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Partition of Bengal

Introduction:

The opening years of the twentieth century were stormy. That was the time when the greatest catastrophe of history took place. The political scenario was undergoing a change. The British were beginning to feel a bit uneasy. Discontentment was brewing. Political discontent was growing due to the inability of the government to organize effective relief during the period of plague and famine. In order to stem the discontent, the British played the political trump card with great aplomb. For the first time, they used their divide-and-rule political game with great force. From 1870 onwards, the British started inciting the Hindus and the Muslims to form their own political parties to establish their distinct religious identities. That was perhaps, the beginning of the communalisation of politics. The British not only encouraged the two communities to form political parties along religious lines, they took various constructive steps to create a situation whereby Hindus and Muslims would be forced to think in a way as if their religious identity is at peril. This effort culminated in the partition of Bengal in 1905. West Bengal, Orissa and Bihar was on one side and the erstwhile east Bengal and Assam was on the other. The partition was made along communal lines. This partition provided an impetus to the religious divide and, as a result of that, All India Muslim League and All India Hindu Mahasabha was formed. Both the organisations aimed at fanning communal passions.

The main reason for the Partition was purely political. The Hindus were in a better position in terms of economic status, professional qualities etc, than the Muslims. During the pre-Sepoy Mutiny period, section of Hindu traders greatly helped the British while their Muslim counterparts did not. The British were angry. With the spread of Western education Hindus made a big way, but the Muslims could not. A sense of deprivation crept in. Perhaps, the sense of deprivation was engineered. When the discontentment grew in the beginning of this century, the British capitalised on this sense of deprivation. A feeling of inferiority was there. The British merely added fuel to fire. Suddenly both the communities became aware of their religious identities. The net result is the Partition of Bengal. The sear of Partition is yet to heal.

Partition:

Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India decided to partition Bengal for administrative purposes, creating a new province of East Bengal and Assam, with a population of 31 million people and with its capital at Dhaka. The Brahmaputra and the Padma (the Ganges) rivers physically defined this first partition of Bengal. East Bengal prospered, Dhaka assumed its old status as capital and Chittagong became an important sea port.

Given below is the proclamation of partition:

The reason behind the partition that was officially announced was that the Bengal province was too large to be administered by a single governor and therefore was partitioned on administrative purpose. But the real reason behind the partition was political and not administrative. East Bengal was dominated by the Muslims and West Bengal by the Hindus. Partition was yet another part of the ‘Divide and rule’ policy. The following excerpts from Curzon’s letter of 2 February 1905 to St. John Brodrick, Secretary of State for India, give an idea of his aims in partitioning Bengal:

“Calcutta is the centre from which the Congress Party is manipulated throughout the whole of Bengal, and indeed the whole of India. Its best wire pullers and its most frothy orators all reside here. The perfection of their machinery, and the tyranny which it enables them to exercise are truly remarkable. They dominate public opinion in Calcutta; they affect the High Court; they frighten the local Government, and they are sometimes not without serious influence on the Government of India. The whole of their activity is directed to creating an agency so powerful that they may one day be able to force a weak government to give them what they desire. Any measure in consequence that would divide the Bengali-speaking population; that would permit independent centres of activity and influence to grow up; that would dethrone Calcutta from its place as the center of successful intrigue, or that would weaken the influence of the lawyer class, who have the entire organization in their hands, is intensely and hotly resented by them. The outcry will be loud and very fierce, but as a native gentleman said to me – ‘my countrymen always howl until a thing is settled; then they accept it’.”

Lord Curzon:

George Curzon was the eldest son of Baron Curzon. He was perhaps the most important British politician in modern times that failed in his quest to become prime minister. He was born in 1859 and proved to be a brilliant student. Curzon was an ambitious man who tended to see issues in stark terms. He took strong positions and would rarely acknowledge any middle ground. He became a force in the Conservative Party and served as Viceroy of India. He introduced reforms angering Lord Kitchner--head of the British Army in India. He was at the time a firm believer in Empire and Britain's imperial mission. Interestingly, today he is chiefly remembered for extending Western knowledge of Indian art, archeology, and literature. Before and after World War I, he led the fight against women’s' suffrage which is part of the reason he never achieved his goal of becoming prime minister.

