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Anushilan Samiti

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Title: Anushilan Samiti  
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Subject: Revolutionary movement for Indian independence, Jugantar, Hindu–German Conspiracy, Bhupendra Kumar Datta, Indian Independence Movement
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Anushilan Samiti

Anushilan Samiti
অনুশীলন সমিতি
Motto United India
Formation 1906
Type Secret Revolutionary Society
Purpose Indian Independence

Anushilan Samiti (Jugantar, operated under the guise of suburban fitness club. The members were committed towards the path of armed revolution for independence of India from British rule. Kolkata and, later, Dhaka were the two major strongholds of the association. However, the group succeeded in penetrating rural Bengal and had branches all over Bengal and also other parts of India.

Its activities included making of bombs, arms training and assassination of British officials and Indians who they viewed as "traitors".[3]


The growth of the Indian middle class during the 18th century, amidst competition among regional powers and the ascendancy of the British East India Company, led to a growing sense of "Indian" identity.[4] The refinement of this perspective fed a rising tide of nationalism in India in the last decades of the 19th century.[5] Its speed was abetted by the creation of the Indian National Congress in India in 1885 by A.O. Hume. The Congress developed into a major platform for the demands of political liberalisation, increased autonomy and social reform.[6] However, the nationalist movement became particularly strong, radical and violent in Bengal and, later, in Punjab. Notable, if smaller, movements also appeared in Maharashtra, Madras and other areas in the South.[7]


Satish Chandra Basu founded the Anushilan Samiti on 24 March, 1902.

Political activities began taking an organised form in Bengal at the beginning of the 20th century. By 1902, Calcutta had three societies working under the umbrella of Partition of Bengal acting as a major catalyst. The Dhaka branch of Anushilan was led by Pulin Behari Das and spread branches through East Bengal and Assam.[10] Aurobindo and Bipin Chandra Pal, a Bengali politician, began in 1907 the radical Bengali nationalist publication of Jugantar (Lit:Change), and its English counterpart Bande Mataram. Among the early recruits who emerged noted leaders where Rash Behari Bose, Jatindranath Mukherjee, and Jadugopal Mukherjee.[8]

Revolutionary activities

Anushilan, notably from early on, established links with foreign movements and Indian nationalism abroad. In 1907, Barin Ghosh arranged to send to Paris one of his associates by the name of Hem Chandra Kanungo (Hem Chandra Das), he was to learn the art of bomb making from Nicholas Safranski, a Russian revolutionary in exile in the French Capital.[10] Paris was also home at the time Madam Cama who was amongst the leading figures of the Paris Indian Society and the India House in London. The bomb manual later found its way through V.D. Savarkar to the press at India House for mass printing. In the meantime, in December 1907 the Bengal revolutionary cell derailed the train carrying the Bengal Lieutenant Governor Sir Andrew Fraser. A few days later, on 23 December, they attempted to assassinate Mr. Allen, formerly District Magistrate of Dhaka. Anushilan also engaged at this time in a number of notable incidences of political assassinations and dacoities to obtain funds.[11] This was, however, the crest for Anushilan.

Alipore conspiracy case

The Anushilan Samiti office at 48, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata

In April 1908, two young recruits, Manicktala suburb of Calcutta and led to a number of arrests, opening the famous Alipore Conspiracy trial. Some of its leadership were executed or incarcerated, while others went underground. Aurobindo Ghosh himself retired from active politics after serving a prison sentence, his brother Barin was imprisoned for life.[12]

The result of the trial was a division of the Anushilan Samiti. Two main groups that remained were the [12] At around this time, Jatin began attempts to establish contacts with the 10th Jat Regiment then garrisoned at Fort William in Calcutta. Narendra Nath carried out through this time a number of robberies to obtain funds. In the meantime, However, a second blow came in 1910 when Shamsul Alam, a Bengal Police officer then preparing a conspiracy case against the group, was assassinated by an associate of Jatindranath by the name of Biren Dutta Gupta. The assassination led to the arrests which ultimately precipitated the Howrah-Sibpur Conspiracy Case.[12]

Further investigations led the police to a small scale bomb manufacturing unit in Maniktala of Kolkata. Barindra Ghosh and several other members of Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were arrested and tried in the famous Alipore Bomb Conspiracy case. Many were deported for life to Port Blair in the Andaman Islands.

Some notable Jugantar members

Shibdas Ghosh
Nihar Mukherjee

Dhaka Anushilan Samiti

Bengal and by 1932 it had 500 branches. The members of these samitis were mostly school and college students coming from Hindu middle-class educated families. The members were trained in traditional arms like Lathi and sword as well as firearms. However, firearms were not easily available. The revolutionaries looted wealthy families that were loyal to the British Raj to maintain funding.

