Partition of Bengal in 1905: On July 20, 1905, Lord Curzon issued an order dividing the province of Bengal into two parts: Piston Bengal and Assam with a population of 31 million and the rest of Bengal with a population of the 4 million of who 18 million were Bengalis, and 36 million Biharis and Oriyas.
The government contention was the partition of Bengal was purely an administrative measure with three main objectives:
- To relieve the government of the Bengal of a part of the administrative burden.
- To promote the development of backward Assam (ruled by Chief Commissioner).
- To unite the scattered sections of Oriya-speaking population under single administration.
But the real motive was to curb the growth of national filling in politically advanced Bengal by driving a wedge between the Bengali speaking Hindus and Muslims, and destroying the solitary of 78 millions of Bengal’s by dividing them into two blocks.
The Anti-Partition Agitation : The Indian National Congress and the nationalist of Bengal firmly opposed partition. They realised the principal motive behind partition was the destruction of the solidarity of the Bengali is on religious grounds.
Besides in the new province of Bengal, the Bengali is, 18 million, would be outnumbered by the Hindi speaking population, 20 million, to which may be added the Oriya speaking minority. Thus, the Hindus of Bengal would be in minority in both the provinces in which their homeland was to be divided.
The partition led to widespread agitation. Its most prominent leaders at the initial stage were moderate leaders like Surendranath Banerjee and Krishna Kumar Mitra; militant and revolutionary nationalist took over in the later stages.
The antipartition agitation was initiated on 7 August, 1905 at the Town hall, Calcutta, where a massive demonstration against the partition was organised. 16 October, 1905 was the day fixed for the coming into force of partition and after a month, Lord Curzon left India. The ceremony of Raksha Bandhan was observed on 16 October, 1905. Hindus and Muslims tied Rakhi in one anther’s wrists as a symbol of the unbreakable unity.