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Terrorism In India (1917-36) And It's Case Studies

What is Terrorism

In order to further political objectives, terrorism is described by the Oxford Dictionary as [1]"the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians." We rapidly realize how vague and subjective this term is. There is no legally accepted definition of terrorism that is accepted globally due to the subjectivity issue in this situation. The absence of agreement on a definition has always prevented the United Nations from creating a comprehensive convention against international terrorism, despite extensive debate.

The main issue is that it is challenging to distinguish between terrorism and other types of political violence and violent crime, including state-based armed conflict, non-state conflict, one-sided violence, hate crime, and homicide. The distinctions between these various types of violence are frequently hazy. Here, we examine accepted definitions of what constitutes terrorism and how it might be differentiated from other types of violence.

Causes of terrorism in India in 1900s [2]
In the 1900s Era when the Britishers were ruling India, Indians were feeling dissatisfaction due to the failure of the British government. The British government were not ready to accept any significant demand of Indian nationalist which caused anger toward the Indian people There are certain reasons for the rise of terrorist movement in India, one of the major reason was that they recognized the true nature of British rule were:

Significant political and social instability occurred in India between 1917 and 1936, and a number of causes contributed to the growth of terrorism during this time.

Throughout This Time, The Following Are Some Of The Primary Causes Of Terrorism In India:

  • British Colonialism:
    India was ruled by the British throughout this time, and the colonial authority frequently implemented policies and took actions that resulted in social and economic inequalities. While the Indian National Congress and other political organisations pushed for independence, the British government refused to give it. Some Native Americans became enraged and frustrated as a result, resorting to violent methods to further their objectives.
  • Religious conflict:
    Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs are just a few of the many religious groups that call India home. Violence between these communities frequently resulted from tensions, which some terrorist organisations seized upon.
  • Economic disparity:
    During the time, India's economy was predominately agrarian, and many farmers and workers were struggling to make ends meet. Due to the economic disparity, there was hostility towards the colonial authorities, which fostered support for revolutionary movements.
  • Impact of global movements:
    Several global movements, notably communism and anarchism, rose to prominence between 1917 and 1936. These philosophies had an impact on some Indian revolutionaries and motivated them to use violent tactics to further their objectives.
  • Political repression:
    The colonial government had a reputation for repressing political opposition and using force to put an end to demonstrations and protests. As a result, some Indians felt angry and frustrated, and many turned to terrorism as a way to protest the government.

    The incident of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre[3] resulted as an boost in terrorist activities in india , The Indian nationalist movement was gaining traction in 1919, when Britain still controlled most of the country. The Rowlatt Act, passed by the British government to stifle the nationalist movement, gave the government the authority to hold persons without giving them a chance to defend themselves.

    There were several protests and strikes around the nation as a result of this action, which was extremely unpopular with the Indian populace. Satya Pal and Saifuddin Kitchlew, two well-known Indian nationalist activists, were detained in Punjab on April 6, 1919. People in the area began to demand their release and there were numerous rallies and strikes as a result. On April 10, a group of Amritsar demonstrators decided to organise a public rally in the Jallianwala Bagh public park in opposition to the Rowlatt Act and the two leaders' detention.

    Colonel Reginald Dyer, in charge of the British Indian Army at Amritsar, learned that a sizable throng had collected in Jallianwala Bagh early on April 13, 1919. To effectively keep the demonstrators inside, he gave orders for his soldiers to march to the garden's entrance and block it. The unarmed group of people, which comprised men, women, and children, were subsequently fired upon by Dyer's troops.

    Approximately 1,650 rounds of ammunition were fired by the soldiers throughout the ten minutes that the gunfire lasted. Almost 1,500 people were hurt, and although the precise number of casualties is unknown, it is believed that between 379 and 1,000 people perished.

    The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre also had unforeseen consequences, one of which was that it sparked an Indian terrorist revolt. After the slaughter, a lot of Indians felt angry and frustrated, and some of them turned to violence to advance their political agendas. The Ghadar Party, a revolutionary organisation established in 1913 by Indian expatriates in the United States, was one of the most well-known organisations to come out of this wave of violence. Following the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, the Ghadar Party committed numerous bombings and assassinations while advocating the violent overthrow of British colonial power in India.

