Unsung Heroes | History Corner | Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Culture, Government of India

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Paying tribute to India’s freedom fighters

Batukeshwar Dutta

Purba Burdwan (Bardhaman), West Bengal

August 12, 2021


Batukeshwar Dutta, a young freedom fighter, was moved from one prison to another. In the year 1924, Batukeshwar met Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad (both members of the revolutionary Hindustan Republican Association [HRA]) and was motivated to join HRA. Both, Batukeshwar Dutta and Bhagat Singh hurled smoke bombs in the Central Legislative Assembly on 8th April 1929 in protest against two bills – the Public Safety Bill and the Trade Dispute Bill.

The slogan InquilabZindabad was raised while hurling the bombs and leaflets titled To make the deaf hear’ were thrown in the Assembly. The brave men decided to surrender so as to inspire other revolutionaries to contribute towards the Indian freedom struggle. They were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the act shook British colonial roots in Indian soil. While Bhagat Singh was hanged for killing John Saunders, Batukeshwar Dutta was transferred to the Cellular Jail, Andaman.

Batukeshwar Dutta had to face brutal colonial atrocities as did other Kala Pani inmates. He began a hunger strike against the abusive treatment of political prisoners and the discriminatory and inhumane prison conditions. He contracted tuberculosis soon after he was released from prison, having an adverse effect on his health. Although, this could not deter his spirit to fight for the cause of freedom. He actively participated in the Quit India Movement led by Gandhiji in 1942.