Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jamalunnisa Baji

Date of Birth: 1915
            Jamalunnisa Baji, who not only fought for independence from the shackles of the British rule but also worked passionately for creating harmony among the people, was born in 1915 in Hyderabad.  She grew up to mould herself into a girl of independent ideas as her liberal parents had given her complete freedom.  She started reading the banned newspaper, ‘Nigaar’ at the age of 13.  She resented the British Government, the conservative religious traditions and the Nizam establishment which had turned into affiliate of the British.  She did not give up her independent ideas and practices inspite of the parochial thinking of her in-laws.  She came under the influence of Moulana Hasrath Mohani who was familiar as “Thunder bolt” in the Indian freedom movement.  Inspired by Hasrath Mohani she participated actively in the national and anti-imperialist movements.  As a communist, Baji obeyed the decision of the Communist party not to participate in the Quit India Movement.  But she gave shelter to freedom fighters during the movement.  Though she had no primary education, she learnt Urdu and English languages with hard work.  She started a progressive literary organisation called “Bazme Ehabad”.  Besides discussions on literary topics she also conducted discussions extensively on national movement, Socialism, Communism and on other irrational traditions.  Her sister Razia and her brothers also used to participate in those discussions.  She used to designs programmes in accordance with the discussions and conducts them fearlessly.  Razia Begum and her brothers Anwar and Jafar lend active support to Jamalunnisa Baji in this regard.  Baji took membership of the Communist Party of Indian in 1946.  Due to the restrictions imposed on the Communist Party of India and repression by Nizam government on communists, she organised her activities very secretly.  During this period, Jamalunnisa gave shelter to many of the national leaders who are fighting for the freedom of India and Communist Party of India in Hyderabad.  Jamalunnisa acted as a guiding light to several national and international women’s organisations.  Jamalunnisa Baji spent the later part of her life working indefatigably for the welfare of women and for the establishment of socialist society.

Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani

            Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani, who gave away everything of his to Indian National Army, was hailed from Dhorji of Sourashtra region in Gujarat state.  He migrated to Rangoon the capital of Burma and became one of the rich business magnates of Rangoon.  In 1943 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose reached Rangoon from Germany and took over the reins of Indian National Army.  Then he formed Azad Hind Government and Azad Hind Bank.  Later on in a huge meeting Netaji made an appeal to the public for ‘total mobilisation’.  Abdul Habeeb responded to the call of Netaji in a full measure by sacrificing all that he had and made thus acquiring for himself a prominent place in the chapter of ‘total mobilisation’ in the history of Indian National Army.  In one programme organised by Bose in Rangoon on 9th July, 1944, Abdul Habeed magnanimously handed over a plateful of gold jewellery and cash along with a bundle of title deeds of his total property, all about the worth one crore and 3 lakh rupees to Netaji.  Then Habeeb Marfani requested Netaji to provide him with two pairs of Indian National Army uniform and allow him to serve as full-time volunteer in Indian National Army.  Thus Habeeb created new history as the first person to provide financial support to Azad Hind Government, Indian National Army and Azad Hind Bank which had started its banking activities.  Delighted and moulded with the ‘total sacrifice’ of Abdul Habeeb, Netaji said, ‘Brother, I am very happy today that people have stated realising their duties,… people are ready to sacrifice everything.  What Habeeb Seth has done is commendable, and those emulate him to serve the motherland are praise worthy’.  And even Netaji asked to take the ‘Drink of Habeeb’, so that everyone comes to sacrifice his might for the sake of Motherland.  So saying he exhorted the countrymen too follows the example of Habeeb in serving the motherland.  Shubas Chandra Bose announced ‘Sevak-e-Hind’ award for his ‘total mobilisation’ to Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani.  He became the first person to receive such a award from Subhash Chandra Bose.  In a function organised on the occasion of centenary celebrations of Netaji’s birth in New Delhi in 2013, Abdul Habeeb’s grandson Abdul Habeeb Yakoob was felicitated in recognition of the unparalleled sacrifice of Abdul Habeed Yusuf Marfani.

