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Biplabi Dhrubesh Chattopadhyay

Biplabi Dhrubesh Chattopadhyay was an active member of revolutionary movement against the British. He was arrested in connection with Dakshineswar Bomb Case and a British Tribunal sent him to 7 years of rigorous imprisonment. In the jail, Dhrubesh took part in the killing of Special Superintendent of Police and a leading British spy Bhupen Chatterjee. He was then sent to a jail in Burma and from there to infamous Cellular jail in the Andamans.

Andamans, in those days, was the home of all leading revolutionaries and organizers of freedom movement. The British Jail administration took special care to ensure that very few prisoners could go home. Malnutrition, disease, unhygienic condition and above all hard manual work made sure most prisoners died there or became so weak as to never take part in freedom movement. Dhrubesh Chattopadhyay was a victim of this systematic British campaign to weaken revolutionary fire. Though he survived the ordeal, his health became fragile.

The heroic Andaman prisoners started indefinite hunger strike against this inhuman treatment on July 25, 1937. The news of their hunger strike reached Bengal and immediately stoked a huge fire of unrest. In spite of his ill health - Rabindranath Tagore led the movement in support of Andaman prisoners. Gandhiji also joined the movement to bring back Andaman prisoners.

After 37 days of hunger strike - the British had to accept defeat and agreed to bring back the prisoners to more human condition in mainland jails.

Dhrubesh came in contact with Communist leaders In the jail, - Harekrishna Kongar, Ananta Chakravorty, Nalin Das, Fakir Sen etc. They formed a Communist Consolidation cell and even celebrated May Day in 1935.

13 years of hardship in British jail took heavy toll of Dhrubesh's life. His health became so fragile that the British had to send him to Calcutta Central jail in 1937. He was released from jail after 4 months - but fragile health and Tuberculosis did not allow him to take active organizational work.

Even in this condition, he took part in Uttarpara Hadcol (Bone meal factory) workers' struggle alongwith Manoranjan Hazra and organized Farmers' movement in Makhla Bonder Bill.

However, his health worsened day by day and ultimately died on April 15' 1938 at young age of only 34 years.

 

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