The Extremist and Partition of Bengal

The Partition of Bengal in 1905 provided the flare for the rise of Extremists in the Indian National Movement.They were called extremist because they believed that success could be achieved only through bold means.

The political orientation of Extremist originated within the Congress from the anti- partition Bengal agitation. When the British Government refused to annual the partition of Bengal in face of mass protests of the people of Bengal arousing sympathy of the Indian people that disillusioned many young leaders, came to known as Neo-Nationalists or Extremists. The important extremist leaders were Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurobindo Ghosh. They were called extremist because they believed that success could be achieved only through bold means.


Reason for the Rise of Extremism

  1. The failure of the Moderates to win any notable success other than the expansion of the legislative councils by the Indian Councils Act (1892).
  2. The famine and plague of 1896-97 was not eye opening for the exploitative policy for British which degraded the economic condition of people
  3. Colour discrimination Indians in South Africa.
  4. The Russo-Japanese war of 1904 – 05 events play important role in national awakening.

Prominent Extremists

  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak: He is also called ‘Lokamanya’. His weeklies ‘The (written in English)’ and ‘the Kesari(written in Hindi)’ was revolutionary weapon to attack the rule of British. In 1916, he set up Home Rule League at Poona and given slogan- "Swaraj is my birth-right and I will have it".
  • Lala Lajpat Rai: He is also called the ‘Lion of Punjab’. He played an important role in the Swadeshi Movement. His famous slogan- ‘Go back Simon’.
  • Bipan Chandra Pal: He was turned extremist from moderate. He played an important role in the Swadeshi Movement. He spread his ideas of nationalism through the nook and corner of Indian by his powerful speeches and writings.
  • Aurobinda Ghosh: He was another extremist leader and took active participation in the Swadeshi Movement.

Partition of Bengal

It was carried out by the British viceroy of India, Lord Curzon in AD 1905. It was partitioned due to following reason:

  • To break the growing strength of Bengali nationalism since Bengal was the base of Indian nationalism.
  • To divide the Hindus and Muslims in Bengal.
  • To show the enormous power of the British Government in doing whatever it liked.

But the partition get vibrant colour of real awakening in freedom struggle mass movement which led the foundation of Boycott and Swadeshi movement.


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