Sarala Devi Chaudhurani
Sarala Devi Chaudhurani, born Sarala Ghosal, was the founder of the first women's organisation in India, the Bharat Stree Mahamandal in Allahabad in 1910. One of the primary goals of the organization was to promote female education, which at that time was not well developed; the organization opened several offices in Lahore, Delhi, Amritsar, Kanpur, Hazaribagh and Kolkata to improve the situation of women all over India. Sarala was born at Jorasanko, Kolkata on 9 September 1872 to a well known Bengali intellectual family, her father Janakinath Ghosal was one of the earliest secretaries of the Bengal Congress. Her mother Swarnakumari Devi, a noted author, was the daughter of Debendranath Tagore, a leading Brahmo leader, elder sister of poet Rabindranath Tagore, her older sister, was an author and founder of a widow's home. Sarla Devi's family was a follower of Brahmo Samaj, a riligion founded by Ram Mohan Roy and developed by Sarala's grandfather Debendranath Tagore. In 1886, she passed her University Entrance examination.
In 1890, she passed her BA examination in English literature from Bethune College and received the Padmavati Gold Medal for the best woman student. She was one of the few women graduates of her time, the first woman political leader from Bengal in the Indian independence movement. During anti partition agitation she spread the gospel of nationalism in Punjab and maintained secret revolutionary society. After finshing her study, Sarala went to Mysore State and joined the Maharani Girls' School as a teacher. From 1895, she edited a Bharati jointly with her mother and sister for a few years, on her own from 1899 to 1907, with the aim of to propagate patriotism and a patriotic spirit and to raise up the literary standard of the journal. In 1904, she started the Lakshmir Bhandar in Kolkata to popularize native handicrafts produced by women. In 1910, she founded the Bharat Stree Mahamandal, which regarded by many historians as the first all-India organization for women. With several branches in the country, it promoted education and vocational training for women without consideration of class and religion.
In 1905, under family pressure, Sarala Devi married Rambhuj Dutt Chaudhary, a lawyer, nationalist leader and follower of Arya Samaj, the Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati. After her marriage she moved to Punjab, where she helped her husband to edit the nationalist Urdu weekly Hindusthan, which converted in English; when her husband arrested for his involvement in Non-cooperation movement, Mahatma Gandhi visited her home in Lahore as a guest. Her only son, married Gandhi's granddaughter Radha. After her husband's death in 1923, Sarala Devi returned to Kolkata, started again editing Bharati from 1924 to 1926, she established a girls' school, Siksha Sadan in Kolkata in 1930. She retired from public life in 1935 and indulged towards religious, accepting the Bijoy Krishna Goswami, a Vaishnavite, as her spiritual teacher, she died on 18 August 1945 in Kolkata. Her autobiography Jivaner Jhara Pata was serialized in Desh, a Bengali literary magazine, during the period of her life, in 1942–1943.
It was translated into English by Sikata Banerjee as The Scattered Leaves of My Life. Chaudhurani, Sarala Devi; the Many Worlds of Sarala Devi: A Diary: Translated from the Bengali Jeevaner Jharapata. Translated by Ray, Sukhendu. New Delhi: Social Science Press. ISBN 978-81-87358-31-2. Works by Sarala Devi Chaudhurani at Google Books
Bipin Chandra Pal
Bipin Chandra Pal was an Indian nationalist, a freedom fighter, writer and social reformer of Sylheti origin. He was one of the main architects of the Swadeshi movement, he stood against the partition of Bengal. Bipin Chandra Pal was born in the village of Poil, Sylhet, Bengal Presidency of British India, in a Hindu Bengali Kayastha Vaishnava family, his father was a Persian scholar and small landowner. He studied and taught at the Church Mission Society College, an affiliated college of the University of Calcutta, his son was one of the founders of Bombay Talkies. His son-in-law was the ICS officer, S. K. Dey, who became a union minister. Pal is known as the'Father of Revolutionary Thoughts' in India and was one of the freedom fighters of India. Pal became a major leader of the Indian National Congress. At the Madras session of congress held in 1887, Bipin Chandra Pal made a strong plea for repeal of the Arms Act, discriminatory in nature. Along with Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak he belonged to the Lal, Pal trio, associated with revolutionary activity.
