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The rise and the popularity of the Neo-nationalists have also, to be located against the rise
of religious revivalism. One of the most peculiar trajectory taken by any movement was
perhaps that taken by the social reform movements of the early nineteenth Century. These
reform movements e.g. Arya Samaj of Swami Dayanad and those that perpetuated to the
Village level, though started with the aim of countering colonial influences also fostered
religious orthodoxy and increasingly demarcated the communities. One such movement was
that of Cow Protection with the first Gaorakshini Sabha founded by Swami Dayanand in
1882. Initially, protection of cow was primarily aimed at the beef eating English and also to a
degree at the muslims Part of their aim was to petition government to stop cow slaughter.
Cow protection societies soon spranged up across UP, Bihar, etc. These efforts were
furthered by the decree of High Court of NWP in 1888 according to which, cow was not a
religious object and thus its slaughter could not be held as violation of the law.

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The neo-nationalists had strong ties with India and they did not consider everything western
as the best. They were more critical of the English. Their ideas and notions were more in
connection with the problems of the masses. They were more reactionary than the
moderates. They also encouraged the use of Swadeshi products for developing Indian
industries. The Swadeshi enterprise can be traced back to Gopalrao Deshmukh of Poona who
advocated use of indigenous products as early as 1849 and in Bengal it was encouraged
through Hindu Mela or National Mela founded by Nabagopal Mitra in 1867. Rabindranath
Tagare called for self-reliance / atmasakti through Swadeshi and national education. Lala
Lajpat Rai, an Arya Samajist advocated Swadeshi cult in the Punjab.
But since the neo-nationalists glorified the ancient past, they bypassed the medieval period
which had Muslim power structure at the main seat of power. So India came to be identified
as being Hindu. For this reason the neo-nationalists found very little support from the
Muslims.
The main contribution of the neo-nationalists was in mobilizing the masses, educating them
to participate in the political struggle.

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Partition of Bengal
The idea of partition of Bengal was quite an old one. Bengal as truly too big to be
governed by a Lieutenant Governor without the aid of an Executive Council. As
early as 1868 territorial realignments were being discussed and such considerations
finally led to separation of Assam from Bengal in 1874, which was placed under a
Chief Commissioner. The province of Bengal now comprised of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa
and Chhotanagpur. Then again in 1892-96 plans were being made to transfer to
Assam either whole of the Chittagong Division or Chittagong district. By making
Assam bigger in size its administration would have improved. Its small size meant
that Assam did not have a separate cadre of Indian Civil Service officers. And
Bengal was too big and too populated to be governed effectively. In 1903 Sir
Andrew Fraser became the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal and suggested that
along with the Chittagong Division two districts of Dacca Division-Dacca and
Mymensingh should also be transferred to Assam. Lord Curzon forwarded this idea.

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On December 3, 1903, Lord Curzon announced the scheme of territorial


redistribution which came into effect on October 16, 1905. The following were the
territorial realignments:
The Plan: - The new province of Assam would consist of the state of Tripura, the
Division of Chittagong, Dacca, Mymensingh (Both were the districts of the Dacca
Division). Later more of its districts- Bakharganj, Faridpur, Rajshahi (excluding
Darjeeling), Malda, Dinajpur, Bogra, and Jalpaiguri (along with the state of Cooch
Bihar) were added to Assam.
Bengal was to surrender not only these large eastern territories but also to cede to
the Central Provinces the five Hindi-speaking states.
Real Motives: In Lord Curzons own words- to split up and thereby weaken a solid
body of opponents to the British rule. Calcutta is the center from which Congress
party is manipulated throughout the-whole of Bengal and indeed whole of India.
In short, the partition would have led to a rupture in the development of /national
and political consciousness which till now was focused around Bengal and radiated
outwards from there.

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Course- The Announcement of- the partition - created mass unrest and agitation
across Bengal. The neo-nationalists were at the forefront of the agitation.
Petitions, memoranda, speeches and public meetings were the main methods of
protesting. The moderates peaceful methods were no longer sufficient.
Zamindars, lawyers, merchants, students, common people, and even women came
forward to protest the partition. Bankim Chandras song Vande Matram became
the national song of Bengal most overnight. Some Muslims too opposed the
partition but majority of them, were later influenced by the idea of Muslim
majority. In 1906 the Muslim League was formed in Dacca where the Nawab
Salimulla played an important role. The League worked for the partition.

