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About the valiants of Kakori And the scenes of their hanging
Posted By : Sita Ram Madhopuri

About the valiants of Kakori And the scenes of their hanging                               

 (From the pen of Revolutionary Martyr Bhagat Singh)

          (All the valiants of the Kakori case were young handsome men. This case became the matter of discussion all over the country. The people of the country bowed their head with reverence before these martyrs. )       

Revolutionary Bhagat Singh immediately thereafter wrote two articles entitled ‘The Rebels”,  which had appeared in a journal  called Kirtee  - 1. About the valiants of Kakori (May 1927), 2 The glimpses of the Kakori Martyrs’ hanging (January 1927). Both these are documents of historic importance. Therefore these are reproduced here for our readers - Editor.

            Earlier something has been written about Kakori in Kirtee, a Punjabi journal. Now I will say something about the valiants of the Kakori Conspiracy, who have been awarded capital punishment.

            On the 9th of August, 1925, from a small railway station Kakori,  a train steamed out. This station is at a distance of eight miles from Lucknow. It had run barely one or one and a half miles when three young men travelling by second class pulled the chain and the train stopped. Others joined them and they looted the government cash being carried in the train. They had told the passengers in a loud voice that that they should not fear for anything as they did not intend to harm them; and that they only wanted to loot the government cash. They continued firing. A passenger chanced to get down and he died of a fire shot.

            The government officer Harton C.E. enquired into the case. He had been convinced from the very beginning that the dacaoity had been made by the revolutionaries. He began to enquire about the suspected persons. In the meantime, it was decided to hold a meeting of the revolutionary group at Meerut. Government came to know about this. Thorough investigation was done.

            By the end of September Harton had the arrest warrants issued and on 26th September many searches were conducted and many people arrested.  Some, however, could not be held. One of them  Shri Rajendra Lahiri was arrested in  Dakshineshwar. Bomb case and he was imprisoned for a ten year term. Shri Ashfaqu Ullah and Shachindra Bakshi were arrested later. They were tried separtely. They are -1. Ram Prasad, 2. Rajinderna Nath Lahiri, 3. Roshan Singh 4. Ashfaqu Ullah Khan. Out of these, Rajinder Nath Lahiri was student of MA at Benares Hindu University. He had been arrested in 1925. An appeal and mercy petition  filed in his case  were turned down. This brave man had written to his elder brother a leltter, whichs read as follows -

My dear brother,

            The Superintendent told me today that my mercy petition had been rejected by the Viceroy. According to the jail manual, I will be hanged within a week. You need not grieve for me because I am leaving my old body to be born again. You need not come here to meet me, because you met me a few days back. Our sister met me tweice when I was in Lucknow. My respects to all there and love to the boys.

                                                                        Your dear

                                                                        Rajendra Nath Lahiri

                        Shri Roshan Singh Ji

            He was hanged on 19th September at Allahabad. His last letter was written on 13 December, as under : -

            I will be hanged this week. I pray to God to reward you for your love. You need not grieve for me at all. My death is an occasion for joy. It is better that one should not die after doing some bad deed and earning bad name and one should remember God when the end comes. I have been away from my family for two years. I got good opportunity for dwelling on His Name. All the feeling of attachment has left me. I have no desire left in me. I am confident that at the conclusion of a painful journey, I am going to a place of joy. It is stated in the Shastras, that those who die in the battle field attain the position like that of sages. (It is not clear further).

                        Regard life as liveliness,  O Roshan

                        Countless are born and go on dying. 

            My last salutations !

            Shri Rosha Singh worked at Rai Bareilly. He had gone to jail during the Farmers’ Agitation. Everybody hoped that the Court would reduce his sentence from death as there was nothing against him. But still he fell victim to the British misrule and hanged till death. What he said, standing at the scaffold, was -

                        Vandai Matram.

            The government did not permit his body being carried in a procession. After photographing the dead body, he was cremated.

