Revolutionary Freedom Fighters Must be Exonerated
It is not only possible but quite desirable that in India too all the intrepid and selfless freedom fighters—Tilak, Bagha Jatin, Bhagat Singh et al being the more prominent among them—be duly exonerated with the necessary apologies to their families and friends by the [Indian] State
I Mallikarjuna Sharma
Bagha Jatin, (Jatindranath Mukherjee), the intrepid revo lutionary martyr of the Indian nationalist revolutionary organization Jugantar, who died valiantly consequent to a heroic armed clash with the British Indian police forces at Chashakhand, Balasore, called the new Haldighat of India by the Bengali revolutionary poet Nazrul Islam who incidentally inspired two nations—India and Bangladesh—in their freedom movement, was admiringly referred to as a 'divine personality' by Mahatma Gandhi in his talk with the notorious [then] Police Commissioner of Calcutta, Charles Tegart. Little did Gandhi know that Tegart himself, despite his terrific torture of 'terrorists' [i.e. national revolutionaries of the day] and ruthless repression of the revolutionary movement, greatly admired the Bengali revolutionaries of the day, describing them as 'the most selfless political workers in India', and in particular his admiration of Jatin was enormous. Tegart is reported to have regretfully admitted that "Though I had to do my duty, I have a great admiration for him. He died in an open fight" [on 9/10 September 1915]. Tegart was also reported to have stated: "Had Jatin Mukherjee been an Englishman, the English would have erected his statue at Trafalgar Square, by the side of Nelson's." However, in official records, Jatin Mukherjee remains and would still remain a fugitive from law, a hardened criminal whose single conviction, which 'alas' could not be secured, was said by no less a person than the then Viceroy Lord Hardinge himself to be sufficient than the acquittal of all the other 46 accused ['misguided youths'] in the Howrah Gang case, and a pivotal figure in the Indo-German conspiracy of the First World War times and hence a number one traitor to the Government established by 'law' as per the Indian Penal Code Sections 121 to 124A. True, the people of the present adore him and praise him as a great patriotic revolutionary, but unless they take a further step to legitimize his ideas and deeds by exonerating him of all the charges rightly or wrongly laid against him as per the then 'law of the land' i.e. the colonial law, which is sadly continued with few if any radical changes to this day, then the people of India would not be doing justice to the revolutionary concerned or to themselves in their march towards democracy, socialism and human welfare.