When seven youths died trying to hoist Indian flag at Patna Secretariat in 1942

04:54 PM Aug 13, 2022 | PTI |

Three days after Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for the Quit India movement in August 1942, a group of youths attempted to hoist the Indian flag at the Patna Secretariat but seven of them fell to the bullets of security forces before they could raise the tricolour.


The incident took place on August 11. Its 80th anniversary was marked Thursday in a solemn ceremony at a memorial — Shahid Smarak — erected after Independence in their honour.

Five years after the supreme sacrifices made by these seven youths, or ‘Saat Shahid’ as they came to be known as later — six of them were in high school while the seventh was in college — India saw the dawn of Independence on August 15, 1947.

The government is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark 75 years of India’s Independence and on August 15, grand celebrations are lined up at the Red Fort and across the country.

On August 15 when India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Independence, the historic day will also mark the 75th anniversary of the foundation stone laying of the Shahid Smarak or Martyr’s Memorial in Patna.


The monument was built in honour of the seven martyrs, at a street roundabout in front of the Bihar Assembly complex and due east of the imposing over a century-old Patna Secretariat. The foundation of this landmark was laid on August 15, 1947 by first Bihar Governor Jairamdas Daulatram in presence of Bihar premier Sri Krishna Singh.

On the 80th anniversary of their martyrdom, the Bihar government released a small video on YouTube telling the story of the Quit India movement in Patna and of the ‘Saat Shahid’, with a hashtag #AzadiKaUtsav.

“Students had taken the reins of the freedom struggle in their hands, after big leaders were arrested and put behind bars,” says the narration with the video.

The video also shares the names of these seven young martyrs, sometimes poetically referred to as ‘Inmortal Seven’ — Devipad Choudhary, Umakant Prasad Sinha, Ramanand Singh, Satish Prasad Jha, Jagatpati Kumar, Rajendra Prasad Singh and Ramgovind Singh.

Choudhary was a student of Miller High English School in Patna (established in 1919), located not far from the place of the incident. After Independence, his name was affixed to the school’s name — Devipad Choudhary Shaheed Smarak (Miller) Ucchya Madhyamik Vidyalaya.

Rajendra Prasad Singh was a matric student of Patna High School (set up in 1919) and was one of the seven youths who was killed in the infamous Patna Secretariat firing case during the Quit India Movement in August 1942, the institute’s then principal, Ravi Ranjan, had told PTI in 2019, a month ahead of its centenary celebrations.

The word ‘English’ was dropped from the name of the school, soon after Independence, and in 2008, it was rechristened to Shaheed Rajendra Prasad Singh Rajkiya Uchh Madhyamik Vidyalaya, but it is still popularly known as Patna High School.

“A bust of Singh was also installed in the campus a few decades ago,” he said.

The Martyr’s Memorial in Patna was unveiled by first President Dr Rajendra Prasad on October 24, 1956.

The sculptural masterpiece that sits on a tall pedestal was created by noted artist Debi Prasad Roy Choudhury who served as the principal of the Government College of Fine Arts College, Madras, from 1928 till his retirement in 1958.

His finely crafted imposing bronze statues of the seven martyrs, with the crease of dhoti-kurta being depicted, immortalised them in the consciousness of the people.

Choudhury is also famed for the “Gyarah Murti” installed in New Delhi in which Mahatma Gandhi is seen leading a group.

Also, the muhrat shot of the legendary first Bhojpuri film ‘Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo’ (1963) was done at the site of this celebrated monument which has adorned the covers of many books and special stamps.

In 1967, the postal department had issued this beautiful philatelic tribute in their memory. The monument is popularly called by local residents as “Saat Murti”.

Aman Lal, a student activist from Patna University who lives in Gardanibagh area near the Patha Secretariat, said, “Every year we the members of AISF (All India Student Federation) pay tribute to the seven martyrs on August 11 at Saat Murti. And, chant ‘Saat Shahid Amar Rahe’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Azadi ke Veeron ki Shahdat, Virasat Amar Rahe'”.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.