                        Shri Ashafaque Ullah

          This moody poet too kissed the noose with a surprising joy on 19.12.1927. He was a very tall handsome young man of robust health.  He had become somewhat weak in jail.  He told those who went to meet him that the reason of his getting weak was not because of any worry, but he was eating very little dwelling on the Name of God. A day before his hanging, he was allowed to meet. He was in fine fettle. The long grown hair looked so comely. He laughed when he talked. He said he was to be married the next day. He was hanged at 6 AM the next day. He carried the satchel of Quran Sarif, like the Haj pilgrims, towards the scaffold courageously. Then he went up the scaffold and kissed the noose. Then he said-

            “I have not yet soiled my hands with the blood of anybody and my justice will be done before God. the charges framed against me are wrong.”

            As he said Khuda (God), the rope was pulled and he left this world. His relations got his body after lot of pleading and brought it to Shahjehanpur. Some people had an opportunity to see his body in a carriage of a goods train at Lucknow station. His face was as bright even ten hours after he was hanged.  It appeared that he had gone to sleep just at that time. But Ashfaque was a poet and his pen name was ‘Hasrat’. Before his death, he had said thes two couplets-

            Death is for all of us, and nothing is in our hand

            God only is the One above the death’s hand  

and

            Having suffered unprecedented oppression

            I  am  kicking  the  bucket  in Faizabad Jail.

            A Mercy Petition  was published on behalf of Shri Ashfaque about which Shri Ram Prasad has made the position clear in his last testament that what to talk of a mercy petition, he was not ready even for an appeal. He had said that except for God, he would not bow before any one. It was only at the hard persuasion by Ram Prasad that he had written it. He was not at all afraid of death. The readers can understand the position in the light of the above. He belonged to Shahjehanpur and he was the right hand man of Ram Prasad. Inspite of being a Muslim he had a great love for Arya Samaj. Both the lovers of the Motherland after doing a Great Job laid down their life and attained immortality.

                        Shri Ram Prasad Bismal

          Shri Ram Prasad Bismal was a very promising young man. He was a great poet. He was very handsome. His capability was of very high order. Those who knew knew would say confidently that  if he had been born in some other country or at some other time, he would have become the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. He was regarded the leader of the entire conspiracy. Though he was not very highly educated, he could make the govt. counsels like Pt. Jagat Narayan lose his wits. He had written his own appeal to the Chief Court, for which the Judges had to say that behind this was the hand of some very enlightened intellectual.

            He was hanged on the 19th. When he was offered milk in the evening of the 18th, he had declined to take it saying that he would suck her monther’s milk. He was allowed to meet his mother on the 18th. Tears flowed from his eyes when he met his mother. His mother was a very courageous lady. She said to him, “ Sacrifice your life like Harishchandra.Dadhich, etc., the great elders, with imposed on us and our decline every day and every way. Thirty three crores of brave Indians,  Hindus and Muslims, have been reduced to the level of sheep and goats  Our white masters kick us without let or hindrance and nothing is heard about it. General Dyer may turn the Jalianwala Garden into doom’s day, our  women may be insulted, our elders and children may be attacked with hand grenades or machine gunned and every new day would bring new calamities for us. Would all this not arouse us from slumber wasting our lives in pleasure seeking? This moves us to -

                       

                        The mad love for the motherland

                        Is the real pleasure of young age

                        Who knows if our blood will keep

                        Circulating with the same rage.

