From Bengal to Bihar to remember Khudiram Bose

August 11th, 2011 - 2:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Patna, Aug 11 (IANS) They came all the way from West Bengal to Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district to pay homage to Khudiram Bose on his death anniversary Thursday. One of them has been doing so for 16 years and rues that the powers that be have forgotten one of India’s youngest revolutionaries.

Seven villagers from Bose’s native Bahuvaini village in Bengal’s Midnapore district attended his martyrdom day function in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, where he was hanged by the British Aug 11, 1908.

And they had a special request for the chief ministers of the two states.

“We have urged the Bihar government to send a proposal to railway ministry to rename Muzaffarpur junction as Khudiram junction,” said Prakash Haldhar, one of the villagers who arrived Wednesday.

“We will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is a former railway minister, to help rename Muzaffarpur junction as Khudiram junction and take up the issue with her Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, who is also a former railway minister,” Haldhar told IANS on telephone.

Haldhar has been visiting Muzaffarpur for 16 years to attend Bose’s death anniversary. “I have been coming since 1995. How can we forget him…he is our hero, an ideal martyr,” he said.

Haldhar and other villagers, including Ashok Dattokhan, Adhir Kumar Rahi and Madhuri Haldhar, are not happy with the way Khudiram Bose’s sacrifices were noted with just a token official commemoration in Muzaffarpur town, about 70 km from here.

“He is now just another forgotten hero as none of the state’s ministers attended the function. It was attended by officials, including the district magistrate, superintendent of police and deputy inspector general, who paid floral tributes and visited the Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail where he was hanged,” Madhuri Haldhar said.

She said none of the state’s ministers, and certainly not Nitish Kumar, honoured him. His 100th martyrdom day was also low-key affair in Muzaffarpur.

“It stunned me that ministers missed the occasion to pay homage. They have time to waste on silly issues, but not to remember a revolutionary,” said Arun Singh, who has written a book on the martyr.

“The state government did not even come out with an advertisement on the occasion to honour Bose,” he added.

Bose was born Dec 3, 1889 in Bahuvaini village. He was one of the youngest revolutionaries in the early Indian independence movement and sent to the gallows when he was just 19.

Disillusioned with the British following the partition of Bengal, Bose joined Jugantar - a party of revolutionary activists. He and Prafulla Chaki were sent to Muzaffarpur to assassinate Douglas Kingsford, magistrate of Calcutta Presidency and later the magistrate of Muzaffarpur.

On April 13, 1908, assisted by Chaki, Bose threw a bomb at a carriage that was supposed to be carrying Kingsford, but unfortunately, instead of the British official, two women travelling in the carriage were killed.

Chaki was caught after the attack but shot himself. Bose was arrested a day later and fearlessly confessed that he had thrown the bomb to punish the British. He was sentenced to death and hanged.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

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