Bharat Ratna for Rash Behari Bose, Masterda Surjya Sen and Bagha Jatin

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Sub : Awarding of Bharat Ratna to Rash Behari Bose, Masterda Surjya Sen and Bagha Jatin

My dear countrymen and friends across the globe,

Today, I come before you with an appeal to support me in a very dear cause which is explained below. Do read through and pull in your might to make this patriotic project a superb success.

Rash Behari Bose, Masterda Surjya Sen and Bagha Jatin are three preeminent Indian freedom fighters whose seminal contributions to the freedom struggle have not yet been properly recognised in India. With the awarding of the Bharat Ratna to them, posthumously, this neglect of three of the brightest stars of our freedom movement will be righted to an extent and their study encouraged in India and across the world for the benefit of all. It will also help resurrect the true narrative of our freedom struggle and rescue from increasing obscurity the role of armed revolution in securing eventual freedom from the British.

Indo-Japanese relations will be getting a fresh fillip and sustenance through revival of interest in this redoubtable revolutionary, Rash Behari Bose, who spent the bulk of his lifetime in Japan after a daring escape from his motherland, India, to avoid the clutches of the British police for his revolutionary activities. He had masterminded the Hardinge Attack in 1912, dubbed in history as the Delhi Conspiracy, had led the aborted Ghadar Revolution in 1915 and eventually escaped by sea to Japan in the guise of a P.N. Tagore. Here in Japan he was hounded by the Japanese Police for several years before he settled down as a Japanese citizen, married a Japanese girl, and kept at his revolutionary plotting to end British rule in India. Eventually, at the height of the Second World War, in 1942, he founded the Indian Independence League and the Indian National Army whose reins he handed over the following year to Subhas Chandra Bose. The INA assault, thereafter, against the British Raj catalysed the end of colonial rule in India.

The armed insurrection led by Bagha Jatin at Balasore in 1915 is a glorious chapter in the annals of our struggle for independence. Had it not been for internal treachery, the revolution that had been planned with German arms' help would have put paid to the British Empire in India in 1915. Bagha Jatin, along with his associates, died a martyr's death but, even in failure to liberate India, left behind a legacy for future revolutionaries to gain inspiration from and carry on the armed struggle for independence.

In 1930 Masterda Surjya Sen and his young associates led an assault on the British Raj in Chittagong, raiding the armoury and liberating the city for three days. On the night of 18 April the revolutionaries took control of the Dampara Police Armoury, the Pahartali Auxiliary Force Armoury, the Telephone and the Telegraph Centre, and uprooted the railway tracks at the Laksam Junction to disconnect Chittagong from the rest of Bengal.They hoisted the Indian National Flag over Chittagong, cut off communication lines of the British Government with the city and effectively ended British rule there for 72 hours.

In the famous Battle of Jalalabad that followed on 22 April, Surjya Sen and his Indian Republican Army valiantly fought the British Army for an entire day before dispersing in the dark of the night after the British troops had departed at dusk, not risking an encounter with the revolutionaries atop the hill in the dark. 55 revolutionaries had held guard on the Jalalabad Hills with musket rifles and repulsed for a day a large contingent of British troops armed with Lewis sub-machine guns. The British forces met with fierce fighting from the revolutionaries who beat them back twice before suffering even the first casualty. But musket guns of the revolutionaries proved no match for the Lewis sub-machine guns of the British army and by nightfall 80 British troops and 12 revolutionaries had fallen.

The rest of the soldiers of the Indian Republican Army escaped to different locations. Some were apprehended and some killed in encounters with the British police. Others carried on more armed attacks over the next couple of years before the entire lot was liquidated. Surjya Sen lived in multiple disguise for three years before a traitorous relative handed him over to the British Police. Sen was hanged to death on 12 January, 1934 after being brutalised in incarceration hours before his hanging.

These three episodes of the revolutionary movement of the freedom struggle may, thus, be seen as the three phases of a single symphony beginning with Balasore in 1915, carrying through to Chittagong in 1930 and climaxing in the INA assault in the period 1943-45. These were not unconnected incidents but were the parts, vibrant and living, of an organic whole, whose pulse, now feeble, now vigorous, kept beating till our motherland was freed.

We, as a people, must come together to restore the memory of the life and achievements of these heroic figures of our freedom struggle whose epic efforts to free India spanned over four decades inside India and outside India and led to the eventual liberation of our motherland.

I exhort you all to join this crusade to pay homage to three of our greatest revolutionaries. Please sign this petition and do your bit to resurrect the memory of these heroes of seminal ideas, sterling character and supreme sacrifice. In it lies our national good.

Thanking you,
Yours in the motherland,
Sugata Bose