Mokshadacharan Samadhyayi - Political Outrages

Political Outrages

Mokhoda was naturally in close touch with all that was advanced in Indian politics and at the ‘Academy and Art Club’, which was financed by Subodh Mullick, he met all the leaders of the new movement. He took a post of Sanskrit at the National College on a small salary and became Sri Aurobindo's colleague. Denham believed that it was Mokhoda who incited the strike on the East Indian Railway between Howrah and Andal. While being prosecuted for sedition, Brahmabandhav Upadhyay died in jail in October 1907. Mokhoda became the real master and the director of Upadhyay’s sarcastically anti-British journal Sandhya and the band of young men attached to it. At this juncture, Suranath is reported to have formed a central committee at the Sandhya office with the help of his disciple Jatin Banerjee alias Niralamba Swami (who had returned from Upper India, to succeed Upadhyay as editor) and Kartik Datta; Mokhada, Shamsundar Chakravarti, Sri Aurobindo, Tarakshepa, Annada Kaviraj and some others as members, they all seemed to share Upadhyay’s political principles. (Terrorism V, p150). While on 6 December 1907, Barin's men attempted to wreck with explosives the Lieutenant-Governor's special train at Naraingarh, on the same evening, arranged by Mokhoda, Naren Bhattacharya alias M.N. Roy, Bhushan Mitra alias Gulay and Sailen Basu committed a hold-up at Chingripota Railway Station, and were arrested. Jatindra Mukherjee appointed his friend, Barrister J.N. Roy, to defend them. They got discharged.

Earlier, in 1907, Indra Nandi sent members of Atmonnati Samiti, including Pabitra Datta and Chuni Mitra, to found at Benares the 'Matri Sebak Samiti'. "This is distinctly suspicious," mentions the Police report. Associating with the Yugantar and the Sandhya gangs, in May 1908, a few days before Khudiram and Prafulla Chaki started for Muzaffarpur, Suranath returned from Kolkata to establish a local branch of the Anushilan in Benares, with the help of, Sudhangshu Mitra, Sachin Sanyal, a student in the entrance class of the Bengalitola High School, and his "Tantrik disciple" Debnarayan Mukherjee. Sachin kept "himself all along in the back ground and printed and circulated widely at Benares a seditious pamphlet on the occasion of the anniversary of Maharaja Pratapaditya at the instance of the Bengali anarchists, in order to instigate the youths of Benares," noted Denham. "Suranath induced Jatin Banerjee and Mokhoda to come over to Benares during the Puja holidays." Mokhoda advised the members of the party as to their future course of conduct. "Mokhada and a few other unknown men are trying to unite the extremists and the nationalists into one common bond of partisanship," wrote Denham. "A plan is also under consideration to get the Mussalmans of Turkey and Persia to prejudice the illiterate Muhammadan mass of this country against the English and to send two or three clever English-educated Bengalis to Kabul in the guise of Mussalman fakirs after making them versed in the Koran, and also to bring up after some time Arabindo Ghose (or Sri Aurobindo) either to Benares or to some other place for a secret consultation between him and Suranath.".

Raja Sasisekhareswar of Tahirpur, the principal man in the 'Bharat Dharma Mahamandal', had been fully converted to Suranath’s and Mokhada’s creed. Through his father, Somanath Bhaduri, Private Secretary to Maharaja of Darbhanga, the General president of the 'Mahamandal', Suranath was trying to influence the Prince. He tried it also through Amarendra Chatterjee, whose father-in-law, Preonath Banerjee, was the Maharaja’s General manager. (Terrorism, Vol.V, pp 117–119).

