They lived dangerously- Kakori Conspiracy

– Ratnakar Sadasyula

Kakori is a small town located near Lucknow, famous for it’s kebabs, Dasheri mangoes and Zardozi work. It is also the seat of the Qadiriya Qalandari Sufi order, and since the 15th century, one of the main abodes of the Alavi, Abbasi branches of the Kakorvi Shaikh community. Like most of the towns in Avadh, it has large palatial homes of landed Muslim gentry. Many famous Muslim writers like  Mohsin Kakorvi, his son  Noorul Hasan Nayyier who compiled Nurul Lughaat, a well known Urdu dictionary and satirist Ghulam Ahmed Alavi hail from here. The town would however be more well known for an incident that happened here on August 9, 1925, the  Kakori Conspiracy or the Kakori Train Robbery an important chapter in the revolutionary struggle.


The mastermind of the conspiracy was Ram Prasad Bismil, one of the greatest revolutionaries ever who had co founded the Hindustan Republican Association along with Sachindranath  Sanyaland  Jadugopal Mukherjee. Bismil already had a well running business in Shahjahanpur which he had left to organize the revolutionary movement.  However the lack of funds was proving to be a main hindrance. While he led some dacoities initially to gather money, Ram Prasad realized it was not sufficient, and there was no point in harassing his own fellow Indians.  It was at such a time, while he was travelling from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow, by train, he observed that at each station, the Station Master bought bags of money and placed them in the guard’s carriage, there was no one to guard them.

Image result for ram prasad bismil and ashfaqulla khan

The 8 Down between Shahjahanpur and Lucknow used to pass through Kakori daily, and that was the genesis of the conspiracy.  The intention was to stop the train at Kakori, loot the money bags, which would be used fo fund the revolution. And soon a team was assembled with Bismil leading it,and his close friend Ashfaqullah Khan, the next in charge.  Both of them were from the same town Shahjahanpur, then a leading revolutionary hub, and Ashfaq was an admirer of Bismil’s poetry from long. They had joined the Congress in 1921 along with another freedom fighter Prem Kishen Khanna.  When the HRA was founded, he was Deputy to Ram Prasad Bismil, and together both expanded the revolutionary activity in the Northern plains.

Ashfaqullah had initially opposed the plan, saying it was too risky, and the Government would crack down real hard. However with others like Rajendra Lahiri, Thakur Roshan Singh going along with Bismil, he too lent his support. The other members of the team included  Chandrashekhar Azad, Sachindra Nath Bakshi , Keshab Chakravarty, Mukundi Lal,  Banwari Lal Pandey , Kundan Lal, and Pranawesh Mukherjee. And above all Manmath Nath Gupta, whose book They Lived Dangerously, would give an excellent perspective of the revolutionary struggle for freedom.

Advertisementsabout:blankREPORT THIS AD

August 9, 1925

It was around evening time, the revolutionaries had already boarded the train. Rajendra Lahiri pulled the chain at Kakori station, while Ashfaqullah held the driver hostage with his Mauser pistol .  While Ram Prasad Bismil pushed the guard down and looted the Government money from his cabin. However when none could break the safe, it was Ashfaq once again who managed to break it with all his strength.

There was no bloodshed, except for one passenger killed accidentally. Soon the Government cracked down, on the Kakori conspirators and, and arrest warrants were issued. While  Azad managed to evade the crackdown, Ram Prasad was arrested soon enough at Saharanpur, while Ashfaqullah went into hiding for some time.  Ashfaq spent some time in Kanpur, working in Ganesh Vidyarthi’s printing press.  And for quite some time he wandered all over the North from Kanpur to Bihar to Rajasthan, changing names. He finally went to Delhi, and wanted to somehow escape India and meet Lala Hardayal. However he was betrayed by his own friend in Delhi, to the police and was arrested by Ikramul Haque.

Around 40 more people were arrested from different cities. Prominent among them were Ashfaqullah, Bismil, Roshan Singh from Shahjahanpur, Sachindranath Sanyal from Bengal, Sachindranath Bakshi from Pratapgarh.


Of these 15 were released due to lack of evidence, while  Banwari Lal and Indu Bhushan Mitra turned approvers for a more leninent sentence.

