By Pramod Kumar
“This is a fact that Hindus and Muslims unitedly fought for the freedom of the country. But a fact that creates curiosity in everybody'smind is what was the contribution of Christians to the freedom movement, especially from 1857 to 1947? People want to know how many Christians sacrificed their lives for freedom? How many participated in different agitations or movements? Were they in favour of continuation of the British regime in the country? Whether the historians forgot mentioning their contribution or indeed there was nothing to mention?” asked Indresh Kumar, Sah-Sampark Pramukh of RSS, while speaking at a function held by the Nationalist Muslim Movement in New Delhi to celebrate the 147th anniversary of the 1857 freedom movement.
Shri Indresh Kumar said “the prime objective of organising this function is to propagate the message that we are one by culture and country and that no foreigner can pose a threat to our freedom again.”
He pointed out that the British amended the then laws to impose more taxes in order to fetch more revenue, notwithstanding the paying capacity of the people and that this ultimately angered even the common man and they took to the streets against the British regime. “Though the 1857 freedom movement had a mass base and it was planned with caution, it could not produce the desired results as there was total lack of proper leadership. The revolt in the army and also among the general masses was to save their asmita. It was a natural outpouring of anger among the general masses. Though the movement almost died in 1959, the heroes of the movement were forgotten by the countrymen,” he pointed out.
Speaking at the function, Maulana Jafar Janakpuri, said that India was the motherland of all Muslims and everybody has equal opportunities here to make progress. Recalling his Pakistan visit where, he said, the Pakistani rulers had created a misunderstanding among its countrymen that Muslims were insecure in India, whereas the Muslims were more safe in India than in Pakistan. “India is our country and we have to live and die for it. We are sons of the same forefathers and we all should join hands, forgetting all our misunderstandings,” he said.
Mohammad Afzal of the My Hindustan, said that the chapati (bread) and kamal (lotus) played a key role in the 1857 movement. The chapati moved one village to the other village seeking people'ssupport and the kamal moved from one battalion of the army to the other battalion, with the message that all armymen were ready for the revolt. Maulana Umer Iliyasi, president of the Nationalist Muslim Movement and Balbir Punj, BJP MP also shared the dais.