Saturday, January 22, 2011


"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." William Shakespeare

Surya Sen and about 60 of his fellow revolutionaries liberated Chittagong on 18th April,1930. But the British retaliated with automatic Lewis Gun. The revolutionaries, misinformed about British reinforcement and armed only with old fashioned muzzle loader Musketry rifle decided to retreat. They went outside the town in nearby hilly regions.

While hiding in the Jalalabad Hills near Chittagong a great gun battle took place between the armed revolutionaries & British army. This was such a war that possibly the world had never seen before. Only a handful of men armed with Musketry rifles repulsed a major attack by British army armed with machine gun & .303 rifles.

This is the glorious story of those indomitable revolutionaries who dared to challenge their destiny.

22nd APRIL, 1930

Sun was setting. Members of Chittagong liberation army were taking rest sitting in small groups over the small Jalalabad Hill. All were tired,they hardly got any food to eat or water to drink in past three days.Yet their determination were rock solid. Everyone was thinking  when the town would be liberated again, capturing the jail, Imperial bank, District court.......everything. They were not ready to give in, everyone had taken vow to fight till death.

The revolutionaries were sitting in following groups:

  1. Suresh Deb, Binod Chowdhury, Jitendra Dasgupta & Sambhu Dostuidar sitting together.
  2. Krishna Chowdhury, Binod Bihari Dutta, Saroj Guha, Kali Dey, Madhusudan Dutta, Nani Deb & Malin Ghosh in another group.
  3. A little far away Khirod Banerjee, Himendu Dostidar, Kali Chakraborty, Ardhendhu Dostidar & Ranadhir Dasgupta.
  4. Slightly below them were Sahayram Das, Moti Kanungo, Bidhu Bhattacharjee, Narayan Sen & Pulin Bikash Ghosh.
  5. Little away of them were Mahendra Chowdhury, Nirmal Lala, Birendra Dey, Bijoy Sen & Nitaipada Ghosh.
  6. In another place were Ashwini Chowdhury, Bonbihari Dutta, Sosanka Dutta & Subodh Pal.
  7. In other group Fanindra Nandi, Haripada Mohajan, Bhabotosh Bhattacharjee, Sudhangsu Bose & Subodh Chowdhury.
  8. Brigadier Tripura Sen, Monoranjan Sen, Deboprsad Gupta, Hari Bol(Tegra), Rajat Sen & Swadesh Roy(not a member of the army but joined spontaneously in the battle) were also there.
  9. Above all there were Masterda Surya Sen, Ambika Chakraborty, Nirmal Sen & General Lokhnath Bol

They all were eager to know the current situation of Chittagong Town. To get that information some people like Fakir Sen, Diptimedha Chowdhury, Amarendra Nandi were sent to the town who hadn't returned yet.They were also unware about the current status of Ananta Singh & Ganesh Ghosh who took burnt Himangsu Sen for treatment.

At the hill there was a rail-line. Suddenly a train was seen coming through that line. It sopped beside the Jalalabad Hills. The eyes of Probhash Pal (assigned as guard) suddenly sparked was very unnatural to stop a train without a station. From the train numerous Infantrymen came out. The news spread among the revolutionaries.

Be ready, battle is imminent. The winner would soon be decided in the battle between the British imperialism & the spirit of indomitable revolutionaries.

Surya Sen decided to give the honour of being the "Sarbadhinayaka"  (Chief  to Staff) to Gen Lokhnath Bol. From now even Masterda had to carry on Gen Bol's orders in the battlefield.

                                     GENERAL LOKHNATH BOL

Gen Bol roared:
"Get ready. Everyone go to your own section & take lying position. Remember- winning is our destiny. We are revolutionaries. We never gave in to imperialist power & we will not today. By any means, we must win."

All took lying position with loades musketry rifles ready to carry out any order given by their general.

The British army were approaching towards the Hill. At that time they were in the middle of the paddy-field, without any cover. Gen Bol roared-'HAULT'.

Even before the army could understand anything Gen bol ordered "FIRE! VOLLEY FIRE"

All Musketry rifles roared at once. most of the infantrymen were hit, rest managed to run away.

British army leaders Captain TaitColonel Dallas Smith, DIG Farmer,.......all were anxious. They then decided to charge the revolutionaries with bayonets. But the result was same as before. The infantrymen managed to run away with their lives in front of Musketry rifle fire.

