On March 22, 1894, Surya Kumar Sen was born in Chittagong, Bengal Presidency. He became an optimistic and self-reliant young man as he grew older. He graduated from Behrampore College with a B.A. One of his teachers introduced him to the principles of the Indian freedom movement while he was a student there. He immediately identified with the revolutionary beliefs and joined the Anushilan Samiti, a revolutionary group.
Surya Sen joined the National School, Nandankanan, as a teacher after completing his studies. Additionally, he deepened his commitment in the fight for Indian independence during this time and joined the Indian National Congress, the country’s most important political organisation. He was chosen to lead the Chittagong branch of the Indian National Congress in 1918.
on April 18, 1930, and most Europeans were at home. They sounded an alarm and killed the troops when they learned about the raid. Surya Sen raised the national flag, saluted the troops, and declared a Provisional Revolutionary Government as the revolutionaries gathered outside the police armoury
He became well-known as a teacher quite fast. He used to talk to his students about the significance of the independence struggle in addition to his regular teaching obligations. Together with similar-minded individuals like Nirmal Sen and Ambika Chakraborty, he founded a revolutionary group.
He was effective in bringing revolutionary ideas to many areas of the Chittagong district by the early 1920s. Given the many difficulties they were facing, such as the dearth of supplies and other resources, he was certain that a covert guerilla attack was currently required.
He planned to assault the armoury of police and auxiliary forces from the Chittagong armoury in Bengal province of British India because he thought that violence was necessary to transform the independence war. To arrange this operation, he collaborated with other revolutionaries like as Ganesh Ghosh, Lokenath Bal, Naresh Roy, Sasanka Datta, Ardhendu Dastidar, and others.
He suggested that the group assassinate members of the “European Club,” or the military or Government figures responsible for upholding the British Raj in India, after seizing the two main armouries in Chittagong and destroying the telegraph and telephone office. The elaborate plan also included cutting off rail and communication lines in order to sever Chittagong from Calcutta. Sen intended for this strategy to demonstrate to others that it was possible to go up against the British empire’s military force.
On April 18, 1930, the plan was carried out. The police armoury was taken by a party of revolutionaries commanded by Ganesh Ghosh, while the Auxiliary Forces armoury was taken by a second group of ten men under the leadership of Lokenath Bal. The raid, which was carried out in the guise of the Indian Republican Army, Chittagong Branch, involved 65 people in total. Surya Sen, wearing a spotless white khadi dhoti, a long coat, and a stiffly pressed Gandhi cap, saluted the soldiers, raised the national flag to the sounds of Vande Mataram and Inquilab Zindabad, and declared a Provincial revolutionary Government as all the revolutionary groups assembled outside the Police Armory. The revolutionaries could not locate ammunition though they were successful in cutting telephone and telegraph wires and disrupting the movement of the trains.
However, Good Friday was on April 18, 1930, and most Europeans were at home. They sounded an alarm and killed the troops when they learned about the raid. Surya Sen raised the national flag, saluted the troops, and declared a Provisional Revolutionary Government as the revolutionaries gathered outside the police armoury.
The revolutionaries sought refuge in the Jalalabad Hills near Chittagong following the raid. They were besieged by thousands of soldiers on April 22, 1930, and a brutal gunfight that followed. 12 revolutionaries and around 80 soldiers were killed. The remaining revolutionaries were divided into tiny groups and scattered to nearby villages by Surya Sen. Over the following days, some of them were detained or killed while others managed to flee to Calcutta. Sen himself kept a low profile and constantly changed locations. He held jobs as a farmer, milkman, priest, and other occupations during this time. The other exiled revolutionaries, meantime, were able to patch up their disjointed group.
When Netra Sen, a group insider, betrayed Surya Sen and revealed his location to the British authorities, the movement was dealt a severe blow. On February 16, 1933, Surya Sen was detained by the police. Netra Sen was murdered by one of the rebels when he became enraged.
Following Sen’s imprisonment, Tarakeshwar Dastidar, a fellow revolutionary, devised a plot to free him from the Chittagong jail. But when the police found out about the scheme, they stopped it, arresting everyone involved. The British executed Surya Sen and Tarekeshwar Dastidar on January 12, 1934. Before his death, he was subjected to horrendous torture. Death is at my door, knocking. My thoughts are veering off into eternity. What shall I leave behind you at such a delightful, at such a grave, at such a solemn moment? There is just one thing, and that is my dream—a golden dream—of a free India. Never forget April 18, 1930, the day of Chittagong’s Eastern Rebellion. In his final letter to his friends before his execution, Sen urged them to “write in red characters in the core of your hearts the names of the patriots who have given their lives at the altar of India’s freedom.” Many movies on the life of this brave revolutionary have been made.
These include Bengali movie Chattagram Astragar Lunthan (1949), Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010)
and Chittagong’ (2012).