This article is dedicated to the brave heroes of Chittagong uprising who sacrifice got dispersed in the pages of Indian history.
Recently a bollywood motion picture “Khelein hum jee jaan sey” came up depicting on martyrdom of the courageous patriots involved in the Chittagong Uprising. When I saw the movie, I realized that the history we read in our school days is completely different from the actual Indian history which is filled with sacrifice of several unnamed revolutionaries. Sadly, the history books contained only one or two lines on the armed revolutionary movements happened during the Indian freedom struggle. Among such revolutionary movements, “Chittagong Uprising” is regarded as one of the most thrilling and fierce revolutionary action that happened in Chittagong.
Armoury raid – The Chittagong Uprising was planned by a calm and courageous teacher named Surya Sen. Along with his colleagues – Nirmal Sen, Lokenath Bal, Ganesh Ghosh, Anant Singh, Ambika Chakravarti and 54 teenagers, Surya Sen simultaneously attacked British cantonment, armoury, telegraph office, railway lines and European club on 18th April 1930. The aim of this revolutionary attack was to disable all the British resources and make Chittagong Independent from the tyrant supremacy.
Even though the mission was successful, their goal to liberate Chittagong was short-lived. Though the British armoury was filled with weapons, it didn’t have any ammunition. Despite of such misfortunes, Surya Sen and his brave team bravely faced the bullets fired by the British Army. Somehow, Surya Sen and his team managed to strike a terror in the hearts of the British soldiers and escaped to Jalalabad hills. The “Jalalabad encounter” is remembered as one of the violent and bloodiest encounter in the Indian history. On one side the Indian revolutionaries were equipped with minimum weapons and on other side the British soldiers were fully packed with heavy machine guns and 303 rifles. The British army shamelessly opened fire on the teenage revolutionaries and took the lives of several young boys participating in the revolutionary movement. Tegra, the younger brother of Lokenath Bal also lost his life in this bloody battle against the British force.
Capture and Martyrdom – The bloody encounter at Jalalabad Hills had completely devastated the hopes of Surya Sen and his fellow mates. In the later days, all the revolutionaries moved in different regions and carried out plans to continue the freedom struggle. Destiny still didn’t favour these revolutionaries. Netra sen, a member among the group turned approver and revealed all the details and plans made by Surya Sen and his friends. All the revolutionaries were either arrested or shot down by the British authorities. Though, Surya Sen evaded arrest and escaped from the eye of British soldiers, he too was arrested on February 1933 in Gairala Village. Prior to hanging, the British officials tortured Surya Sen very painfully by breaking his teeth, limbs and joints with hammer. Surya Sen was hanged unconsciously and later his body was put in a metallic cage and had thrown into the sea.
Pritilata Wadedar took the revenge of Jalalabad encounter by attacking European Club on September 23rd 1932. But Pritilata was mortally wounded in this skirmish and later took her life by swallowing potassium cyanide.
Survivors of Chittagong Uprising – Kalpana Dutta was a prominent member in the team of Surya Sen. She was also arrested in Chittagong conspiracy case and was sentenced to transportation for life. After independence, Kalpana Dutta settled down by getting married to Puran Chand Joshi.
Story Retold – On the insistence of her daughter-in-law, Manini chatterjee, Kalpana Dutta retold the memoirs of the fierce Chittagong Uprising, its plan, execution and the martyrdom of Surya Sen, the great revolutionary of India. Kalpana Dutta expired on 8th February 1995. Later Manini Chatterjee wrote the story in form of a book titled Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34.
Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34, written by Manini Chatterjee is the best adapted book which uncovers the intimate details of the Chittagong armoury raid happened in Chittagong. Name of the revolutionaries who participated in the Chittagong Uprising
1) Surya Sen
2) Nirmal Sen
3) Pritilata Wadedar
4) Lokenath Bal
5) Hari Gopal Bal (younger brother of Lokenath Bal)
6) Kalpana Dutta
8) Naresh Roy
9) Ananta Singh
10) Ambika Chakravarti
11) Ganesh Ghosh
12) Jiban Ghoshal
13) Sasanka Dutta
14) Tarakeshwar Dastidar
15) Ardhendu Dastidar
16) Subodh Roy
17) Binod Bihari Chowdhury (The lone survivor of Chittagong Uprising. He is now 100 years old)
18) Kalinker Dey
19) Anand Gupta
This is just the list of the main revolutionaries of Chittagong Uprising. There are several other young boys whose identity remained missing in the pages of history .
Through this article, I have taken a small effort to highlight the “Chittagong Uprising” and retell the courageous saga of handful of patriots who dared to defy the British Supremacy.