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Joseph Stalin was a Soviet political leader and revolutionary of Georgian ethnicity

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After Lenin died in 1924, Josef Stalin became leader of the Soviet Union.

Joseph Stalin was a Soviet political leader and revolutionary of Georgian ethnicity.

He governed as dictator in the Soviet Union from the mid 1920’s till he died in 1953.

  • Timeline

Joseph Stalin was born on 18th December 178 in Gori, Georgia. He died on 5th march 1953 in Kuntsevo Dacha.

  • Country

Soviet Union

  • Rise to Power

Before Lenin went to exile in 1912 in Switzerland, Joseph Stalin was appointed to serve on the Bolshevik Party’s first Central Committee. Power was seized in Russia by the Bolsheviks in November 1917, three years later. Lenin became the first leader when the Soviet Union was founded in 1922. Joseph Stalin moved up the party ladder during these years and rose to power as General Secretary of the Communist Party. Due to this role he appointed allies to government jobs and in the process to gain political support, he grew a strong base. On Vladimir Lenin’s death he became a Soviet dictator by the late 1920’s.

  • Dictatorship

While trying to defeat Nazism and modernize Russia, Joseph Stalin instituted a reign of terror. He forced collectivization of agricultural land and rapid industrialization which led to famine, millions dying and many sent to camps. During World War II, his Red Army helped in defeating Nazi Germany. Stalin mastered political trickery and as secretary he used his position in putting his supporters on the Party’s Central Committee. To ensure Trotsky turns up late for Lenin’s funeral, he even told him the wrong date. In 1924 Stalin became leader of the Party. Trotsky was first dismissed, later exiled and in killed in 1940.

  • End of Regime

Age did not mellow down Stalin. In the postwar USSR he continued a reign of terror sending exiles to labor camps, executions, purges and persecution. He suppressed everything under foreign influence and all dissent. All through Eastern Europe he established communist governments and by exploding the atomic bomb in 1949 he led people of Soviet Union to nuclear age. The Korean War triggered after he gave North Korea permission in 1950 to invade United States. In his later years he grew increasingly paranoid and died of stroke at the age of 74 on 5th March 1953.

  • Short Term Impact

 To make the country progressive, Joseph Stalin launched a number of government programmes. However in the effort to move into a new economy, 10 million people were affected with starvation. His leadership was not favored by many activists and intellectuals. The ‘Great Purge’ was launched by him to kill any person who opposed his ideals or him.

  •  Long Term Impact

Joseph Stalin displaced Russians to and from different parts of the Soviet Union in millions. He commanded not just the largest military, but made USSR a superpower across the globe with one of the largest arsenal of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction), which culminated in the Cold War. The space race was kicks-started by him indirectly. To divide and rule he made arbitrary boundaries in Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Central Asia which led to crisis in Ukraine, insurgency in Chechnya, Fall of Yugoslavia and dispute between countries in Central Asia and Armenia and Azerbaijan, in present times.

  • Trivia

The name Stalin means a ‘Man Of Steel’.

He loved watching movies at his private movie theatre in each of his houses.

Maria Yudina the famous Pianist was his favorite musician.

Stalin with a height of 5’4” was a small man with big ideas.

Leopold II was a famous colonial leader of Belgium

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Leopold II was a famous colonial leader of Belgium. Under the guise of his Congo Free State nearly 15 million Congolese were enslaved and killed. To improve life of inhabitants of the Congo, Leopold IIthe territory was granted to him by other European powers. However, he exploited the Congo Free State brutally and committed history’s worst atrocities and used them for his personal gain instead while he reigned as second King of the Belgians from the year 1865 to 1909.

2.Timeline

King Leopold II was born on 9th April 1835 in Brussels Belgium. He died on 17th December 1909 in Laeken, City of Brussels, Belgium.