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Swadeshi movement
The boycott of British goods, especially cotton would harm the financial interests
of the English manufactures who in turn would pressure the British government to
resolve the problem. It included boycotting government schools, colleges, courts
and titles, government services, civil disobedience of unjust laws, organisation of
strikes; public burning of foreign cloth, and picketing shops selling foreign goods.
They were successful to some degree. The boycott led to 55% fall in sale of
cigarettes; 68% in boots; 22% in imported cotton piece goods.
By advocating Swadeshi, indigenous industries were to be promoted thereby
simulating the countrys economy. Encouragement to cottage industries; Swadeshi
textile mills; match and soap factories; potteries and tanneries; revival of
handloom and silk were given. But there was shortage of capital which limited the
development of Swadeshi industries. And Swadeshi was essentially an economic
weapon which was not a sufficient tool to threaten the British hold over the
economy.

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Efforts were made to, develop national education- varieties of education


demands- from establishment of technical training to development of vernacular
education were forwarded. Bengal National College was formed by Aurobindo
Ghosh; in 1906 National Council of Education was established to organise a system
of education mixing literary, scientific and technical in vernacular. Bengal Technical
School was established. The University of Calcutta established by the Government
to supervise education in schools and colleges was decried as the golam-khana or
the house for manufacturing slaves.
There was a growth in literary culture. Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee,
Mukunda Das- burst in drama, poetry, songs and art.
The Swadeshi-cum-Boycott Movement was launched on August 7, 1905 at a
meeting in Calcutta Town Hall when leaders like Surendranath Banerjee accepted
the boycott programme.

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Revolutionary activities in Bengal

Bengal was forerunner in neo nationalism. Neo- nationalism was popularized by the works of
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, especially Anandamath, which popularized the idea of mother
India and depicted the sanyasis as martyrs for the sake of their mother country. Preaching of
Swami Vivekananda and of his disciple, Sister Nivedita (she popularized the cult of Kali the
Mother) also mobilized the masses. They preached the duty of fighting for the right caused
Anushilan Samiti was one of the earliest and the most revolutionary societies with Satish
Chandra Bose and Pramathanath Mitra as the main members. Bipin Behari Ganguly founded
Atmonnati Samiti. Bhupendra Datta edited Yugantar, a journal and later a society by its name
played a very important role in mobilizing people and made popular the idea of revolution
amongst the masses. The group was active in undertaking violent acts against unfavourable
British officials. One such incident was in 1903 when Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw
a bomb at the carriage that they thought was transporting an unpopular judge of
Muzzafarpur.

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Revolutionary movement in
Maharashtra
Vasudeo Balwant Phadke was another great revolutionary. He was born on
November 4, 1845, in Maharashtra. He was profoundly influenced by the two
speeches of Ranade on the subject of Swadeshi Trade. He began to reflect on how
to save his country from economic exploitation by Britain. He was hot with rage
and hatred against the white masters who drew fat salaries at the expense of
starving Indians. The grave famine that broke out in Poona in 1876 resulted in
thousands of casualties. Instead of organising relief work, the Government
imposed upon the people a heavier burden of taxes. In protest against the callous
in-difference of the Government, Phadke resigned his job in the Finance
Commissariat at Poona and undertook a tour of Maharashtra.

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He decided to organise the youth of Maharashtra to strike at the root of alien power
in India. He began to awaken the nation by his speeches and writings. He also used to
take out copies of his addresses and distribute them amongst the educated young
men. He also raised a powerful organisation of Ramoshis and set about collecting
arms and ammunition. He needed money and he soon realised that begging could not
bring the required amount. He decided to extort it by loot and plunder. He plundered
the rich, homes of moneylenders to get a part of their wealth for purchasing arms. In
the seven districts of Maharashtra he created a terror for some time. Like Shivaji he
made his home in the hills of Sahyadri ranges. The English officers were in mortal fear
of him.
The Government became panicky. It announced a handsome reward for his arrest. In
1878, Phadke was arrested and his trial commence before the Sessions Court. So great
was the terror of the police in those days that no pleader dared defend a
revolutionary. Fortunately Sri Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi offered his services as Phadkes
defence counsel. Vasudeo was sentenced to lifes imprisonment.

