Friday, October 21, 2011

History of armed revolution against British Rule (contd-6)

On his return to India in 1893, he joined the service of the Baroda Estate. The period of stay in Baroda, from 1894 to 1896, was significant in several ways for Sri Aurobindo. It was here that he started working for India's Freedom, behind the scenes.He perceived the need for broadening the bse of the  movement and for creating a mass awakening.He went to Bengal and Madhyapradesh, contacted the secret groups working in this directiom, and became a link between many of them. He established close contact with Lokmanya Tilak and Sister Nivedita. He arranged for the military training of Jatin Banerjee ( Bagha Jatin) in the Baroda army and then sent him to organise the revolutionary work in Bengal.
He was stirred by the writings of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and became an advocate of violent revolution against the British rule. His planning  of secret societies of in Maharashtra and Bengal created a terror among the British officers. He started a daily "Jugantar".
Aurobindo joined Bipin Chandra Pal in running another daily  "Vandemataram" This reflected his edeas of revolutionary activities in the editorials of Vandemataram and "Karmayog".
In Puna, he became the President of the secret organisation founded by Thakur Saheb.The members of the Secret organisation of Maharashtra used to go to different places of Bombay, Puna,  Berar and Madhyapradesh to report about the different revolutions and to organise different revolutionary groups.In Wardah, "Aryabandhab Samaj was the main centre of revolutionary activities. Tilak was one of the leaders of this organisation.This organisation had influence on the whole of Maharashtra state. In the state of Nizam the revolutionary activities was also spread. Sadasib Nilkantha Joshi ( Baba Saheb) had important role in the organisation.
At the same time, revolutionary organisation also developed in Maharashtra. In 1872, Vasudeo Balwant Phadke, a Marathi Brahmin, devoted himself for the cause of mother land and formed a secret organisation..but he was arrested in 1879 and acquitted for revolutionary activities against the King and executed for life imprisonment. He died in the jail being attacked in TB on 17th Feb 1883. He organised low caste ordinary men . After his death, in 1895, the two brothers of Chapekar ( damodar and Balkrishna). In 1897, the two brothers killed a high British official and were hanged by the British. Their sacrifice inspired the revolutionries of Maharashtra.
 Vasudeo Balwant Phadke  (4 November 1845 – 17 February 1883) was an Indian revolutionary and is widely regarded as the father of the armed struggle for India's independence. Phadke was moved by the plight of the farmer community during British Raj. Phadke believed that ‘Swaraj’ was the only remedy for their ills. With the help of Kolis, Bhils and Dhangars communities in Maharastra, Vasudev formed a revolutionary group called as Ramoshi. The group started an armed struggle to overthrow the British Raj. The group launched raids on rich English businessmen to obtain funds for their liberation struggle. Phadke came into limelight when he got control of the city of Pune for a few days when he caught the British soldiers off guard during one of his surprise attacks  

The Chapekar brothers alternatively spelt as Caphekar or Chaphekar (Marathi चाफेकर), Damodar Hari, Balkrishna Hari (also called Bapurao) and Vasudeo Hari (also spelt Wasudeva or Wasudev) belonged to Chinchwad, then a village, near the former Peshwa capital Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India.
In late 1896, Pune was hit by bubonic plague; by the end of February 1897, the epidemic was raging, with a mortality rate twice the norm, and half the city's population having left.
A Special Plague Committee was formed, under the chairmanship of W. C. Rand, an Indian Civil Services officer, and troops were brought in to deal with the emergency. The measures employed included forced entry into private houses, examination of occupants, evacuation to hospitals and segregation camps, removing and destroying personal possessions, and preventing plague cases from entering or leaving the city. By the end of May, the epidemic was under control.
On 22 June 1897, the Diamond Jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria, Rand, the Special Plague Committee chairman and his military escort Lt. Ayerst were shot while returning from the celebrations at Government House. Both died, Ayerst on the spot and Rand of his wounds on 3 July. The Chapekar brothers and two accomplices were charged with the murders in various roles, as well as the shooting of two informants and an attempt to shoot a police officer. All three brothers were found guilty and hanged, an accomplice was dealt with similarly, another, then a schoolboy, was sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment.
This action of Chaphekar brothers was the first reaction of Indian revolutionaries against British atrocities in India during plague epidemic and was first political murder in Indian freedom struggle