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Ashfaqulla Khan: Resilient Freedom Fighter & Heroic Martyr.



  Oct 25, 2023

Ashfaqulla Khan - The Revolutionary Hero



Who was Ashfaqulla Khan?

Ashfaqulla Khan was a key figure in India's freedom movement. He is most renowned for leading the 1925 Kakori train robbery alongside Ram Prasad Bismil, the leader of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA).
The objective of the robbery was to seize the British state treasury being transported from Kakori to Lucknow and use the funds to purchase arms for the freedom struggle. Khan, Bismil, and nine other associates were eventually captured and executed by British forces.

Is Ashfaqulla Khan's story depicted in a Bollywood film?

Yes, Ashfaqulla Khan's story is depicted in the Bollywood blockbuster "Rang De Basanti" (2006). The film follows the lives of five young men who participate in a documentary about five revolutionaries, with Ashfaqulla Khan portrayed by actor Kunal Kapoor.

What were Ashfaqulla Khan's early years like?

Ashfaqulla Khan was born on October 22, 1900, in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His father's family had a Pathan background, while his mother's family was mainly involved in administrative services during colonial India.

Did Ashfaqulla Khan have any other talents?

Indeed, Ashfaqulla Khan had a talent for Urdu poetry and wrote under the pseudonyms Varasi (or Warsi) and Hazarat. He expressed his thoughts about the British presence in India through his poetry.

What led Ashfaqulla Khan to join the revolutionary movement?

Growing up, Khan heard stories from his elder brother about the bravery and Urdu poetry of Ram Prasad Bismil. When Mahatma Gandhi ended the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1922 following the Chauri Chaura incident,
Khan, like many others, became disheartened. He began to lose faith in non-violent strategies and believed that freedom from colonialism required more radical methods.

What was Ashfaqulla Khan's role in the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA)?

Although initially hesitant, Khan eventually joined the HRA. His commitment to the organization and shared ideology with Bismil solidified his place in the party. Recognizing the need for financial support for their armed struggle, Khan and nine other members carried out the Kakori train robbery in 1925.

What happened to Ashfaqulla Khan and his associates after the Kakori train robbery?

Labeled as terrorists by British forces, they were hunted down and captured. Ashfaqulla Khan was one of the four freedom fighters sentenced to death. At the age of 27, he was hanged in Faizabad. A memorial grave was established in his hometown of Shahjahanpur.

How did Ashfaqulla Khan express his dedication to the cause before his execution?

Three days before his hanging, Ashfaqulla Khan wrote an open letter expressing his anguish at the political developments of the time. This letter was addressed to the public.

What is the legacy of Ashfaqulla Khan?

While Ashfaqulla Khan's sacrifice for the country is honored, his grandson expressed disappointment in the way his memory has been remembered. The lack of recognition took a toll on the family, especially as the British government confiscated their property after Khan's execution.

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