Fareed Mirza

Date of Birth: 7th July, 1918
            Fareed Mirza, who gave much importance to the concept of freedom and independence, was born on 7th July, 1918 in Hyderabad.  He joined as an Officer in the Nizam State after his graduation from Osmania University.  Fareed Mirza was interested in the Indian National Movement from the beginning and he supported the demand for the merger of Nizam State into Indian Union in 1947, when India attained Independence.  He resigned from his job on 14th July, 1948 to participate in the movement for the merger of Hyderabad state into Indian Union.  He appealed to Muslims of Nizam State to speak out against the repression of those supporting the merger with nationalist outlook.  Fareed Mirza had a draft statement prepared with the help of his friend Baqar Ali Mirza and garnered support for it from prominent Muslims of the Hyderabad city.  This historical statement advised the Nawab of Nizam to merge his Hyderabad State into Indian Union as per opinion expressed by the public.  Fareed Mirza got this statement published in local Urdu news papers on 13th August, 1948 with the title ‘An Open Letter to the VII-Nizam from seven Prominent Muslims’.  This statement stirred sensation in the Nizam state and also irked its rulers.  The Nizam Government strictly ordered Fareed Mirza to withdraw the statement immediately.  But, Mirza and his friends refused to do so.  Several other news papers, which supported the ideology of ‘Ittehad-ul-Muslimin’ criticised Fareed Mirza and his friends branding them as traitors.  But, Mirza and his friends did not step back from their stand.  They also rejected the proposal brought out by a diplomat from Nizam.  As a result, they had to face the danger of attacks.  But, Mirza was not frightened.  Later on, he served as a member of the Rehabilitation Committee formed for the welfare of the people, who had suffered losses during the so called ‘Police Action’ in Hyderabad state.  He joined as a deputy collector in Hyderabad on 1st August, 1949, but resigned from the job in April, 1961.  Fareed Mirza started his own Printing Press and worked as an agent of the Life Insurance Corporation of India.

Colonel Shaik Nizamuddin

Date of Birth: (1900/1906)
‘Had Netaji been alive today, India would not have been divided… I am not able to find what I have lost and what I have achieved’ laments Colonel Shaik Nizamuddin, who was born in 1900/1906 in Dhakwa village near Mubarkpur area of Azamghad district, Uttar Pradesh.  His original name was Saifudin Shaik, but he registered himself in Indian National Army as Nizamuddin Shaik.  He had been to Singapore in 1926 as his father Imam Ali was running a canteen in Singapore.  When Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose revived Indian National Army in 1943 and gave ‘Chalo Delhi’ call, Nizamuddin joined Indian National Army (INA).  Having noticed his commitment and efficiency, Netaji appointed him as his driver and later his body guard and personal assistant.  When Indian National Army (INA) had retreated after the defeat of Japan in the Second World War on 16th August, 1945, Nizamuddin accompanied Netaji upto Singapore.  Nizamuddin does not believe that Netaji died in plane crash on 19th August, 1945.  He questions the plane crash theory saying that ‘he had left Netaji on the banks of Sitangpur River near Burma – Thailand frontier four months after the said Plane crash’.  Nizamuddin spent his life in Bruma till 1950 and he married Habibunnisa, a girl from of an Indian Family.  He returned to India in 1969 to lead normal life in his native village Dhakwa.  In 2001, he revealed his role in the Indian National Army and requested the Government to recognise him as a freedom fighter.  Government of India responded favourably twelve years after his request.  In 2013, he was honoured as freedom fighter by Azamghar district magistrate Sri Pragjal Yadav in a grand felicitation function organised the Government in Dhakwa.  In that function, Poorvanchal University Vice Chancellor Sunder Lal conferred honorary degree on Colonel Nizamuddin.  Azamghar district magistrate declared his as a ‘freedom fighter and said that related all facilities would be provided to Nizamuddin after due official procedure.  It is only after this programme that Colonel Shaik Nizamuddin’s role in Indian National Army came to light.

