Friday, July 31, 2009

Bangladesh,Famine (cont-2)

The fault of the famine was ascribed to the British East India Company. But Simon Schama said in his book " A history of Britain" thatthe famine was not a direct fault of the British regime. A close analysis revealed that it was due to the fact that, 1. the company tried to maximise its profits even at the time of famine. With the help of the taxation rights they tried to obtain land tax as well as trade tariffs. Moreover, the land tax was raised fivefold what it had been -from 10% to upto 50% of the vaslue of the agricultural produce.In the first year it was doubled and most of these revenues flowed out of the countryduring the time of famine. As the famine approached its height in April 1770, the company announced that the land tax for the following year was to be increased by a further 10%., 2. The food availability was reduced by poppy cultivation for export which also contributed to the famine, 3. the company also forbade "hoarding" of ricewhich prevented traders and dealers from laying in reserves that in other times would have tided the populationover lean periods, as well as ordering the farmers to plant indigo instead of rice., 4. By the time of famine monopoly of grain trading had been concentrated the company and their agents. 5. The first Governer General Warren Hastings collected tax violently in 1771 than in 1768. The profit of the company increased from 15 million rupees in 1765 to 30 million in 1777.,
6.The excessive rainfall in 1770 did not relieve the people from the sufferings of drought of the year before ; on the contrary, it caused overflowing of rivers and damaged the standing crops.
Not only in 1770, but during 1783- 1886, famines visited British India several times.
The famine of 1886 was seen in part of Bengal along with Orissa. Real wages of agricultural workers were declined. An enquiry commission was announced to investigate the reasons.
The famine of 1896-1898 affected Bengal along with other provinces.A famine commission headed by Sri J.B.Lyall, was formed. The commission observed that the wages of agricultural labourers had not increased for the last twenty years in proportion to the rise in prices of the daily necessities.

Bangladesh, Famine (contd-1)

Fmine is the extreme form of starvation sufferred by a population of an area due to scarcity of food either by failure of production or by maldistribution or by both. Crop failures might be due to adverse climate or topographical imbalances like draughts,floods,excessive rainfalls etc as well as animal or plants diseases plagues of locusts and other insects. In many cases famines are caused by poor transport and communications and absence of well established channels of trade system. At present it is accepted that famines originate mainly from "entitlement failures."As Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen said, "access to food is not only a function of food supply but it is influenced by a variety of factors that affectthe capacity of particular households and social
groups to establish entitlement over food." In a free market economy access to food is subject to direct and indirect entitlements.
Direct entitlement implies access of peasants to the food they produce. Indirect entitlement mainly indicates the trade entitlement generating from the capacity of the households to exchage what they have to sell in the market to buy necessary goods and services. Several non-market factors such as socio-political status, role of the state, the legal system, and the role of media also aid to these indirect entitlement. Famines may visit even when there is no decline in food output and availibilityper head. Thus distribution failures , and not production failures, come in the forefront in the causation theory of famines.The earliest famine in Bengal region is recorded in a stone inscription found at MAHASTHANGARH near Bogra in the third century BC, wherein the higher authority instructed subordinate officials to supply oaddy to distressed places and to reimburse the same through coins during heydays. But no further evidence of famines is available for the next centuries. It may, however, be said that during this time , though the commodities of the country used to be sold at a very cheap rate, ordinary people lived in abject POVERTY at the subsistence level, almost always facing the threat of famine. A number of intense famines have visited the land now known as Bangladeshin the last three hundred years.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bangladesh, Famine in 1770

Famine was one of the important aspect in the history of Bangladesh. Some pictures taken from the article of Anil Chawla might help in explaining the the effect of famine in Bangladesh. According to Mr. Chawla Bengal had 30 or 40 famines, depending on one's definition. Two of them were worth mentioning, one of 1770 and the other of 1943 during 190 years of British rule i.e. 1757 to 1947.
Anil Chawla
Bengal famine of 1770 :
Popularly known as Chiattorer Monnontar for it occurred in 1176 to 1180 0f Bengali calendar.The whole lower Gangetic plain of India was affected by this famine causing the death of one in three reducing the population to 30 million in Bengal. It was estimated to have caused the death of about 15 million people.The famine was spread in Bangladesh, West Bengal,Assam,Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand.It was originally a province of Mughal Empire, Known as Bengal from the 16th century and was ruled by a Nawab or Governie. In the 17th century Mughal Emperer Akbar had granted the town of Calcutta to British East India Company for trade.
A partial shortfall in crops, consider nothing out of the rdinary, occurred in 1768 and was followed in next 1769 by more severe conditions. By Sept. 1769there was a severe drought, and alarming reports were coming in of rural distress. These were however ignored by the company officers.
By early 1770, there was starvation, and by mid-1770 deaths from starvation were occurring in large scale. There were also reports of the living feeding on the bodies of the dead in the middle of that year. Small pox and other diseases further took their toll of the population. As a result of the famine large areas were depopulated and returned to jungle. It took about 1780 to bring the situation under control.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bangladesh, Surya Sen (cont-2)

