Anushilan Bhavan, Kolkata – under Communist siege


It’s a dilapidated building rather and with a shabby presence, located amid a dingy suburb of Kolkata. The edifice was built in 1960 to house a band of people, not destitute but revolutionaries with glorious feats to free the motherland from imperialist yoke. Are you in dark still? If you are, let’s give another hint. It’s just located behind Kudghat Metro or Netaji Station and almost a couple of year back it came to news headlines as Communists in the garb of a secessionist conclave named ‘Bangla Pokkho’ made intense efforts to get hold of it. Sadly enough, they’ve succeeded to a point and definitely, Anushilan Bhavan or the edifice meant to domiciliate of nationalist revolutionaries is under the aegis of Communists.

It was the year 1960 when revolutionaries, at a loss being betrayed by the Congress-led Central Government (not to speak of Pakistan) and the fast changing political mettle of West Bengal to Marxists, were in need of a definite address. The majority of them were from the earlier Eastern half of (undivided) Bengal, sacrificed almost everything at the altar, confronted with Islamists and earned a truncated province as the fruit of their lifelong struggle. What added salt to their gaping wound had been the recurrent apathy to the radical chronicles by the nationwide Congress leadership. To steer clear of all these, Sri Ashutosh Kali, senior member of the erstwhile ‘Anushilan Samiti’ dreadful revolutionary party of Bengal, constructed the house, named ‘Anushilan Bhavan’ in 1960, founded on February 21.

Sri Kali, like thousands of his compatriots, was an ardent disciple of Sri Pulin Behari Das, founder and the legendary rallying point of Dhaka Anushilan Samiti and got involved in varied operations from an early stage.

What made Sri Kali opt for this date? Sri Rashbehari Bose, legendary revolutionary had planned an all-India revolution (within the armed forces, in particular) on the very date, known as Hindu-German conspiracy but failed altogether due to treason. Though the Gadar Mutiny was able to free Singapore for 7 days, dearth of assistance back home led to the culmination or catastrophe.  Several renowned revolutionaries of Anushilan Samiti including Maharaj Trailokyanath Chakraborty used to stay here during each visit from (then) East Pakistan to Calcutta.

Despite all these, the Bhavan, regarded as the glorious paradigm of an unfathomable struggle failed to have any governmental benediction and with the departure of revolutionaries due to biological reasons, the edifice remained abandoned for years. Of late, a group of people, known for their Communist leanings, have taken charge and has turned into a Marxist bastion these days. As expected, the glowing nationalist ideals have been supplanted by Marxian rhetoric as the rest of Bengal has witnessed ever since  partition and formation of a separate Hindu-dominated West Bengal (curved out of undivided Bengal through bloodshed and untold sacrifices). Would Anushilan Bhavan be the citadel of nationalists once more?  Only time will tell.


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