British officers changed their tactics. Suddenly, Vicker machine gun fire started from a hill south-east of Jalalabad. Gen Bol Immediately ordered the members on that side of the hill, to aim and return 10 rounds of rapid fire.

                                 VICKER MACHINE GUN
Then another Machine gun fire commenced from the north-east side. In the meantime darkness of evening was slowly falling over the place but machine gun showed no sign of taking rest. Everything around was covered by dust. Trees & shrubs were falling by the machine gun fire. But no side was ready to withdraw.

Suddenly a new kind of problem started. Due to rapid firing the rifle barrels were getting over heated. They could not even hold it with handkerchiefs & couldn't load it properly. To solve this problem Masterda himself & his friend Nirmal Sen crawled aroud to all & cleaned their barrels with lubricating oil. 

Machine gun fire was continuous. Nobody could lift their head. But, the fearless brother of Gen Bol, Tegra was not among them. He intermittently raised his head to aim & fire towars the machine gun position. Suddenly, machinegun bullets pierced his body. Before embracing his death the 14yr old fighter told his brother, "Sonabhai(Gen Bol) I am going, but you don't stop. Carry on"

Do you know what Gen Bol told his dying brother in return, " Who is Sonabhai? In a battlefield all are soldiers, there is no Sonabhai. Our only duty is to do or die."

                                TEGRA & MOTI KANUNGO

Another new Vicker Machine gun fire started from the south-east hill. Now  Brigadier Tripura Sen was hit. Then the youngest soldier Nirmal Lala & then Bidhu Bhattacharjee.


Bidhu Bhattacharjee was a very humorous person. Even in his dying moments he laughed & said to his friend Naresh Roy,"Now you come, I will recieve you."

Naresh Roy couldn't tolerate the loss of his friend for long, he soon followed Bidhu & embraced his death.

Then Binod Bihari Dutta fell but didn't stop. Fighting is a duty of fighters. Even after being severely wounded he continued firing.

Ardhundu Dostidar was recovering from his wounds(injured during blast while bomb making) at the time of Chittagong Revolution. But it could not stop him from joining the battle. He was then hit by a bullet.

Then Madhusudan Dutta & Sashanka Dutta were hit. 


Ambika Chakraborty was also hit. 

Finally Moti Kanungo, Pulin Bikash Ghosh, Jitendra Dasgupta & Probhas Bol embraced death.


Things were becoming difficult for the revolutionaries. Rifle chambers were getting jam. There were not enough lubricating oil. They started using blood of their comrades as lubricating oil to clear the muzzle & chamber. 

Now Gen Bol shouted like a wounded tiger-"Fire until the enemy machine guns were completely silenced."

All started to fire with double enthusiasm. 

At day's end the British Machine guns had to ultimately lose against the might of old Musketry rifles in the hand of those indomitable youths.

Darkness fell. British couldn't dare to stay there. They were afraid of surprise attacks by the revolutionaries under cover of darkness. So they fled away without any hesitation.

At night after the enemies fled, the revolutionaries came down from the hill. They were winners in the battle. But their hearts were heavy, their eyes were wet. They lost some of their best fighters & friends in the battle. None of them would come back again. 

Gen Bol shouted,"Comrades in close column of groups, in single rank, fall in". They showed Guard of honour to their dead comrades. The whole Jalalabad Hill shooked when they shouted together, " INQUILAB  ZINDABAD! BANDE MATARAM!"

Then they were divided in small groups & left the hill for other hiding places.

Revolutionaries took Ambika Chakraborty as dead & left him but he was only injured. Later he managed to escape.

Total 12 revolutionaries died in the battle. 11 of them died in the spot & Ardhendu Dostidar died in the hospital.

Police & military returned to Jalalabad in next morning with much larger force & arms. They discovered the body of revolutionaries & wasting no time burnt them with petrol.

After Sepoy Mutiny this was possibly the most glorious event when a handful of men with old fashioned Musketry rifles defeated a much larger & well armed British army in an open battle.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Those who dared for armed movement against the mighty British empire for real freedom-most of their immortal actions took place without people's knowledge............ Nobody wrote that glorious history in stone slab or copper plate. Most of their acts were done without any witnesses or evidences. So finding their real history is really hard.
                                                ------ Hemchandra Ghosh  (B.V.)


