Ramprasad Bismil was a brave revolutionary who gave up his life smilingly for the sake of the Motherland. He was persecuted by an enraged foreign government, hunted by the police and betrayed by follow workers. And yet he lit the fire of revolution to burn down the slavery. He was the brave leader of the Kakori Rail Dacoity episode. His poetry is also a lamp lighted at the altar of the Mother land.
Kakori is a village near Lucknow. It became famous, because the attack on the train took place near by.
It was the evening of the 9th of August 1925; the number eight down train was passing near Kakori. Ramaprasad and his nine revolutionary followers pulled the chain and stopped it. They looted the money belonging to the government, deposited in the Guard’s carriage. Excepting that one passenger was killed by an accidental shot, there was no
This extremely well planned dacoity jolted the government. After a month of detailed
preliminary inquiries and elaborate preparations the government cast its net wide for the revolutionaries. Arrest warrants were issued not only against the ten participants but also against other leaders of the Hindusthan Republican Association. With the lone exception of Chandrashekhar Azad, all participants were caught.
The case went on for over a year and a half, Ramaprasad, Ashfaqullah Roshan Singh and Rajendra Lahiri all four were sentenced to death, A strong campaign was organized throughout India to save the lives of these revolutionary heroes. All the leaders of public life appealed to the British Government to show mercy to the condemned men. But the Government was unyielding.
It was the 18th of December 1927. A middle-aged lady was waiting at the main gates of the Gorakhpur Central Jail. Her face was radiant but anxiety was writ large on it. She was eagerly waiting to be called into the prison.
By that time her husband also arrived there. He was surprised that his wife was there before him. He also sat down to wait for the call.
Another young man came there. He was not related to them. He knew that the couple would be permitted to enter the prison.But how could he manage to enter? This was his problem.
The officials of the prison called in the husband and the wife. The young man followed them. The guard stopped him and rudely asked, “Who are you?”
“Permit him also, brother. He is my sister’s son”, the lady said in an entreating voice.
The guard relented.
All the three entered the prison to visit a freedom fighter that was to face his death on the morrow.
The freedom fighter was brought there in chains. They were like ornaments on him. This was the last time that he could see his mother, the last time he could address her as ‘Mother’. At this thought grief welled up in him. He stood speechless and tears rolled down his cheeks.
In a firm voice the mother said, ‘What is this, my son? I had thought of my son as a great hero. I was thinking that the British Government would shiver at the very mention of his name. I never thought that my son would be afraid of death. If you can die only in this way, weeping, why did you take up such activities?”
The officials were astounded at the firmness of the mother. The freedom fighter replied, “Mother dear, these are not tears of fear – the fear of death. These are tears of joy – joy at beholding so brave as mother!”
The brave son of that brave mother was Ramaprasad Bismil. He was the leader of the famous Kakori Rail Dacoity case.
The last meeting ended.
Next morning Ramaprasad got up earlier than usual, bathed and said his morning
prayers. He wrote his last letter to his mother. Then he sat down with a calm mind awaiting his death.
The officials came and removed his chains. They took him from the prison cell-towards his death.
He was completely untroubled and walked like a hero. The officials were amazed. As he moved to the gallows he joyfully chanted Vande Matharam’ and ‘Bharath Matha ki Jai’. At the top of his voice he shouted down with the British Empire.” Then he calmly recited prayers like ‘Vishwani deva savithaha dunithani…. And embraced death.
As he was being executed, there was a strong guard around the prison. When he was dead the officials brought out the dead body. Not only his parents but also hundreds of his countrymen were waiting in tears.The people of Gorakhpur deco rated the body of the brave son of Bharath as befitted a hero and carried it in a procession. Flowers were showered on the body, and the last rites were performed.
Ramaprasad Bismil joined the select band of martyrs who dreamt of a free India and
made the supreme sacrifice, so that the dream might come true.
‘Bismil’ is the penname of Ramaprasad. As ‘Bismil’ he is well known as a great
revolutionary poet in Hindi. At the end of his autobiography, he has reproduced some selected poems. Every line of his poems throbs with patriotic fervor.
In one poem he prays: ‘Even if I have to face death a thousand times for the sake of my Motherland, I shall not be sorry. Oh Lord!Grant me a hundred births in Bharath. But grant me this, too, that each time I may give up my life in the service of the Mother land.’
In a poem written just before going to the gallows, he prays: ‘Oh Lord! Thy will be done. You are unique. Neither my tears nor I will endure. Grant me this boon, that to my last breath and the last drop of my blood, I may think of you and be immersed in your work.’