The revolutionary activities were severely suppressed during World War I, with most of the leaders in jail or absconding.⁣

They were not attracted by the parliamentary politics of the Swarajists or the patient and undramatic constructive work of the no-changers. Many were drawn to the idea that violent methods alone would free India.⁣

The second phase of revolutionary activities was provoked by Gandhi’s unilaterally suspension of the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922, following which many youths began to question the strategy of non-violence. ⁣

This new generation of revolutionaries was influenced by the Bolsheviks’ success in Russia. Among them was Bhagat Singh, an intellectual giant, philosopher and revolutionary.⁣

Gradually two separate strands of revolutionary activities developed — one in Punjab, U.P. and Bihar and the other in Bengal.⁣

In 1925, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Chandrashekhar Azad and others robbed a cash train at Kakori to buy arms. ⁣

In 1928, Bhagat Singh, Azad and Rajguru killed Saunders, the policeman who had ordered the lathicharge that had killed Lala Lajpat Rai a couple of months earlier. ⁣

In 1929, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw bombs and leaflets in the central legislative assembly “to make the deaf hear”. ⁣

In 1930, Surya Sen and his associates tried to raid the police armoury at Chittagong in Bengal.⁣

Almost all these revolutionaries were hanged. They went to the gallows raising slogans of Inquilab Zindabad. Chandra’s book records: “Bhagat Singh became a household name in the land. ⁣

Many persons, all over the country, wept and refused to eat food, attend schools, or carry on their daily work when they heard of his hanging in March 1931”.⁣