George was a brilliant student. He attended the prestigious Eton public (private) school. At Eton College, he won a record number of academic prizes. He entered Oxford University in 1878. He was elected president of the Oxford Union in 1880--a considerable honor. Although George did not earn a first he was made a fellow of All Souls College in 1883.

The Marquis of Salisbury in November 1891, appointed Curzon as his secretary of state for India. Curzon lost this post when Earl of Rosebery formed a Liberal Government in 1894. The General Election of 1895 returned the Conservative Party to power. Curzon was given the post of under secretary for foreign affairs. Three years later the Marquis of Salisbury granted him the title, Baron Curzon of Kedleston, and appointed him Viceroy of India. Once in India, Curzon introduced a series of reforms that upset the British and civil service in India. He also angered Lord Kitchener, who had became the commander of the Indian Army in 1902. Lord Curzon was one of the most important English Viceroys. He was a seasoned politician and very young, only about 40 at the time of his appointment. He was both energetic and capable. His understanding of the Asian affairs was better than that of other British statesman of the time. He understood Indian problems and addressed most of them. His goal was to strengthen British Empire in India. The reforms were very extensive, much too popular to assess in ant detail here. Many such as measures to deal with plague and to protect farmers were of great benefit to Indians. A measure to divide Bengal proved very unpopular. He was at the time a firm believer in Empire and Britain's imperial mission. Interestingly, today he is chiefly remembered for extending Western knowledge of Indian art, archeology, and literature. One of his reforms was to preserve Indian archeological treasures. His many reforms disturbed many British leaders who chief interest was to maintain the established order with a minimum of local unrest. The new leader of the Conservative Party, Arthur Balfour, began to question Curzon's judgment. Curzon in 1905 was forced out of office.

Anti-Partition Movement:

The first part of a news item, which appeared in the Amrita Bazar Patrika of 17 October 1905 entitled “Calcutta in Mourning-A Unique Sight”, describing the situation in Calcutta on 16 October 1905, the day Bengal was partitioned, is given below.
‘Yesterday was one of the most memorable days in the history of the British administration of India. It being the day on which the Bengal Partition scheme took effect, the day on which our unsympathetic government forced a measure by a proclamation in the official gazette against the wishes of the whole population, the day on which our rulers tried to separate the Bengali speaking people of the East Bengal from those of the West Bengal, the people of Calcutta, irrespective of nationality, social position, creed and sex, observed it as a day of mourning. The leaders of the Bengali community- Hindus and Mohammedans-did not however silently mourn and weep. They as a legacy to posterity and as a landmark to British administration laid the foundation of the Federation Hall. They also took a practical step towards the furtherance of the Swadeshi movement by opening the National Fund.’

Sixteenth of October 1905 was observed as the day of mourning. Right from the morning thousands of people began taking dip in Ganges. Hindus and Muslims tied rakhis to each other to show their indestructible unity. People in Calcutta walked bare-foot in the streets shouting the slogan ‘Vande Mataram’. Such was effect of the slogan that the British prohibited the use of it in Bengal.

The partition of Bengal led many youths to resort to arms. In different parts of the country a number of secret societies sprang up, particularly in Bengal and Maharashtra. To terrorize the British officers, they trained members, mostly students in the use of fire-arms. In this, Aurobindo Ghosh and his associates Bengal and one Chapekar brother and the Savarkar brothers in Maharashtra were quite active. By assassinating unpopular British officials and their Indian agents, their main method was to spread terror. Attempts were made on the lives of Lt. Governor of Bengal and the Viceroy. Khudiram Bose, a 16 year old fired a shot at a district judge on April 30, 1908, which accidentally killed two English women instead. He was caught, flogged and hanged. But the main consequence of the Partition of Bengal was the Swadeshi and Boycott movement.

It was with the sense of a need for organisation, the sense of intense bitterness at the Congress, and the realisation that the liberation of India would have to be won by force, that led to the emergence of the revolutionary terrorists. Many Swadeshi movement radicals joined the movement: among them, Ajit Singh's group in Punjab and the Tirunelveli radicals after the arrest of Pillai and Siva. These early revolutionaries' special contribution was in putting forward a conscious alternative path of struggle to the Congress's peaceful petitioning. Jugantar (which along with Bande Mataram and Sandhya was one of the leading magazines representing this trend) wrote about the police assault on the peaceful Barisal conference:
"The 30 crores of people inhabiting India must raise their 60 crores of hands to stop this course of oppression. Force must be stopped by force."

