Thursday, December 19, 2019

Amar Sheed Zenab Ashfaq Ullah Khan


                                                       
                                                          
                                         


                                 Tributes To       
         Amar Sheed Zenab Ashfaq Ullah Khan
             (on his 92nd  Shaheedi Diwas falling  to-day the  19th  December 2019)
Khamoosh Hazrat Khamoosh Hasmat  (pen name of A-U Khan)
Agar Hai Jajba Wattan Ka Dil Main ,
 Saza Ko Pohnchain Ge Apni  Beshak
Zo aaj Hamko Mitta Rhe Hain,
 Bujdiloon Hi Ko Sada Moyt Se Darte Dekha
Goo  Ke Soo Bar Unhain Roz  Hi  Marte Dekha,
 Wattan Hamara Rahe Saj Kam Aur Azad
 Hamara Kaya Hai Agar Hum Rahe Na Rahe Na Rahe ,
 Kass Lee Hai Kamar Ab To Kush Kar Ke Dekhain Ge
  Azad Hee Hoo Leinge Ya Sar hee Kata Deinge.
This is the Urdu poem composed by Ashfaq Ullal Khan, who earned the supreme distinction of being the first Muslim youth to be hanged for the cause of the freedom of Mother India. Ashfaq Ullal Khan imbibed the spirit of Patriotism, Unity, Communal Harmony & supreme sacrifice for the country. He falls in the of great revolutionaries & martyrs like  Amar Sheed Bhagat singh, sukhdev,Rajguru , Jatinder Nath Dass,   Veerangini Jalkari Bhai, Virsa Munda,Mangle Panday,Dulia Dhobi,Mangal Mochi, Kammon kesri Khushi Ram ,Jatra Bhagat , Udham singh ,  Abdul Gafar Khan,  Guru Ram Singh Kuka, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Arun Asaf Alim Chander Sekhar Azad ,Neta ji subash chander bose,  Veeragini Mahaveeri Devi & lakhs other  unknown heroes of Indian Independence Movement.
                     A very handsome revolutionary son of Mother India, Ashfaq Ulla Khan, was born on October 22nd , 1900 at Shahjahanpur (U.P) in a  respectable &  well known Muslim family. He was son of revered  zenab Shafiq Ullah Khan and  Begam Mazhoor-Un-Nisa.His father was teacher by profession . Ashfaq Ulla Khan was the youngest of  six children of his father.  His elder brother‘s was  Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan who was advocate by profession. His birth was celebrated with a great pump & show. He was a student of the Mission High school at Shahjahanpur, one class junior to another great revolutionary Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil., a staunch Arya Samaji Hindu. From his childhood  Ashfaq Ullal Khan started taking interest  in  the Freedom Movement & the activities of the freedom fighters moved his tender mind. Both he and   Ram Prasad Bismil made unparallel sacrifices for the Indian Freedom Movement from the British yoke.
                         Ashfaq Ulla Khan left school during Khilafat Movement in 1920 to devote himself fully to educate his countrymen for the Freedom Movement. Many of his near friends advised him not to jump into freedom movement, which was full of difficulties & sufferings including jailed life & even death sentence. But Ashfaq Ullal Khan was made of different stuff, who had decided to sacrifice for the freedom of his Motherland.
                           To raise money for purchasing weapons for the revolutionaries it was decided (although Ashfaq Ullal Khan differed initially, but agreed with the majority decision) to loot a train carrying Govt. Treasury The train was successfully looted on August 8, 1925 between Alamnagar & Kakoi stations. The robbery plan was executed by Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan, Rajendra LahiriChandrashekhar AzadSachindra BakshiKeshab ChakravartyManmathnath GuptaMurari Lal Gupta (fake name of Murari Lal Khanna), Mukundi Lal (Mukundi Lal Gupta) and Banwari Lal. One passenger Ahmed Ali  was killed unintentionally.  Among the train robbers were Sachinder Nath Bakshi; Rajinder Nath Lahiri; Pandit Ram Parshad Bismil & Ashfaq ullah Khan. The train robbery sent shock waves to the British administration & praises for the revolutionaries. Two close confidents of Pt. R P Bismil leaked the information & got arrested some revolutionaries, but Ashfaq ullah Khan escaped  to Daltonganj in Bihar, where he succeeded in getting employment in  a school  posing as a Hindu of Mathura. Now he wanted to go abroad to study engineering which would further help him in the freedom struggle. He went to Delhi for this purpose. But alas again a close confident Pathan friend of Ashfaq ullah Khan betrayed & got Ashfaq ullah Khan arrested. Ashfaq ullah Khan was brought to Lahore, tried along with Sachinder Nath Bakshi in Kakori railway station case & sentenced to death. His advocate  brother Zenab Riyasat Ullah Khan was his defense councillor.