  1. Country

Belgium

  1. Rise to Power

The first heir to the Belgium throne was King Leopold II. King Leopold I his father was the King before him. The first king of Belgium was Leopold I and in 1865, the next king appointed was Leopold II. Ruling two countries was Leopold II’s dream once he became the King. Accordingly he sent Henry Mortin Stanley his explorer for an expedition to the Congo who reported back to Leopold II and briefed him about the rich resources of the Congo. Belgium troops in huge numbers were sent by Leopold II for conquering the Congo. Congo natives in millions were killed and the Congo was stripped of all its resources in the aftermath of the invasion. Leopold was the founder of the International African Association.

5.Dictatorship

Leopold II a believer of colonialism was responsible for millions of deaths in the Congo. He forced Congo people into labor plants and enslaved them. He was always scheming to acquire colonies overseas which he thought was essential to a great country. However he went into the business himself, as Belgium didn’t take interest. By starting a company named International African Society, he traveled to Congo, and laid a claim for a land plot 14 times the size of Belgium. Once he got 14 countries to agree to this he use his own private militia to freely rule the Congo. He grievously abused workers, created a bustling rubber industry and forced indigenous populations of Congo into forced labor.

  1. End of Regime

Leopold II was not popular with his people in the Congo. He exploited rich natural resources of the Congo, after becoming its ruler. He took keen interest in the profitable ivory and rubber businesses for which he brutally exploited the natives and made them work in harshest conditions. If targets were not met by the workers, their limbs were cut off. Natives in millions died during his unspeakable terror reign. The outside world became aware of his atrocities, mounted international pressure on him after which his control over the Congo relinquished.

7.Short Term Impact

Leopold II desired to bring modernity and civilization to Africans but in many ways the results were devastating. People lost their land, were killed in huge numbers and they their previous identities had little regard in the process of a new nation being created.

  1. Long Term Impact

The Congo Free State was finally transformed in Belgium Congo, a Belgian Colony under the parliamentary control. Long term effects of imperialism are faced by Congo today. Many citizens live as farmers in the poor economy. Violence in the Congo created disadvantage to the poor, affected the agricultural industry and unleashed many conflicts. People of the Congo remain affected by imperialism.

9.Trivia

Leopold II made reputation as a philanthropist.

To build his personal fortune and extract raw materials he tortured people and used slave labor.

Adolf Hitler famous German politician and leader

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Adolf Hitler was a famous German politician and leader of a German party, called the Nazi Party. During his reign he committed several war crimes. Around 17 million people including Jews up to 6 million were killed. He showed interest in German nationalism very early which became a motivating force in life later.

Timeline

Adolf Hitler was born on 20th April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. He committed suicide in his Berlin bunker along with Eva Braun his wife on 30th April 1945.

Country

Germany

Rise to Power

From the year 1933 to 1945, Adolf Hitler was the Chancellor of Germany. While he was in power, for the bulk of his time he served as dictator and leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party or the Nazi Party.

When Adolf Hitler returned to Munich, after the World War I (28th July 1914 - 11th November 1918), he worked for the German military. He became the Nazi Party Chairman after replacing Drexler in 1921. He declared the formation of a new government while announcing that the national revolution had begun on 8th November 1923 at a Beer Hall, Adolf HitlerMunich.

Hitler made the most of the political opportunity after the Great Depression in Germany, with millions of people remaining unemployed. After being appointed as Chancellor he achieved full control of executive and legislative branches of the government. In Germany the only party declared as political party was Hitler’s Nazi Party on July 14, 1933. In August 1934 he was formally named chancellor and leader, head of government and state, after the cabinet enacted law abolishing the office of President.

Dictatorship

To exclude and restrict Jews in society, Hitler instituted hundreds of laws and regulation from 1933 to 1939. He banned Jewish businesses on 1st April 1933. On 7th April 1933 the Jews were excluded from state services, following the ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’. In 1934 Jewish actors were forbidden to perform in theatre and films. ‘Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour’ was set forth to ban marriage between Jewish Germans and non-Jewish. Non-Aryans were deprived of German citizenship benefits as per the Reich Citizenship Law. On 9th and 10th November 1938, hundreds of Jews were killed, Jewish men were arrested in thousands and sent to be killed at concentration camps. Eugenic polices followed by Hitler targeted children with developmental and physical disabilities. For disabled adults a euthanasia program was authorized later.