Notable Members of Dhaka Anushilan Samiti

Arrest of Pulin Das

The arrest and deportation of the leader Pulin Behari Das created chaos among the Dhaka Anushilan Samiti which had to go underground temporarily. His successor, Makhanlal Sen, was attached to the social welfare and spiritual development taught by Vivekananda, disagreeing with gratuitous violence. Spending most of his time in Kolkata since 1910, in company of the Jugantar people and visiting regularly the Ramakrishna Mission, Makhanlal Sen let Narendra Mohan Sen assume the leadership of the Dhaka Anushilan.[16] Soon, working by his side, Trailokyanath Chakraborty and Pratul Chandra Ganguli took charge and the rebels were united again. The famous Barisal Conspiracy Case of 1913 established the fact that there were hundreds of revolutionary followers of the Samiti in the Barisal district alone. Informed about the Indo-German plot, desirous to determine the part his party could play therein, Pratul Chandra became close to Atul Krishna Ghosh, Jatin Mukherjee's intimate associate, going to the extent of discussing terms with Jatin. For unknown reasons, the Dhaka party decided not to collaborate in this revolutionary programme.[16]

After the first World War

After the first World War, the communication between the Dhaka Anushilan Samiti and the Jugantar party increased. However, during the Non-Cooperation Movement the Jugantar party supported Gandhi as the representative of the revolutionary tide, while the Dhaka faction continued the violent activities. Planning to oppose the Non-cooperation Movement, the Government offered a large sum of money : the Jugantar rejected it, while the Anushilan agreed to the proposal. (Source: Aurobindo and Jugantar, by Arun Chandra Guha, p44.) The police increased vigilance and arrested many leaders.

Unification and failure

Following these major setbacks, there was an attempt to unify the revolutionary activists in Bengal. Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar were brought close by the joint leadership of Narendra Mohan Sen of Anushilan, represented by Rabindra Mohan Sen, and Jadugopal Mukherjee of Jugantar, represented by Bhupendra Kumar Datta. However, this merger failed to revive the revolutionary activities up to the expected level.[17][18]

Neo-violence or the Revolt Group

The younger leaders of the revolutionaries belonging to the Anushilan as well as to the Jugantar were frustrated by the failure of the attempted merger. This led to the formation of a new confederation in 1929, called the Neo-Violence party or the Revolt group. On the forefront were Pratul Bhattacharya and Niranjan Sen Gupta of the Barisal Anushilan, Satish Chandra Pakrashi and Satya Gupta of the Dhaka Anushilan, Binoy Raychaudhuri and Jatin Das of the South Calcutta Anushilan, Panchanan Chakrabarti and Jatin Bhattacharya of the Madaripur Jugantar, Ananta Singh and Ganesh Ghosh of the Chittagong Jugantar party, who enlarged the movement. (Source: Panchanan, pp16–17.)

Later years

The scenario changed with the years. The British were planning to quit India, while communal and religious politics came into play. The basic political background on which revolutionary ideas were founded seemed to evolve towards a new direction. The Revolutionary Movement can thus be said to have come to an end by 1936.

On 9 September 1938, the Jugantar members issued a statement not to reorganise their separate party headquarters and to avow full allegiance to the Congress. (Source: Guha, p70.) Some of the members chose, however, the trend led by Subhas Bose; some followed M. N. Roy; and a few joined the Communists but most joined a band of revolutionaries led by the illustrious Supraja Sharma.

The Anushilan Samiti evolved into the Revolutionary Socialist Party.


  1. ^ Goldstone, Jack A. (2003). States, parties, and social movements.  
  2. ^ Overstreet, Gene D.; Marshall Windmiller (1959). Communism in India. University of California Press. p. 44. 
  3. ^ Chopra, Pran Nath (2003). A comprehensive history of modern India 3. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 206.  
  4. ^ Mitra 2006, p. 63
  5. ^ Desai 2005, p. 30
  6. ^ Yadav 1992, p. 6
  7. ^ Yadav 1992, p. 6
  8. ^ a b Sen 2006, p. 148
  9. ^ (Mukherjee 1982)
  10. ^ a b Popplewell 1995, p. 104
  11. ^ a b Roy 1997, p. 5
  12. ^ a b c Roy 1997, p. 6
  13. ^ M.N. Roy's Memoirs p. 3
  14. ^ a b OBITUARY: NIHAR MUKHERJEE (1920-2010)
  15. ^ Shibdas Ghosh, Science of Marxism is the Scientific Dialectical Methodology
  16. ^ a b (Ganguli 1976)
  17. ^ (Chakrabarti 1995)
  18. ^ Revolutionary Terrorism, in (Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 2003)


  • Mukherjee, Jadugopal (1982), Biplabi jibaner smriti (2nd ed.) .
  • Ganguli, Pratul Chandra (1976), Biplabi'r jibandarshan .
  • Asiatic Society of Bangladesh (2003), Banglapedia, the national encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka .
  • Chakrabarti, Panchanan (1995), Revolt .
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