The whole thing was meticulously planned. The mutineers who called themselves soldiers of "Chattagram Republican Army"divided themselves into many groups and attacked different places.

18th April, 1930

10 o'clock at night
  • Gen. Anant Singh and Gen.Ganesh Ghosh, two spearhead of youth mutiny, were slowly approaching towards the District Police Line Armuory.
  • Another group lead by Gen Lokhnath Bol and Nirmal Sen headed for Auxiliary Force Armory.
  •  Meanwhile Ambika Chakraborty and his group had already destroyed all telephone and telegraph connections.
  • Then the jail, Imperial bank, police station, district court, ---everything would be captured one by one.Ultimately, the chaittagong would be LIBERATED COMPLETELY from British rule.


Gen. Anant Singh and Gen.Ganesh Ghosh were followed by Bidhu Bhattacharya, Haripada Mahajan, Himansu Sen& Saroj Guha------all in military uniform, armed & determined to fulfill their mission. 

The guards, standing over the tower, astonished-------who were those people slowly approaching towards the gate? But even before they could question, they got the answer---------revolvers of the two generals roared and everyone shouted at once...INQUILAB ZINDABAD ! BANDE MATARAM ! from all sides.

It was a perfect plan,....... hearing the slogans and sound of revolvers from all sides , the guards panicked anticipating that thousands of attackers were coming from all sides though originally they were few in number, and so they quickly abandoned their post and fled away.

All other small detachments of the group of mutineers, along with their leader Masterda, then gathered in the captured police line. One group quickly took guard around the building and another group entered the building after breaking the lock.

Rifle! Rifle! Rifle! Not only one or two but hundreds of Police musketry rifles , revolvers and cartridges. Gen.Ganesh Ghosh shouted, "company fall in" ....... Everyone took attention stance. then all loaded their rifle and fired at once. The soil of chittagong trembled with that sound.

                                       Musketry Rifle

On the other side of the city Gen.Loknath Bol and Gen. Nirmal Sen were leading another group of youths to capture the Auxiliary Military Force armoury. It was a military armoury and so it had advanced weapons like .303 rifles and Automatic Lewis Gun

                                            .303 Rifle

                                    Automatic Lewis Gun

Gen. Bol was disguised in British military uniform. The armed guards there first salute him , considering him some high ranked officer, but guns of the revolutionaries roared immediately, along with there shouting...........INQUILAB ZINDABAD! BANDE MATARAM!

Taken completely by surprise , the pathan guards abandoned their posts immediately.

Sgt. Major Ferel, the incharge there , ran outside his house with a loaded revolver but his curiosity was satisfied forever by a bullet in his chest. In his dying moments he called his wife to make a phonecall to Police station.

But how could she ring a telephone ...........all telephone & telegraph lines in the city was dead by then due to sabotage by a group led by Ambika Chakroborty.

Transportation was also crippled----------thanks to sabotage by youths like Lalmohan Sen, Sukumar Bhowmik, Haran Chowdhury, Subodh Mitra,Upen Bhattachrya, Shankar, Sushil Dey, Bijoy Aich & others.

Total 6 people were killed in this Auxiliary armory raid, but all were from British side.

After Major Ferel was killed, the strong steel gates were broken by pulling them with a motor car. Within the armoury there were a lot of .303 rifle or the Lewis gun, but alas, no ammunition were there. The bullets were kept elsewhere.

Suddenly Mr. Bleckbarn, Mr. Collen & another white officer arrived at the scene and were heartily welcomed by bullets. Mr. Collen laid wounded.......the rest ran away.

Arms were taken as much as possible. Rest were destroyed and the armoury was set on fire.

Suddenly district Magistrate Mr. Wilkinson arrived & to his utter surprise was welcomed by gunfire. His driver was killed but he fled with hid life.

In the meantime, Naresh Roy, Tripura Sen, Debprasad Gupta, Amarendra Nandi, Biren Dey & some others went to attack the Europian club to take revenge of the Jalianwala Massacre., but the day was a Good Friday and so no Europian was there in the club. Thus this mission failed.

Ultimately all mutineers gathered in the Headquarter ........the captured police line. Masterda Surya Sen hoisted the INDIAN NATIONAL FLAG along with bugle sound. All mutineers fired thrice with their rifles towards the sky. At last an interim military Govt. was set up with Surya Sen as it's head. He was given a guard of honour.

