Mohandas K. Gandhi Jayanti every year. Gandhi’s greatness reminds fiery mantalaga, who brighten our way for centuries. History rarely records the history of a person with such arrogance. Today, I told you the story of a powerful woman whose birthday is coming up this week. Gandhi chose the path completely opposite to non-violence.
Durgavati Vohra, also known as Durga Bhabhi, was born on October 7, 1907 in Allahabad district of Uttar Pradesh to a well-to-do family. Now, her village is part of the newly created Kaushambi district, naming Allahabad Prayagraj.
If you have not heard of Durga Bhabhi, please do not be ashamed — so many great names have gone into the maze of the past as voters and dynasties have taken charge.
Her father Pandit Banke was a court officer in the Bihari Allahabad Collectorate, and her grandfather was a police officer, both serving the British Empire. He married Bhagwati Charan Vohra at the age of 10 or 11, the son of a wealthy Shivcharan Das Vohra who settled in Lahore. Thanks to his devotion to the empire, Shivcharan Das Vohra was awarded the title of Roy Sahab.
However, the new generation rarely follows the old. Bhagwati Charan Vohra often met Bhagat Singh and the then progressive revolutionary youth. Given his wealthy family background, many young people, including members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), suspected that Bhagwati Charan was a British informer. However, the young Bhagwati Charan did not lose heart and engaged in revolutionary work. In late 1928, he became a member of the HSRA. At the same time, he wanted to go to Calcutta. Before this trip, he gave up ₹5,000 for wife for any emergency.
On 17 December 1928, while Bhagwati Charan was in Calcutta, John Sanders, a British police officer, was killed. In Lahore, the government imposed various sanctions. Durga Bhabhi was alone at home with her three-year-old son when someone knocked on her door at night. When the door opened, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were there. The three arrived after killing Saunders.
She immediately gave them shelter, but it was not enough. She disguised herself as Bhagat Singh’s wife and brought him safely out of the train from Lahore, a move that is still daring in today’s India. Despite the prohibitions and restrictions in those days, Durgavati was born to create new traditions according to her name. Her determination and immense courage saved Bhagat Singh. The money given by her husband was also spent to facilitate revolutionary tasks. In those days, ₹A huge amount of 5,000.
The relationship between Bhagwati Charan Vohra and Durga is a unique camaraderie and commitment. Because of this association, the revolutionaries called her Bhabhi. She was not only a supporter of the revolutionaries, Bhagwati Charan also trained her on how to use a gun. On October 8, 1930, just before her escape, a British sergeant and his wife were shot near a police station on Lamington Road in south Bombay. The shooting was aimed at avenging the death penalty for Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. The British were amazed at how adventurous an Indian woman can be. She was finally arrested in September 1932. Although some questions have been raised about her role in the shootings, what difference does it make to her saga? A book-There are no Ten CommandmentsWritten by the then Inspector General of ST. Hollins describes how Durga Bhabhi became an eye-opener for the government. Meanwhile, Bhagwati Charan Vohra was killed in an explosion while making a bomb on the banks of the Ravi River. Durga Bhabhi could not even see his body, but the inspiration of her late husband remained with her.
After her release from jail, Durga Bhabhi faced a new struggle. Fellow revolutionaries were martyred or arrested, and she was left alone. In 1935, she moved to Ghaziabad and started teaching in a school. Later, she started a school in Lucknow for poor children. Although it is not known whether his government will take care of her after independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once visited the school.
When she breathed her last in Ghaziabad on 14 October 1999, it was not considered the death of an extraordinary revolutionary, but an anonymous old woman. No special pages were printed in the newspapers, nor was there any discussion on television. In Lucknow, Mumbai and Ghaziabad, no attempt was made even today to preserve her memory.
There is an old saying that one who does not know history will be doomed to repeat it. Do they listen, who are famous for doing so many songs and dances about their own version of history and tradition?
Shashi Shekhar Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan. His Twitter handle Shekarkahin