    In an effort to topple British control, other organisations, such the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA), also appeared during this time. They committed a number of bombings and assassinations.

    Ultimately, the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was an important turning point in India's fight for independence, but it also had the unforeseen effect of igniting violent revolutionary movements that sought to further their objectives using terrorist tactics.

Noble Personalities of Terrorism in India (1917-36)[4]

Indian independence movements and other revolutionary actions against British colonial control dominated the years 1917-1936. There were many participants in these campaigns, including nonviolent revolutionaries like Mahatma Gandhi, as well as others who used terrorist tactics.

The Following Names Are A Few Of The Prominent Individuals Who Participated In Terrorism In India During The Time:

  • Bhagat Singh:
    Bhagat Singh was a well-known revolutionary socialist who joined the Indian independence movement when he was a small child. The Lahore Conspiracy Case of 1929, in which he was involved, and his subsequent execution by British colonial forces are what made him most famous.
  • Chandra Shekhar Azad:
    Another well-known revolutionary who was essential to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association was Chandra Shekhar Azad. He was infamous for his audacious and courageous methods, and he participated in multiple violent activities against the British colonial authorities.
  • Surya Sen:
    In 1930, during the Chittagong Armory Raid, Surya Sen, a rebel, served as the raid's leader. In an effort to topple British colonial power in India, the raid aimed to seize firearms from the British government.
  • Alluri Sitarama Raju:
    In 1922, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Alluri Sitarama Raju was the revolutionary who oversaw the Rampa Revolt. The uprising involved an armed battle against British colonial rule and the dehumanization of the area's native population.
  • Rash Behari Bose:
    A revolutionary who was instrumental in the movement for Indian independence, Rash Behari Bose was a leader in the movement. He gained notoriety most notably for his participation in the Ghadar Conspiracy of 1915, an effort to overthrow the British colonial government via armed force.

Actors (groups) of terrorism in India (1917-36):[5]

  • Anushilan Samiti:
    Founded in secret in 1902, Anushilan Samiti sought to oust the British from power in India. From 1917 and 1936, they committed several terrorist activities, such as bombings and assassinations.
  • Ghadar Party:
    The Ghadar Party was established in 1913 by immigrants from India with the intention of removing the British from power in India. Between 1917 and 1936, they committed numerous acts of terrorism in India.
  • All-India Muslim league:
    In order to defend the rights of Muslims in India, the All India Muslim League was established in 1906. When the League was active between 1917 and 1936, some of its members also committed terroristic crimes, such as bombings and murders.
  • Bhagat Singh and his associates:
    Bhagat Singh and his associates were part of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, which was established in 1928 with the intention of removing the British from power in India. From 1917 and 1936, they committed several terrorist activities, such as bombings and assassinations.
  • A gang of Indian revolutionaries:
    Under the direction of Surya Sen carried out the Chittagong Armoury Raid in 1930. They carried out the raid on the British armory in Chittagong, modern-day Bangladesh, with the intention of equipping themselves and instigating a revolution against British rule in India.

The Indian independence movement was generally nonviolent and was headed by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Nevertheless, some of these groups and individuals employed violent measures to further their objectives.

Case Study
Kakori train robbery[6]
Factor leading to robbery
The Kakori Train Robbery was the culmination of a number of events that fueled India's revolution. The failure of Mahatma Gandhi's Non-Cooperation Campaign in 1920 demoralized many young Indians who desired a more radical strategy for gaining independence. The Rowlatt Act and the slaughter at Jallianwala Bagh, two repressive actions of the British government, heightened the revolutionary fervor. The British economic exploitation of Indians and their lack of political participation in politics both aided in the growth of the revolutionary movement.

Planning of Robbery
The infamous Kakori Train Robbery occurred on August 9, 1925, in Kakori, a town close to Lucknow in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. In order to raise money for their revolutionary efforts against British colonial rule in India, a group of Indian revolutionaries affiliated with the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) carried out the theft.

