"Scholars doubt if teen Patriot went to gallows smiling"
Came across a news item bearing this heading in this morning's newspaper. It claimed that scholars in Bengal came across archives that contradicts the popular perception of India's youngest martyr.
Khudiram Bose was 16 years old when he joined the revolutionary group Yugantar following the partitioning of Bengal in 1905. He alongwith Prafulla Chaki, were to throw a hand grenade at Judge Kingsford. The attempt failed and they ended up killing two Englishwomen.Prafulla Chaki committed suicide while being arrested, while Bose was jailed and tried.
History has it that Khudiram Bose went to the gallows smiling. But the scholars now claim otherwise. According to the records of the day-by -day account of the trial, Bose had accepted the murder charge in front of the Muzaffarpur Magistrate, but at the trial at the Alipore Sessions court, he claimed that he was "convinced into committing the act by Chaki."
The British Government had however, prepared a full fledged case against him and the case went up to the High Court where he was sentenced to death. His lawyer had filed a mercy plea stating that Bose was only 18 and fought hard. The plea was turned down. Khudiram Bose was hanged on August 11, 1908.
Legend says that young Khudiram Bose surprised everyone by going to the gallows smiling. And to this the Bengali poet Kaji Najrul Islam wrote a poem to honour him. Some modern day scholars feel otherwise.
Though I was never a great fan of the armed struggle in India, stories like these do manage to arouse proud feelings of being born Indian. Khudiram Bose did this for the country and laid down his life for the greater cause and a selfless one. He did this at an age when we still didn't get over Cartoons and to this - No One can contradict.
So even if Khudiram Bose went to the gallows whining , I'll always admire him. He'll always be the hero I can never become.