Surya sen was always in hiding, moving from one place to another.sometimes he used to take a job as a workman : sometimes he would take a job as a farmer,or priest,houseworker or even as a pious Muslim. this was how he avoided not to be arrested. But either because of money or out of jealousy or both, Nitra Sen disclosed to the police his whereabout and he was arrested on 16 Feb. 1933. Nitra sen was assassinated in front of his wife who did not disclose the name of the muderer to the police on enquiry for she did not like the treachery of her husband.
Tarakeshwar dutta, then president of Chittagong branch of Jugantar Party, made a prepaation to rescue Surya Senfrom the Jail which was not successful. Surya Sen along with his comrade Tarakeshwar Dastidar was hanged by the British rulers on January 12,1934.Before his death he was brutally tortured.
It is worth recalling , in this context, what Surya Sen said in his last message before his hanging at midnight;
"This is the task for preparation , to embrace death as a friend and this is the time to recall the light of other days as well. At such a solemn moment, what shall I leave behind for you? Only one thing,that is my dream the golden dream-the dream of a free mother land."
His last letter to his comrades, written on 11 Jan, will remain enshrined in history as the most eloquent testimony of the excellence of his manhood. " Death is knocking at my door.My mind is flying away towards infinity .... this is the moment to myself to embrace death as the dearest of friends. In this happy, sacred and crucial moment, what I am leaving for you ? Only one thing my dream, golden dream, the dream of a Free india."

Binode Bihari Choudhury, the only survivor in Bangladesh

The Paharitala European club

Monument to Prtilata in front of the European club

Bangladesh, Surya Sen (contd-1)

By 1923 Surya Sen spread His Chittagong Branch of Jugantar in different parts of Chittagong district. He was aware of the limited equipment and other resources of the freedom fighters and was convinced of the needs for his organisation. His first major exploit was to secure about Rs. 18,000 by successfully organising a raid on the treasury of the Assam Bengal Railway in the year 1923. But he and his other associates were arrested and were released after prolonged trial. Surya Sen always eferred his programme to his associates as "Programme of death".
Members of the Chittagong Branch of the Jugantar ;
The other members of the branch selected for the armed uprisings were, Leader-Masterda Surya Sen, Members included : Ganesh Ghosh, Loknath Baul, Tarakeshwar Dastidar, Nirmal Sen, Ambika Chakrabarty, Naresh Roy, Sasanka Dutta, Ardhendu Dastidar, Harigopal Baul, Ananta Sing, Jiban Ghosal, Anand Gupta, Pritilata Waddedar and Kalpana Dutta. Also among them were a 14 year old boy Subodh Roy who was alive till 27 Aug. 2006 as he was released from Andaman Jail in 1940.

Cellular jail
The Plan:
Surya Sen devised the strategy of capturing the two main armouries in Chttagong and then destroying the Telegraph and Telephone office, followed by assissination of members of the "European Club", the majority of whom were government or military officers involved in maitaining British Raj in India. Firearms retailers also to be raided and rail and communication lines disrupted.
History, Amnesia and Public memory:
Help was taken to write the incident from the Article written by Sri Sachidananda Mohanty with his inerview with the only living , at the time of his interview, a member of the revolutionary activities, Sri Binode Behari Choydhury.
On 18th April, 1930;
On the date specified at 10 o'clockon April 18, per plan , the armoury of the plice wascaptured by a group of revolutionaries led by Ganesh Ghosh and another group of ten led by Loknath Baul took over the Auxilary force Armoury. Unfortunately they could not locate the store for ammunation. They also succeeded to dislocate the Telegraph and Telephone facilities. The action was undertaken by 65 revolutionries in the name of Indian Republican Army, Chittagong Branch.

Preetilata,who led the group of Pahartali European Club
They proclaimed a provisional revolutionary Government, unfurled the national flag and Surya Sen made the following declaration;
"The great task of revolution of India had fallen on the Indian Republican Army. We in Chittagong had the honour to achieve the patriotic task of of revolution for fufilling the aspiration and urge of our nation."
Having made the proclamation the group retreated and got some snacks. Later, they fought a pitched battle in the surrounding hills of Jalalabad against a contingent of the Eastern Frontier Rifles under the command of Lt. Col. Dallas Smith. They lost several men and flicted heavy casualities on the soldiers pursuing them. Some of the revulotionaries like Ananta Sing escaped to Calcutta. Others the largest group , remained underground and fought a guerilla war for three years . several encounters took place including at Dhalghat in June, 1932. Preetilata and her group attacked the European club at Pahartali. Wounded, she took potassium cyanide and embraced martyrdom in 1932.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bangladesh, Chittagong Aroury raid (1930-1934)

The Non-Cooperation Movement launched by the Indian National Congress under the leadership of M,K.Gangdhi on 4th sept. 1920 was suddenly withdrawn on 25th Feb. 1922 after confirmation of the decisionat Delhi which was taken in Bordoli on 11th and 12th Feb. 1922, as the movement could not be continued Non-Violently. Some sporadic incidence of violence occurred doring the procedure of the activities. Youths, in general, particularly in some parts of British India, became restless and adopted again the path of armed revolution against the British Raj.

Masterda Surya Sen : Surya Sen, popularly known as Masterda, as he was a teacher in Chittagong, was born on 22nd March,1894, in the village Noapara of Chittagong District (now in Bangladesh) in a lower middle class family. After graduation he tarted his careeas a teacher in Chittagong. His father's name was Ramaniranjan was also teacher by profession. Surya sen was influenced by one of his teacher while he was a student of Intermediate class in the Chittagong college into revolutionary ideas and he joine the renowned revolutionary organisation, Anushilan Samity.But when he went to Berhampur College for BA course, came to know about Jugantar and became more inspired with their ideas. He got more inspiration from the famous Easter Surya Sen to effective action. In a speech delivered in New York in 1920 entitled "India and Ireland", Valera declared: We , of Ireland, and you of India, must each of us endeavour, both as separate people and in combination to rid ourselves of the vampire that is fattening on our blood, and we must never allow ourselves to forget what weapon it was by which Washington rid his country of the same vampire. Surya Sen and his group had undergone physical and armed training . On his return to Chittagong in 1918, he organised Jugantar there. Every revolutionary groups were using Indian National Congress as their umbrella to work.
Postal Stamp in honour of Surya Sen dated 22.03.1978.
Consequently Surya Sen became the President of Chittagong District Committee of the Congress in 1929. He undertook two activiteis. 1. He became a teacher in the Nationa Schoo in Nandankanan and joined the Umatara school at Chandanpura, 2. and began to organise the hardline patriotic organisations. Since then he was known as Masterda among his students and other comarades.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bangladesh, Economic Condition (1918-1923)