Aurobindo Ghosh and Pal were recognised as the chief exponents of a new national movement revolving around the ideals of Purna Swaraj, Swadeshi and national education. His programme consisted of Swadeshi and national education, he preached and encouraged the use of Swadeshi and the Boycott of foreign goods to eradicate poverty and unemployment. He wanted to remove social evils from the form and arouse the feelings of nationalism through national criticism, he had no faith in mild protests in the form of Non-Cooperation with the British colonialists. On that one issue, the Assertive nationalist leader had nothing common with Mahatma Gandhi. During last six years of his life he led a secluded life. Sri Aurobindo referred to him as one of mightiest prophets of Nationalism; as a journalist, Pal worked for Bengal Public Opinion, The Tribune and New India, where he propagated his brand of nationalism. He wrote several articles warning India of the changes happening in China and other geopolitical situations.
In one of his writings, describing where the future danger for India will come from, Pal wrote under the title "Our Real Danger". The most prominent books of Pal include Indian Nationalism and Empire, Swaraj and the Present Situation, The Basis of Social Reform, The Soul of India. Owen, N, The British Left and India, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-923301-2 Lenman, Bruce. Chambers Dictionary of World History. London: Chambers Harrap. ISBN 978-0-550-10094-8 – via Credo Reference
Bagha Jatin, born Jatindranath Mukherjee, was an Indian Bengali revolutionary against British rule. He was the principal leader of the Yugantar party, the central association of revolutionaries in Bengal. Having met the German Crown-Prince in Calcutta shortly before World War I, he obtained the promise of arms and ammunition from Germany. Another of his original contributions was the inspiration of the Indian soldiers in various regiments in favour of an insurrection. Jatin was born to Sharatshashi and Umeshchandra Mukherjee in Kayagram, a village in the Kushtia subdivision of Nadia district in what is now Bangladesh, he grew up in his ancestral home at Sadhuhati, P. S. Rishkhali Jhenaidah until his father's death. Well versed in Brahmanic studies, his father liked horses and was respected for the strength of his character. Sharatshashi settled in her parents' home in Kayagram with her husband and his elder sister Benodebala. A gifted poet, she was stern in her method of raising her children. Familiar with the essays by contemporary thought leaders like Bankimchandra Chatterjee and Yogendra Vidyabhushan, she was aware of the social and political transformations of her times.
Her brother Basanta Kumar Chattopadhyay taught and practised law, counted among his clients the poet Rabindranath Tagore. Since the age of 14, Tagore had claimed in meetings organised by his family members equal rights for Indian citizens inside railway carriages and in public places; as Jatin grew older, he gained a reputation for great strength. He not only encouraged several playwrights to produce patriotic pieces for the urban stage, but engaged village bards to spread nationalist fervour in the countryside. Jatin had a natural respect for heedless of class or caste or religions, he carried for an aged Muslim villager a heavy bundle of fodder and, on reaching her hut, he shared with her the only platter of rice she had, sent her some money every month. After passing the Entrance examination in 1895 from Krishnanagar Anglo-vernacular School, Jatin joined the Calcutta Central College, to study Fine Arts. At the same time, he took lessons in steno typing with Mr Atkinson: this is a new qualification opening possibilities of a coveted career.
