January 16, 2018

Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah Khan: A sole illustration of Hindu Muslim Unity

India, a country of multi-dimensional religions, languages, customs as well as traditions. It was the land where all sections of people were enjoying each other’s festivals, marriages, sorrows and happiness. There are numerous examples of Hindu- Muslim unity that are prevailing in India. The mutual relationship of love emerged from bhakti and Sufi movements that a maximum number of people are visiting the shrines and temples that were erected by both Hindus as well as Muslims. It has been said that Sufism stranded on the banks of river Indus, especially in Punjab which eschewed religious orthodoxy and even rebelled against it. The Tazias (Remembering the day of Karbala) are fully respected, facilitates Sharbat (sweet water) for the devotees. Besides that there are numerous examples like Muslim girls chant Sanskrit Hymns in Jharkhand, Shahid Ali performed the rituals of Durga Puja, Ganesh celebrations took take in Mosques and soon. Later on, during British rule, the two communities fought together against colonialism and produced the icons of Hindu-Muslim Unity. Similarly, two icons of Indian freedom movement Ram Prasad Bismil and Ashfaqullah is a unique example to justify the title. Both the revolutionaries were hanged to death on December 19, 1927 for their involvement in the Kakori conspiracy. This conspiracy was carried out with the aim to shake the British administration by executing money belongs to government and to use it for revolutionary activities against the British colonialism.
Ram Prasad was a devout Hindu freedom fighter, poet with the nickname ‘Bismil’ as well as a member of Arya Samaj. Ram Prasad Bismil was born in Sahijahanpur (UP) and his father was doing job in municipality. Bismil learnt Hindi from his father, Urdu from Madrasa. He wrote his poetry in both Hindi and Urdu. Besides that, he translated various books in Bengali. A Sally of the mind, Swadeshi Rang were his writings and it has been found that all his writings have intense feeling of patriotism (Autobiography of Ram Prasad Bismil). The peom “Sarfarosh ki Tamanna” by Bismil Azimabadi of Patna was memorized by the freedom fighter, which created the feeling of freedom in the heart of such legend. It was 19th December 1927, Ram Prasad was hanged at Gorakhpur Jail for his active role in Kakori Conspiracy. He accepted his death by chanting “Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (Logical India, 2017). While on the other side Ashfaqullah khan, who was also the resident of Sahijahanpur, was having same qualities as Bismil. He was also poet and his nickname was Hasrat. Bismil and Ashfaqullah became good friends through the medium of poetry. Similarly, Ashfaqullah khan was imprisoned in the case Kakori conspiracy and was lodged in Faizabad Jail. In Jail, he started to write a personal dairy in which he mentioned that I have suffered so much, but the patriotism towards my country eases my pain. Besides, he gives courage to his soul by saying that you are immortal, you are immortal (emphasis added). He wrote a letter to his family in which he mentioned “kiye the kaam hamane bhii, Jo kuchh bhii humse ban paaye; ye baatein tab ki hain aazaad the aur tha shabaab apanaa. magar ab to jo kuchh bhii hai ummidein bas vo tum se hain, javaan tum ho labe-baam aa chukaa hai aafataab apnaa”.
Ashfaqullah was also hanged on the same date at Faizabad jail. The friendship of these legends by pen and mind are still remembers by the patriots of the country. Because a true patriot wishes good for country irrespective of religion, caste, colour and creed. Once Ashfaqullah Khan was appealed by a SP, who was a Muslim to give testimony against Ram Prasad Bismil. The reply was I would rather die under the rule of Hindus rather than Britishers and Ram Prasad Bismil is not only my friend, But he is my brother. However, in the present India, the Muslims and Hindus are like enemies and blaming each other by the words of traitors, terrorists and anti-nationals. The need of hour is to change the hatredness and to become apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity, which is at the edge of death.

(The author a research scholar at the Central University of Gujarat has mailed this article to “Kashmir Horizon”. His view are his own but not of “Kashmir Horizon”)

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