“Bâghâ Jatîn”: J. N. Mukherjee, the Tiger, precursor of Gandhi

Bertrand de Foucauld: “Dear Contrib’Citizen, today you will find an epic poem about a character who preceded Ghandi: the revolutionary Jatîndra Nâth Mukherjee (1879-1915), grandfather of Prithwindra.”

Bertrand de Foucauld: “Prith, can you give us some more details about this colorful man?”

Bagha Jatin (« Valourous like a Tiger ») is the affectionate nickname of Jatindra Nath Mukherjee (1879-1915). One of the founders of the freedom movement in India before Gandhi, this hero preceded and prepared the field for the fight against the colonial rule. During the World War I, to accelerate a rising with the help of native soldiers in various regiments, Jatindra received the collaboration of the German Government : three steamers loaded with arms and adequate ammunition was sent by Von Papen, the German military attaché, from California to be delivered to ports on the Bay of Bengal. Informed by the Czech double agents, the British and the American maritime police confiscated the consignments . Regretting this mischief by men working under Masaryk, a Czech historian writes that had this expedition succeeded, nobody would have heard of Gandhi and Bagha Jatin would have been the Father of the Indian nation. While waiting for the arms delivery, on 9 September 1915, Jatindra with four associates got surrounded by a detachment of armed police; selecting a strategic point on a mound girdled by thorny shrub growing upon anthills, Jatindra fought up to the last bullet and died.

Ten years later, during a conversation with Charles Tegart, Commissioner of Calcutta Police, Gandhi qualified Bagha Jatin as “a divine person.” Little did he know that Tegart believed that “had Jatindra been born English, the people of England would have built his statue next to Nelson’s at Trafalgar Square.”

The present song pays a tribute to a man who was singled out by Raymond Aron as “The Thinker in Action” whose action represents “the Missing Link in our History”. (MUKHERJEE Prithwindra, Les racines intellectuelles du mouvement d’indépendance de l’Inde (The intellectual roots of the Indian independence movement) (1893-1918), Editions Codex, 2010. The French preface writer, Jacques Attali, will describe this work as a fascinating thesis). “




              1. From shore to shore in the world

An eccentric sings day and night

This hymn surging from Balasore :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. This song came to start up

Those who were lost in their trance,

They woke up all of a sudden :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. Sharpening the pros and cons

That lead to deliverance

You never pased your days :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. Leading a nation in bondage

You hoisted up with your death

The banner of the Motherland ,free :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. Deliverer of India you taught

How to lead a life

Beyond the reach of Death:

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. We roam from door to door

In search of the New,

We sing all young and old :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. All homes throughout the land

Keep shedding tears of pride

Watering the tulasi within :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


              1. With the monochord of the Bauls

While we pervade the world,

We sing and dance round and round :

Hail to you, Bagha Jatin !


Bâghâ Jatîn in jail. 1910-1911




Hindi Phonetic Lyrics

1.Bish-shéro bâlou-tcharé

Kone pâ-gAl gâyé nishi-dine

E-bhAjon balasoré

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


2. Shé-gânéro pArosh légué

Jârâ chhilo dhyè-né âshîne

Târâ shAb uTh-lo djégué

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


3. tArko âr jukti diyé

shâdhonâro moukti niyé

touDi méré kâTâoni dine

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


4. pArâdhîne djâtiro nétâ

djananîro moukti-kétAno

oDâlé ânt-to dâné

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


5. bhârot-ké korté shâdhîne

shékhâlé marAno-bihîne

dji-bonéro anou-shîlon(o),

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


6. noutAnéro obhisâré

phiri âj dâré dâré,

gâyé shAbé probino nobino

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


7. shAdeshéro ghAré ghAré

go-ourAbér osrou djhAré

hri-dAéri toulashî-moulé

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !


8. bâouléro shouré shouré

douniâ ghouré ghouré

nâtchi-gâi birâma-bihîno

Pronomi bâghâ jatîn !




Bengali Phonetic Lyrics

                1. viśvéra bālucaré

kon pāgal gāya niśidin

é bhajan bālāsoré:

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. sé gānéra paraśa légé

yārā chila dhyāné āsīna

tārā sab uṭhla jégé :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. tarka ār yukti diyé

sādhanār mukti niyé

tuḍi méré kāṭāoni dina:

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. parādhīna jātira nétā

jananīr mukti-kétana

oḍālé ātmadāné :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. bhāratké korté svādhīna

śékhālé maraṇa-bihīna

jīvanéra anuśīlana :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. nūtanéra abhisāré

phiri āj dvāré dvāré,

gāya savé pravīṇa navīna :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. svadéśéra gharé gharé

gauravéea aśru jharé,

hṛdayéri tulasī-mūlé :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !


                1. bāuléra suré sure

duniyā ghuéré ghuré

nāci gāi virāma-vihīna :

Praṇami Bāghā Jatīn !

Lyrics & music : © Prithwindra Mukherjee (courtesy of the author)


Horse Statue of Bagha Jatin near Victoria Memorial, in New Delhi.

(Cover Photo: Bâghâ Jatîn in jail. 1910-1911)


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