Last updated: 10 October 2017 From the section Khudiram Basu

Kingsford goes into hiding

Kingsford got so frightened by these developments that to save his life he took a long leave and left his place to hide himself and his family in a distant place in Mussorie. Thereafter, nothing significant was heard about him in the administrative circles.

Bengalis targeted by British Government

With the execution of Khudiram Basu and death of Prafulla Chaki the government was not sure that the trouble was over. Since these two young men were successful in initially avoiding detection and carrying out their audacious attack, it led the police authorities to assume that some more revolutionaries might be hiding in the city. They suspected all Bengalis of the town. A list of Bengalis living in the town was prepared, their houses were searched and even on the slightest doubt they arrested them. The panic was so pronounced that the District Magistrate imposed a censorship upon all telegraphic messages. They has suspected that certain code words were being used in the communication between the revolutionaries in Calcutta and the revolutionaries hiding in Muzaffarpur.

In this phase, indiscriminate arrests and detentions were made by the Government. Even a respectable Bengali clerk like Krishna Mohan Banerjee was arrested on suspicion. Even months after the arrest of Khudiram Basu the Bengalis were seen with so much suspicion.

No Bengali was to be allowed to go to Sekandarabad maidan [field] after sunset. A Bengali clerk who had gone to Silaut to entrain some relation of his was detained there for the whole night by the police and station staff on the ground that they had orders not to permit Bengalis to go to Muzaffarpur in night time.

A historian who had closely followed the reporting in the contemporary newspapers sums up the panic situation

An imputed kinship, a son like him in every home, any ordinary body who could become extraordinary in death and be born again in another ordinary home - such is the nation, consisting of innumerable ordinary people united by an imagined kinship. Once again, the nation is a community born out of mourning, with thousands of anonymous persons sharing their grief over a young man's death. Why grief? Because of the sheer unselfish disinterestedness of Khudiram's violent act and the retribution as punishment exacted for it by the colonial government.

...Unlike the judgment of historians, the popular imagination appears to have been captivated by the amateurishness of the whole attempt: its youthfulness, lack of careful calculation, and unwillingness to weigh costs and benefits - in short, its remoteness from the world of professional politics. It is this that explains the sudden, perceptible expansion of the boundaries of "the nation" in the period following the early revolutionary activities - something that could never have been achieved by the cumulative addition of constituencies by the organised politics of nationalist mobilization.


This act of Khudiram, a boy of 18 years of age, made him a hero in the annals of Indian revolutionary movement. This daring act might have failed in its immediate objective of killing the enemy of revolutionaries Kingsford but it served a greater service - it made an emphatic statement that the Britishers were the enemy of this nation and the youth of this country were ready to make any effort to punish those who would dare to come in their way. The spirit behind this bomb throwing at a the carriage was shared and supported by thousands of other youth who wanted to emulate this remarkable man.

...The panic among the Britishers can be gauged by the nervousness shown by them in an European club when a soda water bottle burst out. After this "great confusion prevailed for sometime, Europeans fleeing helter and skelter".


--- a nationalist hero ---------------------------

Unknown hero


 Khudiram Basu was all of 18 years of age when he was sentenced to death for attacking and killing three Britishers in Muzaffarpur, Bihar in 1908. 100 years later, Bose remains relatively unknown in spite of being one the youngest revolutionaries of the Indian freedom struggle. While Basu’s story of sacrifice and love for his motherland is a popular folklore in Bengal, his story remains unknown outside the state- just like several other matyrs who may have sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India but went unnoticed in the larger story of freedom struggle.

The death sentence to a revolutionary by the highest court functioning under the British government in India was not a new phenomenon.

It was as old as the establishment of the British government in our country. Numerous youngmen kissed the gallows with a smile on their faces. As the aim was supreme and indeed one i.e. to attain independence for the motherland, they vied with one another to prove their mettle in the best patriotic spirit they could show.