It was welknown that the Muslim masses were educationally and culturaly backward as compared to the Hindus. But they had the vanity of beeing the successsor of those who ruled Delhi for some centuries which distorted their political outlook and they relied more onthe attitude and behavior of the British thantheir Hindu counterpart. The British also wanted to utilise the weaknesses of the Muslims against the freedom struggle of India led by the Hindus. For a comparitively short period the Muslims rallied along with their non-Muslim brethren in the anti-British struggle during Khilafat movement.
During and after the war the miseries of the people worsened day by day. As a consequence of the crop failure in 1918-1919, the production of the food grain fell sharply.As against million tons of wheat and 35.9 million tons of rice in 1917-18, the production in 1918-19 was only 7.5 million tons of wheat and 24.3 million tons of rice . This decline in production together with the plunder by traders in foodgrains created apppalling famine conditions in various parts of the country . The famine together with the epidemics that followed took a heavy toll of human lives, particularly among the rural people. The estimated toll in this catatrophe was put between 12 to 13 million.
At the same time , the Indian economy as a whole was heading towards a deep crisis.For instance, the ratio of the prices of goods exported from India to the prices of goods imported in to India was turning unfavourable to the country. Taking the prices of imported goods in 1913-14 as 100, it icreased to 101 in 1914-15, 126 in 1915-16, 170 in 1916-17, 211 in 1917-18, 268 in 1918-19. At the same time the price indices of exports for the same period were 102, 103,117, 125, and 150 respectively.It was when the gap between the two was the widest that famine spread throughout the country.
As regards to the factories the wages off workers diminished proportionately.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bangladesh, Gandhi Era

The Hindu Muslim unity brought about by Gandhi in 1920-21was artificial in character and did not produce any real change of heart. It was based on the common hostility and hatred entetained , for quite different reasons, by the Indian Nationalist and the Khilafatists towards the British, and was sustained by the militant programme of ono-cooperation and the civil disobedience.
The acivities of the League had been suspended for four years and the 15th adjorned meeting were held in Lahore on May,1924, with Mr. Jinnah on the chair. he said that though the non-cooperation movement was a failure, and much harm was done, a great deal of good had also come out of it. There was an open movement for the achievementof swaraj for India.But this movement roused the political awakining even to a person dwelling in a street.This was also the demand of the League.
In the Jamait-ul- Ulema Conference held at Cocanada on DEC. 1923, the president referred to the sponsors of Sudhi movement as the worst enemies of India and expressed the opinion that the Sangathan movement would prove detrimental to the cause of Indian advance. The conference also condemned those activities which were likely to weaken the basis of the unity of Hindu and Muslim.
Serious communal riots vitiated the political atmosphere of India from 1923 onwards.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bangladesh, After WWI

Notonly National but also International situation had completely changed after WWI;
1. (a) Internationally Russia came out of the clutches of Imperiolist world and took an alternative road (Socialism) for their development on Oct.1917 (b) Ireland became free from British Imperialism. July 1921.

Oct revolution,1917

Freedom Struggle of Ireland
2. Freedom struggle, including India, of all colonial countries had been intesified.
3. Emergence of M.K.Gandhi, Satyagraha fame in South Africa , as a leader in the Freedom struggle of India,
4. "Repression and Reform " became the strategy of British Colonial rule,
5. Revival of Pan-Islamism in Indian politics.
6. Unprecedented growth of Indian Bourgeoisie during and immediately preceding the war.
After the socialist Revolution of Russia in oct. 1917, the independence struggle of more than 100 countries had started or intensified.
In India the freedom struggle had taken two definite road of development, i) a nationalist way under the leadership of Ganghi in Congress, ii) formation of a Communist party of India in Tashkent, Russia by M.N. Roy and others in 1920.Though the activities of CPI were limited within India at that time. The wave of Gandhism had spread through out india including Bengal. The activities of Muslim League were restricted to the demand of separate electorate of their community.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bangladesh, Bengal regiment

In the 1910s the League adopted a creed similar to that of the Indian National Congress. When the Hindu Muslim relation improved considerably, for instance during the period of Lucknow agreement (1916) and the period of Khilafat and non-cooperation movement AIML became almost a dead organisation. For several years since 1920, the Muslim League was in a state of suspended animationat the Khilafat organisationhad talen up all the work of the community at the time, and the League had practically nothing to do.
Though founded as a political organisation, the Muslim League did not develop any noticeable programme even within the frame work of loyalty to the Raj. It was never a meaningful organisation politically until Mohammad Ali Jinnah took its leadership in the second half of the first decade of twentieth century when he became the president of AIYL in 1916. and negotiated the Lucknow pact with the Congress, in which Congress conceded the principle of separate electorates and weighted representation for the Muslim Community.
Bengal Regiment
It is term given to a large number infantry regiments first raised for the British Indian Army. These regiments were originally raised by East India Companyas part of the army of bengal, which was one of the three presidency armies that were absorbed into British Indian army. Composing mainly of recruits from the British Indian province of Bengal.
As a point of history, most regiments of the Bengal Army were dismantled by the British in the aftermath of the Indian rebellion of 1857, due to the fact that the mutiny was believed to have been started because of dissatisfaction amongst the sepoysand sowarsof the army of Bengal. One of the main actors of the mutiny. Mangal Pandey belonged to the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, and it was the incident on March 29,1857 at Barrackpore when he injured the adjutant, Lieautenant Baugh, with a sword after shooting him , that is said to have started the mutiny.
After the decision taken by the Indian National Congress to assist the British in the 1st World War (1914-1918) with men and material in return to their assurance of considering Home Rule by the Indians, the Bengalees, officially and un-officially, took the initiatives of collecting Bengali youths by distributing leaflets, posters etc. to start a Bengali Regiment. Poet Nazrul Islam also took the profession.
this was to be noted that the Begali regiment was again closed in March 1920, for obvious reasons.