 

            What was done was well done. We have failed today so we are dacoits. Had we succeeded, we would have been called great patriots and those who are abusing us unjustifiably, would have raised slogans lauding us -

                        Let  Bismal’s  corpse   get  afloat

                        The deep  sea  of  sdeath,   O God

                        The  starving  fish   are awaiting

                        Dripping blood off killers’sword

 

            Oh ! Can this life be termed as ‘dear’ when our own political thinkers are in conflict with one another ? Some are after propagating Tabligh (the Mulim faith) and others are bent upon launching Shudhi (re-conversion to Hindu faith) as the sure way to attain salvation.  I pity these thinkers again and again that they are so bright and adept at politics. Would that they are able to study the Egyptian struggle for freedom and the clever moves of the British and weigh the same in the context of our present state. Are we not sailing in the same boat?  The secret agents of the government are indulging in false propaganda based on religious fanaticism. Their objective is not the promotion of religion but to put a spoke in the 

moving cart.  I have no time nor is this the occasion to put before you all the stark facts that came to light during my underground days and thereafter. As far as I know, Maulvi Niyamat Ullah was   stoned to death in Kabul. He was a British agent.  The clever Khan Bahadur Tasaddaq Hussain, Dy. Supdt., CID, Govt.of India, carried a message to him but the well awakened government of Kabul remedied the situation and did not allow the malady to spread. I want to tell my Hindu and Muslim brethren that this is all a deception enacted with the secret funds at the disposal of CID. I am dying and I’m dying for the country. It is my duty to bring to the notice of my brothers all good and bad aspects. It is up to them to

pay heed or otherwise. Even the high ups in the country are not free from this. The people should keep their eyes open and take everything with a pinch of salt. Brothers, your bickerings, your disunity, will not be of use to either of you. It is impossible that seven crores of Muslims  may be ‘purified’. Similarly, it is quite meaningless that twenty two crores of Hindus may be converted to Islam. But I am confident that it is very easy in this way to put the chains of slavery round their necks.  O my nataion, which has no national

flag,  O those saying ‘thy country is not mine’.  O the helpless nation looking to others for mercy, this is result of our own mistakes that you are a slave nation but you continue to repeat the same mistakes to carry the spot of slavery for the coming generations which will be born in slavery.  Whoseover will put a foot in India, will do so in a slave land and make him a slave. O my Holy God ! Won’t such a dawn ever come over this land when your Sun will rise on free India and the slogans of freedom be raised high all round. Whether they are Congressmen, Swarajist or Tablighi (Muslims) or those of Shudhi (Arya Samajists), Communits or revolutionaries, Akalis or Bengalis, let this message reach every one. I appeal to everyone in the name of his own faith and his own honour,  and if he is not a religious one, to his conscience or in whatever he has faith, kindly to take pity on us, being killed in connection with the Kakori case and make India as it was in 1920-21. Let there be repeated the scenes of Ahemedabad Congress showing complete unity. Rather it should be forged with added strength and Complete Independence should be declared immediately by throwing away these white  masters. They have thrown off their cloak and they would not be won over by any mantra (charm). O protagonists of  Tabligh or Shudhi, open your eyes for God’s sake, where were you and where have you reached ? Set aside your so called ego. Just think over. Unnecessary conflict prevails because of difference of opinion in matters of religion. Leaving aside the goal mid way, you have gone astray. Where is a Hindu or a Muslim who enjoys fullest religious freedom as a matter of right ? Does a slave nation have a religion ? What reform can you bring in your relgion?  You may pray to God in a peaceful manner. You may meditate on the Name of Ishwar (God) calmly.  Get united to exorcise this land of the white ghost with this mantra-jantra (such means).  All this is his doing. When this ghost is thrown off, our eyes would open. Come, listen to us. Let India be free first of all. Then only think of anything else. Whatever way God has blessed one with, shall be followed. You can’t stop any one. Live in complete unity, get united, otherwise the sword of  destruction of India would loom large at your neck and you will be the cause of slavery. Ashfaque prays to the Communists that you have brought this foreign movement to the country and you are considering yourself as foreigners. You hate the indigenous things; you have fallen in love with foreign dress and way of life. This will not work. Come back to your true colour. Live for the country, die for the country. I mostly agree with you and I can dare say that my heart has shared the agony of the poor peasants and unhappy workers.  I have wept during the days when I had gone underground as I had occasion to spend time with these people. If you ask me, I would say that I would sacrifice everything in the world for these people.  Our cities flourish because of them. Our factories are productive and working because of them.  It is their hands which draw water from pumps.  In fact they are the cause of everything achieved in the world. The poor peasant works in the farm in the heavy downpour of monsoon and the burning heat of the June-July months and moving in the wilderness produce grain for us. And what they produce for us, they have no share in it; they are always unhappy and in a wretched condition. I do agree that for all these inequities, our white masters and their agents are responsible. But what is the remedy? Should we take them to those conditions to make them realise as to what are they. The sole means to do this is that you should look like them and leaving aside your so called ‘gentlemanly’ attire, move about in the country side. Go to the factories and study their life and create awareness among them. Read the autobiography of Grandmother Catherine of Russia and look at the sacrifices made by the youth of that land. By wearing costly suits, collar, tie, you can become a leader, no doubt. But you can’t be of any use to the peasants and workers. Work in unison with other political parties and give up your materialism. What seperates you from others is of no use. I have a deep regard in my mind for you and even at the end of my life I am fully with you in your political goal. I had visualised such a freedom for India in which the poor were happy and lived in comfort. May that day come very soon when Abdulla, the mechanic, in the Loco Worshop in Chhatar Manzil, Lucknow, and Dhania Chamar as also the peasants are seen sitting  in chairs before the noted ones like Jagat Naarain Mulla and Raja Sahib of Mehboobadbad. O my comrades, my revolutionary brethren, what can I tell you and what should I write to you? Will this be of less delight for you when you hear that one of your brothers kissed the noose while laughing and he was dying happily. I am fully aware of the spirit inculcated in you and your group, because I have been proud of you and today my pride is all the more that I am dying like a true revolutionary. It was my duty to send across my message to you.  I am so happy. I am like a soldier who smiles and  walks along the firing line and go on singing, sitting in the trenches. I am writing two lines of Hasrat Mohani Sahib for you -

