|Controversial Calcutta Black Hole Memorial, St. John's Church complex, Calcutta (Kolkata)|
|The Calcutta Black Hole is one of the most controversial events of India history. According to the British account, during the seize of Calcutta Siraj ud - Daulah took 146 prisoner and confined them in a room measuring 14 feet by 8 feet and locked them up overnight. Only 23 survived, the rest 123 perished of suffocation and heat stroke. |
John Holwell a survivor, who later became the Governor of Bengal, left this account. John Holwell even went on to build a memorial at the site of the Black Hole (present day GPO).But the Indian historians have objected to Holwel's theory of Black Hole. It is believed that the the British resident escaped through a secret tunnel to the banks of the Hogghly. from where they were carried off to Madras by an awaiting ship. According to R C Majumdar 'Holwell story is completely baseless and can not be considered reliable historical information.'
The story of the Black Hole Monument is no less interesting. Holwell is said to have erected a monument at the site of the Black Hole tragedy. But somewhere in 1822 the monument disappeared only to be rebuild by Curzon in 1901 at the South - West corner of Writers Building. During the height of independence movement in 1940 the British were forced to remove the Black Hole Monument to the compound of St. John's Church, where it stands to this day.
The octagonal obelisk styled memorial contains the names of 123 people who are said to be "killed" in the Calcutta Black Hole.