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Mainstream, VOL LV No 45 New Delhi October 28, 2017

Observing the 100th Death Anniversary of a Great Freedom Fighter—in Memory of Sufi Amba Prasad

Monday 30 October 2017, by Bharat Dogra


This is a time for India to remember one of its greatest freedom fighters who had become a symbol of great courage in his lifetime. In addition, and this is very relevant to our times, he had also become a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. Indeed his anniversary is being observed not just in India but also in Iran where he spent his last days continuing his valiant struggle even from there.

Sufi Amba Prasad (1858-1917) was impri-soned thrice and was subjected to extreme hardships in jail, but this did not diminish his resolve either as a freedom fighter or a journalist to continue his unending struggles against colonial rule and oppression. He was an extremely courageous editor and he brought out at least three newspapers in his lifetime, including one from Iran, all in very difficult circumstances.

Shahid Bhagat Singh regarded Sufi Amba Prasad as a hero and also wrote about him. In his uncle Sardar Ajit Singh, Sufi Amba Prasad had found a very encouraging friend and they both worked hard to bring out literature relating to the freedom movement under the banner of the Bharat Mata Book Store. Later when arrest appeared imminent, they both escaped to Iran.

Sufi Amba Prasad was born with only one hand and so it is all the more inspiring how much he achieved as a writer, editor and freedom fighter. He was known also as a respected Muslim scholar and an accomplished Urdu writer. He continued to struggle valiantly till his last days spent in Iran.

 Here also the British were trying to consolidate their influence and they surrounded Sufiji who fought with a revolver in his only hand. Finally he was captured and imprisoned in Shiraaj and breathed his last in his prison cell.

Bharat Dogra

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