The Partition of Bengal and Formation of the Muslim League : ICSE Class 10 Board Exam Questions and Answers

1 Marks Questions

Question 1 : Who wrote “Vande Mataram”? (2003)

Answer : Vande Mataram was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

Question 2 : Mention one reason for the rise of Militant Nationalism in Indian. (2002)

Answer : The Partition of Bengal led to the rise of Militant Nationalism in India.

Question 3 : When was the decision regarding the Partition of Bengal officially announced? (2000)

Answer : The decision regarding the Partition of Bengal was officially announced on 16th October 1905.

2 Marks Questions

Question 4 : State any two repressive policies of Lord Curzon. (2012)

Answer : The implementation of the Explosive Substances Act and Criminal Law Amendment Act were the two repressive policies of Lord Curzon.

Question 5 : When was Bengal partitioned? Name the Viceroy responsible for it. (2011)

Answer : On 20th July, 1905, Lord Curzon announced the division of the province of Bengal into the following provinces:

i) Eastern Bengal and Assam

ii) The rest of Bengal

Question 6 : How did Lord Curzon justify the Partition of Bengal? (2010)

Answer : Lord Curzon justified the Partition of Bengal Presidency saying it was too large and the most thickly populated province in British India. It comprised Bengal , Bihar, Odisha, Chota Nagpur and some other remote areas. Hence, according to Lord Curzon, Partition of Bengal was an administrative necessity.

Question 7 : What were Curzon’s two real motives behind the Partition of Bengal? (2009)

Answer : Curzon’s two real motives behind the Partition were as follows:

i) Bengal was the main centre of Indian nationalism at that time. It brought unity between the Aggressive Nationalists and Moderates.

ii) It was the step to divide and rule the Hindus and the Muslims.

Question 8 : What did the British do to foster the policy of Divide and Rule, which gave rise to the formation of the Muslim League? (2005)

Answer : The Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were treated as Separate Communities by the British Government and accepted their communal leaders as authentic representatives of all their co-religionists.

6 Marks Questions

Question 9 : Mention three factors leading to the formation of the Muslim League. (2008)

Answer : The three factors leading to the formation of the Muslim League are as follows:

i) The unity between Hindus and Muslims was seen by the Britishers after the revolt of 1857 and during the Partition of Bengal. To check the growth of nationalism, the Britishers encouraged the formation of the Muslim League.

ii) The Communal and Separatist trend of thinking grew among the Muslims to some extent because of their relative backwardness in education, trade and industry.

iii) Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great educationist. He opposed the formation of Indian National Congress. He worked as a guiding force for the Muslims to form a separate organisation.

Question 10 : Mention any three aims of the Muslim League.

Answer : The three aims of the Muslim League were as follows:

i) To promote among the Muslims of India, support for the British Government and to remove any mis-conceptions regarding the intention of the Government in relation to Indian Muslims.

ii) To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims and to represent their needs and aspirations to the Government in a mild and moderate language.

iii) To prevent the rate of feelings of hostility between the Muslims of India and other communities.

Questions 11 : Briefly mention the factors which led to the formation of the League. (2003)

Answer : The factors leading to the formation of the Muslim League are as follows:

i) The unity between Hindus and Muslims was seen by the Britishers after the revolt of 1857 and during the Partition of Bengal. To check the growth of nationalism, the Britishers encouraged the formation of the Muslim League.

ii) The Communal and Separatist trend of thinking grew among the Muslims to some extent because of their relative backwardness in education, trade and industry.

iii) Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great educationist. He opposed the formation of Indian National Congress. He worked as a guiding force for the Muslims to form a separate organisation.

Question 12 : What were the aims of the League? (2003)

Answer : The three aims of the Muslim League were as follows:

i) To promote among the Muslims of India, support for the British Government and to remove any mis-conceptions regarding the intention of the Government in relation to Indian Muslims.

ii) To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims and to represent their needs and aspirations to the Government in a mild and moderate language.

iii) To prevent the rate of feelings of hostility between the Muslims of India and other communities.

10 Marks Questions

Question 13 : Mention three factors leading to the formation of the Muslim League. (2013)

Answer : The three factors leading to the formation of the Muslim League are as follows:

i) The unity between Hindus and Muslims was seen by the Britishers after the revolt of 1857 and during the Partition of Bengal. To check the growth of nationalism, the Britishers encouraged the formation of the Muslim League.

ii) The Communal and Separatist trend of thinking grew among the Muslims to some extent because of their relative backwardness in education, trade and industry.

iii) Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a great educationist. He opposed the formation of Indian National Congress. He worked as a guiding force for the Muslims to form a separate organisation.

Question 14 : Any three demands made by the Muslims Deputation in 1906 to the viceroy Lord Minto.

