Binod Bihari Chowdhury, a close associate of the great Bengal revolutionary ‘Masterda’ Surya Sen, who died on Thursday, was a doyen of the era of anti-British revolutionaries.
Born on January 10, 1911 in Chittagong, Binod Bihari died in Kolkata while undergoing treatment .
He was a part of Masterda’s Jugantor (meaning New Era) — a revolutionary group that took part in the famous Chittagong Armoury Raid on April 18, 1930. As per the plan, the group raided armoury of both the police and the Auxillary forces of the British and proclaimed a revolutionary government.
Binod Bihari joined the Indian National Congress in 1939 and became the Assistant General Secretary of its Chittagong district committee. He was a member of the Bengal Provincial Congress’ Executive Committee from 1940 to 1946.
In 1946, Binod Bihari was elected the General Secretary of the Chittagong branch.
After the Partition of India in 1947, he was elected a member of the then East Pakistan Provincial Assembly and carried out his duties until 1954.
During the crucial period of the partition of India, he did not leave East Pakistan and remained in Chittagong even after close family members, including two sons, crossed the border in late 1960s
Though not involved in active politics after Bangladesh became independent, he played a leading role in all cultural, social and rights-based movements. He received, among others, the Independence Award, the highest civilian award in Bangladesh, in 2000.
The acting Bangladesh President, Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mourned his death with Hasina describing him a “symbol of valour and patriotism”.
He was cremated in Chittagong, where the great revolutionary lived all his life. Binod Bihari Chowdhury was considered the last remaining link to a decisive part of sub-continental history.
In a last interview to media, he said, “We have fallen back from where we were before. The country is filled with communalism, fundamentalism and militancy,” a statement which is relevant in the current context.