Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Rajani Ranjan Sircar

South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

June 27, 2022

Rajani Ranjan Sircar, son of Parbati Prasad was born in 1909 in the village Jujkhola in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). He belonged to Chittagong and he assisted many political freedom fighters of the Chittagong Armoury Raid in various ways in their anti-British activities before they were incarcerated as political prisoners in the Cellular Jail (National Memorial) and most of them were released in 1938. One of them was his village friend Nagendra Nath Dey who was imprisoned in the Cellular Jail during 1932-38 in connection with Bathua Action and Conspiracy Case. He was secretly helping him in his revolutionary activities. The second freedom fighter close to him in action was Saroj Kanti Guha, an associate of Master Surya Sen. Saroj Guha was arrested and interned in the Cellular Jail the period from 1932 to 1938. Subodh Choudhury, Ganesh Ghosh, and a few other revolutionaries of the Chittagong Armoury Raid Case imprisoned in the Cellular Jail were also in working contact with Rajani Ranjan Sircar. He assisted Pritilata Waddedar of the Surya Sen group during her stay at Calcutta in her revolutionary activities.

After the arrest of many revolutionaries including Master Surya Sen, the rest of the revolutionaries mostly young and teenage members dispersed to different locations to escape arrest, and subsequently, a few of these revolutionaries came to Andaman as refugees of the first batch in 1949. Rajani Ranjan Sircar and Manoranjan Banerjee were two of them.

Soon after his arrival, on behalf of the Andaman and Nicobar administrations, he continued his services of bringing refugees from various camps of West Bengal for many years. Subsequently, he became an active member of the Chief Commissioner’s Advisory Council during 1957-60 and then became the first Bengali settler of the Andamans to be nominated as a member of the Home Minister’s Advisory Committee (HMAC) in 1961-62.

Rajani Ranjan Sircar was instrumental in the constitution of the ‘Ex-Andaman Political Prisoners Fraternity Circle’ which was joined by more than three hundred freedom fighters. This circle further made a strong successful attempt to save the present three wings of the Cellular Jail from their demolishment.

An old testimony - Home Minister’s Advisory Committee of 1961-62