Everyone were happy, their dream had come it was only a matter of time to capture the jail, the court and the Imperial Bank.

But, suddenly automatic machine gun firing were heard.British were firing with an Automatic Lewis gun from the jetty. All took lying positions and return fired with their musketry rifles. Soon all became quiet.

Then the generals had to take a tough decision ...............  sixty muzzle loader musketry rifle would not hold long against Automatic Lewis gun firing in a face to face battle, so they ordered to take as much weapon as possible & set the whole police line ablaze. 

Himansu Sen executed this job,but unfortunately some petrol spilled over his clothes & caught fire instantaneously. He was badly burnt.

In no time Ananta Singha & Ganesh Ghosh took him in a car and rushed to the other part of the city to seek medical attention for him in a safehouse. Ananda Gupta & Jiban Ghosal also went with them.

The rest of the mutineers waited their for two hours for them but none of them returned.

Masterda feared that they had been arrested and a possible reinforcement had been arrived. So he decided that going to the city was not safe and ordered to march towards the nearby Sulukbahar hill.

Chattagram was liberated , completely from British domination, though only for few hours, it was literally liberated.

Though capturing chittagong does not mean liberation of the whole country, it was of utmost importance, because it set an example in front of a dying country that British can be defeated & defeated by ARMED REVOLUTION.



Gowariker was fortunate to find Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the only living revolutionary of the armoury raid, who was 19 then and now is 100-years-old, to tell the tale of that momentous occasion.
When the filmmaker of 'khele hum je jaan se' Mr Asutosh Gowariker was doing research for his movie, his team went to Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) to meet Chowdhury for a first-hand account of a little-known chapter in India’s history.
MiD Day called Chowdhury, who spoke on the phone, recalling the moment when he was inducted in the raid plan by Surjya Sen or Masterda (he was fondly called, as he was a school teacher).
Chowdhury said over the phone from Bangladesh, “I was barely out of my teens then but at the same time I was hell bent on actively participating in the revolutionary movement.
One of my friends had asked me to wait at a cemetery. I was told that Masterda will come and meet me there. After waiting for almost two hours he arrived.”
One could detect a childlike enthusiasm in him as he continued, “Masterda was initially not ready to take me into the revolutionary movement.
You can do much for society so I wouldn’t advise you to join the movement, Masterda told me. But I was determined and I kept arguing with him.”
Finally Masterda had to give in to Chowdhury’s undaunted determination.
“He hugged me and asked me if I was angry with him. I told him that yes initially I was a bit disheartened because he was not ready to make me a part of this freedom struggle but now I am elated,” adds Chowdhury.
Chowdhury from that day onward became an integral part of the Indian Republican Army, Chittagong branch.
“Liberation was our aim,” says the centenarian in a voice that defies his age.
Chowdhury’s memoirs, called Ognijhora Dingulo (The Flaming Days), captures the true spirit of valour and the courage of the young revolutionaries.
Chapters like My favourite village and My growing-up days give us an insight into 1930s undivided Bengal. The British rulers at the time had declared a reward of 500 taka on Chowdhury’s head. He served a seven-year jail term first under the British rule and then the Pakistani government.
Despite taking part in the uprising as a teenager and spending seven years in jail, Chowdhury did his post-graduation in English literature and a Bachelors degree in Law.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


        Hemchandra Ghosh spread the fire of revolution inspired people to join BENGAL VOLUNTEERS (B.V). Masterda SuryaSen,an active member of B.V led B.V in Chittagong. He & his co-members Ganesh Ghosh, Anant Singh, Ambika Chakroborty, Nirmal Sen,Loknath Bol developed a youth brigade in Chittagong.

                                              (SURYA SEN)

                                             (GANESH GHOSH)

                                            (GANESH GHOSH)

                                            (ANANT SINGH)

                                               (AMBIKA CHAKRABORTY)

                                           (LOKHNATH BOL)

    In 1929 11th May they got Netaji Subhas Bose amongst them. In a secret meeting Ganesh Ghosh, Anant Singh, Tripura Sen& others made it clear to Netaji that they just will not  remain like a military dressed, unarmed volunteers of Congress. They don't support non-violence policy of Congress. Under the mask of non-violence ,they want to prepare for armed youth revolution. Undoubtedly Netaji also supported their plan.

