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  • Revolutionary terrorism was an outcome of the growth of militant nationalism in India. When Swadeshi and Boycott movement failed to fulfil their aim, many activist organizations came to existence.
  • The mass, especially the younger generation, became impatient after decline of the Swadeshi and Boycott movements.
  • To channelize their energy, they looked for some leaders to guide them, but with the demise of Swadeshi movement there was a scarcity of leaders.
  • This paucity of new leaders led to divergence towards newer militant activities.


  • Anushilan Samiti, an organized revolutionary association, was established in Bengal by Promod Mitter.
  • There was a core group within anushilan comprising Barindra kumar ghosh and Bhupendra nath data etc who started a weekly ‘yugantar’ and took few abortive actions.
  • Revolutionary terrorism was advocated by media and was becoming popular. In 1908, Prafulla Chaki and Khudiram Bose threw a bomb at a carriage which was supposed to be carrying a judge Kingsford in muzaffarnagar.
  • But two ladies got killed. Prafulla Chaki shot himself and Khudiram Bose was tried and hanged. The whole group was arrested including the Ghosh brothers — Aurobindo and Barindra.
  • There was a lack of mass base in support of terrorism in Bengal and therefore it failed to withstand the weight of state repression.                        RISE OF REVOLUTIONARY TERRORISM


  • One of the first revolutionary activity was led by Vasudev Balwant Phadke under Ramosi Peasant Force in 1879.
  • It aimed to get rid of the British by starting an armed revolt which would disrupt the communication lines. It used dacoities to raise funds for these activities.
  • However, the force was suppressed prematurely.
  • Later Tilak propagated the ideas of militant nationalism through Ganpati and Shivaji festival.
  • The Chapekar brothers — Damodar and Balkrishna — murdered the plague commissioner of Poona, Rand, and one Lt. Ayerst in 1897.
  • A secret society, Mitr Mela, was organised by Sarvarkar and others which merged later in 1904 with ‘Abhinav Bharat’.                          RISE OF REVOLUTIONARY TERRORISM
  • Nasik, Poona and Bombay emerged as centres of bomb manufacture. The DM of Nasik, Jackson was also the victim of revolutionary terrorism.


  • Occurance of Famines, increase in Land revenue and oppressive irrigation tax along with the practice of Begar by the Zamindars led to rise of militant nationalism in Punjab.
  • The events in Bengal also played the role of instigating the rise of terrorist activities there.

Some of the activists were —

  1. Lala Lajpat Rai — who brought out `Punjabi’ was one of the major extremist leaders. He contributed into mainstream national liberation struggle and inspired many young men to take up revolutionary activities.
  2. Ajit Singh — The uncle of Bhagat Singh organized the extremist organization by name of — Anjuman-i-mohisban-i-watan in Lahore with its journal, Bharat Mata. Before getting involved in extremist activities he was urging non­payment of revenue and water charges for Chenab and Bari Doab peasants.
  3. Other leaders were — Agha Haider, Sayed Haider Raza, Bhai Parmanand, Lal Chand ‘Falak’ (the radical Urdu poet).                 
  • The government reacted with a ban on public meetings in 1908 and later on deported leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh. This led to the downfall in extremist activities in Punjab.


Modern History