This Day in History (13-Sep-1929) – Jatindra Nath Das died on the 63rd day of hunger strike in Lahore Central Jail

Jatindra Nath Das was a freedom fighter and revolutionary. He joined Anushilan Samiti, which was a revolutionary group 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 apologized, Jatin gave up the fast. He was contacted by and agreed to participate in bomb-making for Bhagat Singh and comrades. On 14 June 1929, he was arrested for terrorist activities and was imprisoned in Lahore jail to be tried under the supplementary Lahore Conspiracy Case.

In the Lahore jail, Jatin Das, along with other prisoners, started a hunger strike demanding jail reforms and rights of prisoners and under trials. The conditions of Indian people of the jails were terrible. The uniform that Indian prisoners were required to wear in jail with were not washed for several days, and rats and cockroaches roamed the kitchen area making the food unsafe to eat. Indian prisoners were not provided with any reading material such as newspapers, nor were they provided paper to write. In contrast, the condition of the British prisoners in the same jail was noticeably different.

This unforgettable hunger strike started on 13 July 1929 and lasted 63 days. The jail authority took many measures to feed Jatin, including attempts to feed forcefully. However, Jatindra did not eat and died on 13 September without breaking the hunger strike. 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. The hunger strike of Jatin Das in prison was one crucial moment in the resistance against illegal detentions, and highlighted cold-hearted brutality of British colonialism. Of millions in the country who swore by Gandhism, Jatin Das alone walked till the end of path.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofindia.com/on-this-day/13th-september-1500-portuguese-explorer-pedro-alvarez-cabral-lands-in-calicut-and-opens-the-first-european-factory-in-india

http://www.proud2bindian.in/patriots-patriotism/8418-jatindra-nath-das.html#.VAqH4sKSxWQ

http://satyameva-jayate.org/2011/09/13/jatin-das/

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