Kalpana Datta (later Kalpana Joshi) was an independence movement activist and a member of the armed resistance movement led by Surya Sen, which carried out the Chittagong armoury raid in 1930.Later she joined the Communist Party of India and married Puran Chand Joshi, then General Secretary of the Communist Party of India in 1943.
Kalpana Datta was born at Sripur on 27 July 1913 (Boalkhali Upazila) in Chittagong District of Bengal Province in British India now Bangladesh . After passing her matriculation examination in 1929 from Chittagong, she went to Calcutta and joined the Bethune College for graduation in Science. Soon, she joined the Chhatri Sangha (Women Students Association).
The Chittagong armoury raid was carried out on 18 April 1930. Kalpana joined the “Indian Republican Army, Cattagram branch”, the armed resistance group led by Surya Sen in May 1931. In September, 1931 Surya Sen entrusted her along with Pritilata Waddedar to attack the European Club in Chittagong. But a week before the attack, she was arrested while carrying out reconnaissance of the area. She went underground after release on bail. On 17 February 1933 the police encircled their hiding place and Surya Sen was arrested but Kalpana was able to escape. She was arrested on 19 May 1933.
In the second supplementary trial of Chittagong armoury raid case, Kalpana was sentenced to transportation for life. After her release in 1939, Kalpana graduated from the Calcutta University in 1940 and joined the Communist Party of India. In 1946, she contested in the elections for the Bengal Legislative Assembly as a Communist Party of India candidate from Chittagong but could not win. She died in Calcutta on 8 February 1995.
In 1943, she married Puran Chand Joshi. They had two sons: Chand and Suraj. Chand Joshi was a noted journalist, who worked for the Hindustan Times. He was also known for his work, Bhindranwale: Myth and Reality (1985). Chand’s wife Manini (née Chatterjee) penned a book on the Chattagram armoury raid, titled, Do and Die: The Chattagram Uprising 1930-34.