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  • Category: Competition Entries

    “Can't you hear me crying?”: asks condemned cell of Alipore Central Jail

    Fortunately no one is occupying me tonight. So, I am getting the opportunity to express myself. I can see the jailor and other high-ranking jail officials are preparing for tomorrow's Independence Day celebration. The convicts are helping them. The entire jail premises have been cleaned. The flag-stand is now immaculately clean. The jail wardens are busy in distributing clean clothes to the convicts. In the jail-kitchen, preparation has started for tomorrow's special meal. The patients in the jail-hospital have been properly checked by the prison-doctors. Newspapers and periodicals have been kept prominently in the jail-library. And on the eve of Independence Day, my mind is travelling backwards. I am travelling backwards to those days before independence of this great country.

    1908: I could see him. The man was occupying me, this very cell. A divine aura surrounded him. His body was the epitome of peace. The environment of the prison could't touch him. He was praying to God for salvation. Outside the cell, the eminent barrister, Chittaranjan Das, was presenting his argument to save the man from the gallows. But the man who had declined to join the most prestigious ICS was totally unaffected. I was thrilled that his verdict finally came. Arobindo Ghosh was saved from the gallows by Chittaranjan Das, who would himself become 'Deshbondhu' soon after this event. And Arobindo would go to Pondicherry to help others to seek God.

    Arobindo Ghosh vacated me. But Mother Bengal had no dearth of his sons. How could I remain unoccupied when these great young men were there? Come 1910: Those two sickly young men were sent to this cell. I was astonished. These two boys were too weak even to move! What could they do? Later I got the news: Kanailal Bose and Satyendranath Datta, earlier arrested in 1908, somehow managed to get two pistols and with these weapons, they shot and killed the traitor, Naren Gossain inside the very prison! They were hanged.

    Since 1908 to 1947, many great revolutionaries and freedom fighters like Subhash Chandra Bose, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, Promode Ranjan Chaudhury and many others spent their time with me, in this Condemned Cell. On many occasions, even the freedom fighters who were given simple imprisonment by the judiciary, were sent to the condemned cell to break their morals. But to their dismay, the British rulers totally failed in this regard.

    Then on 15th August, 1947, India got its independence. However, the pain of partition and the subsequent tragedy still haunt me. Even after partition, some good people who thought for the welfare of the people, spent their time with me. You may differ with the policies of Charu Majumdar and Dr. Jack Preger, but you can't question their motives.

    However, since the eighties, the occupants of this cell cause an abhorrent feeling in me. I am being made impure by the ordinary criminals, psychopaths, murderers and rapists who have been occupying me in recent time. I felt like vomiting when the last criminal of this jail who went to the gallows, entered this sacred spot in 2004 earlier occupied by Arobindo, Subhash or Bidhan. How could I tolerate that man who raped and killed a fourteen year old girl?

    Since then (2004), I have been crying and praying to God! I am praying that no such criminal should ever enter the sacred premises.

    Dear Indians! Can't you hear me crying? Please take oath on this Independence Day to develop the country in such a manner so that not even a single criminal remains in this great country. Take steps so that I, the condemned cell of Alipore Central Jail, remain unoccupied forever.

    (Competition entry)
  • #575299
    Much water has flown in the Ganges since independence.

    Madan Mitra, the All India Trinamool Congress leader and the former minister of state for sports (independent charge) and transport in the Government of West Bengal, has also been one of the inmates. As a Division-I prisoner, the status granted to him by the Calcutta High Court on his request, he has been given some of the best blankets and linen. The status entitled him to have a chair, table and a lamp inside the cell. He had been given a bed though he was one of the 22,000 prisoners of the Alipore Correctional Home, as nowadays it is called.

    He was drinking packaged water bought from within the prison itself and homemade food was allowed on request. He could get bread, butter, eggs, fruits etc. in breakfast and his lunch included non-vegetarian items such as fish and meat almost every day.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #575305
    A beautiful writing Partha Da! While reading the thread I just feel the entire scene in my mind. What a beautiful scripting of the jail scene! Is it the real incident about Kanilal, Narendra Gosain, Chittaranjan Das and Satyendranath Dutta; as I've no idea of some Bengal freedom fighters that's why I am asking? I really appreciate your style of writing and presentation here. Jai Hind!!
    Naresh Kumar
    'Every bad situation will have something positive. Even a dead clock shows correct time twice a day.'

  • #575311
    #575305: Of course, yes! Arobindo Ghosh did his 'sadhna' in the condemned cell of Alipore jail. Kanai and Satyen killed Naren Gossain, who earlier got at least twenty revolutionaries arrested, in the jail balcony.
    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

  • #575361
    When we turn the history, the best thinking process came are from the jails or the prisons as the affected persons were having more time to think differently and their transformation was well narrated here.
    K Mohan
    I consider myself as the learner everyday

  • #575383
    How beautifully presented, I wish and I could write like you, marvellous job, I have read it fully and I came to the conclusion that it is one of the master piece which I have ever read. The situation of happiness of the jail when the freedom fighters were inside and the situation sadness of the jail in the present when the evil deeds human are inside are beautiful conceptualised, I think I have to learn many things from this site. Only the person of open minded with freshness inside can have the feeling like this to write an article of this type, I think it requires a lot of experience and I know that the author has lot of experience.
    live happily in every situation of life

  • #575418
    I am using my own thread to express my deepest respect and regards to Rishi Arobindo Ghosh on his birth anniversary.
    “Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away.” - Paul Terry

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