Behind The Bars

Behind The Bars

When I opened my eyes, I saw a man standing in front of me. He had broad shoulders, unmanaged Beard and Hair and height almost same as mine.  His eyes were popping out, possibly because of Improper, Irregular and Unhygienic diet. He was wearing a yellowish-white, loose shirt with loose pyjamas. He smiled faintly at me and I smiled back.

‘Where I was? Who is this man?’

I looked around and saw that I was in a prison. I was standing with that Man behind the bars but I wasn’t wearing that shabby uniform. I was feeling like puking because of that intolerable smell of Urine.

“Come Here, Sit down my friend, you must be tired.” He said in a fluent English Language.

I sat on a small bench, kept on a stone bed on the right-hand side of the prison cell.

“Where I’m Sir? And How I came Here?” I asked him.

“You and all those youngsters have Betrayed me. Today, I’m thinking that all my sacrifices going into vain. All my efforts and compromises are looking useless today. I made all the sacrifices, all the compromises to make your generation free from the clutches of these animals, these monsters. But Now, it is looking like a total waste.” He said in a single breath, looking deep into my eyes

I was sitting there looking at him obliviously.

‘ what in the world he is talking about?’ I thought.

“Hmm… let me tell you the whole story from the beginning, my friend. Listen to it patiently.” He took a deep breath, sat down next to me and then continued ” I was 6 or 7 years old when my Father Saw me digging his pistol in the ground because I wanted to sow that pistol deep to reap a tree of more ammunition. I never doubted the fact that to make the deaf hear, we have to make loud noises. I was pretty clear about that fact. I grew up watching my Father and Uncle fighting for freedom and being a proud member of Gadar party.”

“The revolutionary in me was born after that one of the darkest day in the history of mankind. The day when the Jallianwala Bagh massacre happened. That Gora, Dyer came at the Baisakhi fair and killed all the innocent folks.” He stood with a thud and brought a Jar from a nearby shelf. It was filled with some pebbles and sand.

“Bow Down my friend. This is not mere dust, this is the compromise of lives of our ancestors. I collected this from Jallianwala Bagh the very next day. Bow down.” He said.

I joined my shivering palms and bowed down.  He bowed down too and closed his eyes for a while.

“I joined Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Where I met my revolutionary brothers, The young children of our Holy Bharat Maa. Bismil Ji, Azad Bhaisahab, Sukhdev and all my dear ones, who were all set to fight for the nation and to die for the nation, who were ready to die for your Freedom, my friend. We were so darn unhappy with the call back of Non-cooperation movement.  We planned something big and snatched away all the money and the other stuff from the Britishers. We hi-jacked the train at Kakori going towards Lahore. We Robbed the robbers. It was a tight slap on the face of Britishers. They went mad and arrested Bismil Ji and many others.” He said.

“Soon, they planned to bring Simon commission to India. I can’t describe that anger, that fire inside us in mere words. We protested against the Goras at Lahore Railway station. Lala Ji was leading us. He was ready to face anything which would come between our way. They retaliate and banged wooden sticks at Lala Ji’s head. They killed Lala Ji, that Gora Scott was the murderer.  This increased the fire in our hearts. Azad Bhaisahab, Rajguru and me went to kill him. A fellow revolutionary recognised him but we killed another policeman by mistake. That made them mad. They were getting afraid of our Power.”

” It literally shook the whole British empire, they were finding us like maniacs. They knew that there was a Sikh man, with beard and Turban was involved in the conspiracy. Without Thinking much I…  I changed my appearance from A Sikh to a rich Gentleman.  They failed to recognise me. We carried the mission forward .”

He took a deep breath again.

“We realized that true freedom is not only getting free from the jaws of these Goras. True freedom lies in social upliftment. We needed to become one single force, one single power which lives with harmony and Peace. We needed to become An Indian first, A Hindu or a Muslim afterwards. That’s why we wanted Purna Swaraj, The complete freedom. We changed the name of our Organisation, Hindustan Republic Association to Hindustan Social Republic Association.”

” Then came the major turn in the whole story.  Dutt sahib and I decided to make that noise to make those deaf hear. We were ready to get arrested for it. We went to Bengal and learned the procedure to make Bombs. We came to Dilli and threw Bombs at the vacant spaces in the Central Legislative Assembly. We throw the flyers to make our motto clear to all of them. We got arrested and we didn’t retaliate.”

