Under this series the actual quotes along with source will be presented so that the reader knows Revolutionary Bhagat Singh's thoughts in his own words.
The tendency to quote out of mind needs to be curbed as it distorts things very badly.
Quote from the document " To Political Workers' dated 2nd Feb,1931 , reproduced in original by Police commissioner Calcutta Police in
"Notes on the Development of United Front Movement in Bengal (PAGES 45 to 57 )
CES Fairweather 8.9.1936 "
"Let me announce with all the strength at my command, that I am not a terrorist and I never was, expect perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through those methods. One can easily judge it from the history of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. All our activities were directed towards an aim, i.e., identifying ourselves with the great movement as its military wing."
In the same document there is more detailed discussion on Terrorism
Let us be clear on this thorny question of terrorism. The cult of the bomb is old as 1905 and it is a sad comment on Revolutionary India that they have not yet realized its use and misuse. Terrorism is a confession that the Revolutionary mentality has not penetrated down into the masses. It is thus a confession of our failure. In the initial stages it had its use; it shook the torpor out of body politic, enkindled the imagination of young intelligentsia, fired their spirit of self-sacrifice and demonstrated before the world and before our enemies the truth and the strength of the movement. But by itself it is not enough. Its history is a history of failure in every land – France, in Russia, in Balkan countries, in Germany, in Spain every where. It bears the germ of defeat within itself. The Imperialist knows that to rule 300 millions he must sacrifice 30 of his men annually .The pleasure of ruling may be bombed out or pistolled down, but the practical gain from exploitation will make him stick to his post. Even though arms were as readily available as we hope for, and were it pushed with a thoroughness unknown any where else, terrorism can at most force the Imperialist power to come to terms with party. Such terms a little more or less, must fall short of our objective – complete independence. Terrorism thus hope to wring out what Gandhism bids fair to attain – a compromise and an installment of reforms – a replacement of a white rule at Delhi by a brown rule. It is aloof from the life of the masses and once installed on the throne runs the risk of being petrified into a tyranny. The Irish parallel, I have to warn, does not apply in our case. In Ireland it was not sporadic terroristic activities she witnessed; it was a nation wide rising, the rank and file were bound by an intimate knowledge and sympathy with the gunmen. Arms they could have very easily, and the American – Irish poured out their money. Topography favoured such a warfare, and Ireland after all had to be satisfied with an unaccomplished movement. It has lessened the bonds but not released the Irish proletariat from the shackles of the Capitalist, native and foreign. Ireland is a lesson to India and a warning – warning how nationalistic idealism devoid of Revolutionary social basis although with all other circumstances in its favor, may (be?) lost itself in the shoals of a compromise with Imperialism. Should India, if she could imitate Ireland still?
In a sense Gandhism with its counter – revolutionary creed of quietism makes a nearer approach to the revolutionary ideas. For it counts on mass action, though not for the masses alone. They have paved the way for the proletariat revolution by trying to harness them, however crudely and selfishly to its political programme . The Revolutionary must give to the angle of non- violence his due.
The devil of terrorism needs, however, no compliments. The terrorist has done much, taught us much and has his use still , provided we do not make a confusion of our aims and means , at desperate moments we can make of terrorist outrages our best publicity works but it is none the less fire works and should be reserved for a chosen few . Let not the revolutionary be lashed round and round the vicious circle of aimless outrages and individual self-immolation. The inspiring ideal for all and sundry workers should not be that of dying for the cause but of living for the cause, and living usefully and worthily
Needless to point out, that we do not repudiate terrorist activities altogether. We want to asses its proper value from the standpoint of proletariat Revolution. The youth, who is found not to fit in with the cold and silent organization work, has another role to play - he is to be released from the dry work and allowed to fulfill his destiny. But the controlling body should always forsee the possible reaction of the deed on the party, the masses and on the enemy. It may divert the attention of the first two from militant mass action to the stirring sensational action and it may supply to last with clues for striking at the root of the whole party In either case it does not advance the cause. "