Assam wants national recognition for India’s youngest 1942 martyr
On the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement, the committee that observes the day wants India to recognise her as the youngest martyr.Updated: Sep 20, 2017 19:47 IST
Tileswari Baruah was a few months short of her 12th birthday when a volley of bullets felled her at northcentral Assam’s Dhekiajuli on September 20, 1942.
On the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement, the committee that observes the day wants India to recognise her as the youngest martyr.
“My research on Quit India says Tileswari is the youngest martyr, and she was not collateral damage. She was one of 13 people, who laid down their lives while trying to hoist the national flag on the Dhejiajuli police station in 1942,” Ramesh Chandra Bora, a retired teacher and president of a public committee that marks the day, told the Hindustan Times from Dhekiajuli, 134 km north-east of Guwahati.
Official record names Tileswari of Bargaon village and 10 others. The other two unnamed martyrs are a beggar and an ascetic.
Bora, though, mentions 14 martyrs in his book titled Swadhinatar Andolan Aaru Dhekiajuli (Freedom Movement and Dhekiajuli).
While many in Assam see Tileswari as a martyr “whom India forgot”, another teenage martyr of Gohpur further east is recognised as one of India’s youngest to sacrifice her life for the country’s freedom from British rule.
Kanaklata Barua of Barangabari village was barely 17 when police bullets felled her, also on September 20 in 1942.
The Assam government on Wednesday decided to give a one-time financial package to the survivors of the 13 Dhekiajuli martyrs besides naming as many streets after each of them.
The Quit India movement was one of the popular and powerful mass movements in the series of agitations led by Mahatma Gandhi in the course of the freedom struggle.
The civil disobedience movement was launched on August 8, 1942, at the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee (AICC) demanding an end to the British rule of India.