Surya Sen Chittagong Armory Raid

When a School Master Led a Bloody Revolution against the British | Surya Sen (Master Da)-Chittagong Armoury Raid

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“Death is knocking at my door. My mind is flying away towards eternity… At such a pleasant, at such a grave, at such a solemn moment, what shall I leave behind you? Only one thing, that is my dream, a golden dream-the dream of free India.. Never forget the 18th of April, 1930 the day of the eastern Rebellion in Chittagong…Write in red letters in the core of your hearts the name of the patriots who have sacrificed their lives at the altar of India’s freedom”

Last words of  Master Surya Sen


Surya sen ,also known as Master Da ,was born on 22 March 1894 at Noapara in Chittagong. In the year of 1918, he became a mathematics teacher at the National school, Nandankanan. This was the time when the Indians started to involve themselves in the freedom struggle.

The suppression of peasants, labors, and incidents like the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, the partition of Bengal by the British government transformed Surya Sen into a nationalist revolutionary.

He was heavily inspired by the Bolshevik revolution. During the second decade of the 20th century, the revolutionary activities reached their zenith. From the second to the third decade revolutionaries like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, and Surya Sen became a serious threat to the colonial government.

By now the revolutionary organizations like Jugantar Party and Anushilan Samiti were working with the INC for the betterment of the Indians. Surya Sen didn’t agree on this.

Surya sen wholeheartedly supported the Non-Cooperation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi. However, in its initial phase, this movement was proved to be a successful step as it attained widespread support from everyone.  

Even Gandhiji was sure that if the movement was continued to its completion then SWARAJ would be achieved within one year. People started boycotting British goods including civil services, police, and courts, resigned from government jobs, withdrew their children from government school and denounced the service in the British army.

But soon this widespread movement which shook the British import of foreign cloth to half was called off by Mahatma Gandhiji due to the Cahuri Chaura incident in which 22 policemen were killed.

Revolutionary Army of Surya Sen

Surya Sen Master Da The Hero of Chittgong
Surya Sen- The hero of Chittagong

Many people didn’t agree with this decision of Gandhji and later decided to launch their own revolution through violence. When the movement was called off there was a significant rise in revolutionary activities. Even those who first agreed and supported the INC and Gandhji now decided to adopt the path of revolution to attain SWARAJ.

Men like Alluri Sitaram Raju, Ram Prasad Bismil, etc were some men who now took the leadership into their own hand. One of them was Master Da i.e. Surya Sen who now also wanted to liberate Indians from the clutches of the colonial rule by any means.

Inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917, Surya sen decided to launch a similar revolution in India against the British government.

In 1929 Master Da decided to train the youth in the field of Armament ology by forming HINDUSTAN REPUBLICAN ARMY. The teenagers who joined the revolution under Surya sen strongly believed in individual bravery and didn’t even fear death. Some of the members were Anant Singh, Ambika Chakraborty, Ganesh Ghosh, etc. The main objective of this organization was-

  • To attack the British hotels, clubs and cinema halls.
  • Distroying the Dam Dam airport.
  • Disrupting the electricity and communication system of the British government.
  • Blowing up the railway lines and important bridges of the British government.
  • Disintegration of the telegraph lines.

On April 1930 Master Da and his army, which was full of teenagers ,declared war against the British Rule.

Chittagong Armoury Raid (18 April 1930)

Surya Sen wanted to raid two major British armouries in Chittagong to distribute weapons for the propagation of revolutionary activities like raids and the killing of British officials. His plan was to establish a proper armed unit and then disrupting railway tracks to isolate the city.

Under the leadership of Surya sen, his associates raided the Chittagong Armoury on 18 April 1930. His Hindustan Republican Army declared independence from British rule and also formed a provisional government. With the chant of “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Down with Imperialism” Surya sen declared himself as the president of the provisional government.

Note: The provisional government of Surya Sen declared that they supported the formation Gandhi Raj.

The revolutionaries wanted to steal ammunition and machine guns from the armoury but weren’t able to find these things in the armoury and because of this the movement suffered a fatal blow. The revolutionaries decided to move towards the Chittagong hills for safety. On 22 August at the hills of Jalalabad, a fierce battle took place between the young sons of Bharat Mata and the British army.

In this engagement 12 revolutionaries attained martyrdom but the British lost their 80 soldiers too. The positive outcome of this encounter was that their leader i.e. Surya sen was able to escape with some of his followers and continued his struggle against the British through guerrilla warfare.

This act of Surya sen shook the British Raj and due to this, the British government decided to crush the revolutionaries by any means. But one day Netra Sen who was an associate of Surya sen informed the British about his location. On February 16 1933 the British were able to capture Surya sen.

Chittagong armory raid news
The newspaper cliiping of the day after the armory raid

Execution and Martdom of Surya Sen

British did what they had done to other revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Santhals, leaders of Sanyasi and 1857 revolt, Alluri Sitaram Raju, and the list goes on. They tortured Surya sen and on 12 January 1934 Surya sen was hanged.

After the death of Surya sen (Master Da), the revolutionary activities were completely stopped. The British mercilessly crushed several other revolutionaries too. The British government was sure and confident that they now only had to deal with the moderate & nonviolent leaders of INC like Gandhiji.

But their dream was ultimately shattered when the Azad Hind Fauj of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose invaded the North Eastern region of British India.(READ HERE)

Surya Sen  Revolutionary Freedom Fighter Chittagong armoury raid
Government of India released a Stamp in honor of Surya Sen
Surya Sen, The Unsung Braveheart Whose Spirit Even Shattered Bones Failed  To Break!

In 2010, a Bollywood movie- Khelein Hum Jee Jaan se was released on the revolutionary activities of Master Surya Sen.


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