Colonel Inayat Khan Kiani


            Colonel Inayat Khan Kiani, who played a vital role in the Azad Hind Fouj, under the leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, was born in Rawalpindi in Pakistan.  His father was Raja Gulab Khan.  Inayat hailed from the ‘Gakhars’ dynasty, which ruled the Potor area in Pakistan for about seven hundred years.  He was an officer in the British Indian Army.  The British forces were defeated by the Japan-Germany troops while he was rendering his duties as an official of the British Army.  Kiani was caught along with the other Indian officials of the British Army as a war prisoner.  During his detention, he joined the Indian National Army led by Captain Mohan Singh under the guidance of the revolutionary leader Ras Bihari Bose.  When Captain Mohan Singh dissolved the Indian National Army, because of differences cropped up with Japan, he worked as a member of the Advisory Council of the Indian National Army as on the advice of Ras Bihari Bose.  Later, he was appointed as the Commander of the Gandhi regiment in the Indian National Army, when its leadership was taken over by Subhash Chandra Bose.  Responding to the call of Subhash Chandra Bose, ‘Chalo Delhi’, Inayat Khan reached Burma battle field from Malaya, where he led his troops towards victory.  Gandhi regiment, under the leadership of Inayat, was able to capture the Palell Airport on 2nd May, 1944.  It also had its share in three other victories.  The Indian National Army could capture an area of 200 Sq. Miles of Indian Territory during that war.  Inayat was appreciated by Subhash Chandra Bose for his abilities in formulating the strategies and conducting ambushes and thus, he was given a place in the ‘War Council’ of the Indian National Army.  But, the troops led by Inayat were detained by the British Indian Army, when the Japan Army surrendered in the world war-II.  Later, he was presented at Delhi as the witness of the respondents for the trial held in the Red Fort.  Later, Inayat worked as the member of the Rehabilitation and Renovation Committee for the welfare of his colleagues of the Indian National Army and of their family members.  When India got independence, Colonel Inayat Khan Kiani, reached his native village in Pakistan, where he held different high profile posts in the newly formed Government of Pakistan.

Captain Abbas Ali

Date of Birth: 3rd January, 1920
            Captain Abbas Ali born on 3rd January, 1920 in a Zamindar family in Khurja village in Buland Shahar district of Uttar Pradesh.  He is form a Muslim Rajput family which never accepted the supremacy of the British.  Abbas fought for the liberation of his motherland as a captain in the Indian National Army and was active in political activities for his object of socialistic pattern of society.  While he was a high school student, Abbas became a member of ‘Nowjawan Bharath Samithi’ founded by Sardar Bhagat Singh and others.  He went to Aligarh University for further studies, where he came under the influence of another freedom fighter and a communist Dr. Kunwar Ahamed Ashraaf.  Abbas took membership in All India Student Federation.  Later he joined British Indian Army on the advice of Dr. Ashraaf to bring about a rebellion in the British Indian Army.  During the Second World War he was sent to Singapore in 1941.  When British forces surrendered to the Japanese Army, Abbas Ali was taken as a prisoner of war.  He was later inspired by the speech made by Subhash Chandra Bose in 1943, near the grave of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mogul Emperor.  He de-iced to dedicate his life for the emancipation of his motherland.  Abbas joined Indian National Army wherein he was promoted as a captain.  He was sent to Arkan war field in pursuance of the ‘Chalo Delhi’ call given by Subhash Chandra Bose.  The Indian National Army was forced to retreat with the defeat of Japan in the Second World War.  The British Army arrested Abbas and sentenced him to death after conducting so called court martial.  But the death sentence was revoked when India became independent.  Abbas played an active role in Uttar Pradesh politics in Independent India.  He worked with stalwarts like Achaya Narendra Dev, Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia.  Abbas was arrested more than 50 times during his political career from 1948 to 1974.  He spent 19 months in Jail during emergency.  He was elected to Uttar Pradesh legislative Council in 1978.  Abiding his word that he would strive for the socialistic society till his last breath, Captain Abbas Ali is still continuing his activities in New Delhi.

Colonel Shoukat Ali Malik

            Colonel Shoukat Ali Malik, who was honoured by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose with ‘Sardar-e-Jung’ for his gallantry shown in the war waged by the Azad Hind Fouj against the British to liberate the Nation, was born in Multan, now in the Punjab Province of Pakistan.  He was sent to Singapore while he was working as the Naik Subedar in the British Indian Army of Bhawalpur Infantry.  He was leading the troops, when British Army surrendered to the Japan during the World War-II.  He was a great supporter of the Indian National Movement.  He held responsibilities in the Indian National Army from the very beginning.  He attended the International Conference of the leaders of the Independence League, which was held in Bangkok in June, 1942.  He joined in Indian National Army formed on 1st September, 1942 by Captain Mohan Singh.  He supported him when it was dissolved by Captain Mohan Singh.  Later, he was appointed as the Commander of the Intelligence group after the reorganisation of the Indian National Army on 15th February, 1943.  He became famous as the ‘Master Mind of the Intelligence Service’ because of his able leadership.  When Subhash Chandra Bose gave a call for ‘Chalo Delhi’ and declared war against the British, Malik directly reached the battle field in Burma from Singapore.  Malik’s troop won the first victory over the British forces with the help of Japanese Army.  Malik, who led his troops successfully to make entry into the enemy forces, hoisted the National Flag in Moirang of Manipur on 18th April, 1944.  Thus, Malik created history as the first Indian officer to hoist the National Flag on the native land.  He also looked after the administrative affairs successfully in the liberated areas.  He went to Rangoon in 1944 because of his illness.  Later on he reached the battle field at Mandale again in February, 1945 to lead his troops against the British Army.  He escaped narrowly from the British forces which had encircled him and his force.  He went along with Subhash Chandra Bose to lead the female troops of the Jhansi regiment of Indian National Army to a safer location after defeat of Japan in the world war.  Colonel Malik had a strong desire for freedom and a special affection towards Netaji.  He faced the trial by the British Government in the Red Fort.  Later, Colonel Shoukat Ali Malik served as a special invitee in the Advisory Committee, formed for the welfare of the members of the Azad Hind Fouj.

Colonel Eshaan Qadri

Date of Birth: 1916
            Colonel Eshaan Qadri, who was famous for his warrior skills exhibited in the Indian National Army, was born in 1916 at Lahore in the Punjab Province, which is now in Pakistan.  His father was Sir Abdul Qadri.  Eshaan Qadri was trained in the Indian Military Academy of Deharadun in 1935.  He worked as the Captain in the Punjab regiment of the British Indian Army.  During Second World War he was sent to Singapore in 1939.  When the British troops surrendered to the Japanese Army during the first phase of the World War-II, troops led by Qadri were detained by Japan forces at Kaulalampur in January, 1942.  Later, Qadri met Captain Mohan Singh, the leader of the Indian National Army, which was formed on 1st September, 1942.  Eshaan was assigned responsibilities to organise radio propaganda to garner public support for the war prisoners of British Indian Army held by Japan in the World War.  He supervised the radio programmes broadcast from Saigan.  But, he returned from Saigan to prevent Captain Mohan Singh from his plans to dissolve the Indian National Army.  When the Indian National Army was revived and taken over by Subhash Chandra Bose, he was revived and taken over by Subhash Chandra Bose; he was given the charge of recruitment for the Indian National Army.  Eshaan Qadri was appointed as the Minister for the Human Resources Development and member of the ‘War Council’ in the Azad Hind Government which was formed under the leadership of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.  Qadri went to Rangoon from Singapore along with Subhash Chandra Bose.  He was a good strategist and also an appealing orator.  He toiled hard to recruit civilians and the war prisoners for Indian National Army and to train them as warriors.  He also led the activities of the ‘Azad Hind Dal’, which was formed to admister the areas captured and occupied by the Indian National Army.  Qadri went to the battle field in April, 1944 and reached back to Rangoon in December, 1944.  When Japan was defeated in the World War-II, Qadri along with his troops of Indian National Army was caught by British Indian Army.  Along with other Azad Hind Fouz officers, Colonel Eshaan Qadri too had undergone military trial at Delhi Red fort.

