Saumyendranath Tagore and the Peasant Movement of Murshidabad: A Study on Historical Perspectives

Satya Brata Bhattacharya


Saumyendranath Tagore and his party played an important role in mobilizing the rural poor andbring to light lower sections and lower voices of the neglected and oppressedpeople.He always stood for the peasants and other lower sections of the Indian people against the intolerable condition of existence created by wicked landlords and the imperialist colonial masters. It is interesting to note that Saumyendranath was the pioneer of the Marxist movement in Murshidabad. In 1936 Communist League of India was established in Murshidabad. Tarapada Gupta, on behalf of the CLI, hoisted the Red Flag for the first time in Murshidabad. In the territorial jurisdiction of the four police stations of Murshidabad, namely Kandi, Burwan, Hariharpara and Khargram, the CLI or RCPI had its political bases. They organized peasant movements in these areas which directed against local land lords and money lenders. These peasant movements during the late thirties or early forties consisted mainly of ‘no-rent campaigns’.


Saumyendranath Tagore, Communist, RCPI, Tarapada Gupta, Peasants, Kishan Sabhas, Zamindari System, Land Revenue.

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] Henceforth, Saumyendranath Tagore would be simply referred to as either “Saumyendranath” or simply as “Tagore”. The latter reference should not be confused as a reference to his more famous uncle Rabindranath Tagore.

[ ] Saumyendranath Tagore was born on 08 October1901 to the famous Tagore family of Jorasanko. His father was Sudhindranath Tagore and mother was Charubala Debi. He was one of the main architects of communism and trade unionism in India.

[ ] In August 1934 Saumyendranath floated the Communist League of India (hereafter CLI), a parallel organization of the CPI. At the time of its formation, there were five members of this organization, namely Saumyendranath Tagore, Sudhir Dasgupta, Prabhat Sen, RanjitMajumdar and Arun Banerjee. A few years later the party changed its name to CPI. However, again it changed its name Revolutionary Communist Party of India (hereafter RCPI) in 1942 during the Quit India Movement. For details see Chandra, Amitava, AbibhaktoBanglae Communist Andolon, p.15

[ ] A Brief Summary of Political Events in the Presidency of Bengal during the year 1937,Confidential file, Government of West Bengal pp.11- 12

[ ] Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad 1920-1947, Manisha: Calcutta, Jan 1992, pp.89-90

[ ]Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad, p.91

[ ]File no.-859/36, I.B

[ ] Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad, pp.98-100

[ ] File no. 166/26, I.B.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ] Gupta Bejoy Kumar, Beldangar Ullekhjogyo Krishak Sammelan, in Chalormi, pp.17-18

[ ] Ibid.

[ ] Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad, pp. 101-102

[ ] Ibid, p.103

[ ] Home Political File , Brief Summary of political events in the province of Bengal during the year 1940

[ ]File no. 166/26, I.B.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ]Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad, pp. 103-104

[ ] File no. 166/26, I.B.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ]Ibid.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ] Ibid.

[ ] Proceedings of the Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1939, Vol, IV, pp.127-131

[ ] According to Sunil Kundagrami, an assistant to the office of the Bengal Provincial Kisan Committee, early in 1937 the BPKC was an all-party organization. Sometime after, Saumyendranath Tagore with his supporters separated from this organization. They formed a rival organization at 220, Cornwallis Street. For details see File no. 166/26, I.B.

[ ]Gupta, Bishan Kumar, Political Movements in Murshidabad, p. 108

[ ] Ibid, pp.104-105

[ ] Ibid, p.105

[ ] Gupta, Bejoy Kumar, ShatabarsherAlokeBaharampur, Pourasabha, Berhampur, p. 34, 1978


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