The robbers forced the 8 Down Saharanpur-Lucknow passenger train to halt, and under the leadership of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaq Ullah Khan, Chandrashekhar Azad, and others, they stole the money and valuables being sent by the British government treasury. Also, they grabbed the treasury's official documents. The robbery, however, did not proceed as planned, and several of the group were detained shortly after the incident. The HRA and the Indian independence movement as a whole came under severe pressure from the British government. Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan were two of the thieves who received death sentences, while others received lengthy prison terms.

Legality Of Kakori Train Robbery
Legally speaking, the Kakori Train Robbery constituted a crime because the thieves forced their way onto a British government treasury train and stole cash. The British colonial authorities at the time regarded the theft as a major offense and started a large manhunt to find the perpetrators.

A special court established under the Defense of India Act of the British colonial administration presided over the trial of the Kakori railway robbers. Since the defendants were denied access to attorneys and many of them were subjected to torture in order to coerce confessions, the trial was roundly denounced as being unfair. Four of the defendants received life sentences, and fourteen received death sentences.

The Kakori train heist, though, has also been hailed as a triumph of the Indian independence movement and the fight against British colonialism. Many Indians consider the robbers to be heroes who gave their life in defense of Indian freedom.

Consequences Of Kakori Train Robbery

The kakori train robbery had both positive and negative impacts. the negative impacts were the British government repressed the rebels severely. A large number of the criminals were apprehended; some of them were put to death, while others were put in prison. Also, the government passed new legislation to stifle dissent and limit the freedoms of assembly and speech. whereas the positive impact was The Kakori train heist inspired a wave of nationalism across the nation and came to represent opposition to British control.

Many Indians lauded the rebels as heroes, and the episode encouraged others to join the fight for independence and The Kakori train heist inspired a wave of nationalism across the nation and came to represent opposition to British control. Many Indians lauded the rebels as heroes, and the episode encouraged others to join the fight for independence.

Lahore Conspiracy Case And Bhagat Singh Trail

The Lahore Conspiracy Case began in 1928 when the British police detained a gang of revolutionaries who were preparing to assault the Viceroy of India with a bomb. A group of young revolutionaries who believed in using violence to advance their political agenda and were motivated by socialist and communist ideologies made up the group. Bhagat Singh, one of the group's leaders and a well-known figure in the Indian liberation war at the age of just 21, was one of the group's young members.

The Lahore Conspiracy Case trial got underway in June 1929 and went on for a while. Many offenses, including the murder of a police officer, the possession of explosives, and a plot to destroy the British government, were brought against the defendants. The trial served as a forum for Bhagat Singh and his associates to spread their revolutionary beliefs and question the legitimacy of British colonial power.

The case garnered a lot of interest from both the Indian public and the world community, and it ended up being a representation of the struggle against British colonial control. The group's most outspoken and charismatic member, Bhagat Singh, utilized the trial to express his political viewpoints and to denounce British colonial control.

The case garnered a lot of interest from both the Indian public and the world community, and it ended up being a representation of the struggle against British colonial control. The group's most outspoken and charismatic member, Bhagat Singh, utilized the trial to express his political viewpoints and to denounce British colonial control. Bhagat singh famously declared in court that "[7]They may kill me, but they cannot kill my ideas. They can crush my body, but they cannot crush my spirit."

Legally speaking, the Lahore Conspiracy Case was a trial that happened at Lahore, then a part of British India, in 1929-1930. The British authorities accused the defendant of a number of crimes, including murder, conspiracies, and possession of explosives and weapons. The accused was tried by a British judge, and British attorneys were used to prosecute him or her. The trial followed British legal procedures. The trial received harsh criticism for being unjust and biassed against the British government. Many claimed that the accused did not receive a fair trial and that the accusations made against them were driven by politics.

The verdict resulted in the death penalty being imposed on Bhagat Singh and his co-accused. Anti-British sentiments spread throughout India as a result of their execution, which was universally criticised. The Indian independence movement's martyrs, according to many, were Bhagat Singh and his companions.

Finally, the Lahore Conspiracy Case was a trial held in accordance with the British judicial system from a legal standpoint. The trial, however, drew harsh criticism for being unjust and prejudiced in favor of the British government. As it highlights the Indian people's fight for independence and resistance to British colonial control, the case is still important.

