Remembering the Young Bengal Freedom Fighter

Many freedom fighters have sacrificed their lives for the independence of this country. Khudiram Bose is one of the youngest people to march to the gallows for India’s independence.

On December 3, 1889, Khudiram was born in the Midnapore district of West Bengal of Trailokyanath Bose and Lakshmipriya Devi. Khudiram was the only brother of three sisters. Both of his parents died when he was a child. Khudiram was raised by his older sister, Aparupa Roy.

As a teenager, he became an active participant in revolutionary circles. When Sri Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita visited Midnapore, they had many discussions with the existing revolutionary groups there and Khudiram remained an active member.

At 15, he became a volunteer for Anushilan Samiti and was arrested for distributing pamphlets against the British government. He came into close contact with other revolutionaries like Barindra Kumar Ghosh.

At the age of 18, Khudiram decided to take on the mission to kill a British judge Doughlas Kingford. He was the Chief Magistrate of the Alipore Presidency Court and had sentenced the editors of the Jugantar newspaper, including Bhupendranath Dutta, to rigorous imprisonment.

Along with Praffula Chaki, Khudiram decided to attack Doughlas as he was returning home from a game of bridge with the family of a British lawyer Pringle Kennedy. The revolutionaries mistakenly attacked the Kennedy family car instead of Doughlas and ended up injuring Pringle’s daughter and wife. The serious injuries resulted in the death of these two women.

Although Khudiram and Prafulla escaped and took two separate paths, both ultimately sacrificed their lives fighting for the freedom of this country.

While Prafulla committed suicide before being arrested by British authorities, Khudiram was arrested and tried for the murder of the two women in the Muzaffarpur conspiracy case. He was executed on August 11, 1908 when he was only 18 years old. It is said that Khudiram embraced death with a smile.

In his honour, the prison at Muzaffarpur, where he was hanged, was named Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail. The station where he was captured was renamed Khudiram Bose Pusa station from Waini station.

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Thelma J. Longworth