Curzon came to India in December 1898. He imposed unpopular measures which intensified the opposition to British rule. The partition of Bengal's object was given out as administrative convenience. But the real object of division was to create hatred among the Hindus and Muslims to make the nationalist movement weak.

The group which led to the extremists in the Congress consisted of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal and Lala Lajpat Rai. They were popularly known as 'Lal Bal Pal'. They extolled the past of India in order to inculcate self confidence and national pride in the Indians.

In 1897 Tilak was prosecuted and sentenced to 18 months rigorous imprisonment for his seditious writings and speeches. He had started Kesari and Maratha newspapers. He also revived the Ganpati and Shivaji festivals and made use of them for arousing national feelings. In Bengal, the cult of the goddess Kali was adopted.

The extremists condemned the old leadership of the Congress for their praise of Western culture and their faith in the British government. There were a lot of differences in ideology between the extremists and the moderates. The 'extremist' leaders drew masses into the struggle, particularly in urban areas. The mobilization of youth, for the struggle was a main contribution of the 'extremists.'