In the decade following Mahatma Gandhi's non-cooperation movement, that was called off mid-way when participants indulged in violence, the motherland saw the rise of an array of young patriots who were keen to sacrifice themselves for the noble cause of freedom. One among such revolutionaries was Ashfaqulla Khan, who laid his life for the nation at the young age of 27. The date of October 22, 2020, marks his 120th anniversary birth anniversary. Ashfaqulla Khan Quotes: Powerful Sayings by the Great Indian Freedom Fighter Are Must-Read.
Ashfaq, as he was referred to by family, friends and co-revolutionaries, was born on this date in the year 1900. Active in public life since his days of education, he emerged as a staunch revolutionary after joining the Hindustan Republican Association. Here are five lesser known facts related to him.
- Ashfaq was the youngest among six children of Shafiqur Rahman and Mazharunissa. The family was Pathan by ethnicity, and were devout Muslims.
- In his early 20s, Ashfaq emerged as an effective writer. He efficiently used both the languages of Urdu and Hindi - spoken by the majority of population in North India. Varasi and Hazarat were the pen names used by him.
- Ashfaq's firm belief in a revolutionary struggle, claim historians, was triggered by the end of non-cooperation movement by Gandhi due to Chauri Chaura incident. He was dejected by the Mahatma's decision to call off the protests due to violence, despite the fact that it had evoked mass participation in most parts of the nation.
- Ashfaqulla was highly inspired by his guide and friend Ram Prasad Bismil. The two were part of the group of revolutionaries who were involved in the Kakori train conspiracy case.
- Khan and Bismil, who shared the same vision of a free India, who were equally passionate about Urdu, and were part of the same Kakori mission, also ended up being martyred on the same day. Both of them, lodged in different jails, were sent to the gallows on December 19, 1927.
The cause for which Ashfaqulla was martyred was achieved 20 years after he departed from this world. The hold of British regime in India finally weakened, and the colonial power was forced to cede its control over the entire territory in 1947.