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Rampati Rajkhowa: an unsung hero

By Golap Kalita
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The date was September 20, 1942. Two valiant freedom fighters � teenaged Kanaklata Baruah and young Mukunda Kakoti � fell to the bullets of the British police in front of the gate of Gohpur Thana, sacrificing their lives at the altar of mother India. They had come to hoist the National Tricolour on the top of Gohpur police station and in the midst of a most tragic moment, a lanky, daredevil youth, braving the police bullets and defying the fear of imminent death, climbed to the top of the thana from the northern side and hosted the Tricolour. The brave young freedom fighter was Rampati Rajkhowa, son of poor farmer couple Bejiya Rajkhowa and Patoni Rajkhowa of Kamdewal, Dakshin Kalabari of undivided Darrang district.

Rampati thus accomplished the unfinished work of the two great martyrs, fulfilled the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of people present there and contributed his might to the Quit India movement.

The third and final phase of the freedom movement, christened as Quit India movement with the motto of �Do or die�, was launched by the Indian National Congress on September 20, 1942 to give the final warning to the British regime to quit India once and for all. The National Tricolour, the symbol of the country�s freedom and self-esteem, was to be hoisted in British thanas replacing the Union Jack. In undivided Darrang district, also under the leadership of Gahan Chandra Goswami and Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, the Quit India movement began with the hoisting of the Tiranga in Gohpur and Dhekiajuli police stations. Subsequently, Kanaklata and Mukunda sacrificed their lives along with three women and 10 men at Dhekiajuli thana.

According to Bhuban Rajkhowa, the eldest son of Rampati, his father hid in the jungle for three days after hoisting the flag and when he came home, he was arrested by the British police and sent to Tezpur jail. He served his jail term for one year. In the year 1980, he was granted a freedom fighter�s pension of a meagre amount of Rs 200 per month, which was raised to Rs 20,000 later but he could not enjoy it for long as he died on October 9, 1988. He was awarded the �tamra patra� in recognition of his contribution towards the freedom movement, but it never reached him as somebody else had taken it. The state government had also allotted to him a plot of land measuring 10 bighas in the village, but he could not occupy the plot too, because it was encroached by some people. Such was the plight of a great freedom fighter.

Neither the government nor the people did anything to perpetuate his memory. A memorial hall in the name of Rampati Rajkhowa was proposed to be constructed, but it has not come up till now. As there is nothing concrete to commemorate the valiant freedom fighter, who had risked his life to hoist the Tricolour at Gohpur Thana, his name is now slipping into oblivion. Today�s young generation is totally in the dark about him. He remains an unsung hero.

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Rampati Rajkhowa: an unsung hero

The date was September 20, 1942. Two valiant freedom fighters � teenaged Kanaklata Baruah and young Mukunda Kakoti � fell to the bullets of the British police in front of the gate of Gohpur Thana, sacrificing their lives at the altar of mother India. They had come to hoist the National Tricolour on the top of Gohpur police station and in the midst of a most tragic moment, a lanky, daredevil youth, braving the police bullets and defying the fear of imminent death, climbed to the top of the thana from the northern side and hosted the Tricolour. The brave young freedom fighter was Rampati Rajkhowa, son of poor farmer couple Bejiya Rajkhowa and Patoni Rajkhowa of Kamdewal, Dakshin Kalabari of undivided Darrang district.

Rampati thus accomplished the unfinished work of the two great martyrs, fulfilled the hopes and aspirations of hundreds of people present there and contributed his might to the Quit India movement.

The third and final phase of the freedom movement, christened as Quit India movement with the motto of �Do or die�, was launched by the Indian National Congress on September 20, 1942 to give the final warning to the British regime to quit India once and for all. The National Tricolour, the symbol of the country�s freedom and self-esteem, was to be hoisted in British thanas replacing the Union Jack. In undivided Darrang district, also under the leadership of Gahan Chandra Goswami and Jyoti Prasad Agarwala, the Quit India movement began with the hoisting of the Tiranga in Gohpur and Dhekiajuli police stations. Subsequently, Kanaklata and Mukunda sacrificed their lives along with three women and 10 men at Dhekiajuli thana.

According to Bhuban Rajkhowa, the eldest son of Rampati, his father hid in the jungle for three days after hoisting the flag and when he came home, he was arrested by the British police and sent to Tezpur jail. He served his jail term for one year. In the year 1980, he was granted a freedom fighter�s pension of a meagre amount of Rs 200 per month, which was raised to Rs 20,000 later but he could not enjoy it for long as he died on October 9, 1988. He was awarded the �tamra patra� in recognition of his contribution towards the freedom movement, but it never reached him as somebody else had taken it. The state government had also allotted to him a plot of land measuring 10 bighas in the village, but he could not occupy the plot too, because it was encroached by some people. Such was the plight of a great freedom fighter.

Neither the government nor the people did anything to perpetuate his memory. A memorial hall in the name of Rampati Rajkhowa was proposed to be constructed, but it has not come up till now. As there is nothing concrete to commemorate the valiant freedom fighter, who had risked his life to hoist the Tricolour at Gohpur Thana, his name is now slipping into oblivion. Today�s young generation is totally in the dark about him. He remains an unsung hero.

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