When the independence struggle in Orissa raised its proud head . It appeared in the headlines of THE SAMAJA – At long last the Orissa Prisonat Cuttack is consecrated . Such was the news concerning the arrest of Last Rajkrishna Bose published. Utkalmani Gopabandhu in appreciation of his deep sense of nationalism. reiterated that Rajkrishna
was the first and the foremost man to be acclaimed as the first political prisoner of Orissa
RAJKRISHNA’S BIRTH AND CHILDHHOOD :
The freedom fighter, the champion of sacrifice, Rajkrishna was born in the village Ramachandrapur under Kishore Nagar constituency of Cuttack on the first Friday in the month of MARGASIRA in the SAL 1307 . he was proud to have Mrs.Bhabani as his mother. Right from his admission in the village primary School he showed signs of social service and mutual help . Consequent upon his father’s transfer to different places as a Police Officer,he had to have his education at different school.
RAJKRISHNA’S FIRST MEETING WITH GOPABANDHU
Rajkrishna joined the Cuttack Ravenshaw College after having passed his matric from Peary Mohan Academy. Cuttack .drought and famine at puri caused havoc among the people . The irrepressible revolutionary spirit in Rajkrishna made rum come forward to sacrifice his all in the services of the people .and only here he had the opportunity to get in touch with Gobabandhu .Gopabandhu was pleased to find a glowing youth married to the principle of service and sacrifice. There after Cuttack witnessed a grim scence of the horror of Cholera .Breaking the rules of the hostel, he came forward to render services to the suffering humanity. He imbibed massive inspiration from the books of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and Vivekananda .He was residing in the KAYAST BOARDING where prof .Artaballava Mohanty was the Superintendent. Prof. Mohanty had a great appreciation for Rajkrishna’s sprit of selfless sacrifice and service .He was greatly inspired by the AMRITABAZAR PATRIKA to keep the tradition of Orissa n culture alive, and his chief work was to read and sell the weekly SAMAJA PRABASHI transfused into him the very spirit of sacrifice and devotion to the cause of freedom .His sportsmanship and defiant attitude in school days had tremendous impact on his fellow friends . The weighty words of Gourisankar the builder of KAYAST BOARDING, toned up his morale and spirit. The sub-inspector of schools Late Binodlal Bose threatened Rajkrishna to expel him from the hostel for having joined the political agitation. But he ignored it; rather it accelerated his progress in that direction. While in college he came to know about the famine at puri from Gopabandhu at MUKURA press ,and he voluntarily went there to help the famished though his name was not included in the list of 75 members committee . Unfortunately the enlisted students were away on a recreation during holidays. The atrocious treatment of the police in the village CHARISHREE in the year 1919 created in him a sense of bitter disgust the against the police services. His father Laxminarayan’s hope and desire to make his son a top Police official shatterd completely. Hereafter in the year 1921 Rajkrishna expressed profession.His eagerness for medical. Most probably the idea stemmed from his spirit of service in the devastating famine at Puri . But this little protracted area could not keep him satisfied. The non-cooperation movement piloted by MahatmaGandhi touched his heart deeply. The village Postmaster KALIBABU used to keep him briefed about the important news. Meanwhile he was informed that twelve students including him self were being expelled from the hostel. By this time the representatives of Orissa, on their way back from Nagpur . were going to form the Congress on the advice of Gopabandhu at CHAKRADHARPUR in SINGHBHUM .On 24 January 1921 Gopabandhu addressed on the Kathajori a mammoth gathering of students about the non cooperation movement of the Congress . This challenge infused Rajkrishna a great awakening and he made up his mind to give up college education.
RAJKRISHAN MEETS GANDHIJI GOPABANDHU AND TILAK ATSWARAJ
For the first time Rajkrishna was elected to the Indian National Congress from the state Level Congress Committee in 1921 . Thereafter he pioneered the political struggle at Jajpur.After rendering active service for three months in Jajpur sub-division .He met Gandhiji at SWARAJ ASHRAM alongwith Gopabandhu. Then he came in contact with Bal Gangadhar Tilak. At that time Tilak was collecting funds for the SWARAJSTRUGGLE Rajkrishna joined him in hi meeting at Balasore. And as a result of which the Police were very much after him. Rajkrishna accompanied by Gopabandhu, Bhagirathi Mohapatra, Dr. H.K.Mahatab, Jadumani Mangaraj, Mukunda Prasad Das, Niranjan Patnaik, Dr. AtalaBihari Acharya and Jagabandhu Singh, illuminated the torch of non-cooperationin the villages of Orissa. He used to carry out his mission secretly in fear ofpolice torture.
