The poetic martyr who gave away his life for freedom!!!
Posted October 21st, 2014
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In Urdu he had written:

"kiye the kaam hamane bhii, jo kuchh bhii humse ban paaye; ye baatein tab ki hain aazaad the aur tha shabaab apanaa. magar ab to jo kuchh bhii hai ummidein bas vo tum se hain, javaan tum ho labe-baam aa chukaa hai aafataab apnaa."

Ashfaqulla Khan (22 October 1900 – 19 December 1927) was a freedom fighter in the Indian independence movement who had given away his life along with Ram Prasad Bismil. Bismil and Ashfaq, both were good friends and Urdu poets (Shayar). Bismil was the pen name or Takhallus of Ram Prasad whereas Ashfaq used to write poetry with the pen name of 'Hasrat'. And sing a song vande matram before hanging , both were hanged on the same day, date and time but in different jails.

Born on 22 October 1900 in Shahjahanpur, a historical city of Uttar Pradesh; His father, Shafiq Ullah Khan belonged to a Pathan family who was famous for military background. His mother Mazhoor-Un-Nisa Begum was an extremely pious lady. His elder brother Riyasat Ullah Khan was a class mate of Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil. When Bismil was declared absconder after the Mainpuri Conspiracy, Riyasat used to tell his younger brother Ashafaq about the bravery and shayari Urdu poetry of Bismil. Since then Ashfaq was very keen to meet Bismil, because of his poetic attitude. 

In 1922, when Non-cooperation movement started and Bismil organised meetings in Shahjahanpur to tell the public about the movement, Ashfaq ullah met him in a public meeting and introduced himself as a younger brother of his class mate. He also told Bismil that he wrote poems under the pen-names of 'Warsi' and 'Hasrat'. Bismil listened to some of his couplets in a private get- together at Shahjahanpur and since then they became good friends. Ashfaq often wrote something and showed it to Bismil who immediately corrected or improved the same. Thus a very good poetic alignment between Ashfaq and Bismil developed and it was so familiar that whosoever listened to them in any of the poetic conferences called Mushaira in Urdu language was overwhelmed with surprise.

When Mahatma Gandhi withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement after the Chauri Chaura incident in 1922, so many Indian youths were left dejected. Ashfaq was also one of them. He felt that India should become free as soon as possible and so he decided to join the revolutionaries.

Pandit Ram Prasad Bismil, an active member of Arya Samaj, never bore in mind any prejudice against any religious community. This was the only reason behind it that won the heart of Ashfaq and he became a confident friend of Bismil.Ashfaq was a devout Muslim and together with "Bismil" had the common objective of a free and united India. They sacrificed their lives on the same day of 19 December 1927 as martyrs for India, but in different jails of Faizabad and Gorakhpur.

Ashfaq was a very good Urdu poet who wrote beautiful couplets and ghazals with the pen-name of 'Warsi' and 'Hasrat'. But very few people know that he had also written in Hindi as well as in English. While he was confined in the solitary cell of Faizabad Jail, he started writing a diary. Few words of English are reproduced hereunder from his diary:

Patriotism brings with him all sort of troubles and pains, but a man who chooses it,all the troubles and pains become comforts and ease for him. That is why we remain cheerful up to our aim.

Only for the love of our country I suffer so much.

There is no dream, and if there is,there is only one to see you my children struggling for the same and for which I am expected to be finished.

Brothers and friends will weep after me but I am weeping over their coldness and infidelity towards our motherland.

Weep not children, weep not elders; I am immortal ! I am immortal !!

In another letter written to his beloved mother, sisters and nephews he writes: "We too had done some of the works which we could, but those were the days, we had the glamour on face and strength in the chest. But now is the hope only hope from you, you are now grown up and we are at the verge of setting like a sun in the west."

Ashfaqullah Khan: The immortal revolutionary

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