freedom struggle, India's freedom struggle, Churka Tudu, Bondoka Bhotra, Indian National Army, Singapore Mutiny, Tarapur Police Station, Civil Disobedience Movement, Indian history, February 15th events, sacrifice for independenceUnity and Sacrifice: Remembering the Heroes of February 15th in India's Fight for Freedom

February 15th in the Freedom Struggle in India

The tapestry of the Indian freedom struggle is rich with the valor and sacrifices of individuals whose actions on specific dates have etched indelible marks on the path to independence. Among these dates, February 15th stands out as a poignant reminder of the relentless pursuit of freedom and the extraordinary contributions of freedom fighters. This day, across different years, witnessed pivotal moments that underscore the depth and fervor of the freedom struggle, highlighting the sacrifices made by individuals in their fight against colonial rule.

The Quit India Movement and Its Heroes

The Quit India Movement, launched in 1942, stands as a significant chapter in the annals of the Indian freedom struggle, characterized by widespread resistance against British rule. This movement witnessed the unparalleled bravery of numerous individuals, among whom Churka Tudu’s story of sacrifice shines brightly.

Churka Tudu: The Martyr of Dumka Jail

Churka Tudu, hailing from Tuhu Murgatola in Aasanbani, Santhal Parganas, Bihar (now Jharkhand), became a beacon of resistance during the Quit India Movement. Arrested for his anti-British activities, Tudu was sentenced to four years of rigorous imprisonment. His unwavering spirit faced the ultimate test when he succumbed to dysentery on February 15, 1943, in Dumka Jail, a death brought on by the deplorable conditions he was kept in. Tudu’s sacrifice is a stark testament to the cruelty faced by freedom fighters in their quest for India’s independence.

Bondoka Bhotra: A Tale of Suffering and Sacrifice

In parallel, Bondoka Bhotra’s story unfolds as a grim narrative of endurance and sacrifice. From Koraput, Odisha, Bhotra joined the Quit India Movement, only to find himself arrested and subjected to the dire conditions of detention. Like Tudu, Bhotra battled against the inhuman conditions in Nowrangpur (Nabarangpur) Sub-Jail, only to be moved to Koraput District Jail as his health deteriorated. On February 15, 1943, he was admitted to the hospital, but his fight ended in tragedy when he died of heart failure on February 24, 1943. Bhotra’s ordeal and subsequent death highlight the severe hardships endured by political prisoners during the freedom struggle.

These narratives of Churka Tudu and Bondoka Bhotra, linked by the date of February 15th, reflect the broader canvas of the Indian freedom struggle, illustrating the personal costs of battling colonial oppression. Their stories, among others, serve as poignant reminders of the sacrifices that paved the way for India’s independence, underscoring the significance of individual contributions to the freedom struggle.

The Indian National Army (INA) and February 15, 1942

February 15, 1942, marks a pivotal moment in the Indian freedom struggle, witnessing the mass transition of loyalty from the British-Indian Army to the Indian National Army (INA). This day saw the enlistment of brave hearts such as Chanda, Chandgi Ram, Chandu Lal, Chhaila, Lok Ram, Nand Singh, Ram Nath, Sis Ram, and Gabdu Ram into the INA, each bringing their own story of courage and defiance against colonial rule.

Chanda, from Hissar, Haryana, previously served in the Hong Kong-Singapore Royal Artillery before joining the INA. Chandgi Ram and Chandu Lal, also from Haryana, left their positions in the British-Indian Army to fight for India’s independence under the INA banner. Chhaila, Lok Ram, and Nand Singh shared similar journeys, shifting their allegiances to partake in the struggle against the British. Ram Nath, Sis Ram, and Gabdu Ram also joined the INA, driven by the shared dream of a free India. Their contributions are notable for their sacrifice and valor on various battlefronts, ultimately paying the ultimate price for freedom in 1945.

The Singapore Mutiny in Freedom Struggle of 1915

The Singapore Mutiny of 1915 is another significant event in the freedom struggle, occurring on February 15, 1915. This uprising was led by figures such as Abdul Ghani, Bahar Ali, Basharat, Faiz Mahomed, Fazal Ali, Feroz, Inayat, Ismail Khan, Lal Khan, Mahomed Baksh, Moman, Munshi Khan, Murid Ali Khan, Nahar Ali Khan, Nanhe Khan, Nawab Khan, Nur Mohamed, Rafi Ahmad, Rahim Dad, Samand Khan, Suleiman, Suliman, Suliman Khan, Taj Mohamed Khan, Umrad Ali, and Zaffer Ali. These individuals, primarily from the 5th Light Infantry Regiment of the British-Indian Army, rose against their commanders, fuelled by the fervor for freedom and influenced by the Ghadar Party’s propaganda.

