Remembering the freedom fighter who made the ultimate sacrifice with a smile on his face

Khudiram Bose [Photo credit: Twitter @INCIndia]| Photo credit: iStock Images

Highlights

  • At the age of 16, Bose targeted British colonial state officials and participated in planting bombs near police stations.
  • In April 1908, Bose, along with fellow revolutionary Prafulla Chaki, threw a bomb at a car in Muzzafarpur, intending to assassinate a British judge.

Kolkata: August 11, 1908 was the day a young Bengali revolutionary from the Indian freedom struggle, Khudiram Bose, was executed by the British colonial state for his involvement in the Muzaffarpur Plot affair. Bose and Prafulla Chaki, also a revolutionary freedom fighter, had attempted to assassinate a British judge.

Bose was born in the village of Mohobani in the Medinipur (then Midnapore) district of West Bengal on December 3, 1889. His mother died when he was six years old, and a year later his father also died. At a very young age, he came into contact with revolutionaries, such as Barindra Kumar Ghosh of Calcutta (now Kolkata).

Bose was only 15 when he joined the movement against British rule in India. He became a volunteer. Colonial leaders arrested him for distributing anti-British pamphlets to the local population. At the age of 16, he attacked colonial government officials and planted bombs near police stations. The teenager was also part of Anushilan Samiti, an organization that supported revolutionary violence to end British rule.

In April 1908, Bose, along with fellow revolutionary Prafulla Chaki, threw a bomb at a car in Muzzafarpur, intending to assassinate the chief magistrate of the presidency Douglas Kingsford. The duo, however, mistakenly killed two women who were traveling in the car.

While Chaki killed himself before the police could catch him, Bose was arrested, tried and later sentenced to death after being found guilty of making an attempt on the life of the British judge. On August 11, 1904, he was executed in Muzaffarpur prison. Newspaper reports from that time indicate that Bose, who was just over 18, went to the gallows with a smile on his face and the Bhagavad Gita in one of his hands.

Thelma J. Longworth