Titu Mir was born as Syed Mir Nisar Ali on 27 January 1782 (14 Magh 1182 in Bengali calendar), in Chandpur village, in North 24 Parganas district (currently in West Bengal, India). His father was Syed Mir Hassan Ali and mother was Abida Ruqayya Khatun.
Titu Mir’s education began in his village school, after which he moved to a local Madrassa. By the time he was 18 years of age, he had become a Hafiz of the Qur’an and a scholar of the Hadithand the Muslim traditions. He was also accomplished with Bengali, Arabic, and Persian languages. During this time he came under the influence of several Wahhabi seers, who preached a mixture of militant Islam and anti-colonial thought and saw both religious and political reform as in Bengal of that time.He was a disciple of Syed Ahmad Barelvi whose teachings of struggle against non Muslim oppression influenced his thoughts.
Titu Mir opposed a number of discriminatory measures in force at that time which included taxes on the wearing of beards and on mosques. The rift between Titu Mir and his followers on one side, and the local Zamindars supported by the British rulers on the other side, continued to widen, and armed conflict broke out at several places. Titu Mir had himself belonged to a “peyada” or martial family and himself had served under a Zamindar as a ‘lathial or ‘lethel’, a fighter with the quarterstaff or lathi, (which in Bengal is made of bamboo, not wood) and he was actively training his men in hand to hand combat and the use of the lathi. This weapon in skilled hands is deadly against anything except projectile weapons. He thus started military training inside the Mosques and Madrassahs. Since his army was mostly made up of poor peasants, they had no horses as cavalry.So they also started to steal horses from the stables of the Zamindars and from the British Police Stations. To face the situation and to give protection to the peasants Titu Mir formed a “Mujahid”force and trained them in lathi and other indigenous arms. The increasing strength of Titu Mir alarmed the zamindars who however attempted involve the British in their fight against him. Being instigated by the zamindar of Gobardanga, Davis, the English kuthial (factor) of Mollahati, advanced with his force against Titu Mir, but were routed. Titu Mir filed a complain to the government of East India Company against the oppression of the zamindars, but to no result. The followers of Titu Mir, believed to have grown to 15,000 by that time, readied themselves for prolonged armed conflict, and they built a fort of bamboo at Narikelbaria, near the town of Barasat. This was surrounded by a high double curtain wall of bamboo stakes filled in with mud cladding and sun-baked. Titu Mir declared independence from the British, and regions comprising the current districts of 24 Parganas, Nadia and Faridpur came under his control. The private armies of the Zamindars and the forces of the British met with a series of defeats at the hands of his men as a result of his strike-and-retreat guerrilla tactics.
Finally, the British forces, led by Lieutenant Colonel Stewart consisting of 100 cavalry, 300 native infantry and artillery with two cannons, mounted a concerted attacks on 14 November 1831, on Titu Mir and his followers. Armed with nothing more than the bamboo quarterstaff and Lathi and a few swords and spears, Titu Mir and his forces could not withstand the might of modern weapons, and were overwhelmed. The bamboo castle was destroyed, and Titu Mir was killed along with several of his followers.
The commanding officer of the British forces noted his opponent’s bravery in dispatches, and also commented on the strength and resilience of bamboo as a material for fortification, since he had had to pound it with artillery for a surprisingly long time before it gave way. After a long-drawn trial, Golam Rasul, Titumir’s nephew and second in command was hanged and some 350 others were sentenced to transportation for life. (From Wikipedia)