Suchetana Chattopadhyay’s e book on Komagata Maru chosen for Muzaffar Ahmed Memorial Prize

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, August 2

Historian Suchetana Chattopadhyay’s e book on Komagata Maru has been chosen for the distinguished Muzaffar Ahmed Memorial Prize this yr.

Besides Chattopadhyay’s work — which throws gentle on how the British colonial police arrange an elaborate system of surveillance on Sikh migrants returning to Punjab from North America and East Asia within the wake of the Komagata Maru firing incident — two different books, too, have been chosen for the award instituted within the reminiscence of Ahmed, who was one of many founders of the Communist Party of India.

The two latter books are written in Bengali. SK Nath will probably be awarded for his work on Akshay Kumar Datta, an mental stalwart from 19th century Bengal whereas Manabendranath Saha has been chosen for the award for his e book on filmmaker Mrinal Sen.

The award-winning e book by Chattopadhyay, who teaches historical past at Kolkata’s Jadavpur University, is written in English.

Named “Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Workers from Punjab in Bengal”, the e book tells the fascinating story of how “the Punjabi Sikh emigrants became formal targets of the colonial repressive state apparatus” within the wake of the Komagata Maru incident.

Chattopadhyay, a PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, is keen on Sikhs and it reveals in her educational pursuits.

Besides Komagata Maru, she has additionally written on the Jallianwala Bagh bloodbath and revolutionary actions among the many Sikh cab drivers dwelling in Kolkata when India was a British colony.

The Tribune requested Chattopadhyay what was it that fascinated her concerning the Sikhs and Punjab? Was it the tales of the sacrifice by the Sikhs, the function performed by the individuals of Punjab in India’s wrestle for freedom or the recognition of Left-wing politics amongst a bit of the Punjabis?

“Everything, all these things,” Chattopadhyay answered.

Former JNU professor Chaman Lal complimented Chattopadhyay on her being chosen for the Muzaffar Ahmed Memorial Award.

“She has done painstaking research for the book which has turned out to be an absolutely first-rate work,” Chaman Lal mentioned.

Chattopadhyay and the opposite recipients would be the conferred the award in a operate in Kolkata on August 5 on the event of 132nd beginning anniversary of Muzaffar Ahmed.

Komagata Maru, a Japanese steamship, sailed from Hong Kong for Vancouver with 376 Punjabi passengers on board in 1914. On being denied entry to Canada, it lastly returned Budge Budge close to Kolkata the place the British police, suspecting the passengers of being sympathisers of the Ghadar Party, fired upon them once they tried to disembark. Twenty individuals, most of them Sikhs, died within the incident which passed off in September 1914.

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