Soon he started visiting Swami Vivekananda, whose social thought, his vision of a politically independent India – indispensable for the spiritual progress of humanity – had a great influence on Jatin. The Master taught him the art of conquering libido before raising a batch of young volunteers "with iron muscles and nerves of steel", to serve miserable compatriots during famines and floods and running clubs for "man-making" in the context of a nation under foreign domination, they soon assisted the Swami's Irish disciple, in this venture. According to J. E. Armstrong, Superintendent of the colonial Police, Jatin "owed his preeminent position in revolutionary circles, not only to his qualities of leadership, but in great measure to his reputation of being a Brahmachari with no thought beyond the revolutionary cause." Noticing his ardent desire to die for a cause, Swami Vivekananda sent Jatin to the Gymnasium of Ambu Guha where he himself had practised wrestling. Jatin met here, among others, Sachin Banerjee, son of Yogendra Vidyabhushan, who turned into Jatin's mentor.
In 1900, his uncle Lalit Kumar married Vidyabhushan's daughter. Fed up with the colonial system of education, Jatin left for Muzaffarpore in 1899, as secretary of barrister Pringle Kennedy and editor of the Trihoot Courrier, he was impressed by this historian: through his editorials and from the Congress platform, he showed how urgent it was to have an Indian National Army and to react against the British squandering of Indian budget to safeguard their interests in China and elsewhere. In 1900, Jatin married Indubala Banerjee of Kumarkhali upazila in Kushtia. Struck by Atindra’s death, with his wife and sister, set out on a pilgrimage and recovered their inner peace by receiving initiation from the saint Bholanand Giri of Hardwar. Aware of his disciple’s revolutionary commitments, the holy man extended to him his full support. Upon returning to his native village Koya in March 1906, Jatin learned about the disturbing presence of a leopard in the vicinity. Wounded, he managed killing it instantly.
The famous surgeon of Calcutta, Lt-Colonel Suresh Prasad Sarbadhikari, "took upon himself the responsibility for curing the wounded patient whose whole body had been poisoned by the tiger's nails." Impressed by Jatin's exemplary heroism, Dr Sarbadhikari published an article about Jatin in the English press. The Government of Bengal awarded him a silver shield with the scene of him killing the tiger engraved on it; the title'Bagha', meaning'Tiger' in Bengali, became associated with him since then. Several sources mention Jatin as being among the founders of the Anushilan Samiti in 1900, as a pioneer in creating its branche
Anushilan Samiti was a Bengali Indian organisation that existed in the first quarter of the twentieth century, propounded revolutionary violence as the means for ending British rule in India. The organisation arose from a conglomeration of local youth groups and gyms in Bengal in 1902, it had two prominent, if somewhat independent, arms in East and West Bengal identified as Dhaka Anushilan Samiti centred in Dhaka, the Jugantar group respectively. From its foundation to its gradual dissolution during the 1930s, the Samiti challenged British rule in India by engaging in militant nationalism, including bombings and politically-motivated violence. During its existence, the Samiti collaborated with other revolutionary organisations in India and abroad, it was led by nationalists such as Aurobindo Ghosh and his brother Barindra Ghosh, influenced by philosophies as diverse as Hindu Shakta philosophy propounded by Bengali literaetuer Bankim and Vivekananda, Italian Nationalism, Pan-Asianism of Kakuzo Okakura.
The Samiti was involved in a number of noted incidences of revolutionary attacks against British interests and administration in India within the decade of its founding, including early attempts to assassinate Raj officials whilst led by the Ghosh brothers. These were followed by the 1912 attempt on the life of the Viceroy of India, the Sedetious conspiracy during World War I led by Rash Behari Bose and Jatindranath Mukherjee respectively; the organisation moved away from its philosophy of violence in the 1920s, when a number of its members identified with the Congress and Gandhian non-violent movement, but a section of the group, notably under Sachindranath Sanyal, remained active in revolutionary movement, founding the Hindustan Republican Association in north India. A number of Congress leaders from Bengal Subhash Chandra Bose, were accused by the British Government of having links with, allowing patronage to, the organisation during this time; the organisation's violent and radical philosophy revived in the 1930s, when it was involved in the Kakori conspiracy, the Chittagong armoury raid, other attempts against the administration in British India and Raj officials.
