The year 2015 is a uniquely great year in the history of India. The year 2015 has the unique distinction of being the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of some 87 revolutionaries of the country. Out of this, Jatindranath Mukherjee (Bagah Jatin)’s place is unique. September 10 will be witness to 100 years of his martyrdom.
He is the only revolutionary of the country who was praised not only by Mahatma Gandhi but also by his bête noire the Britishers.
Mahatma Gandhi had called him a divine power.
Lord Minto got so scared of Bagha Jatin that he ended up saying that Bagha was the kind of spirit that could not only uproot the Britishers from India but also finish off the head of the British government.
Tegart, a police officer, while speaking about Bagha had said that had Bagha been a Britisher, his statue would have been erected alongside Nelson. Nelson is accredited with winning the 1st World war for the Britisher.
Jatindranath Mukherjee was born on 7 December 1879, in a village in the Nadia District of present-day Bangladesh. He was courageous, thoughtful and strong right from his childhood. His encounter with Swami Vivekanand gave his life a special meaning. Not only did this meeting imbibe a social meaning to his life, it also gave his life a new direction. Swami Vivekanand’s invocation that he was looking for youth with muscles of iron and arteries of steel made a deep impact on the mind of Jatindranath. He moulded his body on the same lines.
The manifestation of his physical strength reached its zenith when he killed a tiger that had become a menace in the village, single-handedly and unarmed. But the encounter left him deeply wonded, it was then that the doctor who was attending on him named him “Bagha.” This is how he earned the sobriquet Bagha.
Bagha Jatin used to dream about liberating the country from foreign rule right from his childhood, even a day of slavery was anathema for him. He became one of the founding fathers of the “Anushilan samiti.” He was mainly responsible for the expansion of Anushilan Samiti. He was involved with Aurobindo Ghosh too. The time he spent with Maharshi Aurobindo went a long way in smoothening out his rough edges. He was involved with him in a lot of campaigns and it must go to the credit of Bagha that he was hardly ever cornered. He did get caught in the Howrah-Shibpur case but it is really creditable that the Britishers could not implicate him in the case.
He had even planned a military campaign wherein he would have liberated India with the help of German military. Unfortunately, the designated meeting with the German officers did not take place or who knows India might not have had to wait till 1947 for its liberation.
Jatin had also formed a voluntary organisation whose disciplined volunteers would be the first to reach for help in emergencies like floods, drought or epidemics. This shows how dedicated Jatin was towards the social cause. This voluntary organisation had also lent a helping hand in the Kumbh Mela. But he also used these religious occasions to exhort the youth to join the revolutionaries.
We read so many instances of his bravery, once Jatin came across a group of Englishmen sitting atop a tram with their legs dangling on the window sill below, when Jatin saw that the shoes of these men were touching the Indian ladies sitting by the window side, he pulled all of them down from the roof of the tram and beat them up.
Unfortunately, Jatin succumbed to his injuries when he was cornered by the Britishers in a jungle.
Bagha Jatin was not only a revolutionary, in fact calling him a philosopher revolutionary won’t be an exaggeration.
His life and works should be made a must-read for everyone in the country, the youth of the nation can take a lot of inspiration from him.
The nation salutes the braveheart Bagha Jatin.