Below is an excerpt from “The Victory of Young Asia”. The original book was written in Japanese by Rash Behari Bose, making it inaccessible to most of the world’s population until now.
I am currently working on a translation which will be published shortly. Until then, please enjoy these opening passages:
Recalling Ancient Times: Dedicated to the Spirits of Our Fallen Revolutionaries
The Events of 1912
It was the 25th of December 1912, in the capital city of Delhi, the location of the new government of India. The streets were overflowing with people who had flocked together to welcome the arrival of Governor General Hardinge. Crowds of people gathered on either side of the main streets that passed through the north and south of the city, and in front of them great numbers of policemen stood guard, forming a thick row of security.
Before long, a majestic procession made its way down the street. Leading the front were government officials, followed by members of the cavalry, and the Governor General with his attendants bringing up the rear. All rode atop the backs of elephants. Just as they arrived at the government office building, there was a sudden and unusual noise. From the the back of the elephant on which the Governor General was seated, there was a startling flash of light, and the Governor General and two or three of his attendants instantly fell to the ground.
As the audience stood by in shock, the policemen immediately rushed into action, running in every direction. Some went to check on the Governor General, while others searched for the assailant. When the people in the crowd finally realized what had just occurred, all at once they began to disperse. The air reverberated with the shrill voices of the policemen shouting out.
Sir Hardinge sustained serious injuries, and many of his attendants were killed instantaneously, but officials were never able to figure out how the bomb had been planted. To this day, people continue to come up with different theories, but the reality behind this incident has not yet been uncovered.
My Experience that Day
When the bomb exploded, an avalanche of people dispersed in every direction, among which was a large broad shouldered man accompanied by a youth. After the pair had moved a small distance away from where the injured Governor General was receiving treatment, the burly man looked back at the boy and warned him, “Keep calm. You mustn’t panic.”
In that moment, the man noticed the offensive odour of gun powder and saw a patch of fine dust on the boy’s knee. The man cautiously drew a knife from his pocket and cut away the surrounding fabric from his pant leg before they calmly made their way towards the railway station.
In the streets ahead of them, policemen stood guard eyeing over the crowd. The boy drew closer to the man and whispered, “Sir, is it safe? They are keeping a very close watch.”
“It’s fine. Don’t look around you. Keep your composure and stick with me. If you hesitate it will look suspicious.”
Having said this, the man drew a cigarette from his pocket and boldly continued on toward the railway station teaming with people and policemen. Deliberately walking right under the nose of an officer, the pair boarded a train heading away from the city.
That man was me.
Looking back on that day, I am overwhelmed by inexpressible emotion. It may seem impertinent to do so, but I would now like to talk about the details of this incident, as they touch on the central focus the Indian civil movement that was about to unfold.
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