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The 1925 Kakori Train Action and its young revolutionary leaders

  • Category
    History
  • Published
    23rd Dec, 2022

Context

Four revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement were hanged on December 17, Rajendranath Lahiri and December 19 Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh in 1927,  two years after the Kakori Train Robbery.

Background

  • 1920: Declaration of the Non-Cooperation Movement by Mahatma Gandhi
  • Gandhi envisioned this movement envisioned to be non-violent, using his methods of Satyagraha to eventually attain self-governance.
  • However, an incident changed the movement’s trajectory in 1922.
    • After police firing killed three protesting menin the town of Chauri Chaura in present-day Uttar Pradesh, a mob later set fire to the police station, burning 22 policemen to death.
    • The incident led to the sudden end of the Non-cooperation movement.
  • The Hindustan Republican Association(HRA) was thus founded by a group of young men who were dissatisfied by;
    • Non-violence tactics
    • closing down the Non-cooperation movement

Kakori Train Action:

  • Date: August 9, 1925
  • The revolutionaries of HRA looted the money being transferred to the British government treasury through a train.
  • They wanted to buy weapons from the money for an armed struggle against the British.

The only major leader of HRA at this time who evaded arrest was Chandrashekhar Azad.

  • Important revolutionaries: Around ten revolutionaries, Rajendranath Lahiri, Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan looted the treasury bags (containing approx Rs.4, 600) and escaped to Lucknow.
  • The British authorities were enraged, undertaking a violent crackdown and soon arresting many members of the HRA.
  • Four of them were hanged to the death between December 17 and December 19, some were deported to cellular jail (‘kaala paani’) in Port Blair while others were imprisoned in various jails.
    • Rajendra Nath Lahiriwas hanged in Gonda jail on December 17, 1927.
    • Two days later, Ram Prasad Bismilwas hanged in Gorakhpur, Ashfaqullah Khan in Faizabad and Thakur Roshan Singh in Naini jail in Allahabad.

The Hindustan Republican Association (HRA):

  • It was a revolutionary organisation set up in 1923. It was renamed in 1928 as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).
  • Founders: Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Sachindra Nath Bakshi, Sachindranath Sanyal and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee. 
  • Aim: To free India from British rule through revolution, including armed rebellion.
  • Their manifesto released on January 1, 1925, was titled Krantikari (Revolutionary), written by Ram Prasad Bismil.
    • The document expressed the ideology, plans and vision of the HRA on questions regarding foreign rule, the independence movement and the future of India.

Outcomes of the Conspiracy: Contribution to the Indian freedom struggle:

  • After the conspiracy, the Britishers got an early detection of the Indian's planning against their loot and exploitations.
  • It enraged the youth of the nation towards the freedom struggle.
  • Several looting activities and non-cooperation by locals started in response to the case.
  • Nationwide protests against the British tactics caught fire.
  • Major leaders of the Indian freedom struggle also advocated the members of HRA actions making the Indian movement united.

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