India Cried That Night: Untold Tales of Freedom’s Foot Soldiers

Sarkar, Supratim
Rupa Publications
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"Kanailal Bhattacharya, nineteen, calmly walks into a crowded courtroom and shoots a tyrannical British magistrate at point-blank range. Bina Das, a university student, mounts a lone attack on the Governor of Bengal, a revolver in one pocket and potassium cyanide in the other. Habu Mitra pulls off an ammunition heist right under the nose of the British. None of these names are known beyond a few obscure books, but they ought to be as their sacrifice was no less than their famous compatriots. These are some of the foot soldiers of India’s fight for independence, who, in the aftermath of the partition of Bengal in 1905, took on the might of the British Empire. India Cried That Night recognizes these heroes, whose contributions remain unacknowledged. This is not a mere retelling of events or a dry documentation of recorded history. Rather, it is a dramatization that is completely faithful to historical facts. The stories of the protagonists are reconstructed based on archival documents and case files of Calcutta (Kolkata) Police—which was at the core of the British administration in India—as it sought to oppose the rebels. The author, additional commissioner, Kolkata Police has seamlessly merged this material with the revolutionaries’ point of view, thus creating a series of emotionally charged and nuanced narratives that tell both sides of the story. As the book shows, not all the operations and attacks staged by the rebels were successful. And yet, what shines through in the stories is the great dedication and commitment to the cause of freeing the nation from a tyrannical regime."