RAJ KRISHNA INDHENKANAL NON- VIOLENCE MOVEMENT
In 1921 Rajkrishna joined thenon-violence movement in Dhenkanal in shade and light. Gopabandhu forbadeRajkrishna to take active role in Dhenkanal as the british atrocities had raised its head, Yet he could not withstand the request made by RAMA DASBABA and rushed to Dhenkanal . II: was in the royal yard of the palace thatRajkrishna poured out inflammatory speeches to make the common people aware of the situation they were facing.Being inspired by the patriotic sprit hidden in his powerful delivery. A certain man under a pseudonym donated a sum of Rs 120/- to Gopandhu's organisation
RAJ KRISHNAACCOMPANIES CHOUDHURY GOPABANDHU TO BANKI
Then Rajkrishna moved toBanki with Gopabandhu Choudhury. The two friends Stayed on the CHARCHIKAMANDAP after crossing long distances ina bullock cart. The Tahasildar of the area in fear of the British officialsdirected the school children to air voice against the Congress call. Gopabandhu Choudhury presided and Rajkrishna acted as Chief Speaker in a meeting organized there. The Tahasildar left no stone unturned to foil the meeting. But the deep feeling of loyalty of the people frustrated all his attempts. So the Tahasildar wired the British government from Banki so that necessary actions could betaken.
ATLAST THE CUTTACKJAIL IS CONSECRATED
In the meantime Gopabandhu sent an extensive report to Rajkrishna about the Collectors warrant. Rajkrishna called on the Collector who suggested to him to make a written statement that he would not join the movement. But he not complying with the Collector’s suggestion Preferred imprisonment. Rajkrishna cordoned by thirty armeds entries, was presented at the court for having defied the Collector’s order.Rajkrishna was led along a path strewn with flowers by people who wished his quick release.in his third trial the Magistrate told him- Please sit here,Mr.Bose But he replied with a staunch denial : Way should I ? I shoud be treated here as I was treated outside. Dissatisfied at the behavior of the departmental People. The Magistrate instructed them not to repeat it in future.
It was Rajkrishna who fell a victim to the British indignation. It was unfair of the British Government to imprison somebody.Without a proper trial. Under section 108 of the Indian Penal Code he was presented at the court on 1st June. But does a politically charged soul ever submit ? Rajkrishna defiantly refused to fight the case. He could have had his freedom had he given an INDEMNITY BOND of Rs200/- but he welcomed Jail with a smile, not to surrender to the British. He was immediately sent to jail. He was almost deluged with garlands on his way to the jail. In appreciation of his sacrifice Gopabandhu remarked that he was the first political prisoner of Orissa. And that the Cuttackjail had become holy embracing the political hero of Orissa. In this connection Gopabandhu wrote in the SAMAJ- Be in peace for a year in the jail. It is a pilgrimage for a national devotee. You have adorned a place where Lord Sri Krishna was born to assuage the suffering of the world Go on meditating / unmoved and unruffled.The country will have its freedom by the sincere non-cooperators like your body is under chain but your mind and spirit are free. The lord has selected thebest place for you to carry on your meditation. Let his d esire come to pass.
VIOLATION OF THE CONVENTION OF SALUTING THE GOVT. AT BHAGALPUR JAIL
After launching picketing for5 days. Rajkrishna was sent to Bhagalpurjail. He had a dispute with the jailer for he was placed in a solitary cell andwas given to it on an iron plate. It was customary to salute the govt. in the Bhagalpur jail – apractice which Rajkrishna vehemently opposed. With the jailers permission he driven by the spirit ofservice, engaged himself to serve the ailing in the jail hospital . There helearned Urdu from the MAULAVIS and also learnt to read, write & speakHindi.
