Deshabandhu: Bengal's beloved friend

Editor's introduction to the first edition

India won her independence from British rule on 15 August 1947. Sri Chinmoy wrote this imaginative play about India's revolutionary heroes in Bengali, his mother tongue, in 1948 at the age of sixteen. The play celebrates the contributions of three immortal freedom-fighters from Bengal: Deshabandhu, Netaji and Deshapriya. Deshapriya hailed from Sri Chinmoy's own birthplace of Chittagong.

Sri Chinmoy translated this play into English in November 1996 in honour of the forthcoming 50th anniversary of India's Independence and the birth centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the greatest Indian freedom-fighter of all.

The play was first performed by Sri Chinmoy's students in Kagoshima, Japan, on 23 January 1997 — the day of Netaji's birth centenary. It is significant that Netaji's ashes are preserved at the Renko-ji Temple in Japan. Sri Chinmoy made a soulful pilgrimage to this temple on 26 December 1996.