Venkaiah Naidu and Ashok Gehlot pay tribute to freedom fighter Ashfaqullah Khan on the 120th anniversary of his birth

The young freedom fighter is best known for the 1925 Kakori train robbery and arrest along with fellow Hindu Republican Socialist Association leader Ram Prasad Bismil.

Ashfaqullah Khan was a prominent young freedom fighter who believed in radical movements to uproot British rule.

He was born on October 22, 1900 in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and his 120th birthday is celebrated this year.

Several political leaders took to social media to remember the patriot’s sacrifice. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu paid tribute to Ashfaqullah’s “fearless actions and moving poetry” which helped spread the spirit of patriotism and unity among the people. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said “Ashfaqullah Khan’s courage, dedication and sacrifices for the nation’s independence” will be remembered forever.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi shared a patriotic quote from the revolutionary that spoke of sacrificing everything for the glorification and prosperity of the nation. In a tribute to the party’s narrative, Congress said the revolutionary was “the embodiment of the indomitable spirit of Indian youth”.

Ashfaqullah Khan came into the limelight recently when the Uttar Pradesh cabinet approved a proposal to earmark Rs 234 crore for a zoological garden in Gorakhpur which would be named after the freedom fighter.

The young freedom fighter is best known for the 1925 Kakori train robbery and arrest along with fellow Hindu Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) leader Ram Prasad Bismil. Ten other revolutionaries, along with Bismil and Khan, had carried out an armed robbery on the Kakori Express which ran from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow.

However, many members of the gang were quickly arrested by the British. Bismil and Khan were sentenced to death by hanging, along with Rajendra Lahiri and Roshan Singh. The others were sentenced to life. On December 19, 1927, the revolutionaries were martyred.

bollywood movie Rank of Basanti also featured Khan’s story, with Kunal Kapoor trying out the revolutionary in a documentary about freedom fighters.

Thelma J. Longworth