Friends! Have you heard about India's youngest martyr?10th October, 1938 - 8 p.m.: British soldiers and police from Dhenkanal town arrested some villagers of Bhuvan, a sleepy village in Orissa. The leaders of Prajamandal (a local body fighting for independence) started protesting against the arbitrary arrest and gheraoed the Police Station demanding immediate release of the arrested villagers. The soldiers opened fire and killed two protesters. Angry villagers tried to surround those Britishers. The soldiers panicked and fled towards Nilkanthpur Ghat. Their plan was to cross Brahmani river by boat and reach the safety of Dhenkanal town.
The British force reached Nilkanthpur Ghat at the last night. A twelve-year old young boy (a 'Banar Sena' of the Prajamandal) was manning the ghat in the very early morning on that black 11th October. He heard about the atrocity committed by the Britishers at Bhuvan village last night. The boy noticed the fleeing Britishers and immediately took the decision. He would never allow them to cross Brahmani. When the Britishers asked, he point-blank refused to ferry them across the river.
The troops threatened to shoot him, he again refused. One of the Britishers then hit him with the butt of his rifle. The young boy's skull was fractured. He collapsed, but gathering every strength, he raised his voice and announced that he would not ferry them till he was alive. Another soldier pierced his bayonet into the soft skull of the brave boy.
Other soldiers opened fire. The brave boy along with his four brave young friends was martyred, but not even a single British soldier could cross Brahmani river on that black morning of 11th October, 1938.
Dear Indians! Let us not forget the youngest martyr of India. Let us not forget 12-year old Baji Rout (born 5th October, 1926) and his young friends (Fagu Sahoo, Hirushi Pradhan, Laxman Malik and Nata Malik) who dedicated their lives for the sake of our beautiful country. These very people brought independence to the country by sacrificing their lives; not those who courted arrest and enjoyed comfortable stint in jail as first-class prisoners.