The history of India‘s Independence will be incomplete without the mention of the role played by Urdu poets/journalists.
Unfortunately, not much attention has been given to the subject except research and discussions in academic and scholarly circles.
Urdu’s identity , at least in India, revolves around romance and poetry. With the passing away of a number of luminaries in the last few decades the glorious chapter of Urdu poetry/journalism and its role in the freedom struggle has disappeared without even being written anywhere.
Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna (सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना) (سرفروشی کی تمنا) is a patriotic poem written in Urdu language by of Bismil Azimabadi a poet par excellence of Patna in 1921, and then immortalized by the great revolutionary of Indian freedom Pt. Ramprasad Bismil as a freedom war cry during the British Raj period in India. It was first published in journal “Saba”, published from Delhi.
The poem was written as an ode to young freedom fighters of the Indian independence movement. It has also been associated with the younger generation of inter-war freedom fighters such as Ashfaqullah Khan, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.
Bismil Azimabadi was a revolutionary poet.His famous composition was popularised by freedom fighter Ram Prasad Bismil.The complete poem was in possession of Bismil Azimabadi which was later released by his sons based at Patna.Delhi government has published his complete poem through its Urdu academy along with introduction of original poet Bismil Azimabadi after a high court judgement.Urdu poets from Patna use Azimabadi as their ‘Takhallus’because Azimabad was old name of Patna during later Mughal Period which is still popular in literary circle.
This Urdu Ghazal is written in Hikayate hasti. This type of Beher in Urdu poetry was the favourite meter of Ram Prasad Bismil. He had written almost 35 ghazals in this meter.
The poem starts with the lines :-
Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai.?
(The desire for revolution is in our hearts Let us see what strength there is in the arms of our executioner)
Inquilab Zindabad (Hindustani: इंक़िलाब ज़िन्दाबाद (Devanagari), اِنقلاب زِنده باد (Nasta’liq), Punjabi: ਇਨਕਲਾਬ ਜ਼ਿੰਦਾਬਾਦ) is a phrase which translates to “Long Live the Revolution!” Its first use by a revolutionary was in 1929 when Bhagat Singh shouted it after bombing the Central Assembly in Delhi. It became one of the rallying cries of the Indian independence movement.
The famous slogan was given by Hasrat Mohani and inspired the activities of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association particularly Ashfaqulla Khan, Bhagat Singh and Chandrashekhar Azad.The famous slogan of Indian freedom fighters Inquilab Zindabad was coined by Moulana Hasrat Mohani himself. In Indian political novels chronicling the independence movement, a pro-independence sentiment is often characterized by characters shouting this slogan.
Hasrath Mohani was a Romantic Poet of Urdu language, journalist, politician, parliamentarian of British India, besides a being a part of the Indian Independence Movement.
The noted Urdu Writer, Hazrath Mohani was born in Mohan, in the Unnao district of United Province in British India. Since he was a poet of Urdu, he had adopted the pen name of Hasrat Mohani in Urdu shayri.
His real name is Sayyed Fazal Al Hassan and Hasrath is his pen name which he used in the Urdu poetry and the word Mohani refers to the native place of Mohan where he was born. He illuminated his career as a prolific poet, a hard-nosed journalist and an active politician and freedom fighter. He studied Arabic and Farsi from “Makthab” the primary level schools of North India), gaining the M. tech from the government high school in 1898. He pursued his study in Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College (now Aligarh Muslim University). He started his composition in poetry when he was twelve year old.
Hasrat Mohani was not just a maverick when it came to publicly championing the radical thinking of Tilak. He also wrote verses expressing deep love for Krishna, and often went to Mathura to celebrate Krishna Janmashtami.
Maulana Hasrat Mohani was a brilliant and hardworking student as well as a topper in his first state level exams. Later, he studied in Aligarh Muslim University, where some of his colleagues were Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali. His teachers in poetry were Tasleem Lucknawi and Naseem Dehlvi.
According to Hasrath, 1903 has of great importance in his life. In this year, he was dropped out due to his revolutionary thoughts and policies. Likewise, he completed his B.A in this year cum he married his cousin, Nashath Misa Beegam.
