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Martyrdom Day Feature : 19th December

The Angels of Freedom Bismil - Ashfaq

Pandit Ramprasad 'Bismil' and Ashfaqulla Khan were real close friends. Bismil was a staunch 'Arya Samaj' follower and so Ashfaqulla Khan followed Islam. As per Ashfaqulla, 'religion should not intervene in friendship or patriotism. And, why should religion come in between except the way to pray?'

"Ashfaqk and Bismil not only created an example of communal harmony and unity but also paved a revolutionary stairway in the Indian Freedom Movements..."

Both of these were the residents of Shahjahanpur and were involved with few other people in the Kakori Treasury loot incident. Both of them were awarded with the capital punishment to be hanged till death by the neck. When Kakori plan was still under discussion, Ashfaqulla opposed the plan by saying that this would make the British government hunt them like wild hogs and that it would be hard to continue their party activities. Which was true, but when the plan was accepted by all, Asfaqkulla joined them. 'Be open to express yourself but whatever has been decided by the mandate, one has to follow the decision with honesty.' This was the principle of the sangathan.

"...they replenished the revolutionary fighters with much needed vigor and economic power by looting the government treasury."

As it used to happen with the British Government supporting it once Hindu-

Muslim communal riots broke out in Shahjahanpur. Both Asfaqkulla Khan and Pandit Ramprasad dressed as per their religious customes so that they could be identified easily, and stood together and addressed the masses that the government is behind these communal riots as the want to continue ruling the country. Hindus and Muslims both should understand it and should not be against each other as they both belonged to India and to prove themselves worthy of their Indian lineage, both the communities have to thrive here only so it is better to live in harmony rather to live with hatred and animosity. This joint statement made a great impact and the riots terminated that day itself. Asfaqkulla was an emotional poet and used to write with alias name 'Hasrat'. Ramprasaad was also a highly regarded poet. Both of them had a good physique and had very good aim too. Asfaqk loved to hunt wild animals but Ramprasaad never shot at any animal or a bird even.

They had a deal amongst them that they would call each other by their names only. Once awhile Asfaqk was ill and in the state of unconsciousness kept on uttering 'RAM…' many a times to which his family reacted aversely, thinking why does their stout Muslim son is saying 'RAM' a God of Hindus instead of 'Allah'. But soon they came to know that he is taking his friend 'Ramprasaad's' name. Ramprasaad was called upon to the much sought after relief of Asfaqk. Asfaqk was a taut and strong Pathan. He was the one who brokered the iron safe in few strokes the Kakori loot incident when others failed to hamper it even a little. Even being a Muslim, he was able to assimilate/blend in between Hindus and after the Kakori incident stayed in the hostels of

Banaras Hindu University and also stayed for some time at one of his friends place in Rajasthan, Mr. Arjunlal Sethi's.

He went to Bihar from Rajasthan and worked as a clerk at an office and also got promoted because of his poetry. While staying at one of his Muslim friend's house in Delhi, he got captured as his friend turned him in for the money offered on him by the British government. A one sided case was under solicitation against all the conspirers of the Kakori Treasury loot incident, wherein Asfaqkulla was awarded capital punishment and Sacchindranath Bakshi was awarded with life imprisonment. Asfaqk refused to say 'sorry' in order to plead for forgiveness except for saying the same in front of 'Allah'. He was hanged till death by the neck in the Faizabaad Jail on 19th of December 1927.

This country would have been saved from partition if only 25 percent of Muslims would have been like Asfaqkulla Khan. All the communal tension would have subsided and terminated by now if all the Muslims would follow Asfaqkulla Khan's mental philosophical ideology. The country would be served better with the kind of brotherhood that eveloved in between Asfaqkulla and Ramprasad. In the similar fashion Ramprasaad 'Bismil' was also awarded capital punishment by having being hung from the neck till death at the Gorakhpur Jail (Uttarpradesh) on 19th of December 1927. His parents were allowed to meet him before his punishment was to be delivered. One of the party members, Shiv Verma wanted to meet 'Bismil' and approached his father Shri Murlidhar ji to verify him as their relative so that he could meet the condition to meet 'Bismil' raised by the British government. But a follower of truth all his life, 'Bismils' father refused to lie and act as suggested. Then Shiv Verma approached Bismil's mother who saw it altogether in a different light, she said, 'all members of the party are 'Bismils' brothers only so if someone would ask his relation with him, he could quote himself as 'Bismils' cousin and my nephew and agreed to accompany him. Bismils father 'Murlidhar' did not took his wife to meet Bismil for the last time in order to avoid her emotional outpour being a mother and he was confident about his own solidarity. But when he saw his son in the lifeless cell ready to gallop up to the gloat, he started crying. Then 'Bismil' himself pacified his father by saying, 'What are you doing, father? I was thinking that you would console mother but you yourself are losing your resolve!' Then his mother came in accompanying Shiv Verma. 

On seeing his mother 'Bismils' eyes got filled with tears and his throat got bloated. His mother reminded him of his valor by addressing to him, 'Ram, tears in your eyes, Son! I was thinking that you would walk up to the noose with pride. You are offering self as a sacrifice for the independence of your mother nation! Then why this cowardice is taking over your mind?' Bismil got his resolve back in seconds and hugged his mother and said, 'Mother you are taking me wrong. I am least worried about death. I m perfectly fine and enjoying it now. These tears are out of love for you, Mother! The body is acting on his duties but the mind has not lost its resolve, you would not find any such mistake on me for which you would repent lately.' Mata ke bandhan todunga, Rakhta tha nit dhyaan yahi| Janmunga fir bhi Bharat mein, Hota ur me maan yahi| Athwa maatrumaan par mar jaunga, Tha mujh ko abhimaan yahi| Chaah raha tha jiwan me mein, Faansi ka vardaan yahi| 'I always tried to somehow break the chains on my mother nation, always thought of rebirth in this country or else I would offer myself, my life for the pride of my nations, I had wished always for this blessing of gallows all my life!' said Bismil. I have the same expectations of you, Ram, said his mother. Signaling towards Shiv Verma she introduced him as 'Bismils' cousin. Bismil has already recognized Shiv Verma and discussed few of the party things with him. 

Next day early on 19th of December, 1927 Ramprasaad 'Bismil' was hanged on the gallows. He offered his prayers and morning havan as was his routine before heading to the gallows. On being asked for his last wish, he wished, 'May the British government ruin' 

Vishwani dev savitdurritaani paraasuv | Yadbhadram tann aasuv || 

"O' Lord of the world take all the obsolete from us and fill us with the best that is there to be had" by saying this he climbed the gallows. His last words were - Maalik, teri raja rahe aur tu hi tu rahe, Baaki n mein rahun, n meri aarju rahe| Jab tak ki tan me jaan, ragon me lahu rahe, Tera hi jikr ya teri hi justaju rahe| "O' lord, you are the supreme and may all your wishes come true. All my wishes, and me, may get entwined in you. May I think of you and praise you till I have blood running in my veins and life in my body." All the sky turned red, blood red! Not the bells rang in any Temple neither did the 'Ajaan' calls were made in Mosques that unfateful day, how could it had happened? As on that day Mother India lost two of its worthy sons. Filling all the Indians with a call for freedom these two angels have already taken a flight!

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