Shortly before the Maniktola arrests in May 1908, there was a split in the Yugantar, following Barin's concentration on applied terrorism, leaving the theoretical preparation to others: (a) under Sri Aurobindo's guidance, Abi Bhattacharya took over the defunct Navashakti; (b) under Abi Chakravarti’s influence, Nikhileshwar Ray Maulik controlled the Yugantar, shifting its office to 68 Maniktola Street, where Nikhileswar and Kartik Datta lived. Jatindranath Mukherjee served as a link between these different trends. After the arrests, the Yugantar articles under his direct influence became even more violent, causing several prosecutions, before collapsing in June 1908. Police Records show how eager Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray was to distribute the Yugantar, and informed the editor that Jatindranath Mukherjee knew him personally.

In June 1908, less than two months after the arrest of the Maniktola conspirators, a "new gang" - symbol of a new spirit - commenced operations on the Eastern Bengal State Railway. The series of outrages began with a bomb thrown into a train. The Police experts held that the bombs used in these occasions were inferior to those prepared by Barin Ghosh's party; instead of dynamite or picric acid, these were coconut shell bombs with a mixture of sulphide of arsenic and chlorate of potash stuffed with bits of broken glass, nails, pins of jute combs, causing great injury on explosion. These outrages continued sporadically till April 1909. The Special Department of the Police traced them to a gang of Brahmans in Bhatpara, led by Kartik Datta and Naren Bhattacharya alias M.N. Roy, advised by Mokhoda. On 4 March 1907, Kartik had distinguished himself by leading the attempt to murder the missionary in Nadia. He and Mokhoda took part in the dacoities, reported F.C. Daly "to raise funds for political purposes (…), defence of persons under trial in political cases". Six persons were put on trial before the Special Tribunal of the High Court. Mokhoda was one of them. The jury found him not guilty: he was acquitted for the second time. "A most dangerous character. He is still keeping up his connection with the most desperate ruffians of the revolutionary party (…) Sub-Editor of the Nayak ('The Leader'), at present the most frankly seditious newspaper in Kolkata."

When Nikhileswar was arrested on 23 June 1908, it was Kartik's turn to assume control of the party in charge of the Jugantar, with the printing press at 28 Shampukur Street. There was a house in Chetla for their secret meetings. Kartik was joined by Keshab De, who was just released after two years of Rigorous Imprisonment for having thrown vitriol during East India Railway strike in 1906. As a direct descendant of the old Jugantar group, Mokhoda became their advisor. Several outrages were committed from Chetla, including the Bajitpur robbery (15 August 1908). Important among the participants were Noren Basu, Noren Chatterji, Bepin Ganguli, Annada Kaviraj, Suresh Mitra, Indra Nandi, Jatin Ray. One of the older organisers of revolutionary work, Bhupati Charan Bose (b 1864), son of Uma Charan Bose of Kolkata, was another associate of Kartik Datta and Mokhoda. He was a "well-to-do broker for the German firm of Norlinger & Co" in Kolkata. Kartik moved his headquarters to Telinipara, near Chandernagore, before proceeding to the Bighati dacoity on 16 September 1908. At Bighati in Hooghly, noted Denham, a rich man opposed to swadeshi was robbed. Immediate arrest of Kartik, Suresh Majumdar, Basanta, Pannalal Chakrabarti and Dhiren Ghosh, followed by the arrest of Mokhada, Suresh Mitra and Pannalal Chatterji (turned approver). Keshab absconded with the booty. Mokhoda Pandit had in his possession some part of the ornaments stolen at Bajitpur in Mymensingh; certain jewellery he gave to sell to a goldsmith tallied in weight and description with a portion of the property stolen. Other participants were : Biren Mallik, Manmohan Barman, and Beharilal Ray. The Police recognised Mokhoda, once more, as "the guru of the band, a recruiting agent, active participant in the dacoity."

Read more about this topic:  Mokshadacharan Samadhyayi

Famous quotes containing the word political:

    We assume that politicians are without honor. We read their statements trying to crack the code. The scandals of their politics: not so much that men in high places lie, only that they do so with such indifference, so endlessly, still expecting to be believed. We are accustomed to the contempt inherent in the political lie.
    Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)