Women Revolutionaries in Bengal- A Tale to Remember

A tale to remember- Women revolutionaries in West Bengal

The first files on women revolutionaries in Bengal seemed in the Intelligence Branch of British India roughly around 1919. And through 1947, extra than 200 cases of conviction and sentencing of women had been recorded in those files. Along with those convictions and sentences, the documents of the Intelligence Branch of West Bengal had a long listing of women revolutionaries or suspects – about 900. Along with the files, the West Bengal State Archives also has history sheets on revolutionaries and lots of glass and film negatives that file info in their surveillance. All such exciting information about women revolutionaries is contained in a current publication titled Women in the War of Freedom Unveiled, Bengal 1919-1947: Glimpse from Archival records. Madhurima Sen, the writer of the book, brings to the fore several exciting records about the Indian freedom warfare from the functioning of the British Intelligence Branch in Bengal, which stored surveillance on the revolutionaries by preserving a ‘blue list and a ‘red list. The book additionally highlights the function of sure periodicals, mainly journals added through women, and custody info of the women revolutionaries. 

Ms. Sen, an archivist at West Bengal State Archives has additionally derived facts from its image data wing to which many did not have access. The Directorate of State Archives, West Bengal, which is one of the most important repositories of files from the colonial duration in this part of the country, has a set of about 50,000 glass and film negatives, together with photographic print, all of which can be associated to ‘modern activities’ in the 20th century. 

“Most women stated in the IB files got here from Hindu higher and center classes, who may want to emerge from seclusion and broaden a life within and out of doors their families and identify themselves with social and political causes. We, however, discover the names of Halima Khatun and Razia Khatun from Mymensingh district, Jobeda Khatun and Jayanab Rahim who had been related to the modern/nationalist organizations in their time,” the guide says referring to the socio-political situation of the pre-Independent India, mainly Bengal.

Ms. Sen stated the trend of women’s region-smart participation in the modern movement advises that “conviction of women in the eastern a part of Bengal become some distance more than the western part”. The maximum numbers of accused have been from Chittagong,” the book stated, including that the numbers may have extended after the Chittagong Armoury Raid (1930). In the western part of Bengal, the book says that women revolutionaries have been energetic in Kolkata and adjacent areas of 24 Parganas (North and South), Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura, and Midnapore. “Women’s wings have become active among the students of schools in Kolkata. Bethune College had turned out to be a center of radical feminist agitation,” she stated. 

The book draws attention to positive journals of the pre-Independent length which performed a crucial role in mobilizing girls for ‘modern activities’. One specific mention is to Jayasree, a journal posted through women whose identify page courting February 1939 is contained in the book. While the book has delivered numerous little-known records about women revolutionaries to light, some factors require extra study and research. Ms. Sen refers to at least one such modern, Sudhangshubala Sircar, whose call is mentioned in the well-known Alipore Bomb Case ( 1908). The book has a four-web page ‘records sheet’ on her organized in 1909 through the Intelligence Branch. “Despite being of such importance, there are no references to her after 1908-09 and we’re searching out extra fabric on her,” Ms. Sen stated. She additionally mentioned that in several cases, there are photos however no supportive information on the women. 

From Dukhoribala Devi, the primary woman to be convicted for revolutionary activities, to Lila Nag, the first woman to be recruited as a member of a modern organization (Dacca Shree Sangha) in 1924, the book additionally has an in-depth transcription of the statement of Bina Das, arrested for her strive at the lifestyles of Governor Stanley Jackson. Along with the names of well-known women revolutionaries – Kalpana Dutta, Bina Das, Pritilata Wadder/Waddedar, Santi, and Suniti – the publication contains names of numerous little-known women revolutionaries who made “unforgettable contributions to the boom of militant nationalism in India”.

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