When, in October 1930, Bhagat Singh and his comrades were sentenced to death for having shot a British police office two years earlier, young women were proactive in organizing some of the protests that erupted all over the country. Bhagat Singh’s organization, the Hindustan Republican Socialist Army (HRSA), had been founded by Sachindranath Sanyal in 1923 as the Hindustan Republican Army (HRA), which believed that ‘an organised and armed revolution’ was the best way to establish a free India based on ‘universal suffrage and the abolition of all systems which make the exploitation of man by man possible’. Unlike other Bengali revolutionary groups, the HRA was neither overtly Hindu nor, in the narrow sense, nationalist. Its manifesto, ‘The Revolutionary’, declared that ‘the revolutionary party is not national but international in the sense that its ultimate object is to bring harmony in the world’ (Verma, ‘Development’ 22). It also differed from the Bengali groups in their attitude to terrorism, announcing that

Indian revolutionaries are neither terrorists, nor anarchists. They never aim at spreading anarchy in the land, and therefore they can never properly be called anarchists. Terrorism is never their object and they cannot be called terrorists. They do not believe that terrorism alone can bring independence and they do not want terrorism for terrorism’s sake, although they may at times resort to this method as a very effective means of retaliation.

(quoted in Hale 192)