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Surya Sen: Saga of an undaunted rebel

Feature
Published on : 12 January 2019, 08:11 AM
Surya Sen: Saga of an undaunted rebel

With the unfortunate defeat of Nawab Siraj Ud-Daulah in 1757, the independent era of Bengal came to an end for a long time. The tragic end of his reign marked the start of British East India Company rule over Bengal and later almost all of the Indian subcontinent. After 190 years of rule and exploitation, the British invader finally left this subcontinent. But their expulsion was not easy, it took hundreds of thousands of lives. Master Da Surya Sen is one of the heroes who sacrificed life in anti-British movement. Today marks his 85 Execution Day. On this day of 1934, he was executed by the British rulers. He will be remembered forever for leading the Chittagong armory raid in Chittagong.

Surya Sen was born on 22 March 1894 in an economically challenged family at Noapara, under Raozan Upazila in Chittagong. After losing his parent at a very tender age, Surya Sen grew up under the guardianship of his paternal uncle. He was studious, calm and righteous from his childhood.

Behind the title of Master Da, his profession of being a school teacher is the reason. The idea of nationalism influenced him greatly when he was still a student of Bachelor of Arts at Bahrampore College in 1916. His teacher Shatishchandra Chakrabarti initiated revolutionary thought in him first. Then, it became official when he was selected as the president of Indian National Congress of Chittagong branch in 1918.

Under his leadership, many young teenagers were inspired to fight against the British Cantonment. However, many of them were arrested while involved in separation missions in different parts of Chittagong to oust the British force by their country. The most renowned mission of Surya Sen and his associates were the Chittagong armory raid where they hoisted the Indian National Flag on the premises of the armory valiantly. Their attempt was to steal the armaments by the British army, but they failed to get ammunition and could only plunder arms.

After this mission, Sen stayed in hiding for days. Under disguise and different identify Sen started to roam the country, sometimes working as a day laborer, sometimes as a priest and sometimes as a farmer. However, he was captured by the British on February 16, 1933, by his hideout. Because of the deception of Sen`s comrade Brajen Sen`s brother Netra Sen, British was able to arrest him.

Netra Sen received his both awards, one by the British government for helping them to capture Surya Sen and another for the same job, but by a revolutionary who beheaded the traitor with a big knife. The traitor’s wife was a supporter of Master Da and therefore she never revealed the name of her husband’s murderer.

Before executing Master Da, the British tortured him viciously. They have plucked all his teeth one by one and pulled out his nails in the same manner. They did not stop there, they broke all the limbs and joints of his body.

His last words for his friends that he wrote in a letter were most heart-breaking. It 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.”

This region was liberated by British rule, the dream of Surya Sen has come true. But he could not see this freedom. He had to give the ultimate sacrifice for it. Today the country is observing his Execution Day with daylong programs remembering his contribution on the independence movement of India. Bangla Insider remembers this great hero with the utmost respect and prays for his departed soul.

BanglaInsider/SM