The World War II led to the genocide, called the Holocaust, which to death of 4 million noncombatants and 6 million Jews.

End of Regime

World War II began when Poland was invaded by Germany on 1st September 1939. Gradually many countries including France, Britain, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Soviet Union, and North Africa got involved in the War. On D-Day on 6th June 1944, organized efforts were made by the Western Allied Armies to assassinated Hitler. Afraid of being caught by the enemies, Hitler and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide on 30th April 1945.

Short Term Impact

Short term impact of Hitler’s regime include less poverty, restoration of the economy and more jobs, though many of the Germans at that time did not recognize these things.

Long Term Impact

The fascist policies he initiated led to World War II and deaths of people in millions. Germany surrendered to the Allies unconditionally on 7th May 1945, five days later after Berlin fell on 2nd May 1945. Defeat of fascism and end of dominance of Germany on European history, marked the end of Hitler’s defeat. Aftermath of World War II’s devastating violence emerged with the Cold War a new ideological conflict all over the globe.

Trivia

While in prison for the ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ Hitler wrote his autobiographical book ‘Mein Kampf’ meaning ‘my struggle’ which was translated later into 11 languages.

Hitler imposed dietary restrictions including abstinence from meat and alcohol, on himself. All across Germany he promoted anti-smoking campaigns and encouraged Germans to keep their bodies pure of unclean and intoxicating substances.

He never exercised and had no interest in games and sports.

He watched movies at his private theatre almost every night.

Hitler enjoyed viewing movies secretly made by his staff about execution and torture of political prisoners.

Mao Zedong – Chinese Marxist political theorist

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Mao Zedong was the founding father, Chinese Marxist political theorist, statesman, soldier, poet and communist revolutionary of the People’s Republic of China. This power thirsty leader came to power around World War I and continued till his death. Though he was born to wealthy parents, he worked in fields and grew increasingly ambitious Mao Zedongand restless. At a young age he joined the Nationalist Party and Revolutionary Army and reveled in the cultural and political change in the Republic of China.

Timeline

Mao Zedong was born in Shaoshan, China on 26th December 1893. He died in Beijing, China on 9th September 1976.

Country

People’s Republic of China

Rise to Power

In his initial years, he along with the Commander in Chief of the army, Zhu De, developed guerilla warfare tactics in countryside areas. In the Ziangxi period, Mao, as Chairman of the Chinese Soviet Republic, gradually expanded and strengthened base areas further controlling the Chinese population in millions. The Red Army grew and defeated inferior troops easily but couldn’t stand against the elite units of Chiang Kai-shek, Chairman of the Kuomintang. Mao moved towards Communist ideologies in 1921 and became one of the inaugural members of the Chinese Communist Party. In July 1937, Chiang Kai-shek fled the capital in Nanking, after China was invaded by the Japanese Imperial Army. It was this time Mao helped in fighting the Japanese by establishing himself as military leader. He set his sights on controlling entire China in 1945 after the Japanese defeat. He established the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949.

Dictatorship

By sentencing people indiscriminately to death, he had killed approximately 4-6 million people, in his first 5 ruling years. Besides executing endless number of enemies of the state, he starved around 20 million people, with the kind of policies he imposed.

End of Regime

In an attempt to increase industrial and agricultural production, Mao launched the ‘Great Leap Forward’. Mao expected advancement worth a century in just a few decades, but the three years of bad harvests and floods did not help meet his expectation. Around 40 million people died from the period 1959 to 1961, due to the appalling famine that had set in. Mao was inept at running the country. Rivals took control of the nation, quietly pushing Mao to the sidelines. The Cultural Revolution he adopted later destroyed the traditional heritage of China, creating a general social and economic chaos. He died at the age of 82, on 9th September 1976, suffering from complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Short Term Impact

Mao set unrealistic grain yield targets for a number of geographic regions in China but in 1958, they were strictly implemented. This led to the great famine and excessive health tolls during the period 1959-1961.

Long Term Impact

The radical policy adopted by Mao, caused seriously slow economic development and deterioration in accumulation of human capital in regions that were policy affected. The impact remained even decades after his death.

