Freedom fighter who fought for the rights of political prisoners

Jatindra Nath Das also known as Jatin Das was a Bharatiya freedom fighter and revolutionary. He breathed his last in the Lahore prison after fasting for 63 days on that day, 13th September in the year 1929, at the age of 24.

Born into a Bengali family in 1904 in Calcutta, Jatindra Das joined the Anushilan Samiti, a revolutionary formation in Bengal, at a very young age. He also participated in Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement in 1921.

While pursuing a BA at Vidyasagar College, Calcutta, in November 1925 he was arrested for political activities and incarcerated in Mymensingh Central Jail, where he resorted to a hunger strike to protest the mistreatment of prisoners. policies. After fasting for twenty days, the prison director apologized and he gave up the fast.

On June 14, 1929, he was arrested for revolutionary activities and imprisoned in Lahore Jail along with Bhagat Singh and others to stand trial in the Lahore Conspiracy Supplementary Case.

The memorable hunger strike began on June 15, 1929 and lasted 63 days. The prison authorities took numerous measures to force-feed Jatin Das and the other freedom fighters, beat them, and did not even provide them with drinking water. However, Jatindra did not eat.

The prison committee recommended his unconditional release, but the government rejected the suggestion and offered to release him on bail. Meanwhile, Bhagat Singh continued his hunger strike for a long time, and when he suspended his hunger strike, it was the 116th day since June 15, 1929.

Jatin died on September 13, 1929, after his uninterrupted hunger strike for 63 days. There was widespread protest in the country following Das’ death. Two Indian members of the Punjab Legislative Assembly resigned and Motilal Nehru moved an adjournment motion in the Central Legislative Assembly. The motion passed by 55 votes to 47.

Subhas Chandra Bose remarked that Das was the ‘younger Dadhichee’ of the country comparing Das to the ancient Indian sage Dadhichee who gives up his life for a noble cause.

Thelma J. Longworth