Reminiscences of Freedom Struggle leading to Independence: Neeraj Kaushik

By Nidhi Bhanot

August 14, 2018

          ‘Independence Day is both an occasion to celebrate and to remember                                  struggles of those who fought to give us this gift. Happy 15th August’

A legendary figure in the industry of artists, President of Style Arts Association, Neeraj Kaushik has pen down his true feelings for the nation in the artistic manner in the write up below. He presented the picture of freedom struggle in a unique manner to cherish  and celebrate 72th year of freedom in India. Let’s read Independence day musings through his vision about the freedom struggle……

No wonder ‘Singh’ was called extremist par excellent!!!

‘The most beautiful part of Indian freedom struggle was that it was so romantic much more than any Irish, Scottish, or even Russian or French revolutions. The premier extremist Bhagat Singh wanted to go to the gallows to send a message that lakhs of such bhagat would be reborn and he threw bomb to open ears and not take lives, and even in his writings in jail he opined that wielding gun is no solution. On other hand Gandhi used truth and non violence as another romantic instrument of revolution and war against crown, calling off non cooperation after Chauri Chauriincident as 22 Indian policemen were killed by unruly mob but same Gandhi when saw opportunity ripe against weakened British and enough international sympathy gathered in favour of Indians gave slogan of Do or Die in 1942….

Romantic Movement of Freedom struggle

In the introduction I referred two the most popular romantic characters of Freedom struggle and now I am dedicating my second piece to the most romantic movement of Freedom struggle. This was not only pan India but pan world one. Yes many have guessed it right…’s ‘Gaddar Movement’, which is generally believed to be centered around Punjab and the peasantry but actually had been perhaps most secular pan world movement with the utopian world order as its basic inspirational dream. It had the businessmen, landlords and philosophers too backing it although the men from roots and peasantry were the most attracted towards it. The cast and the religion were the least areas of concern or consideration and it started with the protests against imperial order from abroad involving Canadian, British and even American centers of Indians. The number of stalwarts and ideologues involved were in hundreds and from Punjab to Bengal and UP to South it echoed its voice so loud that it was as big an area of concern for British as 1957 revolt or first was of independence as we often like to refer to. Indeed if a minor Gadri Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha was an iconic idol for Bhagat Singh the ideals of Gaffer movement became a courageous example for the thousands of future nationalists and some socialists to emulate. Of course movement might have been bulldozed by the British with a very swift counter action and engineering deceptions but the sound of Gadder was so loud that it still rings in hearts and minds of nationalists and internationalists even today and their heroics are also cherished in literature and songs of pan nationalists even today although Gaddar heritage now is more appropriated by socialists and communists for the obvious reasons. Unfortunately the lack of enthusiasm by the ruling elite to give its due importance has been a sad part of history. Yet I shall risk my sense of discretion to say that indeed Gaddar movement was the most romantic movement of the ‘Freedom of Struggle’ that had greater unsung heroes than any single one movement/struggle world over.

‘Sarfaroshi ki tammna ab hamare dil main hai’

I am sure all have heard about the song ‘Sarfaroshi ki tammna ab hamare dil main hai’. It has been the most romantic song which was used as a war cry by freedom fighters to inspire the pleasures of pain and sacrifice for mother land. It was an ‘Urdu’ poem written by Bismil Azimabadi and was popularized as a song and war cry by Ram Prasad Bismil. It was the favorite song used by three great revolutionaries extolling their love and devotion for motherland of their dreams, and they were born in different religions in today’s terms. But they had only one religion ‘Freedom of Motherland’. Those great revolutionaries were Chandershekar Azad, Bhagat Singh and Asafaqullah Khan. This song had inspired so much of nationalism that young revolutionaries of moderates and radicals all romanced with the idea of suffering for the freedom of India, Hindustan or Bharat or motherland.

First hero of first war of Independence

The first hero of the first war of independence or  Revolt of 1857 (or Mutiny as British like to refer it as) was undoubtedly Mangal Pandey and I won’t narrate his story of valour and sacrifice which no doubt was a step of extreme romanticism of taking on the might of Empire from the barracks of the lowest scale but the sheer essence and consequences of his acts that brought a total movement of revolt or revolution across the castes, creed and religion, the nobles and the peasants alike and the concept of oneness under one head or king or flag was cherished … It was about bullets that defiled the religious sanctity of both the Hindus and Muslims that was used by this great romantic and he ignited a spark, that, within matter of months started spreading like fire and culminated in uniting many big rajas, Ranis and  riyasats to unite under aging pensioner Delhi emperor Bahadur Shah Jaffar and for few days were successful in capturing Delhi from British, later to lose again. A staunch Brahmin Pandey started something that had united Hindus, Muslims and various other chieftains and even tribes and peasants’ movements (who all were otherwise shunned by brahmnical order exiting then), all determined to do the impossible  and got conviction of one romantic thought of over throwing the Empire where sun never used to set and they even managed to send tremors and tumultuous shocks at the crown and they really sowed the seeds of the freedom that was finally achieved 90 years thereafter.

Welcome 72th year of freedom India-writer Neeraj Kaushik