Though the revolutionary terrorists did not lead mass struggles against the British, their heroic acts and sacrifices won them enormous popularity among the common people. Among the major groups were the Abhinav Bharat (centers in Nasik, and led by V. Savarkar), the Anushilan Samity (based in Dacca and led by Pulin Das), the Jugantar group (led by Jatindranath Mukherji) and the group led by Rash Behari Bose and Sachindranath Sanyal. These groups carried out several armed raids to raise funds, executions of English officials (especially of sadistic and racist district magistrates), and a few spectacular attempts on the lives of major officials. Some of their more famous actions included the unsuccessful attempt in 1907 on the life of the lieutenant governor of Bengal, the 1908 attempt on the life of the notorious Muzaffarpur district magistrate Kingsford, the 1909 execution of the Nasik district magistrate, the 1909 London execution of the India Office bureaucrat Curzon-Wyllie, and the 1912 attempt on the life of the Viceroy Lord Hardinge.

The sheer heroism of these men, who carried out these acts in the face of certain death, moved the people. The would-be assassins of Kingsford (their bomb instead killed two Englishwomen and left Kingsford unscathed), Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose, became heroes of Bengal. Chaki shot himself in captivity while Bose was tried and hanged. Folk songs in their memory were composed and sung all over the country.

Swadeshi & Boycott Movement:

The spark for the Swadeshi Movement was the British decision to partition Bengal. Viceroy Curzon's scheme, ostensibly for "administrative convenience", to divide Bengal into Eastern and Western provinces, was indeed a major provocation. First, the Congress, and political activity in general, were strongest in Bengal. Moreover, Curzon had an obsessive hatred of the Congress: "The Congress", he wrote to the Secretary of State, "is tottering to its fall, and one of my great ambitions while in India is to assist it to a peaceful demise." His Secretary of State, on the other hand, differed. Congress leaders, of course, were unhappy with Curzon's hostility, and compared him unfavourably with earlier, more liberal, Viceroys. Gokhale complained, "The bureaucracy was growing frankly selfish and openly hostile to national aspirations. It was not so in the past.”

Swadeshi, which means of ones own country, implied that people should use only the goods produced in India and boycott foreign goods. On August 7, 1905, in a public meeting at the Calcutta Town Hall, the Boycott Resolution was passed. Tilak had attempted a boycott of foreign cloth in 1896, but failed to elicit such response. The response in Bengal was overwhelming: By September 1905, the sale of British cloth in some districts fell to between 6 and 20 per cent of original levels. Public burning of foreign cloth and the setting up of village samitis took place spontaneously. One of these samitis, the Swadesh Bandhab Samiti of Barisal, headed by the schoolteacher Aswinikumar Dutt, attained remarkable popularity for its social and humanitarian work among the largely Muslim peasantry. It was reported even in 1909 to have 175 village branches.

The Swadeshi movement also saw a remarkable upsurge in labour organisation, with the added feature of active public sympathy with the strikers. Among the strikes of this period (1905-8) in Bengal were those of clerical staff, Calcutta tram workers, jute workers, railway workers (of various categories, from clerical staff to coolies), and press workers. The Swadeshi movement in Bengal also saw the emergence of labour unions and professional agitators. Bombay, Madras and Punjab also witnessed the growth of a spontaneous anti-imperialist labour movement - the most famous example being the 1908 strike of Bombay textile workers in protest against Tilak's arrest.

Among the many lasting achievements of the Swadeshi movement were its contribution to anti-imperialist culture - whether in Rabindranath Tagore's earlier writings, in Subramania Bharati's poems, or, most importantly, in the vast number of extremely popular patriotic folk songs, folk plays, and other forms of people's art. The writings of "extremist" journalists also philosophically advanced the Indian liberation struggle. For instance, as Indian "extremists" started building contacts with Irish radicals, a sense of the world-wide anti-imperialist movement (which had, of course, nourished the beginnings of Swadeshi - as in its drawing inspiration from China and the Russian Revolution) was getting enunciated.

Bande Mataram wrote (in 1909, by which time it was being brought out from Europe by Madame Cama), "Dhingra's pistol shot has been heard by the Irish cottier in his forlorn hut, by the Egyptian fellah in the field, by the Zulu labourer in the dark mine..."

