Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil'-A warrior of Pen & Pistol

Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil' - A warrior of Pen & Pistol  (1985) 
by Krant M. L. Verma

The paper presented on 27 February, 1985 in the First International Symposium on India & World Literature (IWL) at Vigyan-Bhawan, New Delhi by Krant M. L. Verma.[1] It was also published in his book Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna.[2][3]

India is a land of wonders. The unparallel culture & unique courage of its landlovers stands rare in the world. No other country resembles its notable personalities. History honours its values established by the persons who damn cared for their lives even.

For poets & writers it's a general opinion that they are not alike in life as they appear usually in their writtings. A writer can generate an ocean of literature but he can not impart even a single drop of blood for others what to say for his motherland. Likewise a poet can compose very good poems which can inspire a common man to do & die for his country but in his personal life he himself can not do so. I mean to say he can not give away his own life for the nation in case of need. Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil' was such a person who wrote so many inspiring Ghazals for the youths of his time, got them published in the leading News Papers & took in his hands the weapons too when the country needed it. Undoubtedly he was a man combine of words & work. Whatever he wrote in his poetry, the same act was wrought by him in his life too.

Not only this, he organised youths, armed them with weapons, trained them for action and terrorised the then British Imperialists to quit India. Thus, he prepared a marshal race of so many landlovers & made them stand in the front line of revolutionery action. Ashfaq Ulla Khan, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh & so many others were his devoted disciples & forward followers of a Martyr's Marale. When Bismilji was arrested & kept in Jail, Chandra Shekhar Azad was very much aggressive to get him released anyhow. He tried his best & approached M.K.Gandhi also, to do something for converting his Death Sentence into Life Imprisonment but Gandhiji did'nt listen to. Why? it's a matter to be unearthened.

'Bismil' was his pen name which means a person hurt by heart. Now the question arises who had hurt him? Historically viewing, it was the pitiable condition of poor Indians whom the British Imperialists had made their permanent slave. Naturally he had an adventurous spirit in his heart to get the country free for which he did all that which he could. Obviously he was an ordinary man who could establish his family by marrying himself & get all the pleasure of life but he did'nt do all that. He wandered from one corner to another corner of the country to collect the weapons, arrange financial resourses for party work & inspire the youths by his verses called Nazms & Ghazals.

He also got so many books published from his own resourses & spent the money earned in profit for purchasing the weapons for his party workers. In order to get the sufficient fund in a lump sum he looted the then English Government's Treasure. Unfortunately his mission to overturn the Government met a hasty disaster. All the members of his Revolutionery Party were arrested and taken to the court for trial. Improper punishment varying from 4 years to life imprison was given to 16 persons & 4 persons viz. Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil', Ashfaq Ulla Khan, Rajinder Lahiri & Thakur Roshan Singh were forcefully done to untimely death. Bismil was leader of the world famous Cacori Concipiracy Case.

We all are really proud of the previlage for having one of his Action-Men Sri Manmath Nath Gupta amongst us in this Symposium as a renowned writer but alas! I am aggrieved to tell you all that his only surviving sister Smt. Shastri Devi is still striving for her daily common needs of livinghood. Bismil Ji did not bother for his family members & so did his followers too. But what our present Government or Society is doing for them or for their family members, who had given away their valuable lives for the betterment of our future & our country's freedom?

Bismil had written so many Ghazals,Nazms & Books, but his last written Biography, especially wherein his valueable thoughts have been concisely given is really a Noble Deed. Would our Indian Government like to follow his masterpiece advice rendered for country? Now a days where the Gandhi-ism, Marx-ism & so many other isms are being tested throughout the world by the present deplomates of democracy, would any one dare to implement the basic-oriented norms & forms of Bismil spoken outrightly by him in his Biography? May I hope from the present Indian Government to initiate something on Bismil's pattern of Socio-Economic reform.

Moreover the literature of Bismil require an honourable attention of the present eminent personalities devoted in this field. For instance, I have tried to translate some of his famous Ghazals & Nazms which impart an impression on the mind of readers about his unique soldiership of pen & pistol. Friends! in this symposium, so many participants have come from all over the world, I have the honour to present a few glimpses of them as a sample.

The quest of literature never comes to an end & we are assembled here to transrotate our views in an unispherical human atmosphere all over the world through a constant & keen study of Indian Literature. I take this apportunity as my pleasure to be amongst you all & present this very short paper. Thank you very much, ladies & gentlemen!

