faraizi, Wahabi and Taiyuni – supported the partition.
Consequently an orthodox trend was visible in the political attitude of the Muslims. The Bengali Muslim press in general lent support to the partition. The Islam Pracharak described Swadeshi as a Hindu movement and expressed grave concern saying that it would bring hardship to the common people. The Muslim intelligentsia in general felt concerned about the suffering of their co-religionists caused by it. They particularly disliked the movement as it was tied to the anti-partition agitation.
Reputed litterateurs like mir mosharraf hossain were virulent critics of the Swadeshi Movement. The greater body of Muslims at all levels remained opposed to the Swadeshi Movement since it was used as a weapon against the partition and a religious tone was added to it. The economic aspect of the movement was partly responsible for encouraging separatist forces within the Muslim society. The superiority of the Hindus in the sphere of trade and industry alarmed the Muslims. Fear of socio-economic domination by the Hindus made them alert to safeguard their own interests.
These apprehensions brought about a rift in Hindu-Muslims relations. In order to avoid economic exploitation by the Hindus, some wealthy Muslim entrepreneurs came forward to launch new commercial ventures. One good attempt was the founding of steamer companies operating between Chittagong and Rangoon in 1906. In the context of the partition the pattern of the land system in Bengal played a major role to influence the Muslim mind. The absentee Hindu zamindars made no attempt to improve the lot of the raiyat s who were mostly Muslims.
The agrarian disputes (between landlords and tenants) already in existence in the province also appeared to take a communal colour. It was alleged that the Hindu landlords had been attempting to enforce Swadeshi ideas on the tenants and induce them to join the anti-partition movement. In 1906, the Muslims organised an Islamic conference at Keraniganj in Dhaka as a move to emphasise their separate identity as a community. The Swadeshi Movement with its Hindu religious flavour fomented aggressive reaction from the other community.
A red pamphlet of a highly inflammatory nature was circulated among the Muslim masses of Eastern Bengal and Assam urging them completely to dissociate from the Hindus. It was published under the auspices of the anjuman-i-mufidul islam under the editorship of a certain Ibrahim Khan. Moreover, such irritating moves as the adoption of the Bande Mataram as the song of inspiration or introduction of the cult of Shivaji as a national hero, and reports of communal violence alienated the Muslims.
One inevitable result of such preaching was the riot that broke out at Comilla in March 1907, followed by similar riots in Jamalpur in April of that year. These communal disturbances became a familiar feature in Eastern Bengal and Assam and followed a pattern that was repeated elsewhere. The 1907 riots represent a watershed in the history of modern Bengal. While Hindu-Muslims relations deteriorated, political changes of great magnitude were taking place in the Government of India’s policies, and simultaneously in the relations of Bengali Muslim leaders with their non-Bengalee counterparts.
Both developments had major repercussions on communal relations in eastern Bengal. The decision to introduce constitutional reforms culminating in the morley-minto reforms of 1909 introducing separate representation for the Muslims marked a turning point in Hindu-Muslim relations. The early administrators of the new province from the lieutenant governor down to the junior-most officials in general were enthusiastic in carrying out the development works. Bampfylde Fuller was accused by the anti-Partition movement leaders as being extremely partial to Muslims.
He, because of a difference with the Government of India, resigned in August 1906. His resignation and its prompt acceptance were considered by the Muslims to be a solid political victory for the Hindus. The general Muslim feeling was that in yielding to the pressure of the anti-Partition agitators the government had revealed its weakness and had overlooked the loyal adherence of the Muslims to the government. Consequently, the antagonism between the Hindus and Muslims became very acute in the new province.
The Muslim leaders, now more conscious of their separate communal identity, directed their attention in uniting the different sections of their community to the creation of a counter movement against that of the Hindus. They keenly felt the need for unity and believed that the Hindu agitation against the Partition was in fact a communal movement and as such a threat to the Muslims as a separate community. They decided to faithfully follow the directions of leaders like Salimullah and Nawab Ali Chowdhury and formed organisations like the Mohammedan Provincial Union.
Though communalism had reached its peak in the new province by 1907, there is evidence of a sensible and sincere desire among some of the educated and upper class Muslims and Hindus to put an end to these religious antagonisms. A group of prominent members of both communities met the Viceroy Lord Minto on 15 March 1907 with suggestions to put an end to communal violence and promote religious harmony between the two communities. The landlord-tenant relationship in the new province had deteriorated and took a communal turn. The Hindu landlords felt alarmed at the acts of terrorism committed by the anti-partition agitators.
