Sri Dev Suman Biography: Born on 25 may 1916, in the village Jaul of Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. Sri Dev Suman aka Shri Dev Suman best known as a group leader of freedom fighters active in Tehri.
His father Shri Hari Dutt Badoni a famous Vaidya (Practitioner of Ayurveda). His mother Shrimati Tara Devi was a housewife. Although Suman’s real name is Shri Dutt Badoni however; later as he contributed in the revolution of freedom it renamed as Sri Dev Suman.
|Name||Shri Dutt Badoni|
|Nick name||Sri or Shri Dev Suman|
|Father’s name||Shri Hari Dutt Badoni|
|Mother’s name||Shrimati Tara Devi|
|Birth||25 May 1916|
|Death||25 July 1944|
|Wife’s name||Shrimati Vinay Lakshmi Saklani|
Sri Dev Suman Early Life and Education
He had his early education In Chamba and Tehri. In 1930 Suman was only 14 years old when he participated in “Namak Satyagraha” in Dehradun. During that visit, he got arrested and sentenced to the imprisonment of 15 days in the Agra Central Jail. Where he wrote the following lines on our beloved motherland;
आज जननी है उगलती, अग्नियुक्त अंगार माँ जी,Poem written by Suman in Agra central jail in 1930.
आज जननी कर रही है, रक्त का श्रृंगार मां जी।
इधर मेरे मुल्क में स्वाधीनता संग्राम मां जी,
उधर दुनिया मे मची है, मार काट महान मां जी।।
Meaning: Today the motherland is spewing out fiery embers, my beloved mother. Today motherland is doing makeup of blood, mother. Here in my land it’s the time to fight for our freedom my mother, while the whole world is struggling with the carnage my mother.
In his early life, he became a key organizer and agitator for civil rights in Tehri while serving as an editor and writer for several underground publications, such as “Suman Saurabh” etc. He started to fight for the freedom of Tehri Riyasat from the clutches of the King of Garhwal Bolanda Badri (Speaking Badrinath).
Impact of Mahatma Gandhi on Suman’s Life
Sri Dev Suman had a high influence by Mahatma Gandhiji and used a Non-Violence way for the freedom of Tehri. His friend’s circle included respected environmentalists and people with specific excellence.
In that very time, there too many kinds of objectionable taxes on the poor subjects of Tehri Riyasat. One day Sri Dev Suman went to his mother and eyes filled tears and said “Maa, Please forgive me! Your son cannot provide you all the luxury and happiness of life as every man is suppose to do for his mother and parents. Oh my mother, I devote myself to motherland. Please allow me to live for mothers who haven’t any child”.
Suman’s Meeting with Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru
Sri Dev Suman was one of the first proponents of the unification of Uttarakhand. He gets an invitation as a representative of the hills; to a conference happening in February 1939. This conference was presiding by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru in Ludhiana.
At this meet, Suman emphasized the atrocities that inflicted on the poor subject by the Garhwal Rulers. In such a systematic manner he it brought into the knowledge of Vijay Laxmi Pandit and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. In 1942 Sri Dev Suman went to Wardha to visit Mahatma Gandhi Ji.
He was very keen to seek Blessings from his idol for the Praja-Mandal movement. On returning to Tehri he was arrested by the soldiers of Garhwal who had been trailing him. Subsquently, keeping away from entering the Tehri state.
However the enthusiasm in his heart was constantly increasing, he vowed to fight against the ruthless administrators even at the cost of his life.
On 27 December 1943 when he was trying to enter into the Kingdom of Tehri, he was arrested at Chamba.
His Independence Struggle
Shri Dev Suman, being declared a rebel of the state and imprisoned. Inside the Jail heavy fetters were put on his body, disabling him from doing his daily Chores. And even with such tortures in his body, his food was not even eatable. People still mention this in Sri Dev Suman Biography.
The Roti served with a mixture of sand and clay, and the rest of the food was contaminated by grind pebbles. Mohan Singh was the in-charge of the jail and he never missed an opportunity to misbehave and torture Sri Dev Suman.
Then the courageous and devoted Sri Dev Suman decides to give up the food served to him by the cruel Administration. Consequently, the health of Sri Dev Suman deteriorated. The jail staff tried to feed him forcibly but all efforts of them brought no success.
Meanwhile, one night the mercury was low due to the winter and that worsened Suman’s condition. Even though according to Sri Dev Suman biography his health was not good; the jail staff hadn’t shown compassion towards him. Prison authorities gave him blanket soaked in cold water during the chilly winter nights that could have frozen our soul.
Sri Dev Suman’s Balidan for freedom
Sri Dev Suman was tortured and anguished in every possilble ways inside the prison. On 3 May 1944, Sri Dev Suman started declining food. And by the month of July his health was very critical. As his health deteriorated to give up on his resolution and eat something for life.
Nevertheless, Sri Dev Suman was firm on his vow, as he believed that freedom more important than mere breathing. As his health worsened to the worst the doctors couldn’t help and they tried to inject the medicine which subsequently became the reason for his death.
Being in jail for 209 days and not eating for 84 days ultimately caused him to breathe his last on 25 July 1944. He was an ideal son for his parents, a loving brother to his friends. Sri Dev Suman’s personality was as dynamic as his deeds which have shown his conscientiousness towards his convictions and beliefs.
How the Cruel Admin Hid his death
As the authorities knew that Shri Dev Suman is dead; they speculate the public rebel as he was a loving son to the Tehri and its people. As so, the Jail authorities decided not to disclose the death of Sri Dev Suman. They packed the body of Suman in a cotton bag and threw it into the high streams of river Bhilangana.
This heinous act of jail authorities ultimately came into the knowledge and the people of Tehri went wild on his death.
He was a medical practitioner by profession and Martyred only at the age of 29, leaving behind his wife and a legacy of inspiration for generations to come.
His Balidan Diwas (The Day of Martyrdom) is being celebrated 25th of July every year
श्री देव सुमन श्री देव सुमन,
शत कोटि नमन शत कोटि नमन |
अपना सुखी जीवन त्याग दिया,
बलिदान – परहित नाम किया,
श्री देव सुमन श्री देव सुमन,
शत कोटि नमन शत कोटि नमन |