Further I would request honourable chairperson Prof. R.B.Joshi on the dais to permit me to present the English Translation alongwith its original text in Hindi Script side by side.


(English Translation of 'Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna')

Our heart has the dire desire to die, See! how much force killer apply.

सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है, देखना है जोर कितना बाजुए-क़ातिल में है !

Let the time come we will tell O Sky! What to tell now what we are to try.

वक़्त आने दे बता देंगे तुझे ऐ आसमाँ ! हम अभी से क्या बताएँ क्या हमारे दिल में है !

Hope of dy'ing has dragged us here, Landlovers' rush has increased high.

खीँच कर लाई है हमको क़त्ल होने की उम्म्मीद, आशिकों का आज जमघट कूच-ए-क़ातिल में है !

We dedicate to thee everything O Nation! Our deeds of dare they will notify.

ऐ शहीदे-मुल्के-मिल्लत हम तेरे ऊपर निसार, अब तेरी हिम्मत का चर्चा ग़ैर की महफ़िल में है !

Neither there is any zeal or wish, The heart of 'Bismil' now wants to die.

अब न अगले बल्वले हैं और न अरमानों की भीड़, सिर्फ मिट जाने की हसरत अब दिले-'बिस्मिल' में है !

This Ghazal of 'Bismil' was very much popular amongst all freedom fighters. They used to sing it in a chorus while proceeding to the court for trial. British Govt. has banned it totally to be published in any of the leading News Paper but small papers continued it's publishing.


(English translation of Jazva-E-Shaheed)

We too could take the rest at home, We too could enjoy the pleasure of 'foam',

We too had been the sons of someone,To nourish us what they have not done.

At the time of departure from our's home, We could not say at least to them-

"In case if the tears drop in lap, Think as if your child is there."

हम भी आराम उठा सकते थे घर पर रह कर, हमको भी पाला था माँ-बाप ने दुःख सह-सह कर ,

वक्ते-रुख्सत उन्हें इतना भी न आये कह कर, गोद में अश्क जो टपकें कभी रुख से बह कर ,

तिफ्ल उनको ही समझ लेना जी बहलाने को !

In our's fate was the torture since birth, We had the dole, the distress & dearth.

Who had the care and dare so dire! When we had put our step in fire.

Till farther had tried the country to sheer.

अपनी किस्मत में अजल ही से सितम रक्खा था, रंज रक्खा था मेहन रक्खी थी गम रक्खा था ,

किसको परवाह थी और किसमें ये दम रक्का था, हमने जब वादी-ए-ग़ुरबत में क़दम रक्खा था ,

दूर तक याद-ए-वतन आई थी समझाने को !

We have no woe of self but bother, Why downfall does the country disorder.

When cometh the year of freedom in nation, Ours is the race that feels us a 'passion'.

It's "we" who are anxious to die everywhere.

अपना कुछ गम नहीं लेकिन ए ख़याल आता है, मादरे-हिन्द पे कब तक ये जवाल आता है ,

कौमी-आज़ादी का कब हिन्द पे साल आता है, कौम अपनी पे तो रह-रह के मलाल आता है ,

मुन्तजिर रहते हैं हम खाक में मिल जाने को  !

O Youths! in case if it clicks to you, Remember "us" ever for a while in view.

Whether your body be cut into pieces, And your mother be drench in distress,

Yet your faces be "fresh" with flair.

नौजवानों! जो तबीयत में तुम्हारी खटके, याद कर लेना कभी हमको भी भूले भटके ,

आपके अज्वे-वदन होवें जुदा कट-कट के, और सद-चाक हो माता का कलेजा फटके ,

पर न माथे पे शिकन आये कसम खाने को !

In our veins runs the blood of a "moth", We have now taken for the Nation an oath.

So are performed customs of a "Martyr",The brothers embrace their swords altogether,

And the sisters are ready to sit on the "pyre".

एक परवाने का बहता है लहू नस-नस में, अब तो खा बैठे हैं चित्तौड़ के गढ़ की कसमें ,

सरफ़रोशी की अदा होती हैं यूँ ही रस्में, भाई खंजर से गले मिलते हैं सब आपस में ,

बहने तैयार चिताओं से लिपट जाने को !

We dedicate head and sacrifice heart, To our motherland we offer every sort.

We know not where to dwell & dine, Be merry friends! we march align,

To inhibit any "solitude" somewhere.

