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.