Mulla Abdul Basith

Date of Birth: 1889
            Mulla Abdul Basith, who hailed from a family which was unable to accept the hegemony of the foreign rulers over the natives, committed strove for a imperial rulers.  He was born in 1889 in Gulbarga, which is presently in Karnataka state.  Amulla Abdul Khayyum, the renowned renaissance leader of Hyderabad of Deccan was his father.  His brother Abdul Munnem was a great writer with nationalist ideas.  Abdul Basith completed Fazil course from Punjab University.  The inspiration for his nationalist ideas came from his father, who was a district judge in Nizam Government.  Stepping in to his father’s shoes he established an organisation called ‘The Red Crescent Society’ to which he donated three lakh rupees to be used for the wounded soldiers in the Balkan war in 1912.  He played a major role in ‘Anjuman-e-Mariff’’, an organisation established by his father in 1905.  Through this organisation, he worked for socio-economic and intellectual development of the people of Hyderabad.  He started a magazine in 1905 titled ‘Sahifa’ edited by Akbar Ali, to the spread of nationalistic ideas in the people.  He was transformed it into a daily later on.  He wrote regularly for this daily in support of Indian national movement.  He countered the criticism against his father and silenced the ill-intentioned critics with his apt replies.  He organised Hyderabad educational conference in 1915 for the development of education and gave scholarships for the poor students.  He played an active role in public life ad started another Urdu paper called ‘Khadim’.  This paper opposed Imperial powers and stood in support of Indian National leaders and played a major role in the movement to merge Nizam state into Indian Union.  He supported the demand of Fareed Mirza, to abolish Razakars system and to merge Nizam state in Indian Union.  The letter addressed to Nizam, prepared by Fared Mirza’s was first published in ‘Khadim’.  Nizam Government passed the order to revoke that letter and issued summons for his appearance before Nizam.  But Basith did not obey and rejected the order to take back his contentions.  Due to this disobedience ‘Khadim’ was banned by Nizam Government.  Through his paper, Basith condemned the statements describing the Nationalists as ‘traitors’ and ‘agents of Indian Union’.  The Nizam Government stopped his pension since his writings and actions were supporting the Indian National Movement.  He also rendered his services as the member of Rehabilitation Committee formed by the Indian Government as a consequence of brutal acts by the police at time of so called ‘Police Action’.  Subsequently he lead a peaceful life in publishing Urdu papers, creating literature and serving the people through several service organisations.

