The ‘Quit India’ Movement of 1942 was a watershed in India’s struggle for freedom. A unique feature of the ‘Movement’ was formation of a series of independent local Governments in some parts of the country, like Satara in Maharashtra, Ballia in Uttar Pradesh and Tamluk in West Bengal.
Among these, the ‘Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar’ (National Government) of Tamluk was really innovative since it set up Police Stations, Military Departments, Courts and even a system for revenue collection. They also had an active women's wings- Bidyut Bahini. Those who played important roles in the uprising in Tamluk included Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee and Matangini Hazra, among others. The Sarkar continued to function till August 1944, when taking note of the changed circumstances, Mahatma Gandhi advised to wind up its activities.5
President Pranab Mukherjee unveiled statues of three freedom fighters who led the Tamralipta Jatiya Sarkar:
Satish Chandra Samanta and
Sushil Kumar Dhara.
Sushil Kumar Dhara died in 2011. In an interview before his death he recounted, "It was indeed a parallel Government with a judiciary and a law and order machinery. The Government helped the poor and the distressed. An army was raised with volunteers. It had combatants, intelligence officials, ambulance corps with well trained doctors and nurses. The National Government functioned from December 17, 1942 to August 8, 1944. It was dissolved on the explicit directions of Mahatma Gandhi.
"The National Government had an impartial and efficient judiciary; courts were held in the open. One could engage a lawyer free of cost and start a suit by paying only Rs. two as court fee. Fair trial with little or no cost, Sushil Dhara reminisces. India too is going the same way particularly with family courts, Lok Adalats, legal aid etc., he felt. Such was the fairness of the judgements delivered in the courts of the National Government that the judiciary in free India upheld their verdicts later on", remarks Sushil Dhara with a proud glitter in his eyes.4
Other famous personalities from Tamluk are: Khudiram Bose and Hemchandra Kanungo.
Matangini Hazra was an active participant of the ‘Quit India’ Movement in Tamluk. In September 1942, she took the lead in long procession in Tamluk and advanced firmly with the national flag in her hands when a shower of bullets from the heavily armed forces of the colonial government felled her.2, 5