The Last Message of Kakori Martyrs

Bharat Dogra

This week India is observing the death anniversary of four Kakori martyrs of freedom movement. Rajendranath Lahiri, Ashfaqullah Khan, Roshan Singh and Ram Prasad Bismil were executed during the four days December 17—19 in the year 1927. They were all revolutionary freedom fighters of United Provinces (corresponding largely to present day Uttar Pradesh). All of them were known for their great courage and dedication to their cause.

While their acts of great courage and their sacrifices are well-known, some of their important views and messages also deserve to be more widely known, particularly in the context of present day troubled times in the country. In particular it is very useful to know what they stated in their last days. Fortunately written documents in the form of their last message to their country and its people are available.

Ram Prasad was also known as a very good poet and writer. In his last message he mentions his strong commitment not only to freedom but also to ensuring that natural resources should be shared equally by all. This shows that he was remarkably ahead of his times and was thinking not only of freedom but also of the alternative society to be created on the basis of justice and equality. He writes,”” I will be hanged in a short while but I will come back to this world again and again  and my aim will be that there should be freedom for all, natural resources should be shared equally by all , no one should rule or dominate others.

In this last message Ram Prasad expresses his deep commitment to communal harmony and to national unity. He mentions his deep friendship with Ashfaqullah as being symbolic of the greater harmony and unity that is so intensely needed in India. He says that this message of unity and harmony is his most important message. His precise words should be quoted, “ I pray to my countrymen that if they remember us, they should remember by somehow establishing Hindu-Muslim unity—this is our last will, this should be our lasting memory.”

In his last message Ashfaqullah has also conveyed similar concerns—Brothers of Hindustan, no matter to what religion or sect you belong, be one and together in serving the country. Avoid any quarrel among yourselves. We may follow different paths but our destination is the same, our aims are common. So why this useful fighting among ourselves?

In his last message Rajendranath Lahiri says that the day of death sentence is near but he is not at all afraid, he is taking it very lightly and will walk happily to the place of execution. He says that our sacrifice will not go in vain. He also says that he cannot write much because of jail restrictions. Even the little he wrote was tampered with by jail authorities, as indicated by the damaged documents.

In his last message Roshan Singh called upon his friends and near and dear ones not to be mourn his death as he is dying happily for a noble cause.

The writer is a journalist. He is co-author of two recent books on freedom movement When the Two Streams Met and Azadi Ke Deewanon Ki Daastaan.  

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Dec 21, 2020

Bharat Dogra

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