Khudiram Bose (3 December 1889 – 19 August 1908)


This story is about a very fierce and patriotic freedom fighter called Khudiram Bose, who died at the gallows, for throwing the first bomb at an Englishman, at the tender age of 19. He died with the Bhagavad Gita in his hands, love for his country in his heart, and a beautiful smile on his face. His life has been immortalized by the great Bengali poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam. Khudiram Bose epitomized the revolutionary patriotic spirit that was to sweep Bengal in the first half of the 20th century.

As the Indian independence movement gathered strength, and when the slogan “Vande MAtaram” was spreading fast on every Indian’s lips, the British were worried about being thrown out. They began to torture any Indian they suspected to be a freedom-fighter. One such British was the Magistrate of Calcutta Presidency – Kingsford, who was later transferred to Bihar.

Khudiram Bose was raised by his elder sister and brother-in-law after the death of his parents at the age of six. Khudiram remained unfocussed on school work because in his mind were running a million thoughts of freeing India from foreign rulers. Even at the tender age of 6, these noble thoughts were the only thoughts running in his head. His sister and brother-in-law never really understood what troubled the little boy so much that he remained agitated all the time.

Khudiram was initiated into the fight for freedom because of his intense devotion to the mantra “Vande MAtaram” He made friends with people who were working to organize patriots across the country. Khudiram was initiated into serving his Mother India after having his worth tested by wiser patriots.

One among his many contributions to the Indian freedom movement was his attempt to kill Kingsford. Prafullakumar Chaki and Khudiram Bose were selected for the task of killing Kingsford who had been transferred to Bihar.  They were each given a revolver and a bomb before they set out for the journey in order to accomplish this grim task.

However, due to circumstances, Khudiram had to use the bomb to attempt to kill Kingsford from a distance. Immeditely after they threw the bomb and caused chaos, both of them escaped in opposite directions.  Prafulla was caught in two days. He tried to escape, but failed. So, he used the revolver and shot himself, when he knew that his escape was foiled. The police cut off his head and took it to Muzzafarpur. Khudiram ran for 25 miles to a neighboring village and went to a local store to buy some food. The shopkeeper (sadly he was an Indian) guessed that this must be the boy that attempted to kill Kingsford, because Khudiram looked fatigued and dirty. Being lured by the monetary reward that was announced to the person who helped catch Khudiram, he tipped off the local British police. The police caught Khudiram when he was just starting to eat, not giving him time to kill himself first. They seized his revolver.  Khudiram was sentenced to death by hanging on Aug 6, 1908. His death sentence could only be postponed to Aug 19, 1908 even after his defending lawyer appealed to a higher court.

Khudiram was convinced that the sooner he died, the sooner he would be reborn and continue in his fight for freeing Mother India. So he remain unperturbed in jail. He died on the gallows smiling.

He was all but 19 years of age.

If this story inspires you to read more about Khudiram Bose please visit this wonderful website: http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/freedomfighters/khudirambose/

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