                       

                        Let your life have concern   for your country

                        Let your heart be the abode of  abiding faith

                        Let such a love sprout within you,  dear one

                        Separate thyself completely from any desire

                        The only desire in you  may be for freedom

                        And y’r head high with courage, and no fear.

Even if thousands of waves trouble you in the deep sea of misery, or the fiery mountains confront you, but O Lions of Freedom, let your warm blood be sprinkled on the motherland, sacrifice your lives at its altar and go on marching ahead.  Won’t you be happy when you come to know that we died laughing? I have lost some weight but it is because I eat very little and not for any fear or horror. I could not gain weight like Kanai Lal Dutt but I am very very happy. What more honour can there be for me than that I am the first and the foremost Muslim to be hanged for the freedom of the country? O my brethren, accept my salutations and try to complete the work that we have left incomplete. For you the field of action has been prepared in the United Provinces.  Rest is in your hand. Such a fine opportunity would not have become available by your concerted propaganda a thousand times. The students of schools and colleges are running towards us, and there will be no trouble for long -

                        Wake up from the slumber deep

                        And listen to the call  of the bell 

                        March,  some one  is  beckoning

                        Showing  the  destination marks 

                        Gird up your loins, with courage

                        Enter the field,  valiant political

                        Leaders, my salutations to you !

What more can I write, accept my Salam and gird up your loins, the political leaders. Don’t look at us the way the enemies of the land and detractors of the nation viewed.  We were neither dacoits nor were we muderes -

                        Where is the   Koh-i-Noor Diamond ?

                        Where, alas, has gone all my wealth ?

                        Having  looted all   that was  precious

                        And audaciously, they  call us  dacoits.

