Travelling to Subhas-Pally: A Place with a Forgotten History
On reaching Henria around 1:30 pm, I quickly moved ahead to have a talk with some shopkeepers and old rickshaw-pullers to get my way right to Subhas-Pally, formerly popular by the name of Jararnagar. I had decided to visit this village in East Midnapore which has a rich history behind but is forgotten, presently unknown, unexplored and unsung. Bengal has a lot of historic legacies and it is regrettable that most of the legacies are now forgotten, lost and some are in the verge of extinction.
Midnapore has a rich history and almost all villages have been a witness to historical uprisings and sacrifices in both pre and post- independence era. One such village that is struggling to keep its legacy alive is Jararnagar, adjacent to Henria in Khejuri Block-1. Travelling to Subhas-Pally is a tribute to the struggle of its people.
As per the historical facts, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose visited this place on 12th April, 1938 to attend a meeting and inspire the common mass to get united out of love for the country. He called for unity and encouraged people to join the Freedom Movement in British India. To keep history alive, the villagers treasure a statue of Netaji that was inaugurated by the State Higher Education Minister Professor Shambhu Ghosh,surrounding which a school and library have been built up later. The village was named Subhaspally after Netaji. Currently, a vocational training center named Subhas Shilpa Bharati, a B.Ed training institute named Subhas Chandra Bose Primary Teachers’ Training Institute, a library named Subhas Smriti Pathagar, a school named Subhaspally Kunjabihari Vidyabhavan established in 1964 and Subhaspally High School proudly stands to celebrate the historical memories attached with this village. It also proudly preserves the flag that was hoisted by Netaji during his historical visit here in 1938!
Subhas-Pally has also seen personalities like Acharya Vinoba Bhave, Honourable Food Minister Prafulla Chandra Sen, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, Padma Bhushan Dr. Phulrenu Guha, Nikunja Behari Maity, Abha Maity and many others visit during various times in both pre and post-independence era. The National award-winning teacher, Ishwar Chandra Pramanik, was a resident of Jararnagar and had played a key role in bringing the historic personalities to encourage and inspire the common people here during the Freedom Movement. A statue of Ishwar Chandra Pramanik is built right beside Netaji’s. This village was an epitome of rural development, social activism, pre-independence Swadeshi activities and modern education. Till date, Subhas-Pally boasts of being the most highly educated village in the entire Khejuri region on this side of Midnapore.
However, this rich heritage is fast eroding with the end of the historical generation and the witnesses. Very few from the then generation and witnesses survive currently and the present generations are not fully aware of the glory of their place of residence. It is really sad that this small place with an enormous history is now almost unknown and forgotten. Recently, the village found a miniscule place in a regional newspaper column when the villagers demanded the only railway station here to be named after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
As the sun went down the horizon, I moved out of the village to return. I boarded a bus to Kolkata from Henria. I left the place with a lot of respect and pride in my heart. I wish such places are duly given recognition and attention in order to spread awareness that it currently deserves, so that the heritage doesn’t become extinct. People here still believe in the idealism preached by the historic personalities. All ethnic groups and communities co-exist peacefully and amicably here. Places like Subhas-Pally should be restored; avenues should be created to preserve such places that deserve our salutations.
Do you know of any such places which have a rich historical heritage but people are not aware of? Do share below in the comments.