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Beena Bhowmick (Das)
Only recently I learned, through this website, and this how sadly Beena Das' life ended. It refers to the "lonely condition" of her death of which I wrote below (adapted from another book). I quote from the above website
"She somehow got more attracted by the unknown and wended her way towards it, actually Rishikesh and beyond, and finally to oblivion. She ended her life by the roadside. The dead body was in a partially decomposed state. It was found by the passing crowd. The police was informed and it took them a month to determine her identity. It was in independent India for which the once acclaimed Agni Kanya had staked her everything. Now lay her dead body there unknown, unwept and unsung. The nation should remember this somewhat poignant story even though late and salute her, the great lady."
It is really painful to think that such a fiery woman had to end her life this way. Especially so, that she basically sacrificed her life for an ungrateful India.
Born: August 24, 1911
Died: December 26, 1986
Well-known in the history of Indian freedom fighting for daring attack on English Governor and University Chancellor Stanley Jackson, who was a symbol of a long and oppressive English colonial rule in India. The incident took place during the 1932 convocation of Calcutta University. Although she was unsuccessful, her act inspired many a young mind of those days. Beena Bhowmick's father was Benee Madhab Das, the well-known educator of the Ravenshaw Collegiate School of Cuttack, Orissa. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, another famous freedom fighter also studied in that school. Bhowmick was acquainted with Bose.
Bhowmick initially studied in the Bethune College in Kolkata, but later migrated to Diocession (sp?) College in order to ensure that her revolutionary activities remain unhindered. She passed the BA with honours in English, her daring attempt occured during her own convocation ceremony. For this she was given 9 years of imprisonment with labor.
After her release in 1939, she joined the "Jugantar" revolutionary club. She was again imprisoned in 1942 for three years while she was the Secretary of Calcutta Congress Committee. In 1947 she married Jatish Bhowmick, a freedom fighter and a fellow member of Jugantar.
A true revolutionary spirit, her activities did not end with the Indian Independence in 1947. She aided Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman during his declaration of revolution in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) against a brutal and oppressive West Pakistan administration. This incident eventually precipitated into the full-scale Bangladesh war. Again in 1975 Mrs. Bhowmick spoke out against the Declaration of Emergency and suppression of personal rights by the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She personally witnessed and strongly protested against the police brutality on the refugees in Marichjh(n)api. A good writer, she penned two books, the autobiography "Shrinkhal Jhankar" and "Pitredhan".
In a characteristic show of idealistic strength, she didn't accept the "Freedom Fighters' Pension" offered by the Government of India. After the death of her husband, she decided to live by herself in the Rishikesh (Himalaya), where she died within a month in a lonely condition.
Mrs. Bhowmick visited my high school (along with another fiery freedom fighter Ganesh Ghosh ) and gave us a lecture, when I collected this autograph.
Last Revised December 21, 2006