Over a century back freedom fighter Rash Behari Bose spoiled the Christmas party of British, living in India, by scripting a perfect bomb attack on Viceroy of India Lord Harding. For getting the 23 December 1912 attack executed in Delhi the freedom fighter took 37 day leave from the Dehradun based Forest Research Institute (FRI)- where Bose was working as clerk at that time.

Rash Behari was a legendary figure in British India, but he remains unsung in Uttarakhand. The Forest Research Institute- an institute of the Indian Council of Forestry- have done token things to remember one of the heroes of Indian independence movement as he was on their rolls. But, local citizen and political parties have completely forgotten freedom fighter Rash Behari- who was also the founder president of Indian National Army.

FRI’s Public Liaison Office K.P Singh says, “A road is named after Rash Behari Bose in our campus and we have put a photo panel on the freedom fighter at our photo galley.”

Rash Behari was working as clerk at Forest Research Institute from 1906 to 1914. He executed all his secret operation from Dehradun. But, he is seldom remembered in Uttarakhand, not even on his birth and death anniversaries. There is little awareness about this great freedom fighter in the hill state.

The 1912 December bomb attack made Rash Behari an icon in Indian history. On 23 December 1912 Lord Harding, riding on elephant back, was passing through the Chandni Chowk in Delhi. A bomb blast took place, killing an attendant on the spot and injuring the Viceroy of India. The assassination attempt on Lord Harding was planned by Rash Behari and Basant Biswas threw the bomb.

Besides working at the FRI, Rash Behari was also associated with the Bengali library, located in Karanpur locality in Dehradun. Bengali library’s secretary Alok Chakraborti says, “Rash Behari Bose was a member of our library. Bengali people- who were serving in Survey of India, FRI and other government institutions-had formed the library in 1900 for promoting their culture in Dehradun. ”

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose considered Rash Behari Bose the father of the Indian independence movement in East Asia. Born on 25 May, 1886 in Subaldaha village in Burdwan district (West Bengal), Bose studied in Chandannagar (WB). He came to Shimla, where he worked in a press, and later moved to Dehradun.

The photo panel of FRI shows the application of Rash Behari and his official termination letter. Onlookers visiting the photo gallery are surprised to find the Dehradun connection with the freedom fighter. Possibly this is the only place where the 1912 Delhi bomb conspiracy mastermind has found some prominence.

After serving one of his longest terms as a government employee at the Forest Research Institute, the freedom movement hero escaped to Japan in 1915. He continued to provide support to Indian independence movement from Japan. Despite his prominent role in freedom movement, Rash Behari remains unsung in Uttarakhand.