The 18-year-old freedom fighter who walked to the gallows with a smile and the Bhagavad Gita

Image Khudiram Bose: He was executed for the attempted murder of a British judge

Anniversary of the death of Khudiram Bose: Khudiram Bose was the youngest revolutionary freedom fighter who was executed on August 11, 1908 for his role in the Muzaffarpur plot case. Khudiram Bose, along with fellow freedom fighter Prafulla Chaki, attempted to assassinate a British judge, Douglas Kingsford. The bombs did not hit the judge’s car but hit another, resulting in the deaths of two others.

Prafulla Chaki committed suicide before the police could arrest him. Khudiram Bose was arrested and later sentenced to death. He was only 18 when he was hanged in Muzaffarpur prison, which bears his name.

Khudiram Bose was born on December 3, 1889 in a village in Medinipur district of West Bengal. The youngest among four siblings, Khudiram Bose lost his parents early in life and he was raised by his elder sister.

Khudiram Bose came into contact with revolutionary freedom fighters like Aurobindo Ghosh and Barindra Ghosh at a young age. In 1902 Aurobindo Ghosh had visited Midnapore when Khudiram Bose was a teenager. He had listened attentively to the speeches on the revolution and the liberation movement. He was also part of the Anushilan Samiti in Calcutta.

Khudiram Bose became a volunteer when he was only 15 years old. He was arrested for distributing pamphlets and other publications to the local population against the British colonial rulers. After the historic assassination attempt trial, when Khudiram Bose was hanged, according to newspaper reports at the time, he went to the gallows with a smile and the Bhagavad Gita in his hand.

Many freedom fighters have been deeply influenced by the Bhagavad Gita. Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal among others were deeply influenced by the Bhagavad Gita. It is said that Mahatma Gandhi turned to the Bhagavad Gita whenever he was disturbed.

Thelma J. Longworth