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Who wrote the famous revolutionary poem “sarfaroshi ki tamanna..?”

“…this incident dates back to the days when I was a research student in Jamia Central University. We were busy in making preparations for the Martyrdaom Day on 19 December. There was some discussion on the posters to be displayed on this occasion. As soon as a mention was made of the nazm (poem) sar faroshi ki tamanna…, one of the students said that this poem was written by ‘my’ grandfather. I was surprised to hear this from him because this song of freedom was known and written almost everywhere by Pundit Ram Prasad ‘Bismil’. Out of sheer curiosity and interest I wanted to know the truth about as to who is or was its real author. My curiosity was subsequently answered by Patna’s Khuda Bakhsh Library. Some books and documents etc were needed which were published by this Library’s Publications Department. I happened to get all these things there. From there I set out for my friend’s, i.e. his grandfather Bismil Azimabadi’s residence in Patna. There I met Bismil Azimabadi’s son Sayyad Shah Hamid Hasan in the veranda of the house who, after retirement from service in Bihar’s Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council) was passing his days at home. Sayyad Shah Hamid said that abba had written this revolutionary poem in 1921. The place from where this poem was published was not only confiscated by the British government but the arrest warrant of his abba was also issued. Pundit Ram Prasasd also used to write/compose poems under the pen name (takhallus) of ‘Bismil’. On 19 December, 1927 when Pundit Ram Prasad Bismil was to be hanged in Gorakhpur Jail, he recited this poem and by doing so, he made it amar and people began to associate this poem with his name (Shah Alam, Hindustan (Hindi) daily, 16 August, 2014)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2014 on page no. 15

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