Ram Prasad Bismil was born on 11 June 1897 in an unassuming village in the Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh. He was associated with the Arya Samaj from an early age with a desire for freedom and a revolutionary spirit reflected in 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 the imperial forces.
Bismil made his name as a prominent freedom fighter through his participation in the Mainpuri Conspiracy of 1918. Bismil, along with Genda Lal Dixit, a school teacher from Auraiya, organized the youth of Etahwah, Mainpuri, Agra and Shahjahanpur districts to strengthen their organizations, ‘Matrivedi’ and “Shivaji Samiti”. He published a pamphlet called “Deshwasiyon ke Naam” and distributed it along with his poem “Mainpuri ki Pratigya” on 28 January 1918. To collect funds for the parties, they looted government coffers.
Ram Prasad Bismil ideals of the freedom struggle were in stark contrast to those of Mahatma Gandhi and he is reported to have said that “independence would not be achieved through non-violence”. After conflicting views and growing opposition with the Congress Party, he formed the Hindustan Republic Association, which soon had leaders like Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.
On 9 August 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with associates of Ashfaqulla Khan and others carried out a plan to loot a 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. Within a month of the attack, angry colonial authorities had arrested more than a dozen members of the HRA.
After the trial in the so-called Kakori conspiracy, these four revolutionaries were sentenced to be hanged.
With the words “Jai Hind” on his lips, 30-year-old Bimil was hanged in Gorakhpur Jail on 19 December 1927 and cremated on the banks of the Rapti River. The place later came to be known as Raj Ghat.
Written by : Vaishali Verma
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