Final verdict

Following the arrest of Ashfaqullah Khan, the police coerced him to gain supplementary evidence against his accomplices but he refused. Another supplementary case was filed against Ashfaqulla Khan and Sachindra Bakshi in the court of Special Sessions Judge J. R. W. Bennett. An appeal was filed in the then Chief Court of Oudh (now in Uttar Pradesh) on 18 July 1927.

The punishments given were as follows:
·          Death sentence: Ram Prasad Bismil, Thakur Roshan Singh, Rajendra Nath Lahiri and Ashfaqullah Khan
·          Deportation to Kālā Pānī (Port Blair cellular jail) : Shachindra Nath Sanyal and Sachindra Bakshi
·          14 years' imprisonment: Manmath Nath Gupta
·          10 years' imprisonment: Yogesh Chandra Chatterjee, Mukundi Lal, Govid Charan Kar, Raj Kumar Singh and Ram Krishna Khatri
·          7 years' imprisonment: Vishnu Charan Dublish, Suresh Charan Bhattacharya
·          5 years' imprisonment: Bhupen Nath Sanyal, Prem Krishna Sharma
·          4 years' imprisonment: Keshab Chakravarthy
 In an Urdu poem written from his prison cell by Ashfaq ullah Khan with  Ram Prasad Bismil on the night of 18 December, 1928 (They were executed on 19th December 1927), he expressed his wish that despite the fact as a Muslim he did not believed in rebirth after death, but if he meets “Khudda” ( God Almighty) after death, he shall  make an express request to Him to grant him another births  in lieu of  “Jannat” so that he could  come again and again to liberate his mother land. In this hand written Urdu poem opening lines he said he will go empty hands with the pains that he did not know when his country shall be liberated. A day before his death he told, to his friends who came to see him in the cell, jokily that he was getting married next day.
                         Ashfaq ullah Khan’s love for his motherland and his commitment for its freedom from the foreign yoke can be made out from the  letter written by him from his Jail cell to his nephews.
 Translation of the Urdu letter written by Asfaq Ullah Khan  to his nephews  from the Jail.
   “I have been accused of loving my country and for that crime ,I have been given  the death sentence. The only wish I have from you both is that after my death you must read the proceedings of my case, then you will come to know to what extent I loved my motherland as a true Muslim”.
          On  Monday the19th December, 1927, the day of his execution Ashfaq ullah Khan got up early in the morning, took bath offered Namaz & read verses from the Holy Quran. At 6 in the morning he was taken to the altar platform for execution. He was walking carrying a Quran in a bag hanging from his shoulder & was reciting its verses. After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers. He said “I have never stained my hands with the blood of any man. I will get justice before God. All the charges leveled against me are wrong.” After kissing the noose he put it around his neck as if it was a garland of flowers and was hanged Faizabad Jail British India. His body was taken by his relatives to Shahjahanpur to perform his last rights
                        Amar Shaheed Ashfaq ullah Khan was a true freedom fighter & a great secular. He saved an Arya Samaji  temple from being burnt by rioters. He said “All places of worship, irrespective of the religion, they belong to, are dear to life more than his life.” In his last prayer he prayed to God to bless Hindus & Muslims with better sense so that they don’t fight among themselves and work untidily for the Freedom Movement of the country .                                                         Er HEM RAJ PHONSA.
Dated 17-12-2019                     Ex Executive Engineer Jammu(J&K,India )
                                                     Contact +919419134060 
Referance; -  Ashfaq ullah Khan, A Great Revolutionary & Freedom Fighter, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting GOI.
ii) Maps of India.com
ii) Kokri Conspiracy --------wikipedia



















                                                              






































Er. H.RPhonsa                                          E-mail:zenithrs@yahoo.com          

BE.(Civil) MIE, LMIRC                                                   OFF/RES:(-0191-2432712,Mobile-9419193136                                                                Ex. EXECUTIVE ENGINEER                                             #63/5 NANAK NAGAR, JAMMU TAWI 180004.                                                                                    

Recipient of                                                                                                                                                                             
(i) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Distinguished Service Award 2003.
                                   (ii) Dr. B.R. Ambedkar State Award ( J&K State) 1994. 

               Shaheed Udham Singh (1899-1940)

