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Jatindra Nath Das (also known as Jatin Das) (27 October 1904 – 13 September 1929) was an Indian freedom fighter and revolutionary. The death of Jatin Das in Lahore jail after 63 days of hunger strike shocked the whole of India. Jatin Das is the only person to fast to death before independence, Potti Sreeramulu fasted to death for a separate Andhra after independence.[1]

Contents

Early life

Jatindra Nath Das was born in Kolkata. He joined Anushilan Samiti, a revolutionary outfit in Bengal. Jatindra participated in Gandhi's Non-Cooperation movement in 1921.

In November 1925, while studying for a B.A. at Vidyasagar College in Kolkata, Jatindra Nath was arrested for his political activities and was imprisoned in Mymensingh Central Jail. Protesting against the ill treatment of political prisoners, he went on a hunger strike. After 20 days, when the Jail Superintendent apologised, Jatin gave up the fast. He was contacted by revolutionaries in other parts of India and agreed to participate in bomb-making for Bhagat Singh and comrades.

On 14 June 1929 he was arrested for revolutionary activities and was imprisoned in Lahore jail to be tried under the supplementary Lahore Conspiracy Case.

The hunger strike

In the Lahore jail, Jatin Das started a hunger strike along with other revolutionary fighters, demanding equality for Indian prisoners and undertrials. The conditions of Indian inhabitants of the jails was deplorable-the jail uniforms that they were provided with were not washed since several days, the kitchen area and the food was covered with rats and cockroaches, they were not provided with any reading material-no newspapers, no paper..while the condition of the English prisoners in the same jail was strikingly different-no less than a hotel!

The memorable hunger strike started on 13 July 1929 and lasted 63 days.[2] The jail authority took many measures to forcibly feed Jatin Das and the other freedom fighters, beat them and did not even provide them with drinking water.[3] However, Jatindra did not eat. He died, hunger strike unbroken, on 13 September.[4] As his body was carried from Lahore to Kolkata by train, thousands of people rushed to every station to pay their homage to the martyr. A two-mile long procession in Kolkata carried the coffin to the cremation ground.[5] The hunger strike of Jatin Das in prison was one crucial moment in the resistance against illegal detentions.[6]

Remembrance

"Another name has been added to the long and splendid roll of Indian martyrs. Let us bow our heads and pray for strength to act to carry on the struggle, however long it may be and whatever consequences , till the victory is ours ". This is what Jawahar Lal Nehru said while commenting on death of Jatin Das. [7]

Notes

  1. ^ "Fast & Win". Time Magazine. 1952-12-29. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,822565-1,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-09.  
  2. ^ Heroes of Anti Imperialist (British) Movement
  3. ^ Dr. Premdatta Verma, Punjab University Weekly Bulletin, 19 September 1964
  4. ^ Indian Post article
  5. ^ Gateway for India article
  6. ^ [|Ghosh, Durba] (4–5 April, 2003). [ias.berkeley.edu/southasia/Ghosh.doc "Britain’s Global War on Terrorism:containing political violence and insurgency in the interwar years"] (doc). How Empire Mattered: Imperial Structures and Globalization in the Era of British Imperialism. Berkeley, CA. ias.berkeley.edu/southasia/Ghosh.doc. Retrieved 2007-04-08.  
  7. ^ Contemporary India , NCERT textbook in Social Studies

External links

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