Surya Sen

Master da
Surya Sen
Native name সূর্য সেন (Surjo Sen)
Born Surya kumar Sen
(1894-03-22)22 March 1894
Noapara, Raozan, Chittagong District, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Bangladesh)
Died 12 January 1934(1934-01-12) (aged 39)
Chittagong, Bengal Presidency, British India
Organization Indian National Congress Anushilan Samiti
Known for Chittagong armoury raid
Movement Indian Independence movement

Surya Sen (Bengali : সূর্য সেন, Surjo Sen ) (22 March 1894  12 January 1934) was a revolutionary who was influential in the Indian independence movement (against British rule) and who is noted for leading the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid In Chittagong of Bengal in British India (now in Bangladesh). Sen was a school teacher by profession and was popularly called as Master Da ("da" is a honorific suffix in Bengali language). He was influenced by the nationalist ideals in 1916 while he was a student of B.A. in Behrampore College.[1] In 1918 he was selected as president of Indian National Congress, Chittagong branch[2]. He was known for his brilliant actions and effort in Indian history by taking young teenagers and turning them into revolutionaries against the British stationed in Chittagong with this bold step of recruiting in teenagers then fought against the British Cantonment and in the mountainous regions of Chittagong like Jalalabad hills, but then separated and went their separate ways still trying to get the British out of Chittagong, various attempts were successful in the beginning but many failed as well and many revolutionaries were arrested which broke movement.

Early life

Sen was born on 22 March 1894[3] in a Baidya family at Noapara, under Raozan Upazila in Chittagong. His father Ramaniranjan Sen was a teacher. In 1916 when he was a B.A. student in Berhampore College he learned about Indian freedom movement from one of his teachers. He felt attracted towards revolutionary ideals and joined a revolutionary organization Anushilan Samity. After completing his studies he returned to Chittagong in 1918 and joined as a Mathematics teacher at National school, Nandankanan . At that time, Indian National Congress was the most prominent political party there.

Chittagong armoury raid

Sen led a group of revolutionaries on 18 April 1930 to raid the armoury of police and auxiliary forces from the Chittagong armoury.[4] The plan was elaborate and included seizing of arms from the armoury as well as destruction of communication system of the city (including telephone, telegraph and railway), thereby isolating Chittagong from the rest of British India.[4] However, although the group could loot the arms, they failed to get the ammunition. They hoisted the Indian National Flag on the premises of the armoury, and then escaped. A few days later, a large fraction of the revolutionary group was cornered in the nearby Jalalabad Hills by the British troops. In the ensuing fight, twelve Revolutionaries died, many were arrested, while some managed to flee, including Sen.[4]

Arrest and death

The gallows in Chittagong Central Jail, Bangladesh, where Sen was hanged. The Government of Bangladesh has designated it a historical monument.

Sen stayed in hiding, and kept moving from one place to another. Sometimes he took up a job as a workman, a farmer, a priest, a house worker or even as a pious Muslim. This is how he avoided being captured by the British. He once hid in the house of a man called Netra Sen. But Netra Sen informed the British of his hiding, and the police came and captured him in February 1933. Before Netra Sen could be rewarded by the British, a revolutionary came into his house and beheaded him with da (a long knife). As Netra Sen's wife was a big supporter of Surya Sen, she never disclosed the name of the revolutionary who killed Netra Sen.Another revolutionary named Tarakeswar Dastidar was also hanged with Sen. After his death, He was given burial at sea.

His last letter was written to his friends and 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."

Indian film director Ashutosh Gowariker directed the film Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010) about Sen's life. Actor Abhishek Bachchan played the role of Sen.[5] Another film Chittagong (2012) directed by Bedabrata Pain was about Sen's armoury raid. Manoj Bajpayee played the leading role.[6].

See also


  1. Islam, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Chief ed. Sirajul (2003). "Mastarda" Surya Sen (1. publ. ed.). Dhaka: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 9843205766. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  2. Chakrabarti, Bidyut (1990). Subhas Chandra Bose and Middle Class Radicalism: A Study in Indian Nationalism, 1928-1940. I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd. p. 108. ISBN 1850431493.
  3. Mrinal Sen (2002). Montage: Life, Politics, Cinema. Seagull Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-8170461647. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  4. 1 2 3 Chandra, Bipan (1989). India's Struggle for Independence: 1857-1947. Penguin Books India. pp. 251–252. ISBN 978-0-14-010781-4.
  5. "Ashutosh Gowariker's Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey to be released on December 3". Daily News & Analysis. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  6. "'Chittagong': Manoj Bajpayee took no money for the film". The Times of India. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
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