Baikunth Sukul: Encountering Death with Tagore

সেই ১৯৩৪ সালের কথা।

এক ফাঁসির আসামি, ফাঁসির আগের রাতে  শুনতে চান একটি গান। যদিচ সেটা গান নয়, কবিতা। পাশের সেল থেকে আরেক স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামী তৎক্ষণাৎ সুর দিয়ে গেয়ে দেন সেই কবিতা– রবি ঠাকুরের কবিতা।

শহীদ বৈকুন্ঠ সুকুলের (১৯০৭-১৯৩৪) ফাঁসির আগের রাতের সেই গায়ে-কাঁটা-দেওয়া ঘটনা শুনিয়েছেন সেই স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামী বিভূতিভূষণ দাশগুপ্ত।

1930. Patna Camp Jail. 

Revolutionary freedom fighter Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta, in his autobiography “sei mahabarasar ranga jal” (“The blooded water of that grand rainy day”) 1 depicted the unusual story of a young co-prisoner in Patna Camp Jail.  That young co-prisoner used to request him to sing the Bangla song on Khudiram – “hasi hasi porbo phansi…” [‘I will embrace the noose with a smile’].

Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta.jpg

Bibhutibabu was very fond of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems. He had Tagore’s “cayanika” and “gitanjali” as his jail companions. That young boy got interested in Tagore’s creations through those books. The young boy was enthralled by Tagore’s poem ‘marana milana’. 


Upon his release after the Gandhi-Irwin pact (1931), the young boy, hitherto a non-violent satyagrahi, became associated with the revolutionary organizations and got himself involved in revolutionary activities. The young boy went on to murder traitor Phanindranath Ghosh in 1932. Phani (often mocked at as “funny”) Ghosh turned into an approver in the [Second] Lahore conspiracy case, the trial of which finally led to the hanging of the revolutionary trio- Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. The young boy was charged for the murder, a trial was conducted against him, and finally the death sentence was passed. He was transferred to the Gaya Central Jail for the purpose of the execution.

1934. Gaya Central Jail. 

Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta met that young boy for the last time in the Gaya Central Jail in 1934.

On the night before the day of hanging, that very young boy, from the condemned cell in the Gaya Central Jail requested Bibhutibabu to sing “hasi hasi porbo phansi”; then he listened to the flute played by Bibhutibabu himself. After that, on another request of that young boy, Bibhutibabu started singing Bismil Azimabadi’s immortal patriotic song “sarfaroshi ki tamanna…” ; this was followed by the young boy’s entreatment to Bibhutibabu for ‘singing’ out Rabindranath’s Tagore’s aforementioned poem, marana milana, considering the poem as a ‘song’.

Upon hearing the modest request of the young boy at the door of death, Bibhutibabu instantaneously turned that Tagore poem into a song by rendering it in the tunes of the Raga darbari kanada. That musical night at the verge of death was concluded by the choral singing of ‘Vande Mataram’ [‘Mother, I bow to thee’].

At the break of dawn on 14th May 1934, the boy bid a final goodbye to his comrades and left his cage with the vision of liberty blazing in his eyes.

Who was that young revolutionary boy?

He was Shaheed Baikunth Nath Sukul / Baikuntha Nath Shukla (1907-1934).

Baikunth Sukul.jpg

Sukul was the nephew of Yogendra Nath Shukla, one of the founder-members of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) in 1928.
Sukul got actively involved in the freedom struggle at a very young age through the Salt Satyagrah/Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. Later he joined the revolutionary party and carried out the execution of Phani Ghosh.


বিভূতিভূষণ দাসগুপ্তের “সেই মহাবরষার রাঙা জল”-এর কিছু অংশ চিন্মোহন সেহানবীশের “রবীন্দ্রনাথ ও বিপ্লবীসমাজ” থেকে
Taken from Chinmohan Sehanabis’ “Rabindranath and Revolutionaries”, containing some excerpts from Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta’s “Blooded water of that grand rainy day” 



Mohaboroshar Ranga Jol.jpg
Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta’s autobiography “সেই মহাবরষার রাঙা জল” (Blooded water of that grand rainy day)
Rabindranath’s Marana Milana poem
Tagore’s Marana Milana in English translation (by William Radice)
Rabindranath O Biplobisamaj
Chinmohan Sehanabis’ “Rabindranath and Revolutionaries”


  1. The title has been derived from a line taken from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem “marana milana”, ‘The Encounter with Death’ or ‘Death Wedding’.

One thought on “Baikunth Sukul: Encountering Death with Tagore

  1. I need some help regarding this book. Can I get author’s email ID or so? Need to ask few things for my academic work on Baikunth Sukul.


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