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Revolutionary Movement

History of Revolutionary Movement in India


Revolutionaries opted to follow the Russian nihilist or the Irish Nationalist.  This methodology involves individual heroic actions such as

1)assasination of unpopular English officials and traitors,

2)conduction Swadeshi dacoits to raise funds for revolutionary activities,

(3)During WorldWar-I organising military conspiracies with expectation of help from the enemies of Britain.

Aim: – To strike terror in the heart of rulers/Britishers and to remove the fear of British from Indian minds.  They want to inspire the people through their patriotism especially the youths.

Revolution in Bengal

1902 Anushilan Smiti : founded by Promoth Mitter, Jatinder Nath Banerjee, Barinder Kumar Ghosh and others.  It was a secret society which promotes revolutionary activities.

Dacca Anushilan Smiti : was founded by Pulin Das in East Bengal. Other Smitis were Swadesh Bandhav, Sadhna, Barati, Suhrid.

  • : Barinder Kumar Ghosh published Bhavani Mandir
  • :Barinder Kumar Ghosh and Bhupender Nath Datta started the paper “Yugantar”-weekly, which inspired youths to begin an Armed Revolution.

In April 1906 Barisal Conference took place where Britishers launched severe brutalities and then yugantar wrote “The remedy lies with the people.  The 30 crore people inhabiting India must raise their 60 crore hands to stop this curse of operation.  Force must be stopped by force.”

23 Dec 1907 the revolutionaries shot the magistrate of Dacca at the Faridpur Railway Station.

Rash Bihari Bose and Sachin Sanyal had organised a secret society covering far flung areas of Punjab, Delhi and U.P. while some others like Hem Chander Kanungo went abroad for military and political training.

  • An abortive attempt was made by the Yugantar group on the life of a very unpopular British official Sir Fuller (East Bengal 1st LG) although he had resigned from this post on 20 Aug1946.

April 1908 : Khudi Ram Bose and Prafulla Chakki threw a bomb at a carriage which they believed was occupied by Kingsford(unpopular Judge of Muzzafarpur,Bihar) two ladies, instead, got killed.  Chakki commited suicide however Khudi Ram Bose was hanged.  The entire group was arrested including Ghosh brothers (Aurobindo Ghosh and Brindranath Ghosh) who were tried in Alipore Conspiracy Case.  During trial Narender Gosain, who had turned approver was shot dead.  C.R.Das (lawyer) defended Aurbindo Ghosh in court trial.  Ghosh released who then took retirement from active politics and retired to Auronville (Puducherry) where he opted spiritualism.

  • Barah Dacoity was organised by Pulin Das (founder of Dacca Anushilan Smiti).

Feb 1909 A Public Prosecutor was shot dead in Calcutta.

Feb 1910 A Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP) shot dead while leaving Calcutta High Court.

Dec 23, 1912 Bombing on Lord Hardinge II (Viceroy)/The Delhi conspiracy Case

Rashbihari Bose and Sachin Sanyal threw a bomb on Viceroy Lord Hardinge II (at Chandni Chowk ) who was leading a procession in Delhi to celebrate the occasion of the city becoming new capital of India Hardinge escaped with minor injuries but his attendent died on the spot, 13 people were arrested and tried in Delhi Conspiracy Case.  Dinanath one of the arrested person, become govt. approver under pressure. 4 persons Master Amir Chand, Avadh Bihar, Bal Mukund and Basant Kumar Biswas were hanged.  Rashbihari Bose fled to Japan.

The newspaper and journals supporting revolutionary activities were Sandhya and Yuganter in Bengal and kal in Maharashtra.   Sandhya (1906) Brahma Bandhav Upadyay of Bengal was the founder.

Revolution in MAHARASHTRA

Ramosi peasant Force was organised by Vasu Dev Balwant Phadke in 1879 which aimed to expel British by armed revolution.

In 1890s B.G Tilak propagated a spirit of Militant Nationalism including use of violence through Ganpati Festival (1893), Shivaji Festival (1896) and his journals “Kesari (in marathi)” and “Maratha (in english)”.  Chapekar Brothers were his disciplies.

22 June 1897– Assasination of Rand and Lt. Ayerst by Chapekar Brothers (Damodar Hari Chapekar (elder), Balkrishan Hari Chapekar) because Mr. Rand was Plague Commissioner of Poona and he has careless attitude towards Plague at Poona.

1899 Sarvarkar Brothers organised a secret society named Mitrmela”.  Sarvarkar Brothers {Ganesh Damodar Savarkar (G.D. Savarkar and Vinayak Damodar Sarvarkar (V.D. Sarvarkar)}.

1904 V.D Savarkar organised Abhinav Bharat” a secret society of revolutionaries. At the same time Mitramela was merged with Abhinav Bharat.

1909 Anant Kanhare and others of Abhinav Bharat assasinated Jackson(District Magistrate of Nasik), because Jackson had depoted GD Savarkar to Andaman in

Sedition charge, the charge was that he had composed some patriotic songs.(Nasik Conspiracy Case)


Cause : Famine, rise in land revenue and irrigation tax, practice “Begar” by Zamindars, events in Bengal.

The active persons Lala Lajpat Rai who wrote “Punjabee”-a paper, the motto of this paper was self help at any cost.

Ajit Singh (Bhagat Singh’s Uncle) who organised an extremist-“Anjuman-imohisban-i-vatan” in Lahore with his journal “Bharat Mata”

1904 J.M. Chatterjee set up an organisation with Lala Hardyal and Sufi Amba Prasad to spread revolutionary activities in Punjab.

After his release from jail in 1907, Ajit Singh begin establishing revolutionary outfits in many places.

Nov 1908 DSP of Layalpur was assasinated.

Dec 1909 A bomb was exploded in the house of DC of Ambala.                                                          


1905 Shyamji Krishna Verma started an Indian Home Rule Society/India House as a centre for Indian students, a scholarship scheme to bring radical youths from India.  He also published a Journal “The Indian Sociologist“. V.D Savarkar and Lala Hardyal became member of India house.

1 July 1909 Madan Lal Dhingra (a member of India house) shot dead the assistant of Secretary to State Curzon Wyllie in London.16 August 1909 M.L. Dhingra was sentenced to death.

In her Paris Journal Talwar the famous Parsi women revolutionary Madam Bhikaji Rustom Cama wrote in firm support of this act in an editorial “Madan’s Talwar”.

1910 V.D Sarvarkar had been extradited to India and transported for life in Nasik Conspiracy Case.

1909 Virender Nath Chattopadhyay chose Berlin as his base when Anglo-German deteriorated

She brought out magzine “Bande Matram“, Which Ajit Singh operatedShe joined the International Socialist Congress of 1907 in Stuttgart (Germany) and presented the demand for India’s freedom (1st time in a world gathering She also displayed a flag for India.

Madam Bhikaji Cama:-

  • A Parsi revolutionary women
  • She had developed contacts with French socialists.
  • She brought out magzine “Bande Matram”, Which Ajit Singh operated
  • She joined the International Socialist Congress of 1907 in Stuttgart (Germany) and presented the demand for
  • India’s freedom (1st time in a world gathering She also displayed a flag for India.


Childambaram Pillay declared that full independence was India’s objective.

In Tinnevely, a militant strike followed in protest to the arrest of Pillay.  British magistrate Ashe gave firing orders in which many lives were lost.

The revolutionary Vanchi Aiyar took revenge by killing Ashe and then committed suicide.


Under the leadership of a teacher in Nationalist Muslim College of Deoband, Maulana Obeidullah Sindhi many young revolutionary muslims left India for Baluchistan where they set up liberated govt. and later on shifted their HQ to Kabul where they were joined by Raja Mahender Pratap and Maulana Barkatullah from there they start sending secret news to Deoband students and thus begin to influence Indian Revolution.  But their coded/ciphered silk handkerchiefs were intercepted by Govt. and this leads to Silk Letter Conspiracy Case.

Vishnu Ganesh Pingal was captured with 10 high explosive bombs in Cantonment at Meerut.

Young revolutionary leader Kartar Singh Sarabha were captured, were hanged in 1st Lahore Conspiracy Case (due to failed Ghadar conspiracy in 1915).

Narender Nath Bhattacharya (Jatinder Naths’ right hand man) was sent to China and Japan in search of Arms. He then went to USA with the assumed name of Manbendarnath Roy and then went to Mexico, where he accepted Marxist views and was elected Secretary of the Mexican socialist party ,at Lenin invitation he travelled to Moscow to participate in the 2nd Congress of the Communist International ( 1920)

Valentine Chirol called Tilak as “Father of Indian Unrest.”

The Berlin Committee for Indian Independence was established in 1915 by Virender Nath Chattopadhyay, Bhupender Nath Datta, Lala Hardyal and others with the help of German foreign office under Zimmerman Plan


Feb 15, 1915 by Punjabi Muslim 5th Light Infantry and 36th Sikh Batallion under Jamadar Chisti Khan, Jamadar Abdul Gani and Subedar Daud Khan.

The military was crushed, 37 were executed and 41 tranported for life.

During WW-I most Bengal groups were organised under Jatin Mukherjee (Bagha Jatin) which cause disruption of Railway lines seizure of Fort Williams etc. and leading of German Arms. Bagha jatin died a heroic death near Balasore on the Odisha Coast in sep 1915.

1st Lahore Conspiracy case  The Ghaddarites fixed Feb 21,1915 as the date for Armed revolt in Ferozpur, Lahore, Rawalpindi Garrisons but the plan was foiled and this failed Ghaddar Conspiracy leads to the trial under defence of India Act 1915 and this case is called 1st lahore conspiracy Case.                                                       


Reasons :

  • Failure of Non Cooperation Movement Major influences were of following :
  • upsurge of working class trade unionism after WW-I o Russian revolution 1917 o New Ideologies-Marxism, Socialism etc.
  • Journal praising the sacrifice of revolutionaries were “Atma Sakti”, “Sarthi”, “Bijoli”.
  • Novels and books such as “bandi Jeevan” by Sachin Sanyal, “Pathar Dabi” by Sharad Chander Chatterjee.
  • Bandi Jeevan was a textbook to the revolutionary movement. o First in Punjab, U.P, Bihar

Oct 1924, Kanpur – estb. of HRA (Hindustan Republican Army/Association)

Founded by Ram Prasad Bismil, Jogesh Chander Chatterjee and Sachin Sanyal to overthrow British Govt. by Armed revolution.

Kakori Robbery (9 August 1925)

8Down Train at Kakori (near Lucknow) was looted (official Railway Cash) 17 were jailed, 4 life sentence, 4 executed (Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaq Ulla Khan, Roshan Singh, Rajender Lahiri)

September, 1948Feroz Shah Kotla Ground Delhi- HSRA (Hindustan SOCIALISTIC Republican Army/Association): 

9,10 September 1928 Revolutionary met at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground Delhi to reorganise HRA and its name was changed to HSRA under the leadership of Chandershekhar Azad

OTHERS were : Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Bhagvaticharan Vohra from Punjab and Bijoy, Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor from United province.

To avenge Lala’s death, Bhagat Singh, Chandershekhar Azad and Rajguru assasinated Saunder (Police Officer who ordered  Lathi Charge upon protesters in Lahore who were protesting against Simon Commission in oct 1928, in which Lala Lajpat Rai got injured and later on died on 17 Nov 1928 due to their injuries. However their plan  was to kill Scott )
John saunders – Assistant supintendent of Police
James Scott- Suprintendent of Police.

8 April 1929 Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a bomb in Central Legislative Assembly against the passage of “Public Safety Bill” and “Trade Dispute Bill“(which were curtailing civil liberties of citizens in general and workers in particular).  Aim of threwing bomb-to make “the deaf hear” and the objective was to get arrested and to use the trail court as a forum for propaganda so that people would become familiar with their movement and ideology.

13 Sep 1929 on 64th Day of Hunger Strike-Jatin Das died in Lahore jail.

Feb 1931 Chandarshekhar Azad died in a Police encounter in Alfred Park

Allahabad.  It is believed that he shot himself dead with the last bullet he had.  Azad was involved in a bid to blow up Viceroy Irwin’s Train near Delhi in Dec 1929.

23 March 1931 Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar hanged.


Charles Tegart (Calcutta Police Commissioner) was attempted to kill by revolutionary Gopinath Saha.  But another man named Day was killed.

Gopinath Saha hanged


Lender Surya Sen a participant in NCM and a teacher in national School in Chittagong.  He was locally called “Master Da“.  He conducts a raid to the Chittagong Armory of British with 65 activists under the banner of Indian Republican Army Chittagong branch.  This raid was quite successful and Sen hoisted the National Flag, took salute and proclaimed a provisional revolutionary govt.

Jallalabad Hills– Fight between Chittagong group and British force.

Surya Sen arrested on 16 Feb 1933, hanged on 12 Jan 1934.

1933 JL Nehru was arrested for 2 years for Sedition Charge because he had praised Chittagong revolutionaries.

“The Philosophy of the Bomb” written by Bhagvati Charan Vohra


  • Bhagat Singh born 1907 in Layalpur Distt.(Punjab province)Nephew of Ajit Singh
  • A socialist follower, Studied Marxism at Dwarkadas Library Lahore
  • 1926 help in establishing Punjab Naujawan Bharat Sabha became its founding Secretary.
  • He wrote an article Why I am an Athiest”.

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