Ram Prasad Bismil

Ram Prasad Bismil

Ram Prasad Bismil (Hindi: राम प्रसाद 'बिस्मिल') was an Indian revolutionary who participated in Mainpuri Conspiracy of 1918, and the Kakori conspiracy of 1925, both against British Empire. As well as being a freedom fighter, he was also a patriotic poet. Ram, Agyat and Bismil were known as his pen names which he used in Urdu and Hindi poetry. But, he became popular with the last name "Bismil" only. He was associated with Arya Samaj where he got inspiration from Satyarth Prakash, a book written by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. He also had a confidential connection with Lala Har Dayal through his guru Swami Somdev, who was a renowned preacher of Arya Samaj.

Bismil was one of the founder members of the revolutionary organisation Hindustan Republican Association. Bhagat Singh praised him as a great poet-writer of Urdu and Hindi, who had also translated the books Catherine from English and Bolshevikon Ki Kartoot from Bengali. Several inspiring patriotic verses are attributed to him. The famous poem "Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna" is also popularly attributed to him, although some progressive writers have remarked that 'Bismil' Azimabadi actually wrote the poem and Ram Prasad Bismil immortalized it.

Early life

Ram Prasad Bismil was born at Shahjahanpur, a historical city of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) in a religious Hindu family of Murlidhar and Moolmati.

Grandfather's migration

His grandfather Narayan Lal was migrated from his ancestral village Barbai and settled at a very distant place Shahjahanpur in U.P. Barbai was situated on the bank of river Chambal in Tomardhar region of the then estate of Gwalior in the British period. This village is now in the Murena district of Madhya Pradesh.

Father's efforts to educate the son

His father, Murlidhar, was living in Khirni Bag Mohalla of Shahjahanpur city, where Ram was born. In childhood, Ram was sent to a local primary school but he was very much adamant to learn Hindi because of an Hindi alphabet "u" which was taught as 'u' for 'owl'.

In Urdu School
When his father Murlidhar could not make him learn "u" in spite of every effort, he decided to educate Ram through Urdu medium and he was admitted in Islamia School of Shahjahanpur. As he grew up, he associated with bad students and read romantic poetry books and cheap novels that undermined his academic work.

Last wish

He went cheerfully up to the gallows saying his last good bye to whomsoever met in the way. He stood up at the altar of gallows, kissed the noose and spoke very loudly his last wish - "I wish the downfall of British Empire!" Then he whispered the vedic prayer "Om vishvaani dev savitur duritaani paraasuv, yad bhadram tann aasuv." (en.O God of all creature! let the ill will be removed and the good prevail in our souls.) and put the noose around his neck like a garland.
The hangman pulled the lever of gallows and the body of Bismil hanged in the open air. For half an hour he was kept hanging to safeguard the certainty of death. In this way a daredevil son of Mother India departed for the common cause of every Indian's freedom.

Dead body's procession

Looking into the huge rush at the main gate of the jail authorities broke open the wall in front of gallows, the dead body was brought out and handed over to his parents Murlidhar and Moolmati. A huge rush of about 1.5 lakhs of people had gathered from all over the country. They took the dead body of their departed brother Ram Prasad and carried it to the bank of Rapti under a grand procession.

As seen in these pictures the prominent personalities like notable Hindi writer Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi founder editor of Kalyan Hanuman Prasad Poddar and politician Govind Ballabh Pant participated in the procession and remained there till the list rites cerimonials.

Last rites at Rajghat Gorakhpur

The dead body of Bismil was kept at Ghantaghar of Gorakhpur for the last view of the public in the City. From there it was taken to the Rapti river where the last funeral of this great martyr was performed under the proper Vedic Cremation System on the bank of the river. The place, where the ritual obligations of Bismil were done, was named by public as Rajghat. A new Transport Nagar has been developed in the side bye area of this place. A Rajghat police station has also been established there to commemorate the historical place.

Books of Bismil released in his centenary year

Bismil was born in 1897 and was hanged by the cruel British Empire in 1927, thus he lived a very short life of 30 years. Out of this 30 year, he dedicated 11 years of his valuable life in the selfless service of his fellow countrymen to make their life better. He wrote so many books but only 11 books could be published. All of these books were proscribed by the British Raj. Only few of them were kept hidden in the rare and old libraries.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaks on the occasion

A freelancer research scholar 'Krant' M.L. Verma tried to bring out these books and the success came to his hands when he could search five books and almost 200 poems written by Bismil. A Delhi-based publisher Praveen Prakashan published the research work in four volumes under a title of Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna. The books of Bismil were released on the eve of Bismil Centenary Year, i.e., 19 December 1996 (since he was martyred on 19 December 1897) by former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Speaking on the occasion Vajpayee said that we have not done justice with the revolutionaries who had given everything of their life for our betterment. The excessive propagada of non-violence has also spoiled the contribution of revolutionaries in the Indian Independence Movement. If Bismil had not taken the immediate initiative after 1922's Chauri Chaura incident and the Indian Navy had not revolt after Second World War in 1946, the Britishers would have never left India. He described the task of the author as a monumental work.

RSS chief attends the event

Prof. Rajendra Singh alias Rajju Bhaiya the then Sarsanghchalak (en. paramount leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), who has also written the foreword of this book, spoke on the occasion that Bismil was the man who patronised the Aryan race and led the national revolution in freedom movement of India. Reviewing the books of Bismil, Indian journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik said that Urdu poetry of Bismil was parallel to the Ghalib. His literary evaluation requires a serious attention from the critics.

Statue of Bismil

Shaheed Smarak Samiti of Shahjahanpur established a memorial at Khirni Bagh mohalla of Shahjahanpur city where Bismil was born in 1897 and named it "Amar Shaheed Ram Prasad Bismil Smarak". A statue made of white marble was inaugurated by the then Governor of Uttar Pradesh Motilal Vora on 19 December 1994 on the 68th martyr's day of Bismil.

Literary works

Bismil was known for his inspiring poems that acted as motivation for his fellow revolutionaries. Among them, Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna is the most well-known. Previously it was unknown whether Bismil actually wrote it or any other, as some progressive writers attributed it to Bismil Azimabadi, but now this miserable episode is over; because a number of research books are available in the libraries to verify the encyclopedic contents. An image of original and rare photo of Ram Prasad Bismil can also be seen hereinabove as well as in Hindi Wikipedia.

Turkish city named after Bismil

Like Ram Prasad Bismil, Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Pasha alias Kemal Ataturk was also a revolutionary writer and freedom fighter who became the first President of Turkey. Bismil had written an article in the Hindi magazine Prabha about him under the title Vijayee Kemal Pasha (en. Victorious Kemal Pasha) in November 1922. Later too, Bismil appraised Kemal Pasha in his Autobiography written from the gallows of Gorakhpur jail before his death. In order to pay respect to Bismil, Kemal Ataturk established a district in Diyarbakir state of Turkey in 1936 and named it "Bismil" after the pen name of this fierce fighter of freedom and patriotic poet of India.