         At this point of time, Bengal's political sky was darkened centering the rivalry between Netaji & Jatindra Mohan Sengupta regarding Congress election in Bengal.The youth wanted Netaji as their leader in Congress, while the old Congress people wanted Sengupta. 

         This rivalry also spread among the revolutionaries. Masterda & his followers  wanted Netaji, while Anushilan Samity supported Sengupta. although Netaji won gloriously but the clash among revolutionaries could not be avoided. Sukhendu Dutta, a class 10 student & B.V activist in Chittagong got injured in the clash & died in hospital. In his funeral procession Netaji Subhas Bose walked bare footed.

          All revolutionaries wanted revenge, but Masterda calmly prevented them. He told all not to lose energy by fighting among themselves, but to prepare for a anti-British revolution.

          Meanwhile Hemchandra Ghosh was organizing B.V. He was an experienced campaigner. He realized previous all efforts of revolution failed because of lack of preparation.

          He first arranged for some hiding centers where the revolutionaries could hide when British police would start looking for them.

          B.V also developed a medical team for themselves. Dr.Satyendra Kumar Dutta, Dr.Durgadas Banerjee, Dr.Suren Bardhan, Dr.Provas Ghosh, Dr.Arun Nandy, Dr.Prakash Dutta, Dr.Animesh Ray, Dr.Jiten Sen& others came forward to help B.V. Some of them were even members of B.V. 

          A panel of  lawyers were also developed  who will fight cases for revolutionaries free of cost. Lawyers like Khagen Kar,Chintaharon Ray, Binoy Sen, Paresh Saha & others were  some who helped B.V.

          Then came the historic 1930. B.V were ready in different parts with arms,will & courage.The revolution started from Chittagong where Masterda & his courageous revolutionaries threw out British Govt & hosted tricolour Indian Flag.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


 The 1928 Calcutta Congress was of great importance in the history of Indian struggle for freedom. It was where Netaji invited the armed revolutionaries & the non-violent Congress to be united in one platform for one common purpose i.e. INDEPENDENCE. Netaji got the inspiration of this union from DESHBANDHU CHITTARANJAN DAS. He formed a group of men & women who were well-trained,well-disciplined & full of patriotism & sacrifice. SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE himself was the GOC (General Officer Commanding)This was the origin of  Bengal Volunteers ( B.V ). Under Major SATYA GUPTA, this group was trained manners, discipline, chivalry. They used to do march-past at Park Circus daily in uniform.

               Initially, they were developed to host a parade to welcome the then Congress President Mr. Motilal Nehru. Huge mass gathered at the road side & wathed  this parade. A wave of  patriotism spread into  the hearts of  million of rank & file present by the road side. Though many Indian leaders didn't like this. Gandhi criticized B.V as " CIRCUS OF PARK CIRCUS ".

                B.V included stalwarts like :
Masterda Surya Sen &Ambika Chakraborty(From Chittagong).
Surendra Mohan Ghosh ( From Maimansingha ).
Gyan Majumdar.
Madan Mohan Bhowmick ( From Dhaka ).
Bipin Bihari Ganguly, Arun Guha, Bhupen Dutta( From Calcutta ).
Satin Sen, Monoranjan Gupta ( From Borisal ).
Prabhas Chandra Lahiri ( From Rajshahi ) etc.
                Major Sattya Gupta travelled different parts of Bengal & developed small groups like B.V. These groups under Major Sattya Gupta joined with armed revolutionist HEMCHANDRA GHOSH's    MUKTI - SANGHA that revolutionized the freedom movement. Hemchandra Ghosh didn't stop making B.V just a mere movement but diversified it into an armed revolutionary group. Despite from the above mentiond, B.V delivered also many freedom fighters like:    

  • Jatin Das 
  • Panchanan Chakraborty
  • Pratul Bhattacharya
  • Jagadish Chatterjee
  • Binod Chakraborty
  • Jotish Joardar
  • Benoy Basu
  • Dinesh Gupta
  • Nani Chowdhury
  • Sourav Ghosh
  • Ananta Singha
  • Ganesh Ghosh
  • Lokhnath Bol etc.

  1. B.V acted as a platform to spread the fire of armed revolution throughout the country from 1928 upto independence
  2. B.V moverment led to mass awareness & motivation to serve the nation & fight for independence.
  3. B.V activities pointed strongly about the importance of DISCIPLINE & ORGANISATION in our freedom movement, which were lacking at that time.