Ja Jhunje! (Fight!)
निजजाति-छळानें हृदय कां न तळमळतें ?
तुम्हि तरुण शिरांतुनि रक्त नवें सळसळतें ?
हे नवें रक्त तों विजेहुनी पेटावें
मृत्यूसि तुम्हीं गाठून बळें भेटावें
मग मुकुट आपला कोणीं I फोडिला
हिंदूंचा झेंडा कोणीं I तोडिला
आशेचा अंकुर कोणीं I मोडिला
हें चिंतुनि चिंतुनि क्रुद्ध आंसावें जळतीं
दिनरात्रीं डोळ्यांतुनि कां न रे गळती ?
ह्या भारतभूस्तव समररंगणीं गेले
ह्या चिंतेनें बहु वीर लढुनिया मेले
कुणि घोर यातनांचिया चितेवरि जळले
कुणीं फांस गळ्यासी लागतांहि ना ढळले
त्या त्यांच्या अपुर्या इच्छा I या क्षणीं
तुम्हांसि बाहती हांका I फोडुनी
का ऐकूं येती कोणा I यांतुनी
जरि येति तरी रे ऊठ कोण जो तो तूं
घे करीं शिरा जा झुंज पुरव तो हेतू
Anguished are ye not by our people’s pitiful plight? Fie!
Pound not in you hot, young, blood, O Youth,
Blood more fiery than lightning? Fie!
Approach Death, meet it head on! Forsooth!
Who dared our crown shatter?
Who dared the Hindu flag tatter?
Who dared our burgeoning hopes batter?
Dwell! Where are the hot, raging tears
Spilling from your eyes night and day! Fie!
Ah! Sons of Bharat into the battlefield plowed
Their anguished hearts were there razed
Some marched boldly to the gallows uncowed!
Or in pyres of untold tortures were set ablaze
Hark, their thundering unfulfilled ardor,
Every second it calls out to you harder!
Is there anyone who can hear its clamor?
All ye who do! Awake! Awake!
Fight! Fulfill our cause! Your life stake!
Madan Lal Dhingra was born on September 18, 1883 in Amritsar. His father was an eye specialist and Civil Surgeon of Amritsar. Some say he was the first Indian doctor to reach that eminent position. Madan Lal was the sixth of his seven sons. Two of Madan Lal’s brothers were doctors, one was an MRCP (1895); two other brothers were barristers. Madan Lal was married and had a son. If he had desired, he could have lived a life of luxury. But he chose to be a martyr for India’s freedom struggle. . . .
Preparing for the assassination:
At the inquest held at Westminster before Coroner Mr John Troutbeck, Dhingra expressed his deep regret for the accidental death of Lalkaka. He stated that had Lalkaka not come in the way he would not have been killed. He had no reason to kill him.
The day of Dhingra’s hanging finally dawned. It was August 17, 1909. Several of Dhingra’s friends made efforts to meet him for one last time in the Pentonville prison. At Savarkar’s suggestion, J. S. Master gave a written application to that effect. He contended that he was Dhingra’s close friend and hence be allowed inside the prison to meet him. He forwarded his application to the Under-Sheriff of London and the Home Office and awaited their response. His request was turned away at both places. Dhingra had assumed that he would die without meeting his friends. However, to the end, he remained calm and composed in the face of imminent death. He enjoyed a good slumber on the previous night and had to be woken-up on the day of his hanging. He performed his morning chores as usual and even had a hearty breakfast. Meanwhile, several Indian youth had mournfully gathered outside the gates of the prison. They were however denied entry inside. Entry was also denied to the waiting journalists. At the stroke of nine, Madan Lal Dhingra began his last journey to the gallows.
