Tuesday, November 1, 2011

History of Armed Revolution -- Anushilan Samity (contd-1)

Political activities began taking an organised form in Bengal at the beginning of the 20th century. By 1902, Calcutta had three societies working under the umbrella of Anushilan Samity, a society earlier founded by a Calcutta barrister by the name of Pramatha Mitra. These included Mitra's own group, another led by a Bengalee lady by the name of Sarala Devi, and a third one led by Aurobindo Ghosh- one of the strongest proponents of militant nationalism of the time. The Anushilan Samiti had Sri Aurobindo and Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das as the vice-presidents, Suren Tagore the treasurer. Jatindra Nath Banerjee (Niralamba Swami), Jatindra Nath Mukherjee (Bagha Jatin), Bhupendra Nath Datta (Swami Vivekananda's brother), Barindra Ghosh younger brother of Aurobindo Ghose, were among other initial leaders. By 1906, the works of Aurobindo and his brother Barindra Ghosh allowed Anushilan Samity to spread through Bengal. The controversial 1905 partition of Bengal had a widespread political impact: it stimulated radical nationalist sentiments in the Bhadralok community in Bengal, and helped Anushilan acquire a support base amongst of educated, politically conscious and disaffected young in local youth societies of Bengal. The Dhaka branch of the Anushilan Samiti was formed by Pulin Behari Das, who was once a teacher in the Dhaka Government College and, later, a founding headmaster of 'National School' (Dhaka), along with his followers, in 1906. He, like Barindra Ghosh, believed in a highly centralised one-leader organisation. Under their leadership, respectively in Dhaka and elsewhere, in a spirit of a boastful showdown, Anushilan Samiti slowly adopted untimely terrorism programmes during the first decade of 20th century, with 1905 Partition of Bengal acting as a major catalyst. The Dhaka branch of Anushilan was led by Pulin Behari Das and spread branches through East Bengal and Assam. Aurobindo and Bipin Chandra Pal, a Bengali politician, began in 1907 the radical Bengali nationalist publication of Jugantar (Lit:Change), and its English counterpart Bande Mataram. Among the early recruits who emerged noted leaders where Rash Behari Bose, Jatindranath Mukherjee, and Jadugopal Mukherjee.