Tebhaga movement

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Tebhaga movement
Part of Cold War and Peasant Revolution
British Raj British Raj

South Asian Communist Banner.svg Communist Party of India

  • Local peasantry
Commanders and leaders
Bengal PresidencyBengal South Asian Communist Banner.svgCharu Majumdar
South Asian Communist Banner.svgKansari Halder
South Asian Communist Banner.svgIla Mitra
South Asian Communist Banner.svgMoni Singh
South Asian Communist Banner.svgBishnu Chattopadhyay
South Asian Communist Banner.svgM.A. Rasul
South Asian Communist Banner.svgMoni Guha
South Asian Communist Banner.svgHaji Mohammad Danesh
South Asian Communist Banner.svgSushil Sen
South Asian Communist Banner.svgSubodh Roy
South Asian Communist Banner.svgGanesh Das
South Asian Communist Banner.svgAbani Lahiri
South Asian Communist Banner.svgGurudas Talukdar
South Asian Communist Banner.svgSamar Ganguly
South Asian Communist Banner.svgBimola Mandal
South Asian Communist Banner.svgSudher Mukherjee
South Asian Communist Banner.svgSudipa Sen
South Asian Communist Banner.svgMoni Krishna Sen
South Asian Communist Banner.svgBudi ma (বুড়ি মা)
South Asian Communist Banner.svgNiyamat Ali
Units involved
Police Service Bengal group

Tebhaga movement (1946–1947) was significant peasant agitation, initiated in Bengal by the All India Kisan Sabha of peasant front of the Communist Party of India.


At that time sharecroppers had contracted to give half of their harvest to the landlords. The demand of the Tebhaga (sharing by thirds) movement was to reduce the landlord share to one third.[1] In many areas the agitations turned violent, and landlords fled, leaving parts of the countryside in the hands of Kisan Sabha. In 1946 sharecroppers began to assert that they would pay only one-third and that before division the crop would stay in their godowns and not that of the Jotedars. The sharecroppers were encouraged by the fact that the Bengal Land Revenue Commission had already made this recommendation in its report to the government. The movement resulted in clashes between Jotedars and Bargadars (sharecroppers). As a response to the agitation, the Muslim League ministry in the province launched the Bargadari Act, which provided that the share of the harvest given to the landlords would be limited to one third of the total. However, the law was not fully implemented. The Bengal Land Revenue Commission popularly known as Floud Commission had made recommendation in favour of the share-croppers.

The movement in 24 Parganas[edit]

During the Bengal Famine of 1943 the Communist Party of India provided relief to the peasantry of the Sundarbans area. In September 1946 Bangiya Pradeshik Kisan Sabha decided to launch the Tebhaga movement. The peasant movement broke out in Kakdwip, Sonarpur, Bhangar and Canning. Kakdwip and Namkhana were the storm centres of the movement. The movement aimed at improving the share of the peasant engaged as sharecroppers. The movement continued till 1950, when the Bargadari Act was enacted. The Act recognised the right of the sharecropper to two-thirds of the produce when he provided the inputs.[2] During 1946-1950 the Tebhaga movement in several parts of the 24 Parganas district led to the enactment of the Bargadari Act. Although the Bargadari Act of 1950 recognised the rights of bargadars to a higher share of crops from the land that they tilled, it was not implemented. Large tracts, beyond the prescribed limit of land ceiling, remained with the rich landlords. In 1967, West Bengal witnessed peasant uprising, against non-implementation of land reforms legislation, starting from Kheadaha gram panchayat in Sonarpur CD block. From 1977 onwards major land reforms took place in West Bengal under the Left Front government. Land in excess of land ceiling was acquired and distributed amongst the peasants. Subsequently, “Operation Barga” was aimed at securing tenancy rights for the peasants.[3]

In Both Bengals[edit]

Hindus and Muslims alike participated in this peasant movement, avoiding the riots and communal hatred of forty-six years. The principle of Indian Communist Party was peasant unity on the basis of which the Tevaga movement spread from district to district leaving aside all fratricidal feuds. Peasant struggles in East and West Bengal were united through the formation of associations, the formation of women workers, struggle funds and political education classes. Farmers from the remote areas of Sundarbans to various parts of North Bengal raised their demand for Tevaga. The main leaders of this movement include Kansari Halder, Ganesh Das, Ajit Bose, Bishnu Chattopadhyay, Ila Mitra, Haji Mohammad Danesh, Debaprasad Ghosh (Patal Ghosh), Sushil Sen, Noor Jalal, Krishnavinod Roy, Bhupal Panda, Rupanarayan Roy, Dr. Ganendranath Sarkar, Kali Sarkar. Wide participation of women was one of the characteristics of Tevaga.[4] The first martyrs of Tevaga movement were Samir Uddin and Shivram Majhi of Talpukur village of Chirirbandar upazila of Dinajpur district. Samir Uddin was a Muslim and Shivram Majhi belonged to the tribal Hasda community.


Hare Krishna Konar played a leading role in getting surplus land held by big land owners in excess of land ceiling laws and kept ‘benami’ (or false names) vested with the state. The quantum of land thus vested was around one million acres (4,000 km²) of good agricultural land. Subsequently, under the leadership of Benoy Choudhury, this land was distributed amongst 2.4 million landless and poor farmers.[5]


  1. ^ Asok Majumdar (2011). The Tebhaga Movement : Politics of Peasant Protest in Bengal 1946-1950. Aakar Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-9350021590.
  2. ^ "District Human Development Report: South 24 Parganas". Chapter 1.2, South 24 Parganas in Historical Perspective, pages 7-9. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal, 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  3. ^ "District Human Development Report: South 24 Parganas". (1) Chapter 1.2, South 24 Parganas in Historical Perspective, pages 7-9 (2) Chapter 3.4, Land reforms, pages 32-33. Development & Planning Department, Government of West Bengal, 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  4. ^ Bhattacharya, Jayant (1996). Tevaga of Bengal, struggle of Tevaga (in Bengali). Calcutta: National Book agency. pp. 39, 72, 98.
  5. ^ "The story of a pretender". The Statesman, 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2010.