A Christian preacher named Hudson walked-up to him to say the final Christian prayer for him. But Dhingra turned him away saying that he was a Hindu. The Deputy Under-Sheriff of London Metcalf read out the death warrant to Dhingra in the presence of Deputy Governor Hales of Pentonville prison and asked him the usual questions. But Dhingra ignored their questions and walked calmly to the noose. His bravery left the accompanying officers dumb-founded. Officer Pierpoint stood at the hangman’s noose waiting for Dhingra. Dhingra smiled at him and ascended the steps to the platform. He himself placed the noose round his neck. Soon thereafter, the wooden platform underneath was withdrawn. Dhingra’s body dropped eight feet and lay hanging. As per convention, his limp body was left hanging for half an hour. When his body was brought down, it showed no trace of fear. Master was allowed to be present at the post-mortem examination which was performed by Dr. Wyliss Shroeder and Asst. Medical Officer Dr. Francis Forewood of Pentonville prison. He wrote the death certificate in the presence of five witnesses. Master again requested that he be allowed to claim Dhingra’s dead body so that his final rites could be performed. However, this request was turned down. The Times, London of August 18, 1909 reported on page 7 column 2, “Shortly after 9, death was announced. Pierpoint was the executioner. An application for leave to have the body cremated was refused and it will be buried in accordance with the usual custom, within the walls of prison.”
Then Master followed Under-Sheriff outside the prison. The correspondent for the Daily Mirror interviewed Master. He asked, “Will Dhingra be considered a martyr by the Indians?” Master replied, “Certainly. He has laid down his life for his country’s good. Whether his idea of this ‘good’ was right or wrong is a matter of opinion.”
Dhingra wished that his last rites according to Hindu dharma should be performed on his dead body and it should be cremated. Many Hindus petitioned to the Home Secretary Mr Herbert Gladstone that Dhingra’s body should be handed over to them, as Brahmins were ready to perform the last rites. This request was denied! The last wish of a man sent to the gallows was denied! His body was put in a coffin, which was buried within the prison premises.
(Note :- The Cremation Society of England was founded in 1874. So, cremation was definitely available in London in 1909.)
“I admit the other day; I attempted to shed English blood as an humble revenge for the inhuman hangings and deportations of patriotic Indian youths. In this attempt, I have consulted none but my own conscience; I have conspired with none, but my own duty. I believe that a nation held down in bondage with the help of foreign bayonets is in a perpetual state of war. Since open battle is rendered impossible to a disarmed race, I attacked by surprise; since guns were denied to me, I drew forth my pistol and fired. As a Hindu I felt that a wrong done to my country is an insult to God. Her cause is the cause of Sri Ram! Her services are the services of Sri Krishna! Poor in health and intellect, a son like myself has nothing else to offer to the Mother but his own blood and so I have sacrificed the same on her altar.
“O Goddess of Freedom, Life is to die for you, Death is to live without you!”
- V. D. Savarkar, Jayostute (translation)
July 8, 1910 . . . that was the day Savarkar threw his heart over the fence and executed a most daring, magnificent escape at Marseilles harbor.With that he thumbed his nose at the might of the British Raj and put it in a most sorry position! But there were many inherent dangers in his daring act and consequences of failure were dire.
What was going on in Savarkar’s mind before he took the leap?
Fortunately, that has been recorded by his biographer Chitragupta in Life of Barrister Savarkar. During the British Raj days, Savarkar often wrote under a pseudonym. This biography is also purported to be written by Savarkar himself. Here are his thoughts, in the third person, before he leapt to freedom:
“Mr. Savarkar had weighed all the consequences of an attempt to escape in his mind. He knew that failure was almost certain under these most unfavorable and hostile circumstances. . . . And if failure was almost certain how terrible would be the consequences! He had read harrowing accounts of the cruelty that these very officers were capable of when in their calmer moods. To what demoniacal fury and tortures would they not subject him if thus they got exasperated by his attempt to break off from their custody? Then any such attempt was bound to lay him open to far more serious charges and was bound to prejudice his first case in a most damaging way. For as the case stood there could have been no substantial documentary or other reliable evidence strong enough to sustain all the charges against Mr. Savarkar, so cleverly had he worked throughout that otherwise reckless agitation. Even the best legal opinions, in spite of the confessions of his former comrades that were wrung out by the Police in India, were one on the point that if he chose to defend and if no further complications took place he could not get more than seven years or so in any ordinary conducted trial. But an attempt at such daring escape would doubtless furnish that much dreaded complication.
