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|Born||October 10, 1917|
|Died||March 30, 1989 (aged 71)|
Gairkata, Bangal, India
|Other names||Comrade Soma Ganguly|
|Political party||Communist Party Of India|
Samar Ganguly (10th October 1917 to 30th March 1989), popularly known for Comrade Soma Ganguly, was an Indian politician, belonging to the Communist Party of India. He earned fame as a leader of his active participation in the Tebhaga Movement (1946 - 1947) and also he was the District Secretary of Communist Party of India, Jalpaiguri. He was not only involved with the peasant movements but also directly involved with the movement of Tea garden workers. He got his pension as one of the Freedom Fighters of India.
Early life and education
Samar Ganguly was born in 10th October 1917, and bought up in the village named Nalchira, District Barishal of the undivided Bengal. His father’s name was Sri. Manmatha Nath Ganguly and mother’s name was Smt. Rajkumari Debi. Almost two third portion of his life was dedicated to the movements for the rights of the peasants and Tea Estate labourers. He had entered in politics in the year of 1930, at a very young age. He came to Kolkata for higher studies and got admission to a College there. After passing the Metric Exam, he enrolled himself in I.S.C classes. At that time he entered into student politics with the Labour Party, and got arrested for student movements. After coming out of jail his parents sent him to Jalpaiguri in the year of 1937.
He started his political journey by entering in student politics with the Labour Party. In February 1938, when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose came to Jalpaiguri for ‘Bongiyo Pradeshik Congress Sammelan’ then Samar Ganguly took part in that as a volunteer. At that time he came across and met some of the eminent members of The Communist Party like Gobinda Kundu, Anil Mukherjee and contemporaneous Party’s Secretary Comrade Sachin Dasgupta and advocate Naresh Chakraboty and many others. He had got the membership of C.P.I at 1940. In the period of 1940 to 1946 under the banner of party’s Krishak Samiti, he took part in the protest of Adhiar’s movement against of Jotdars and Zamindars , and started to work for the poor peasants in the areas of Debiganj, Boda and Pochagarh Thana (presently in Bangladesh). That time (1940-41) he again got arrested for his involvements with the Krishak Movements. In 1943 his health condition became serious as a result of intense hard work and not taking proper quantity of food. Then after, C.P.I party sent him to their, “Red Cure Home” in Machilipatanam; Andhra Pradesh. After coming back from Machilipatanam he again started his political activities in Debiganj.
At the very beginning of the Historical Tebhaga Movement of 1946, Samar Ganguly was in Debiganj as an Organiser. Then he was sent to Malbazar to attend a Tea Garden Workers’ Conference. He was assigned with the responsibility of looking after the peasant struggle in the Dooars. He along with Deba Prasad (Patal) Ghose addressed several meetings of workers and peasants and urged them to enforce Tebhaga. Slowly and steadily he started to gain his popularity among the peasants and tea garden workers, and in a very short span of time he became a ‘Krishak-Shramik’ leader along with Patal Ghose. Because of the support from tribal community near Malbazar-Matelli area, they became tribal leader as well. Samar Ganguly set up a sort of operational camp at a place near Malbazar, targeting a jote owned by Balgovinda, a Marwari jotedar. The peasants took possession of it without any resistance at that time. Along with him there were several other ‘Krishak Sangathak’ leaders like Buni Oraon, Debcharan Nayek, Sarbaru Muhammad, Sukra Oraon and many more. Even Adibasi women also took part in the movement. When police had came to arrest Samar Ganguly, they protected their leader with great bravery. It was in this context of such unstable and rebellious situation that the terrified jotders begged for police help. Their plea was later joined in by the planters too. By late February the situation began to change and the police force was strengthened. On 1st March at Neoramajhiali near Baradighi, under Malbazar P.S, a large number of peasants and tea garden workers carrying lathis, bows, and arrows, spears etc. raided the paddy stocks stored in a jotedar’s granary. An armed police force was already posted there. A scuffle took place between them and the peasant snatched away some guns from the police. Thereafter, the police open fired and killed five peasants including one woman. Samar Ganguly himself was present at a place, very close to the spot where the firing took place. On that day a huge meeting organized by the Rail Union was being held at Domohani where many district leaders including Jyoti Basu, the main speaker at the meeting, were present. Samar Ganguly sent letters to Domohani seeking advice and instruction from the District leadership. The advices that were sent by the leadership was two-fold: a) Throwing away the snatched guns in the wells; and b) Samar Ganguly was to evade arrest. The Tebhaga Movement started to spread across the Dooars including the areas of Oodlabari, Nagrakata, Mal, Chalsha, Neoramajhiyali, Batabari, Teshimla, Sulkapara e.t.c. under their leadership. At this juncture another incident took place. Police firing occured where nine people died along with a child (13 years old), and many others injured in 4th April 1947, at Mahabari Village, near Mangalbari Haat (Chalsa area).
At early 1948 Samar Ganguly got arrested, and had been sentenced to jail up to 1952. After coming out of the jail he again started to work for the party with Parimal Mitra, Subodh Sen and many others. He got himself involved with multiple activities, mainly with the ‘Krishak Movement’ by distributing ‘Khas-Jomi’ among the farmers with the help of other members of the party. In 1962, during the time of Indo-China War, he again got arrested. After coming out of the jail he was elected as the District Secretary of Communist Party of India, Jalpaiguri. In December 1978 he was sent to Moscow (Soviet Russia) on behalf of the party as a delegate, and stayed there up to February 1979. Samar Ganguly not only was the leader of several movements but also gained love and respect from fellow peasants and workers; they often came to their ‘Comrade’ anytime for seeking suggestion and advice on any matter. From the year 1988 onwards his health condition started deteriorating. Due to senescence he suffered from several physical illnesses and ultimately died on 30th March 1989 in Gairkata.
- Dasgupta, Ranajit. Peasants,Workers anf Freedom Struggle, Jalpaiguri 1945 to 1947.
- Chattopadhaya, Kunal. Tebhaga Angoloner Itihas (1987 ed.). Progressive Publisher.
- Sen, Sunil. Bharater Krishok Andolan 1855-1975.
- Sharma, Umesh. Bharater Swadhinata Sangrame Alipurduar.
- Roy, Dhananjoy. Tarai Dooars er Shromik Krishok Bidroho o Tebhaga Andolon.
- Ch. Chowdhury, Nirmal. Swadhinata Sangrapa Uttar Banger Adhibasi.
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