The greatest discontinuity in the history of Bengal region occured on June, 1757 when the East India Company -a mercantile company of England became the vertual ruler of Bengalby defeating Nawab of Siraj Ul Daulahthrough conspiracy.Territorial rule by a trading company resulted in the commercialization of power. The initial effects nof the British rule were highly destructive. As the historian R.C.Dutta noted "the people of Bengal had been used to tyranny, but had never lived under an oppression so far effects, extending to every village market and every manufacturers loom. They had been used to arbitrary acts from men in power , but had never suffered from a system which touched their trades, their occupations, ttheir lives so closely.The springs of their industries were stopped, the sources of their wealth dried up, "The plunder of Bengaldirectly contributed to the industrial revolution of England.The capital ammassed in Bengal was invested in the nascent British industries. Lack of capital and fall of demand , on the other hand, resulted in the de-industrialisation in the Bangladesh region. The muslim industry virtually disappeared in the wake of British rule.

The British rule in bengal promoted simultaneously the forces of unity and division in the society. The city based Hindu middle classes became the fiery champions of all India based nationalism. At the same time, The British rule in Bengal brought to surface the rivalry between the Hindus and Muslims which lay dormant during the five hundred years of muslim rule.The class conflict between the Muslim peasantry and Hindu intermediaries during the Muslim rule was diffused by the fact that these intermediaries themselves were agents of the Muslim rulers . Furthermore, the scope of exploitation was limited in the subsistence economy of pre-British Bengal.

The conflict between Muslim peasants and Hindu landlords were reinforced by the rivalry between hindu and Muslim middle classes for the patronage of the imperial rulers. In the nineteenth century, both Hindu and muslim middle classes expanded significantly. The muslim middle class did not remain conflined to traditional aristocracy which consisted primarily of immigrants from other Muslim countries. The British rule in Bengal contributed to the emergence of a vernacular elite from among locally converted Muslims in the second half of the neneteenth century . This was facilitated by a significant expansion of jute cultivation in the angladesh region . The increase in the jute exports benefited the surplus farmers (jotedars) in the lower Bengal where theuslims were the majority. The conomic afflenceof surplus farmers encouraged the expasion of secular education among local Muslims . For example the number of Muslim students in bengal increased by 74 % between 1882-83 and 1912-13.

British india, Punjabi Regiment

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bangladesh, Muslim League

1st annual session of the Muslim League :
The 1st Annual sesion of thje muslim League was held at Karachi on 29 Dec. 1907. Karachi, the chief town of Sindh, was chosen because, as a League publication put, "Sindh was that pious place in india where Muhammed bin Qasim came first, with the torch of religion and the gift of Hadis. No other place could appeal to our elders" More significant still was the remark of the President, "If a handful of men under a boy could teach Kali ma to God and his Rasul, could seven crores of Mussalmans not make their social and political life pleasnt?" The Muslim League also appointed its British Committee in Englandunder the Presidentship of Syed Ameer Ali. During the discussion of the morley-Minto reform proposals, the League put its whole weight in favour of a vommnal electorate for the Muslims, and rejected all proposals of joint electorate,-even the compromise formula of Morley.By holding up the bogey of Muslim League Minto suceeded in shifting the voice of Morley. A very small section of Muslims raised their voice in favour of joint electorate, but it was drowned amidst the viciferous cry of the overwhelming majority.
After the reforms of 1909, the Hindu leaders believed as the Muslims had now secured all that they wanted, they would be in as mood to come to an amicable settlement with the Hindus. Acordingly,a Hindu-Muslim conferencemet at Allahabad on 1 Jan. 1911, attended by about 60 Hindus and 40 Muslims. It achieved no fruitful result.
Most astonishingly was the remark of Gandhi, mentioned in Indian review of Oct. 1909. He said "that as a man of truth I honestly believed that Hindus should yield up to the Mahommedanswhat they latter desired and they should rejoice in so doing. We could expect unity only if such mutual largeheartedness was displayed."
Jumm Masjida

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bangladesh, Militant Nationalism

Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar had spent much space in his book "History of Freedom Movement of India ( Page 265-327 = 62) to explain this subject.
The idea of nationalism and militant nationalism had been a matter of discussion since eighteenth century from the time of French revolution upto this date. An attempt was made to discuss the issue in two stages,
1. Indian nationalism,
2. Marxian interpretation.
1. At the begining of the twentieth century Indian nationalists, rose against the British exploitation to make the country free from foreign domination. During Swadeshi movement there was an attempt of armed revolution against the British rule with the help of ammunitions colected byway of snatching or purchased from other foreign powers, i.e. Germany.
Anusilan Samity :
It was purely an exercise club for training youths of Bengal in all sorts of physical drill and exercises such as lathi, sword, dagger-play, riding, swiming, and in some cases boxing. These were open activities and young men were attracted to have these sorts of training. There was an inner circle, consisting of a selected few who organised the militant revolutionary organisation. There were two opinions for this operation,
i) One believed in armed conflict against the British with help of the Indian soldiers, and pinned its faith on the development of international situation which might create a favourable oppurtunity and bring necessary help from outside.
ii) The second opinion was terrorising and murdering the officials the machinary of the govt. be paralysed so that the govt. was forced to bow down.
The political terrorism began taking an organised form in Bengal by 1902, under the umbrella of Anushilan Samity founded by barrister Pramatha Mitra. There were three groups. 1. Led by Mitra himself,2. led by a Bengalee lady Sarala devi and 3. Led by Aurobindo Ghosh. The Anushilan Samity had its vice-president as Aurobindo Ghosh and Chittaranjan Das, Suren Ghosh was the treasurer. Jatindra nath Banerjee, Jatindra nath Mukherjee (Bagha Jatin), Bhupendra nath Dutta , Barindra Ghosh were among other leaders. Aurobindra and Barin Ghosh allowed the organisation to spread throughout Bengal. Pulin Bihari Das, once a teacher of Dhaka Govt.College and founder Headmaster of National School at Dhaka was the leader of Dhaka unit. Aurobindo and Bipin Chandra Pal took the charge of organising the publication of a paper JUGANTAR. they also used to collect funds by dacoites.
In april 1908, Khudiram Bose and Prafuulla Chaki attempted to kill Chief magistrate Kingford but by mistake they killed two European ladies. Khudiram was arrested but Prafuula had killed himself. Narendra nath Bhattacharya, later on, killed Nandalal banerjee who arrested Khudiram.

Bagha Jatin

Aurobindo Ghosh

On 16 Dec. 1908, Govt. of India issued orders for deporting the following nine Bengalee Hindus,

1.Aswini Kumar Dutta

2.Krishna Kumar Mitra

3. Satis Chatterjee

4. Subodh Mallik

5. Monoranjan Guha Thakurta

6. Shamsundar Chakraborty

7. Pulin Behari Das

8. Bhupesh Chandra Nag

9. Sachindra Prasad Basu.

Pulin Bihari Das, in charge Dhaka Anusilan Samity, opened several branches all acrosthe eastern Bengal and by 1932 it had 500 branches. The members of the samity were mostly school and college students and of middle-class family. Pulin Bihari Das was soon arrested and his successor Makhanlal Sen became in charge of the Samity.

Jugantar party was the leading revolutionary group in Colonial Bengal. Hemchandra Kanungo went to Paris on behalf of the Party to get military and political training. He came back after having trained in JAN. 1908.

Activities of the Organisation:

During 1908 to 1916, atleast 34 govt. officials , Indian and European were killed by the revolutionaries.

From 1909 to 1917, The revolutionaries earned money by Dacoities from bank and other sources, on 37 occasions amounting to Rs. 6,57, 315/-.

Sedition committees report said that the following activities of the revolutionaries during the period mentioned below were noted,

Year...Bomb Outrages...Murder....Dacoity..Misc.












The revolutionary activities also spread in other parts of the country and abroad. But ultimate result was nil.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bangladesh, Some translation of Rajanikanta's writings

The most inspiring writings of Kanta Kabi during anti-partition movement,

Place on your head,

With reverence,

The coarse cloth that your mother,

Gives you:

For poor as she is

She cannot afford to give,

Anything better.

Bengal after partition

Bangladesh, Rajanikanta (contd.-3)

Cottage inside the Medical College where Rajanikanta stayed in last days of his life.
Rajanikanta had been shifted to a cottage of Medical College after the operation. A forth year medical student, Hemendra nath Baksi, took the responsibility of nursing him till he would stay here. Many persons poor-rich, reputated-nonreputed, Literary-rdinary.doctors-engineers came to visit him every day, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy came one day and said to him you might get well soon with my longivity. Rabindra nath Tagore also came 28 th Magh, 1317 (1910). In reply to a letter written by Rajanikanta, Tagore wrote that the song you had sent to me, it was nice.

He could only write after operation
Last few days of his life was so pathetic that it was unbearable by any person. After every minute blood was coming profusely. Really as the poet said "making beggar in all respects". On 28th Bhadra 1317 (1910), at the age of 45, Rajanikanta expired keeping his wife and other members of his family including his eighty years old mother Manomohini.

Letter written to Rabindra nath

Draft written to Tagore
pic clockwise, 1. Rajani kanta sen, 2.Bangabandhu bridge, 3. D.L.Roy and 4. Bangladesh)

Bangladesh, Rajanikanta (contd-2)