Shortly after its inception, the organisation became the focus of an extensive police and intelligence operation which led to the founding of the Special branch of the Calcutta Police. Notable officers who led the police and intelligence operations against the Samiti at various times included Sir Robert Nathan, Sir Harold Stuart, Sir Charles Stevenson-Moore and Sir Charles Tegart; the threat posed by the activities of the Samiti in Bengal during World War I, along with the threat of a Ghadarite uprising in Punjab, led to the passage of Defence of India Act 1915. These measures enabled the arrest, internment and execution of a number of revolutionaries linked to the organisation, which crushed the East Bengal Branch. In the aftermath of the war, the Rowlatt committee recommended extending the Defence of India Act to thwart any possible revival of the Samiti in Bengal and the Ghadarite movement in Punjab. After the war, the activities of the party led to implementation of the Bengal Criminal Law Amendment in the early 1920s, which reinstated the powers of incarceration and detention from the Defence of India Act.
However, the Anushilan Samiti disseminated into the Gandhian movement. Some of its members left for the Indian National Congress led by Subhas Chandra Bose, while others identified more with Communism; the Jugantar branch formally dissolved in 1938. In independent India, the party in West Bengal evolved into the Revolutionary Socialist Party, while the Eastern Branch evolved into the Shramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal in present-day Bangladesh; the growth of the Indian middle class during the 18th century, amidst competition among regional powers and the ascendancy of the British East India Company, led to a growing sense of "Indian" identity. The refinement of this perspective fed a rising tide of nationalism in India in the last decades of the 1800s, its speed was abetted by the creation of the Indian National Congress in India in 1885 by A. O. Hume; the Congress developed into a major platform for the demands of political liberalisation, increased autonomy and social reform. However, the nationalist movement became strong and violent in Bengal and in Punjab.
Notable, if smaller, movements appeared in Maharashtra and other areas in the South. The movement in Maharshtra Bombay and Poona preceded most revolutionary movements in the country; this movement, had the ideological, by some suggestion covert but active, support of Bal Gangadhar Tilak. 1876 saw the foundation of The Indian Association in Calcutta under the leadership of Surendranath Banerjea. This organisation drew into its folds students and the urban middle–class, for which it served as a mouthpiece; the Association became the mouthpiece of an informal constituency of students and middle-class gentlemen. It sponsored the Indian National Conference in 1883 and 1885, which merged with the Indian National Congress. Calcutta was at the time the most prominent centre for organised politics, some of the same students who attended the political meetings began at the time to organise "secret societies" which cultivated a cultural of physical strength and nationalist feelings. By 1902, Calcutta had three secret societies working toward the violent overthrow of British rule in India.
One was founded by Calcutta student Satish Chandra Basu with the patronage of Calcutta barrister Pramatha Mitra, another was led by Benga
Indian nationalism developed as a concept during the Indian independence movement fought against the colonial British Raj. Indian nationalism is an instance of territorial nationalism, inclusive of all its people, despite their diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, it continues to influence the politics of India and reflects an opposition to the sectarian strands of Hindu nationalism and Muslim nationalism. India has been unified under many governments in history. Ancient texts mention India under emperor Bharata and Akhand Bharat, these regions form the entities of modern-day greater India; the Mauryan Empire was the first to unite all of India, South Asia. In addition, much of India has been unified under a central government by empires, such as the Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire, Mughal Empire, British Indian Empire etc. India's concept of nationhood is based not on territorial extent of its sovereignty. Nationalistic sentiments and expression encompass that India's ancient history, as the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Civilization, as well as four major world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
Indian nationalists see India stretching along these lines across the Indian Subcontinent. India today celebrates many kings and queens for combating foreign invasion and domination, such as Shivaji of the Maratha Empire, Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, Kittur Chennamma, Maharana Pratap of Rajputana, Prithviraj Chauhan and Tipu Sultan who fought the British; the kings of Ancient India, such as Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka of the Magadha Empire, are remembered for their military genius, notable conquests and remarkable religious tolerance. Akbar was a Mughal emperor, was known to have a good relationship with the Roman Catholic Church as well as with his subjects – Hindus, Buddhists and Jains, he forged political bonds with Hindu Rajput kings. Although previous Sultans had been more or less tolerant, Akbar took religious intermingling to new level of exploration, he developed for the first time in Islamic India an environment of complete religious freedom. Akbar undid most forms of religious discrimination, invited the participation of wise Hindu ministers and kings, religious scholars to debate in his court.
