The freedom fighter who made bombs for revolutionaries
Deepika Padukone tried out for the role of Kalpana Dutta in Ashutosh Gowariker’s historical biopic in 2010 Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. She was praised for portraying a young freedom fighter who played a pivotal role in the Chittagong Arsenal Raid in 1930. She spent 6 years in prison after being arrested in 1933. Later she is remained an active communist leader and worked during the Bengal famine.
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Kalpana Dutta was born on July 27, 1913 in the village of Sripur in Chittagong district, now part of Bangladesh. After completing her secondary education in Chittagong, she joined Bethune College in Kolkata. Later, Kalpana joined Chhatri Sangha, where she came into contact with revolutionaries like Bina Das and Pritilata Waddedar.
In 1931, Kalpana Dutta joined Surya Sen’s Republican Indian Army which had led the raid on the Chittagong Armory a year ago. She made bombs and served as a courier agent for the revolutionaries. In the same year, she and Pritilata Waddedar were assigned to attack a European club in Chittagong. But Kalpana was arrested a week before the raid while scouting the area. After her release on bail, she went into hiding. However, Kalpana was arrested in 1933 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Amid public protests, Mahatma Gandhi visited him in prison. Six years later, Kalpana was released from prison.
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After her release from prison, Kalpana devoted herself to relief work during the Bengal famine of 1943 and the partition of Bengal. In 1940, she joined the Communist Party of India and married a senior party official, PC Joshi, three years later. She died at the age of 81 in Calcutta.
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