English Enclaveরাজনীতি

Restoration of Anushilan Bhavan – a national duty

– -Sri SDB Ray Chaudhury.


Tucked away in a non descript corner in the southern fringes of the city of Kolkata, lies a dilapidated house, which has borne witness to many great events in the past, yet is forgotten by a great section of the populace.

About 5 minutes walk from Kudghat Metro Station ( Netaji Station) lies Anushilan Bhaban.

Established in 1960, post independence, by a group of revolutionaries under the initiative of Sri Ashutosh Kali, revered member of awe-inspiring ‘Anushilan Samiti’, the Bhavan/center served as waypoint for revolutionaries following the national independence in 1947.

Sri Ashutosh Kali, (1899-1965), was born in the village of Bilaskhan in Faridpur. While studying at Sylhet (Srihatta) college, got in touch with Anushilan Samity and became a member under Pulin Behari Das.

According to police reports, he took part in the Chandrakona robbery, the murder of Police DSP Jatindramohan Ghosh (1915) and the Indo-German Conspiracy.  He went to Mymensingh and got the post of district organizer after leaving his studies under the direction of the party.  He also taught in Kumilla Rajpur for some time and was arrested in Allahabad on 30.9.1916.  Sri Kali succumbed to death by falling from the same building’s top.

Despite the unspeakable torture on him as a detainee, he did not reveal anything about the revolutionary party.   He was a state prisoner from 1917 to 1921 .  After release went on to teach in Dhaka National School and Sonar Gaon National School.  In total, he spent 24 years of his precious life in assorted jail custodies but his dream came true only when Anushilan Bhabhan got erected after independence, to rehabilitate ageing freedom fighters who the establishment had conveniently forgotten. What’s more unfortunate, neither they were taken seriously nor the governance did come forward to better their remaining life.

A good number of revolutionaries were rehabilitated. The Bhavan houses a library too. The library has been used by many academics in the past. Apart from academics and other philanthropic services, the house also provided martial training to the next generation by the retired revolutionaries.

Indeed, this was of great service to the valiant, who found themselves forgotten, abandoned and ignored by the very same nation they fought to create.

The foundation of the Bhavan was held on 21st February 1960. The reason is, Sri Rashbehari Bose had planned a mutiny in the armed forces on 21 st February 1915, but the plan was compromised by one and hence led to devastations including arrests, death penalties etc. Nevertheless, Singapore was liberated for 7 days and all these are recorded in history as Gadar Mutiny. In memory of those martyrs this day was chosen as Anushilan Bhawan’s foundation day. Legendary revolutionary of Anushilan Samiti, Maharaj Trailokyanath Chakraborty used to stay here during each visit from (then) East Pakistan to Calcutta.

Whatever might be the glorious history, the edifice is in shambles right now and from 2002 it turned into an abandoned residence. The situation is not so gloomy now as a good number of residents along with dedicated volunteers are making a tireless effort to renovate the same.

If we truly want to make a difference, if we truly want the Scions of Shashanka to rise, if we truly want to honour the great man and several others, we must move ahead and within our limited capacities contribute and help the people who are trying to restore, renovate and reclaim what is truly ours.






Short note on Author –

Part time merchant mariner. Part time mechanic. Full time dreamer/procrastinator.

Searching for lesser known everyday heroes of Bengal’s past…Masquerading as an intellectual @ twitter.com/BengalAntiquity.

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