Who Was Dinesh Gupta?Based on the true story of her great uncle…

Who Was Dinesh Gupta?

Based on the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta, Lions and Tigers is the world premiere of a new play by leading playwright Tanika Gupta. The production plays as part of our Festival of Independence from 23 August.

On 8 December 1930, Dinesh Gupta (aged 19), along with his comrades Badal Gupta (18) and Binoy Bose (21) led an assault on Writer’s Building, the administrative heart of the British Raj in Calcutta. They shot and killed the Inspector General of Prisons, Colonel Simpson, and then took cyanide and shot themselves in the head.


Dinesh spent six-and-a-half months in Alipore Central Jail in the ‘condemned’ cell. He wrote letters, in English to his brothers, and in Bengali to his mother, sisters, sisters-in-law, and some friends. 

Pritish Gupta, medical doctor and playwright Tanika Gupta’s paternal grandfather, collected 92 of Dinesh’s letters which have acted as inspiration for Tanika Gupta’s writing of Lions and Tigers. A small selection of the letters is now on display in our foyer.

Come and see Dinesh’s story come to life through performance. 

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