Bhubaneswar: The youngest martyr in the history of the freedom movement of India, Baji Rout was born on October 5, 1926, at Nilakanthapur village in Dhenkanal district of Odisha.
In 2019, former cricketer Virender Sehwag had shared a moving post on the 12-year-old shot dead by the British.
Remembering Baji Rout on his birth anniversary, let us know about his valour and courage.
- Baji Rout lost his life to the bullet of a British soldier at the age of 12.
- He was killed by the British police for refusing to ferry them across the Brahmani river on the night of October 11, 1938, at Nilakanthapur Ghat of Bhuban in Dhenkanal district.
- As an active member of the Banar Sena of Prajamandal (Party of the People), he had volunteered to keep a watch by the river at night. The British Police force ordered him to help them cross the river on his boat, which he refused. The police force then fired on him.
- He joined the Banar Sena of Prajamandal at a very tender age.
- He had also lost his father at a very early age. His mother was surviving on the wages earned by rice-husking in the neighbourhood.
- He had watched how mercilessly Dhenkanal King, Shankar Pratap Singhdeo was fleecing the poor villagers, including his mother of their earnings by using armed forces. So, when Baishnav Charan Pattanayak of Dhenkanal town, later, famous as Veer Baisnav, raised a banner of revolt against the King and founded Prajamandal, Baji joined it despite his tender age.
- He stood against the oppressive rulers of Dhenkanal and the British.
- Eminent poet Sachi Rautroy’s famous poem ‘Baji Rout’, which was translated into English by Harindranath Chattopadyaya, had set the entire nation on an unprecedented motion for freedom of people from the Kings of the princely states.
- Sachi Rautroy took several days to regain his composure to finish his poem Baji Rout that he had started on the cremation ground itself in the light of the pyre.
- A short film on Baji Rout, Baji – the Immortal Boat Boy, will be released in 2018.