A: It happened like this. Somewhere round about 1897, the country was in the grip of famine and plague. The people suffered much during this critical period. The soul of the people was in agony. The Government did little to alleviate the sufferings of the people. Death and disease took a heavy toll of life. The excesses committed by the soldiers and the antics of the bullying incompetent, tyrant Rand, the Plague Commissioner, infuriated the
Chaphekar [sic] brothers of Poona. They shot dead Rand and another Englishman. The Chaphekar [sic] brothers were tried and hanged. The terrible news of their hanging stirred me. I was hardly 16 then. My enquiring mind became restless. I realized, even at that young age, the significance of the act of the Chaphekar [sic] brothers. I decided to take a vow—a pledge to fight and die, if need be, for the freedom and liberty of my country. So, at the dead of the night, I sat alone at the feet of our family deity—the Armed Goddess Durga—and invoked the blessings of the Great Mother, the source of Divine inspiration and strength. I took a solemn vow before Goddess Durga to do my duty towards my country and to fulfill the noble mission of the martyred Chaphekar [sic] brothers. I also took a vow to drive out the Britishers from my beloved motherland and make my country free and great once again—the glory that was Hind. This, then, is how and why I became a revolutionary.
More Questions from the interview :
Q: Do you think that the ‘1857 Mutiny’ was India’s first organized revolt against the British for the freedom of the country as a whole? Some historians say that the ‘1857 Revolt’ was organized by half a dozen disgruntled but daring leaders who banded together for the maintenance of their respective privileges and status. What do you think ?