Our Nobel Laureate national bard Rabindranath Tagore’s words “Fear not, o triumphant one!” aptly embodies the spirit of “Jayashree”, the Bengali monthly periodical which has been the voice of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose since 1931. True to his words which were attributed to this periodical as its banner at its inception in 1931 and reinforced by the buoyant spirit of its revolutionary founding editor Anil Roy, we are moving forward with this publication with missionary zeal even to this day. Jayashree was born at a crucial juncture in the days of freedom struggle in colonized India marked by nationalist mass movements and armed revolution. While there was an influx of new materialistic ideas shaping political thought in India, Jayashree came into being under the stewardship of the revolutionary Anil Das imbibing these modern ideas while remaining firmly rooted to the rich traditions of India’s history, philosophy and values.
The events which shaped the prevailing sociopolitical scenario in Bengal leading to the birth of Jayashree included Swami Vivekananda’s journey to America to articulate Indian philosophy, the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1903, the martyrdom of several revolutionaries like Khudiram, Prafulla Chaki, Naren-Kanai-Satyen et al, the Alipore Bomb case involving Sri Aurobindo, the Delhi Conspiracy Case, the acts of daredevil revolutionaries like Rashbehari Bose and Jatindranath Mukherjee (BaghaJatin and his epic battle with the British troops at the banks of Buribalam in Orissa), the Sedition Committee, the Chittagong Armoury Raid by Surya Sen (Masterda), the Writers’ Building raid by the trio Benoy-Badal-Dinesh, the martyrdom of Anil Das, one of the great supporters of Jayashree and the non-cooperation movement and mass movements led by Gandhi along with global events like the Russian revolution and the first and later the second world wars. Leela Roy and Anil Roy, both of whom were born into the Bengali middle class at the dawn of the twentieth century lived through the developments which shaped their personalities. Both of them were associated with the Congress. While Anil Roy was a revolutionary, Leela Nag, a Rai Bahadur’s daughter from Sylhet and a meritorious Dhaka University graduate worked hard for emancipation of women in Bengal. Both of them went to prison for their nationalistic anti-British activities, took part in the Tripura, Ramgarh and Nagpur Congress meets and swore allegiance to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, initially within the Congress and subsequently in the Forward Bloc. By 1938, the political scenario was changing fast and the Jayashree was waging a two-pronged ideological struggle, an uncompromising nationalistic one for liberation from foreign yoke and a political one against Marxist thinking which single mindedly held on to the borrowed thoughts of Marx and Engels and rejected all that was Indian in origin, philosophical, religious and cultural.
Jayashree has always strived to keep abreast of the latest developments worldwide while remaining firmly rooted to the India’s past history and philosophy. It has adhered to its principle at great cost. Following the Roys’ release from prison, the Jayashree adapted quickly to its changing role with an eye on the changing political events and the nature of mass movements. Tagore penned the famous words for Jayashree “Rise, ignoring reverence; ignoring disdain, / Tread the rocky trail with unrelenting steps,/ Pick the tattered banner up in grimy hands.” The Jayashree family has remained firm in its resolve while sticking to this principle, surviving the traumatic events of partition followed by Independence in 1947 and a multitude of upheavals thereafter.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the foundation of this periodical, the Jayashree group decided to implement into action its philosophy and set up the Jayashree Foundation, a research and social welfare basedorganization. On the birth centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose a research centre was founded to study Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and to reinforce national development by infusing his thoughts and ideas. In keeping with these thoughts, plans are in place to set up a reference library cum study centre and a museum with a well-organized course of study at 5/80, Bijoygarh, the Jayashree Foundation office. We plan to have a vast collection of books, periodicals, articles and legal documents related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Azad Hind Fauz, as also letters and notes by all contemporary revolutionaries. We aim to study as well as highlight the work of the uncompromising revolutionaries before the nation, which, unfortunately has been deliberately pushed into insignificance by the combined effort of the Marxist intelligentsia with their blinkered vision and the ruling establishment at the Centre which has hitherto been careful to selectively highlight only the non-violent aspect of our freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and his cohorts while compromising with the British at the cost of our unity and integrity and the Nehru legacy thereafter. For the implementation of our plans we shall be in need of funds for which we shall appreciate your generous support greatly. This would certainly be an important part in fulfilling Jayasree’s identity of ‘the triumphant.’
(First issue of the Jayasree English Bulletin, September 2014)