Thursday, 31 May 2018

Nivedita : The Queen of the Indian Freedom Movement - 2

यतो धर्म: ततो जय:


The man who does not strike because he is afraid is a coward'. Nivedita attended Benaras Congress in December 1905, where Balgangadhar Tilak was the President. She never came in front but worked from behind as a correspondent of The Statesman. The Congress session became a 'Nivedita show'. She tried her best to forge an understanding between the radicals and the moderates. Soon afterwards she came under police surveillance. Next, the 'Alipore Bomb Case' (1909) came up involving Aurobindo Ghosh and others. She arranged the escape of Bhupendra Nath Dutta (brother of Vivekananda) after his conviction for revolutionary activities. The British government accused her of treacherous action.

Nivedita felt that various fragmented groups of firebrand revolutionaries are to be brought under one umbrella. She also travelled to various corners of India and gave inspiring speeches to young people to rouse them to action. She realized from the teaching of Swami Vivekananda that unless a sense of nationalism is developed, India can never get her freedom. However, while working to kindle the spirit of nationalism, she did not neglect the school she founded. Though she had to dissociate herself officially from the Ramakrishna Mission after the death of Vivekananda, she maintained her deep personal relations with the monks of the Math and the Mission, and Holy Mother Sarada Devi. Nivedita not only advised the national leaders and patriots but she always tried to inspire a generation of young people in her own ways. Her methodology was quite different. Once she spread a huge map of undivided India (6 ft x 4 ft) in front of a large number of young people and said passionately: 'Look at your mother, she is chained. Now you decide what you should do'.

Nivedita tried her best to ignite the spirit of the revolutionaries in ways which were common in Ireland and Russia. During her visit to Ireland, she had asked her brother, Richard, to secretly send her the Irish revolutionary periodicals. She, in turn, used to distribute them among the Bengal revolutionaries. After the arrest of Lala Lajpat Rai and Sardar Ajit Singh, many protest meetings were held in and around Calcutta and Nivedita was always the main speaker. She used to quote passages from the Gità, where Krishna inspired reluctant Arjuna to start the battle, to encourage the youths to wage their battle against the British empire.

When a team of revolutionaries under the leadership of Ullaskar Dutta were at the finishing stage of developing bombs desperately needed a sophisticated laboratory, they approached Nivedita. Nivedita, who was a close friend and mentor of Jagadish Chandra Bose, the great scientist, requested the latter to talk to his friend, another leading chemist P. C. Ghosh, to allow Ullaskar and his team to use the chemistry laboratory of the Presidency College. The approval was obtained and the young men started their experiments in the late evening. By morning there was no trace of any objectionable chemicals. The rest is history—the famous Alipore Bomb Case. Ullaskar and many others were subsequently sentenced to long imprisonment in the Andamans. But the knowhow of bomb-making was developed. Nivedita always wanted the revolutionaries to have access to bombs in line with the Irish revolutionaries.All the leading revolutionaries of the first decade of the 20th century used to visit Nivedita regularly for inspiration and guidance.

To Be Continue..