Revolutionary Movement In India Study Materials
THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT
The revolutionaries believed in ousting the British from India by means of a mass uprising. They were against the slow and steady approach of the Congress extremists and they also disapproved of the assassinations and destruction of public property by the terrorists. They tried to convince the Indian troops to rebel and tried to get help from foreign countries hostile to Britain. They were active in gathering support for themselves in China, Japan, France, Germany, North America and even Britain. The important revolutionary movements were as follows:
The Ghadar Movement
In 1907, Lala Hardayal came under the influence of the revolutionaries working in Oxford and started a weekly paper called Gadar. His subsequent associations with more leaders culminated into the formation of the Gadar Party in 1913, in North America. The Ghadar movement planned to (a) temper the loyalty of the Indian troops, (b) assassinate the British officials, (c) court foreign enemies to Britain and (d) form secret societies and propagate seditious literature. The Ghadar movement’s anti- British sentiment was intensified because of the Komagata Maru episode.To challenge the discriminatory immigration law of Canada, Gadar activists hired a Japanese ship called Komagata Maru and took 500 passengers from India to Canada. The passengers who were mainly Sikh were led by Baba Gurdeep Singh and had the full support of Lala Hardayal. When the ship reached Vancouver on 22 May 1914, it was refused permission to berth; the ship waited in vain for more than 2 months before returning to Kolkata on 26 September 1914. The police rounded up the passengers despite stiff resistance. The death toll that day reached 22, with many wounded. Most of the captured passengers were sent to jail. The Gadar movement got a fillip because of this incident.
Hindustan Republican Association(HSRA)Re-organised
On 9 and 10 September 1928, many of the major revolutionaries of northern India gathered secretly at Feroz Shah Kotla, set-up a new collective leadership, elected Chandrashekhar Azad as their creed, inserting the word ‘Socialist’ into their name. The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association was rapidly moving from the phase of individual actions to one of building a revolutionary movement. Although their major action after the reorganisation was the assassination of the Assistant Superintendent of Police, John P. Saunders, who killed Lala Lajpat Rai, the motives behind the action were significant. for one , the action was taken because Lala Lajpat Rai’s death had evoked enormous popular resentment. Secondly, the assassination was carried out as the HRSA’s popularity and mass membership were growing.
The All-India Mutiny that Failed(1915)
The revolutionaries took their ideas to the army and the peasants, small mutinies in Ferozpur, Lahore and Rawalpindi garrisons cautioned the British officers of a possible revolt of greater magnitude. The activists had planned the All-India Revolt on 21 February 1915. However, the British got wind of the plans and were able to curb the revolt.
Other Revolutionary Events
- Murder of W.C.Rand and Lt.Ayerst by Chapekar brothers at poona in 1897.
- Formation of the India House in London (1905) by shyamji Krishna Verma and V.D.Savarkar.
- Establishment of the Indian House in New York by Barkatullah and S.L.Joshi.
- Attempted murder of Governor Fuller of East Bengal by Barindra Kumar Ghosh and Bhupendranath Dutta in 1906.
- The Kennedy murder in 1908, in which two English ladies were killed when Khundi Ram Bose attempted to kill Magistrate Kingsford of Muzaffarabad who escaped unhurt.
- Madan Lal Dhingra murdered Curzon-Willie, an official in the British India Office at London.
- Attempted assassination of Lord Hardinge when he was approaching Delhi in 1912. Rash Behari Bose and Sachin Chandra Sanyal missed their target.
- Formation of the Berlin Committee in Germany (1914) by Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Dr.Avinash Chandra Bhattacharya and other prominent activists who formed the Anushilan and Yugantar groups in India.
- ‘Bagha Jatin’. Jatin Mukherji carried out the Plan of Bengal in 1915. This aimed at disrupting the rail and communication network in Bengal and seizing Fort William. The plan failed because of the lack of coordination and the death of ‘Bagha Jatin’ in 1915.
- Formation of Indian Independence Committee in 1915 under the Zimmerman Plan organised by the German official at Berlin. The committee included Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Lala Har Dayal and Bhupendranath Dutta.
- Appointment of the Provisional Government of Free India with Raja Mahendra Pratap as the president and Barkatullah as the prime minister, with support from Germany, Afghanistan and the Sultan of Turkey. However, the Czar of Russia did not approve of the government because of the defeat of Germany in the World War.
- In 1915, revolutionaries looted a train which carried government cash at a place called Kakori (between Lucknow and Shahjahanpur). The involved activists were arrested and sentenced to death by the British. Among them were Bhupendra Sanyal, S.N.Biswas, Ashfaqullah Khan and Thakur Singh.
- Chandrashekar Azad joined hands with Bhagat Singh and formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Party In It had two faces-the public face headed by Bhagat Singh. and a secret face. called Hindustan Socialist Republican Army. heated by Azad. It was the first organisation which envisioned free India to be secular. Its activists took note of the changing political structure of the nation.
- Bhagat Singh. Azad and Rajguru avenged the death of Lala Lajpat Rai by killing General Saunders in 1928.
- Bombing of the central Legislative Assembly by Bhagat Singh and his associates in 1929.
- Attempted bombing of the train in which Lord Irwin and his family was travelling in 1929 at Delhi.
- Issuing of an independence proclamation in the name of Indian Republic Army under the leadership of Surya Senin 1930, when revolutionaries captured the Chittagong Armoury. Surya Sen was arrested in 1933. and executed.
- Execution of Bhagat Singh. Rajguru and Sukhdev on 23 March 1931, and the death of Chandrashekhar Azad in a shooting episode in Allahabad 1931.
- Assassination of the magistrate of Tippera in Bengal. by the school going Santi and Suniti in 1932.
- Formation of the Indian Independence League by Ras Bihari Bose in 1942, in Japan.
- Formation of the All India Central Revolutionary committee in Russia by N. Roy and other activists.
- Other Prominent Revolutionaries who Operated outside India-P.M. Bapat; Madam Bhikaji Cama, a parsee lady who was connected with the Paris Indian Society established by S.R. Rana under the inspiration of Shyamji Krishna Verma, who unfurled the first tricolour flag at the International Socialist Congress (Germany), designed by Hem Chand Das in 1907: Sardar Sohan Singh, M.P.T.Acharya: Gyan Chand Verma; Ubaidullah sindhi, the translator of V.D. Savarkar’s book, Indian war of Independence in Tamil; V.V.S.Iyer and Harish Chandra.
Rise of Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh’s group gained enormous popularity, not only in Punjab but throughout North India. It is no coincidence that, in the 1929 Congress, held in tahore-the centre of Bhagat Singh’s activities-Jawaharlal Nehru described himself as ‘a socialist and a republican’; words that echoed exactly the same of Bhagat Singh’s organisation, HSRA was responsible for a number of other major ‘terrorist’ actions, including an attempt to blow up Viceroy Irwin’s train near Delhi in 1929, and a whole series of similar actions in Punjab and UP towns in 1930 [26 being recorded in Punjab that year alone]. However, their single most important action was the throwing of bombs into the Legislative Assembly by Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt on 8 April 1929. The bombs themselves were not intended to injure anyone (as indeed they did not), they were for demonstrative effect.
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