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Revolutionary Terrorism During the 1920s

Revolutionary Terrorism During the 1920s


  • A real breakthrough was achieved by Bhagat Singh and his comrades in terms of revolutionary ideology, forms of revolutionary struggle and its aim. The transformation started in mid 1920s.
  • The founding council of HRA decided to preach revolutionary and communist principles.
  • HRA manifesto from 1925 stated “HRA stood for abolition of all systems which facilitated exploitation of Man by Man possible” With this ideology, HRA proposed the nationalization of the railways and major transport systems and heavy industries in the interest of the nation.
  • They also decided to start labor and peasant organizations and work for “Organized and Armed Revolution”.
  • During the last days of these revolutionaries, they started to move away from individual heroics and terrorism towards mass politics.

Bismil, in his last days emphasized on:

  • To move away from pistols and revolvers, not work for revolutionary conspiracies but join the open movement under the leadership of congress
  • strengthening the Hindu-Muslim unity
  • Faith in communism and principle that “every human has equal rights over the products of nature”

Even before his arrest, Bhagat Singh had moved away from the belief in terrorism and individual heroic action to Marxism and belief that popular broad-based movement can only lead to successful revolution.                                                            Revolutionary Terrorism During the 1920s

For this,

  • Bharat Singh help establish Punjab Naujawan Sabha (1926) as an open wing of revolutionaries to carry out political work among youth, peasants and workers
  • Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev organized Lahore Students’ Union for open legal work among students

Bhagat Singh and comrades also understood that revolution means mass movement of the suppressed and exploited sections by the revolution intelligentsia. Bhagat Singh used to say” real revolutionary armies are in villages and in factories”.                                          Revolutionary Terrorism During the 1920s

Keeping this entirely in mind, the need for individual heroics was needed as:

  1. Rapid change in thinking was required as otherwise effective acquisition of new ideology is prolonged and a slow historic process
  2. These young revolutionaries faced the dilemma on how to mobilize people

So they decided to opt for propaganda by deed, i.e. through individual heroic actions and by using court as a forum for revolutionary propaganda.


Modern History

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