HSRA - Hindustan Socialist Republican Association

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 22, 2022, 4:23

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), earlier known as the Hindustan Republican Army and Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), was an Indian revolutionary organization formed by Ram Prasad Bismil Ashfaqulla Khan, Sachindra Nath Bakshi, Sachindranath Sanyal, and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee. Its constitution in writing and public manifesto, which was called The Revolutionary, was produced to be used as proof in the Kakori conspiracy trial in 1924.

Why was the HSRA formed?

The Non-cooperation movement in 1919 resulted in a large-scale mobilization of the Indian populace against British rule. Although the non-cooperation movement was intended to be a nonviolent opposition movement, it quickly turned violent. Following the Chauri Chaura tragedy, Mahatma Gandhi suspended the movement to stop the spread of violence. The suspension of the Nonviolent movement disillusioned some nationalists who believed that the suspension was unjustified and premature. The gap in the political landscape caused by the suspension resulted in the emergence of revolutionary movements among the most radical of those who wanted to overthrow British rule. HRA was one of the leading factions that came into existence following the suspension of the Non-violence movement.

Early Activities of HSRA

There were numerous initial attempts to disrupt the colonial policies and obtain money for the HRA, including the robbery and destruction of the homes of village officials in Dwarikapur as well as Bichpuri in the years 1922-23. However, Kakori train theft was the most notable of the initial HRA initiatives. The Kakori incident occurred on August 9th, 1925, when HRA members robbed government funds from a train about 10 miles (16 kilometres) away from Lucknow and killed a person during the robbery. The most prominent HRA members HRA were detained and prosecuted for their part in the incident and others before it.

The verdict was that four senior leaders of the HRA - Ashfaqullah Khan, Ram Prasad Bismil, Roshan Singh, and Rajendra Lahiri were executed in 1926, and another 16 were imprisoned for lengthy periods. The outcome of the trial that saw the HRA participants perform patriotic songs and display various other acts of defiance caused serious damage to the management of the HRA. They delivered devastating damage to the organization's actions. Many people associated with the HRA who did not go through the trial were themselves under surveillance or arrested for a variety of reasons. Azad wasn't the only HRA's principal leader who avoided being detained, whereas Banwari Lal became an approver.

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Backlash on the Faction

The methods of the association were different from Gandhi's nonviolent resistance. Gandhi heavily condemned the revolutionary movement and its methods. In response to Lord Irwin's train attack, Gandhi published a sharp critique of the HSRA named "The Cult of the Bomb" (Young India January 2nd, 1929). In it, Gandhi declared that the bomb-throwing was nothing more than "froth rising to the surface of an unagitated liquid." He denounced HSRA in its actions and described them as being "cowards" and "dastardly."

According to Gandhi, the HSRA's violent fight was not without dangers. The violence triggered more suffering and reprisals. In addition, it turned towards the inside because "it was a natural transition" from "violence committed to the government of another country" "to violence directed at our ourselves." The HSRA was able to respond to the criticism by releasing its statement "The Philosophies of Bombs" In it, they justified their violent tactics as being in line with Gandhi's nonviolent ways.

Final Chapter - The Fall of HSRA

In the year 1930, all of the leaders of the HSRA were killed or living in prison. Kailash Pati was arrested in October 1929 and became an appointee (witness to the prosecutor). On February 27th, 1930, Chandrasekhar Azad shot himself in the head in an encounter with the police in the famous case at Alfred Park. Bhagat Singh Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru were executed on March 23rd, 1930. After Azad's death, it was impossible to find a central figure to bring the revolutionaries together, and regional divisions grew.

The group split into several regional factions, and they conducted attacks and bombings on British government officials across India in the absence of any coordination central. In December 1930, HSRA launched a final attempt to revive the group at a gathering in Meerut. The attempt was unsuccessful and resulted in the arrests of Yashpal and Daryao Singh, both in 1931. The arrests effectively put an end to the HSRA as a united organization, although the various regional factions continued fighting for independence until 1935.

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Q.1. Who renamed HRA into HSRA?

Hindustan Socialist Republican Association HRA was later reorganized into The Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA). It was founded on the 28th of January 1928 in Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee

Q.2. Why was the HSRA created?

The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) was a revolutionary political party founded through Ram Prasad Bismil and his colleagues to fight British dominance in India and gain independence for the country by an unarmed rebellion, if necessary.

Q.3. Who established the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association in 1928?

Chandrasekhar was the leader of the remaining revolutionaries, and the 9-10th of September 1928, at Feroz Shah Kotla Maidan of Delhi and he, together with Bhagat Singh Sukhdev, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Rajguru created the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association or the Garam Dal.

Q.4. Where and when did HSRA establish?

Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA) was formed around 1928 in Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi by Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and others.