‘If given more time, I would teach you how to make bombs’
As the nation readies to celebrate yet another Independence Day, www.lifeandmore.in remembers freedom fighters who played an important role in helping us breathe in an independent nation. We begin with Khudiram Bose who was hanged on August 11, 1908 by the Britishers
Today, let us remember Khudiram Bose, one of the youngest freedom fighters who fought the British and was hanged on August 11, 1908. At the time of hanging, Khudiram was only 18 years, 8 months and 8 days old. He, along with Prafulla, was tried to assassinate Judge Kingsford which blew up the carriage in which Kingsford was supposed to be present but unfortunately wasn’t. However, two British women were killed. While Prafulla committed suicide as he was about to be arrested, Khudiram was arrested by the police and after a trial, sentenced to death.
Born in a small village of Habibpur under Keshpur police station in Midnapore district of Bengal on December 3, 1889, Khudiram Bose lost his mother, Laxmipriya Devi, when he was six and a year after, his father, Trailokyanath Bose, too, died. His elder sister, Aparupa Roy and her husband, Amritlal Roy, took him to their home in Hatgachha village and got him admission in Tamluk’s Hamilton High School.
Khudiram Bose became a volunteer for Anushilan Samiti at 15 and was arrested for distributing pamphlets against the British rule in India after he got inspired by a series of public lectures by Sri Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita. He was just 16 when he was part pf the team that planted bombs near police stations targetting government officials.
Post-trial in the court, when the judge pronounced death sentence for Khudiram, his immediate and spontaneous response was to smile. Surprised, the judge confirmed with Khudiram whether he understood the meaning of the sentence. He replied in affirmative and when the judge asked him again whether he had anything to say, Khudiram, in front of a packed audience, replied with the same smile that if he could be given some time, he could teach the judge the skill of bomb-making.
On the morning of August 11, 1908 at 0600 hours, the teenager was hanged. The nation, fortunately, remembers him through a number of ways in his home state, Bengal. The Muzaffarpur Jail where he was hanged is named as Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail. Established in 1965, Khudiram Bose Central College is an undergraduate college in Kolkata. A metro railway station near Garia in Kolkata is named Shahid Khudiram Station. A hospital near Kamarhati Municipality is named Shahid Khudiram Bose Hospital and Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Kolkata, is located near Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indore Stadium.