Thursday, January 19, 2012

Era of Militant Nationalism (contd-2)

Bengal during the seventies of the 19th century organizes a secret society known as Sanjibani Sabha under the leadership of Rajnatain Bose and Jyotirindranath Tagore in 1877. The members of the society had to take the oath that they would destroy the enemies of the country by force and deliver India from her bondage. Rajnarain's grandson ( by his daughter) Aurobindo Ghosh (1872-1950) published a series of articles in the Induprakash in 1893, condemning the so called 'mendicant' policy of the Congress. Towards the close of tghe 19th century Tilak's influence also gradually made itslf felt in Bengal, and the Bengali papers, taking the cue from the Kesari, began to express freely extremist sentiments and ideas. The growth of extremist and revolutionary activities in Bengal was also influenced to a very great extent by the religio-political ideas of Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) and the inspiration of Bankimchandra's (1838-1894) celebrated novel Anandamath (1882). In alecture delivered in Madras on 14 February, 1897, Vivekananda asked his countrymen to cultivate strength -physical,mental and moral. He regarded the British as unmitigated evil for our country. It is insignificant that the Sedition Committee's Report (1918) begins the account of the revolutionary activities in Bengal with a narration of the life and teachings of Ramkrishna and his great disciple Swami Vivekananda.  
The Rowlatt committee was a Sedition Committee appointed in 1918 by the British Indian Government with Mr Justice Rowlatt, an English judge, as its president. The purpose of the committee was to evaluate political terrorism in India, especially Bengal and Punjab, its impact, and the links with the German government and the Bolsheviks in Russia. It was instituted towards the end of World War I when the Indian Revolutionary movement had been especially active and had achieved considerable success, potency and momentum and massive assistance was received from Germany which planned to destabilise British India. These included supporting and financing Indian seditionist organisations in Germany and in United States as well as a destabilisation in the political situation in neighbouring Afghanistan following a diplomatic mission that had attempted to rally the Amir of Afghanistan against British India. Attempts were also made by the Provisional Government of India established in Afghanistan following the mission to establish contacts with the Bolsheviks. A further reason for institution of the committee was emerging civil and labour unrest in India around the post-war recession, e.g., the Bombay mill worker's strikes and unrests in Punjab, and the Spanish Flu epidemic that killed nearly 13 million people in the country