Monday, February 11, 2008

Suniti Choudhury (later Suniti Ghose)


Suniti Choudhury (later Suniti Ghose) was one of the women participants in the armed revolutionary faction within India’s freedom struggle. She was born on 22nd May 1917 in Ibrahimpur village of East Bengal (now Bangladesh). While Suniti was growing up, she was imbued with the patriotic fervour of the time, as were many youth in Bengal (which was then the cradle of India’s freedom struggle and cultural renaissance). Her mother was a quiet pious lady and her brothers were members of revolutionary groups.

Bengal was full of revolutionary groups and service based nationalist groups which worked in many ways to oppose the British and serve the Indian people. Suniti was pulled towards revolutionary activities. It is said that her mind was deeply impressed by the stories of the exploits of the veteran revolutionary Ullaskar Dutta, who was a local hero in the district in which she resided.


She was recruited into the Jugantar Party by one of her classmates, Prafullanalini Brahma, and soon became the appointed leader of a group of female students. She became known amongst the revolutionaries of her district as a young tigress with startling ability. It was for this reason that she was one of the girls picked for armed training in the secret base nearby, where the use of a dagger, lathi and rifle were taught. Several girls underwent this training, but generally after their training, women revolutionaries continued working in the background for a service role in the movement, rather than direct action. Suniti however expressed a desire to be involved in fighting. Revolutionary leaders at the time also believed employing women to fight was a good idea because by this time many attacks had been carried out on British officials, and as a result, security had been greatly increased in Bengal. As it would be unexpected for women to be assailants, it would be easier for girls to duck security, as they would be less suspected.


On 14 December 1931, Suniti together with her friend Santi Ghose (her classmate) approached the notorious District Magistrate of the Comilla district of Bengal, Mr. Stevens, in his grand bungalow, with a petition for permission for a swimming club. When face to face with him, they fired. The first bullet from Suniti’s revolver shot Mr. Stevens dead. The girls, who were both 14 years of age at the time, were arrested and beaten very badly. They were remanded in custody and kept in very harsh conditions, yet they stayed cheerful the entire way through, always singing their hymns to the Motherland and laughing. It was expected that they would receive the death sentence, but on account of their tender age they received life sentences.


While she was in prison, she was kept in solitary confinement for large periods, and suffered greatly. Her old father’s pension was stopped and her two elder brothers were detained without trial. Hence her family was reduced to living on the brink of starvation. They bore their ordeal bravely, as children suffering on behalf of their captive Mother. Her younger brother even died from malnutrition.


After seven years, Suniti was released, as part of a deal where many political prisoners were released. With an undaunted spirit, she once again faced life full of struggle awaiting her in the outside world. She resumed he studies and became a doctor, carrying out an extensive private practice, including serving the poor who were unable to afford healthcare under normal circumstances. In 1947, the year of India’s independence and partition, she married Pradyot Kumar Shose, a well-known trade unionist.

We salute Suniti Choudhary – a fitting tribute to Hindu womanhood. It is sad that the land in which she was born, East Bengal, has now been separated from India and is now an Islamic state, and that the East Bengali Hindus, who have produced so many people who fought for INDIA’s freedom are now dwindling and persecuted in their ancestral homeland, by Islamic groups such as the Jamaat-i-Islaami. We appeal to Hindus who read this to take a greater interest in the plight of the Hindus who remain in Bangladesh.

16 comments:

HP SINGH said...

I would like to inform you that I made a feature film "YE MOTHERS" base d on the life of Suniti Chaudhary & Shanti Ghosh her classmate who took part in the murder of CGB Stevens. This film has ben censored in Sep 2008 but I regret to inform you that no body is coming up to relese this film or acquise this film. Till tody i thought that their are only 7-10% peoples in India who are known about Suniti & Shanti but I got surprised that you are one of them.

Sadhu said...

I am Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan, author of VANDE MATARAM, the inspiring history of the immortal national song of Bankim Chandra,carrying a foreword by Acharya J.B. Kripalani, and SAGA OF PATRIOTISM containing biographical sketches of more than twenty patriots and revolutionaries like Madame Cama, Mhakavi Bharatiyar, Sister Nivedita,Lala Har Dayal, Champakaraman Pillai, Veer Savarkar, Bhaga Jatin, Bhagat Singh and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. We would like to make use of the article on Suniti and Shanti in our quarterly TATTVA DARSANA, the official organ of our Sri Bharatamata Mandir, Sister Nivedita Academy, Srinivasanagar, Krishnarajapuram, Bangalore 560 036. We seek permission.

Nafiul said...

One clarification, Bangladesh is not an Islamic state just as India is not a Hindu state. Ethnic and religious tension and marginalization is widespread in both countries. Let us examine ourselves first before we condemn others. Let us rise above our differences and unite under the banner of humanity and decency.

Anonymous said...

She is brave girl.Being a women i adore her.but dont spread spark of hindu- muslim antagonism.respect gud beliefs in all religion.

maj dr pragati said...

why the film 'yr mothers' based on the life of shanti & suniti is censored? i really want to see this movie. can anybody tell me what happened to shanti & suniti after independence? i only know that shanti became politician & suniti became doctor. but where & how long they lived? are they still alive ?

Anonymous said...

Suniti was my mother. She became a doctor after being released. I am currently writing about her. Part of it is from the writings she has left behind. Bharati Sen

Anonymous said...

Suniti was my mother. She became a doctor after being released. I am currently writing about her. Part of it is from the writings she has left behind. Bharati Sen

Vinay Dubey said...

जहाँ इस वीरतापूर्ण कार्य की सराहना होनी चाहिए थी वहीँ गांधीवाद और अहिंसा के नशे में चूर सरदार बल्लभ भाई पटेल ने कहा कि ये दोनों लड़कियां भारतीय नारियों के लिए कलंक स्वरूप हैं | महान क्रांतिकारी मन्मथनाथ गुप्त जी लिखते हैं -" इतिहास ही बताएगा कि ये लड़कियां भारत के इतिहास का कलंक नही हैं | हाँ इस प्रकार का बयान अवश्य कलंक था |"

Anikesh Dasgupta said...

it is very sad that Our Indian History allots a very few pages for such brave girls.like santi ghosh,,suniti chowdhury,kamala dagupta,bina das,ujjwala rakshit. I think only 4 5 % people knows about these women.

Nisharga Meraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nisharga Meraj said...

well, they fought for coutry not for hindu or muslim...
I am from comilla, the district of comilla where that happened. Recently I am starting my new novel about this topic so if any one can help, help me with information . nisharga786@gmail.com

Nisharga Meraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nisharga Meraj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nisharga Meraj said...

i need more information about her doctory life. I am going to write a novel on her life including shanti ghosh. it is a most important work for me. so please contact me , nisharga786@gmail.com

siddhartha gupta said...

I want to watch Your film... How it would be possible?

rai said...

Hello.
Can you send that film? or let she was wife of Late Prodyote Ghosh Founder president of Markentile Federation . I am Pranati ( ghosh) Mitra.