‘Khoob Ladhi Mardaani’ – These words are mark of respect for the great warrior queen Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi who fought till the last breath, defending her fort from the clutches of British. There was one more ‘Mardaani’ who immortalized herself in the pages of history by sacrificing herself for the honor of nation’s flag.
Her name was Kanaklata Barua. She was merely 17 years old when she attained martyrdom. Today’s Instagram generation girls hardly know about the great patriot Kanaklata Barua. Can’t blame them. Our government and educational system have been partial towards the sacrifice of unsung patriots like Kanaklata. Their story hardly gets any mention in history textbooks. Who can forget the sacrifice of great female revolutionaries like Bina Das? Kanaklata, the great girl from Assam belonged to league of great female revolutionaries like Kalpana Datta and Pritilata Waddedar. While working on the article of revolutionary Pritilata Waddedar in 2011, I stumbled upon the story of Kanaklata who took bullets for honor of our tricolor. How could a merely 17 years old teenage girl muster up such courage to defy the British empire? That’s how the research on this revolutionary girl set in motion. She was part of a death squad which comprised young revolutionaries. Kanaklata had aspirations to join Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj.
Since she was minor, she was not allowed to enroll in the army of Bose.
Mission and Final Martyrdom – On 20th September 1942, Kanaklata took a mission in hand to remove the British flag and place the tricolor flag at Gohpur Police Station. She led a procession of 5000 villagers to protest without taking any weapons. She was accompanied by one more teenage revolutionary Mukunda Kakoti. Kanaklata was geared up to remove the British flag and hoist the Indian flag in the police station. The British Police warned Kanaklata to march back. Despite the warning, Kanaklata was undeterred. The Police opened fire on the crowd. Kanaklata was shot in the chest. Despite heavily wounded, Kanaklata still held flag in the hand. Though the flag was hoisted, Kanaklata lost her life for cause of flag’s honor. Even Mukunda Kakoti was killed in the firing. Her sacrifice didn’t go in vain. The Quit India movement in Assam took in full swing and many revolutionaries inspired by the martyrdom of Kanaklata made life hell for Britishers by their actions.
Kanaklata was epitome of courage, fearlessness and sacrifice. She was a true ‘Mardaani’, the successor of Rani Laxmi Bai who never bowed before the foreign empire. The tragic part is that her legend has been forgotten. Today’s youngsters hardly know about her sacrifice. This article is a tribute to Kanaklata’s unsung sacrifice and big salutation to several revolutionaries like Surya Sen, Pritilata, Kalpana Datta and Nirmal Sen who never got their due.
6 Comments Add yours
Salute to Kanaklata. There are innumerable patriots who go unnamed. Sad.
Thanks for your encouraging words. Unfortunately kanaklata never got the due she deserved.
Came across this link Prashant. Pls go through when you get time.
Thanks for sharing Sujata
True Prashant. That’s why people like you are bringing these hidden stories, right? 😊. This is great service.
It’s a small effort from my side to tell the stories of our forgotten heroes