It is enough to just reiterate here in this short introduction that the Northern part of India, particularly the United Provinces was the main area of the great rebellion of 1857.
Starting from almost the beginning of next century, in the new phase of revolutionary struggle to liberate India, as that happened in other places as well, revolutionary propaganda preceded all other works. The magazine ‘Swarajya’ by Shantinarayan was founded in 1907 at Allahabad. In 1909, another publication named ‘Karmayogi’ started from the same city. Both were proscribed in 1910 under the ‘Indian Press Law. In 1908 itself Hotilal Verma was Aligarh Correspondent of English version of ‘Vande Mataram’ edited by Aurobindo Ghosh from Bengal.
In the year 1908 Sachindranath Sanyal established ‘Anushilan Samity’ in Benaras. He was in connection with Dhaka and, more over, Calcutta leadership of Anushilan Samity. Rashbehari Basu, escaping from Punjab and coming over to Benaras, added more fuel to the efforts that started from there and was spreading different parts of U.P.
History of our freedom struggle in U.P. could never be discussed without mentioning in red letters, the Kakori Dacoity Case, more so, the whole background leading to that and incidents after that. Arya Samajist Ramprasad Bismil and his disciple Ashfaq-Ullah, both connected with this case, were hanged to death. They courageously sacrificed themselves for the cause of ‘free motherland’. Yet, there were different engineers who brought the partition of this land on communal line.
It may also be noted that Wahabi Pathan Sahid Sher Ali was also hanged to death in 18th February 1872.
U.P. is the place where The Hindustan Republican Association was founded by merging different organizations when this H.R.A was in jeopardy in the face of states onslaught, especially after the ‘Kakori’ related arrests –trial and convictions, the great Chandra Sekhar Azad led the effort to re-organise the same. Not only that, with the young revolutionaries joining hands and ideological clarity developing. The Hindustan Republican Association was developed as Hindusthan Socialist Association in 1926 itself. None other than Bhagat Singh became very much part and parcel of this revolutionary initiative. Here in Kanpur of U.P. Bhagat Singh got his Bengali Brother and comrade for-ever Batukeshwar Dutta. U.P. was like a bridge or a junction-station where revolutionaries of different parts of the country would meet.
Due to a treachery, Chandra Sekhar Ajad was finally trapped into an encounter with the police. On 27th February 1931, he heroically fought but was killed in Alfred Park of Allahabad. On 23rd march 1931, Bhagat Singh along with Sukhdev and Rajguru were hanged to death. On 19th May 1931, Masterda Surya Sen got arrested.
Study of revolutionary organizations and struggles in U.P. as part of India’s struggle for freedom reveals new dimensions and phenomena. For example, let us repeat two names only Asfaq-Ullah and HSRA, a person and an organization.