Ashfaqulla Khan was born on 22 October 1900 in Shahjahanpur, North Western Province, British India to a Pathan Muslim family of the Khyber tribe. Ashfaqulla was an Indian independence activist in the Indian independence movement and co-founder of the Hindustan Republican Association. The purpose of this association was to organize armed revolutions to achieve a free India.
In 1918, when Khan was in the seventh standard, the police raided his school and arrested a student, Rajaram Bhartiya, in relation to the Mainpuri Conspiracy, in which activists organized looting in Mainpuri to finance the publication of anti-colonial literature. The arrest prompted Khan’s involvement in revolutionary activities in the United Provinces.
Ashfaqulla Khan Revolutionary steps as a activist :
Ashfaqulla Khan met Ram Prasad Bismil, a revolutionary who was closely involved in the Mainpur Conspiracy. He soon became closely associated with Bismil and joined him in activities related to non-cooperation, the Swaraj Party and the Hindustan Republican Association. Bismil and Khan were also both poets, with Khan writing Urdu poetry under the pen name Hasrat.
Like others in the Hindustan Republican Association, Khan was strongly inspired by Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. He expressed a belief in the liberation of the poor and the rejection of capitalist interests. He also spoke against religious communalism, calling it a British tool to control the Indian population and prevent Indian independence.
To support their movement and purchase arms and ammunition to carry out their activities, HSRA revolutionaries, including Ram Prasad Bismila, looted a train carrying British government money at Kakori near Lucknow on 9 August 1925. Bismil was caught by the police and Ashfaqulla Khan was the only one not traced by the police. He went into hiding and moved to Banaras from Bihar where he worked for 10 months in an engineering firm.
He later went to Delhi to find out ways to move out of the country. He took the help of one of his Pathan friends who was also his classmate in the past. This friend in turn betrayed him by informing the police where on the morning of July 17, 1926, about sand, the police came to his house and arrested him.
The Kakori dacoity case was concluded with the award of death sentence to Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan and several others. Ashfaqulla Khan was put to death by hanging on 19 December 1927 in Faizabad Jail. This revolutionary man became a martyr and legend among his people for his love of country, clear thinking, unshakable courage, fortitude and loyalty.
The Kakori dacoity case was concluded with the death sentence for Bismil, Khan, Lahiri and Roshan. The others received life sentences. Khan was sentenced to death by hanging and executed on 19 December 1927 in Faizabad Jail. He is considered a martyr for the cause of India’s independence.
After the hanging of Khan, Bismil, Lahiri and Roshan, the HRA changed its name to the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army and began to officially preach socialist and Marxist ideologies.
Written by: Vaishali Verma
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