Short Essay on the Anti-Partition Movement in India

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.

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.