From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Anushilan Samiti
Mains level : Not Much
Union Education and Skill Development Minister has urged NCERT and the Education fraternity to include enough information about Anushilan Samiti, especially in the upcoming National Curriculum Framework
- Anushilan Samiti was an Indian fitness club, which was actually used as an underground society for anti-British revolutionaries.
- It was founded by Satish Chandra Pramatha Mitra, Aurobindo Ghose and Sarala Devi.
- In the first quarter of the 20th century it supported revolutionary violence as the means for ending British rule in India.
- The organisation arose from a conglomeration of local youth groups and gyms (akhara) in Bengal in 1902.
- It had two prominent, somewhat independent, arms in East and West Bengal, Dhaka Anushilan Samiti (centred in Dhaka), and the Jugantar group (centred in Calcutta).
- It challenged British rule in India by engaging in militant nationalism, including bombings, assassinations, and politically motivated violence.
- The Samiti collaborated with other revolutionary organisations in India and abroad.
- It was led by the nationalists Aurobindo Ghosh and his brother Barindra Ghosh, influenced by philosophies like Italian Nationalism, and the Pan-Asianism of Kakuzo Okakura.
- The Samiti was involved in a number of noted incidents of revolutionary attacks against British interests and administration in India, including early attempts to assassinate British Raj officials.
- These were followed by the 1912 attempt on the life of the Viceroy of India, and the Seditious conspiracy during World War I, led by Rash Behari Bose and Jatindranath Mukherjee respectively.
Defiance from militant nationalism
- The organisation moved away from its philosophy of violence in the 1920s due to the influence of the Indian National Congress and the Gandhian non-violent movement.
- A section of the group, notably those associated with Sachindranath Sanyal, remained active in the revolutionary movement, founding the Hindustan Republican Association in north India.
- A number of Congress leaders from Bengal, especially Subhash Chandra Bose, were accused by the British Government of having links with the organisation during this time.
- The Samiti’s violent and radical philosophy revived in the 1930s, when it was involved in the Kakori conspiracy, the Chittagong armoury raid, and other actions against the administration in British-occupied India.
Other personalities associated with Anushilan Samiti
- Legends like, Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das, Surendranath Tagore, Jatindranath Banerjee, Bagha Jatin were associated with Anushilan Samiti.
- Dr Hedgewar who established the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was also an alumnus of the Samity.