Born in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh Ashfaqullah Khan was one of the most famous revolutionary of Indian National Movement. As a member of Hindustan Republican Association, he alongwith Ram Prasad Bismil looted train at Kakori but was later arrested and send to gallows, only to inspire generations to come.
"किये थे काम हमने भी जो कुछ भी हमसे बन पाये,ये बातें तब की हैं आज़ाद थे और था शबाब अपना;
मगर अब तो जो कुछ भी हैं उम्मीदें बस वो तुमसे हैं,जबाँ तुम हो लबे-बाम आ चुका है आफताब अपना."
These beautiful lines of Ashfaqulla Khan clearly reflected his ideals along with patriotism towards his motherland. A devout Muslim he lived for the cause of the nation and died for the same, inspiring generations to come.
The closing decade of the 19th century and early years of the 20th century saw the emergence of new form of nationalism that is often referred as Extremism or Militant Nationalism. Enslaved by the Britishers the educated youth of the country feel ashamed to be ruled by the alien power. Social, Political and Economic discrimination further added to their anger and frustration. The attitude of Congress towards the attainment of the goal was questionable. All these along with numerous other factors did much to the rise of Extremism or Militant Nationalism creating patriotic revolutionaries like Ashfaqulla Khan. A prominent figure of the Hindustan Republican Association he was actively involved in Kakori Conspiracy of 9 August 1925 and was hanged till death creating furore across the nation.
Native of Shahjanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Ashfaqulla Khan was born in a devout Muslim family. His father Shafiq Ullah Khan belonged to a Pathan family while his mother Mazhoor-Un-Nisa Begum was an extremely pious lady. He inherited the courage and loyalty from his father and wisdom from his mother. Youngest amongst all his four brothers he was highly inspired by Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, another nationalist of repute.
Ashfaqulla Khan just like others got disillusioned by the withdraw of Non-Cooperation Movement due to violent Chauri Chaura incident in 1922. He along with Bismil felt that no soft approach can bring to the end of British rule in India. Though not an ardent advocate of violence he wanted to instill fear in the minds of Bristishers and their agents. But this was not easy as they would have required large sum of money to execute their plans. The only solution that he along with Ram Prasad Bismil and other members of Hindustan Republican Association chalked out was to conduct a raid or a dacoity. Plan was set for the D-day that came to be noted in the annals of history as Kakori Dacoity case.
Kakori Train Robbery
A small village near Lucknow, Kakori occupied headlines of several newspapers after an armed dacoity on the evening of August 9, 1925. Planned and executed by the members of Hindustan Republican Association it made the government realize for the first time the will and aspirations of Indians. On the intervening day Ashfaqulla Khan alongwith his team members derailed Number 8 Down Train traveling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow near Kakori and looted bags containing some 8,000 Rupees. Though not a single Indian was looted, but unfortunately one passenger was killed by an accidental shot, making it a murder case. Shaken by the daring robbery, government issues warrants against ten persons. Soon Ramprasad Bismil, Jogesh Chatterjea, Sachindranath Sanyal along others were arrested and put to trail. After eluding the police for almost a year Ashfaqulla Khan was also arrested. When then Superintendent of Police Tasadruk Khan tried to win over him provoking him against Hinduism, the strong willed Ashfaqulla replied "Khan Sahib, I am quite sure that Hindu India will be much better than British India."
Trial and Death
Following the arrest, charges were framed on multiple grounds. After long argument for almost a year and a half he along with Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri was sentenced to death. Several efforts were made to save the lives of these revolutionary heroes buy it seemed that British imperialism was thirsting for the blood of these young Indian revolutionaries. Rajendra Lahiri attained martyrdom on 18th of December 1927 followed by Ramaprasad and Ashfaqullah on the 19th and Roshan Singh on the 20th.
“दिलवाओ हमें फाँसी, ऐलान से कहते हैं,
खूं से ही हम शहीदों के, फ़ौज बना देंगे”
Though imperial government succeeded in removing an obstacle from their way but their foundation were already put to test finally making way for Indians. Today one can find various institutions named after this great personality who lived and died for the cause of the nation and alongside Ram Prasad Bismil served an epitome of communal brotherhood.
Entire Nation of India
(FAN OF Shaheed ASHFAQULLA KHAN)
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