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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss the reasons behind rise of revolutionary terrorism during indian freedom struggle and its impact. (150 words)

    22 Feb, 2019 GS Paper 1 History

    Approach:

    • Give a brief about the revolutionary terrorism and its extant in India.
    • Discuss the reasons behind rise of revolutionary terrorism
    • Impacts of revolutionary terrorism.

    Introduction

    • The emergence of revolutionary ideology in India during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was the result of several internal and external influences working on the minds of the youth.
    • Early phase of revolutionary movement in India was in Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, U.P., Orissa, Bihar and Madras provinces, but it predominantly operated in Bengal, Maharashtra and Punjab as these regions were more politically active than other parts of the country.

    Body

    The reasons behind rise of revolutionary terrorism-

    • Nationalism among youth: Most vital factor which contributed to amplify the spirit of nationalism among the countrymen was the 'economic exploitation' of Indians by the British Government and the Partition of Bengal.
    • Failure of Moderate and extremist congress: Younger element was not ready to retreat after the decline of national militancy phase. Fallout of Swadeshi and Boycott Movement was the immediate reason.
    • Leadership’s failure to tap revolutionary energies of the youth.
    • Government repression left no peaceful avenues open for the protest.
    • Inspired from the individual heroic action on the lines of Irish nationalists or Russian nihilists.
    • Ideological appeal of ideas: Freedom through revolution, heroic action, supreme sacrifice, Assassinate unpopular British officials, strike terror in hearts of rulers and arouse people to expel the British with force attracted the new nationalists.

    Impacts of revolutionary terrorism-

    • The era of revolutionary terrorism began and very soon secret societies of the revolutionaries came up all over the country. The Anusilan Samiti, the most famous and long lasting secret society, with its headquarters at Calcutta created revolutionary centres all over India. Their activities took two forms- the assassination of oppressive officials, traitors and informers, and dacoities to raise funds for the purchase of arms, etc.
    • It had its impact on the Congress strategy to involve the youths in the short term programme of rural reconstruction.
    • Their sacrifices aroused the emotions of the Indian people and thus helped the building up of the national consciousness which certainly contributed to gaining independence.
    •  It could not mobilize the masses. In fact, it had no base among the people. They believed in individual heroism. 
    • This movement failed to achieve its object of independence. With the death of Chandrasekhar Azad in a shooting encounter in a public park at Allahabad in February 1931, the revolutionary movement virtually came to an end in Punjab, U.P. and Bihar. Surya Sen’s martyrdom also marked an end to the terrorist activity in Bengal. A process of rethinking on the part of the revolutionaries lodged in jails and in Andaman began. A large number of revolutionaries turned to Marxism.

    Conclusion

    Though the revolutionary movement failed it made a valuable contribution to the growth of nationalism in India. The sacrifice and the martyrdom of the revolutionaries did not go waste. It appealed to the masses. Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, surya Sen, Rajguru etc. became household name of the Indian people and aroused patriotism among masses.

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