This Section carry articles written by Prof. Satyavrata Ghosh who was a veteran freedom fighter. These articles highlight the contributions of numerous revolutionaries towards our freedom struggle.
Surya Sen and Chittagong Uprising
Rash Behari Bose
Vanchi Assasinates Ashe
Veer Savarkar Leaps for Liberty
Madame Cama
Blood Bath at Budge-Budge
Three Collectors Killed
Murder and Martyrdom
Battle of the Verandah
Sewa Singh
Agni Kanya
Bina Das
Shyamji Krishna Verma and India House
"Champak-Chatto" And the Berlin Committee
A Daylight Dacoity by Boat
Anil Biswas And Me
Kakori Train Dacoity

FLASH BACK : Agni Kanya Bina Das

Bina Das

Bina Das, in real life, was the daughter of Beni Madhav Das who had taught Subhas Chandra Bose at the school in Cuttack. She later earned the epithet of Agni Kanya (daughter of fire), after she fired at the Governor in the Convocation Hall in Kolkata University. She had an elder sister, Kalyani, who also was a revolutionary and an important organiser of Chhatri-Sangh. Bina was quiet by nature. She was more of a poet and a philosopher, cultured to the core. But once she decided on her action, which made her Agni-Kanya, she was 'as firm as the Northern Star'. In the atmosphere then prevailing in Bengal, everything appeared to be appropriate, even to shoot at the Governor, Sir Stanley Jackson, at the Convocation Hall. It was a solemn and serious occasion. But Bina Di's action was above them, daring and dedicated. The first problem was to secure the weapon. Kamala Das Gupta, a close friend of her sister Kalyani, was helpful. Strictly speaking it was against the inter-party ethics, for, Kamala Das Gupta belonged to another group of revolutionaries, the women's wing of the Yugantar Party. A girl of one party should not normally be helped by another for any outstanding action. But Bina's earnestness and affection overcame all impediments. It was a smuggled weapon; costing Rs. 280/- got through a comrade, Sudhir Ghosh.

With the instrument hidden under her sari, Kamaladi reached Ram Mohan Roy Library in North Kolkata. The hero-to-be was a novice. She was explained every part of the weapon but actual firing could not be taught, as was possible for Shanti Suniti of Comilla, who practiced shooting in a nearby hilly area, Maina Mati. That probably explains why Bina failed in her attempt to kill Jackson. Col. Surawardi, also on the dais, jumped down and tried to snatch the weapon. But she went on shooting till over-powered by the stronger of the two. She was taken to the much dreaded Elysium Row. Interrogation without interruption continued for full 48 hours. But the frail looking girl proved more than a match for the sturdy policemen and their methods. They were particularly keen to know the source of the revolver which she never gave out. The trial that followed was a one way affair. She made a statement owning the entire responsibility for the affair and was awarded 9 years of rigorous imprisonment.

She spent her term in various jails. Shanti Suniti, the Teenagers of Comilla, were also with her in the same jail. But all came out in 1939 when there was a General Amnesty. About this time a re-thinking had started in the ranks of the revolutionaries. Many of them, particularly the younger group, decided to give up the path of Secret Society and violence. They worked with the Congress. Bina, with her literary talents and patriotic ideas worked ceaselessly with a monthly Bengali Magazine named Mandira. About the same time World War Second had its impact on the educated Indian minds. The articulate and sensitive Bina could not escape it. She was faced with many alternatives. There was M. N. Roy, with his intellectual appeal, a scientific approach to politics, both National and International and his romantic revolutionary past. On the Indian front he was pleading for an alternative leadership to the Congress. Bina liked it. But on the International Front, Roy was an inveterate enemy of Fascism. He even went to the extent of supporting British War efforts because Britain, at that point of history, was engaged in a war against Fascism. Bina's patriotism could not go so far. The other extreme was Subhas Chandra Bose who was always an enemy on the British Raj. Moreover, Subhas Babu had appealed to the Bengali minds in particular. But when the 'rebel child of Indian politics' went over to Berlin and joined hands with Hitler, Bina's cultural mind remained wavering between the two extremes.

The Congress was following a dual policy, not supporting the war efforts nor opposing it either. The Quit India Movement appeared to be a way out. It had a tremendous effect in India and Subhas from Berlin was constantly urging upon the Indians to throw the British Government out of his country. Bina also felt its powerful patriotic impact and even went to jail for three years. On release she was a member of the Provincial Assembly for Five years. It was on a Congress ticket. The thirties saw Bengal being swept by a new ideological wave. It affected, in particular, young men and women who came back form Andamans, Jails and Detention. But Bina was not much affected by the contagion of communism which, however, left a deep mark on Bengal politics. It was the only state in India which had remained under Communist rule for a longest period. But when the Communists suddenly changed their attitude to the War after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Bina was again shaken. The Communists used to call the War an Imperialist War but had a sudden somersault when the same War had been termed as People's War. Bina's sensitive mind was again badly shaken. Ultimately, the Agni-Kanya of yesterday took leave of politics and left for the Himalyayas to die on the road-side beyond Hrishikesh unknown, unhonoured and unsung.

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