The consolidation of the British East India Company's rule in the Indian subcontinent during the 18th century brought about socio-economic changes which led to the rise of an Indian middle class and eroded pre-colonial socio-religious institutions and barriers. The emerging economic and financial power of Indian business-owners and merchants and the professional class brought them into conflict with the British Raj. A rising political consciousness among the native Indian social elite spawned an Indian identity and fed a growing nationalist sentiment in India in the last decades of the nineteenth century; the creation in 1885 of the Indian National Congress in India by the political reformer A. O. Hume intensified the process by providing an important platform from which demands could be made for political liberalisation, increased autonomy, social reform; the leaders of the Congress advocated dialogue and debate with the Raj administration to achieve their political goals. Distinct from these moderate voices who did not preach or support violence was the nationalist movement, which grew strong and violent in Bengal and in Punjab.
Notable but smaller movements appeared in Maharashtra and other areas across the south. The controversial 1905 partition of Bengal escalated the growing unrest, stimulating radical nationalist sentiments and becoming a driving force for Indian revolutionaries. Mohandas Gandhi pioneered the art of Satyagraha, typified with a strict adherence to ahimsa, civil disobedience; this permitted common individuals to engage the British in revolution, without employing violence or other distasteful means. Gandhi's strict adherence to democracy and ethnic equality and brotherhood, as well as activist rejection of caste-based discrimination and untouchability united people across these demographic lines for the first time in India's history; the masses participated in India's independence struggle for the first time, the membership of the Congress grew over tens of millions by the 1930s. In addition, Gandhi's victories in the Champaran and Kheda Satyagraha in 1918–19, gave confidence to a rising younger generation of Indian nationalists that the British Raj could be defeated.
National leaders like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Mohandas Gandhi, Rajendra Prasad and Badshah Khan brought together generations of Indians across regions and demographics, provided a strong leadership base giving the country political direction. Indian nationalism is as much a diverse blend of nationalistic sentiments as its people are ethnically and religiously diverse, thus the most influential undercurrents are more than just Indian in nature. The most controversial and charged fibre in the fabric of Indian nationalism is religion. Religion forms a major, in many cases, the central element of Indian life. Ethnic communities are diverse in terms of social traditions and history across India. An important influence upon Hindu consciousness arises from the time of Islamic empires in India. Entering the 20th century, Hindus formed over 75% of the population and thus unsurprisingly the backbone and platform of the nationalist movement.
Modern Hindu thinking desired to unite Hindu society across the boundaries of caste, linguistic groups and e
Sri Aurobindo was an Indian philosopher, guru and nationalist. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while was one of its influential leaders and became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution. Aurobindo studied for the Indian Civil Service at King's College, England. After returning to India he took up various civil service works under the maharaja of the princely state of Baroda and became involved in nationalist politics and the nascent revolutionary movement in Bengal, he was arrested in the aftermath of a number of bomb outrages linked to his organisation, but in a public trial where he faced charges of treason, Aurobindo could only be convicted and imprisoned for writing articles against British rule in India. He was released when no evidence could be provided, following the murder of a prosecution witness during the trial. During his stay in the jail, he had mystical and spiritual experiences, after which he moved to Pondicherry, leaving politics for spiritual work.
