Popularly called as "Manbhum-Janani" (mother of Manbhum) by the people of Purulia, she had never seen the light of school but was taught by her father. Labanya Prabha Ghosh was tied in wed lock to Atul Chandra Ghosh at the tender age of 11. She was the pivot of "Shilpashram" (Rural Industry Development inside the Ashram living mode) at Telkalpara, Purulia town. "Shilpashram" was the epicentre of the freedom struggle of Manbhum region and the associated social works.
In the year 1926, she became the elected representative of District Congress Committee from the then Manbhum district. Again she was a devout follower of the ideals of Gandhiji and in 1930; she played a major role in "Salt Agitation" ("Laban Satyagraha") by Mahatma Gandhi and in 1945 at "Pataka Satyagraha" at Konapara.
A leader by birth she led a group of 1,025 satyagrahis that courted arrest in Calcutta in 1956. She also fought for materialising the linguistic province for the Bengali speaking people of undivided Manbhum district. British government sent her to jail several times.
After Independence, she was in forefront of "Bhasa Andolon" (Language agitation) at the then Manbhum district against the forcible imposition of Hindi language over Bengali. Bihar government sent her to jail several times and imposed a fine of rupees six hundred. As a result of the "Bhasa Andolon" (Language agitation), a new district Purulia was curved out of Manbhum district of and acceded to West Bengal from Bihar.
During the emergency period in 1975, she was jailed. She wrote a number of articles at the "Mukti" periodical - first of its kind at Purulia district. She was elected as a MLA from Purulia Assembly Constituency. She was sentenced to jail thrice (in Purulia, Hazaribagh and Bhagalpur). Later out of utter disgust and agony she quit active politics. She spent 15 August and 26 January silently in her room at Silpashram till her death. She was not happy with the things going on these days and felt that her dream had not been fulfilled. She strongly criticised the state and central governments' policies. The family does not have anything except a few household items within the dilapidated rooms. But the family members never repent sacrificing the golden years of their lives to earn freedom. The canvas of her life is the one for self sacrifice and struggle before and after independence of India, she fought for justice of common man.
(Last Updated on : 22-08-2013)
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