UP Study Notes: Revolutionary Movements during British Rule

By Abhishek Jain |Updated : August 5th, 2022

India's struggle for independence was accompanied by many revolutionary movements that have been raised from different parts of the country. In this article, we will be discussing all important revolutionary movements which are very important for different competitive exams like UPSC, State PCS etc. This article also includes PDF which is downloadable in both English and Hindi.


  • Revolutionaries are those people who believed in overthrowing the British government in India by means of mass movements.
  • They wanted to organise a rebellion against the government and even tampering with the army and using guerrilla warfare for overthrowing the foreign rule.
  • To overthrow the colonial rule, they openly preached sedition, disloyalty and revolution.
  • Through courage and self-sacrifice, the young revolutionaries were able to inspire a large number of people.

Revolutionary movements

Chapekar brothers (1897)

  • This was the first political assassination of British officer post-1857.
  • Damodar, Balkrishna and Vasudev Chapekar shot at WC Rand, Chairman of the Special Plague Committee.
  • They were against the atrocities committed by the British during the Plague epidemic in Pune.
  • In order to curb the spread of epidemics, the government ended up harassing Indian and taking extreme measures.
  • The Chapekar brothers were hanged.

Alipore Bomb Conspiracy (1908)

  • Douglas Kingsford was a British Chief Magistrate who was the target of the bomb thrown at Muzaffarpur.
  • Instead, two women died in the attack.
  • Prafulla Chakki and Khudiram Bose, who threw the bomb. Prafulla Chakki committed suicide while Bose (18 years) caught and sentenced to death.
  • Aurobindo Ghosh, Barin Ghosh, Kanailal Dutt and 30 other members of Anushilan Samiti were also tried in this case.

NOTE: Anushilan Samiti led by nationalists such as Aurobindo Ghosh and his Brother Barindra Ghosh. The members of Samiti, mostly young students were trained in military drill, boxing, swordplay and other kinds of exercise.

Curzon Wyllie’s assassination (1909)

  • He was assassinated in London by Madan Lal Dhingra in the evening of 1 July 1909.
  • Madan Lal Dhingra had close ties with the Indian House.

NOTE: India House in London was formed by Shyamji Krishna Verma and V.D. Savarkar. Indian House in New York by Barkatullah and S.L. Joshi.

Howrah Gang Case (1910)

  • Arrest and trials of 47 Bengali Indian Nationalist of Anushilan Samiti because of the murder of Inspector Shamsul Alam in Calcutta.
  • He uncovered the revolutionary network of Anushilan Samiti that linked the murder and other robberies. 

Delhi Lahore Conspiracy Case (1912)

  • Assassination attempted on Lord Hardinge, the then Viceroy of India.
  • On the occasion of the transfer of British capital from Calcutta to Delhi, a bomb was thrown into the viceroy’s carriage. Lord Hardinge was injured and an Indian attendant was killed.
  • it was led by Rash Bihari Bose and Sachin Chandra Sanyal.

The Ghadar Movement (1913)

  • 1907 Lala Hardayal started a weekly called Ghadar.
  • His association with more leaders led to the formation of the Ghadar party in 1913 in North America. This movement was planned to temper the loyalty of Indian troops, form secret societies and assassinate British officials etc.
  • This movement was intensified because of the Komagata Maru incident.

NOTE: Ghadar activists in a Japanese ship called Komagata Maru went to Canada to challenge the discriminatory immigration law of Canada. After reaching Vancouver, they were refused permission to land the ship.

Kakori Conspiracy (1925)

  • Case of a train robbery near Kakori in Uttar Pradesh.
  • It was led by the youth of Hindustan Republican Association including Ram Prasad Bismil, Chandrashekhar Azad, Thakur Roshan Singh, Ashfaqulla Khan and others.
  • The attack was led by believing that the train carried money bags from the British Government. 
  • In 1924 Hindustan Republican Army was founded at Kanpur by Sachin Sanyal and Jogesh Chandra Chatterjee with an aim to organise armed revolution to overthrow colonial government.
  • In September 1928 many of the major revolutionaries gathered at Firoz Shah Kotla, set up a new association by adding ‘socialist’ into their names.
  • It had two faces: the public face headed by Bhagat Singh and a secret face headed by Chandra Shekar Azad. Its activists took note of changing the political structure of nation and vision free India to be secular.

Chittagong Armoury Raid (1930)

  • Attempt to raid the police armoury and auxiliary forces armoury from Chittagong (now in Bangladesh).
  • It was led by Surya Sen and others were Loknath Bal, Kalpana Dutta, Ambika Chakraborty Subodh Roy etc. They were not able to raid arms but able to cut the telephones and telegraph wires.
  • After the raid, Surya Sen hosted the Indian Flag at the police armoury.
  • The government came down with heavy measures, sentenced to imprisonment, deportation to Andaman. Surya Sen was brutally tortured and sentenced to death by hanging.

Central Assembly Bomb Case (1929) and the Lahore Conspiracy Case (1931)

  • Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Azad and Rajguru avenged the death of Lala Lajpat Rai by killing General Saunders in 1928.
  • Batukeshwar Dutt and Bhagat Singh threw a bomb in the central assembly against the passage of public safety bill and trade dispute bill. The intention was to popularise the activities and philosophy.
  • They were arrested and jailed for the act.
  • Bhagat Singh was arrested for the case of the killing of General Saunders; this was known as Lahore conspiracy case.
  • After the trial, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru executed by hanging in March 1931 and
  • Chandrashekhar Azad also died the same year in February in the gun battle with the police in Allahabad.

NOTE: In prison Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru with other prisoners went on a hunger strike to demand better condition of prisoners in jail.


  • They were organised in small secret societies, could not withstand against suppression.
  • Lack of social mass base.
  • They were not in touch with peasants and workers because they mainly came from the urban middle class.
  • They lacked central leadership and common plan and British followed repressive policy towards them.

Important Revolutionary Organisations

Name of OrganisationYear of FormationAffected AreaFounders/Associated members
Anushilan Samiti1902Bengal regionPromodha Mitter, Jatindranath
Banerjee, Barindra Kumar Ghosh and others.
Jugantar Party Active during the first World WarBengal regionAurobindo Ghosh, Barin Ghosh and Jatindranath Mukherjee or Bagha Jatin
Mitra Mela1899Nasik, Bombay and Poona regionSavarkar and his brother
Abhinav Bharat/ Young India Society (Mitra mela merged into this)1904Nasik, Bombay and Poona regionSavarkar and his brother
Swadesh Bandhab Samiti1905Bengal regionAshwini Kumar Dutta
Hindustan Republican Association (HRA)1924KanpurSachindra Nath Sanyal, Narendra Mohan Sen, Pratul Ganguly
Hindustan Socialist Republican Association Army (HSRA)1928New DelhiChandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar
Bharat Naujawan Sabha1926Lahore Bhagat Singh
Indian Home Rule Society1905LondonShyamji Krishna Varma
Gadar Party1913USA & Canada (North America)Lala Hardayal
Indian Independence League1907California (USA)Taraknath Das
Berlin Committee for Indian Independence1915BerlinVirendranath Chattopadhyay,
Bhupendranath Dutta, Lala Hardayal and others with the help
of the German foreign office

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