Shaik Moulana Saheb

Date of Birth: 1922 and Date of Death: 2013
            Shaik Moulana Saheb, who hoisted the flag of ‘Paritala Republic’ for the first time during the historic announcement of ‘Paritala Republic’, was born in 1922 in Patitala village of Kanchikacharla Mandal of Krishna district, in Andhra Pradesh.  After that incident, he got into fame as the ‘Flag Bearer of the Paritala Republic.  His parents were Mohammad Bi, Shaik Mira Saheb.  He discontinued his studies in the fourth form to support his family by cutting firewood.  He was well acquainted with Telugu and Urdu languages.  He developed keen interest in the National Movement in the friendship of likeminded people and fiends.  Though India got independence in 1947, Paritala Khanat Taluq was not liberated, as it was then under the Nizam rule.  Then, people of Paritala started a revolt against the Nizam Lordship.  The people of seven villages under Paritala Khanat Taluq had declared freedom by themselves under the leadership of Madiraju Devaraju, a friend of Moula Saheb.  The people of Paritala, then decided to hoist the National Flag as a symbol of independence.  But, as per the Nizam law, hoisting any flag other than Nizam’s amounted to treason, and it was a punishable offence, which attracts three years of imprisonment.  Paritala freedom fighters, who were aware of this law, were undecided over hoisting the flag.  In such a situation, Shaik Moula Saheb came forward to hoist the National Flag at the village office of Paritala and sang ‘Door hato Duniya waalo..’ song.  Paritala, then became a republic after the hoisting by Shaik Moula and the rule of the Republic started and continued for 18 months.  The Jagirdar, who came to know about the flag hoisting incident, attacked the village.  He conducted Communal Panchayat and forced social boycott on Shaik Moula’s family.  And the Jagirdar paraded Moula in the village streets carrying shoes on his head.  But, Moula Saheb did not bother for such incidents.  Later, he went underground for some time.  This incident brought to the knowledge of Mahatma Gandhi.  Meanwhile, Nizam state was merged with in the Indian Union in September, 1948, and Paritala too became a part of the Indian Union, and Shaik Moula’s adventure came to a positive conclusion.  Though several colleagues of Shaik Moula got recognition as freedom fighters, he could not get it till 2010.  He used to spread his spirit of those days to the present youth.  Whenever he is requested, Moula Saheb is use to sing the song ‘Door hato… Duniya waalo… Hindustan Hamaraa Hay’ emotionally.  At the ripe age of ninety one Shaik Moula Saheb breathed his last in 2013.

Dr. Sadiq Ali

Date of Birth: 1910 and Date of Death: 2001
            Dr. Sadiq Ali, who joined Indian National Movement as a student, was born in Udaipur in Rajasthan State in 1910.  He took part in Khilafat and Non Cooperation movement as student of Allahabad University.  He participated in the activities of Indian National Congress in the Gandhian way moving closely with Jawaharlal Nehru.  He organised picketing in Allahabad University as part of the boycotting foreign goods and alcoholism.  The British Government arrested and sent him to jail.  In 1930, he along with Jawaharlal Nehru prepared salt and auctioned it in the presence of Mothi Lal Nehru, defying the sanctions imposed by the British Government.  It was one of part of action in the Civil Disobedience Movement.  Angered by this act of violation, the British Government sent Dr. Sadiq Ali to jail.  When released from the jail, he focused on rural development programmes in tune with the way shown by Gandhiji.  He was on the work of rural development programmes in Uttar Pradesh till 1937.  He served as the permanent secretary of the office of Indian National Congress from 1938 to 1948.  In 1942 he lived in Sevagram with Mahatma Gandhi.  He was in jail for two years for undertaking Individual Satyagraha in January, 1943.  He vehemently opposed the ‘Pakistan’ resolution of All India Muslim League.  After independence and partition, he once again under took constructive programmes concentrating on rural development from 1948 to 1950.  He used to spin cotton thread in his leisure time and led his life as true Gandhian.  Later on, Doctor Sadiq Ali entered into active politics in 1950 and as a provisional parliamentary member from Uttar Pradesh from 1950 to 1952.  When Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party was formed by Acharya Kripalani in 1951, he took its membership and worked as its general secretary.  He contested in Lok Sabha elections as a KMPP party candidate in 1952 and suffered defeat.  He could not win in 1957 elections even though he contested as Congress party candidate.  At last he was elected to Rajyasabha form Rajasthan.  He was in Rajyasabha from 1958 to 1970.  He served as Governor of Maharashtra from 1977 to 1980 and as Governor of Tamilnadu from 1980 to 1982.  Doctor Sadiq Ali, who led his life till the end as a true Gandhian with socialist ideology, breathed his last on 17th April, 2001.