While Aurobindo Ghosh's fanatic Hinduism severely limited his anti-imperialist politics and ultimately led him, for fear of British repression, into the safety of ashram life, other groups had no such limitations. The pamphlet Oh Martyrs (1907), for instance, evokes the memory of 1857, when "the Firinghee rule was shattered to pieces and the swadeshi thrones were set up by the common consent of Hindus and Mohammedans..." When Madame Cama unfurled the flag of "free" India at the Stuttgart Congress of the Second International, the design contained, besides the words "Bande Mataram", both Hindu and Muslim symbol.

Education:

The year 1905 was in many ways a turning point. Its immediate impact was political. Bengal at that time was a hot bed of anti British political activity. Though for some time a partition of the huge province was being contemplated for administrative convenience, Curzon decided to kill two birds with one stone. By dividing the Bengali speaking population on communal grounds, he hoped to break the nationalist movement. But what happened was just the opposite. The anti- British feeling did not fizzle out. Instead, a new wave of patriotism swept through the province. The protest snowballed to such proportions that finally the partition had to be annulled in 1911. But the protesters had to pay a price. From Calcutta, the capital was shifted to Delhi.

Saha, Bose and their contemporaries who later made significant contributions in science grew up in this atmosphere of inspired idealism. Children along with their elders roamed the streets singing patriotic songs, burning of foreign goods became a rage- “Boycott British goods, buy Swadeshi” was the popular slogan. The reason why many good students of the generation opted for science was again this vague sense of patriotism. They felt it was possible to improve things, to bring about development through science. It was against this background that India’s first crop of brilliant scientists came up – the celebrated 1909 batch of Presidency College, about whom P C Ray has waxed eloquent in his autobiography. They all happened to be the students of P C Ray, though many changed over to mathematics or physics later. They were, apart from Saha and S N Bose- J.N. Ghosh, J.N.Mukherjee, Maniklal De, Sailen Ghosh, N.R.Sen, Pulinbehari Sarkar, Amaresh Chakravarty and Prankrishna Parija. Though the 1909 batch was the brightest in the history of that college, there were others destined for greatness. P C Mahalanobis, N R Dhar and S K Mitra were a few years senior to this group. Other illustrious people like Subhas Bose and Rajendra Prasad were students around this period. The teaching faculty was also outstanding , with P C Ray, J C Bose, D N Mullick, C E Cullis, Surendranath Maitra, P C Ghosh, Manmohan Ghosh, H M Percival and others. This combination of excellent teachers and receptive pupils brought about a new period in the history of science in India.

One manifestation of the Swadeshi spirit was the Indianisation of education. There was a feeling that along with the boycott of British goods the students should turn to their own culture and tradition. English education only resulted in alienation from their roots.. From boycott of British goods the next step was boycott of the Calcutta University. Alternatives had to be worked out. The National Education movement gathered momentum, but there were serious differences of opinion about what measures should be adopted. One group led by Gooroodas Bannerjee, Satish Chandra Mukherjee and Rabindranath Tagore wanted to have a completely Indian structure of education under Indian control. The other group was of opinion that extreme nationalism could not take them very far. Led by eminent people like Taraknath Palit and Nilratan Sircar, they wanted to add courses in scientific and technical education as well. The difference between the two camps led to two different institutions – the National Council of Education and the Society for the Promotion of Technical Education. But none of these institutions could attract enough students. Eventually Sir Taraknath handed over all his assets to Sir Asutosh Mookerjee, the Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University about whom Lord Minto had said, “ I know no pilot more capable of steering the ship of learning through educational shoals and quick-sands than Dr. Mookerjee.”It was a prophetic statement. Sir Asutosh did more for higher education in Bengal than all other educationalists put together.

By an Act of 1904, the University was now to be a teaching university and not just an examining body. It was now empowered to appoint professors and lectures. Under the able guidance of Sir Asutosh who believed that changes could be made within the framework of the existing structure, Calcutta University became a thriving centre for research. Princely donations from eminent jurists and other wealthy patrons helped Asutosh in creating professorships and scholarships. With such support the University College of Science came into being. With uncanny insight, Asutosh spotted talents and brought many deserving people under the same umbrella. The new Science College soon acquired a character of it’s own. A stipulation for the endowment chairs clearly laid down the rule that all the posts were only for Indians. So starting off as an ally of the British, Asutosh was able to achieve the objectives of the National School. By and by an attitude of hostility developed between the government and the university. In those crucial times, a man of the courage and stature of Sir Asutosh was needed to steer things with a firm hand. When the government rejected the request for more funds, Asutosh said we would rather go from door to door with a begging bowl rather than accept the government’s terms. A galaxy of stars assembled round Asutosh, P C Ray as the Palit Professor of Chemistry, D M Bose as the Ghosh Professor and C V Raman in the Physics chair. Raman belonged to the Indian Audits and Accounts Service and carried on research during off-hours in the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. It goes to the great credit of Sir Asutosh that this officer was inducted into the University with complete freedom to work in the I A C S., work which finally won him the Nobel Prize in Physics.

