East India and Bengal has given enormous freedom fighters to the country, who in their own ways created ripples in the British establishment. Be it Subash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose, Rash Behari Bose and many others. But unfortunately most of their effort was diluted and suppressed by none other than our own people in their political games. They sacrificed their lives for the country, but got little recognition in the dynastic politics.
One such man was Surya Sen, who in 1930 lead a massive revolution against the British rule. A teacher by profession, Surya Sen was very much influenced with the Indian freedom movement. He was fondly referred to as Master Da by his students and colleagues in college. In 1916, while he was just a student of B.A. in Behrampore College, he developed Nationalistic ideas and wanted to join the freedom movement. He later joined the revolutionary organization Anushilan Samity which was raging war against British. Due to his tremendous work and leadership qualities, he was elected as the President of the Congress party from Chittagong branch (Now in Bangladesh). While working in the college, he took many youngsters and trained them to be revolutionaries against the British rule.
His young army fought against the British Cantonment and in the mountainous regions of Chittagong like Jalalabad hills and prevented the establishment of British Raj in those area. They slowly dispersed into many areas which had brought great concern to the British. He was arrested for the first time in 1926 and served two years jail term till 1928 for anti British activities. The major revolt came after his release in 1928. Sen led a group of revolutionaries on 18 April 1930 to raid the armoury of police and auxiliary forces from the Chittagong armoury. His main idea was to expand the base of revolutionary army which could attack British from every corner. During his attack on Chittagong attack, he focused on seizing of arms from the armoury as well as destruction of communication system of the city. They hoisted the Indian National Flag on the premises of the armoury, and then escaped.
“In all, sixty- five were involved in the raid, which was undertaken in the name of the Indian Republican Army, Chittagong Branch. All the revolutionary groups gathered outside the Police Armoury where Surya Sen, dressed in an immaculate white khadi dhoti and a long coat and stiffly ironed Gandhi cap, took a military salute, hoisted the National Flag among shouts of ‘Bande Mataram’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’, and proclaimed a Provisional Revolutionary Government,” writes Chandra.
Due to continuous attack on British, an arrest warrant was issued against him and the British was constantly looking an opportunity to arrest him. Sen kept travelling to different places to escape arrest. In order to garner money, he worked as farmer, priest, workman and labor. But once while he was hiding in the house of a person called Netra Sen, he betrayed Surya Sen and informed the British about him. In February 1933, the British suddenly barged into the house of Netra Sen and arrested Master Da. The British government then announced a reward for Netra Sen, but before he could receive it, a revolutionist in the team of Surya Sen killed Netra Sen for betraying India’s brave son. However, the wife of Netra Sen who was a supporter of Surya Sen never disclosed who killed her husband Netra Sen.
Surya Sen underwent brutal torture in the hands of British and was sentenced to death. But just moments before his hanging, it is said that the British broke his bones, hammered his jaws, pulled his teeth and nails. They crushed his joints and when he was almost unable to walk or speak, he was taken to execution den and was hanged.
His last letter which he wrote before his death was recovered in which he had said… “Death is knocking at my door. My mind is flying away towards eternity …At such a pleasant, at such a grave, at such a solemn moment, what shall I leave behind you? Only one thing, that is my dream, a golden dream-the dream of Free India…. Never forget the 18th of April,1930, the day of the eastern Rebellion in Chittagong… Write in red letters in the core of your hearts the names of the patriots who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of India’s freedom.”
But unfortunately this great freedom fighter is hardly remembered. The Congress party to which he belongs also doesn’t seem to care to such numerous fighters who laid down their lives for the country. All they remember is Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, Sonia and Rahul who had least contributed for any Nationalistic movement.