Yes: true it was that thus the price of failure would be most exacting. But if it succeeds? Succeeds even partially? What grand tradition of heroic fortitude would it not leave behind to raise the prestige of the Indian revolutionist party in the esteem of all mankind? It will take Europe by surprise. It will wash away the stigma that the leader of Abhinava Bharat was trapped by the Government as easily as one would trap a mouse.
No! His arrest must cost them much more than the arrest of any single private individual had ever done. It must tax the utmost ingenuity of the English Government and force them to stand mortified and humiliated before all Europe. If no help, well he would individually do it at any rate. It was worth risking worth doing. Failure or success, he will have the satisfaction of having played his own of Indian Independence. But if, in pursuit and hunt, they shoot? Well, it would be far more in keeping with his position as the president of the Abhinava Bharat, the leader of young Indian, to die in that fashion, to get shot in the struggle than to live to rot in the Andamanese dungeons or end his life on the gallows. He must risk. But the steamer was to sail just after day break. These guards are all closing and tightly pressing on both sides. Still, if at all, this is the time. Now or never!
He actually repeated to his mind “Now or never!”
Such were the thoughts running through the mind of this amazing man!
Watch my videos, Savarkar: the Great Escape, Part I & II on Youtube:
Also watch two quick videos:
1) Savarkar’s Heroic Jump:
2) The Savarkar Case Bungle up:
The video, Point to Point Biography of Savarkar is a quick study guide to his biography. Click on the pictures with hands and on the swiveling targets to get more information (source documents, articles, videos, pictures etc.) in the PDF or PPT version. Those links are given in the description of the video.
Hi, Everyone! There are so many commendable qualities in Savarkar that I could write pages and pages on them. But today, the particular aspect I want to mention is the fact that no matter what, he never, ever even for a moment betrayed his country or his people in thought or deed—that is what my research has revealed to me.
” उजळित उजळित जें I काय करीं
लालिसी तूं दिवसभरी
बंदी, चांदीचे I किंवा ते
अलंकार सोनेरी ?”
अजि नचि I केवल ती I लोखंडी
बेडी माझी, खंडी
जखडोनी माझ्या I या पायां
स्वेच्छ गती जी चंडी
“फोडुनि तोडुनि जी I जाळावी
तीच कशी उजळावी
आपण अपुलिची I रे बेडी ?
हौस तुझी ही वेडी !”
सुटते सुटते ही I नचि हो ती
परि जोंवरी तोंवरतीं
गंजे ती तरि कीं I गांजी या
अधिक आपल्या पायां
“चरणासि सतत इच्छेच्या I जी वेढी
घडि कवण विधिनिषेधांची I ही बेडी “
जाणे कोण अजी I निश्चित तें
परंतु कीं मज गमतें
इच्छे घडि त्याची I इच्छाची
वा बेडी तदिच्छेची !
“O how you polish them, over and over,
Pampering them all day!
What think you —
Ornaments of silver and gold they are?”
My iron fetters—not just for today are they here!
O, break these shackles, do
They destroy my free will to move so!
“Fit only to be shattered and burnt they are—
Why then lavish care upon our very own fetters?
‘Tis an insane fancy you cherish!”
Break they will one day,
For ever they are not! Until then
Why let the fetters rust?
That will only add to the distress.
“Fetters forever encircling the Feet of our Desire—
Who forges those social fetters,
That impose the laws of decorum?”
Who knows that today? Ordained it be.
But think so do I,
We have the power to choose betwixt
Desire or Fetters for that Desire!
Two great leaders of one mind: