At the same time they continued to work in the Congress organization from the village to the provincial levels. This was because they understood that by working inside the Congress they would get access to the masses in general and the youth in particular. In many ways, C.R. Das acted as an emotional link between the revolutionaries and the Congress.
However, after the death of C. R. Das, the Bengal Congress divided into two factions : one led by J. M. Sen Gupta (Anushilan group joined forces with him) and the other led by Subhas Chandra Bose (Yugantar group). The action of the reorganised groups included an assassination attempt on the notorious Calcutta Police Commissioner, Charles Tegart by Gopinath Saha in 1924. The government armed with a new ordinance, came down heavily on revolutionaries.
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Many including Subash Chandra Bose were arrested and Gopinath Shah was hanged. Nearly all the major leaders being in jail, revolutionary activity suffered a severe setback. Revolutionary activity also suffered because of factional and personal quarrels within the ranks of the old revolutionary leaders.
Quarrels on the basis of Yugantar vs Anushilan were endemic. However, after their release after 1926, many of the younger revolutionaries, critical of the older leaders, began to organize themselves into a large number of new groups which came to be known as Revolt Groups. These groups tried to base themselves on the experience of Russian and Irish revolutionaries. Learning from the past experience, the new Revolt Groups developed friendly relations with the active elements of both the Anushilan and Yugantar Samitis. Among the new groups, it was the Chittagong group led by Surya Sen, that acquired great fame and prominence. In 1929, Surya Sen, Ganesh Ghosh, Niranjan Sen and Satish Prakash met in Calcutta to chalk out a programme of armed uprising. Due to short supply of arms they planned to raid armouries in three districts Chittagong, Mymensingh and Barisal.
Finally, the young band of revolutionaries, who were to participate in the armoury raid, were selected and trained with great care. The plan was put into operation on the night of 18thApril 1930. The raid was undertaken in the name of Indian Republican Army, Chittagong branch. Surya Sen was formally declared the president of the provisional revolutionary government. The union jack was pulled down and the National Flag was hoisted among slogans of ‘Bande Mataram.’ Since it was not possible to fight the British forces, the revolutionaries took its position on the Jalalabad hill where they were surrounded by enemy troops. After a heroic fight 12 revolutionaries died. Surya Sen launched guerilla warfare.
Finally, Surya Sen was arrested, tried and hanged on 12thJanuary, 1934. The Chittagong armoury raid created a wave of enthusiasm among the terrorists. During the next three years a series of assassinations of Europeans were carried out which became a cause of utmost concern to the British officials in Bengal. On August 29, 1930, in Dacca, Binay Krishna Bose shot and fatally injured the Inspector-General of Police. A few months later Binaya along with Badal and Dinesh entered the Writers Building at Calcutta and fatally shot the Inspector-General of Prison. Finding escape impossible, Binaya and Badal shot themselves but Dinesh survived to stand trial and execution. The new phase of revolutionary terrorism in Bengal made an advance in three aspects. One was the large scale participation of young women.
In Surya Sen’s group, they not only provided shelter and acted as messengers and carrier of arms, but also fought with gun in hand. Pritilata Waddedar died while conducting a raid on the railway institute at Paharatali, Chittagong, while Kalpana Datta was arrested and tried along with Surya Sen. In 1931, two school girls of Comilla, Santi Ghosh and Suniti Chowdhury shot dead the District Magistrate. In February 1932, Bina Das shot at the Governor while receiving her Degree at the convocation. On May 8, 1934, two youngmen Bhawani Prasad Bhattacharya and Kabindra Bandopadhyaya made a vain effort to kill Sir John Anderson, Governor of Bengal.
The revolutionary movement was revived again in 1942, by Subash Chandra Bose to free the motherland from imperialism. Unlike north Indian revolutionaries the Bengal revolutionaries failed to evolve a broader radical socio-economic programme. They also failed to support the cause of the peasantry against the zamindars. In Other Parts of India : Resurgence of Revolutionary Movement The collapse of Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 led to resurgence of the revolutionaries mainly in Punjab, U.
P., Bihar, Central Provinces and Bengal. The period also witnessed change in approach and the movement moved away from individual heroic action to a mass based movement and became secular in content.
The ideal of freedom which acted as background for the resurgence inculcated the spirit of building a new society free from passion and exploitation. Hindustan Republican Association In October 1924 a group of revolutionaries led by Ram Prasad Bismil, Jogesh Chatterjee and Sachindranath Sanyal met at Kanpur and founded the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) to organize an armed revolution and establish a Federal Republic of the United States of India. In order to finance the organization the HRA leaders decided to organize dacoities against the Government. The most sensational of these being Kakori robbery. On 9th August, 1925, revolutionaries held up train (8 Down Mail) from Saharanpur to Lucknow at Kakori( near Lucknow) and looted its official railway cash. The police tracked down a large number of HRA members and leaders involved in the dacoity and they were tried in the Kakori conspiracy case. Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah, Roshan Lai and Rajendra Lahiri were executed in 1927, four others were sent to Andamans for life, and 17 were awarded long terms of imprisonment.
Among HRA, Chandra Shekhar Azad alone succeeded in evading arrest. This was a severe setback to the revolutionaries in northern India. However, in 1928, the young revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Sukhdev, Bejoy Kumar Sinha, Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kumar etc., again reorganized the HRA under the leadership of Chandra Shekhar Azad.
They were also influenced by Socialist ideas. Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (Army) On 9th and 10th September, 1928 revolutionaries of northern India met at Ferozeshah Kotla Ground in Delhi and changed the name of the party of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (Army) (HSRA) and accepted Socialism as their official goal. Unlike early revolutionaries who believed in individual heroic action, HSRA favoured the idea of mass-based armed struggle. But with the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, subsequent to lathi charge while he was leading a demonstration against the Simon Commission, the revolutionaries decided to avenge the same. On 17th December, 1928, Bhagat Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azad and Rajguru assassinated Saunders at Lahore, a police official involved in a brutal lathi-charge. In April 1929, a bomb was thrown in the Central Legislative Assembly at New Delhi by Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutta.
In December 1929, there was a daring but abortive attempt to blow up the special train in which the Viceroy Lord Irwin was travelling to Delhi. Bhagat Singh and B.K. Dutta, who had been arrested for the bomb incident in the Central Assembly, were prosecuted. They were also figured in the Lahore conspiracy case which received the widest publicity in the press. Bhagat Singh and his comrades turned the court into a forum of propaganda.
Their statements were published in the newspapers and widely discussed by the people. Their defiant and courageous conduct in the court won them the admiration of the people. Even believers in non-violence loved them for their patriotism. In fact Bhagat Singh became a house-hold name in the land. Young Bhagat Singh, who was barely twenty-three, declared that the revolution for, which he and his friends were striving, was not merely the cult of the bomb and pistol, but a crusade for a total change of society culminating in the abolition of both foreign rule and Indian capitalism. One of the conspiracy case prisoners, Jatin Das, who was fasting against the harsh conditions of political prisoners in jail, died on 13th September 1929, on the sixty-fourth day of the fast. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were executed on 23rd March 1931, even after Mahatma had pleaded with the Viceroy to commute the sentence, but in vain.