Answer : Three demands made by the Muslims Deputation in 1906 to the Viceroy Lord Minto were as follows:

i) Representation of Muslims in elected bodies and Separate Electorates. Representatives of Muslims in elected bodies on the basis of their political importance and not on their numerical strength. The Muslims should be given the right of sending their representatives to the Provincial Council and Imperial Legislative Council by the Separate Communal Electorates.

ii) Reservation of Seats for Muslims. They demanded for the reservation of seats in the State Services. There should be greater representation of Muslims in all Civil and Military services. Further, there should be Muslim judges in every High Court.

iii) Promoting New Muslim Universities. More State Aid was to be given for promoting new Muslim universities. The deputation asked for foundation of the Muslim University, which would be a centre of religious, cultural and intellectual life.

Question 15 : What were the aims and objectives of the Muslim League?

Answer : The aims of the Muslim League were as follows:

i) To promote among the Muslims of India, support for the British Government and to remove any mis-conceptions regarding the intention of the Government in relation to Indian Muslims.

ii) To protect and advance the political rights and interests of the Muslims and to represent their needs and aspirations to the Government in a mild and moderate language.

iii) To prevent the rate of feelings of hostility between the Muslims of India and other communities.

Question 16 : What was Lord Curzon’s argument in favour of the Partion of Bengal?

Answer :  Curzon’s argument in favour of the Partition of Bengal: Curzon justified the Partition of Bengal Presidency, saying that the area of Bengal was very large and it was also the most thickly populated province in British India. And it was difficult for the British to administer with the same efficiency. Hence, according to Lord Curzon, Partition of Bengal was an ‘administrative necessity.’

The Interpretation of Nationalists : The Indian nationalists clearly saw the design behind the partition and condemned it. They thought that this was done in order to divide or break the Hindu-Muslim unity, they felt that administrative efficiency could have been better secured to stop the tide of Nationalism, to curb Bengali influence by not only placing Bengalis under the administration, but by reducing them to a minority in Bengal.

Question 17 : How did the people react to the Partition of Bengal? (2012)

Answer : People’s reactions to the Partition of Bengal were as follows:

i) On 16th October 1905, the Partition of Bengal came into effect.  The leaders of the Protest Movement declared it a day of ‘National Mourning’ throughout Bengal. It was observed as a ‘day of fasting.’

ii) The streets of Kolkata were full of the cries of ‘Vande Mataram’, which became the theme song of the National Movement.

iii) Thy tied rakhis on each other’s wrists to show their bonds of love and unity.

iv) People showed their anger by boycotting foreign good. They observed fasts and pledged support to the Nationalists for forcing the government to cancel the partition.

Question 18 : What was the impact of the Swadeshi Movement on the Indian Industries?

Answer : Swadeshi and Boycott Movements marked the beginning of a new era in India’s freedom. The Swadeshi Movement gave a great stimulus to the Indian industries, particularly the weaving industries. These movements brought into politics many new classes of people without any distinction of caste and creed.

Textiles mills, match and soap factories came up quickly all over the country. All this gave impetus to the Nationalists poetry, prose and journalism and education gave India a national orientation in the vernacular media. Swadeshi Movemetn led to the establishment of first Steel Company of India, “Tata Steel” in Bihar in 1911.

Question 19 : Explain how the repressive policies of Lord Curzon and influence of the International events led to radical nationalism. (2011)

Answer : Repressive Policies of Lord Curzon were as follows:

i) The Act of 1898, which made it an offence, to provoke people against the English.

ii) The Calcutta Corporation Act, which has been passed by Lord Curzon in the year 1899, by which he increased the number of Englishmen on the list of official members of the Corporation.

Influence of International Events

Influence of International events highly affected the radical nationalism of India. The Italian forces in the year 1896 tried to establish their military control over the freedom loving Abyssinians of Ethiopia, who were defeated. Japan an Asian country, defeated Russia. In South Africa, the Boers fought for three years (1899 – 1902) against the British Empire.

In Ireland, people were waging a full scale Home Rule Agitation. These events broke the myth of the invincibility of the Europeans. The radical nationalists felt that the united masses could throw out the British Yoke.

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Question 22 : Explain the terms Swadeshi and Boycott in the context of the National Movement in India.

Answer : In the year 1905, the Swadeshi and Boycott Movements started as a part of the agitation against the Partition of Bengal, Swadeshi literally means of ‘one’s own country’. The aim of the Swadeshi Movement was the promotion of indigenous industries for strengthening the nation. Boycott Movement meant  ‘abstaining from the purchase of British goods.’

These  movements were started with a view to accelerate the pace of the freedom struggle. Swadeshi was a weapon forged by the people to achieve industrial and economic regeneration. The Boycott Movement was more comprehensive and a four-fold programme of Boycott was advocated.