सर फ़िदा करते हैं कुरबान जिगर करते हैं, पास जो कुछ है वो माता की नजर करते हैं ,

खाना वीरान कहाँ देखिये घर करते हैं! खुश रहो अहले-वतन! हम तो सफ़र करते हैं ,

जा के आबाद करेंगे किसी वीराने को !

O Youths! it's the proper time to face, Wear every sort of suffering for the "race".

It's nothing if you bestow for country, your blood. Take the blessings of "Mother" in a flood.

Let us see! who cometh next to share.

नौजवानो ! यही मौका है उठो खुल खेलो, खिदमते-कौम में जो आये वला सब झेलो ,

देश के वास्ते सब अपनी जबानी दे दो , फिर मिलेंगी न ये माता दुआएँ ले लो ,

देखें कौन आता है ये फ़र्ज़ बजा लाने को ?

This famous 'Nazm' of Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil' was sung by Prem Dutt- a freedom figher accused in a conspiracy case against British Government. Hearing the deepness of it's feelings the Chief Judge of the jur'y was overwhelmed & he immediately turned down the verdict into a life-imprison while it was already decided to a death sentence.


(English translation of another Ghazal of 'Bismil')

Ours is the talk in the field of foe, See! which stage has reached this show.

चर्चा अपने क़त्ल का अब दुश्मनों के दिल में है, देखना है ये तमाशा कौन सी मंजिल में है ?

O Countrymen! you learn to sacrifice, The secret of life is to cut across flow.

कौम पर कुर्बान होना सीख लो ऐ हिन्दियो ! ज़िन्दगी का राज़े-मुज्मिर खंजरे-क़ातिल में है !

Take it to shore very soon O Sailor! The boat of our country is out of the row.

साहिले-मक़सूद पर ले चल खुदारा नाखुदा ! आज हिन्दुस्तान की कश्ती बड़ी मुश्किल में है !

How be remove the dark of distress, This is now only our worry and woe.

दूर हो अब हिन्द से तारीकि-ए-बुग्जो-हसद , अब यही हसरत यही अरमाँ हमारे दिल में है !

Hang me up for the sake of freedom, Rest is the "will" of a 'Bismil's "woe".

बामे-रफअत पर चढ़ा दो देश पर होकर फना , 'बिस्मिल' अब इतनी हविश बाकी हमारे दिल में है !


(English translation of 'Bismil's last verse)

What's the use hats off, when the person died, What's the use of message which came after tide.

मिट गया जब मिटने वाला फिर सलाम आया तो क्या ! दिल की बर्वादी के बाद उनका पयाम आया तो क्या !

When hopes were dead & died every thought, What's the use of message if the messanger brought.

मिट गईं जब सब उम्मीदें मिट गए जब सब ख़याल , उस घड़ी गर नामावर लेकर पयाम आया तो क्या !

O Heart! go away from here and destroy thy notion, What's the use of it if thou did after motion.

ऐ दिले-नादान मिट जा तू भी कू-ए-यार में , फिर मेरी नाकामियों के बाद काम आया तो क्या !

Alas! had we seen our "goal" alive, What's the use of it, if achieved after life.

काश! अपनी जिंदगी में हम वो मंजर देखते , यूँ सरे-तुर्बत कोई महशर-खिराम आया तो क्या !

Worth seen were the last moments of 'Bismil', What's the use if the people saw it after thrill.

आख़िरी शब् दीद के काबिल थी 'बिस्मिल' की तड़प , सुब्ह-दम कोई अगर बाला-ए-बाम आया तो क्या !

This was the last verse of 'Bismil' which was sent by him to his fellow party-men from Gorakhpur Jail but it's a matter of regret that none of them could do anything for his escape. Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil' has very clearly mentioned this fact in his "Biography".

Source ReferencesEdit

  1. Pt. Ram Prasad 'Bismil': A Warrior of Pen & Pistol
  2. Krant, Madan Lal Verma (1998). "ANNEXTURE-D". Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna (Part-1) (in Hindi). New Delhi: Praveen Prakashan. p. 165-169. OCLC 468022633. This paper was read in the First International Symposium on India and World Literature (IWL) on 27th of February, 1985 at Vigyan-Bhawan, New Delhi. 
  3. International Symposium On India & World Literature Dr.A.K.Maurya, 1985, New Delhi, Page 81.

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