Shaheed Udham Singh jiUdham Singh, a revolutionary nationalist, was born Sher Singh on 26 December 1899, at Sunam, in the then princely state of Patiala. His father, Tahal Singh, was at that time working as a watchman on a railway crossing in the neighbouring village of Upall. Sher Singh lost his parents before he was seven years and was admitted along with his brother Mukta Singh to the Central Khalsa Orphanage at Amritsar on 24 October 1907. As both brothers were administered the Sikh initiatory rites at the Orphanage, they received new names, Sher Singh becoming Udham Singh and Mukta Singh Sadhu Singh. In 1917, Udham Singh's brother also died, leaving him alone in the world.
Bazaar outside Golden TempleUdham Singh left the Orphanage after passing the matriculation examination in 1918. He was present in the Jallianvala Bag on the fateful Baisakhi day, 13 April 1919, when a peaceful assembly of people was fired upon by General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, killing over one thousand people. The event which Udham Singh used to recall with anger and sorrow, turned him to the path of revolution. Soon after, he left India and went to the United States of America. He felt thrilled to learn about the militant activities of the Babar Akalis in the early 1920's, and returned home. He had secretly brought with him some revolvers and was arrested by the police in Amritsar, and sentenced to four years imprisonment under the Arms Act. On release in 1931, he returned to his native Sunam, but harassed by the local police, he once again returned to Amritsar and opened a shop as a signboard painter, assuming the name of Ram Muhammad Singh Azad. This name, which he was to use later in England, was adopted to emphasize the unity of all the religious communities in India in their struggle for political freedom.
Udham Singh was deeply influenced by the activities of Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary group. In 1935, when he was on a visit to Kashmlr, he was found carrying Bhagat Singh's portrait. He invariably referred to him as his guru. He loved to sing political songs, and was very fond of Ram Prasad Bismal, who was the leading poet of the revolutionaries. After staying for some months in Kashmlr, Udham Singh left India. He wandered about the continent for some time, and reached England by the mid-thirties. He was on the lookout for an opportunity to avenge the Jalliavala Bagh tragedy. The long-waited moment at last came on 13 March 1940. On that day, at 4.30 p.m. in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held in conjunction with the Royal Central Asian Society, Udham Singh fired five to six shots from his pistol at Sir Michael O'Dwyer, who was governor of the Punjab when the Amritsar massacre had taken place. O'Dwyer was hit twice and fell to the ground dead and Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, who was presiding over the meeting was injured. Udham Singh was overpowered with a smoking revolver. He in fact made no attempt to escape and continued saying that he had done his duty by his country.
On 1 April 1940, Udham Singh was formally charged with the murder of Sir Michael O'Dwyer. On 4 June 1940, he was committed to trial, at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, before Justice Atkinson, who sentenced him to death. An appeal was filed on his behalf which was dismissed on 15 July 1940. On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged in Pentonville Prison in London.
Udham Singh was essentially a man of action and save his statement before the judge at his trial, there was no writing from his pen available to historians. Recently, letters written by him to Shiv Singh Jauhal during his days in prison after the shooting of Sir Michael O'Dwyer have been discovered and published. These letters show him as a man of great courage, with a sense of humour. He called himself a guest of His Majesty King George, and he looked upon death as a bride he was going to wed. By remaining cheerful to the last and going joyfully to the gallows, he followed the example of Bhagat Singh who had been his beau ideal. During the trial, Udham Singh had made a request that his ashes be sent back to his country, but this was not allowed. In 1975, however, the Government of India, at the instance of the Punjab Government, finally succeeded in bringing his ashes home. Lakhs of people gathered on the occasion to pay homage to his memory.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1.               Copyright © Harbans Singh "The encyclopedia of Sikhism. "
2.               The word "militant" on this document was replaced on the request of Mr. Bhupinder Singh (bhupinder787@yahoo.com).
   