From 1906, at the age 41, Rajanikanta began to suffer from urinary affection. He took many remidial measures but did not get any relief. Moreover he was attacked with Malaria. He was advised to take rest and go for a change. He consulted, at this time, with many renowned doctors,such as, Dr. Nilratan Sircar, Dr. Pran Krishna Acharya, Dr. Prandhan Basu etc but there was no appreciable improvement . He tried for Homeopathy and then Kaviraji. At last he came back to Sirajgunge to undergo treatment from his friend Dr. Tarakeshwar Kavisiromoni.
In 1908, the newly constructed building of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad was to be opened which was published in papers. Having seen the notification, He came to Calcutta with Dinesh Chandra Sen and became his guest at calcutta. Many important persons from different places of India and abroad came to attend on the occasion. The two storied building at 243/1, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road became packed up. Having found no way to go 1st floor Rajanikanta remained in the ground floor where he met Rabindra nath Tagore who itroduced him to all the persons present there on the occasion. Being requested by the president he sung two songs and moved the audience. Tagore asked him to come to his house one day. On the next morning he went to Tagore's house. On request he again sung those two songs. Tagore asked him to see within himself as there was nothing in the external world.
The second conference of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad was held at Rajshahi. Rajanikanta attended and got acquianted with many persons of importance.The saddest of all in the life of Rajanikanta was the detection of cancer on his throat in 1909. He had to sell his two Kabya Grantha, Banl and Kalyani, to Gurudas Chattopadhaya and sons for Rs. 400 only to meet his medical expenses. The sufferings he had to face at this was inexpressible. No sign of relief of pain, no sign of remission of fever, moreover serious breathing trouble forced him to come to Calcutta with all his family members . He was admitted to Medical College and his family members remained in Serpentine lane, Clacuuta. He made a will to give all his belongings to his wife. Ultimately he had to be admitted in Medical College where he was operated to make a whole at the throat for his breathing facility.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bangladesh, Rajanikanta (continued-1)

Rajanikanta had a strong memory. His memory was so sharp that he could recite on hearing any poem after a few minutes.Sometimes he asked his friend to test his memory by citing any sanskrit poem which he would narrate in a short time. When he was a boy of 8 he could make CHARA orally. One day he said to one of his relative (female),
Sri Sri Sri yukta
Eno amar janye ek jora juta.

Rajanikanta was born in a well to do family. But when he was of ten years old, he had to face economic disaster due to some unforeseen reasons;

1. His uncle, elder brother of his father, who earned a lot of money from his legal practice deposited the entire amount to Indra Chand Knairer's Kuthi (some sort of bank) of Rajshahi which declared bankrupt ;

2. His two sons, Barada Gobinda and Kalikumar, having good legal practice died a premature death;

3. Janakikanta, the younger brother of Rajanikanta, suddenly died after a dog's bite.

As a bad luck would have it, Rajanikanta saw what was poverty in his early age. It was only because of the help and care of the renowned teacher and founder of Pabna College Sri Gopal Chandra Lahiri, Rajanikanta could proceed with his studies. Having passed the entrance examination Rajanikanta appeared in an eassay competition in Rajshahi District and stood 1st. He got "Pramatha nath Scholarship" of Rs. 5 per month and was admitted in Rajshahi College in F.A. arts. After passing F.A. examination he was married with Hiranmoyee, the daughter of school sub-inspector Sri Tarak nath Sen. While studying B.A. in City College he lost his father.

He completed his further studies from City College, Calcutta and got LL B degree in 1891. His poem ASHA was first published in Ashalata monthly magazine of Sirajgunge. He began to practice in Rajshahi court. From 1891 to 1906 was golden period of his life with a single exception. His third son Bhupendra nath suddenly died on a serious bronchal attack. Rajani kanta was so devotional that after the death of his son he wrote,

The life you have given me,

The sorrow you have given to;

The eyes you have given me,

The tears of woe you have given from;

The concern you have given me,

The wail you have given for;

The son you have given me,

The snatching you have done away with;

Rajanikanta Sen (1865-1910)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bangladesh, Poet Rajanikanta Sen (Kanta Kabi)

Amongst the three poets, Rabindra nath Tagore, Rajanikanta and Nazrul, Rajanikanta Sen was born in Bangladesh on 26th July 1865, in Bhangabari under Sirajgunge sub-division of Pabna District.

His ancestors were of village Sahadevpur under Tangail Subdivision of Mymensing District on right side of Brahmaputra in Bangladesh. His great-grand-mother Karunamoyee was pregnant when his husband, Jogiram, was dead. So she had come to his Brother's residence at Bhangabari (on the other side of the river Brahmaputra) and did not return to Sahadevpur. She gave birth to Golaknath, grand father of Rajanikanta. Due to economic stringency Golaknath could not proceed with his studies to a higher level. But he tried his level best to make his two sons, Govindanath and Guruprasad, well educated. Guruprasad, father of Rajanikanta, passed LLB from Dacca university and became a sub-judge. After being posted in different places such as Rangpur, Dinajpur, Bhagalpur, Munger, Kalna, Katoya came to Krishnanagar and retired from that place. While staying at Kalna and Katoa he passed his leisure time by discussing Baishnab Literature. He collected 400 poems of Brajabuli and published a book , PADACHINTAMALA.
His elder brother Govinda nath earned a lot of money by praticing law in Rajshahi with reputation and built their retched house into a well built two storyed one.
Devotional leaning of Rajanikanta, probably, had come from his father. His mother Manomohini was a good domestic lady with versatile genious. She could cook so well that she was termed a Judge of Cook. She could read and write in Bengali well and studied Ramayana, Mahabharata, Sitar Banabas, Sati Dramma and was fan of poet Hemchandra Bandyopadhaya. The love of literature of Rajanikanta owed to his mother. She was the source of inspiration of writing CHARA in his early days.

