Armed Revolutionary Movement Class 8 History Notes Maharashtra State Board
The agitations against British imperialism were carried out in various ways in India. In this chapter, we shall get acquainted with it. We have studied the uprisings before 1857 against the British and the freedom movement of 1857. In the later period, Ramsinh Kuka organized a rebellion against the government in Punjab.
Vasudev Balwant Phadke:
In Maharashtra, Vasudev Balwant Phadke gave an armed struggle against the British. He assumed that there should be an armed struggle to fight against the British. He took the training of arms from Vastad Lahuji Salve. He organized the Ramoshis and revolted against the British. This rebellion became unsuccessful. The British Government sent him to Eden jail. There he died in 1883. He built up an armed struggle for independence.
In 1897, the Plague Commissioner Rand resorted to tyranny and force while managing the epidemic of plague in Pune. As a revenge the Chafekar brothers, Damodar and Balkrishna, shot him dead on 22 June 1897. Damodar, Balkrishna, and Vasudev three brothers, and their associate Mahadev Ranade were hanged to death. From the same house, three brothers accepted martyrdom for the service of the country. During the same period Munda tribe in Bihar under the leadership of Birsa Munda made a great revolt against the Government.
In 1900, Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar founded ‘Mitramela’- a secret organization of revolutionaries in Nasik. The same organization was renamed as ‘Abhinav Bharat’ in 1904. Savarkar went to England for higher education. From there he began sending revolutionary literature, guns, etc. to the members of Abhinav Bharat in India. He wrote an inspiring biography of Joseph Mazzini, the famous Italian revolutionary. The 1857 rebellion was the first war of independence as stated in the book ‘The Indian War of Independence 1857’ written by him.
Swatantryaveer Savarkar was sentenced to fifty years of rigorous imprisonment at Andaman. He was there for ten years. In his autobiography ‘Majhi Janmathep’ he wrote down his experiences of the terrible days in Andaman. Later the Government took him to Ratnagiri and detained him there. There Savarkar started many social movements such as the removal of caste differences, removal of untouchability, common dining, purification of language, etc. He was a great writer. He was the President of Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Mumbai in 1938.
The Government came to know about the activities of Abhinav Bharat. Therefore the Government arrested Babarao Savarkar. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. As revenge for this punishment, a youth named Anant Laxman Kanhere killed Jackson, the Collector of Nasik. The Government started arresting all those people who were connected with the Abhinav Bharat organization. The murder of Jackson was linked with Swatantryaveer Savarkar by the Government, he was arrested and put on trial. The court ordered him rigorous punishment for 50 years.
Revolutionary Movement in Bengal:
After the partition of Bengal, the outrage against the British became more severe. In place of local rebellions, comprehensive revolutionary movements started rising at the national level. In various parts of the country, the youths inspired by revolutionary thoughts started establishing their secret organizations. To keep control over British officers, to loosen the Government machinery, to wipe out the fear in the minds of Indians regarding the British Government, overthrow the British rule were some of its main objectives.
In Bengal a revolutionary organisation called ‘Anushilan Samiti’ was active. The Anushilan Samiti had more than 500 branches. Barindrakumar Ghosh, brother of Aurobindo Ghosh, was the chief of this organization. This organization received counsel and guidance from Aurobindo Ghosh. The Anushilan Samiti had a bomb manufacturing center at Maniktala near Kolkata. In 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki, members of Anushilan Samiti planned to kill a judge named Kingsford. But the vehicle on which they threw the bomb was not the one carrying Kingsford.
Two English women were killed in this attack. Prafulla Chaki shot himself with a bullet so that he would not fall in the hands of the British. Khudiram Bose was caught by the police. During the investigation, the police got information about the working of Anushilan Samiti. They started arresting the members of this organization. Aurobindo Ghosh was also arrested. But the Government was unsuccessful in linking him to the manufacturing of bombs and hence the court set him free. Other members were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
Rash Behari Bose and Sachindra Nath Sanyal spread the network of revolutionary organizations outside Bengal. The centers of revolutionary work were set up in Punjab, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. Rash Behari Bose and his associate made a daring act of throwing a bomb at the Viceroy Lord Hardinge. But he got saved from the attack. The revolutionary work was carried out in Madras Province as well. Vanchhi Iyyer, a revolutionary, killed a British officer named Ash. Later he shot himself with a bullet and sacrificed his own life.
The revolutionary work in India received assistance from Indian revolutionaries staying abroad. India House, in London, was an important center that provided for such kind of assistance. Pandit Shyamji Krishna Varma, an Indian patriot, had established India House. Through this organization, Indian youths were given scholarships for higher education in England. Swatantryaveer Savarkar received such a scholarship. Madam Cama raised the issue of India’s independence at the World Socialist Conference held at Stuggart in Germany. At the same conference, she unfurled the flag of India. Another revolutionary associated with India House was a youth named Madanlal Dhingra. He killed Curzon Wylie, a British Officer, due to which Dhingra was hanged to death.
