Inspired by Sri Aurobindo and joins Swadeshi Movement, training under Satyen Basu

Last updated: 10 October 2017 From the section Khudiram Basu

Sri Aurobindo inspires revolutionary appetite and he gives up study

It was in the years 1902 - 1903 that Khudiram Basu was inspired to plunge into active freedom struggle. During this time Aurobindo Ghosh, a veteran freedom fighter and later known as spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo, visited Midnapore along with Sister Nivedita and held a series of public lectures along with secret planning and recruiting sessions with the revolutionary groups. Khudiram was among the teenage students who became heavily influenced and inspired by Aurobindo and decided to devote their life for the noble cause of bringing freedom to India. Khudiram took his first steps towards becoming a revolutionary and, apparently, he even requested one of his teacher, Hemchandra Kanungo Das, for a revolver.

When he was in fourth class, equivalent to today's Class IX (9) standard, 16-year-old Khudiram gave up studies.

During this time Sri Aurobindo and Sister Nivedita were in Midnapore to deliver a lecture inspiring people to join the freedom struggle against the British. Khudiram Bose was a teenager at that point of time and was bubbling with energy. He was part of student revolutionary groups in Tamluk.

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Khudiram read a lot of patriotic literature in short span. This resulted into his dislike for the social evils and hatred against the Britishers. He was pained to learn about the actual conditions prevailing in the society. He would get hurt on finding people appeasing the Britishers for little, mean selfish ends. He repeatedly thought of freeing the nation from the clutches of the Britishers at any cost.

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An encounter with a priest of his local temple lead to Khudiram taking some time out to 'understand the outside world'.

One day Khudiram was thinking over the problems of the nation and their solution sitting on the stairs of a temple near his residence. At that time, the priest of the temple came and began talking to Khudiram. Khudiram spoke to the priest about his concern and said that he wanted to sacrifice everything in the service of the nation.

Listening to Khudiram, the priest said, "Son, you are too young now. You need to see and understand the outside world for such a great deed to be done".

The same day Khudiram decided to relinquish everything to see the outside world. The very next day he left home without informing anyone. When he did not return home till late night, Aparupa Devi got worried. That day she could not eat, drink or sleep in the night.

The next day, Aparupa Devi came to know about the goals and ambitions of Khudiram through the priest of the temple. The priest told her that Khudiram wanted to live and die for the nation.

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During his journey Khudiram met with an old man who took him into his home. Khudiram stayed with the family for a month and returned to his sister. It was then that Aparupa realised that Khudiram could no longer be kept within the narrow confines of the home. She also sensed that he could not be bound by any ties.

Joins Yugantar (Jugantar) & Gupta Samiti during Partition of Bengal

By now India was under British colonial rule for nearly 150 years. In July 1905 the British Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, announced the controversial decision to Partition Bengal. Known in Bengali as 'Bongobhongo', the partition took place three months later on 16 October 1905 and separated the largely Muslim eastern areas from the largely Hindu western areas. Immediate and spontaneous protests erupted all over Bengal and the Swadeshi Movement - an...which began around 1850 - gained further momentum.

The movement affected even small school children like Khudiram who was then a student of Midnapore Collegiate School. It dawned on them that the country must be freed from foreign rule. Khudiram left school and became involved with the political party Yugantar (also spelt 'Jugantar', meaning New Era or Transition of an Epoch) to show his disobedience to the British government following the Partition of Bengal the same year. Yugantar was established in April 1906 by Aurobindo Ghosh, his brother Barin Ghosh, Bhupendranath Datta, and Raja Subodh Mallik. Barin Ghosh and Bagha Jatin (alias Jatindra Nath Mukherjee) were the main leaders. Their headquarter was in Calcutta. It was the leading revolutionary group in colonial Bengal along with Anushilan Samiti (Bodybuilding Society) in Dhaka (in modern day Bangladesh). The freedom fighters of Yugantar would collect arms and explosives and manufacture bombs. Other notable members of Yugantar included 'Masterda' Surya Sen and Pritilata Waddedar.

During this period Khudiram spent his time in reading different kinds of books.

Khudiram also joined a secret revolutionary group in Midnapore region called 'Gupta Samiti' led by Babu Satyendranath Basu. Satyen Basu was on the lookout for courageous youngsters who would be willing to join his underground organisation. He was well aware about the nationalism of Khudiram and after testing the enthusiasm and patience of the youngster to his satisfaction, Satyen Basu made Khudiram aware of his plans. Now Khudiram began helping him enthusiastically in his revolutionary endeavour.

One day Satyendranath while handing over a pistol to Khudiram said, "Khudi, this pistol should be used only against the enemies. Even under the most adverse circumstances, it must never be used against a fellow countryman".

Subsequently, Satyendranath took Khudiram one day at an isolated spot and made him an expert in pistol firing. In this manner Khudiram gradually got absorbed in revolutionary activities and social service. He became busy thereafter.

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Gradually, many more young men joined Gupta Samiti. Weapons and arsenals were procured for them. Acting as a messenger to the group, Khudiram along with few others were given physical, moral and political education and also trained how to shoot by revolver.

Kshudiram found, as a part of anti-partition agitation, adventure in burning clothes of British manufacture and sinking boats carrying salt imported from Britain.

Banglapedia

Khudiram was among the teenage student community of the town who were fired up with a burning inspiration of revolution.

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Anti-British activities

Khudiram moved on to planting bombs near government buildings and police stations. Apparently, he showed a flair for bomb-making.

While carrying out one task for the Gupta Samiti a policeman caught 16-year-old Khudiram in an agricultural-cum-industrial exhibition at Midnapore in 1906 when he was distributing a seditious leaflet. However, Khudiram managed to escape but was re-arrested in April 1906, prosecuted and let off considering his tender age. The following year, Khudiram robbed mailbags at a postal treasury at Hatgachia during the Hindu festival of Durgapuja. He also participated in the bomb attack on the Bengal Governor's special train near Narayangarh railway station on 6 December 1907.

One day Babu Satyendranath told Khudiram Bose that the funds of the Samiti had got depleted and funds were urgently needed for the further activities of the Samiti. Khudiram got worried when he came to know about it. He began thinking over the solution to that problem.

One day Khudiram reached Hatgachia to be with his sister Aparupa Devi without informing anyone. There, he came to know about matter related to the funds. At Hatgachia post office he found as to when the money is transported out and who goes with it, as also the route through which it goes out. After getting all the necessary information, Khudiram along with one of his friends overpowered the Britisher who carried the money and ran away with all the funds. Thus the problem related to insufficiency of funds with the Samiti was solved to a large extent. Satyendranath was highly impressed by the courage of Khudiram.

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In line with the growing mindset of the time, Khudiram believed that the only way to get rid of the British rulers was to hit them hard. As such he joined the demonstration against the moderate politics of Surendranath Banerjea in a political conference at Midnapore since he believed direct action was the answer.

While Khudiram was at Magberia he received a letter from Satyendranath Basu that he had to go to west immediately on an urgent mission - that would prove to be his ultimate test of his faith in revolution. The mission was to kill British District Magistrate Douglas H. Kingsford.

This task would lead him to encounter with his accompolice with whom he'd seal his legacy: Prafulla Kumar Chaki.

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