Abdul Gafoor

Date of Birth: 18th March, 1918 and Date of Death: 10th July, 2004
            Abdul Gafoor, who worked for the harmony between Hindus and Muslims, which he believed was essential for the liberty of the motherland, was born on 18th March, 1918 in Sareya Akhteryar, Gopalgunj district in Bihar in a peasants’ family.  He joined the Aligarh Muslim University in 1935 to pursue higher education.  He got attracted towards the Indian National Movement, when he was student at Aligarh.  Though he adored Gandhi, he followed the path of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for liberating the motherland.  He created sensation at the All India Students’ meeting, which was held in 1937 by forwarding a proposal to remove the words of ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ in the names of Universities to strengthen secularism.  When Subhash Chandra Bose quit as the President of the Indian National Congress under compelled situation and started the Forward Bloc, he joined with Bose and organised several programmes as a state representative of the Forward Bloc in Bihar.  He believed that the ideas of Netaji for the liberation of the nation were practical.  When Subhash Chandra Bose went to Germany in 1941, he dedicated himself totally to the Indian National Movement.  He played an active role in the Quit India Movement in 1942, delivered inspiring lectures defying the prohibitory orders by the British Government and appealed to the people to revolt against the British rule.  The British Government, which was irked by his activities, imprisoned him for two and a half years.  He became close to the leaders like Abdul Kalam Azad and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai during his stay in the Jail.  Even later, Abdul Gafoor was imprisoned several times.  But, he carried on his activities by actively participating in the Indian National Movement in Bihar.  He also campaigned against the divisive politics of the Muslim League.  He got elected to the Assembly several times after independence.  He held several Ministerial posts and also worked as the Chief Minister of Bihar from July, 1973 to April, 1975.  During his tenure as Chief Minister, he took several effective steps to eradicate corruption.  But, he faced criticism during the complex political situation arising out of the declaration of ‘Emergency’ by Indira Gandhi, consequent upon the movement started under the leadership of Lokanayak Jayaprakash Narayana.  Later, he got elected to the parliament in 1984 and served as a minster in the union cabinet for some time.  Abdul Gafoor, who led a simple life, breathed his last on 10th July, 2004.

Munshi Syed Mohammed Mastan Baig

Date of Birth: 1st July, 1913 and Date of Death: 29th September, 1999
            Munshi Syed Mohammed Mastan Baig, who publicly declared that “The word of Gandhi is a golden word to me”, followed Mahatma Gandhi’s path throughout his life, was born on 1st July, 1913 in Sangadigunta in Guntur city of Andhra Pradesh.  His parents were Meera Saheb and Hussain Bi.  He was attracted towards national movement as a student and took membership in Indian National Congress.  He participated actively in civil disobedience movement.  In the beginning, he was much attracted towards the revolutionary way that was adopted by many around him.  He did not like strikes and picketing organised by Indian National Congress.  He participated in many programmes secretly with revolutionary members of INC.  He took part in secret political training camps conducted by famous revolutionary Annapragada Kameshwara Rao.  As a result of that he was taken into police custody for 21 days.  He suffered physical and mental tortures in police custody.  He did his graduation in Urdu from Madras University.  Later on, he was appointed as an Urdu teacher in ‘Tenali Taluka High School’ in 1942.  He very actively participated along with his profession in Indian National Movement.  He was in forefront in Quit India Movement.  He remained unhurt in brutal police firing on 12th August, 1942 in Tenali Town.  He participated in the prospective independence celebrations organised in 1943 under the leadership of Annapragada KamesHwara Rao.  For that he was arrested and jailed from 24th January to 7th February, 1943.  After that he was arrested because he gave a strong push to many national activities.  He went underground and such the police could not catch him from June, 1942 to December, 1943.  He continued his underground activities.  Some people who were influenced by Muslim League in Tenali area did not like his attitude, threatened him.  Even then, he announced that he would continue in Indian National Congress upto the end of his life.  As the day of Indian independence was coming close, division of India into two countries became a tough problem.  He opposed India’s division into two countries.  He announced that Urdu language is the common symbol of Indian culture.  Due to financial problems in his final days of his life, he applied for pension under the pressure brought upon him by his friends.  In 1998 he got 21,000 rupees as pension arrears.  He donated that amount for the development of Urdu language.  Munshi Syed Mohammed Mastan Baig died on 29th September, 1999 in Tenali.