RAJKRISHNA AS THE EDITOR OF THE SWARAJYA
Having been set free fromjail in 1922 Rajkrishna addressed a number of meeting in hind. There-after heworked as the state Level Secretary of the Congress for three years . After hisrelease from jail he , under the direction of Gandhiji, joined many constructiveprogrammes and put himself assiduously in the services of the HARIJANS and forpopularizing KHADI A weekly called Star of Utkal was brought out by Laxminarayan Sahoo andRajkrishna was entrusted with its management. Thereafter he regularly broughtout the weekly from KATHAGARA SAHI, Cuttack.
RAJKRISHNA IN THE COMPANY OF GANDHIJI DURING THE UTKALPADAYATRA;
While preachingnon-cooperation in the country side of Orissa Gandhiji had the company of Rajkrishna who translated the former sspeeches into Oriya. Youth Association sprung up all over the country under thehegemony of Netaji Subash Chandra bose and Rajkrishna took over the leadership. In theyear 1929 election of members to the State Level Congress Committee took place,Mr. Gopabandhu Choudhury was elected president and pandit lingaraj Mishra andRajkrishna were elected as Joint Secretaries.
A general meeting was convened on thebanks of river KATHAJURY on the issue of SALT MOVEMENT during this period .Rajkrishna was bed ridden. The movement had gained so much ground in the heartof Rajkrishna that he fled from the hospital and addressed the meeting when hewas arrested and sentenced to three and a half years of imprisonment atHAJARIBAGH JAIL. But he was seat free after two and a half years by virtue ofthe Gandhi-irwin pact.
Biswanath Das formed thefirst ministry in Orissa in 1936 and Rajkrishna was appointed parliamentarySecretary. He proceeded to Assamfor Opium prohibition Study. Returning from Assam he introduced the OPIUM ACT,that patients on production of a medical certificate could receive opium.
On 9th August 1942 the news ofarrest of Gandhiji and members of the Congress executive Committee spread; thebusiness complex in Bombayclosed down. When tear gas cannisters were fired and there was heavy LATHICHARGE Gandhiji gave his clarion call `Do or Die’ Soon after, in Orissa therebegan mass arrest. The hit list made for the arrest included Rajkrishna’s name alongwith 25 other leaders.Rajkrishna was arrested in his village at Ramachandrapur and spent three yearsin jail at Cuttack,Angul and Berhaampur Successively.
RAJKRISHNA – A MINISTER IN DR. MAHATAB S CABINET
After being released fromjail in 1945, he again joined the Congress organization. Rajkrishna was electedas a Congress candidate from the East Kendrapada(general) constituency in the election held in 1946 for the Orissa LegislativeAssembly. Prior to it, he had been elected as a congress candidate from thewest Cuttack Sadar (general) Constituency in the election held in 1937.
In 1947 India achieved her most- chrishedindependence and Rajkrishna joined Dr. mohatab’s Ministry in Orissa. He wasupgraded to a Cabinet Minister in the year 1948. He was in Delhi from 1947 to 1949 to participate in themaking of the India Constitution.
The first general electionfor the Orissa Legislative Assembly after the independence was held in 1952 andRajkrishna, a congress candidate was elected from kissan Nagar Constituency. Hewas also elected as a congress candidate from the Cuttack sadar (joint) constituency in 1957general election, held for the state legislative assembly.
After ably discharging duties as aminister for a long period, he became the chairperson of the ALL INDIA KHADIAND GRAMODYOG UDYOGPURI- an institution for DEVELOPMENT OF HONEY YIELDING WASHIS GREAT Contribution. An institution called SARANJAM KARYALAYA was set up in Bhubaneswar under hisauspices.
He served as the chairman of HARIJANASEVAK SANGHA as well as the Orissa Congress President for one year. He isconsidered as a pioneer of RASTRABHASHA PRACHAR in Orissa. In 1967 whenSadasiva Tripathy was the Chief Minister of Orissa, Rajkrishna volunteered tohelp famished people of kalahandi.
HULIPUR CONGERESS ASHRAM AND RAJKRISHNA
Though Rajkrishna was born atRamachandrapur in kishore Nagar. Hulipur Ashram was the chief centre of hisactivity as he founded it himself. It was named HULIPUR CONGRESS ASHRAM. Beingdriven by Gandhiji’s impetus, a large number of devoted men and women cameforward to extend their help and co-operation. A galaxy of social workers suchas Binod Bihari khatai. Biswanath Mohanty, Natabar Bhuyan, Kailash ChandraMohapatra, Bhramarabar Das, Jogeswara Pattnaik, Mahendranath Das, Gopal Sutar,Hemendranath Bisoi, Janab Golam Rosul, Brajabandhu Sinha, Shailen Kumar Roy,Gangadhar Das, Dhruba Charan singh, Dr. kalikrupa Dutta, Banshidhar Pattnaik,Mrinalinee Bose, Haramoni Mohanty, Arnapurna Khatai, Manduree Nayak, SakhiBiswal and DASAGHAR MANIAMAA. Were his close associates in the nation buildingactivities.
