India struggled for very long for independence from the British rule that unfortunately, we are taught very little about. Most of us can hardly name ten freedom fighters. There is one unsung hero of the independence struggle movement whom you probably have never heard of – Khudiram Bose.
Many believe Bhagat Singh to be the youngest freedom fighter, but Khudiram Bose was just 18 years old when he was martyred for his active participation in protests against British rule. He was hanged on the 11th of August 1908 for attempting to murder a judge by making bombs.
On the morning of his execution, several journalists and civilians lined up outside the Muzaffarpur police station, Bengal to get a glimpse of his body and pay him their respects. After all, he had shown exceptional courage at a young age and stood up against the Britishers for his country.
Life Of Khudiram Bose
Born in 1889 in a small village called Mahobani in the Midnapore district of Bengal, Khudiram was a revolutionary and a rebel. He lost both his parents by the time he turned 7 and he was raised by his elder sister. He was inspired by Sri Aurobindo and his sister Nivedita, who visited Bengal and delivered public lectures on patriotism.
Bengal was partitioned in 1905 and Bose was an active participant in the protests around that time. He joined Anushilan Samiti, an organization that propounded revolutionary activities in Bengal, at the age of 15. He learned to make bombs and often planted them outside police stations and British institutions.
Events That Led To His Execution
In 1908, Khudiram along with another revolutionary named Prafulla Chaki were bestowed with the responsibility of assassinating the District Magistrate of Muzaffarpur, Kingsford. He was infamous for torturing Indian revolutionaries and declaring judgments against them.
On April 30th, 1908, Khudiram and Prafulla threw a bomb on the carriage that they believed carried Kingsford. But, it was carrying the wife and daughter of a barrister named Pringle Kennedy, who lost their lives in the bombing. Kingston survived.
The news of this incident spread like wildfire in hours and the police started the search for the duo. Chaki killed himself before being arrested. Bose, however, was caught and presented before an English judge.
His lawyer argued that the boy was too young to carry out a mission of this extent, but all the evidence pointed against him and Bose himself took full responsibility for his actions. On July 13th, he was sentenced to death by Judge Corndoff.
On being asked if he understood the meaning of his sentence, Khudiram replied, “Yes, I do and my lawyer said that I was too young to make bombs. If you allow me some time before I’m taken away from here, I can teach you the skills of making bombs too.” He is believed to have stood there with a smile on his face.
The streets of Calcutta witnessed mass student protests after the incident. On the day of his execution, his body was adorned with flowers. The demise of this young boy gave courage to hundreds of people to fight against the oppressive British rule.
We owe our independence to Khudiram Bose and several others like him who remain nameless, devoid of the recognition and respect that they deserve.
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