(1897-1927) With a view to acquainting the younger generation of today with the sacrifices made by freedom fighters.Let us also remember Ram Prasad Bismil, the great martyr, on his 80th death anniversary, by going through his autobiography which also provides some glimpse of the history of freedom movement. Ram Prasad Bismil was one of the great revolutionary heroes of India who sacrificed his life for the sake of freedom of Mother India. He was born in 1897 at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Muralidhar, was an employee of Shahjahanpur Municipality. Ram Prasad learnt Hindi from his father and was sent to learn Urdu from a Moulvi. He also joined an English medium school despite his father's disapproval. Bismil knew several languages including Hindi, English, Urdu, Sanskrit and Bengali.

During his school days, Ram Prasad came into the influence of Arya Samaj which, in those days, used to be an inspirational force for thousands of patriots like Bhagat Singh, Lajpat Rai, and Chandrasekhar Azad etc. Ram Prasad was also very talented in writing poetry and made Hindi translations of some Bengali books. All of his poems have the intense patriotic feeling.

Ram Prasad and his associates raised a revolutionary organization for the sole purpose of fighting against the British imperialism in India. His revolutionary team’s members consisted of great freedom fighters stalwarts like Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagawati Charan Verma, Rajguru and many more and also Ashfaqulla Khan (a Muslim) in spite of their differences of faith, their common objective was to free India from the shackles of the British rule.

For running the organization and for buying small weapons, they were badly in need of funds which were difficult to be raised through charity and from common public. Hence, they decided to loot the cash from the govt. treasury. On the evening of 9th August 1925, the 8-Down train was passing through Kakori near Lucknow, when Ram Prasad and his nine revolutionary followers pulled the chain and stopped it. The cash from the Guard’s carriage was looted. Passengers had been told not to be afraid as the purpose was not to harm them. With the exception of one innocent passenger who was killed by an accidental shot, there was no bloodshed. This extremely well-planned dacoity, which is known as ‘Kakori Conspiracy’, jolted the British Government in India. After a month of detailed preliminary inquiries and elaborate preparations, the government cast its net wide for the revolutionaries. Arrest warrants were issued not only against the ten participants but also against other leaders of the Hindustan Republican Army. With the exception of Chandrasekhar Azad and Bhagvaticharan Verma, all participants were caught. The case went on for over a year and a half, and death sentences were awarded to Ram Prasad, Ashfaqullah, Roshan Singh and Rajendra Lahiri. A strong campaign was organized throughout India to save the lives of these revolutionary heroes. All the leaders of public life appealed to the British Government to show mercy to the condemned men. But the Government was unyielding.

While waiting for his date with the hangman in the jail, he started writing his autobiography in his prison-cell at Gorakhpur jail and concluded it just three days prior to being hanged. His mother who had come to visit him in jail on 18 December 1927, along with Shiv Verma a close friend of Ramprasad were successful in smuggling the manuscript outside jail premises. These pages were later printed in the shape of a book and soon thereafter, the printed copies of the book were confiscated and banned by the British Government. After India’s Independence in 1947, this autobiography was published by various Arya Samajs including Haryana Sahitya Sansthan, Gurukul Jhajjar, Haryana. This autobiography of Ram Prasad Bismil has been and will remain a source of inspiration for young men of India. in his autobiography he had expressed his desire to work for “Krinvanto Vishwamaryam” in his next birth. Today, some of Bismil’s personal belongings, including a blanket which he used in jail, are kept at Haryana Archaeological Museum, Gurukul Jhajjar (Haryana).

On the day of the execution the officials were amazed as he moved to the gallows he joyfully chanted Vande Matharam' and 'Bharath Matha ki Jai'. At the top of his voice he shouted down with the British Empire." Then he calmly recited prayers like 'Vishwani deva savithaha dunithani.... And embraced death. Ram Prasad ‘Bismil’ was hanged to death in Gorakhpur jail on 19 December 1927.

Ram Prasad (‘Bismil’ was his pen-name) was not only a revolutionary, but was a great poet also. One of his song “Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna” induced so many youngmen to lay down their lives for the country. In one poem he prays: "Even if I have to face death a thousand times for the sake of my Motherland, I shall not be sorry. Oh Lord! Grant me a hundred births in Bharath. But grant me this, too, that each time I may give up my life in the service of the Mother land."

In a poem written just before going to the gallows, he prays: "Oh Lord! Thy will be done. You are unique. Neither my tears nor I will endure. Grant me this boon, that to my last breath and the last drop of my blood, I may think of you and be immersed in your work."

But the most famous was

Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai,

Dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-qaatil mein hai.

We are now raring to die for our country's sake
Let's see how much of strength the assassin can display!

Ram Prasad Bismil answered Lala Lajpat Rai's call to the nations youth to join the freedom struggle against the British. When Lalaji scumed to death from a beating during a protest march, Bismil's friends Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev avenged the anger by shooting a British officer. Bismil with associates Chandrashekar Sharma Azad, Bhagawati Charan, Rajguru and others organized many a brave events. They printed literature, provided shelter to revolutionaries, made hand bombs and were a constant source of headache to the British Government.