CULTURE & HISTORY

BINOD BIHARI CHOWDHURY: THE REVOLUTIONARY “AGNIPURUSH” – MD. MIZANUR RAHMAN ACS

Life of Biplobi Binod Bihari Chowdhury has been depicted in this article. 


As people write history, record the different events of the history, similarly, they also try to make a place for themselves in the history. There are some people who sometime become a significant part of the history and by including whose name, the history itself feel proud.  But, it is true that no one can be a man of history easily. He must have outstanding quality to be a man of the history. Biplobi Binod Bihari Chowdhury was such a legend who can be distinguished by particular way. He is popularly referred to as “Agnipurush”. He is mostly famous for his participation in the “Chittagong Armuory Raid”, an armed resistance movement led by Masterda Surya Sen to uproot the British colonial rule from the Indian sub-continent in 1930.

Image Courtesy: Zahed Khan via The Daily Star

He was born in North Bhurshi under the Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong on 10th January, 1911. He was the son of Kamini Kumar Chowdhury and Roma Rani Chowdhury.  He started his primary education from the Rangamatia Board School in Fatickchari Upazila. He passed the Matriculation Examination in 1929, Bachelor of Arts in 1934, Masters of Arts in 1936 and Bachelor of Law in 1939. He started his career as an assistant editor of the “Daily Panchojanno” in 1939. He joined in Chittagong Bar as a Lawyer in 1940. But, finally he chose teaching as a profession.

In 1927, he joined “Jugantor”, the guerrilla organization of Masterda Surya Sen at the the age of 16, when he was studying at Coronation High School. He was influenced by another revolutionary named Ramkrishna Bishas of that school. As, Binod was a good student, Masterda was reluctant to join him in his group.  Masterda used to say that a scholar like him should not be involved with the guerrilla organization. But he was very much stubborn. When he told Masterda that if he had not taken him in his group he would join other guerrilla groups as he read about them in the newspapers. Then finally Masterda gave permission to join him in his group. Then gradually he became close to Tarakeshwar Dastidar, Madhushudan Dutt, Kalpana Dutta, Kalipada Chakrabarty, Makhan Ghoshal, Ambika Chakrabarty, Nirmal Sen, Pritilata Waddedar and so many others.

On that time Masterda Surya Sen was preparing for an armed uprising against the British in Chittagong. In accordance to Masterda’s instruction he along with other revolutionaries executed the plan successfully on 18th April, 1930. The “Jugantor” group attacked the Armoury and looted the arms. They freed Chittagong from the British on 21st April. He fought actively in that guerrilla war. He was the first to declare the independence in Chittagong under the leadership of Masterda. On 22th April, he was severely wounded. The shot of the machine gun pierced his throat. Then he went to Dhaka and hid himself. The British Government issued warrant to arrest him. The British Government also announced 500 Taka as a reward who will present him either alive or dead. On 18th August, he was arrested in Dhaka. 

After 5 years being imprisoned, he got release on 27th April, 1938. Again, he was arrested in 1939. After two years he was arrested again. While imprisoned he became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined in the Indian National Congress after his imprisonment in 1939. In 1946, he became the General Secretary of the Chittagong district committee. He was a member of the Bengal Provincial Congress’ Executive Committee from 1940 to 1946.  In 1947, after the partition, many of his co-revolutionaries moved to India, but surprisingly he did not follow them. He stayed in his home town.  In 1947, he was elected member of the then East Pakistan Provincial Assembly and carried out his duties until 1954. He played a significant role during our historic language movement. On 21st February, 1952 before going to the Assembly, he went to the Medical College Hospital to see the dead body of “Shahid Barkat”. He protested against that brutality at the Assembly.

He retired from all sorts of political activities when Ayub Khan imposed “Martial Law”. Since then he never involved himself with politics. But he contributed significantly in all social, cultural as well as human rights based all movements of the country. He was imprisoned for one year from 1965-1966. He joined the anti-autocratic movement in 1969. During our liberation war, he assisted to organize the freedom fighters.              

He fought his whole life for establishing transparency, equality, democracy, and socio-political integrity. He used to dream of a secular Bangladesh that would be free from hunger and poverty. He was a symbol of valor and patriotism. He was an inspiration for the people to stand against all evils and social injustices. He was reluctant to hand over his all actions of his life only to the flow of time. He did not engage himself in any meaningless jobs. He did not compromise with injustice. Actually, the heroic son of Chittagong designed the layout of the “Social Revolution” for his next generation.

He served as the president of Probortak Biddapith, Chittagong Brahmo Shomaj, Masterda Surya Sen Memorial Trust and Jalalabad Smrity Samity. He wrote a book named “Agnijhara Dingulo”. He received the Independence Day Award in 2000. He also received various awards and honor many times for his contribution to the country.

The last 10th April was the 7th death anniversary of this great revolutionary. He passed away on that day in 2013 in West Bengal. We express our reverence, love, honor and “Lal Salam” to this great revolutionary from the bottom of heart. As long as Bangladesh and Bangali will exist, Biplobi Binod Bihari Chowdhury will remain as the eternal source of inspiration. He will remain in the hearts of the people and it’s not possible to wipe out his name from the hearts of the people. Actually, he was, he is and he will be the real hero of the people not only in Bangladesh but also in this sub-continent.

Finally, as per the poem of poet Rabindranath Tagore, it can be said,

“You shall remain in my heart, quietly, like a dark, composed, moonlight night; you shall fill my life, my entire universe, with grace and dignity, like a calm night.”


About the Author:

Md. Mizanur Rahman ACS is a Banker, working at Pubali Bank Limited, Board Division, Head Office, Dhaka. He is also an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB). He can be reached to this email: [email protected]


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