The martyrdoms of Khudiram Bose, Madan Lal Dhingra, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Ashfaqullah, Ram Parsad Bismal and many others set example for the younger patriotic generation which followed their footsteps with unquestionable sincere fervour. There had been much resentment, sympathy and excitement on the eve of the hangings of these revolutionaries. That had been on regional level or provincial level. But in the case Bhagat Singh and his comrades, the agitation, sympathy and fervour were at an all-India level. The press echoed its voice in the shape of headlines, editorials, comments and speeches by leaders of all-India fame. Men, women and children, peasants in villages, labourers working on farms and factories, students in schools and colleges, intellectuals including teachers, lawyers and doctors - all raised their voice of sympathy for them. It was something very unique in the annals of our country.


"Ek baar bidaye de ma" song by poet Pitambar Das

To honour Khudiram's death, poet Pitambar Das wrote and composed the popular Bengali song "Ek baar bidaye de ma" (Bid me farewell o'mother). In the song, written in first person narrative, Khudiram is asking permission from his mother to let him go as he is about to be hanged.


To honour the 18 year old’s death, poet Pitambar Das wrote and composed the popular Bengali song Ek Baar Bidaye De Ma – a song that resonates the passion the young boy had for his motherland. It is also a song that always manages to bring a lump in one’s throat because of its sad, haunting words.


In Bengali the poetic force is overwhelming which gets lost in the English translation. To realise the power of this song it is imperative to read it in Bengali.

, {not accurate} "Ek bar biday de maa, ghure aashi. Aami hasi hasi porbo phasi, Dekhabe Bharat-basi. Kaler Boma tore kore Dariye chhilam rashtar dhare, maa go, Baro lat ke marte giye, maa Marlam aar ek England-basi. Hathe jodi thakto chhora, Tor khudi ki porto dhora? Rakta -Ganga boye jeto, maa, Dekhto jagat-basi Thakato jodi tottughora, Tor khudi ki porto dhora? O maa, ek chabuke chole jetam Gaye Ganga kashi. Shonibar bela dus ta pore, Judge korte te lok na dhore, maa go, Holo abhiramer deep chalan, maa, Khudiramer phansi {...missing}" ... [Ek bar biday de maa] Khudiram's brave act also found graphic inscription in dhoti (loincloth) tha the colonial censors forfeited in 1910 because it contained "incitements to violence and words calculated to bring into hatred and contempt His Majesty and the Government established by law in British India, and to excite disaffection towards His Majesty..." Inscribed along the border of the five-yards-long dhoti was the following "inflammatory" poem in Bengali script titled "Farewell Mother" [Ek bar biday de maa] "Mother, farewell I shall go the gallows with a smile. The people of India will see this. One bomb can kill a man. There are a lakh of bombs in our homes. Mother, what can the English do? If I come back, Do not forget, Mother, Your foolish child, Khudiram. See that I get your sacred feet at the end. When shall I call you again "Mother" with the ease of my mind? Mother, do no keep this sinner in another country. It is written that you have 36 crores of sons and daughters. Mother, Khudiram's name vanishes now. He is now turned to dust. If I have to rise again, See that, Mother, I sit on your lap again. In this kingdom of Bhisma, who else is there like you? You are unparalled, Mother. When shall I depart from this world with a shout of Bande Mataram?" ... " "This seditious dhoti - which today unfortunately is only a textual trace in the colonial archive - is a material reminder of the convergence between the mother's hymn and patriotic martyrdom from at least the time of a provincial meeting of the Congress party in the small town of Barisal in Bengal [present-day Bangladesh] in April 1906 when the colonial police lashed out at young men wearing badges inscribed with the refrain "vande mataram" as well as shouting the slogan." ================================================================================================ August 11, 2016 Scores of people gathered outside the central jail premises here today to pay their tributes to Khudiram Bose, the youngest freedom fighter to face the gallows, on his 108th death anniversary. A two-minute silence was observed at 4:02 AM sharp, the time when Bose was executed in 1908 at the age of 18 for throwing bombs at the carriage of Kingsford, the then magistrate of Muzaffarpur. District officials, city MLA Suresh Sharma, three persons from Bose’s ancestral village in Habibpur in West Midnapore district of West Bengal and hundreds others took part in the event. Sharma, Tirhut Divisional Commissioner Atul Yadav, District Magistrate Dharmendra Singh and others later garlanded a statue of the revolutionary at the Khudiram Bose Memorial in Companybagh where Bose had executed the daring act, along with Prafulla Chaki. Sharma demanded that a chapter on the life history of Bose be included in the state board syllabus so that the new generation knows about his “inspiring” story. “I will submit a proposal to Bihar Legislative Council Chairman Awadhesh Narain Singh in this regard… People should know about the revolutionaries who laid down their lives for the freedom of our country. This will instill a sense of nationalism in them,” he said. Sharma also demanded setting up of a community centre named after Bose and development of the spots that have historical relevance. Meanwhile, Nagrik Morcha, a local outfit, staged a demonstration at the Muzaffarpur railway junction pressing their demand of renaming the station after Bose. They also demanded renaming of Mokama railway station after Chaki. At Mokama Ghat railway station, Chaki shot himself to dead to avoid being arrested a few days after the bombing. Scores of people also paid tributes to the revolutionary on the riverbank of Budhi Gandak where Bose was cremated. ======================================================================================================== [GOLD] Khudiram was sent to jail. A case was filed against him and he was sentenced to death. On 11 August 1908 at 6 am Khudiram was taken to the platform where he was to be hanged. He stepped on to the platform shouting Vande mataram loudly and put the noose around his neck with his own hands. The hangman pulled the string and Khudiram Bose became a martyr in the cause of his motherland.

