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But that happened recently in India, where a study of the Chittagong Uprising of the s qnd to a star studded Bollywood film. Madhu Singh — associate professor at the University of Lucknow in northern India — explores the anti-colonial episode which Bollywood has brought back into the spotlight:. While its success at the box office was modest, it had one notable achievement — reviving the story of one of the most serious but lesser known chagterjee of colonial history, the Chittagong Uprising The Chittagong Uprising New Delhi: It recreated the exploits of a school teacher turned rebel leader Surjya Sen and his band of armed revolutionaries fighting the British Empire.
And so, after eighty long years of amnesia, the icons of the Uprising — Surjya Sen and his fiery recruits — stepped out of the dusty pages of history onto the silver screen. Set in s colonial Bengal, the film opens with a close shot of the British police usurping a playground from a group of teenagers to set up their camp. Dismayed by the loss of their playground, the youngsters meet Surjya Sen — their first encounter with the well known revolutionary- and ask him to get their playground restored to them.
The initial slow pace of the film gives way to action scenes in the second half which recreate the key stages of the Uprising: Though the film ends on a sad note with the defeat of the revolutionaries, it powerfully establishes the charterjee right of the masses in every oppressed country to resist imperialist occupation. In an interview, the director, Ashutosh Gowariker, admitted that as the film was based on a well researched work, it was a challenge to re-create the era.
The choice of locale was important. So, to replicate the period look of rural BengalGowariker shot the film almost entirely in the countryside of Goa with its palm fringed seacoast and green paddy fields. He and his art director, Nitin Chandrakant Desai, also worked on a lot maniin period detailing — colonial style bungalows and buildings, costumes, vintage cars, arms and ammunition of the British period and other relics of the British Raj such as the.
Their plan was to lay siege to the European Club and to hold the town, free from British control, for a week by destroying the railway and telegraph lines.
The Government would then call the army and they would fight to the finish. All the important British outposts were attacked and set aflame. Chattagram was cut off from the outside world for a while. An unprepared administration, led by the District Magistrate and a few British officials, tried to salvage the situation by firing on the revolutionaries but had to beat a hasty retreat after a fierce counter attack.
Do And Die : The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34
After xnd raids, the revolutionary group gathered outside the police armoury where Surjya Sen took a military salute, hoisted the National Flag and proclaimed a Provisional Revolutionary Government amid cries of Bande mataram [Hail Motherland] and Inquilab zindabad [Long Live the Revolution].
Though the liberation of Chattagram lasted only a few hours, it set out to prove that the British were not invincible and to provide a revolutionary example for the country to follow. The revolutionaries left Chattagram town before dawn with a large quantity of arms and ammunition and marched towards the nearby Jalalabad hills, seeking shelter in its forests.
On the fourth day, 22nd AprilBritish army battalions surrounded the spot where they were hiding. There ensued a hugely unequal battle.
The young rebels, mostly teenagers, fought desperately with only police muskets to hand against well-trained troops with superior weapons.
Attacks and counter attacks followed with casualties on both sides — the British army had not suffered losses on such a scale for many years. The survivors later split into smaller groups and spread janini to nearby villages in search of refuge. A massive government crackdown followed.
Many rebels and sympathizers were detained, tortured and hanged. Eventually on 17th Februaryfollowing a tip off, Surjya Sen was arrested from his hideout near Chattagram. The British administration had put an award of ten thousand rupees — a huge sum then — on his head.
Surjya Sen was charged with treason and sentenced to death. Due to well founded fears of mass revolt, the time of his execution was kept a closely guarded secret. The s was a period of great radicalisation in India with little ideological consensus within the nationalist movement.
For these nationalists disillusioned by the Gandhian policy of appeasement especially during the Civil Disobedience movement, Irish resistance to the British Empire provided a heroic model to emulate.
Udoyer pother shuni kar bani Bhoi nai ore koribe dan Nihsheshe pran je korbe dan Kshay nai ore kshay nai Yonder in the realm of sunrise whose voice rings out, what is there to fear? He who offers his whole fie as a libation shall overcome mortality Gohain Fre Chattagram Uprising saw the participation of young women in action for the first time in the revolutionary history of Bengal. In an official report submitted inthe British officials noted this as a particularly alarming phenomenon.
Despite a ban on women members in underground revolutionary organizations, two women in particular — Pritilata Waddedar and Kalpana Datta — became frontline fighters in numerous hit-and-run attacks on British targets. A student chatterjer chemistry, she would cnatterjee make bombs at her workshop in her Chittagong home. She was arrested but escaped the tragic fate that others met and was sentenced to transportation for life. Pritilata Chattegjee, on the other hand, was a student of literature, and came from a humble background.
She acted as a courier and messenger and regularly wrote pamphlets that were periodically issued by the Indian Revolutionary army IRA. The raid was successful but Pritilata was badly wounded.
She swallowed potassium cyanide capsule to evade arrest and died a martyr. A hand written note found on her body after the raid declared: After the martyrdom of Surjya Sen and other revolutionary leaders such as Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad, the prolonged saga of revolutionary terrorism came to an end but the spirit of revolution continued to live on albeit in a new avatar.
In spite of this remarkable subject matter, the film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se drew a muted response from the audience. In a review, the Bengali journal Rangalay praised the film: Che Guevera, once said: Yet Surjya Sen and his band of young recruits triumphed over their deaths and films such as these will continue to stoke the fire of remembrance for a vo time to come.
Literature and Politics in the Age of Nationalism: Communism and Nationalism in India: Social Scientist, July -August Interview by Sourav Bhattacherjee. The Independent, Friday, 26 Nov.
National Book Trust, Oxford University Press, Easter Rebellion in India: Marxist Study Forum, Indian Popular Films as Social History. I believe this area has not been explored too much. I had a short query: I have myself done some reseach on the uprising in Meerut and Lucknow.
Would be interested in touching base with you. Thanks for your interest in the the piece. A well researched and documented article. There are many contemporary newspaper articles, police reports and Hansard parliamentary references to what official accounts claimed happened. Rather like the false populist story behind the Boston Tea Party, it serves little purpose to either history, or the lessons we can draw from it, if we lose balance and accuracy. Your email address will not be published.
Do And Die : The Chittagong Uprising by Manini Chatterjee
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Madhu Singh — associate professor at the University of Lucknow in northern India — explores the anti-colonial episode which Bollywood has brought back into the spotlight: Chittagong Armoury Raid or Uprising? Chittagong in ‘s After the raids, the revolutionary group gathered outside the police armoury where Surjya Sen took a military salute, hoisted the National Flag and proclaimed a Provisional Revolutionary Government amid cries of Bande mataram [Hail Motherland] and Inquilab zindabad [Long Live the Revolution].
The Government of Bangladesh designated it as a monument. Further reading on the Chittagong Uprising Ahmad, Talat.
Bollywood & Revolutionary Bengal: Revisiting the Chittagong Uprising (1930-34)
Monday, December 6th, Bangladesh Chittagong Uprising cinema featured. Amit Rathor November 20, at 5: A true Indian July 25, at 6: Rajput son May 11, at 7: Leave a Comment Cancel Your email address will not be published. Name Email Address Website. Tags activism archives Brexit Cold War colonialism communism Conference education empire fascism featured feminism football gender maninni education history History Workshop History Workshop Archive History Workshop Archives immigration imperialism India Japan London memory migration museums oral history protest public history race racism radical history Radical Objects Raphael Samuel revolution Ruskin College Russia Second World War slavery strike twentieth century United States women’s history working class.
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