Revolutionary Terrorism:-Till 1905, the moderates were leading the National Movement and their compatibility with Britishers was beyond any doubt. They, in fact, wanted their demand to be conceded through constitutional methods. But the government did not pay attention to the constitutional ways of the Moderates.
Revolutionary Terrorism acquired a more activist form as a fallout of the Swadeshi and Boycott Movement. This ideology supported radical change, disagreed with the pacifism of Congress and Gandhi’s philosophy of Ahimsa, and believed in the use of guns and bombs to terrorize the British. Patriots with the ideology of Revolutionary Terrorism thought nothing before sacrificing their lives for the motherland.
Factors that led to the Growth of Revolutionary Terrorism
The Swadeshi Movement
After the decline of the Swadeshi movement, the younger nationalists who had participated in the movement found it impossible to disappear into the background, so they looked for avenues to give expression to their patriotic energies but were disillusioned by the failure of the leadership.
Failure of Moderates
Whatever Reforms Moderates wanted, was not acceded to by the government. Hence, the failure of the constitutional methods of the moderates encouraged Militant Nationalism. Although the Extremists leader called upon the youth to make sacrifices, they failed to find new forms of political work or to create an effective organization to tap these revolutionary energies.
The victory of Japan over Russia
This victory proved to be the most potent stimulus to Indian nationalism. This victory led to the vanishing of the myth of European superiority.
The defeat of Italians at Adowa
In 1896, Ethiopia defeated Italy at the Battle of Adowa. This led to securing sovereignty for Italy.
Young Turk Movement
Repression by the British Government
The government tried to crush the national feeling with all possible severity. Many Indians and their leader were imprisoned. Leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak were arrested on the charge of spreading discontent among the people. This ignited the feeling of Revolutionary Terrorism among the Indians.
Change in the approach of the youth
Instead of focusing on mass movements, Indian Youth opted to follow the footsteps of Russian nationalists or the Irish nationalists and went for Individual heroic actions such as organizing assassinations of unpopular British officials and of traitors and informers among the revolutionaries themselves.
First Phase of Revolutionary Terrorism
Patriots like Prafulla Chaki (who was associated with the Jugantar Group of revolutionaries), Madan Lal Dhingra, Khudiram Bose, Sachin Sanyal, and Rashbehari Bose carried out spectacular bomb and gun attacks on British officials. D. Savarkar in 1904 had organized a secret society of revolutionaries named Abhinava Bharat. Madan Lal Dhingra shot dead Curzon Wyllie, an officer of the India Office in London in 1909. The government came heavy-handed upon these Revolutionaries, convicting or executing revolutionaries.
The second phase of Revolutionary Terrorism
Gandhi’s unilateral suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement due to the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922, led to the second phase of Revolutionary Terrorism, as many youths began to question the strategy of non-violence/ Ahimsa and its success in gaining Self Rule.
Bolshevik’s success in Russia also influenced this new generation of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh. In 1925, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, and others, who were the members of Hindustan Republic Association, robbed a cash train at Kakori to buy arms.
Frequently Asked Questions about Revolutionary Terrorism
Revolutionary terrorism refers to the use of violent tactics by individuals or groups with the aim of bringing about political or social change. It involves acts of terrorism carried out with the intention of challenging existing systems and establishing a new order based on radical ideologies.
The motivations behind revolutionary terrorism can vary, but they often stem from grievances related to perceived social injustices, political oppression, economic disparities, or the desire to overthrow existing power structures. Revolutionary terrorists believe that violence is necessary to achieve their goals and bring about revolutionary change.
Revolutionary terrorism is distinct from other forms of terrorism in terms of its ideological foundations and objectives. Unlike terrorist groups driven by religious extremism or separatist movements seeking regional autonomy, revolutionary terrorists aim to fundamentally transform society as a whole through violent means.