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Revolution and freedom: Some lesser known organizations that helped build independent India



By Ridham Gambhir

With local markets putting tricolour banners and little boys selling paper flags on roads, one knows that Independence Day is around the corner. Or to talk of the contemporary times, different e-commerce websites giving their “freedom sale” advertisements in the newspaper.

The paraphernalia associated with this day reminds us of the freedom and fraternity that India gained after a long series of rebellions. While Mahatma Gandhi is the first name to pop in our heads when we think of this day, there are a lot more people whose contribution gave us Independence.

Congress, All-India Muslim League are some prominent names that we all associate with our independence struggle, but the list of revolutionary parties neither starts with these two nor ends with them. Here is a brief enumeration of some lesser known revolutionary parties and youth wings.

Jugantar or Yugantar  and Anushilan Samiti were two major clandestine parties in Bengal that propounded the ideology of revolutionary violence to oust the British Rule from India. Jugantar was established by Aurobindo Ghosh and Barin Ghosh. Bagha Jatin was a notable leader of this organization. Few senior members of the group were sent abroad for political and military training and on their return had set up a bomb factory in Calcutta. After World War I, Jugantar supported Mahatma Gandhi in the Non-Cooperation Movement.


On the other hand, Anushilan Samiti was founded by Pramathanath Mitra. Jugantar was formed from an inner circle of Anushilan Samiti.

Ghadar Party, an organization based in US and Canada, was formed by Punjabi Indians. This organization sitting miles away from the country, facilitated the revolutionary movement by providing them arms and ammunitions. The party was built around the weekly paper The Ghadar, with its subtitle being- Angrezi Raj Ka  Dushman (an enemy of the British rule).

Furthermore, the HSRA ( Hindustan Socialist Republican Association) was established in 1924 in UP by 72_gai_orevolutionaries like Ramprasad Bismil, Jogesh Chatterjee, Chandrashekhar Azad, Yogendra Shukla and Sachindranath Sanyal. Since the organization needed money for its operations and ammunitions, they plundered a train. That incident is popularly known as Kakori Train robbery. The robbery led to the hanging of a few notable men of the party. Later, the party was joined by Bhagat Singh, Bhagwati Charan Vohra and Sukhdev and came to be known as HSRA, while earlier they were HRA (Hindustan Republic Association).

The independence that we relish was a work of these fighters. It was not Mahatma Gandhi alone who brought the change or Nehru, it was a combined effort of all these parties that resulted into our Independence.

Happy Independence Day.


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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

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According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS