Who is Ram Prasad Bismil, the young freedom fighter who inspired a generation

“Desh hit paida huye hai
Desh by marr jayenge
Marte marte desh ko
zinda magar kar jayenge”

With a desire for freedom and a revolutionary spirit reverberating through every inch of his body and his poetry, Ram Prasad Bismil was among the most notable Indian revolutionaries who fought against British colonialism and allowed the nation to breathe the air of freedom after centuries of struggle. against Imperial forces.

Ram Prasad Bismil was born on June 11, 1897 in a nondescript village in Shahjahanpur district, Uttar Pradesh, Murlidhar and Moolmati. He was associated with the Arya Samaj from an early age.

Bismil started writing powerful patriotic poems in Urdu and Hindi under the pseudonyms of “Bismil”, “Ram” and “Agyat”. The ideals of freedom and revolution first became ingrained in his mind after reading the death sentence passed on Bhai Parmanand, an Indian nationalist and Arya Samaj missionary. He gave vent to his anger in the form of his poem “Mera Janm”. He was then only 18 years old.

Bismil got his name engraved as a prominent freedom fighter with his participation in the Mainpuri conspiracy of 1918. Bismil along with Genda Lal Dixit, a teacher from Auraiya, organized youths from Etahwah districts, Mainpuri , Agra and Shahjahanpur to strengthen their organizations, ‘Matrivedi’ and ‘Shivaji Samiti’. He published a pamphlet titled “Deshwasiyon ke Naam” and distributed it along with his poem “Mainpuri ki Pratigya” on January 28, 1918. To raise funds for the parties, they looted government coffers.

His freedom-fighting ideals contrasted sharply with those of Mahatma Gandhi and he is said to have said that “independence would not be achieved through non-violence”.

After conflicting opinions and growing resentment with the Congress party, he formed the Republic of Hindustan Association which soon had leaders like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.

On August 9, 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with his companions Ashfaqulla Khan and others carried out the plan to loot the train at Kakori near Lucknow. After the revolutionaries stopped the 8-Down Saharanpur Lucknow passenger train at Kakori, Ashfaqullah Khan, Sachindra Bakshi, Rajendra Lahiri and Ram Prasad Bismil overpowered the guard and looted the money meant for the treasury. Less than a month after the attack, angry colonial authorities arrested more than a dozen HRA members.

After the trial in the so-called Kakori plot, these four revolutionaries were sentenced to be hanged.

In Barrack Number 11 of Lucknow Central Jail, Bismil wrote his autobiography, considered one of the finest works of Hindi literature, along with the cult song “Mera rang de Basanti chola”.

With the words “Jai Hind” on his lips, 30-year-old Bimil was hanged in Gorakhpur prison on December 19, 1927 and cremated on the banks of the Rapti River. The site later became known as Raj Ghat.

Thelma J. Longworth