(1879 – 1915) – (West Bengal)
Jatin Nath Mukherjee (Aged 36) born on December 7, 1879, in Kushtia, Bangladesh, was a legendary figure whose name sent a thrill among the younger generation of his country at the beginning of the First World War. He was the son of Sharad Shashi and Umesh Chandra Mukherjee. At the age of 14, Jatin began demanding equal rights for Indian citizens in railway carriages and public places during meetings organized by his family members on Tagore’s insistence.
Jatindra Nath Mukherjee was better known as Bagha Jatin because, as a young man, he had single-handedly tackled a Royal Bengal Tiger in his native village and killed it with a knife. After passing the entrance examination at Krishnanagar Anglo-Vernacular School (AV School) in 1895, Jatin joined Calcutta Central College (Kudram Bose College) to study fine arts. At the same time, he learned steno-typing lessons.
Jatin not only encouraged many playwrights to create patriotic pieces for the urban stage but also involved villagers in spreading nationalist sentiment in the countryside. Through his editorials and from the Congress platform, he showed how urgent it was to create an Indian National Army and how to react against the British wasting the Indian budget to protect their interests in China and elsewhere. Jatindra Nath’s idealism and bearing impressed Aurobindo Ghosh, who advised him in the revolutionary movement for the independence of the Motherland. He travelled from district to district organizing the movement.
When Sri Aurobindo was on trial in the Alipore Bomb Conspiracy Case, Jatindra Nath was arrested and put on trial with a number of others in the Howrah Conspiracy Case, but the case failed. It was a new qualification to open a coveted career opportunity.
Soon, he began to meet Swami Vivekananda, whose social thinking had a vital impact on the progress of politically independent India and mankind. Before raising young volunteers with “iron muscles and steel nerves,” the master taught him the art of overcoming libido to serve his pathetic comrades during famines, epidemics, and floods. He was martyred in a battle with British police in Balasore on September 10, 1915.