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In a Nutshell - The Life Story of Khudiram Bose

Niranjan Bhombe

Madhavi Ojha

22 November 2022

"Khudiram Bose was born on December 3, 1889, in Mohobani, Bengal....."

Khudiram Bose was born on December 3, 1889, in Mohobani, Bengal to Trailokyanath Bose and Lakshmipriya Devi. At the age of 6, Khudiram lost his mother and at the age of seven, his father died. His elder sister, Aparupa Roy brought him up along with her husband Amritlal Roy.


He was one of the youngest freedom fighters of Bharat who was inspired by Sri Aurobindo Ghosh and Sister Nivedita (Swami Vivekananda’s disciple) when they held public lectures in his district in 1902 and 1903 respectively. The spirit of revolution had been ignited in him at a very early stage in his life.


In 1908, Khudiram joined the Anushilan Samiti, an early 20th century revolutionary group that resorted to violent means to force the British out of Bharat. It was here that Khudiram Bose got fully involved in anti-British activities. Not only did he just learn how to make bombs, he would plant them in front of police stations to target government officials. At the tender age of 16, he had placed bombs near police stations and targeted government officials. Douglas H Kingsford was the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta at that time. He was a target of revolutionaries as he was known for his harsh treatment and vindictiveness towards the freedom fighters, he was especially enraged by the anti-participation and swadeshi activists. The British authorities transferred him to Muzaffarpur with the hope that the anger of the revolutionaries would die down.


However, the revolutionaries were determined to see the end of Kingsford. The initial idea was to detonate a bomb in the courtroom where Kingsford presided. After much debate it was decided to avoid court since a large number of civilians could be injured.


Khudiram Bose along with Prafulla Kumar Chaki, decided to murder Kingsford. Khudiram prepared for the bombing by observing the routine of the Magistrate and noting his court and club timings.

Following that, on 30th Nov, 1908 they attacked Kingsford’s carriage

while he was leaving the club. As the horse carriage drew near, Khudiram hurled a bomb at it. However it was discovered later that the carriage was carrying the wife and the daughter of a barrister called Pringle Kennedy, and Kingsford had escaped yet another attempt on his life.


Khudiram and Prafulla Chaki escaped separately. Khudiram walked on for 25 miles before reaching the Vaini Station (now renamed Khudiram Bose Pusa Station). At a tea stall, he was seen by two constables. News of the bombing had reached everywhere and the police were given a lookout notice for the two bombers. Khudiram was caught and overpowered by the constables. Prafulla Chaki, who had also escaped, was trapped by the police. He shot himself before the police could catch him.


Khudiram’s trial began on 21 May 1908. Even though the defence lawyers tried their best to acquire a lighter sentence for Khudiram, the British judge awarded him death. The lawyers had argued that there were others who could be plotting attacks and also asked the court to consider the defendant’s young age. The sentence was carried out on 11 August, 1908. He died with the holy book Bhagavad Gita in his hands and the slogan Vande Mataram on his lips.


Large crowds thronged the route through which his body was taken out in procession. The people kept throwing flowers, silently acknowledging his sacrifice for the cause of freedom. Although he is one of Bharat’s youngest and earliest revolutionary leaders to have sacrificed his life for the cause of freedom, Khudiram Bose is relatively less known to people today.

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