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Nanigopal Mukhopadhyay

(1895 – 1944) – (West Bengal)

Nani Gopal Mukhopadhyay, born in 1895 in Hooghly, was born into a family with ties to the British administration as government servants. However, he defied the expectations of his family and chose to align himself with the freedom movement. His encounter with Jyotish Chandra Ghosh at the age of 13-14 ignited his passion for the cause, even in the face of opposition from his family.

Eventually, Nani Gopal left his home and was dispatched by Jyotish Chandra to various villages to promote education and raise awareness. He also became a member of a Gupt Samiti in Calcutta. During this period, the Head of the Police Commissioner, Denham, was known for his repressive tactics. On March 2, 1911, a young Nani Gopal waited for Denham at Dalhousie Square and threw a bomb towards him before making his escape. Unfortunately, the bomb failed to detonate. Narendranath Bandyopadhyay and Shrishchandra Ghosh were apprehended in connection with the incident. Jyotish Chandra Ghosh was also subsequently arrested. After a brief period, Nani Gopal himself was taken into custody, voluntarily taking full responsibility for the act, which led to the release of Narendranath and Shrishchandra.

In 1912, at the remarkably young age of 17, Nani Gopal was sent to the notorious Andaman Islands. While in jail, he vehemently opposed the inhumane treatment of inmates, initiating a hunger strike in protest. His persistence led him to endure a total of 150 days of hunger strike. Despite being reduced to a mere skeleton due to the ordeal, his determination remained unwavering. Eventually, his fellow inmates convinced him to resume eating, but the relentless harassment from the jailor led him to undertake multiple hunger strikes.

After an extended period, he was repatriated to the mainland. In his later years, Nani Gopal Mukhopadhyay became associated with the communist movement, channeling his fervor for social change through new avenues. He passed away by 1944.