Partition of Bengal (1905) and Rise of Nationalism

'Vandalism' a cartoon from the Hindi Punch
'Vandalism', a cartoon from the Hindi Punch, 1906

The 1905 Partition of Bengal and its subsequent roll-back in 1912 elicited a wide range of reaction from both Indians and Europeans. This page lists some selected resources from the British Library collections pertaining to administrative, official, non-official and personal responses to the event. The resources also touch upon the growth of communal politics, rise of extremism, and administrative activism.

Published date:

Archival Files and Documents

"...whether having regard to the statements ... that the agitation against the partition of Bengal is rapidly growing & that the boycott of Manchester goods is serious and threatening ... he (Secretary of State for India) can make any statement to reassure the Manchester trading public..."

IOR/L/PJ/6/763, File 1591

British Newspapers

"... is this the net result of all the trouble we have been taking, all these years, to initiate Mr. Banerjee, Mr Chatterjee and their kind into the beauties and blessings of European culture?"

Pall Mall Gazette, 6 Sep 1906

Indian English Newspapers

"...Who parted Bengal and broke the land / Put the people asunder with a pitiless hand? / 'I did it', said Curzon, 'I did it alone, / For I have a hand of iron and a heart of stone.'"

Amrita Bazar Patrika, 6 Nov 1905


"Punch has done much to soften the asperities of political life at Home by showing statesmen as others see them, and the Hindi Punch... has done much to preserve and spread a sense of humour in a country which takes itself too seriously..."

The Englishman on Hindi Punch, General Reference Collection P.P.3800.ed

Nationalist Advertisements

“NATIVES OF INDIA, Purchase goods made in your country. Purchase goods made by your own countrymen. ENCOURAGE NATIVE INDUSTRY. Buy ALUMINIUM Made by THE INDIAN ALUMINIUM CO. LD..."

Advertisement in Amrita Bazar Patrika, 5 Oct 1905 [SM 15]

These sources were selected by Parthasarathi Bhaumik as part of his research project on 'Nationalism, Partition, and Independence in South Asia, 1900-1950' during his Chevening Fellowship at the British Library. 

Partition India

Partition and Independence of India 1947

Partition and Independence of India 1947

All projects


South Asia

Resources for the study of South Asia, past and present.