The primary object of the Hulipur Ashramwas to promote education, health and road communication and to propagate theideals of Gandhiji through congress. Besides that, the ashrama aimed atcelebration of the independence day. Republic day and encouraging the people tohold community dinners at the Ashram as a preparation for abolition ofuntouchability.
RAJKRISHNA A NEVER-TO-BE- FORGOTTEN PERSONALITY OF KISHORE NAGAR
The present kishore Nagarconstituency was a neglected one when it was combined with salipur constituencyThough it was only 14 miles away from Cuttackcity, there was no regular road communication or transportation facilities. Thereference of CHHURIANA WOODS in Radhanath’s JAJATI KESHARI is found in this area. It ispopularly known as KAIJANG JUNGLE Away from Cuttackand covered by jungles in the North West, was a so called Natural Santury with ferocioustigers, prowling about here and there. Most of this area being a delta of theMahanadi and Chitrotpala, and of the Mahanadiand paika, was no better than a deserted land. The inhabitants of this areagroaned under grinding poverty and penury, let alone live in peace and affluence.education and health could not be paid attention to for want of communicationand transport. A large number of patients and pregnant women, while beingcarried in PALANQUI to the hospital at Cuttack,met their death on the way. It was at such a time there arose a bright starRajkrishna, in the horizon to shine and shine to dispel all darkness andignorance. During his time kishore Nagar witnessed a road communication from Cuttack to Kishor Nagar (between Mahanadiand Paika). Canal service. Veterinary dispensary, government grass farm inKaijang Jungle, a charitable dispensary and basic school etc.
Rajkrishna born and brought up inOrissa, was regarded as a light house of Kishore Nagar; and his charismaticpersonality would continue to guide the sway of development in the years tocome. His contribution was not only confined to Kishore Nagar alone, rather itstretched to BAIALISH MAUZA which recorded a marked change in irrigation,agriculture, flood control, education, and health. He dedicated himself to the causeof development instead of ruling the people with cruel authority. He was alwaysa common man even with political power.
He had intimate contact withthe people of the locality namely the renowned freedom fighter and the authorof JANAMANDALA , Late Binod kanungo, the former revenue minister, LateSurendranath Pattnaik; the noted freedom fighter and the former minister, LateBhairab Charan Mohanty, another freedom fighter & the former chief ministerof Orissa, Late Biren Mitra- the great educationist & formerVice-chancellor, Late Chintamani Acharya and an eminent poet of SABUJA YUG,Late Sarat Mukherjee (I.A.S) UTKALMANI GOPABANDHU by kanungo and ODISARESWADHINATA ANDOLONA by Pattnaik bear testimony to Rajkrishna’s services andachievments.
It was Rajkrishna at whose initiativeGANDHIPALLI and NEHRU PALLI the two Leprosy eradication Centres, and ORISSAGOMANGALA SAMITEE were founded at Cuttack.Throughout the period ranging from 1967 to 1992 (he passed away on 9thJanuary, 1992), Rajkrishna’s life was dedicated to the service of people.
He was the chairperson of theprohibition Council. He was a celebrated writer and a prolific speaker.POHILI-KITAB and DUSRI KITAB in Hindi were his invaluable creations topopularize Hindi among the student community.
There has as yet been no exhaustive historywritten on the Freedom Movement in Orissa. Rajkrishna- a powerful commander ofthe Freedom Movement in Orissa has got a lot to Contribute to a successfulcompendium of a nation history. Rajkrishna was not only a personality but aninstitution by himself. Undoubtedly, his nobel and towering personality andservice to the nation had been a glowing ideology to the uncountable selflessnational workers in the past and will remain an inexhaustible source of inspirationto the nation builders in the future.
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At.- Hulipur, P.O- Kishor Nagar