Khudiram Bose, martyr at 18, was born today: How many of us remember him?
December 3 marks the 125th birth anniversary of Khudiram Bose, one of the youngest Indian revolutionaries who was martyred at the age of 18. Recently, we saw a big controversy snowballing over the 125th birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of the country. But has anybody took the pain to observe the same for Khudiram Bose, who is often cited as an example of the fearlessness of youth?
Born in Bengal's Midnapore district on December 3, 1889
Khudiram was born in a Bengali Hindu family in Keshpur village near Midnapur town in Midnapore district of West Bengal. He became a member of Jugantar, a secret revolutionary association fighting for India's independence.
Influenced by the likes of Shri Aurobindo at 13
In 1902-03, when he was just 13, Khudiram was influenced by the likes of Sri Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita when they went to Midnapore for public speeches. As a student of Midnapore Collegiate School, young Khudiram had even requested his teacher for a revolver. At the age of 16, Khudiram took to planting bombs near police stations and targeted officials of the Raj.
Khudiram missed his target and was caught
In 1908, Khudiram was sent to Muzaffarpur in today's Bihar to target Kingsford, a British magistrate. He took a false name of Haren Sarkar and closely followed his target's movement before executing his plan. On April 30 around 8.30 pm, he waited in front of the European Club's gate for Kingsford's carriage and as soon as he cited the carriage, Khudiram successfully hurled the bomb but to his bad luck, the carriage had two women in it and not Kingsford. His partner Prafulla Chaki had shot himself dead to avoid getting arrested by the British Indian police.
Soon, a prize money of Rs 1,000 was announced for catching the assassin alive and the police took control of the railway stations and monitored every movement. Khudiram knew this and he avoided taking a train and instead walked all night and reached a station known as Vaini (now Khudiram Bose Pusa Railway Station) in the morning, completely exhausted.
When he sought a glass of water from a shop, two armed constables present there suspected him and detained him. Khudiram struggled with them but was finally trapped by the constables. He was found carrying arms, 37 rounds of ammunition, some cash, a railway map and a railway timetable.
On May 1, Khudiram was brought to Muzaffarpur with handcuffs on. The entire town gathered at the police station to take a look at the teenage boy surrounded by armed policemen. [December 3: This day in history]
Executed at 18 after a sham trial
Khudiram's trial began on May 28. His case was taken up by a number of Indian advocates but without any fees for they took it as an opportunity to serve the nation. The Muzaffarpur court sentenced Khudiram to death for the British authorities could not allow to take a soft stand on the revolutionary threats but to his surprise, the judge saw the young man smiling. He was convinced to appeal to the high court but the British influence never allowed a lef off.
The spreading of massive protest in Kolkata also made the British apprehensive about letting Khudiram free and amid all the protest, Khudiram was hanged at 6 am on August 11, 1908. It was said the British made his trial a farce because of political reasons.
The man was never hesitant to embrace his destiny. He walked to the gallows cheerfully.