The golden pages of Indian history hold stories of several brave young and old heroes that continue to inspire after decades of freedom. One such notable freedom fighter was the young and passionate Khudiram Bose, who gave his life for the country at the tender age of 18 years. Bose was born in a small village in the Midnapore District of Bengal in 1889 and is remembered the most for his attempt to assassinate a British Judge named Douglas Kingsford. The failed assassination attempt was the reason for his death sentence in 1908. Unlike other famous Bengali leaders Subhash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose's legacy has largely been limited to Bengal.
Who Was Khudiram Bose?
The young Bose actively participated in the protests against the British after the partition of Bengal in 1905. He was merely 15 years old when he joined Anushilan Samiti, an early 20th-century organization that propounded revolutionary activities in Bengal. Bose learnt how to make bombs and plant them in front of police stations within a year. In 1908, Bose, along with another revolutionary named Prafulla Chaki, had been designated to assassinate the magistrate of Muzaffarpur, Kingsford. Kingsford had irked the young nationalists for his torturous clamp down on their revolutionary activities.
Why Was He Sentenced To Death?
The initial plan of the assassination was to throw a bomb in the court, but the revolutionists realized that they would harm several civilians in the process. Next, they planned to throw a bomb at a carriage suspected to carry Kingsford. However, they later found out that the carriage took the wife and daughter of another barrister named Pringle Kennedy, and the mother-daughter duo had died in the attack. By midnight of April 30, the entire city of Calcutta was aware of the incident, and the city police were tasked to find and arrest the two assailants. Police caught Bose at Waini Railway Station the following day, and a vast crowd had gathered at the railway station to see the bold 18-year-old.
Bose's trial was scheduled for May 21, 1908, and the Jury comprised Judge Corndoff, Nathuni Prasad and Janak Prasad. His lawyer, Narendra Kumar, spoke in his defence, saying that the young boy was very young to make bombs; however, revolutionary evidence from Bose confirmed his death sentence.
When the British Judge asked him the meaning of the sentence, he calmly smiled and said, "Yes, I do, and my lawyer said that I was too young to make bombs. If you allow me some time before I'm taken away from here, I can teach you the skills of making bombs too". Soon after his hanging on August 11 1908, student protests swelled up in Calcutta.