a. The Background:
Though Bengal was partitioned in 1905, the scheme to divide th6 territories of Bengal had long been under the consideration of the British government before Lord Curzon assumed office.
The scheme of Partition published by H. H. Risly, the then Home Secretary, in 1903, was virtually the proposal that had been made by Sir William Ward as early as 1896.
It was proposed, on the ground of cringing efficiency in administration, that Chittagong, Dacca and Mymensingh be transferred from Bengal to Assam.
As before, the main argument advanced by the British government in favour of the Partition was administrative convenience, namely, Bengal was too big a province to be efficiently administered.
But behind the ostensible argument of ‘administrative convenience’ the real motive of the government was political and economic. It can be said that the expansion of Assam was necessary to the British on economic grounds.
The political motive behind the scheme of Partition was to stem the rising tide of nationalism’ in Bengal another motive behind the Partition was to incite the feeling of communalism between the Hindus and the Muslims.
It was in this background that the anti-Partition movement begun.
b. How did it Begin:
Initially, the anit-Partition agitation took the form of formal protests. Meetings were organised where the proposed partition was denounced.
Resolutions were adopted against the Partition proposal. But the implementation of the scheme of Partition served as an eye-opener to the people of our country.
It was deeply felt that mere protest and speeches in meetings would not be able to dissuade the government. In order to put pressure upon the government, they thought, some practical demonstration of their feeling was necessary.
At this juncture a new weapon was found which could be effectively used against the British. This was the famous boycott.
c. Aim of the Boycott:
Boycott means the policy of refusal-refusal to buy foreign, particularly British goods. The idea of boycott of British goods in protest the Partition of Bengal was first preached by Krishna Kumar Mitra in his Bengali weekly named Sanjibani (13 July, 1905 edition.)
Besides, the residents of Bagerhat, in Khulna district in present Bangladesh, the public meeting held on 17 July, 1905 resolved that they would refrain from purchasing British goods till the annulment of the partition.