In 1905 Bengal was divided in two by Lord Curzon. Bengal’s great political leaders were dead against it, but they were helpless. So there was a great revolt in Bengal. The political leaders and the adorers of Mother India were all fighting against the British. But the British were ruthless. Whenever they heard people chanting /Bande Mataram,/ they used to arrest them. For the Indian patriots, Bande Mataram was the slogan. Bande Mataram was their mantra; Bande Mataram was their life-breath. By uttering Bande Mataram, thousands and thousands of people embraced death.
Of all the English, Judge Kingsford was the worst. He used to torture the revolutionaries mercilessly; his activities were atrocious. This led the revolutionaries to decide that Kingsford must be killed.
Two young men, two great revolutionaries, were chosen to execute this task. One was Peraphulla Chaki, the other was Khudhiram. They were young, they were spirited, they were devoted and they were sincere. They were two jewels of Mother Bengal. Their leaders were all appreciation for them and their friends were all admiration for them. So they took up the challenge; they would kill Kingsford.
Every evening, it was Kingsford’s custom to go out in his carriage for a short ride. One evening, they hid near Kingsford’s bungalow and when the carriage pulled away from the bungalow, the two young men attacked it. They threw a bomb into the vehicle and completely destroyed it. Alas, on that particular day Kingsford was not inside. Instead, his friend, Mrs. Kennedy, and her daughter were in the carriage, and both of them were killed.
Peraphulla Chaki was arrested but Khudhiram somehow managed to escape. Before the British Government could punish Peraphulla Chaki, this hero of heroes committed suicide. In a few days’ time Khudhiram was also arrested. He was caught in a railway station.
There was only one way in which the British Government dealt with such cases: on 11 August 1908, Khudhiram was hanged. But before he was hanged he sang a particular line from a song with all his heart’s soulfulness:
“Mother, farewell! I am going out just for a short while. Mother, farewell! Do give me the permission to go out and come back.”
This particular line he sang a few times, and then he was hanged.
Yes, Khudhiram did come back to Mother Bengal. He came back in different bodies, in different names, in different shapes — with new determination, new boldness and a heart of supreme sacrifice from Heaven.
GIM 83. 22 January 1979↩