This incident brought a lot of positive change to India's freedom struggle. The circumstances surrounding the Bhagat Singh trial and the Lahore Conspiracy Case bolstered the Indian independence movement's resolve. The way the accused was treated sparked outrage in the people and intensified calls for independence and rallies.

This incident made clear the necessity for judicial reform. In order to guarantee fair trials and the safeguarding of civil liberties, the Indian National Congress demanded improvements in the legal system. Bhagat Singh became a martyr and a representative of the independence movement after being executed.

Many were motivated to join the struggle by his sacrifice, and generations of Indians are now motivated by his legacy It highlighted the part that youth played in the movement for India. In conclusion, the Lahore Conspiracy Case and the Bhagat Singh trial had important repercussions, including raising public awareness of the issue, bolstering the independence movement, calling for legal reform, Bhagat Singh's martyrdom, and emphasizing the role of young people in the independence struggle. independence.

Chittagong Armory Raid by Indian National Army[8]

A larger campaign against British domination in India included the Chittagong Armory Raid. The dominant political party in India at the time, the Indian National Congress, had been pushing for nonviolent methods of achieving India's independence. Yet, among the young revolutionaries, who thought that more direct action was required to overturn British control, there was growing discontent with the Congress's tactics. One such revolutionary who had been influenced by the socialist principles of Karl Marx and Lenin was Surya Sen.

Planning and execution
Sen and his companions spent months organizing the raid and gathering young men from nearby villages to support their cause. In an effort to take the weapons kept there, a party of about 60 rebels raided the British armory in Chittagong on the evening of April 18, 1930. The revolutionaries were successful in the raid in overcoming the guards but were unsuccessful in forcing open the armory doors. A ferocious gunfight broke out as soon as the British police and military arrived. Although they fought valiantly, the rebels were ultimately compelled to withdraw.

The Chittagong Armory Raid was, in terms of British law, an illegal act of insurrection against British colonial control. In an effort to free India from British domination, exiled Indian nationalists in Southeast Asia created the militant group known as the INA in 1926. According to British legislation, the INA was engaging in unlawful activity, and its members were regarded as rebels and thieves from a legal perspective.

The Chittagong Armory Raid was clearly illegal under British law because it featured an armed assault on a military facility. The British government prosecuted and jailed the INA members who participated in the raid because they were viewed as rebels and criminals.

The consequences of the Chittagong Armory Raid were significant, As it demonstrated that the British could be militarily resisted, the raid on the Chittagong Armory was a symbolic triumph for the Indian independence cause. Together with other organizations, the INA continued to adopt violent tactics to oppose British control however the Chittagong Armory Raid succeeded in taking control of the armory and the police headquarters, but the British government quickly launched a large counteroffensive and detained the majority of the rebels.

In addition to Surya Sen's execution, the movement's leaders also imprisoned a large number of people, Further harsher legislation, including the Rowlatt Act, was passed by the British government in India to repress Indian nationalist activities. The Chittagong Armory Raid and its aftermath sparked a political awakening among the Indian people, who started to demand independence and question the propriety of British authority. As a result, the Indian independence movement grew and eventually succeeded in gaining independence in 1947.

Malabar rebellion by Muslim Separatist

India's battle for independence from British colonial authority saw a turning point with the Malabar Revolt of 1921. A series of violent uprisings, mostly by Muslim separatist organizations, was a defining feature of the insurrection, which predominantly took place in Kerala's modern-day Malabar area. A number of complaints, such as economic exploitation, religious tensions, and political disappointment, were the cause of the insurrection.

Muslim separatist groups were at the fore of the uprising, and they played a significant role in the Muslim community. With a focus on the part played by Muslim separatists in the rebellion, this research paper aims to study the reasons, events, and aftermath of the Malabar Rebellion.

The Malabar Rebellion was a reaction to a number of grievances, including political disillusionment, religious tensions, and economic exploitation. In Malabar, the British colonial government had put in place a number of measures that had a negative impact on the local economy, such as the imposition of high taxes and the implementation of a new land revenue system.