May 21, 1926

The trial began against the remaining in the special sessions court of  A. Hamilton.  Jagat Narayan was appointed as public prosecutor deliberately, he had been the prosecutor earlier in the Mainpuri Conspiracy case and had no love lost for Bismil.  Even though the police pressurized Ashfaqullah to testify against his colleagues, he refused to do so.

The revolutionaries were defended by Gobind Ballabh Pant, Mohan Lal Saxena and Chandra Bhanu Gupta among others. While all the major leaders of the freedom movement like Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai and Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi came out in support.

And finally the verdict was pronounced,  Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah Khan, Rajendra Lahiri and Thakur Roshan Singh were sentenced to death. While Sachindranath Sanyal and Sachindranath Bakshi were to be deported to Cellular Jail.  Sanyal wrote  Bandi Jeevan, A Life of Captivity, detailing his experiences there. Manmath Nath Gupta was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment, while the rest got relatively lesser periods.

Widespread protests broke out against the verdict, members of the central legislature petitioned the viceroy to commute the death sentence to life. However by August 22, 1927, the main court endorsed the original judgement. Madan Mohan Malviya sent a clemency petition to Lord Irwin, with signatures of around 78 members which too was rejected. S.L.Polak sent a final mercy appeal on September 16, 1927 to the King, which too was rejected. And they were hanged one by one, Ashfaqullah at Faizabad, Ram Prasad Bismil at Gorakhpur on December 19, 1927, while Thakur Roshan Singh was hanged at Naini near Allahabad on the same date.  Rajendra Lahiri was hanged two days earlier at Gonda.

The voices fell silent, but the spirit would continue to inspire countless other revolutionaries.

Leave a Reply

You may also like

Medieval History Miscellaneous

The legacy of loyalty by the great Mughals 

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/mumukshusavitri/status/1532261065207074817?s=24&t=rsnv1Gu82ULo9uO982zZig

1 The Mughal emperor Humayun blinded his own brother Kamran & murdered his brothers Askari and Hindal.

2 Akbar the “great” killed his own foster brother Adham Khan by throwing him down from the palace walls at Agra, in 1562. Akbar’s murder of Adham Khan was illustrated in the Akbarnama by the Mughal court artists Miskin and Shankar.


3 Jahangir cruelly blinded his own son Khusrau as his father Akbar wanted his grandson as heir, because Jahangir was an alcoholic & drug addict. Khusrau was captured, put on an elephant & paraded down Chandni Chowk, while his kinsmen were held at knife-point on raised platforms.


4 As the elephant approached each platform, each supporter was impaled on a stake (through his bowels), while Khusrau was forced to watch & listen to the screams. This was repeated numerous times, then Khusrau was blinded by his father Jahangir in…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

India-China Conflict: India’s Victory of 1967 and the 2020 Clash #Sangam Talk By Probal DasGupta


The Indian army veteran and author of Watershed 1967: India’s forgotten victory over China, Probal DasGupta talks of the Indo-China relations, particularly the lesser known incidents of 1967. The present standoff in Ladakh has raised questions of war and has brought up the historic narrative between the two countries. today. For fifty years, the event that dominated our memories was the 1962 India-China war, which India lost. However, the present crisis has focused on India’s victory over China in 1967. Probal’s book Watershed 1967 has played a significant role in reshaping the India-China narrative. In this talk he discusses China’s motives and India’s options today, and how 1967 is relevant in the current India-China skirmishes.

About the Speaker:

Probal DasGupta is an Indian army veteran and author…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Weapons from Punjab and Rajasthan seized in Maharashtra


While the Hanuman Chalisa and Azaan issue is simmering in Maharashtra huge batches of Swords and other weapons transported from states like Rajasthan and Punjab are being seized in Maharashtra. In last few days three such cases have been registered by Maharashtra police. Isn’t it a clear message that violence is knocking on the door? The rioters being celebrated and awarded in Karnataka and the long list of benefiters from Karauli riots convey the same! Wake up Hindus!