In 1903, Hasrath started to publish ‘Urdu-e-Mualla’, a literary and educational magazine, which existed till his demise. It included essays on both political and literary subjects. He could exacerbate the political consciousness of Indians towards English government through ‘Urdu-e-Mualla’. Significantly, he spelled out clearly the vital role of social harmony, secularism and full liberty. In 1908, he was arrested for publishing anti-government essay in Urdu-e-Mualla and was sentenced two year imprisonment and was imposed 5,000 Rupees as fine.
After his release, he intensified his political norms so that he participated in ‘Swadeshi Movement’, through which the exotica were boycotted and persuded people to urse native things. Hasrath erected a shop for ‘Swadeshi Merchandise’ in Ordesto.
A few of his books are ‘Kulliyat-e-Hasrat Mohani’ (Collection of Hasrat Mohani’s poetry), ‘Sharh-e-Kalam-e-Ghalib’ (Explanation of Ghalib’s poetry), ‘Nukaat-e-Sukhan’ (Important aspects of poetry), ‘Mushahidaat-e-Zindaan’ (Observations in Prison), etc. A very popular ghazal ‘Chupke Chupke Raat Din’ sung by Ghulam Ali was penned by him. He was also featured in the film ‘Nikaah’ of 1982. The famous slogan of Indian freedom fighters ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ was coined by Hasrat Mohani himself.
Hasrath Mohani has famous lines encouraging Indians for freedom struggle, and inspiring them to avoid the service for English men, as he says :-
Ham qaul ke swadiq hein agar jaan bhi jathi Wallah kabhi khidmath-e-Angarezi na karthe
(We will fulfil our promise, whether goes our life Oath on the Almighty Allah, we don’t serve English men)
Hasrat Mohani participated in the struggle for Indian Independence (end of British Raj), and was jailed for many years by British authorities. He was the second person in Indian History who demanded ‘Complete Independence’ (Azadi-e-Kaamil) in 1921, while the first person was Swatantryaveer Savarkar in 1900, as Hasrat presided over an annual session of All India Muslim League. He was not only a practicing Muslim but also a strong supporter of the communist philosophy, as he could see that the British could be defeated by following its principles.
Hindustan Zindabad (Hindi: हिन्दुस्तान ज़िन्दाबाद, Urdu: ہندوستان زِندہ باد Lit. Long live Hindustan) is a Hindustani phrase and battle cry most commonly used in India in speeches and communications pertaining to or referring to patriotism towards India. It translates to “Long Live India”. It is a nationalistic slogan, and has been used in nationalist protests such as radical peasant movements in post-colonial India. Other variations of the slogan are “Jai Hind” (Hindi: जय हिन्द) and India Zindabad. Such slogans are common while cheering the Indian team in cricket matches.It translates roughly to “Hail India”, “Victory to India” or “Long live India”. It is said that Father of the slogan “Jai Hind” is Major Abid Hasan Safrani of the Indian National Army as a shortened version of Jai Hindustan Ki (translation: Victory to India)
Many believe that Subhash Chandra Bose coined the slogan ‘Jai Hind’ but a book on legends and anecdotes of Hyderabad says it was first used by a man from that city who gave up his engineering studies in Germany to become Netaji’s secretary and interpreter.
In his book “Lengendotes of Hyderabad”, former civil servant Narendra Luther presents a number of interesting articles, based on documentary evidence, interviews and personal experiences, on the city that is much celebrated for its romantic origin and composite culture.
One interesting titbit is on the origin of the slogan ‘Jai Hind’. According to the author, it was coined by Zain-ul Abideen Hasan, son of a collector from Hyderabad, who went to Germany to study engineering.
During World War II, Netaji had escaped to Germany to canvass support for an armed struggle to liberate India, Luther says.
“He addressed meetings of Indian prisoners of war and other Indians exhorting them to join him in his struggle. Hasan met him and inspired by his patriotism and spirit of sacrifice, he told him that he would join him after finishing his studies.
“Netaji taunted him that if he was worried about small things like these, he could not take up big causes. Stung by that rebuke, Hasan gave up his studies and became Netaji’s secretary and interpreter,” the book, published by Niyogi, says.
Hasan became a major in the INA and participated in the march from Burma (now Myanmar) across the Indian frontier. The army reached Imphal. It was severely handicapped in supplies and armaments and so had to retreat, the author says.
