Saturday, September 19, 2009

Manobar Nath– The hero of 1942 freedom movement

“My home is in Nagaon. There is nobody with me as my own family but I consider all the people living here as my near and dear ones. My life will be meaningful if I can dedicate it to the cause of our country. I have joined the ‘Mrityu Bahini’ (Death Squad) first and therefore nobody has the right to die before me. Now please give me the chance to lay down my life for the freedom of my motherland”.

This was the appeal and death-defying pledge of Manobar Nath, the day before he died in the hands of British Police Force.

During India’s struggle for freedom, a decision was taken under the guidance of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala to take out a huge procession to Dhekiajuli and Gohpur Police Stations to dismantle the British National Flag– ‘Union Jack’, and hoist India’s Tri-Colour on the roof tops of the thanas. Young Manobar was selected as the leader of the ‘Mrityu Bahini’ to hoist the flag on Dhekiajuli PS and Kishori Kanaklata was selected for hoisting the flag at Gohpur PS. According to Jyoti Prasad’s plan, with entire allegiance to the Gandhiji’s ‘Do or Die’, Manobar Nath took the responsibilities to complete the task in order to assert our right and interest. The well tutored squad leader was ready and after a customary ritual of lighting lamps, burning incense sticks and putting a vermillion mark on his forehead, Manobar led the huge procession from Johamari to Dhekiajuli PS. Inspired by the fiery melody of Jyoti Prasad’s challenging vision of freedom, thousands of people came out to join the procession spontaneously. The volunteers from Ghatua, Kawoimari, Nahorbari, Borgaon, Thelamora and Keheru Khanda also joined in on the way. From the Western side– people came around from Borsola, Hugrajuli and Singori to join the freedom march covering as long as 11 miles towards the police station. When the people arrived near the police station, the police authority threatened the masses with dire consequences that if anybody dared to enter the police station. But the whole crowd of people marched towards it defying the police’s threatening and the police sepoys resorted to lathi charge.

In the meantime, amidst the chaotic situation prevailing there, Manobar climbed up to the roof of the police station and he threw away the British Flag and hoisted the National Tri-Colour. A gunshot was heard and in that split second action ended the life of this valiant son of the country. He fell down and said “Raiz (People) I am leaving, I will die but our country must be freed”, saying these words, the patriotic Manobar breathed his last.

Then there came the second hero of freedom. His name was Chandra Kanta Nath. While Manobar fell, Chandra Kanta promptly took hold of the Tri-Colour and raised it. In no time the thuds and thirsts of lathis and bayonets forced Chandra Kanta to fall down. He was severely injured. This was followed by the arrival of Golak Chandra Neog, who tuned in ‘Freedom is Wealth or else Death’. Neog tried to lift the Tri-Colour from Chandra Kanta’s hand while uttering ‘Vande Mataram’. The brutal police force of the British Police Empire pointed their guns towards this brave freedom fighter and were about to fire but in no time a 63 year old Satyagrahi volunteer Kumoli Devi, who was also the mother of Golak Chandra Neog, came in front of the British guns and the bullets pierced through her chest. She died on the spot. The valiant mother sacrificed her life at the alter of mother India.

Now there were only cries, moans, groans and confusion. That day was a fateful day of bloodshed, death and agony. To add to all this, there was the sacrifice of the life of Khahuli Devi. Despite her pregnancy, she accompanied her husband Punaram Nath as a processionist and reached the Dhekiajuli PS.

In spite of being the mother of two small children, she put her country before her family and hence left her two small children’s at home. She tried to enter the police campus, but a single gunshot silenced her forever. To acquire freedom, they laid down their lives for the cause of their motherland. They became martyrs. All these great sons and daughters of the country possessed supreme qualities of patriotism and it seemed as if they were born to sacrifice themselves at the alter of India’s freedom struggle and become immortal, leaving the fragrance of their patriotism and love of their motherland in everybody’s hearts.

As a poet said– “Luitor Aakhahot Torar Torawali Parot Deepawali, Tezere Mur Aai Nekandibi, Thaponat Tejere Bonti Dilehi Lora, Suwaliye Tur”.

Today at the auspicious day of Swahid Manobar Nath Smriti Divas, the Nath Yogi Community of Assam respectfully and proudly remembers our forefathers for the supreme sacrifices they made for our country along with all the other National heroes such as Konaklota Borua, Mukunda Kakoti, Bhogeswari Phukanani and many other known and unknown heroes of the freedom struggle of India. Oh martyrs, we salute you for your sacrifices. We won’t let your sacrifices go in vain, we will always keep you alive in our hearts. Jai Hind.

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