One has to walk down the memory lane almost a century, to have a clear and correct idea of the title. The first ever political conspiracy, Alipur Bomb Case, from the bombs found at Maniktala, was being tried at Alipur and the accused were lodged in the Central Jail there. Aurobindo Ghosh was the leader but only of a select and serious section of the accused.
Kanailal belonged to the other group which indulged in fun and frolic and played all kinds of pranks. Even Aurobindo used to enjoy this juvenile pastime. Their attempt was to keep away from the boredom of the lengthy trail. Officials, particularly the Europeans, used to marvel at the carefree attitude of these young men, even under the shadow of impending death. When the death sentence was passed, Ullaskar Datta returned from the Court smiling. A European warden remarked; 'Look, the man is going to be hanged and he smiles'. Yes, they laughed at death. Kanailal is said to have gained 16 pounds in weight. That is the stuff the revolutionaries were made of. But there was one sore point, a black spot, in an apparently carefree atmosphere. One of the accused, Naren Gosain, became an approver. He implicated even Aurobindo. This led to an imperative of urgent action. He had to be done away with before cross-examination without which his evidence would not be accepted by the court.
A new conspiracy by the revolutionaries had to be hatched. Naren had to be done away with, urgently. He was already segregated to the European ward for safety. The two revolutionaries who had to do the job were Kanailal Dutta and Satyen Bose, who was a somewhat sickly person, a Asthmatic, always coughing. On that ground he sought for a transfer to the jail hospital. From there he sent a word to Naren Gosain that he would also like to make a confession and become an approver. The bait was swallowed. Naren came without any suspicion. He was accompanied by a European warden, Higgins by name. A word was sent to Satyen to present himself. He did come but not alone. Earlier Kanailal had entered the hospital on the plea of a sudden and severe colic pain. Suddenly, the two ' murderers - martyrs - to - be' started firing at Naren Gosain. They were desperate and would not allow the traitor to escape. Naren fell into a nearby drain when he tried to escape. The Jailer and his Deputy rushed in to intervene.
The hefty jailer was half hiding himself under a bench in the nearby jail workshop. It was all a sight for comical relief to the serious political drama that was being played. Kanai was left only with one bullet. He used it on Naren who never came out alive. The alarm bell in the jail continuously rang. The inmates did not know what could have happened so suddenly. They were just holding their breath.
All this happened within minutes. Two intrepid young men were overpowered. They naturally underwent usual process of extreme torture. Ultimately they were sent up for trial on the charge of murder. It was more or less a farce or a formality. They were both sentenced to death. Kanailal offered no defence and was averse to an appeal. Sir P. C. Roy pointed out his sense of English Grammar. When the question of an appeal came up, Kanai simply said, 'There shall be no appeal'. It was the use of shall in the imperative. They were both sentenced to death on the 2nd October 1908. Incidentally, it was the birthday of Gandhiji an apostle of non-violence, the anti-thesis of even political murder. A little biographical sketch will give us a better picture of both. Kanailal was the younger of the two. He was born on a Janmashtami Day of 1888. In his childhood he grew up at Chandan Nagar, a French possession. But soon he shifted to Bombay (Goregaon), where his father was posted as a Central Govt. servant.
But he returned to Chandan Nagar when he was 16 years of age. He passed his Intermediate exam from Duplex College. He took his B. A. Degree but gave up the Honours in history. Here he came in touch with Prof. Jyotish Chandra Ghosh, a great revolutionary leader. Charu Chandra Roy was his mentor as he was to many revolutionaries of the period, including Rash Behari Bose. For a while, Kanailal served under the East-Indian Railways. Even when he was a student, he came in touch with groups of youngsters. This he continued till he was arrested. Satyendra Nath Bose was a maternal uncle of Aurobindo Ghosh though much younger in age. But he was senior to Kanailal, both in the age and as a party member. Before he got into the Alipur Case, he was actively busy in party work and showed unusual skill in native intelligence. It was he who recruited Khudiram Bose. He was good at studies too. The only drawback was his health, an asthmatic which ultimately helped him in getting into the hospital where he, along with Kanailal, finished the traitor, Naren Gosain. Even Naren Gosain may be given some biographical background which will help explain his conduct as a traitor to the country. He was the son of a Zamindar of Serampur. As such, a life of a prisoner in jail was much too harsh. He became easily vulnerable to temptation and succumbed, finally to the bullets.
It was so done before scourge of the case and the curse of the country could send Aurobindo to the Andamans. Instead, he was acquitted and moved from Alipur to one French pocket to another and became the Saint of Pondichery and the author of the highly philosophical Life Divine. One great man of the East could send greetings to another, the Poet to the Saint- 'Aurobindo, Ravindrer Laho Namaskar'. The Nation salutes the young Martyrs.