A hundred salutes to this brave son of mother India.

, [ORIGINAL?:] [GOLD] Khudiram Bose was one of the youngest freedom fighters to have achieved martyrdom during India's struggle from the British rule. At the time of his hanging, he was still a teenager at 18 years, 8 months and 8 days. The botched assassination and Khudiram’s execution along with Prafulla Chaki’s death marked the resurgence of the violent freedom struggle in India after the 1857 war. The ripples from Khudiram’s execution reached Maharashtra, where Indian National Congress Leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak wrote an editorial in his newspaper Kesari calling for swaraj (self-rule) and defending the revolutionaries. He was tried for sedition and sentenced to six years in prison. The Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote a poem to honour him ["Khudiramer Ma "]. Poet Pitambar Das wrote and composed the popular Bengali song Ek Baar Bidaye De Ma to honour the young revolutionary. Though a failed mission, Khudiram is remembered for his attempt and martyrdom. The action marked the beginning of the armed revolution against the British Raj, which came to be known as the Agni-Yuga or the "fiery age". He was the first of the revolutionaries of the time to be martyred. Memorial The city of Muzaffarpur in Bihar remembers Khudiram Bose with the Khudiram Bose Memorial on the Prafulla Chaki Marg. The local college, Khudiram Bose Smarak Mahavidyalaya, was also set up in his honour. In addition, the cell and hanging site of the jail in Kolkata where Khudiram was executed have been preserved as the Khudiram Bose Memorial Central Jail. There is also a statue of Khudiram in a park near the Calcutta High Court. [GOLD] Born in a poor family in Bengal, this immortal name 'Khudiram' is clothed in an interesting legend. This inhuman and shameful act of the British Magistrate was virtually a challenge to any self-respecting Indian. Khudiram had accepted this challenge. It was planned to kill Kingsford and the great task was entrusted to the two braven youths: Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki. [GOLD - inc pics] [Ek bar biday de ma translation] "Bid me farewell, mother, just once; I'm off on a trip. With a smile on my lips, I'll wear the noose; all of India will watch. ... Saturday at ten: the judge's court was bursting with people. For Abhiram it was transportation, for Khudiram death by hanging. ... After ten months and ten days, I'll be born again at my aunt's. If you don't recognise me then, mother, look for the noose around my neck."