To prove their unswerving loyalty to the government and give evidence of their negative attitude towards the agitation, they offered their hands of friendship and co-operation to their Muslim counterp arts to the effect that they would take a non-communal stand and work unitedly against the anti-government revolutionary movements. In the meantime the All-India Muslim League had come into being at Dacca on 30 December 1906. Though several factors were responsible for the formation of such an organisation, the Partition of Bengal and the threat to it was, perhaps, the most important factor that hastened its birth.
At its very first sitting at Dacca the Muslim League, in one of its resolutions, said: ‘That this meeting in view of the clear interest of the Muhammadans of Eastern Bengal consider that Partition is sure to prove beneficial to the Muhammadan community which constitute the vast majority of the populations of the new province and that all such methods of agitation such as boycotting should be strongly condemned and discouraged’. To assuage the resentment of the assertive Bengali Hindus, the British government decided to annul the Partition of Bengal.
As regards the Muslims of Eastern Bengal the government stated that in the new province the Muslims were in an overwhelming majority in point of population, under the new arrangement also they would still be in a position of approximate numerical equality or possibly of small superiority over the Hindus. The interests of the Muslims would be safeguarded by special representation in the Legislative Councils and the local bodies. lord hardinge succeeded Minto and on 25 August 1911. In a secret despatch the government of India recommended certain changes in the administration of India.
According to the suggestion of the Governor-General-in-Council, King George V at his Coronation Darbar in Delhi in December 1911 announced the revocation of the Partition of Bengal and of certain changes in the administration of India. Firstly, the Government of India should have its seat at Delhi instead of Calcutta. By shifting the capital to the site of past Muslim glory, the British hoped to placate Bengal’s Muslim community now aggrieved at the loss of provincial power and privilege in eastern Bengal.
Secondly, the five Bengali speaking Divisions viz The Presidency, Burdwan, Dacca, Rajshahi and Chittagong were to be united and formed into a Presidency to be administered by a Governor-in-Council. The area of this province would be approximately 70,000 sq miles with a population of 42 million. Thirdly, a Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council with a Legislative Council was to govern the province comprising of Bihar, Chhota Nagpur and Orissa. Fourthly, Assam was to revert back to the rule of a Chief Commissioner. The date chosen for the formal ending of the partition and reunification of Bengal was I April 1912.
Reunification of Bengal indeed served somewhat to soothe the feeling of the Bengalee Hindus, but the down grading of Calcutta from imperial to mere provincial status was simultaneously a blow to ‘Bhadralok’ egos and to Calcutta real estate values. To deprive Calcutta of its prime position as the nerve centre of political activity necessarily weakened the influence of the Bengalee Hindus. The government felt that the main advantage, which could be derived from the move, was that it would remove the seat of the government of India from the agitated atmosphere of Bengal.
Lord Carmichael, a man of liberal sympathies, was chosen as the first Governor of reunified Bengal. The Partition of Bengal and the agitation against it had far-reaching effects on Indian history and national life. The twin weapons of Swadeshi and Boycott adopted by the Bengalis became a creed with the Indian National Congress and were used more effectively in future conflicts. They formed the basis of Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation, Satyagraha and Khadi movements. They also learned that organised political agitation and critical public opinion can force the government to accede to public demands.
The annulment of the partition as a result of the agitation against it had a negative effect on the Muslims. The majority of the Muslims did not like the Congress support to the anti-partition agitation. The politically conscious Muslims felt that the Congress had supported a Hindu agitation against the creation of a Muslim majority province. It reinforced their belief that their interests were not safe in the hands of the Congress. Thus they became more anxious to emphasise their separate communal identity and leaned towards the Muslim League to safeguard their interest against the dominance of the Hindu majority in undivided India.
To placate Bengali Muslim feelings Lord Hardinge promised a new University at Dacca on 31 January 1912 to a Muslim deputation led by Salimullah. The Partition of Bengal of 1905 left a profound impact on the political history of India. From a political angle the measure accentuated Hindu-Muslim differences in the region. One point of view is that by giving the Muslim’s a separate territorial identity in 1905 and a communal electorate through the Morley-Minto Reforms of 1909 the British Government in a subtle manner tried to neutralise the possibility of major Muslim participation in the Indian National Congress.
The Partition of Bengal indeed marks a turning point in the history of nationalism in India. It may be said that it was out of the travails of Bengal that Indian nationalism was born. By the same token the agitation against the partition and the terrorism that it generated was one of the main factors which gave birth to Muslim nationalism and encouraged them to engage in separatist politics. The birth of the Muslim League in 1906 at Dacca (Dhaka) bears testimony to this.
