New Delhi: The youngest martyr Baji Rout deserves a special attention from all walks of life for righteous space in the history of freedom struggle of India, said the special guest Shri Kulamani Biswal, Director (Finance) of NTPC to a large audience at 80th Shaheed Baji Rout Day Commemoration by English monthly Utkal Bharatee at Shree Jagannath Temple at Hauzkhas in New Delhi. While paying a special homage to Baji Rout Mr. Biswal recited Odia’s famous poet Sachi Routray’s lines describing the young martyr as Muktir Salita, The Flame of Liberty on Baji Rout that he had composed after watching the young martyr’s funeral pyre in 1938. Another young girl of 12 Tileswari Barua of Assam who was shot dead by the British police during Quit India Movement September 20, 1942 was posthumously announced to be conferred with Shaheed Baji Rout Samman for the year 2017.
It’s a shame that even after 79 years, the youngest martyr of India Baji Rout has not received due recognition from the Government of India. Though he is mentioned in the who’s who of Indian martyrs being published by the Government of India, this boat-boy martyr definitely deserves more, emphasized Utkal Bharatee editor and the convener of the commemoration Dr. Nirmal Pattnaik.
The commemoration comprised views and different suggestions for special recognition of the supreme sacrifice of the martyr who had lost his life along with his four of his friends. This 12 yr old boat boy was shot dead by British police when he courageously denied to ferry them across the River Brahmani on the night of 11th October 1938 at Nilakanthapur Ghat (Bhuban, Dhenkanal district). The cruelty of the then king of Dhenkanal Shankar Pratap Singhdeo was at the peak. Taxes have been levied on the poor villagers and the soldiers of the king were used to snatch the incomes of poor villagers. The people under his rule were looking for the end of this merciless ruling. It led to the Prajamandal Agitation under the leadersip of Baishnav Charan Pattanayak. Baji Rout joined this revolt despite of his tender age.
Among the speakers on Baji Rout and his patriotism were National Co-Convener of Bharat Rakshya Manch Shri Murali Sharma, Shaheed Jayee Rajguru founder trustee Shri Srideb Nanda, senior advocate Shri S. K. Patri, senior journalists, Vinayak Das and Laxmi Narayan Beborta and Sangram Parhi, well-known social workers Shri Gadadhar Pradhan and P. K. Mishra and Alpana Pattnaik, among others.
80th Shaheed Baji Rout Day mementos were presented to the special guests of honour Shri Kulamani Biswal, Shri Murali Sharma, Sri Krishan Kumar, Srideb Nanda and Sangram Parhi.
The programme was convened and conducted by Dr. Nirmal Pattnaik who was assisted by Shri L. N. Beborta. The vote of thanks was given by Madhusmita Pattnaik, the managing editor of Utkal Bharatee.