“In the prison, a new Revolution begin.” He pointed his finger towards a shed outside the prison. “They have imprisoned all the Gora, Europian prisoners there. And they receive all the faculties present on the planet. They get hygienic Good, washed Uniforms, Books, Newspaper and writing material. But we were getting no such treatment.  We retaliated and denied to accept even a single morsel of that Unhygienic Food. We started the Hunger strike. Every revolutionary present in the prisons was boycotting that food. We all stood against that inequality in the prison. They forced us like animals and tried to put food in our mouth, but I swear of Bharat Maa, I didn’t take a single bite inside, Not for a week, Not for a month but for more than 2 months.” He said with his bloodshot eyes.

“What’s  your Date of birth, my dear Friend?” I took me a second to reply “It’s  13th of September, 199…” I haven’t completed my sentence when he said “13th September 1921, Jatin Das Ji took his last breath. They forced him to have some food to save his life, but he denied and chose death. Revolution my friend, Revolution.” He paused for a moment.

I was numb, my voice was choked. Every time I wait for my birthday to have that feeling of a speciality for one day. Every year I count that how many people have wished me on my Facebook Wall. How many people have texted me and called me. But on that very day, A revolutionary had sacrificed his life for my Freedom, freedom of my Nation. My eyes were getting moist I tried hard to control my tears. I was just feeling like screaming at the top of my voice and cry.

“Rajguru, Sukhdev and me, they have given the orders to hang us till death tomorrow. And we are happy, so happy that I can’t express it right now.”  He smiled brightly this time, with a slight glitter in his eyes. ” I lived for my country and I’m dying for my country. Though I wanted to serve my Nation till this universe ends, That’s the order of My Mother, The Holy Bharat Maa. Her wish is my command.” He said.

“But you my dear Friend, You and millions and millions like you are making me think that Is my sacrifice is even worth it? Or is it just for making my photograph as your Social media Display every year on my Birth and Death Anniversary? What kind of pride do you feel in pasting my photographs on the rear glass of your Luxurious cars and having Alchohol and Drugs inside?” He said looking at me again.

I couldn’t control my tears. I was broke down. I was shattered – Mentally, Spiritually and Emotionally.

“I’m aware of the fact that you will cut down my Nation into bits and pieces as soon as you’ll attain your so Called Independence. You’ll further create your imaginary boundaries on the basis as of caste, Religion and languages. I know you will start with your Political stunts soon after. I know that your leaders will be low on intelligence and high on confidence and they will rule you again. They suck up everything you have and will rule you like anything. Be it 1965, when you’ll fight with your brothers from that side of the fence or be it 1984, you’ll fight with your brothers from inside the nation, you’ll weaken up the Power of the nation.  And every time you’ll do this kind of intolerable activities, it would be a big, big shame for me and all the sacrifices I’ve made. It will make me doubt on myself and on what we all have done only for you.”

He laughed loudly ” They say that go and ask for mercy from the Almighty, you are about to die. But no, no my dear Friend, I have no regrets, no complaints from any spiritual power. I’m not afraid of dying for my country.  They say that pray for my next birth. But I believe that My life had started from the first breath and will end with the last breath. And if there is something called Reincarnation, I would love to be born as an Indian again.”

“Now, Future is in your hands. You can start with a revolution to actually make the nation free from all the evils, which will be more dangerous than these Goras. They will not invade our nation from somewhere outside but will live among you. Beware of them! They won’t have a Different colour of skin this time.

He took a deep breath again and sat calmly, reading the thick book in his hands. I was looking at him. Fear was nowhere to be seen on his face. With the blurred vision, I was looking at him and he was turning page after page.

Suddenly a Cop came and hand-Cuffed him. He looked at me for the very last time. The cop totally ignored me like I didn’t even exist. He smiled at me for the last time and went with the cop. I wanted to touch his feet, but I couldn’t.

I turned my head and I saw a wall calendar hanging on the wall. It was the year 1931 and all the dates had been crossed with a pencil, till 22nd. Which clearly meant that the date was 23d March 1931. I bowed down where that Man was standing. I kissed the ground and Cried like a baby. I heard a couple of voices saying ” Long live Revolution”. One of them was singing a song. Soon, all the voices faded.

I closed my eyes again and when I opened them, I was at an Army ground. The battalion was comprised of men and women both. A man a bit shorter than me, wearing round glasses was shouting

“Tum mujhe Khoon do,

Main tumhe Azadi Dunga… “


2 thoughts on “Behind The Bars

  1. Maneesha Agrawal
    Maneesha Agrawal says:

    A write-up brimming with sentiments. Nice one

    1. Himanshu R Nagpal
      Himanshu R Nagpal says:

      Thanking you so much Ma’am 🙂

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