The annulment of the partition sorely disappointed not only the Bengali Muslims but also the Muslims of the whole of India. They felt that loyalty did not pay but agitation does. Thereafter, the dejected Muslims gradually took an anti-British stance. Anti-Partition Movement: The first part of a news item, which appeared in the Amrita Bazar Patrika of 17 October 1905 entitled “Calcutta in Mourning-A Unique Sight”, describing the situation in Calcutta on 16 October 1905, the day Bengal was partitioned, is given below. Yesterday was one of the most memorable days in the history of the British administration of India. It being the day on which the Bengal Partition scheme took effect, the day on which our unsympathetic government forced a measure by a proclamation in the official gazette against the wishes of the whole population, the day on which our rulers tried to separate the Bengali speaking people of the East Bengal from those of the West Bengal, the people of Calcutta, irrespective of nationality, social position, creed and sex, observed it as a day of mourning.
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 nationalists cooperated with one another during the course of the movement. The Anti-Partition Movement was initiated on 7 August 1905. And that day a massive demonstration against the partition was organised in the Town Hall in Calcutta.
From these 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. Hindus 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. The leaders of the Bengali community- Hindus and Mohammedans-did not however silently mourn and weep.
They as a legacy to posterity and as a landmark to British administration laid the foundation of the Federation Hall. They also took a practical step towards the furtherance of the Swadeshi movement by opening the National Fund. ‘ Sixteenth of October 1905 was observed as the day of mourning. Right from the morning thousands of people began taking dip in Ganges. Hindus and Muslims tied rakhis to each other to show their indestructible unity. People in Calcutta walked bare-foot in the streets shouting the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’.
Such was effect of the slogan that the British prohibited the use of it in Bengal. Muslims’ Response It received a favorable response from the Muslims. It was thought that it would bring the emancipation of Muslims socially and economically The Muslims in East Bengal after initial opposition tended to be much more positive about the arrangement, believing that a separate region would give them more opportunity for education, employment, and so on.. The Muslims welcomed the Partition of Bengal for the following reasons: 1.
In the majority province of East Bengal the Muslims would be free from Hindu dominance in economic field. They would get opportunities of services and advancement of agriculture. 2. The city of Dacca, where the Muslims were in majority was the centre of Muslim culture. In Dacca Muslims had a great chance of success for social and cultural advancement than in Calcutta. 3. The Partition could result in political uplift and securing represent action in the Government. The partition of Bengal relieved the Muslims from competing with Hindus, who were more advanced in every field of life.
Hindus Response However, partition was especially unpopular by the people of what had become West Bengal, where a huge amount of nationalist literature was created during this period The Hindus did not accept it, as it dealt a telling blow to their monopolies and exclusive hold on economic, social, Political life of the whole of Bengal. They called it as a deliberate attempt by British Government 1. The Partition of Bengal had brightened the possibility of betterment of Muslims; while the Hindu landlords, capitalists and traders wanted status quo and to continue the exploitation of the Muslims. . Hindu lawyers also reacted to the partition of Bengal because they thought that the new province would have its separate courts and thus their practice would be affected. 3. Hindu press was not different from that of Hindu advocates. Hindus had their monopoly over almost whole of the province press. They were afraid that new newspapers would be established which would decrease their income naturally. Moreover, the attitudes of many religious and communal Hindus as well as of Mus- lims made any way of communication between the two impossible.
Perhaps the greatest discrimination lied in the field of government jobs, educational opportunities and in agrarian opportunities. Although no obvious hostility was in view for any par- ticular person, a general dislike for Muslims always brewed in the minds of the Hin- dus, as they were the one-time rulers. Stories were heard and spread about Muslim domination and oppression on one hand, and heroic Hindu rebellion against them on the other. As a result, such a passive hostility is natural. But whatever was the situa- tion, a more or less peaceful co-existence between Hindus and Muslims was always witnessed in Bengal prior to the partition.
REACTION FROM GOVERMENTAL OFFICIALS Opposition by Indian National Congress was led by Sir Henry Cotton who had been Chief Commissioner of Assam, but Curzon was not to be moved. His successor, Lord Minto, also though it crucial to maintain partition, commenting that it “should and must be maintained since the diminution of Bengali political agitation will assist to remove a serious cause of anxiety… It is,” he continued, “the growing power of a population with great intellectual gifts and a talent for making itself heard which is not unlikely to influence public opinion at home most mischievously.  Sir Andrew Fraser, formerly Lt. Governor of Bengal stayed on as Governor of West Bengal and was especially targeted by anti-partition agitators, who derailed his train in 1907. He retired in 1908. Support for the anti-partition cause came from throughout India, where the partition of an historic province was regarded as an act of colonial arrogance and blamed on the divide and rule policy. “Calcutta,” says Metcalf, “came alive with rallies, bonfires of foreign goods, petitions, newspapers and posters. ” Impact of swadeshi movement
The paper attempts to examine the impact of the swadeshi movement with particular reference to the trade, industry and agriculture. It also explores the role and extent of participation of the masses in this event acclaimed as epoch-making that changed the political map of Bengal. SWADESHI PLEDGE : STATEMENT OF AIMS AND OBJECTIVES In an article published in Sanjibani, 13 July 1905, Krishna Kumar Mitra advocated and urged that the people should boycott all. ‘British goods, observe mourning and shun all contacts with official bodies.
