Pritilata Waddedar: A Bengali revolutionary

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Pritilata

MNA Feature Desk: Pritilata Waddedar, born May 5, 1911, a Bengali revolutionary nationalist believed in armed struggle to free Indian Subcontinent from the oppression of British.

In June of 1932, she joined the Indian freedom movement. She took part in several raids with the group over the next few months. In September of 1932, the group decided to attack the Pahartali European Club which posted a sign that read “Dogs and Indians not allowed.”

On the morning of September 23, Pritilata dressed as a man and with 7 or 8 other associates attacked the club. A few police officers were at the club and started shooting.

One woman died, 11 people were injured, and Pritilata was wounded. Her body was found the next day, but it was determined that the bullet wound was not the cause of her death. She had taken cyanide to avoid capture by the British.

Pritilata had participated in ‘activities subversive to the state’ since the period of studies in Eden College, where she became a member of Sree Sangha under the banner Dipali Sangha led by Lila Nag. In Calcutta she was a member of the Chhatri Sangha led by Kalayani Das.

After graduation she returned to Chittagong and took up the job of the headmistress of a local English medium secondary school named Nandankanan Aparnacharan School.

One of Priti’s brothers was already involved in revolutionary politics. He introduced her to the famous revolutionary activist Mastarda Surya Sen and although it was very rare for a woman to join in revolutionary politics, he accepted Pritilata as a woman member of his revolutionary group.