Sufi Amba Prasad: A Freedom Fighter Forgotten



I will be glad to bring forward the story of this soldier of Indian revolutionary movement that had set off in the early 1900 in Punjab. It will be honest to accept my ignorance about the impressive personality of this soldier of Indian freedom movement who gave away his life for the cause before I came across some books recently. This piece of text is the first part of the series of writings, short notes, excerpts from the books that are written about Bhagat Singh and the people somehow associated with him during his revolutionary life. Accepting the immaturity of my writing skills and my inability to express the personality of that great freedom fighter, I will be narrating this story in Bhagat Singh's words, that he had penned down to commemorate the martyrs of Indian freedom movement while his association with Kirti.
Bhagat Singh narrates the story of Sufi Amba Prasad in his article "Upsurge in Punjab- 1907". In the opening phrases he speaks on a very emotional note, 
"Does anyone in India knows (know) his name? Is there anyone who sheds tears in his memory? The ungrateful people have forgotten many such gems, and yet do not have any feeling of remorse.
He was a patriot to the core. He felt the agony of the country in his heart. He yearned for the glory of Bharat. He wanted to take it to the pinnacle of progress. Even then only a few people are familiar with his name. Ironically, it was only in Iran where his worth was appreciated till date he is revered here.
It was his strategy to bring about the stories of freedom fighters in light to influence the minds of youth. He further writes about the personal life of Sufi,
Sufi ji was born in 1858 at Moradabad, U.P. He had lost his right hand since his childhood. He used to joke about it, saying, "We fought against the British in 1857; hand was cut off; death occurred, and rebirth, the hand was missing." He did his Law but did not practice. He was an excellent writer in Urdu, and this is what he took to.
In 1890, he started an Urdu weekly from Moradabad, 'Jam ul Iluq'. Each phrase in the paper reflected his thought and feelings. He was a master humourist, yet deeply thoughtful, never afraid of criticizing the authority.
Though the reasons behind the Sufi's leaving Moradabad are not mentioned in the article. But it can be assumed that there may some concrete issues forcing him to leave his motherland. Bhagat Singh, in the following phrases writes about Sufi's association with Sardar Ajit Singh and his involvement in the active revolutionary movement,
He came to Punjab and took a job in 'Hindustan' paper in which he could not continue for long because of differences with the Editor. Those very days Sardar Ajit Singh had founded ‘Bharat Mata Society’, which was soon followed by agitation against the Colonies Act. He joined Sardar Ajit Singh. In view of indiscriminate arrests Sufi ji left for Nepal along with Sardar Kishan Singh (Bhagat Singh’s Father) and Mehta Anand Kishore. There the Governor Jang Bahadur looked after them very well. But he had to pay the price; soon he was dismissed to Lahore. He was arrested for his articles published in the paper ‘India’ run by Lala Pindi Das, but was acquitted for lack of proof.
By then Sardar Ajit Singh too was back from Mandley –Barma. “Bharat Mata Book Society” was founded in 1908. Most of its functioning depended on Sufi ji. He got a book published Baghi Masih or Vidrohi Masih which was proscribed.
The budding activities of revolutionaries were causing trouble for the Government. They were clearly afraid of establishment of open revolt against the British Empire. There were fair chances of Sufi to be arrested. Bhagat Singh mentions his migration to Iran to dodge the arrest,
In 1909, he published a paper Peshwa. Those days revolutionary movement became activated in Bengal. The Government feared the Punjab may also follow suit. Repression followed. Both he and S. Ajit Singh left for Iran to evade arrest.
Not much is known about his life in Iran except that, he started a paper Aab e Hayat and started taking part in the freedom of Iran. When the British tried to occupy Iran in 1915, there were lots of disturbances in opposition to the move. Sufi ji was in Shiraz where he was encircled by armed soldiers, whom he resisted by firing from the revolver with his single hand. Ultimately he fell in their hands. It was decided to shoot him the following day. He was confined in a cell. When the door was opened next morning, he was no more and was found in a state of trance!
Reference : Bhagat Singh: The Eternal Rebel, Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich, pg 112-114.



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