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Neo-Nationalism in Punjab
The neo-nationalist mobilization in the Punjab grew out of problems created
by the frequent famines, increase in the burden caused by land revenues and
taxes imposed on irrigation. Bharat Mata Society was found in 1904 by J.M.
Chaterji in Saharanpur. Other leaders- Lala Hardayal, Ajit Singh, Amba Prasad,
Lala Lajpat Rai. Further impetus was given when Ghadar Party was
established in USA with Punjab becoming its hub February 21, 1915 was infact
fixed as the date for an armed revolt by the Ghadarites in the Punjab. But the
Government came to know about the plot and many of the Ghadarites were
detained while traveling back to India.

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Morley-Minto reform / Indian council


Act of 1909
In 1905, Lord Minto succeeded Lord Curzon as the Viceroy and John Morley was appointed as
the
Secretary
of
State
for
India
in
London.
Background to the Indian Council Act of 1909.
Growing discontent amongst Indians and general dissatisfaction with the British
government;
Increasing economic distress and recurring famines, and pestilences.
Racial discrimination
Remember the outcry because of Lord Curzons policies
Politicisation of the public and the dissatisfaction with the Act of 1892
Some positive changed in the governance were needed in face of the rising discontent if
only to placate the grievances. The Morley-Minto Reforms were an attempt at conciliating
the growing unrest of the Indians and the incessant demand for more Indian participation
in the governance of the country.

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Main Features
It increased the membership of non-officials in the Imperial and Provincial
Legislative Councils.
The clause of the Indian Council Act of 1892 that sought to increase the
number of non-officials was extended. Thus by 1910 more than 100 indirectly
elected Indians assumed seats in the Councils.
While in-the Provincial Legislature the non-official majority was allowed, at
the centre the official majority was retained.
The Act provided for the appointment of an Indian to the Viceroys Executive
Council and same provision was made for the Provincial Executive Councils.
The powers of the Legislature were extended. The members could raise
questions and debate the budget. But they could not vote.
The members could introduce legislative proposals But could not enact laws.

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First World War


The First World War was fought between the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria
and Italy) and Triple Entente (France, Russia and England) and Britains entry in it
on August 4, 1914 also pulled India in it without consulting India However, India
suffered huge losses, financial and human. Indian troops were sent to France,
East Africa, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine, Salonika, Aden and the
Persian Gulf. The degree of Indian manpower is evident from the figures of
recruitment of combatants for the Indian army. The normal rate of recruitment
was 15,000 a year but by the May end of 1917, it was 121,000 and by the following
May it was over 300,000 men. The total recruitment, combatant and noncombatant was nearly half a million. Financially, India had to bear the burden of
transporting the soldiers to the foreign outposts. In addition a free gift of one
hundred million dollars was made by the Indian Government to Britain for war
efforts. This increased Indias national debt by 30%. Indian Princes and other
people also gave monetary contributions.

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The moderates were supportive of the British in the hope gaining concessions
especially of self-government and each war year the demands of the Congress
kept increasing. Gandhi himself informed the Viceroy that they were helping the
British Empire at this hour of need so that India could become its self-governing
unit all the more speedily. While some Indians leaders tried to recruit Indians
for the army the fact remains that their efforts were of no great extent. The
Indian Government did not consult Indians at length before making decisions
which led to Indian involvement in the First World War. Indians did what the
masters demanded.
Declaration of war by the British on Turkey, latters later defeat and talk of
dismemberment led to dissatisfaction of the Indian Muslims with the
Government (even though initially the Muslims supported the British war efforts).
This brought the League and the Congress closer for some time and this
collaboration was manifested in the Lucknow Pact of 1916 and the Khilafat
Movement.

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Second Split in the Congress, 1918


The Montagu Declaration elicited conflicting reactions from the Congress
ranks. There was a clear acceptance of the Declaration by the Moderates.
While Annie Besant supported the establishment of a Responsible
Government, Tilak criticized the Declaration by calling it sunless dawn. These
differences were visible in the Calcutta Session of Congress in December 1917
with Annie Besant as the President. However, no concrete decision was made
at the session. But in August 1918 at the special Session the Declaration was
criticized for being unsatisfactory. This is no way implied consensus in the
ranks Congress over the Declaration. These differences led to yet another split
in Congress but this time the Moderates walked out. Even though the
Moderates formed a new party, National Liberal League, later known as the
All-India Liberal Federation, their walkout marked their demise from the
politics.

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