Source: https://www.naidunia.com

Maharashtra के धुले में मिला हथियारों का जखीरा, तलवार और खंजर समेत 90 हथियार जब्त, 4 आरोपी गिरफ्तार। अजान को लेकर राज ठाकरे की होने वाली सभा के लिए, राजस्थान से भेजी जा रही थीं तलवारें।

महाराष्ट्र के धुले जिले से भारी मात्रा में हथियार…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

One more territory lost to the changing Demography! The Uttarakhand!


Courtesy: https://twitter.com/anshul_aliganj/status/1517047053821825025?s=21&t=m0uR2PDEkJsDWLonYOQqAg

In Uttarakhand the Tourism Industry has been taken over by Samuday Vishesh. After the change in demography this was bound to happen.

Gadhwal was lost already and and now kumaon getting lost. Be it Nainital, Bhimtal, Ramnagar, Bageshwar,Jageshwar,Ranikhet and Kisano every where you will find them.
Locals have leased their hotels and restaurants to them.

Even when they are of not so well off background still they are able to do highest bidding and are able to get the hotels on lease.
Samuday Vishesh People from far off places have come and taken over Uttarakhand Tourism.

They have removed the local waiters , cooks and…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

The Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad on the glorious Bhadra Kali Mandir



The Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad was originally A Bhadra Kali temple. It was converted into a mosque by Ahmed Shah I. The intricate flowers, coiled serpents representing Kundalini and bells, the remnants of the glorious temple that it may have been. Such carvings are banned in Islam. This goes on to support the history of the temple. Goddess Bhadrakali was believed to be the Nagar Devi of Ahmedabad.

One of Ahmedabad’s ancient names was Bhadra which was after Devi Bhadrakali. Ahmedabad was named after Ahmad Shah I of the Muzaffarid dynasty who forcibly captured “Karnavati” in 1411.

Bhadrakali temple is believed to be one of the oldest temple of Ahmedabad and located inside Bhadra Fort in center of city.The exact date of construction is not known but as per the evidence this holy shrine…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Facts about Mahmud Ghazni


Courtesy: Eztainutlacatl

How many of you know that Mahmud’s father was a Kyrghyz Buddhist caught in childhood and converted forcibly? How many know that Mahmud is called Zabuli because he was born out of a forced union between that slave Sabuktegin and a Zabuli Princess?

And how many of you know that Multan sided Mahmud against the Shahis in the name of religion but Mahmud decided Multan was not Muslim enough and attacked it? And how many of you know that of the 17 raids of Mahmud, 14 are against his neighbour, the Shahis?

And how many of you know that Mahmud is not exactly great – he waged an annual jihad against India but in 31 his year rule, only 17 raids are known – what happened to the balance 13? And how…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Kastur Ba: the secret shadow


On her 153rd Birth anniversary

Courtesy: Sheshapatangi1


“I simply cannot bear to look at Ba’s face, the expression is often like that of a meek cow and that in her own dump manner she is saying something” –

To keep the brand, “Mahatma” popular, they never told the miserable story of his wife.
On her 153rd birth anniversary, let us revisit a tragedy called #KasturbaGandhi.

Born on April 11, 1869 at Porbander, Kasturba was elder to Gandhi by 6 months, she married Mohandas with whom she played since her childhood.

Gandhi’s rejection of Kasturba came to the extent…

Read More
Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

My people uprooted


Courtesy: Shri Tathagata Roy

8 April 1950 a fateful pact signed betn Jawaharlal Nehru & Liaquat Ali Khan,PM of Pakistan. After 2 months of Govt-engineered pogrom,slaughter, rape of Hindus in East Pakistan. Estimated 50,000 Hindus killed. An instance of incredible political stupidity on Nehru’s part.

Upon Liaquat’s glib assurance that Hindu refugees would be taken back and restored,the gullible Nehru decided that no rehabilitation of Hindus was necessary in India. Result: no refugee went back and were forced to live under inhuman conditions in Indian camps.

The Pakis were so insincere about the pact that their Govt issued secret instructions not to restore any Hindu to his property. Even after the pact all Hindu passengers in down Assam Mail were pulled down and killed just outside Santahar station.

The two Bengali ministers…

Read More
%d bloggers like this: