The Candle Of Freedom Burns With The Holy Blood Of Youths
By Dr Maqsood Jafri
July 13 is observed as Martyrs Day in Kashmir. In Jummu, a Muslim cleric was giving Friday sermon on pulpit in mosque. He was describing the story of prophet Moses and Pharaoh. A Hindu Police Inspector on duty deduced that the Moulana was instigating people against the ruler Maharajah Hari Singh. He ransacked the mosque with other policemen, arrested the Moulana and desecrated the holy Quran.
A wave of anger blew and swept the whole Kashmir. The valley turned into a stormy tempest. In Srinagar in Grand Mosque, the people gathered and protested against this vile and heinous act. The speakers condemned this sacrilegious act and called it a naked profanity.
A young man Qadeer Khan who belonged to the suburbs of Peshawar and was a house servant of a British Army officer, made a fiery stirring speech against the atrocities of Hindu Ruler in Kashmir. He pointed his finger to the palace of Mahraja Hari Singh and said: “The palace of Mahraja will be burnt to ashes if he does not take action against this accursed Police Inspector.”
This young man was also arrested, trialed in Srinagar Jail and hanged on the charge of treason. The day he was going to be executed, people thronged the jail and chanted slogans: “Long Live Qadeer Khan.“
Police opened fire on them and 22 agitators were martyred.
The wondrous fact of the event is that it was the time of prayer. A man climbed over the jail wall and started giving “Azan”( Call for Prayer).
He was shot dead. An other Kashmiri replaced him and started giving Azan from where the first caller had ended. He was also shot dead. Twenty two Kashmiris were shot dead till the Azan was completed.
Names of Kashmiris martyred on 13th July 1931
So July 13, 1931 is observed as the Day of Kashmiri Martyrs. On this day the Foundation Stone of Freedom Movement was laid. I salute the courage and conviction of Shaheed Qadeer Khan and the others who were martyred on this day.
We must observe this day every year to commemorate their unprecedented sacrifices and pay homage to all Kashmiris who laid down their lives for freedom.
In 1995, my English poetry book titled ‘Seeds of Sanity’ was published. It includes a poem captioned: “13th of July 1931″. I humbly share it with my friends.
13th of July 1931
Honor was it to live then.
Sublime was but to die.
Bullets were received on the chests.
To ashes were burnt the peaceful nests.
The Dogras with shameless brutality
And unprecedented cruelty
Drenched were the roses with blood.
There was a frightening flood.
Hearken to me!
O; the soul free
The jingle jangle of the chains
And rusty clink of fetters
Were not merely high jinks.
But the manifestation of bestiality.
Besieged were the besmeared with blood.
The masses robbed and plundered.
And era was of decadence.
Kashmiris resolved to soar to heights.
Shattered they all the shackles of plights.
Wounded were they by the swords of scorn.
Life was nothing but to sob and mourn.
Then they stood straight with a mission.
From the depth of deep and dark night,
They shone with the acme of insight.
The corrupt and callous Dogra regime
And the blood- thirsty hounds
With out rationale or genuine grounds
Pounced on the dukes of docility
Fighting for human dignity.
Qadeer, then a valiant Muslim
Cursed the accursed ruler Hari Singh.
His breath was fire and words guns.
He could defeat the thunder of cannons.
With the firmness of Faith, he soared to skies.
Twenty two martyrs were lodged in Heaven.
Till today , the Candle of Freedom
Burns with the holy blood of youths.
July 13, 2020
Categories: History, Kashmir, Poetry