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Shaheed Udham Singh
Udham Singh was a militant nationalist, was born Sher Singh on 26 December 1899, at Sunam, in the then princely state of Patiala. His father, Tahal Singh, was at that time working as a watchman on a railway crossing in the neighbouring village of Upall. Sher Singh lost his parents before he was seven years and was admitted along with his brother Mukta Singh to the Central Khalsa Orphanage at Amritsar on 24 October 1907. As both brothers were administered the Sikh initiatory rites at the Orphanage, they received new names, Sher Singh becoming Udham Singh and Mukta Singh Sadhu Singh. In 1917, Udham Singh's brother also died, leaving him alone in the world.
Udham Singh left the Orphanage after passing the matriculation examination in 1918. He was present in the Jallianvala Bag on the fateful Baisakhi day, 13 April 1919, when a peaceful assembly of people was fired upon by General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer, killing over one thousand people. The event which Udham Singh used to recall with anger and sorrow, turned him to the path of revolution. Soon after, he left India and went to the United States of America. He felt thrilled to learn about the militant activities of the Babar Akalis in the early 1920's, and returned home. He had secretly brought with him some revolvers and was arrested by the police in Amritsar, and sentenced to four years imprisonment under the Arms Act. On release in 1931, he returned to his native Sunam, but harassed by the local police, he once again returned to Amritsar and opened a shop as a signboard painter, assuming the name of Ram Muhammad Singh Azad. This name, which he was to use later in England, was adopted to emphasize the unity of all the religious communities in India in their struggle for political freedom.
Udham Singh was deeply influenced by the activities of Bhagat Singh and his revolutionary group. In 1935, when he was on a visit to Kashmlr, he was found carrying Bhagat Singh's portrait. He invariably referred to him as his guru. He loved to sing political songs, and was very fond of Ram Prasad Bismal, who was the leading poet of the revolutionaries. After staying for some months in Kashmlr, Udham Singh left India. He wandered about the continent for some time, and reached England by the mid-thirties. He was on the lookout for an opportunity to avenge the Jalliavala Bagh tragedy. The long-waited moment at last came on 13 March 1940. On that day, at 4.30 p.m. in the Caxton Hall, London, where a meeting of the East India Association was being held in conjunction with the Royal Central Asian Society, Udham Singh fired five to six shots from his pistol at Sir Michael O'Dwyer, who was governor of the Punjab when the Amritsar massacre had taken place. O'Dwyer wa hit twice and fell to the ground dead and Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, who was presiding over the meeting was injured. Udham Singh was overpowered with a smoking revolver. He in fact made no attempt to escape and continued saying that he had done his duty by his country.
On 1 April 1940, Udham Singh was formally charged with the murder of Sir Michael O'Dwyer. On 4 June 1940, he was committed to trial, at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, before Justice Atkinson, who sentenced him to death. An appeal was filed on his behalf which was dismissed on 15 July 1940. On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged in Pentonville Prison in London.
Udham Singh was essentially a man of action and save his statement before the judge at his trial, there was no writing from his pen available to historians. Recently, letters written by him to Shiv Singh Jauhal during his days in prison after the shooting of Sir Michael O'Dwyer have been discovered and published. These letters show him as a man of great courage, with a sense of humour. He called himself a guest of His Majesty King George, and he looked upon death as a bride he was going to wed. By remaining cheerful to the last and going joyfully to the gallows, he followed the example of Bhagat Singh who had been his beau ideal. During the trial, Udham Singh had made a request that his ashes be sent back to his country, but this was not allowed. In 1975, however, the Government of India, at the instance of the Punjab Government, finally succeeded in bringing his ashes home. Lakhs of people gathered on the occasion to pay homage to his memory.
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Udham Singh

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Udham Singh
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Udham Singh (Gurmukhi:ਉਧਮ ਸਿੰਘ}} Devanagari:उधम सिंह् udham sigh; December 26, 1899July 31, 1940), born Sher Singh was an Indian independence activist, best known for assassinating Michael O'Dwyer in March 1940 in what has been described as an avengement of the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre.[1]
Singh was also known as Ram Mohammed Singh Azad, symbolizing the unification of the three major religions of India: Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. Singh is considered one of the best-known of the more extremist revolutionaries of the Indian freedom struggle; he is also sometimes referred to as Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh (the expression "Shaheed-i-Azam," Urdu: شهید اعظم, means "the great martyr"). Bhagat Singh and Udham Singh along with Chandrasekhar Azad, Rajguru and Sukhdev, were the more famous names out of scores of young firebrand freedom fighters in the early part of 20th century India. These young men believed their motherland would win her freedom only through the forceful removal of the English rulers. For their strong belief in the use of violent means to achieve India's freedom, a nervous England labeled these men as "India's earliest Marxists/Bolsheviks".[2]
In 1940, almost 21 years after the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 in Punjab province of India, Singh shot dead Michael O'Dwyer at Caxton Hall in London. O'Dwyer had been Governor of the Punjab in 1919, when General Reginald Edward Harry Dyer ordered British troops to fire on unarmed Indian protesters, mostly Sikhs.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] Early life

Sher Singh was born in Sunam (now Sunam Udham Singh Wala) in the Sangrur district of Punjab to a farming family headed by Sardar Tehal Singh (known as Chuhar Singh before taking the Amrit). Udham Singh belonged to Jammu clan of Kamboj lineage.[3] Sardar Tehal Singh was at that time working as a watchman on a railway crossing in the neighbouring village of Upall. Sher Singh's mother died in 1901. His father followed in 1907.
With the help of Bhai Kishan Singh Ragi, both Sher Singh and his elder brother, Mukta Singh, were taken in by the Central Khalsa Orphanage Putlighar in Amritsar on October 24, 1907. They were administered the Sikh initiatory rites at the orphanage and received new names: Sher Singh became Udham Singh, and Mukta Singh became Sadhu Singh. Sadhu Singh died in 1917, which came as a great shock to his brother. While at orphanage, Udham Singh was trained in various arts and crafts. He passed his matriculation examination in 1918 and left the orphanage in 1919.

[edit] Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh

On April 13, 1919, over twenty thousand unarmed Indians, mainly Sikhs, peacefully assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, to listen to several prominent local leaders speak out against British colonial rule in India and against the arrest and deportation of Dr. Satya Pal, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, and few others under the unpopular Rowlatt Act. Udham Singh and his mates from the orphanage were serving water to the crowd on a warm summer afternoon.
Not much later, a band of 90 soldiers armed with rifles and Khukhris (short swords) marched to the park accompanied by two armoured cars with mounted machine guns. The vehicles were unable to enter the Bagh owing to the narrow entrance.[4] Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer was in command. The troops had entered the Bagh by about 5:15 PM. With no warning to the crowd to disperse, Dyer ordered his troops to open fire, concentrating especially on the areas where the crowd was thickest. The attack lasted ten minutes. Since there was only one exit not barred by soldiers, people tried to climb the walls of the park. Some also jumped into a well inside the compound to escape the bullets. A plaque in the monument says that 120 bodies were plucked out of the well alone.[5]

By the time the smoke cleared, hundreds of people had been killed and thousands injured. Official estimates put the figures at 379 killed (337 men, 41 boys and a six week old baby) and 200 injured, but other reports estimated the deaths well over 1,000[6] and possibly 1,300. According to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lala Girdhari Lal, the deaths were more than 1,000. Swami Shardanand places the figure at more than 1,500.[7] Dr Smith, Civil Surgeon of Amritsar, gives an even larger number: 1,800 dead.[8] The casualty figures were never fully ascertained for political reasons. The wounded could not be moved from where they had fallen, as a curfew had been declared. Debate about the actual figures continues to this day. Official figures say that 1,650 rounds of ammunition had been used.[9]

Udham Singh mainly held Michael O'Dwyer responsible for what came to be known as the Amritsar Massacre. New research supporting this fact reveal the massacre to have occurred with the Governor's full connivance "to teach the Indians a lesson, to make a wide impression and to strike terror through-out Punjab".[10] The incident had greatly shaken young Udham Singh and proved a turning point in his life. After bathing in the holy sarovar (pool of nectar), Udham Singh took a silent vow and solemn pledge in front of the Golden Temple to wreak a vengeance on the perpetrators of the crime and to restore honour to what he saw as a humiliated nation..[11]

[edit] Revolutionary and freedom fighter

Singh plunged into active politics and became a dedicated revolutionary.[12] He left the orphanage and moved from one country to another to achieve his secret objective, aiming ultimately to reach his prey in London. At various stages in his life, Singh went by the following names: Sher Singh, Udham Singh, Udhan Singh, Ude Singh, Uday Singh, Frank Brazil, and Ram Mohammed Singh Azad. He reached Africa in 1920, moving to Nairobi in 1921. Singh tried for the United States but was unsuccessful. He returned to India in 1924, reaching the U.S. that same year. There Singh became actively involved with freedom fighters of the Ghadar Party, an Indian group known for its revolutionary politics and its legendary member, Lala Hardyal. Singh spent three years in revolutionary activities in the U.S. and organised Overseas Indians for the freedom struggle. He returned to India in July 1927 on orders from Bhagat Singh..[13] He was accompanied by 25 associates from the U.S. and brought a consignment of revolvers and ammunition.[14]
On 30 August 1927 Udham Singh was arrested at Amritsar for possession of unlicensed arms. Some revolvers, a quantity of ammunition, and copies of a prohibited Ghadar Party paper called "Ghadr-i-Gunj" ("Voice of Revolt") were confiscated. He was prosecuted under section 20 of the Arms Act.[15] In the court, Udham Singh stated that he fully intended to send British Imperialists in India to their violent deaths, and that he fully sympathised with the Bolsheviks whose objective was to liberate India from foreign oppression. Singh was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment. He stayed in jail for four years, missing the peak of India's revolutionary period and the actions of men like Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad. Bhagat Singh was executed at the gallows with his fellow revolutionaries Raj Guru and Sukhdev on March 23, 1931 for the murder of Mr. Saunders, while Udham Singh was still in jail.
Udham Singh was released from jail on 23 October 1931. He returned to his native Sunam, but constant harassment from the local police on account of his revolutionary activities led him back to Amritsar. There he opened a shop as a signboard painter, assuming the name of Mohammed Singh Azad.
For three years, Udham Singh continued his revolutionary activities in Punjab and also worked on a plan to reach London to finish O'Dwyer. His movements were under constant surveillance by the Punjab police. He visited his native village in 1933, then proceeded to Kashmir on a clandestine revolutionary mission, where he was able to dupe the police and escaped to Germany. Singh ultimately reached London in 1934 and took up residence at 9 Adler Street, Commercial Road. According to the secret reports of British Police, Singh was on the move in India till early 1934, then he reached Italy and stayed there for 3-4 months. From Italy he proceeded to France, Switzerland and Austria and finally reached England in 1934 where he purchased and used his own car for travelling purposes.[16] His real objective however, always remained Michael O'Dwyer. Singh also purchased a six-chamber revolver and a load of ammunition.[17] Despite numerous opportunities to strike, Singh awaited a right time when he could make more impact with the killing and internationalize the event.[18]

[edit] Shooting in Caxton Hall

At last, the opportunity came on 13 March 1940, almost 21 years after the Jallianwala Bagh killings: A joint meeting of the East India Association and the Royal Central Asian Society was scheduled at Caxton Hall, and among the speakers was Michael O'Dwyer. Singh concealed his revolver in a book specially cut for the purpose and managed to enter Caxton Hall. He took up his position against the wall. At the end of the meeting, the gathering stood up, and O'Dwyer moved towards the platform to talk to Lord Zetland. Singh pulled his revolver and fired. O'Dwyer was hit twice and died immediately. Then Singh fired at Lord Zetland, the Secretary of State for India, injuring him but not seriously. Incidentally, Sir Luis Dane was hit by one shot, which broke his radius bone and dropped him to the ground with serious injuries. A bullet also hit Lord Lamington, whose right hand was shattered.[19] Udham Singh did not intend to escape. He was arrested on the spot.