Bangladesh, Review (contd)

During the prticipation of Bengal new methods of struggle was adopted. These led swadeshi and botcott movements. TheCongress-led boycott of British goods was successful that it unleashed anti-British forces to an extent unknown since the great rebillion . A cycle of violence and repression ensued in some parts of the country (Alipore bomb case). The British tried to mitigate the situation by announcing a series of constitutional reforms in 1909 and by appointing a few moderates to the imperial and provincial councils. In what the British show as an additional goodwill gesture, in 1911, King -Emperor George V visited India, for a DURBAR (a traditional court held for subjects to express fealty to their ruler), during which he announced the reversal of the Partition of Bengal and the transfer of the capital from Calcutta to a newly planned city to be built immediately south of Delhi, which later became New Delhi.
This revocation of the partition of Bengal and certain changes in the administration of India. Firstly, Shifting of capital from Calcutta to New Delhi. Secondly, the five bengali speaking divisions viz, The presidency, Burdwan, Dacca, Rajshahi and Cittagong were to be united and formed into a presidencyto be administered by a Governor-in-council. The area of this province would be 70,000 sq.miles with a population of 42 million . Thirdly, a lieutenant-Governor- in-council with a legislative council was to Govern the province comprising of Bihar, Chatonagpur anfd Orissa. Fourthly, Assam was to revert back to the rule of a Chief commissioner. The date changing for the formal ending of the partition and reunification of Bengal was 1 April, 1912.
This arrangement was done to deprive Calcutta of its prime position as the nerve of centre of political activity necessarily weakened the influence of the Bengalee Hindus. The Govt. felt that this would help the administration by shifting from the seat of the agitated atmosphere of Bengal.
Lord Carmichael, a man of liberal sympathies , was selected as Governor for the first reunified Bengal.
Although the protest was largely Hindu-led still the persons like Nazrul Islam and others prticipated in the struggle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bangladesh, Review of Partition of Bengal

Review was no less important than the results obtained specially for a country after the end of the 19th and the begining of the 20th century because contradiction of the growth of capitalism to its monopoly stage had intensified in a manner so as to find a way out in the search of their desired market. Africa was the main market of the imperialist forces in the second half of the nineteenth century. But the growth of capitalism with the help of wealth of exploitation of the colonies also induced the sense and spirit of nationalism in each country.

Physical mangitude o Bangladesh in world's background

British Empire in 1905
Moreover the situation in Europe was hot after the defeat of Tsar's Russia in 1904-05 in the Russo-Japanese war.

Hot bed before WWI

It was better for the British authority to move one step back.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bangladesh, Muslim Politics

The Muslim politics even after the death of Sir Syed Ahmed and the leadership being taken by Nawab Mohsin-ul-Mulk was concentrated to safegurding their rights and interests in the new legislation.It was reserved for Lord Minto to give the official seal of approvalto the policy of Divide and Rule and setting the Muslims against Hindus.
Throught the two years 1907 and 1908, there was an acrimonious discussion regarding the separate electorate and the weightage proposed by the Muslim deputation and consented to by Lord Minto. As a consequence to this , the act of 1909, and the regulation made thereunder, embodied in substance the concessions virtually promised by Mintoto the Muslims under these regulations not only did they receive a separate electorate but their number of members in the council was much greater that would be warranted by the numerical strength of their population.
Communal riots to other parts of India
Not only in Mymensing and Comilla districts of Bengal the communal disturbances were spread in Ayodhya and Fyzabadon the occasion of the Muslim festival of Bakrid.
Authorities came down
New Technique was adopted by British rulers which might be termed as "Repression cum Reform" and "rally the moderates" to enforce "Divide and rule" policy.
Inspite of the existence of two conflicting groups within the Congress and of the conflict between the Congress and the League engineered by the rulers, the Govt. had to revoke the parition order and re-unite Bengal into one province after about six years i.e. in 1911. In other words the British rulers came to realise the mass sentiments expressed in the anti-partition agitations was just and irrepressible.

Bangladesh, Split in the Congress

By the closing years of the 19th century, Indian capitalithe Britishsts had attained a considerable strong position in the cotton textile industry. They had even gone ahead of the British in this industry by the year 1898. Out of the capital invested in this industry, two thirds belonged to India and one-third belonged to the British.This section of capitalists had already lost the character of struggling nature and would prefer amicable settlement with the British monopoly capitalists. But the contradictions of the weaker section of the capitalists with the British monopoly capitalists were getting intesified. That was why at this stage the Indian capitalists were divided in two parts which were reflected in the Congress.
Thus the movement was constrained by two limitations which enabled the rulers to create a split in the anti-partition feelings of the people, which rose first during the partition days in Bengal and later spread through out India and got reflected in the 1906 Congress Session.
1. Although the Calcutta session adopted all the resolutions of Boycott, Swadeshi and Swaraj, but this compromise with the extremists and the moderates were temporary. The two camps moderates and extremists guided by the leaders like Pherozshah mehta, Gopal krishna Gokhale, Rash Behari Ghosh and Surendra Nath Banerjee, on the one side , and the extremists leaders like Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, and Lala Rajpat Rai, on the other.
2. The Hindu outlook of the Nationalist leaders including the extremists and the Islamic outlook of the new generation of political workers who were emerging from among the Muslims, gave rise to misgivings and lack of confidence between the two communities.This weakness affected in the Indian politics had been utilised by Curzon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bangladesh, Hindu-Muslim Riot

