Saturday, June 6, 2009


Arandhan is a rite of mourning. The hearth is not lit. The food is not prepared. Nothing is kept on fire for boiling or baking in the house. Thus, the rite is performed.

This custom was made the mode of protest during the Bengal partition. It was adopted along with Rakhi Bandhan and Boycott. It was suggested by Ramendrasunder Trivedi. The Rakhi Bandhan was suggested by Rabindranath Tagore.

The method of protest in form of Boycott, Rakhi Bandhan and Arandhan was a new dimension in the freedom struggle of India. It was adopted in case of anti-Bengal partition movement. However, it added a new dimension to the moderate’s mode of protest which were meeting, memorandum, petitions and pamphlet publishing. They are mostly interpreted by historians as sign of the rise of Extremist mode of protest in the Moderate form of politics which is mostly termed as a mendicant approach of the earlier political leaders mostly associated with Indian National Congress.

The historians have also identified it with another trend in India’s freedom of struggle. They have interpreted and tried to show that the mass mobilization was undertaken through an appeal to religious practices. For that, they present Rakhi Bandhan and Arandhan as the Hindu religious practices as a case studies. They argue that it became the cause of Hindu Muslim divide on religious basis. This set of argument is mainly promoted by Marxist and among them Subaltern and Grmascian Historians. They either begin with this argument and substantiate it with the class divide paradigm which permeated the Muslim and Hindu society in Bengal (especially East Bengal). The same way of interpretation in arrangement of arguments, first identify that class divide among Hindu and Muslim on economic basis and then argue that it was consolidated when Hindu customs were made the symbols during protest against the executive acts of the Colonial rulers. In either of the set of logic, they try to conclude that adoption of Rakhi Bandhan and Arandhan were the main cause of limited appeal of the Wang-Bang Movement. They argue that by 1909, all the political practices which had been later identified with Gandhian mode of political protests had been practiced during this time but such religious customs as symbols in form of protest symbol for raising a mass movement reduced the impact of Bengal movement and as such made it merely a local movement.


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