[edit] Reaction to Caxton Hall Shooting

Smiling Udham leaving the Caxton Hall after his arrest
Back in India, there was a strong reaction to this assassination. While the Congress-controlled English speaking press of India condemned Singh's action in general terms, independents like Amrit Bazar Patrika and New Statesman took different views. In its March 18, 1940 issue, Amrit Bazar Patrika wrote, "O'Dwyer's name is connected with Punjab incidents which India will never forget". New Statesman observed: "British conservatism has nor discovered how to deal with Ireland after two centuries of rule. Similar comment may be made on British rule in India. Will the historians of the future have to record that it was not the Nazis but the British ruling class which destroyed the British Empire".
The most telling reaction came from the common man on the street who hailed Udham Singh as a hero and patriot. Indians all over regarded Singh's action as justified and an important step in India's struggle to end British colonial rule in India.[20] At a public meeting in Kanpur, a speaker stated that "at last an insult and humiliation of the nation had been avenged". In 1940, Britain was in the midst of fighting for its survival in Europe and depended heavily on supplies from India to support the war effort. Nervous about any threat to their wartime supply lifelines from the heartlands of India, the British Government in India would receive fortnightly reports on the political situation sent from local administrators all over India. In several such reports, local administrators would quote local leaders (who were usually sympathetic to British rule) as saying "It is true that we had no love lost for Michael O'Dwyer. The indignities he heaped upon our countrymen in Punjab have not been forgotten". Similar sentiments were expressed at numerous other places country-wide.[21]
This groundswell of anti-British feeling, say many historians, served as the launch pad for Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India movement launched two years later in 1942, that triggered the end of British rule in India just five years later in 1947, culminating in Indian independence on Aug/15/1947.
Ironically, in a statement to the Press, Mahatama Gandhi had condemned the Caxton Hall shooting saying that "the outrage has caused me deep pain. I regard it as an act of insanity...I hope this will not be allowed to affect political judgement".[22] A week later, Harijan, his newspaper further wrote: "We had our differences with Michael O'Dwyer but that should not prevent us from being grieved over his assassination. We have our grievances against Lord Zetland. We must fight his reactionary policies, but there should be no malice or vindictiveness in our resistance. The accused is intoxicated with thought of bravery".[23]
Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru wrote in his National Herald: "Assassination is regretted but it is earnestly hoped that it will not have far-reaching repercussions on political future of India. We have not been unaware of the trend of the feeling particularly among the younger section of Indians. Situation in India demands immediate handling to avoid further deterioration and we would warn the Government that even Gandhi's refusal to start civil disobedience instead of being God-send may lead to adoption of desperate measures by the youth of the country".[24]
The Punjab section of Congress Party in the Punjab Assembly led by Dewan Chaman Lal had refused to vote for the Premier's motion framed to express abhorrence and condemnation of Caxton Hall outrage as well as to express sympathy with Lady O'Dwyer[25]
In the Annual Session of All India Congress Committee (April 1940) held at Ramgarh where a National Week (6th to 13th April) in commemoration of 21st anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre was being observed, the youth wing of the Indian National Congress Party started raising revolutionary slogans "Udham Singh Zindabad", "Long Live Udham Singh" and "Inquilab Zindabad" in support of Udham Singh approving and applauding his action as patriotic and heroic.[26]
Indian Government's own secret reports abundantly reveal that the murder of O'Dwyer had proved a catalyst to ignite and excite great satisfaction among the people of India.[27]
Most of the press worldwide remembered the story of Jallianwala Bagh and held Michael O'Dwyer fully responsible for the events. Singh was called "fighter for freedom" by The Times, London, and his action was said to be "an expression of the pent-up fury of the down-trodden Indian People".[28] Bergeret, published in large-scale from Rome at that time, ascribed the greatest significance to the circumstance and praised Udham Singh's action as courageous.[29] Berliner Borsen Zeitung called the event "The torch of the Indian freedom", and German radio repeatedly broadcast: "The cry of tormented people spoke with shots". and "Like the elephants, the Indians never forgive their enemies. They strike them down even after 20 years".

