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Indian History

Ram Prasad Bismil

  • 12 Jun 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Culture organised a special ceremony at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh to mark the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Ram Prasad Bismil.

Key Points

  • Birth:
    • Was born on 11th June, 1897, in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district to Murlidhar and Moolmati.
  • About:
    • Was among the most noteworthy Indian freedom fighters who resisted British colonial forces till his last breath.
    • Joined the Arya Samaj founded by Dayananda Saraswati in 1875. This had a profound influence on him, he often employed poetry as his weapon of choice in the fight against the imperialist forces.
    • The ideals of a revolution first took root in his mind when he read about the death sentence awarded to Bhai Parmanand, an Indian nationalist and Arya Samaj missionary.
      • He was all of 18 then and vented his anguish through his poem ‘Mera Janm’.
    • Believed that freedom cannot be achieved without violence, bloodshed, which meant his views were in stark contrast to Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of ‘ahimsa’.
  • Contributions:
    • Organizations:
      • Formed organisation Matrivedi and got in touch with Genda Lal Dixit, a school teacher.
        • Both shared revolutionary ideas and wanted to organise the youth of the country to fight the British government.
      • Bismil was one of the chief founders of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) along with Sachindra Nath Sanyal and Jadugopal Mukherjee.
        • HRA was founded in 1924 and its constitution was drafted chiefly by Bismil.
    • Major Cases:
      • Was involved in the Mainpuri Conspiracy of 1918 in which police found a few young people including Bismil selling books that were not prescribed by the government.
        • Published a pamphlet titled ‘Deshwasiyo ke Naam’ and distributed it along with his poem ‘Mainpuri ki Pratigya’. To collect funds for the parties, they looted government coffers.
        • He escaped arrest by jumping into the Yamuna River.
      • In 1925, Bismil and his companions Chandrasekhar Azad and Ashfaqulla Khan decided to loot a train in Kakori near Lucknow.
        • They were successful in their attempt but were arrested alongside a dozen other HRA members within a month of the attack and tried under the Kakori Conspiracy Case.
        • The legal process lasted 18 months. Bismil, Lahiri, Khan and Thakur Roshan Singh were awarded death sentences.
    • Others:
      • Attended the 1921 session of the Indian National Congress at Ahmedabad.
      • While lodged in Gorakhpur Central Jail, Bismil went on a hunger strike demanding to be treated as a political prisoner.
      • In Lucknow Central Jail, Bismil wrote his autobiography, considered as one of the finest works in Hindi literature and also the cult song “Mera rang de Basanti chola”.
  • Death:
    • Hanged on 19th December 1927 at Gorakhpur Jail.
    • Was cremated on the banks of river Rapti and the site was rechristened as Raj Ghat later.

Source: PIB

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