The Writers' Building, is the secretariat building of the State government and the imposing 150-meter long building covers the entire northern stretch of the water body locally called Lal Dighi in the B.B.D Bagh area.
This building originally served as the office for writers of the British East India Company, hence the name. Designed in 1777, the Writers' Building has gone through several extensions over the years and is currently undergoing extensive renovation.
The giant pediment at the centre is crowned with the statue of Minerva. The terrace also contains several other statues and notable among them are four clusters of statues, christened 'Justice', 'Commerce', 'Science' and 'Agriculture', with the Greek gods and goddesses of these four streams (Zeus, Hermes, Athena and Demeter respectively) flanked by a European and an Indian practitioner of these vocations.
On 8 December 1930 at the time when India was in its struggle for freedom from the British, Benoy Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta headed for the Writers' Building dressed in European outfits carrying loaded revolvers. They shot dead the notorious Inspector General of Police, Colonel N.G. Simpson, infamous for his brutal oppression of the prisoners in the jail.
After killing the Commander-in-chief Simpson, they occupied the Writers' Building, and soon a gun battle followed in the corridors. Unable to stand up to the numerous forces of Calcutta police, the trio soon found themselves overpowered and cornered.
Unwilling to give themselves up, Badal took potassium cyanide and died instantly, while his comrades shot themselves. Benoy died five days later in hospital but Dinesh survived only to be hanged on 7 July 1931.
Today this area named after the trio and is called B.B.D Bagh. A statue of Benoy, Badal and Dinesh stands in front of the Writers' Building, showing Benoy, the group leader, leading his comrades in their final battle.
A walk in the BBD Bagh park across the street from Writers' (aka Lal Dighi of yore, or Dalhousie Square to the British) on a Sunday morning is interesting. I would not recommend any other day of the week as this is after all the commercial heart of the city. But the lawns are well maintained and the lake adds to the charm; you can also find anglers sitting patiently at the edge!
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