Astonishing and largely unknown, this is the story of how the Irish 1916 Rising provided a blue print for one of the first armed uprisings of its kind in India, bringing closer than ever the inevitable demise of the British Empire (2016)
On the 14th anniversary of Dublin's 1916 rising, a group of revolutionaries called the IRA (Indian Republican Army) undertook to re-enact the Irish rising in the eastern corner of British India. They had never travelled to Ireland nor had contact with any Irish person, but they used like a manual Dan Breen's book, 'My Fight for Irish Freedom' and other available fragments of Irish revolutionary literature to stage an armed rebellion unprecedented in Indian history - and completely modelled on the Irish Easter rising. They even timed it for Easter in 1930 even though Easter meant nothing to the mostly Hindu revolutionaries.
This Irish-inspired rising marked the beginning of a peak period of armed revolutionary movement in India carried out by Indian rebels that were disillusioned with Gandhi's non-violent philosophy and deeply inspired by Ireland's 'success story' against the British Empire.
But the British also looked to Ireland as a source of inspiration to regain control over this unrest.
One country whose colonisation marked the beginning of the Empire and another whose freedom marked the end of the Empire, Ireland and India,however disparate shared intriguing revolutionary connections and ironically similar political destinies.
Pranjali Bhave undertakes a journey from Dublin to Mumbai to West-Bengal to explore this incredible revolutionary connection, not least because her grandfather, a once fiery freedom-fighter had wanted her to.
Contributors include Krishna Bose, Partha Chatterjee, Arup Ray, Kate O'Malley, Arpita Sen and Sumantra Bose.
Narrated by Pranjali Bhave and Barry Barnes
Produced by Pranjali Bhave
Production Supervision by Sarah Blake
Sound Supervision by Mark Dwyer
Readings by Richie Beirne, Kevin Reynolds, Ian McGlynn, Siraj Zaidi and Sarah Blake.
Audio from the '1916 Freedom Tour' courtesy of Ken Harrington.
Special thanks to Manini Chatterjee.
First Broadcast Saturday 2nd April 2016, 2pm. Repeated Sunday 10th April 2016, 7pm. Part of Documentary On One 1916 Season.
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.