Boycott includes the following conditions:

i) Boycott of English goods like clothes, salt, sugar, etc.

ii) Rejection of English speech.

iii) Rejection of Government posts and seats in Legislative Council.

iv) Social boycott of people, who purchased foreign goods. Thus, these movements were openly and aggressively anti-British.

Question 23 : The motives of Lord Curzon behind the partition. (2004)

Answer : The motives of Lord Curzon behind the partition of Bengal were as follows:

i) The main motive for the Partition of Bengal according to British rulers was administrative necessity. They said that the province of Bengal was too big to be effectively administered by a ‘Single Provincial Government.’

ii) The Partition of the State was intended to curb Bengal influence by not only placing Bengalis under two administrations, but by reducing them to a minority in Bengal itself.

iii) Curzon’s real motive behind the Partition was to break ‘the growing solidarity of Bengal Nationalism.’ Another motive was to drive a wedge between the Hindus and Muslims.

iv) The Partition was meant to foster division on the basis of religion. East Bengal would be predominantly a Muslim majority state and Paschim Bengal would have a Hindu majority.

Question 24 : The measures taken by the British to crush the Anti-Partition Movement.

Answer : The Government banned processions and meetings, curbed the newspapers by rigorous Press laws and imprisoned the leaders of the movement without trial. The Government took all measured to suppress the students. The Government made use of several repressive measures such as the Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the Newspaper Act. The singing of Vande Matarm was forbidden in the streets of Bengal.

The leaders of the movement were ill-treated. Some leaders were tried for seditious writing in various papers. The educational institutions were warned that if they did not prevent their students from participating in the Boycott Movement, their grants-in-aid would be stopped.

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Question 26 : Reaction of the Nationalists to the Partition of Bengal. (2002)

Answer : Reactions of the Nationalists to the Partition of Bengal were as follows:

i) The Partition of Bengal led to a mighty upsurge which brought people and political leaders together. The Nationalists were opposed to the Partition of Bengal.

ii) The streets of Kolkata were full of the cries of Vande Mataram, which became the theme song of the National Movement.

iii) They celebrated 16th October as the ‘day of Mourning’. The newspapers ‘The Bengalee’ and the ‘Amrit Bazar Patrika’ criticised the Government severely.

iv) People of Bengal tried rakhis on one another’s wrists as the symbol of unbreakable unity of the Bengalis.

Question 27 : Reaction of the British against the agitators.

Answer : The Government used all kinds of repression. Thousands of people were arrested and put behind the bars.  Lathi charge were common on peaceful and non-violent protesters. Many leadrs i.e., Lala Lajpat Rai, Sardar Ajit Singh, Surendranath Banerjee etc were arrested. Institutions were stopped to take part in the movement. Those institutions, who were in suspicion, their grants were cancelled, even crying of Vande Mataram was forbidden.

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Question 30 : In the context of the formation of the Muslim League state the British Policy of divide and rule. (2000)

Answer : After the First War of Independence in 1857, the British became apprehensive of the safety and stability of their empire in India. In the war of 1857, both the Hindus and the Muslims took part in a large number. Britishers saw the unity between the Hindus and Muslims as a threat to them. To check the growth of a United National feeling in India and to encourage communal and separatist tendencies in Indian politics, they decided to follow the policy of ‘Divide and Rule’

The Muslims were made to fight with the Hindus, with one class or caste used against the other and the high caste were excited against the low caste Hindus and the Sikhs alike.

They tried to create hatred among the Hindus and the Muslims by portraying Muslim rulers as plunderers and Hindu rulers as cruel kings to their Muslim subjects. They tried to spread communal hatred through the use of press, posters, literature and public platform.

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Question 32 : Mention two direct outcomes of the formation of the Muslim League.

Answer : The Radical and Nationalist ideas among the Muslims were promoted by a group of educated and modern young men. These young men asked Muslims to join the Congress. The younger section of emerging Muslim leaders disliked the loyalist politics of the Aligarh group and leadership of Nawabs and Zamindars. Some young scholars influenced by the Deoband school of Muslim studies were inspired by Nationalist sentiments. Among them the most prominent were Maulana Abul Kalam Azad,Habibur Rahman, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Mzhar-ul-Haq.

When the safety of Turkey was threatened during the World War I, Indians reacted and anti-British sentiments stated to grow among the Muslims. As a result, many more radical young Muslims joined the Nationalists toward the common cause and new forces emerged in the Muslim League politics and some of its leaders realised that re-approachment to the Congress was desirable. The two groups jonied together and out forward a common demand which resulted in a signing of the Lucknow Pact, (1916) which was an important step in achieving Hindu-Muslim unity.