During the period of the First World War, the revolutionary work against the British Government got momentum. The revolutionaries felt that the transfer of power could be brought into India with the help of enemies of the British and in this attempt, the help of Indian soldiers could also be taken. To take advantage of this opportunity revolutionary organizations were set up. ‘Gadar’ is one such important organization.
The Indians living in America and Canada established the Gadar organization. Lala Hardayal, Bhai Parmanand, Dr. Pandurang Sadashiv Khankhoje etc. These revolutionaries were the important leaders of the organization. The word ‘Gadar’ means ‘revolt’. ‘Gadar’ was the journal of this organization that acted as its mouthpiece. Through this journal, the effects of British rule in India were pointed out. It gave information about the daring deeds of the revolutionaries. In this way, love for the nation and armed rebellion was the message given through the journal, Gadar, to the Indians.
The leaders of the Gadar organization decided to take advantage of this war-like situation. They drew out a plan of revolt in Punjab against the British. They persuaded the Indian soldiers in the British army to join in their revolt. It was decided that Rash Behari Bose and Vishnu Ganesh Pingle should lead the revolt. But due to treachery, the British traced out the plan. Pingle fell into the hands of the police. He was hanged to death. But Rash Behari Bose escaped successfully. He went to Japan and continued his revolutionary work. The revolutionary movement was active in other countries during the period of war. In Berlin, Veerendra Nath Chattopadhyay, Bhupen Dutta, and Hardayal prepared anti-British plans in cooperation with the German Foreign Ministry. In 1915, Mahendra Pratap, Barkatullah, and Obaidullah Sindhi established the Provisional Government of Free India in Kabul.
The suppressive measures of government could not put an end to the revolutionary movement. After the suspension of the Civil Disobedience Movement by Mahatma Gandhi, many youngsters were diverted to revolutionary ways. Chandrashekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Yogesh Chatterjee, Sachindra Nath Sanyal, and other revolutionaries came together. On 9 August 1925, they looted the Government treasury that was carried in a train near Kakori railway station in Uttar Pradesh. This is known as the ‘Kakori conspiracy’. By taking immediate action the government arrested the revolutionaries and put them into prison. They were put on trial. Ashfaqulla Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, and Rajendra Lahiri were hanged. But Chandrashekhar Azad managed to escape.
Hindustan Socialist Republican Association:
The young men influenced by socialist ideas decided to set up a nationwide revolutionary organization. Prominent among them were Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, etc. All these revolutionaries were secular in their thoughts. In 1928 in a meeting held at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi, these young men established the organisation called ‘The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association’. The objective behind the establishment of this organization was to free India from British exploitation. It also wanted to overthrow the unjust socio-economic system which exploited the farmers and workers. Bhagat Singh gave importance to the creation of a society based on social justice and equality. The work of gathering arms and execution programs was entrusted to a separate wing of the organization. This wing was called the ‘Hindustan Socialist Republican Army’ and Chandrashekar Azad was the chief of this wing.
Members of this organization carried out many revolutionary activities. Bhagat Singh and Rajguru fired bullets and killed an officer named Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. The Government had introduced two bills in the Central Legislative Assembly, curtailing civil rights. To protest it, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutta threw bombs at the Central Legislative Assembly. The British Government immediately raided the centers of ‘The Hindustan Socialist Republican Army’. Through it the police also obtained clues related to the killing of Saunders. The government started arresting the revolutionaries. They were tried under the charge of sedition. On 23 March 1931, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were hanged in the Lahore jail. But till the end, Chandrashekhar Azad did not fall into the hands of the police. Later he died in an encounter with police at Alfred Park in Allahabad.
Attack on Chittagong Armoury:
Surya Sen was the chief of the revolutionary group at Chittagong in Bengal. He had gathered around him revolutionaries like Anant Singh, Ganesh Ghosh, Kalpana Dutta, and Pritilata Waddedar. With their assistance, Surya Sen drew up a plan to attack the armory at Chittagong. As per the plan, on 18 April 1930, the revolutionaries seized the arms from the two armories in Chittagong. The telephone and telegraph lines were broken and they succeeded in paralysing the communication system. After that, they gave a thrilling fight to the British army.
On 16 February 1933, Surya Sen and some of his associates were captured by the police. Surya Sen and his 12 associates were given death punishment. Kalpana Dutta was sentenced to life imprisonment. Pritilata Waddedar killed herself without falling into the hands of the police. Due to the Uprising in Chittagong, the revolutionary movement gained pace. Shanti Ghosh and Suniti Choudhary, two school girls killed the District Judge, whereas a young girl Bina Das shot dead the Governor during the convocation ceremony of Kolkata University.
Sardar Udham Singh killed Dyer, the officer responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, in London in 1940. In the freedom struggle of India revolutionary movement made an important contribution. These revolutionaries displayed daring and determination while fighting against British rule. The love for the nation and attitude of sacrifice was just incomparable. Their sacrifice proved to be an inspiration to the Indians.
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