The Partition of Bengal provided a congenial environment for the growth of assertive nationalism. Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal into East Bengal and West Bengal. The protests of the people were suppressed brutally by the government which gave rise to assertive nationalism in India. The main aim of the assertive nationalists was the attainment of Swarajya or complete independence and not just dominion status in India. They had mass followers. These nationalists came to be known as assertive nationalists because they advocated active resistance to British imperialism. Methods adopted by assertive nationalists are discussed below
Main Methods Adopted by Assertive Nationalists
The main methods adopted by assertive nationalists were
Swadeshi means the use of goods that are produced by indigenous industries. Swadeshi aims at making the country self-reliant and self-sufficient. The assertive nationalists used Swadeshi as a tool not only to promote the Indian industries but also to hit the British economic interests.
The assertive nationalists stressed the boycott of foreign goods in an effort to boost local Indian industries. It also aimed at providing employment opportunities to the people. It also proved an effective weapon for harming British interests in India.
A national scheme of education was planned as an alternative to the government-controlled universities. The assertive nationalists urged students to enroll in national schools. Many national schools were established in East Bengal. Assertive nationalists also aimed at providing education to people through vernacular (local) languages.
The assertive leaders followed the policy of non-violent resistance and strong political action to achieve the independence of the country. They thus urged the people not to cooperate with the government and to boycott government-controlled educational institutions, courts, and services. The assertive nationalists often recalled the glorious past of the country. They invoked the religious beliefs of the people to boost nationalism among the countrymen. For example, Tilak revived the Shivaji festival in 1895. They were also ready to sacrifice their lives for attaining the freedom of the country.
Repressive Measures of the Government
Because assertive nationalists demanded complete independence and followed radical methods to achieve the same, they were brutally suppressed by the government. In 1908, Tilak was sentenced to six years of rigorous imprisonment in Mandalay prison in Burma. Lala Lajpat Rai was deported to Burma without any trial.
Also, Read Causes for the Rise of Assertive Nationalism
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