Monday, July 11, 2011

Anushilan Samiti embodies martial Bengali Hindus

When the system fails, a power rises – this notion going on for centuries from immemorial past got evident in the early 20 th century with the appearance and meteoric rise of Anushilan Samiti, revolutionary society in Bengal to wrest freedom from iniquitous British Empire, following the clarion call of Swami Vivekananda to arise the nation in deep slumber. The organization, despite containing and led by Bengali Hindus, attracted Hindu youths, from the whole of then Indian subcontinent, having the conviction on policy of blood and iron altogether.

From the very beginning Anushilan Samiti had made its position clear through relying on the saga of national revolution (Rashtra Biplab). Thoughts, speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee influenced its founding leaders most. They included Pramatha Nath Mitra, Satish Chandra Basu, Arobiondo Ghosh, Jatindra Nath Banerjee and Surendra Nath Tagore and all these led to formal establishment of Anushilan Samiti on March 24, 1902 (Bangabda 1308, Chaitra 10). It is needless to say that the organization started as a bastion of physical exercises (Sharadapi) and changed into a revolutionary society bit by bit.

The expansion of Anushilan Samiti took place through formation of an assortment of akhada s (gymnasiums) in different parts of Calcutta and its outskirts. Some of these are Darjipara, Pataldanga, Grey St, khidirpur. Echara zilla te Shibpur, Salikha, Chandannagar, Srirampur, Tarakeshwar, Bali and Uttarpara. Trainings on different forms of exercises, combat war techniques, sword fighting, lathi wielding were provided to members. Ratanmani Chatterjee in Bali, Amarendra Chatterjee in Uttarpara, Panchanan Singha and Jiten Lahiri in Srirampur, Ashutosh Das in Tarakeshwar played leading roles in this regard.

All these, innovation without a shred of doubt, stimulated Hindu youth to the greatest extent and documents assert that thousands of people used to gather to perceive related tournaments. Establishment of Dhaka Anushilan Samiti and assignment of Pulin Behari Das in 1905 as its chief led to the further development of the organization.

Within a brief period, under leadership of Pulin Behari Das, no less than 600 branches of Samiti were formed and success of Bikrampur and Barishal, in this regard, was awe-inspiring. But Dhaka Conspiracy Case in 1910 leading to arrest of several of its key functionaries came up as a great stumbling block before Samiti’s further expansion. Getting alarmed of the fast expansion of Anushilan Samiti, then British Government formed a commission to look into causes, mode of expansions of rebellious activities in Bengal and ways to stamp it down. Report of this commission came to the fore in 1918 and it is known as Sedition Committee Report.

Nevertheless, planning of Anushilan Samiti, better known as Hindu-German conspiracy case in history, to overthrow British Raj in India, during World War I, and its failure made the government more furious and vindictive. Owing to rising governmental repressions and dearth of potent activists, several branches of Anushilan Samiti closed down for the moment while many others even ceased to exist.

The dynamic influence of Samiti on the Bengali Hindu society, as a result, started to decline and the gap was filled by mass organizations of Indian National Congress and Communist Party, new and enigmatic torch bearer of revolution. By 1930 the damage was done and from Anushilan Samiti, following rigorous imprisonments for years, lots of its erstwhile members got involved with other political factions. The majority of these were socialists and communists, still under the hypnotic spell of socialism and success of Soviet Union.

Only a few members including Pulin Behari Das remained steadfast to basic ideology of Anushilan Samiti, and their might proved yet again during partition of India and concerned riots while saving hapless Hindus.

What is most striking is the denial of Government of India to accept these revolutionaries, who sacrificed everything for the country, as freedom fighters. After independence in 1947, a committee containing highly revered historians was formed, under instruction of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, to write a comprehensive and truthful history of India’s independence struggle. Dr. Tarachand was its president and two of its members were from Bengal – Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar and Dr. Suren Sen.

In consequence of covert instruction of Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress, it is already proved, revolutionary struggle of Bengal was completely expunged. Dr. R.C. Majumdar, resigned from the committee in protest, stating -" As a historian, how can I ignore an established fact?" To confirm the nasty design of then leaders of India, he wrote “The History of Freedom Movement in India” that contains detailed facts of revolutionary struggle in Bengal to overthrow British Raj and contribution of Anushilan Samiti in particular.

(Emblem of Anushilan Samiti)


  1. Really inspired to see the article.There are some hard facts to say while we talk on Pulin behari Das as his ideal has been ignored to date as he was neither a socialist or joined congress despite many alluring requests. Actually as per thought & trails through his life he solely looked into development of youth towards mental & physical courages that builds a nation. However we see a great fall out in that today.Biswaranjan Das

  2. We need to revive the old traditions of Anushilon samiti in modern day moth eaten west bengal.
    Hindus need to save whatever is left before forces working against us kick us out of this last part of a a mighty state that once was