National Flag:

National FlagOn August 7, 1906, the first anniversary of the anti-partition movement, a big rally was organised at Parsi Bagan Square (Greer Park) in Calcutta. For the first time a tricolour flag was unfurled there. The moving spirit behind the design of this flag was Schindra Prasad Bose, a close follower of Sir Surendranath Banerjee and the son-in-law of the moderate Brahmo leader, Krishna Kumar Mitra. The flag they designed had open lotuses on the top green, yellow and red. It had eight half open lotuses on the green stripe, Vande Mataram in blue on the middle yellow stripe, and the sun and moon (crescent) in white on the bottom red stripe. This flag was for the first time hoisted at the Parsi Bagan Square on August 7, 1906, which was observed as Boycott Day to protest against the partition of Bengal, Narendranath Sen ceremonially the flag and sang a song. Sir Surendranath Banerjee, who hoisted this flag with the bursting of a hundred and one crackers.

Literature:

The sufferings of the motherland and the passion for independence inspired many Bengali writers, novelists, poets and play weights to show their protest against the colonial rule.

‘Bangamangal’ was written by the poet Karunanidhan Bandyopadhyay, and was published in 1901. In some of these poems, Satyendranath Dutta too wrote about the Swadeshi Movement. It was the Swadeshi Movement which gave a new dimension to the Bengali literature of that time. A number of ballad songs were written by the famous poet Mukunda Das. These songs became very popular t that time of the Anti-Partition Movement, and were great source of inspiration to the freedom fighters.

The turbulent movement against the partition of Bengal came in the sphere of drama and plays too. ‘Sirajdaullah’ (1906), ‘Mirkasim’ (1907) and ‘Chhatrapati’ (1908) were the important plays by Girishchandra Ghosh whose patriotism was reflected in them. Apart from Girishchandra, the historical plays by D.L. Roy like ‘Mewar Patan (the downfall of the Mewar), ‘Shahjahan’, ‘Pratapsinha’ etc. had the Swadeshi flavour.

Not only by his plays, D. L. Roy showed his emotions for his motherland by many of his patriotic songs. Rajanikanta Sen and Atulprasad Sen – these two names are also remarkable for their patriotic songs. Dwijendranath Tagore’s name is also remarkable in this perspective.

In 1905, Sri Aurobindo Ghosh wrote ‘Vawani Mandir’. In this book, he stated the plans and programmes of the Revolutionary Terrorist groups. Abinashchandra Bhattacharya discussed the guerilla strategy in his book ‘Bartaman Rananiti’ (the present war policy). But above all it was the novel called ‘Pather Dabi’ by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay. Where a vivid sketch of the passion, the strategy and the spirit of the Revolutionary Terrorists was revealed. The character of the main protagonist of the novel, Sabyasachi, was inspired by many great revolutionists of that time like Rasbehari Basu, Manabendranath Roy and many others. This novel was about the Revolutionary Terrorist group of Bengal which was working outside India especially in Burma to eradicate the foreign rule from their motherland. Though some critics think that the importance of romance and personal emotions were much prominent in this novel than the detailings of the revolutionary activities, but it can’t be denied that the revolutionary flavor in this novel was so much that it was banned by the contemporary British Government immediately after its publication in 1926.

It is impossible to avoid Rabindranath Tagore concerning the Swadeshi Movement in Bengali literature, especially when his ‘Gora’(1910) came out just in this period.

Vande Mataram:

Created on 7th November,1875, the next few years saw Vande Mataram being accepted and appreciated in the literary circles of Bengal. However, the masses better conceived it through a novel written by Bankimchandra himself: The Anandmath. This novel started appearing in the magazine, Banga Darshan, during 1880 to 1882. Its concept itself generated ripples in people's minds, as it was a novel, which speaks of revolutionaries who live and die for their motherland. So naturally was the song incorporated in it, that its prior creation seems unlikely.