“Netaji wanted to introduce an Indian form of greeting for his army, and for independent India. Various suggestions came. Hasan suggested ‘Hello’. Netaji snubbed him. Then he suggested ‘Jai Hind’. Netaji liked it and it became the official form of greeting in INA and the revolutionary Indians. Later it was adopted as the official slogan of the country,” he says.
Sare Jahan se Accha (Hindi: सारे जहां से अच्छा; Urdu: سارے جہاں سے اچھا) Sāre Jahāṉ se Acchā; formal name: Tarānah-e-Hindī or Tarānah-i-Hindī (Hindi: तराना ए हिंदी; Urdu: ترانۂ ہندی )– (The Anthem of the People of Hindustan), is one of the enduring patriotic poems of the Urdu language.
Written for children in the ghazal style of Urdu poetry by poet Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal – محمد اقبال علامہ – अल्लामा मोहम्मद इक़बाल , the poem was published in the weekly journal Ittehad on 16 August 1904, Recited by Iqbal the following year at Government College, Lahore, now in Pakistan, it quickly became an anthem of opposition to the British rule in India. The song, an ode to Hindustan – the land comprising present-day Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan – both celebrated and cherished the land even as it lamented its age-old anguish. As Tarana-e-Hindi, it was later published in 1924 in the Urdu book Bang-i-Dara.
The poem starts with the lines :-
Sare jahan se acha Hindustan hamara Ham bulbulein hein uski ey gulsitan hamara
(Our Hindustan is better than any world We are its Bulbuls, and it is our garden)
Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore at that time, and was invited by student Lala Har Dayal to preside over a function. Instead of delivering a speech, Iqbal sang Saare Jahan Se Achcha. The song, in addition to embodying yearning and attachment to the land of Hindustan, expressed “cultural memory” and had an elegiac quality.
In 1905, the 27-year old Iqbal was still in his idealistic phase and viewed the future society of the subcontinent as both a pluralistic and composite Hindu-Muslim culture. Later that year he left for Europe for a three-year sojourn that was to transform him into an Islamic philosopher and a visionary of a future Islamic society.
5)• The slogan of “Mādarē Vatan Bhārat Ki Jai” was given in 1857 by Azeem Ullah Khan.
This is a portrait, believed to be drawn from life by Richard Doyle,
uncle of Arthur Conan Doyle, of the man who stood behind the scenes
and pushed India into war: Azi mullah Khan
Azeem Ullah Khan who incurred intense wrath of the British by initiating and raising the following slogan as early as 1857 when their great, grand Guru was not even borne:” Madare Vatan Bhārat Ki Jai”.Azimullah Khan was involved in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, primarily ideologically, influencing important nobles such as Nana Sahib.
Azimullah was rescued as a starving Muslim boy from the famine of 1837-38 along with his mother when they were provided shelter at a mission in Cawnpore. There he learnt English but also French, no mean achievement for an Indian in the 19th century.
After working as secretary to several British officers, he was taken into the service of the Nana Sahib, adopted son of the late Peshwa Baji Rao II (died 28 January 1851), as secretary and advisor.
6)• Yusuf Meher Ali gave the two slogan ”Simon Go Back” and “Bhārat Chhoro” (Quit India)
Yusuf Meherally, a selfless leader of the masses had passed away. The man who had coined two of the most popular slogans associated with the freedom struggle ‘Simon Go Back’ and ‘Quit India’ had roused the same passion in his death as his slogans.
Born in a prosperous family in Bombay on 3 September, 1903, his father Jaffer Meherally and his family were pro-British and the young Yusuf was looked upon as a renegade. He studied at Bharda High School and took interest in extra-curriculum activities. A firm believer in the power of youth, he was the main architect of the Bombay Youth League formed in 1928. In February 1928, the Youth League put up an admirably strong opposition in the wake of unprecedented lathi charge while opposing the Simon Commission. Meherally’s slogan ‘Simon Go Back’ was on the lips of every nationalist in the city and country.
According to Madhu Dandavate, his biographer, the days when Meherally received his Bachelor degrees turned out to be of national significance. He received his BA in History and Economics on 8thAug, 1925 – the same day in 1942 when the Quit India resolution was passed – and Bachelors in Law on 26th January 1929 – the day that is now marked as Republic Day.