At the residence of Maharaja Surya Kanto Acharya of Mymensingh, now in Bangladesh, the resolution of swadeshism which was adopted, reads as follows: ‘That this meeting sympathises with the resolution adopted at many meetings held in the moffusil to abstain from the purchase of British manufactures so long as the partition Resolution is not withdrawn, as a protest against the indifference of the British public in regard to Indian affairs and the consequent disregard of Indian public opinion by the present Government. TAGORE AND SWADESHI MOVEMENT Rabindra Nath Tagore envisaged the objective of the swadeshi as follows: 1.
To undertake fulfilment of the country’s needs by the efforts of the people themselves; 2. To take over the responsibility of the people on their own shoulders; 3. To execute all national activities with the agency of Indians alone and to refuse the help of aliens in these matters; 4. To abstain from the use of foreign cloth and other goods; 5. To refrain from writing letters to relations and friends in the English using English goods, English furniture, English music, English drinks, and having social intercourse with the English people; 6. To establish Indian schools; . To decide disputes without resort to the courts established by the British Government. 6 ‘It was a strange upheaval of pubic feelings. The swadeshi movement invaded our homes and captured the hearts of our women-folk, who were even more enthusiastic than the men. A grand daughter of mine, then only five years old, returned a pair of shoes that had been sent by her relative, because they were of foreign make. The air was surcharged with the swadeshi spirit, and it was no exaggeration to say that our young men were creators of this stupendous moral change. .. A powerful overmastering impulse soon breaks its prescribed bound and penetrates into the many-sided relations of life. It soon becomes a social force. Swadeshism during the last days of its potency coloured the entire texture of our social and domestic life. Marriage presents that included foreign goods, the like of which could be manufactured at home, were returned. Priest would often decline to officiate at ceremonies where foreign articles were offered as oblations to the gods.
Guests would refuse to participate in festivities where foreign salt or sugar was used. ’10 The attack was specifically directed against foreign goods and articles which occupied the centre of boycott movement. In fact, the essence of swadeshi was to boycott foreign goods and thereby to hit the British capital and to hurt grieviously their trade and industry. Swadeshism was admittedly the chosen weapon designed to cripple and paralyse ultimately the Anglo-Saxon Empire in India.
The atmosphere it created and the attitudinal revulsion towards British rule that it provoked, by engulfing the old and young, rich and poor, Hindus and Muslims, the results were quite predictable. ‘The significance of the movement in Bengal, where it was rigorously pursued, lay in the fact that prince and peasants, capitalists and labourers, literate and illiterate, educated and uneducated, all joined hands. For some time the boycott was so effective that The Englishman, an Anglo-Indian newspaper published in Calcutta declared; “It is absolutely true that Calcutta warehouses are full of fabrics that cannot be sold.
In the earlier days of boycott it was the fashion to assert that depression ih piecegoods trade was due to this or the other economic cause… As for stocks in warehouses, they tend to grow larger as Marwari and Indian buyers who had given forward orders now state that they cannot afford to takejdelivery. These facts are now so well known that it is idle to attempt to hide them. Indeed the time has come when all injuries inflicted on trade by boycott should be made fully known. There is no question of encouraging theboycotters, as they need no encouragement.
But there is the question of thoroughly awakening the public at home and the Government of India to the fact that in boycott the enemies of the Raj have found a most effective weapon for injuring British interests in the country. ‘ The Englishman, a contemporary Anglo-Indian newspaper acknowledged the success of the boycott in an editorial which, inter alia, runs as follows: ‘The question however is, what is the Government going to do about it? Boycott must not be acquisced in, or it will more surely ruin British connection with India than an armed revolution.
Indian historians have hailed and appreciated the success of the swadeshi as a landmark in the nation’s political life. An analysis of the achievement merits notice in the circumstances as it involves a very crucial phase of our Indian freedom struggle. Prof. Sumit Sarkar throws light on the success of swadeshi: ‘The Calcutta Collector of Customs in September 1906 noted a 22% fall in the quantity of imported cotton twist yam, 11% in salt, 55% in cigarettes and 68% in boots and shoes in the previous month as compared to August 1905/13
On the authority of the same author, it is asserted by Shankari Basu: ‘Over the whole period, the impact on imports was marginal, sharp dips are noticeable in cotton goods, apparel, tobacco and liquors f