April 2022

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE KHUDIRAM BOSE

C. N. Vaje | Chartered Accountant

In India’s glorious history of freedom struggle, the landmark case was of the Muzaffarpur bomb blast. The hero was Khudiram Bose, who, at the tender age of 19 years, climbed the gallows with a smiling face, chanting the mantra of Vande Mataram. The first-ever bomb attack on the British empire in India goes to the credit of this young man.

He was born on the 3rd of December, 1889, in the Medinipur district of Bengal. His father, Trailokyanath Basu, was a tehsildar at Nandzol village in Medinipur. Mother Lakshmipriyadevi was a pious housewife. Unfortunately, Khudiram lost both his parents at the age of just six. He was then brought up by his sister Anurupadevi and her husband, Amritlalji. Although Khudiram was very bright in his studies, he never enjoyed school education. His sole obsession was the independence of our country. He believed that the most severe disease of all Indians was slavery under British rule.

In February 1906, the Britishers had organised an exhibition for glorifying the ‘success’ of British rule. Khudiram was then just 17. He distributed circulars in protest of the tyrannical Government and shouted the slogan of Vande Mataram. A policeman beat him, but he retaliated, hit back at the policeman and ran away. He was arrested but let out on the grounds of his age.

Khudiram was highly influenced by the novel Anandmath by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. This novel contained the song ‘Vande Mataram’ that inspired thousands and lakhs of Indians to fight for independence. Khudiram’s mind was filled with patriotism and the thought of supreme sacrifice for the country’s independence. Vande Mataram proved dreadful for the Britishers.

Khudiram voluntarily joined a group of revolutionaries. The revolutionaries admitted him after due testing. In 1905, Lord Curzon, the then Governor-General, planned for partition to cause a divide between Hindus and Muslims. The people very strongly resisted this.

Khudiram learnt the use of knives and pistols. Kolkata’s Chief President Magistrate was Kingsford, a merciless and cruel person who ordered harsh punishments to all freedom fighters and even the nationalist common person. Bipin Chandra Pal founded the Daily ‘Vande Mataram’ to spread the spirit of patriotism. Maharshi Aurobindo was its editor. The British Government filed a suit against the Daily. Thousands of youth gathered outside the court chanting Vande Mataram. Policemen were brutally beating some of them. One 15 year boy Sushilkumar Sen could not tolerate this scene, and he hit back at the policeman. He was arrested for beating the policemen. The Magistrate, Kingsford, ordered a flogging of Sushilkumar.

The revolutionaries planned to kill Magistrate Kingsford. Aurobindo Ghosh and other leaders attended the meeting. Many youths volunteered to kill Kingsford. But the task was entrusted to Khudiram. Another boy of 19,

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