They looted us in broad day light and still we are dacoits. They roasted alive our brothers, sisters and children in Jallianwala Bagh and we are called callous brutes in the judgement. If we are like that, how are they themselves? What name would be apt to call them ? They have looted the prosperity of India. They sent away lakhs of Indians to die in the battle fields  Mesopotamia or France to serve their own selfish ends. They are the ferocious animals, cruel and wild. Not we. We were helpless, we were weak, we pocketed every thing,  my country men, you made us face all this. Let us get united again, and jump into the field of action, and boldly declare your complete independence. Well, I take leave now and say good bye forever.  God be with you and the flag of freedom should flutter on the Motherland. I don’t have the energy to reach the top of Himalayas and shout so loudly to arouse every one nor do I have the means to excite your minds once again that you march ahead with the same zeal as you stood in 1920-21. I take leave with a few lines -

            To every man upon this earh,

                        Death cometh sooner or later

            But (then) how can a man die  better

                        Than facing fearful odds

            For the ashes of his fathers and,

                        Holy Temples of his God.

I depart now with my thanks to those brethren who gave us support overtly or covertly. I will assure them Ashfaque was truthful till his last breath and died gladly and he cannot be blamed for being a traitor to his country. I pray to my countrymen not to ignore my brothers after me and help them in times of need and take care of them when they are in need of it.

                                                            

                                                        One dying for his country

 

                                                            Ashfaque Warsi Hasrat

                                                            From Faizabad Jail.

 

            This writing of mine should reach my brethren through the students, newspapers, English, Hindi, Urdu, distributed in the Congress session. I shall be grateful.  Accept my salutations.  My brothers should never be forgotten nor they be ignored. Good bye.

 

                                                            Ashfaque Ulla Wrsi Hasrat

                                                                        Faizabad Jail.

 

            19 the December 1927

            Before stepping on the scaffold they had also said -

            “ We have played our part on the stage  of Bhaarat Mata’s (Motherland) theatre. Right or wrong whatever we did, was done with a view to attaining freedom. Some would praise us for this, others would decry us, but our courage had to be praised even by our enemies. The revolutionaries are great fighters and great thinkers. They always think of good of their country. People say that we terrorized the country, but it is not true. Our trial went on for such a long time, but we did not try to terrify even a single witness nor did we fire at an informer. Had we wanted, we could have killed some witnesses, some CID officers or someone like them. But this was not our objective. We just wanted to kiss the noose in the memory of Kanai Lal Datt, Khudii Ram Bose, Gopi Mohan Saha, etc.

            ‘The judges have remembered us with the epithets like cruel, barbaric, slur to humanity, etc. But we ask them whether these judges had seen the firing in Jalianwala Bagh or heard about it. Were the unarmed Indians, women, men, children, aged ones not fired at? How many judges decorated the tyrant with such medals? Then is this joke to be played only at us?

            “Dear Indian brethren, whoever you may be, belonging to any religion or community, kindly get united in the interest of the country and do cooperate. You are unnecessarily clashing among yourselves. All the religions are one, maybe there are different ways, but the objective of all is the same. Then why be at loggerheads? Kindly get united for our sake, for us, the accused of Kakori and now going to the gallows, to fight the tools of oppression. Considering that among the seven crores of Indian Muslims, I am the first Muslim who is going to be hanged for the freedom of the country and I am having a sense of pride in my mind. But I want to assure you all that I was not a killer, as has been tried to be made out.

            Now I take leave. God help you all. At this time, it would not be out of place to thank Ainuddin Magistrate, Mr. Khairat Ali, Public Prosecutor, CID Officers especially Khan Bahadur Tasadduq Hussain and other witnesses because it is due to their kindness that we have been given this high honour. No sacrifice had been made in my family so far in the service of the country. This stigma would be effaced now. Lastly, I salute my fellow accused, informers and those who had given confessional statements.

            “ Last Salam (salutation) to all. May Mother India be happy as also all my brothers! ”

            Ashfaque has gone, but he left a message for his countrymen. If we could learn something there from, it would be in our interest.

 

                                              - From  ‘Ashfaque and His Times’.

 

                       

 

 

 


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