The year 1905 was memorable to Vande Mataram in many ways. In this year the song crossed the boundaries of Bengal, spread like a jungle fire throughout the nation which would oust the British rule. No sooner than the Partition of Bengal was declared, thousands of angry Bharatiyas protested the decision in a unanimous voice: Vande Mataram.

Bengal was a province rich enough in resources. The then viceroy Lord Curzon had ulterior motives in separating Bengal into two. Although portrayed to be an 'administrative convenience', the partition aimed at segregating the Hindu and Muslim populations on the basis of cast, creed and language.

Mild protests didn't change the decision and time came to revolt. On 7th of August 1905, a huge mob gathered for protest. Somebody just loudly said, the words Vande Mataram and the miracle happened. Thousands echoed it in one voice. Indian freedom struggle had got it's march song. The whole incidence is witnessed and chronicled by a great spiritual and revolutionary person-Shri Aurobindo Ghosh.

It took the year 1905 and the events narrated above when the British government realized the potential and nuisance value of Vande Mataram. Saraladevi Chaudharani, niece of Ravindranath Tagore, sung it despite protest in the 1905 Congress convention. The very next year 1906 saw a massive blood-shed, because of Vande Mataram. A regional youth convention of the Congress was originated at Barisal (now in Bangladesh). Strict orders were issued that Vande Mataram should not be rehearsed in any way in the convention, in any procession or even in a public place. The eminent leaders present- Surendranath Banerjee and the editor of Amrit Bazar Patrika, Mr. Motilal Ghose discussed the issue with delegates.

On the 14th April 1906, neglecting the orders issued, a full procession wearing Vande Mataram badges gathered. Before it could proceed, the police charged them in the cruelest manner with police sticks. Neither Shri Aurobindo nor Surendranath could escape the attack. Their bodies were covered with blood. Again, the next day of the convention began with the Vande Mataram song. After concluding, every volunteer returned with Vande Mataram in his mind.

Origin:

Vande PicVandemataram inspired a true sense of patriotism amongst Bharatiyas. These were the very words, which ultimately avoided the partition of Bengal, and these were the words recited in the end, by numerous Bharatiya revolutionaries while facing the gallows. It will be appropriate to glance over the inspirations of its writer poet-Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, in creating such a great song. Although a sudden flux of energy made him write it instantly, many events have acted as trigger.

The first runner of the Indian National Congress was a gathering started in 1867- The Hindu Mela. In its second convention (11th April 1868), Bankimchandra heard a song 'Jai Bharat, Jai' and was greatly influenced by its content. He started thinking on a need of a universal, patriotic message to fellow Bharatiyas. Bankim felt sad about this mindset of his countrymen. In his times, Vande Mataram did not acquire so much importance in Indian hearts, as compared to later years. But surely, it provided a common chord of brotherhood provided the right stimuli for the Indians. Ancient Indian tradition worships 'Mother' asa sacred deity, a mother, her love and affection towards her children, the pains she takes to bring up the child, have given this unparalleled position in our culture. Obviously, Bankim portrayed the nation as the 'Mother' itself and hailed her.In fact, he was searching for the right words. Words, with power and zeal, which will chant the ultimate praise of the motherland. The year was 1875. Not even in the creations (poems) of the great poets like Bhavabhuti, Kalidas that such powerful words could he find.

On the 7th of November, 1875 he was quietly meditating in a house on the banks of Ganga, night was tranquil and flux of full moon was showering on the waters of Ganga. Suddenly Bankimda could hear the folklore of Bengal's fishermen. It was saying that "for us, the river Ganga is nothing else but mother Durga. Easily will we sacrifice our lives for her, within her." That was the right tone, the right feeling Bankimchandra was looking for. Durga is the warrior goddess, with the lion as the chariot. Although a mother, a woman she is, destroying the enemy with a weapon in hand. This stance of the mother was what was needed.

Thus was born the Indian national song Vande Mataram. The day was 7 November 1875 Kartik Shuddha Navami, Hindu year 1797.

Note: Anyone can copy and publish this matter if he specifies me as the author of this.

Shashank Tyagi
shashanktyagi1@india.com

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