Trivia

Mao Zedong followed Leninist ideas, with the belief that farming peasants could help communism in Asia.

Mao didn’t like ideologies of the conservative in nature Chiang Kai-shek.

He feared losing control and power and labeled Chinese ‘rightists’ in thousands immediately.

Critics state that Mao created false crisis that could be solved only by he himself.

Mass destruction resulted in the People’s Republic of China due to his wrong decisions.

Manmath Nath Gupta

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Manmath Nath Gupta (February 7, 1908 – October 26, 2000) born in Banaras or Varanasi in the state of United Province in British India, was an Indian revolutionary. Besides this, he was an author and writer of fictional, historical and autobiographical books in Hindi, Bengali and English. Some of the famous books he wrote include Manmath Nath GuptaAadhi Raat Ke Atithi, Ek Dastavez and Krantikari Andolan. At the age of 13, he joined the Indian Independence movement and became an active member of the HRA – Hindustan Republican Association. In 1925 he participated in the Kakori Train Robbery and was put into prison for 14 years. He began writing against the British from 1937, once he was released from jail.

Manmath Nath Gupta:  Again in 1939 he was sentenced and released in 1946, just before India got independence in 1947. With his revolutionary view point, he wrote many books on the history of the Indian struggle for independence. One of his popular books is ‘They Lived Dangerously – Reminiscences of a Revolutionary’. He was also the editor of ‘Aajkal’ a Hindi literary magazine. He worked as volunteer worker for the Indian National Congress and spread the message of the Congress, going from one village to another. He died at the age of 92, in New Delhi on October 26, 2000 in the night of Diwali, the Indian festival. Right up to his death, he was very active.

Sachindra Bakshi

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Sachindra Bakshi (December 25, 1904 – November 23, 1984) was a prominent Indian revolutionary, born in Varanasi. He belonged to the Hindustan Republican Association. As part of the Association he carried out a number of revolutionary activities against the British Empire in India. Hindustan Republican Association – HRA became the Sachindra BakshiHindustan Socialist Republican Association – HSRA after 1928.  He participated in the Kakori train robbery for which he was sentenced for life. With the objective of independence the organization carried out revolutionary activities against the British in India.

To purchase weaponry, money was needed hence the party made plans to rob a train on the Northern Railway line. Sachindra Bakshi was part of the planning and execution of the train robbery. Money bags in the guard’s cabin, belonging to the government treasury of the British, were looted. In the intense manhunt started by the British administration, Sachindra Bakshi was arrested along with other revolutionaries. A supplementary case was filed in the court of Special Sessions, against Sachindra Bakshi and Ashfaqulla Khan, a revolutionary. Also an appeal was filed on July 18, 1927 in the then Chief Court of Oudh now in Uttar Pradesh after which Sachindra Bakshi was deported to Port Blair cellular jail for life imprisonment. He died on November 23, 1984, in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Ashfaqulla Khan: Freedom fighter for India in the Independence Movement

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Ashfaqulla Khan: Freedom fighter for India in the Independence Movement :

Ashfaqulla Khan (October 22, 1900 – December 19, 1927) born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, was a freedom fighter for India in the Independence Movement. Ram Prasad Bismil and he were Urdu poets as well as good friends.Ashfaqulla Khan Freedom fighter for India in the Independence Movement Ashfaqulla along with Bismil, sacrificed their lives together in the Indian freedom struggle. He used his pen name Hasrat for his writings. In the Hindustan Republican Association he was a prominent figure. He came from a family with a great military background and experience in administrative and police services. During Mahatma Gandhi’s Non Cooperation Movement in 1922, Ashfaq felt that India must attain freedom at the earliest and hence became friends with a revolutionary from Shahjahanpur, Bismil and also joined the revolutionaries.

