Baji Rout

Baji Rout: The Youngest Freedom Fighter

Baji Rout

Baji Rout was a brave young boy from Orissa, India, who played a significant role in the Indian freedom struggle against British colonial rule. Despite being just twelve years old, Baji exhibited immense courage and determination in his fight against injustice, making him a true hero of his time.

Baji was born on 5 October 1926 in Nilakanthapur, a small village in the Dhenkanal district of Odisha. He came from a poor family and had to drop out of school at a young age to help his parents with their farming. However, Baji had a burning desire to learn and would often spend his spare time reading books and newspapers.

In 1938, when Baji was just twelve years old, the Indian freedom struggle was gaining momentum across the country. The Quit India Movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was a call for Indians to rise up against British colonial rule and demand independence. Baji was inspired by this movement and felt a strong urge to join the fight.

On 11 September 1938, Baji took part in a protest march in his village, demanding the release of political prisoners who had been arrested by the British authorities. The march was peaceful at first, but things took a violent turn when the police arrived to disperse the crowd. In the chaos that ensued, Baji saw a fellow protester being beaten by the police and rushed to his aid.

Without hesitation, Baji picked up a stick and started attacking the police officers. He fought valiantly, even as he was being beaten and dragged away. In the end, Baji was overpowered by the police and arrested, along with several other protesters.

Baji was charged with inciting violence and was sentenced to death by hanging. Despite pleas for clemency from his family and the local community, the British authorities refused to relent. On 11 October 1938, just one month after his twelfth birthday, Baji was executed, becoming one of the youngest martyrs of the Indian freedom struggle.

Baji’s sacrifice had a profound impact on the people of Orissa and the rest of India. His bravery and determination inspired a generation of young people to join the fight for freedom, and his legacy continues to be celebrated today. Several institutions and organizations have been named after Baji, and his life story has been adapted into books, plays, and films.

In conclusion, Baji Rout was a true hero of the Indian freedom struggle, whose courage and sacrifice continue to inspire people even today. His unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom and justice is a testament to the human spirit and a reminder of the power of youth to effect change.

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