S. Abdul Majeed

Date of Birth: 20th December, 1909 and Date of Death: 10th July, 2000
            S. Abdul Majeed, who showed high degree of commitment towards politics with democratic values, was born on 20th December, 1909 at a village called Vakkom in Thiruvanthapuram district of Kerala state, from which several prominent leaders hailed.  Right from his childhood, he came under the enlightening influence of the liberal ideas of his maternal uncle Moulvi Vakkon Abdul Khader who was multifaceted personality, renowned social reformer and visionary.  In his school days, Abdul Majeed was attracted towards the anti British policies and social reforms and particularly towards the philosophical path shown by Narayana Guru, who denounced Caste System.  He married Suleha Bibi, daughter of Moulvi Khader.  At a time when National Movement was gaining momentum, he participated actively in it in Kerala.  He was among the top leadership of the movement and exerted great efforts in expanding and consolidating Indian National Congress in Travancore.  He strongly felt that liberation form social maladies was as important as emancipation form foreign rule and as such worked on both the fronts.  Abdul opposed the Pakistan resolution of Muslim League in 1940.  He advocated for a secular and Nationalist India which alone could keep people of all regions and religions united.  The British Government records reckon him as the first among the few activists of National Movement in Travancore area who had exhibited high degree of courage during the Quit India Movement in 1942.  On account of that, he was in jail for several months.  He opposed the Independent Travancore Movement which demanded secession of Travancore form India, as a result of which he had to be in jail again and again.  In 1948, he was unanimously elected to Travancore-Cochin state assembly.  He retired from politics after completing his tenure as the people’s representative in 1952.  In 1972 the Government of India honoured him as a freedom fighter with a grand felicitation.  He wrote several books propagating social reform and seeking the creation of a society imbibed with human values and modern free atmosphere.  He involved himself in reading, writing and guiding people towards reforms till the end of life.  S. Abdul Majeed breathed his last on 10th July, 2000.

Hajara Begum

Date of Birth: 22nd December, 1910 and Date of Death: 20th January, 2003
            Hajara Begum, who fought against the British to liberate the Nation and worked for the welfare of the toiling masses of the country, was born on 22nd December, 1910 at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.  She came to know about the sacrifices of the freedom fighters that were fighting against the British from her father, who was a police officer.  After the failure of marriage, she went to London to pursue her higher education, where she got acquainted with the anti-British forces.  This led her to decide to fight against the British Imperialist forces to liberate the nation.  She had to face the anger of the British Government as she was criticizing their acts in several International fora.  She returned to India and joined as a lecturer in the Karamat Hussain Women’s College at Lucknow in 1935.  She also worked along with famous poet Sajjad Zahir in the formation of All India Progressive Writers’ Association.  She got married to a nationalist leader Dr. Zainul Abedeen Ahmed in 1935 and in the same year both of them took membership in the Indian National Congress.  Since the police were after them for their anti-British activities, they resigned their jobs and dedicated themselves totally to the Indian National Movement.  While participating in the activities of the Indian National Congress, Hajara Begum also campaigned for the Communist Party without the knowledge of the Police.  She actively took part in the election campaign in those days, and as a result of this a number of Congress leaders could get elected.  She attended secret political workshop at Kotthapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in 1937.  She spoke on different subjects in the workshop as a lecturer.  Hajara Begum was against the gender bias since younger age.  She fought against all types of inequalities successfully.  She left the Indian National Congress in 1940 along with her husband.  Since then, she played a vital role in organising the unorganised labour sector.  She become very popular as ‘Hajara Aapa’ in the circles of toiling people and women.  The Soviet Union honoured her with ‘Supreme Soviet Jubilee Award’ in 1960 in recognition of her work for the downtrodden people on the eve of the birth centenary of Lenin.  Hajara Begum, who spent her entire life in the service of the country, breathed her last on 20th January, 2003.