The Muslim community felt more marginalized and isolated from the political process, which contributed to religious tensions playing a significant role in the insurrection. Religious tensions were further exacerbated by the Khilafat Movement, a pan-Islamic movement that aimed to reinstate the Ottoman Caliphate.

The Khilafat Committee, a coalition of Muslim leaders, created a network of neighborhood militias to fight British rule and Hindu landlords, and they served as the rebels' leaders. In order to obstruct British operations and instill fear among their adversaries, the rebels used guerrilla tactics like ambushes, raids, and sabotage. Hindu landowners were another target of the revolutionaries, who took their riches and property since they were seen as working with the British colonial government.

The British colonial authorities violently put an end to the insurrection by employing excessive force and cruelty. Thousands of rebels and civilians were killed during the British army's scorched-earth campaign, which was supported by local Hindu militias. Villages and crops were burned, and thousands of people died. From August 1921 through February 1922, the uprising lasted six months and this resulted in the death of 10000 people.

The Malabar Revolt had a profound impact on the area as well as the larger Indian nationalist movement. The uprising signaled a turning point in Muslim separatist movements by highlighting the community's mounting resentment and alienation from British control. The insurrection also revealed the gaps in Hindu-Muslim relations, which would later play a crucial role.

Consequences of terrorism in India [9]

It is significant to note that during the years 1917-1936, the Indian independence movement and the fight against British colonial rule were primarily linked to terrorism in India. The following are some of the main effects of terrorism in India at the time:

Oppression by British authorities: British colonial authorities responded to terrorist actions with repressive measures such as the arrest, imprisonment, and killing of suspected terrorists. As a result, the Indian population became even more hostile to British authority and resentful of it.

The emergence of new leaders; New leaders emerged in the Indian independence struggle as a result of the terrorist operations of the time, including Bhagat Singh, whom many Indians adopted as a symbol of resistance and death.

Influence on the nonviolent movement: The use of violence by some groups sparked a discussion about the effectiveness of nonviolent tactics within the Indian independence movement. As a result, the Mahatma Gandhi-led non-cooperation movement gained strength, which ultimately resulted in India's independence in 1947.

Community tensions and bloodshed were caused by some terrorist acts that targeted particular religious or racial communities. As a result, it was harder for various organizations to remain united in the war for Indian independence.

Future movements' legacy: Both domestically and internationally, the terrorist activities that took place during this time period have left a lasting impression. Despite much debate and criticism, the use of violence as a tool for political change has played a role in the development and history of political movements in India.

Terrorism in India during the period of 1917-1936 had a significant impact on the country's political and social landscape. The Indian independence movement was gaining momentum during this period, and the British government was increasingly facing protests and uprisings.

Many organizations formed during this time turned to violence to further their political goals. The Anushilan Samiti, one of the most well-known organizations, was founded in 1902 and had a large presence in Bengal. The gang participated in numerous bombings, killings, and other violent acts.

The Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), another well-known organization, was founded in 1924 by revolutionaries Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, and Sukhdev Thapar. J.P. Saunders, a British police officer, was one of many prominent targets of the HRA's assassinations.

India's society was significantly impacted by terrorism. The government responded by introducing a number of repressive measures, such as the Rowlatt Act, which permitted indefinite detention without trial, as a result of the general public's growing sense of fear and uncertainty. Terrorism, however, also had an impact on the Indian independence movement. The repressive actions of the government only served to energize the movement as a result, which increased the sense of unity and solidarity among various groups.

In conclusion, terrorism in India during the period of 1917-1936 had a profound impact on the country's political and social landscape. While it led to fear and uncertainty among the general public, it also played a role in shaping the Indian independence movement and ultimately led to India's independence in 1947.

  • Oxford dictionary
  • Causes and Effects of Terrorism in India: An Overview - IJAIS
  • The Jallianwala Bagh massacre: a premeditated plan "by Punjab University"
  • Spectrum - History of Modern India 2021
  • Terrorism In India(1917-1936) by Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • "The Great Indian Mutiny: A Dramatic Account of the Sepoy Rebellion" by Christopher Hibbert
  • Why I Am an Atheist - Book by Bhagat Singh
  • Causes and Effects of Terrorism in India: An Overview - IJAIS

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