Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani : A shining and twinkling star of the history of Sindh

HemuBy Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom

23rd March 1923 is that glittering day in the glorious history of our Sindh when a worthy son was born to a proud and blessed mother, Cjetthi Bbai. This great son of a gifted mother grew up to help in changing History of our Motherland, Sindh, in particular and sub-continent of India, in general. He proudly sacrificed his life so that the lives of his kinsmen and countrymen will never again be spent in ignominious chains and demeaning fetters.

In the glorious History of our beloved Mother Sindh, there have been countless noble and worthy children of Jeejal Sindhrree, who had laid down their lives for the Freedom, Emancipation, Enlightenment and Effervescence of this venerable dhartee – land of our ancestors.

Sindhis had also been in the forefront in the valiant struggle against slavery, subjugation, oppression and tyranny. Remember the history that after Ashoka, for hundreds of years sub-continent of India were colonised, enslaved and terrorised by the brutal invaders. Gone were the independence, self-respect and peace of the peace-loving, secular-minded, Sufi and spiritual people of Sindh and India as a whole.

And, when turbulences become Tsunamis and the going gets tough, the pain and agony becomes unbearable and the ship flounders and is about to sink, the Helmsman, high above in Heavens, sends His worthy and noble, brave and valiant, true and real captains and helmsmen who, with His Help, take control of the wallowing and crippled ship.

In the 1940s, the ship of sub-continent of India was in dire straits and sinking! Mahatma, a courageous man, a veritable leader, pleaded to his countrymen to Rise, Stand Up and Be Counted! Thus began the Civil disobedience movement, throughout the sub-continent, against the British Raj. Mahatma Gandhi’s call was answered by everywhere in India, including Sindh. In 1942, Gandhiji started the “Quit India” Movement with a slogan and appeal to the entire people of the sub-continent, “Do or Die.”

People of Sindh gave whole-hearted support to that Movement. One such valiant and courageous young man was mitthrro suhnno Saaeen Hemu Kalani, a young man still in his teens.

Today, we pay our humble tributes to a valiant young man, a filial son of Mother Sindh, who did not even enter into his second decade of life on Earth, when he and his comrades proudly answered Mahatma Gandhi’s call and went on streets demanding the ouster of the Colonialists from Sindh and rest of India.

Shaheed Hemu Kalani, has just turned nineteen, but, there was a mountain of anger and anguish rising within him against the disgraceful and dishonourable Raj and an Ocean of longing, yearning and craving raging within him to bring the tyrant oppressors and the infamous tormentors, the Colonial Raj down.

There was a train loaded with Tanks, Guns, Bullets, Bombs and Arms and Ammunition, together with the Armed Personnel, and soldiers, heading towards Sindh to contain the disturbances and civil disobedience movement in Sindh. Young Hemu and his comrades, decided to derail the train. With hastily collected simple tools, started to dismantle the fish plates from tracks of the Railway and unplugging their nuts and bolts.

Inexperienced, naïve, simple young men were not able to successfully cripple the Railway tracks as the colonial forces came after them. Hemu Kalani saved his comrades by asking them to run for their lives. In his brave efforts to save his comrades, Hemu was caught by the soldiers of colonial Raj, hand-cuffed and imprisoned.

He was brutally tortured in the prison to name the rest of the comrades who were with him on that fateful day when they tried to derail the train. He was also asked to name his comrades for his freedom. He screamed in agony, suffered in pain, but did not divulge any name of his comrades. This valiant son of Sindh stood firm on his convictions and beliefs. Despite pleas and appeals from his mother to viceroy, Hemo was sentenced to death by the colonial Court and subsequently sent to gallows on 21st Januray, 1943. At the age of only nineteen years, Hemu attained Martyrdom, Shahadat! Hemu Kalani Shaheed who will always remain a shining and twinkling star on the bright and brilliant sky of Sindh. We salute Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani for his struggle and Martyrdom for the freedom of Sindh.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 22 March, 2011.

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