[edit] Trial and execution

While in Police custody, Singh remarked: "Is Zetland dead? He ought to be. I put two into him right there" indicating with his hand the pit of his stomach in left side. Singh remained quiet for several minutes and then again said: "Only one dead eh'. I thought I could get more. I must have been too slow. There were a lot of women about, you know".[30]
On 1 April 1940, Udham Singh was formally charged with the murder of Michael O'Dwyer. On 4 June 1940, he was committed to trial, at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, before Justice Atkinson. When the court asked about his name, he replied "Ram Mohammad Singh Azad", which Singh believed would demonstrate his transcendence of race, caste, creed, and religion.[31] Singh explained his actions to the court at his trial:
I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it.[32]
Atkinson sentenced him to death. On 31 July 1940, Udham Singh was hanged at Pentonville Prison. As with other executed prisoners, he was buried later that afternoon within the prison grounds. In March 1940, Indian National Congress leaders, including Jawahar Lal Nehru and Mahatama Gandhi, condemned the action of Udham as senseless, but in 1962, Nehru did an about-turn and applauded Singh with the following statement in the daily Partap: "I salute Shaheed-i-Azam Udham Singh with reverence who had kissed the noose so that we may be free.".[33]
Hindustan Socialist Republican Army condemned Mahatama Gandhi's statement referring to Bhagat Singh as well as also to the capital punishment of Udham Singh, which it considered to be a challenge to the Indian Youths.[34]

[edit] Repatriation

In July 1974, Udham Singh's remains were exhumed and repatriated to India at the request of S. Sadhu Singh Thind an MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi at that time. He asked Indira Gandhi to force the then British Government to hand over Udham Singh's remains to India. Sadhu Singh Thind himself went to England as a special envoy of Indian Government and brought back the remains of the Shaheed. He was given a martyr's reception. Among those who received his casket at Delhi airport were Shankar Dayal Sharma, then president of the Congress Party, and Zail Singh, then chief minister of Punjab, both of whom later went on to become Presidents of India. Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, also laid a wreath. He was later cremated in his birthplace of Sunam in Punjab and his ashes were immersed in the Ganga river.

[edit] Films

Shaheed Udham Singh (1977) Directed by: Brij Mohan Cast: Language: Punjabi
Jallian Wala Bagh (1977) Directed by: Balraj Tah Cast: Balraj Sahni - Udham Singh Language: Hindi
Shaheed Udham Singh (2000) Direction: Iqbal Dhillon Cast: Raj Babbar - Udham Singh, Gurdas Mann - Bhagat Singh Language: Punjabi/Hindi

[edit] External links

[edit] Books and Journals

  • Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, prof (Dr) Sikander Singh (A research book).
  • Emergence of the Image: Redact Documents of Udham Singh/edited by Navtej Singh and Avtar Singh Jouhl, New Delhi, National Book Organisation, 2002.
  • Challenge to Imperial Hegemony: The life of A Great Indian Patriot Udham Singh, Navtej Singh.
  • Sardar Udham Singh, Hoshiarpore, 1969, B. S. Maigowalia.
  • India's Freedom Fighters Udham Singh, Nasik, 1983, K. K. Khullar.
  • How Udham Singh Avenged the Jallianwala, Bagh Massacre, MD University, Research Journal, Arts, Vol 2, No 2, October, 1987.
  • Jallian Wala Bagh Massacre and its Impact on Udham Singh, Proceedings of Punjab History Conference, 21st session, March 27-29, 1987, Punjab University Patiala.
  • Sade Shaheed, Giani Bhajan Singh, (Punjabi), Jullundhur.
  • Shaheed Udham Singh Sunam te Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, 1979.
  • Bhartia Da Gaurav , Sardar Udham Singh, 1975, J. N. Sandhey.
  • Jallianwala Bagh Massacre--A pre-Meditated Plan, Punjab University, chandigarh, 1969, Raja Ram.
  • Jeevani Shaheed Udjham Singh, (Punjabi), Patiala, 1988.
  • Eminent Freedom Fighters of Punjab, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1972, Dr Fauja Singh.
  • Babbar Akali Movement, Dr Gurcharana Singh.
  • Sunam Da Surma, Sardar Udham Singh, Jullundur, 1982, Dr Gurcharana Singh.
  • Shaheed Udham Singh, National Press of India, Delhi, 1973, Kesar Singh.
  • Inqulabhi Yodha Udham Singh, Khalsa Sikh Orphanage, Amritsar, 1974.
  • Shaheed Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1974, K. C. Vashishat.
  • Jallainwala Bagh and the Raj, Jallian Wala Bagh, Commemoration Vol, Patiala.
  • Udham Singh, The Patriot who Avenged the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, M. S. Gill, I.A.S, The Illustrated Weekly of India, Jan 30, 1972.
  • Amritsar: The Massacre that Ended the Raj, London, 1981, Alfred Draper.
  • Several Secret Files Released by Public Record Office, London.
  • Several Classified and closed files released by National Archives of India, New Delhi.
  • Several Unpublished and Original Sources (Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 377-391, Prof Sikander Singh).

