Home Event and Festivals Swadeshi Diwas 2020: Remembering Babu Genu Said, The First Martyr of Swadeshi...

Swadeshi Diwas 2020: Remembering Babu Genu Said, The First Martyr of Swadeshi Movement

December 12, 1930, is the most important day of India’s Swadeshi movement. It is still remembered as Swadeshi Diwas or Swadeshi Day. December 12 is the death anniversary of Babu Genu Said, a cotton mill worker from Mumbai who actively fought against the foreign-made cloth. Shahid Babu Genu died at the tender age of 21. For his immense contribution to the Indian Swadeshi movement. let’s remember Mumbai’s hero who sacrificed his life and defined the Gandhian spirit.

Born in Pune’s Mahalunge Padwal village, Babu belonged to a poor family and never received any formal education. His father died when he was just 10-year-old. Due to lack of income sources, his mother left the village and moved to Mumbai to find work.

Since his mother was doing menial jobs, Babu started working as a labourer in mills. He was against the British Colonial rule and was deeply inspired by Indian freedom fighters, it was Mahatma Gandhi who influenced him the most.

He was against the foreign-made cloth and actively took part in various protests against it. In fact, Babu sacrificed his life supporting the Swadeshi movement.

On December 12, 1930, Babu and other activists staged a protest against a truck carrying foreign-made cloth through Kalbadevi area in Mumbai. A cloth merchant named George Frazier of Manchester was shifting loads of clothes from his shop to Mumbai Port. He was given protection by the British Police.

The protesters begged not to move the truck. However, cops managed to get the truck moving. Near Bhaangwadi, Babu stood courageously in front of the truck, shouting praises for Gandhi. Police ordered the driver to run the truck over him. However, the driver refused. “I am Indian and he is also Indian, So, we both are the brothers of each other, then how can I murder my brother?” he said.

A furious English police officer sat on the driver seat and drove the vehicle over Babu Genu, crushing him to death. This incident resulted in a huge wave of anger, protests and strikes throughout Mumbai. Babu Genu’s efforts and sacrifice have been memorialised in several cities, including Mumbai and Delhi.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 12, 2020 07:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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