Swadeshi movement was spread in four routes - industrial, educational, cultural and political. It was pread not only in Bengal but also all over india. The Govt. of India became unnerved. A local movement was being slowly but steadily developed into an all-India national movement against the British rule.
Government repression not confined to picketing and educational institutions to which reference had been made .Government brutality, sometimes , appeared in a naked form. At Barisal alone 66 clerks were dismissed for having connection with Swadeshis. The cry of Bandemataram was forbidden in the streets of Barisal.The Jugantar, the organ of the revolutionary party, was prosecuted.
At the early stages of the anti-partition movement it was sopported by the Muslims of East Bengal. But this was one side of the picture.Lord Curzon, while visiting EastBengal in 1904,influenced many including some Nawabs.For doing in favour of them, Govt. granted a loan of Rs. 14 lakhs to Nawab Salimullah at a very low rate of interest. After that the Mussalmans became hostile day by day which was exemplified by the notorious document , known as Lal Istahar or Red Pamphlet.
The ill-feeling between Hindus and Muslims was spread in a limited area of East Bengal. Only two of the districts out of 13 disturbances were spread.
C. J. O'Donnel, M. P., referred in his book to Hindu-Musalman riots and quoted from judicial proceedings that these were engineered and the Musalmans were led to believe by public proclamationthat they would not be punished for plundering and oppressing the Hindus. He also referred to a number of trials showed how English Judges were biased against the Hindus.
The situation was beautifully expressed by Rabindra Nath in a song, addressed to the british, which quoted as;
Are you so powerful that you will flout and break
All laws of prvidence ?
Are you so proud, you think you will
Break us and mould us ?

Bangladesh, Formation of Muslim League

On 30th dec.,1906, a conference was held at Dhaka under the Chairmanship of Nawam Salimullah, convener of the political committee and chairman of the reception committee, the All India Muslim League was formed with a provisional committe of 56 members.Mohsin -ul-mulk and Viqar-ul-Mulk as joint secretaries. After the death of Mohsin-ul-Mulk in 1907,Viqur-ul-Mulk was in full control. The first session of the league was held at Karachi on Dec. 29 and 30,1907.with Adamjee Peerbhoy as its president.
The objectives of the AIML were, i) to look after the interests of the Muslims with other Indian communities, ii) to protect and advance the political rights and interest of Muslims in India, and to respectfully represent their needs and aspirations to the Govt., iii) to prevent the rise among the Muslims of India of any feeling of hostility towards other communities without prejudice to the afore-mentioned objects of the league.
The Nationalist press dismissed the Muslim League as a rickety structure, destined to a speedily dissolution . Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a prominant leader of the Congress did not join the AIML till 1913. He tried within the Congress for one-third reservation of his community.

Bangladesh, Mslim League

The foundation of Indian Ntional Congress in 1885was an attempt to narrow the Hindu-Muslim divide and and place the genuine grievance of all the communities in the country before the British. But Sir Syed and other Muslim Leaders like Ameer Ali projected the Congress as a represntative body of Hindus and thus thwarted the attempt of Hindu-Muslim unity.That was the reasons for poor participation of Muslims in the Congress. " Of the seventy two delegates present in the First session of the Congress only two muslims were present."Muslim leaders opposed the the Congress tooth and nail because their participation would create mis-understandings among the rulers.

Muslim orthodoxy or its patrons in elite sections in the community with the sword of religious identity and slogan - Islam in danger-challenged the political unity specially when Hindi was accepted as an official language in place of Urdu in the 1900s. in Uttarpradesh. Sir Sayed Ahmed died in 1898 but his followers Bitish India in defense laaunched agitation against this decision.

On the first Oct. 1906 a 15-member delegation of the Muslim nobles ,aristocracies, legal professionals,and other elite section of the community associated with Aligarh movement (formation of an institution of their own) gathered at Simla under the leadership of Aga Khan to present an address to Lord Minto.
Sayed Ahmed
The formation of AIML was a major landmark in the history of modern India.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bangladesh, Muslim League

At the zenith of the Anti-partition movement of Bengal, the monopoly capitalists of Great Britain opened two weapons from their armouries.
1. Religion is the Opium of the people,
2. Use the moderates against the extremists in Indian National Congress.
Formation of Muslim League :
Islamic rule was established across northern India between the 7th and the 14th centuries. The Mughal Empire ruled most of India from Delhi since the early 16th century until its power was broken by the British in the 19th century. This left a disempowered and discontented muslim minority, afraid of beingswamped by the Hindu majority. Muslim represents about 23 % of the population of british India, and constituted the majority of the population in Baluchistan, East Bengal, Kashmir Valley, North west frontier Province, Punjab region and the Sindh region of the Bombay Presidency.
Muslim elite like Nawab Abdul Latif, Syed Amir Ali (1849-1928 ) and others established cultural organisations for propagation of English education among the muslims in the absence of which the community would remain deprived of the benefits of the colonial rules.

Syed Ameer Ali (1849-1028)

Thus the Muslim Cultural Organisations like the Mohammedan Litery Society (1863), Central Mohamedan Association (1877), Sir Syed's United Indian Patriotic association (1888) and many otherlocal anzumans became more active in social regenerative activities than in politics.
The Muslim leaders of India met informally once a year ina conference to discuss educational problems of the Muslim community and to dessiminate the thought of loyalty to the Raj. Such a conference (All India Muslim Education Conference ) was held in Shahbag in Dhaka in 1906 against the backdrop of the congress sponsored against the Partition of Bengal (1905) and the Swadeshi Movement . Previously a deputation of Muslim leaders met the Governer General Lord Minto (1907-1911) at Simla in order to ventilate problems, special to the Muslim community of India.

Lord Minto

Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka who was at first supporter of anti-partition of Bengal, became a staunchest supporter of the Partition of Bengal felt the need to form a political party with the objectives of safeguarding the interests of the Indian Muslims, Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk, chairman of the conference, supported the motion and thus the All India Muslim League (AIML) came into being.

Nawab Salimullah of Dhaka

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bangladesh, Leaders of anti-Partition

Bankim Chandra Chatterje

Rabindra nath Tagore

Aurabinda Ghosh

Surendra nath Banerjee

Rash Behari Bose

Chitta ranjan Das

Lal mohan ghosh