The common objective both had was a united and free India. The Kakori train robbery was a plan he made along with revolutionaries to financially support untrained armies and use it against the government in the country. A case filed against the robbery led to detention of Ashfaqulla Khan in the Faizabad jail.  The case concluded with death sentence awarded to Bismil Khan, Ashfaq and two others. On December 19, 1927, both were executed in different jails of Gorakhpur and Faizabad. Ashfaq was one of the younger generation revolutionaries who sacrificed his life for Indian Independence. He was hanged for his part in the conspiracy against the British rule.

Ashfaqulla Khan: Freedom fighter for India in the Independence Movement

 

Hemu Kalani was a Sindhi revolutionary and freedom fighter

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Hemu Kalani was a Sindhi revolutionary and freedom fighter:

Hemu Kalani (March 23, 1923 – January 21, 1943) was a Sindhi freedom fighter and revolutionary during the Independence Movement in India. Also known as Amar Shahid Hemu Kalani, he led the student organization, calHemu Kalaniled Swaraaj Sena with was affiliated with All India Students Federation. In his youth he persuaded people to use only Swadeshi goods, campaigned with friends to boycotting foreign goods, burned vehicles owned by the Raj and was also involved in raids. With an aim to drive the British out of India, he initiated protests and revolutionary activities.  In the 1942 Quit India movement, he joined Mahatma Gandhi.

In support Hemu Kalani made a plan to derail a train carrying European battalions sent by the British. However due to lack of tools, he wasn’t successful but instead was caught for the sabotage. To make him reveal names of conspirators, he was imprisoned and tortured, but he didn’t divulge any information. He was put on trial and then given death sentence.  He was hanged on January 21, 1943.  This brilliant student, famous nationalist and inspiring Sindhi soul held great value in the freedom struggle in India. The last words this brave son spoke were ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’.

Udham Singh

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Udham Singh (December 26, 1899 – July 31, 1940) was also known as Ram Mohammed Singh Azad and Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh, was born in Sunam, Sangrur District, Punjab.  His actions were justified as a vital step to end rule colonial rule of the British in India. He grew at an orphanage after his father’s death and left it in 1919 after matriculation. Arrests of local leaders to the Indian National Congress, resulted to lots of protests from protestors. British troops fired at them, precipitating in a riot. Around 20,000 protestors without arms, gathered on April 13, 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh where Udham and friends were serving water to the people there.

Without giving any warning, Dyer ordered his troops to fire at people. Around 1500 were killed trying to jump into the well and climbing park walls for protection. This great martyr was the Indian revolutionary known well for assassinating the former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Sir Michael O’Dyer on July 24, 1940, in British India. The assassination in 1919 was to avenge the massacre in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. Udham Singh was influenced deeply by Bhagat Singh and was involved in revolutionary politics. In an effort to overthrow colonial rule, he joined the Ghadar Party but was arrested for possessing unlicensed arms and imprisoned for 5 years. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on July 31, 1940.

Ram Prasad Bismil

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Ram Prasad Bismil (June, 11, 1897 – December 19, 1927) was an Indian revolutionary born in Shahjahanpur. He struggled against imperialism of the British and participated in the Kakori conspiracy in 1925 and Manipuri Ram Prasad Bismilconspiracy in 1918. Besides being a freedom fighter, he wrote in Urdu and Hindi using pen names Bismil, Agyat and Ram. He became well known with the name ‘Bismil’ only. He also was a patriotic poet. A book called Satyarth Prakash written by Swami Dayanand Saraswati inspired him at the time he was associated with the Arya Samaj. Through an Arya Samaj preacher and guru, Swami Somdev, he developed confidential connection with Lala Har Dayal.

Ram Prasad Bismil was one of the members who founded, Hindustan Republican Association, a revolutionary organization. Bismil translated the book Bolshevikon Ki Kartoot from Bengali and Catherine from English as well. Matrivedi (Altar of Motherland) was also a revolutionary organization, Bismil had formed. He also played an active role in the Ahmedabad Congress. With the help of Maulana Hasrat Mohani he got the most debated Poorna Swaraj proposal passed in the Congress General Body meeting. In the Kakori Conspiracy, a one and a half year legal process followed Bismil along with 3 others were sentenced to death. Bismil was hanged in Gorakhpur jail on December 29, 1927.