The mutiny highlighted the discontent among Indian soldiers serving under British command and the burgeoning desire for independence. Despite the mutiny’s suppression, the participants’ actions served as a catalyst for future resistance movements. The aftermath saw the capture and execution of many involved, marking a somber chapter in the freedom struggle but also demonstrating the lengths to which individuals were willing to go to challenge colonial rule.

The stories of those who enlisted in the INA and the participants of the Singapore Mutiny underscore the multifaceted nature of the Indian freedom struggle. Through their actions on February 15th, these individuals contributed significantly to the collective effort to achieve independence, showcasing bravery, sacrifice, and an unyielding spirit of resistance.

The Civil Disobedience Movement and February 15, 1932

On February 15, 1932, the Civil Disobedience Movement saw one of its most harrowing days at Tarapur Police Station. This day witnessed the supreme sacrifices of Asarfi Mandal, Badri Mandal, Chandi Mahto, Gaiwi Mandal, Mahipal Singh, Rameshwar Mandal, Santi Pasi, Shital, Sideshwar Rajhans, Sukul Sonar, and Vishwanath Singh. Each of these individuals, united by a common resolve to resist British rule, gathered with the aim of hoisting the Congress flag, symbolizing their defiance against colonial oppression. The police’s brutal response, opening fire on the unarmed crowd, resulted in tragic losses. These martyrs of Tarapur exemplify the profound sacrifices rendered during the Civil Disobedience Movement, highlighting the movement’s significance in the broader context of the freedom struggle.

Other Notable Events in the Context of Freedom Struggle

February 15th also marks the valor of individuals like Abdul Rahim and Abdus Salam, who became martyrs at Kanaighat, Sylhet. Their sacrifice during a gathering to discuss political action underscores the widespread impact of the freedom struggle across different regions of India. Additionally, the story of Bankabihari De stands out as a remarkable act of defiance. Refusing to fire on unarmed people, De paid the ultimate price for his principles, embodying the spirit of resistance against injustice. Furthermore, Raja Arjun Singh’s struggle, culminating in his surrender on February 15, 1859, after valiantly opposing British forces, reflects the early resistance against colonial dominance, setting a precedent for future uprisings.

Conclusion

Reflecting on the courage and sacrifices of these individuals, we find the essence of the Indian freedom struggle. Their actions, marked by an unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom, have left an indelible legacy in the annals of India’s history. From the poignant sacrifices at Tarapur Police Station to the individual acts of defiance by Abdul Rahim, Abdus Salam, Bankabihari De, and Raja Arjun Singh, each story contributes to the rich tapestry of the struggle for independence. These narratives not only serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who fought against colonial rule but also inspire future generations to uphold the values of freedom, justice, and equality. The legacy of their courage continues to illuminate the path toward a just and sovereign nation, reminding us of the price paid for the liberties we enjoy today.

Feature Image: The painting is a vibrant tableau that honors the Indian freedom struggle, weaving together key moments and figures against the backdrop of India’s diverse landscapes. In the center, Churka Tudu stands with unwavering resilience against the stark walls of Dumka Jail, his posture symbolizing the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. Adjacent, Bondoka Bhotra represents enduring strength amidst adversity. To one side, a group of soldiers is captured in a transformative moment as they pledge allegiance to the Indian National Army, their expressions filled with determination and hope. Another section vividly portrays the Singapore Mutiny, showcasing soldiers in a bold act of defiance, with the city’s skyline looming behind. The solemn depiction of the Tarapur Police Station incident, where an unarmed crowd confronts police gunfire, serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made during the Civil Disobedience Movement. The painting’s rich tapestry of rural and urban settings binds these narratives into a single, powerful visual narrative of courage, sacrifice, and the quest for independence. (https://hinduinfopedia.in/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/DALL·E-2024-02-16-13.28.10_Indian_freedom_struggle_portraying_bravery_sacrifices.webp)

References

Volume -1 Part -I [Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh 1857-1919] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.06 MB)

Volume -1 Part – II [Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh 1920-1947] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.22 MB)

Volume -2 Part – I [UP, Uttarakhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and J&K 1857-1947] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.35 MB)

Volume -2 Part – II [UP, Uttarakhand, MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and J&K 1857-1947] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.34 MB)

Volume -3 [Maharashtra, Gujarat and Sind 1857-1947] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.14 MB)

Volume – 4 [Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura 1857-1947] PDF file that opens in new window. To know how to open PDF file refer Help section located at bottom of the site. (1.71 MB)

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Tags: Indian freedom struggle, February 15, Quit India Movement, INA, Singapore Mutiny, Civil Disobedience Movement, Indian National Army, unsung heroes, independence, historical events, valor and sacrifice

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