This thin volume of about 60 pages contains a little-known but inspiring episode of India’s freedom struggle. It deals with one of the saddest and yet proud moments in the history of martyrdom in India under the British rule. It succinctly tells a story of great self-sacrifice and courage and its brevity only intensifies its emotional depth. It is hoped that such a piece of India’s history would have an eternal appeal for the future generations of Indians. The following text is being reproduced from the back cover of the book.
That Red Water of the Great Flood, narrated by Bibhutibhushan Dasgupta, is about the last days in the life of Baikuntha Sukul. Baikunth was convicted and sentenced to death on 14 May 1934 for killing Phanindra Ghose who had turned a government approver, which had led to the execuation of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdeo and Rajguru.
Bibhutibhusan was in the Central Jail at Gaya when Baikunth was brought to be executed. He recounts how Baikunth touched the hearts of his jail inmates with his cheerfulness, and was utterly fearless in the face of death. He refused the hangman’s blindfold and sang patriotic songs as he walked to the gallows. Till his last breath was taken away from him, he was heard shouting slogans of liberation: “Vande Mataram! Bharatmata ki jai!”
As if celebrating his ultimate sacrifice, Baikunth sang on his last night, with other prisoners, Tagore’s song on death, and Ram Prasad Bismil’s Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamare dil mein hai….
[THAT RED WATER of the Great Flood is written by Bibhutibhusan Dasgupta and translated into English by Swati Ray (ex-lecturer in English, Basanti Devi College, Calcutta). Late Professor Jyoti Bhattacharya, formerly Head of the Department of English and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Calcutta approved the translation and revised it where necessary. It is published by and available from Earthcare Books. ]