During his stay in Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo developed a method of spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga. The central theme of his vision was the evolution of human life into a life divine, he believed in a spiritual realisation that not only liberated man but transformed his nature, enabling a divine life on earth. In 1926, with the help of his spiritual collaborator, Mirra Alfassa, he founded the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, his main literary works are The Life Divine. Aurobindo Ghose was born in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, India on 15 August 1872 in a Bengali Kayastha family, associated with the village of Konnagar in the Hoogly district, his father, Krishna Dhun Ghose, was Assistant Surgeon of Rangpur in Bengal, a former member of the Brahmo Samaj religious reform movement who had become enamoured with the then-new idea of evolution while pursuing medical studies in Edinburgh. His mother was Swarnalata Devi, whose father was Shri Rajnarayan Bose, a leading figure in the Samaj, she had been sent to the more salubrious surroundings of Calcutta for Aurobindo's birth.
Aurobindo had two elder siblings and Manmohan, a younger sister, a younger brother, Barindrakumar. Young Aurobindo was used Hindustani to communicate with servants. Although his family were Bengali, his father believed British culture to be superior, he and his two elder siblings were sent to the English-speaking Loreto House boarding school in Darjeeling, in part to improve their language skills and in part to distance them from their mother, who had developed a mental illness soon after the birth of her first child. Darjeeling was a centre of British life in India and the school was run by Irish nuns, through which the boys would have been exposed to Christian religious teachings and symbolism. Krishna Dhun Ghose wanted his sons to enter the Indian Civil Service, an elite organisation comprising around 1000 people. To achieve this it was necessary that they study in England and so it was there that the entire family moved in 1879; the three brothers were placed in the care of the Reverend W. H. Drewett in Manchester.
Drewett was a minister of the Congregational Church whom Krishna Dhun Ghose knew through his British friends at Rangapur. The boys were taught Latin by his wife; this was a prerequisite for admission to good English schools and, after two years, in 1881, the elder two siblings were enrolled at Manchester Grammar School. Aurobindo was considered too young for enrolment and he continued his studies with the Drewetts, learning history, French and arithmetic. Although the Drewetts were told not to teach religion, the boys were exposed to Christian teachings and events, which bored Aurobindo and sometimes repulsed him. There was little contact with his father, who wrote only a few letters to his sons while they were in England, but what communication there was indicated that he was becoming less endeared to the British in India than he had been, on one occasion describing the British Raj as a "heartless government". Drewett emigrated to Australia in 1884, causing the boys to be uprooted as they went to live with Drewett's mother in London.
In September of that year and Manmohan joined St Paul's School there. He spent the last three years reading literature and English poetry, he acquired some familiarity with the German and Italian languages and, exposed to the evangelical strictures of Drewett's mother, a distaste for religion. He considered himself at one point to be an atheist but determined that he was agnostic. A blue plaque unveiled in 2007 commemorates Aurobindo's residence at 49 St Stephen's Avenue in Shepherd's Bush, from 1884 to 1887; the three brothers began living in spartan circumstances at the Liberal Club in South Kensington during 1887, their father having experienced some financial difficulties. The Club's secretary was James Cotton, brother of their father's friend in the Bengal ICS, Henry Cotton. By 1889, Manmohan had determined to pursue a literary career and Benoybhusan had proved himself unequal to the standards necessary for ICS entrance; this meant that only Aurobindo might fulfil his father's aspirations but to do so when his father lacked money required that he studied hard for a scholarship.
To become an ICS official, students were required to pass the competitive examination, as well as to study at an English univ
Pramathanath Mitra, known as P. Mitra, was a Bengali Indian barrister and Indian nationalist, among the earliest founding members of the Indian revolutionary organisation, Anushilan Samiti; the great Indians.p256. One India One People Foundation.2006. ISBN 8172733186 Dictionary of national biography.p127. Siba Pada Sen. Published by Institute of Historical Studies; the bomb in Bengal.p31. Peter Heehs. Published by Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0195633504