Many young women and men from Assam, like other parts of India, jumped into the nationwide freedom movement against the British. They actively participated in this freedom movement in the interest of the country and created a sense of patriotism. Kushal Konwar is one of the strongest soldiers in the freedom struggle against the British. Kushal Konwar’s uncompromising stance and courage gave a new impetus to the Quit India Movement in Assam. Kushal Konwar is a symbol of patriotism, sacrifice and courage. He is not a person he is an event that reminds us of the smiling self-sacrifice for the country every now and then.
Biography of Kushal Konwar
|Date of Birth||March 21, 1905|
|Place of Birth||Ghiladhari Mouza, Sawdang Crossroads, Undivided Sivasagar District (now Golaghat district)|
|Education||1/ Balijan MV School|
2/ Golaghat Bezbaruah Middle English School.
|Death||June 15, 1943|
Kushal Konwar, a brave fighter who sacrificed his self in the interest of the country, was born on March 21,1905 at The Sawdang Chariali(Crossroads) in Ghiladhari Mouzar in Golaghat district. His father’s name was Sonaram Konwar and his mother’s name was Kankeshwari Konwar. Importantly he is the son of Tungkhungiya Fayed who played a significant role during the 60-year-old Ahom reign.
Kushal Konwar enrolled in Golaghat Government High School after completing his primary education in the Balijan MV School in 1918. Importantly, when he entered his teenage i.e. in about 17 years, the brutal and cruel Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that created a sensation across the country took place in 1919. Assam also had the impact of the non-cooperation movement that started across the country against the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and the Rowlatt Act approved by the British government in 1919. At that time, konwar, like other young fighters, also actively participated in the movement to save the country.
Also Read : Biography of Jyoti Prasad Agarwala
Kushal Konwar in the Freedom Movement
Kushal Konwar also took responsibility of his family in parallel with active participation in India’s freedom movement launched against the British. At that time, konwar set up a shop in parallel with his focus on farming to provide financial relief to his father Sonaram Konwar, who left Balijan in 1924 and moved to the Rengma region in the face of financial difficulties at that time.
Importantly, Konwar has actively participated in the movement as well as in the field of education and took a special initiative in the Rengmai Village to usher in an intellectual awakening. Established a school in 1925 and he also took over as the headmaster of the school. It may be recalled that after serving as headmaster at Rengma Primary School for two years due to financial difficulties in the family, he started his tea garden career as a garden inspector at Balijan Tea Garden in 1927. However, after serving as garden inspector in Balijan tea garden from 1927 to 1936, he voluntarily quit the job of garden inspector on June 31 to usher in a strong struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi to liberate India from British rule.
Kushal Konwar was a great follower of Mahatma Gandhi. The role of non-violence worshipper Mahatma Gandhi in his life was immense. Konwar actively participated in India’s freedom movement since 1921 but joined Mahatma Gandhi when he came to Golaghat in 1934. Importantly, Under Gandhi’s influence, the course of Konwar’s life and philosophy of life completely changed. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Konwar became vegetarian, committed to abandoning violence and adopt non-violent policies. Kushal Konwar also studied the Gita daily, and also choosed Gita as his partner. Importantly Konwar who tried to become self-reliant by taking homemade items was the one who discarded salt. Kushal Konwar made these promises till the end of his life.
Kushal Konwar, who actively participated in the freedom movement, played an important role in spreading the programmes of the freedom movement to different parts of Assam. He took special initiatives to set up a Raiyat Sabha on Mauja or Regional Basis in each region. Importantly, Konwar served as the secretary of the meeting of Raiyat Sabha in Sarupathar area. Kushal Konwar also personally took up efforts to unite all people against British rule. He later led the people of Sarupathar area and also served as secretary of Sarupathar Congress. Importantly, he also tried to boycott ‘tobacco’ and ‘Untouchability’ with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi in parallel with participating and leading various programmes of the freedom struggle. Kushal Konwar himself stitched hats and customer clothes in the machine and distributed them among Congress workers to boycott foreign items and to accept homemade items.
The non-cooperation movement against British rule, which started in organized form in 1921, gradually intensified and was reflected strongly in 1942. Importantly, the main slogan of this movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was ‘Do or Die.’ Every people of Assam also participated in the movement in solidarity with this movement for independence of the country. Kushal Konwar also actively participated in the movement to get rid of the British imperialism. Importantly, the movement, which was directly driven by non-violence policy, subsequently turned to violence. The agitators carried out violent acts such as disconnecting the railways, breaking telegraph-telephone poles and bridges, burning of army soldiers’ etc. However, Konwar deep follower of Mahatma Gandhi was completely away from these acts of violence. Kushal Konwar was not in favor of any acts of violence as part of the agitation. Which led to kushal konwar’s conflict with other agitators.
Importantly, despite the opposition of Kushal Konwar many members of the Death Force formed under the Congress leadership, plans to carry out a train accident at Sangpul near Sarupathar. Further, after Kushal Konwar’s request to not to carry out any violence activity a train carrying troops was thrown near the Sarupathar, and as a result hundreds of English soldiers died.
It may be recalled that Konwar was not involved in the incident but the English police arrested him on November 3,1942 and the English magistrate alleged that he was the leader of the train accident team. Konwar was subsequently sent to Jorhat jail on November 5. Kushal Konwar had to spend the first 12 days as a trial prisoner in Jorhat jail and the remaining 100 days in dark room. That is, Konwar was imprisoned for 112 days. On March 6,1943, after a long life in prison, the Jorhat court had pronounced its verdict on Kushal Konwar that Konwar should be sentenced to death by hanging as a punishment. And on June 15,1943, Kushal Konwar was hanged in Jorhat district jail.
Importantly, Kushal Konwar’s role in active participation in the freedom movement, his wife Prabhavati’s role was undeniable. Prabhavati performed every household responsibility with two children in the absence of Konwar who gave every possible moment for the independence of the country.
37 year Kushal Konwar who wore a white Persian Coat, Khadi sheet with a green lace, and a Gandhi’s hat on his head, had a very strong personality. His life-ideals, hard work power were exemplary. Importantly, calm and self-processed Konwar was not perturbed to hear the hanging verdict. He considered it a great privilege of life to be able to sacrifice his life for the sake of the country and for the people of India.
Importantly, Kushal Konwar spent his time in captivity reading the Gita. He took everything positively instead of disappointing with the hanging verdict given by the court even though he was not involved in the violence. He came forward with a smile to sacrifice himself for the country. Importantly, Kushal Konwar was the last Assamese fighter who laid down his life by hanging in 1943.
Even he had not involved in any violence activity, he had to sacrifice his life by hanging, Kushal Konwar is not just for being punished with hanging but his honesty, positional attitude, strong personality, and truthful ideals will become a role model for all of us.
1. Where and when was Kushal Konwar born?
Ans: Kushal Konwar was born on March 21, 1905 at Ghiladhari Mouza, Sawdang Crossroads, Undivided Sivasagar District (now Golaghat district).
2. Who is Kushal Konwar?
Ans: Kushal Konwar was an Indian Assamese freedom fighter from Assam and he happened to be the only martyr in India who was hanged during last phase of the Quit India Movement. He sacrificed his life for country.
3. When and where was Kushal Konwar hanged?
Ans: He was hanged on 15th of June 1943 at 4:30 am, Konwar was hanged in Jorhat Jail.
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