[edit] References

1.               ^ Swami P. The Queen's Visit. Jallianwala Bagh revisited. A look at the actual history of one of the most shocking events of the independence struggle.. Frontline. Vol. 14 :: No. 22 :: Nov. 1 - 14, 1997.
2.               ^ Metropolitan Police Report, file MEPO 3/1743, dated 16 March 1940
3.               ^ Government of India, Political Department, 1940, File No 41-G (Secret), Udham Singh, Caxton Hall Outrage; Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 80, Prof Sikander Singh; Statement of Sher Singh alias Ude Singh alias Frank Brazil, son of Tehal Singh, caste Kamboj of Sunam, Patiala State, 1927, National Archives of India, New Delhi, p 1
4.               ^ Pre-meditated Plan of Jallianwala Massacre and Oath of Revenge, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 139, Prof Sikander Singh
5.               ^ A Plaque put up at the site of Jallianwala Bagh by Jallian Wala Bagh Trust bears these figures. These figures are based on the private sources. The private sources further state the numbers of dead to be over 1000 and wounded more than 1200 as against official figures of 367 dead (Home Political Deposit, September, 1920, No 23, National Archives of India, New Delhi; Report of Commissioners, Vol I, New Delhi). According to Civil Surgeon Dr Smith, the casuilities were over 1800 (Report of Commissioners, Vol I, New Delhi, p 105). The actual Casualty figures were never fully ascertained and disclosed for obvious political reasons.
6.               ^ Home Political, Sept 1920, No 23, National archive of India, New Delhi
7.               ^ Pre-meditated Plan of Jallianwala Massacre and Oath of Revenge, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 144-45, Prof Sikander Singh
8.               ^ Report of Commissioners, appointed by the Punjab Sub-committee of Indian National Congress, Vol I, New Delhi, p 68
9.               ^ Disorder Inquiry Committee Report, Vol II, p 191
10.         ^ A Pre-Meditated Plan of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and Oath of Revenge, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, pp 133, 144, 294, Prof Sikander Singh; Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, A Premeditated Plan, Punjab University Chandigarh, 1969, p 24, Raja Ram
11.         ^ Pre-meditated Plan of Jallianwala Massacre and Oath of Revenge, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 162, Prof Sikander Singh.
12.         ^ Pre-meditated Plan of Jallianwala Massacre and Oath of Revenge, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 163, Prof Sikander Singh
13.         ^ Eminent Freedom Fighters of Punjab, 1972, p 239-40, Dr Fauja Singh
14.         ^ Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1998, prof (Dr) Sikander Singh; Shaheed Udham Singh aka Muhammad Singh Azad, in Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 332-333, S Kirpal Singh
15.         ^ Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 106, by prof Sikander Singh
16.         ^ Challenge to Imperial Hegemony, The life of a Great Indian Patriot Udham Singh, p 88, Singh, Navtej.
17.         ^ Eminent Freedom Fighters of Punjab, Punjabi University Patiala, 1972, p 240, Dr Fauja Singh
18.         ^ Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singfh Azad, 1998, prof (Dr) Sikasnder Singh.
19.         ^ Murder of Michael O’Dwyer, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 180-181, Prof Sikander Singh
20.         ^ From Orphan to Martyr, Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, pp 292-306, Prof Sikander Singh; cf: Jallainwala Bagh and the Raj, Jallianwala Bagh Commemoration Volume 1997, Patiala, p 179, Shiv Kumar Gupta
21.         ^ Government of India, Home Department, Political File No 18/3/1940, National Archieves of India, New Delhi, p40
22.         ^ Harijan, March 15, 1940
23.         ^ Harijan, March 23, 1940
24.         ^ National Herald, March 15, 1940.
25.         ^ The Statesman, New Delhi, March 16, 1940; Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1998, p 213
26.         ^ Bhagat Singh and his Times, Delhi, 1970, p 18, Manmath Nath Gupta; Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1998, p 215, prof (Dr) Sikander Singh.
27.         ^ Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1998, p 216, Prof (Dr) Sikander Singh
28.         ^ The Times, London, March 16, 1940
29.         ^ Public and Judicial Department, File No L/P + J/7/3822, Caxton Hall outrage, India Office Library and Records, London, pp 13-14
30.         ^ Public and Judicial, (S) Department, File No 466/1936. Udham Singh Assassin of Michael O'Dwyer, Public Records Office, London, p 129.
31.         ^ Eminent Freedom fighters of Punjab, p 240, Dr Fauja Singh
32.         ^ CRIM 1/1177, Public Record Office, London, p 64
33.         ^ Quoted in: Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 2002, p 300, prof (Dr) Sikander Singh
34.         ^ Government of India, Home Department, Political (I) Secret File No 251/40, 1940, National Archives of India, New Delhi, p 1; Udham Singh alias Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, 1998, p 216, Prof (Dr) Sikander Singh
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