Who We Amaincontentre
"Assi Varsh Ki Haddi Miens Jaga Josh Purana Tha"
" SabKahte Hai Kunwar Singh Bara Veer Mardana Tha".
Veer Kunwar Singh was a brave freedom fighter who fought in the first freedom struggle in 1857, against the British Regime, at the age of 80 years. Fighting against British, he is the only freedom fighter in the world who had offered his injured hand to the river Ganga after receiving shot in the arm, fired by the British army .Jagdishpur, is a famous village under the then Shahabad District (at present Bhojpur) situated at a distance of 25 K.M. from the District Head Quarter, Ara., Where Babu Veer Kunwar Singh born .His father name was SAHEBJADA SINGH and mother name was PANNCHRATNA KUNWARI.His younger brother name was AMMER SINGH , also a brave freedom fighter who fought in the first freedom struggle in 1857 with Veer Kunwar Singh.
The preparation for revolution in 1857 was going on for several years and a self respecting and sensitive person like Kunwar Singh was making himself prepared mentally for his role in the same. He had continued his secret talk with the persons under jail custody. He had continued his contact with the revolutionaries. He had decided to participate in the freedom struggle and his firm decision was not taken all of a sudden. W.Trailer had received several reports regarding exchange of information between revolutionary soldiers and Veer Kunwar Singh. On 29th July, Samuels wrote a letter to the secretary of Bangal that Kunwar Singh coming in contact with revolutionaries was making plan to revolt against British since much to the revolution.
In spite of the information given by the Government spies, the platoon of Danapur revolted on 25th July and came under the leadership of Veer Kunwar Singh on 26th July. It was not a simple task to lead the revolutionaries at the age of 80 years. They besieged Ara on 27th July under the leadership of Veer Kunwar Singh and this town came under his complete control. But after many battles, the British over powered Jagdispur but Veer Kunwar Singh did not loose his courage. He reached Sasaram in Rohtas passing through Nokha where the revolutionaries were waiting for him as a part of their pre-meditated plan. Thus, he came outside the boundary of Bihar and passing through Mirzapur Vijaygarh he reached Reevan, Robertsganj, Faizabad, and Azamgarh. In the mean time he met revolutionary leaders and prepared many revolutionary plans with their support. He gave a tough fight to British Army in Kanpur. He lit the light of revolt at Banda, Gonda, Sultanpur and Banaras and defeated Dougles. On 20th April, 1858, he reached Gajipur along with his soldiers. In the mean time, Lugard kept on chasing him. On 21st April, while he was passing through Sheopur Ghat (At Balia), the Platoon of Brigadier Douglas opened fire at him with cannon which caused injury to his hand and he cut off his hand forth with and offered it to Ganga Maiya and reached Jagdispur. On 22nd and 23rd April being injured he fought bravely with British Army armed with Sword/Single handedly drove away the British Army brought down the Union Jack from Jagdispur Fort and hoisted his flag.
It was 23rd April. This joy was celebrated by organizing victory ceremony on 23rd April, 1857 but Veer Kunwar Singh died on 26th April, 1858.
Sit Auto Travellion has observed it was a consoling factor that Veer Kunwar Singh was 80 years old at the time of revolution of 1857. Had he been a youth at that time the English might have left India in 1857 itself. The fact of the matter is that this democracy of ours is the blessing of the brave martyrs like Veer Kunwar Singh and others who had lit the flame of Freedom of India. Maharani Lakshmibi in the west and Veer Kunwar Singh in the east sacrificed their lives to break the shackles of slavery and it became the back ground of our freedom struggle. But the contribution of Veer Kunwar Singh and his companions is only this much that he began the struggle for freedom under his leadership and sacrificed his life bravely. Undoubtedly this much contribution would have made him adorable for the obliged citizens of this independent country but his actual contribution is fair more than this. As a matter of fact, parallel to his political struggle, Veer Kunwar Singh had made efforts to establish an ideal structure of Indian politics. If his efforts made in this direction are taken into account many relevant facts come to free.
From this point of view first of all this fact has to be reckoned that Veer Kunwar Singh had very seriously fault the need of the unity between the Hindu and Muslim community. The unity of both communities was not only a contemporary necessity for him but he viewed it as a key for the betterment and strength of Indian Society. Hence his effort for construction of the secular Indian Society into a society full of communal harmony may be compared with that of only two great personalities of our whole Indian history. They are Akbar the Great and Mahatma Gandhi where one hand, Akbar followed the path of Sarv Dham Sambhav(All religions are equal) and became a pioneer of Din-e-Elahi on the other hand Mahatma Gandhi stressed at the oneness of Ishwar and Allah.
Even if Veer Kunwar Singh has not presented the philosophical ground of the said unity he led from the front for the cause of promoting communal harmony social equanimity and woman empowerment and this is worth emulation still today. Besides Rajputs of his own Caste, the work of including the downtrodden dalits and deprived persons of society in the main stream of politics and providing equal status to them in society initiated by him was later on carried forward by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia who is seen in the form of movement for social justice led and nurtured by them including all the leftist parties.
The history of brave persons should not be concealed; rather it should be given a national importance so that the present and future generation could be inspired continuously being their personality and achievement. In view of these sentiments, Veer Kunwar Singh Club (at present Veer Kunwar Singh foundation) celebrates victory ceremony of Veer Kunwar Singh in the capital Delhi on 23rd April every year.
Nirmal Kumar Singh,
Chairman Veer Kunwar Singh Foundation, New Delhi.