Skip navigation.
कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्

Ramaprasad Bismil

Dr Vivek

A brave revolutionary who gave up his life smilingly for the sake of the
Motherland. He was persecuted by an enraged foreign government, hunted by the
police and betrayed by follow workers. And yet he lit the fire of revolution to
burn down the slavery. He was the brave leader of the Kakori Rail Dacoity
episode. His poetry is also a lamp lighted at the altar of the Mother land.

Author - N.P.Shankara Narayan Rao

Ramaprasad Bismil

It was the 18th of December 1927. A middle-aged lady was waiting at the main
gates of the Gorakhpur Central Jail. Her face was radiant but anxiety was writ
large on it. She was eagerly waiting to be called into the prison.

By that time her husband also arrived there. He was surprised that his wife was
there before him. He also sat down to wait for the call.

Another young man came there. He was not related to them. He knew that the
couple would be permitted to enter the prison. But how could he manage to enter?
This was his problem.

The officials of the prison called in the husband and the wife. The young man
followed them. The guard stopped him and rudely asked, "Who are you?"

"Permit him also, brother. He is my sister's son", the lady said in an
entreating voice.

The guard relented.

All the three entered the prison to visit a freedom fighter that was to face his
death on the morrow.

The Brave Freedom Fighter

The freedom fighter was brought there in chains. They were like ornaments on
him. This was the last time that he could see his mother, the last time he could
address her as 'Mother'. At this thought grief welled up in him. He stood
speechless and tears rolled down his cheeks.

In a firm voice the mother said, 'What is this, my son? I had thought of my son
as a great hero. I was thinking that the British Government would shiver at the
very mention of his name. I never thought that my son would be afraid of death.
If you can die only in this way, weeping, why did you take up such activities?"

The officials were astounded at the firmness of the mother. The freedom fighter
replied, "Mother dear, these are not tears of fear - the fear of death. These
are tears of joy - joy at beholding so brave as mother!"

The brave son of that brave mother was Ramaprasad Bismil. He was the leader of
the famous Kakori Rail Dacoity case.

The last meeting ended.

Next morning Ramaprasad got up earlier than usual, bathed and said his morning
prayers. He wrote his last letter to his mother. Then he sat down with a calm
mind awaiting his death.

The officials came and removed his chains. They took him from the prison
cell-towards his death.

He was completely untroubled and walked like a hero. The officials were amazed.
As he moved to the gallows he joyfully chanted Vande Matharam' and 'Bharath
Matha ki Jai'. At the top of his voice he shouted down with the British Empire."
Then he calmly recited prayers like 'Vishwani deva savithaha dunithani.... And
embraced death.

As he was being executed, there was a strong guard around the prison. When he
was dead the officials brought out the dead body. Not only his parents but also
hundreds of his countrymen were waiting in tears.The people of Gorakhpur deco
rated the body of the brave son of Bharath as befitted a hero and carried it in
a procession. Flowers were showered on the body, and the last rites were

Ramaprasad Bismil joined the select band of martyrs who dreamt of a free India
made the supreme sacrifice, so that the dream might come true.


Ramaprasad was born at Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh in the year 1897. His
ancestors belonged to the Thomarghar area of Gwalior State. Their village
abutted the British administered provinces on the banks of the river Chambal.
People of the Chambal valley are hardy and brave. For generations several states
had tried to establish their sway over them but without success.

Ramaprasad's father Muralidhar had only a little education, and was employed by
Shahjahanpur Municipality. He got tired of service and switched over to an
independent life. He lent money on interest and hired out carts for his
livelihood. His first son lived only for a few days. Ramaprasad was his second
son. This child, too, developed the same symptoms as the first child. His
grandmother, in great anxiety, got talismans and tied them around his neck. She
did whatever anyone suggested. Anyway the child survived.

Ramaprasad was the darling of the family. In his seventh year, Muralidhar
started teaching him Hindi. He was also sent to a Moulvi to learn Urdu. Later he
was sent to a school.

He was fourteen years old by the time he completed the fourth standard in Urdu.
By then the habit of reading Urdu novels had taken hold of him. He needed money
to buy the novels. But his father would not give him money for this. And so he
found an easy way - he stole money from his father's safe. He had also learnt
smoking and occasionally he would even use bhang (charas) As a result of all
this he failed twice in the fifth standard.

Somehow his father came to know about his habit of stealing money. H changed the
lock of the safe. Ramaprasad expressed a desire to join an English school. His
father did not agree at once But his mother's support enabled him to join an
English school.

A New Path

A new priest came to the temple near his house. He took a liking to young
Ramaprasad. Under his healthy influence Ramaprasad gradually gave up the bad
habits he had cultivated.He learnt therituals of worship. At school,too, he
found a good friend in Sushil Chandra Sen and he gave up smoking, too.

A gentleman by name Munshi Indrajeet once saw young Ramaprasad performing
worship and was pleased very much. Munshiji taught Ramaprasad 'Sandhya- vandana'
(the traditional prayers). He told him quite a good deal about the Arya Samaj.
Ramaprasad read the 'Sathyartha Praksha' by the great sage Swami Dayanand.This
book influenced him deeply. It showed him the way to a brave life. Realizing the
importance of Brahma- charya (not seeking pleasures of thebody), Ramaprasad
practiced it in word, thought and deed. He gave up the evening meal. He also
gave up savory and sour dishes and the use of salt.The practice ofBrahma- charya
and regular exercises made his face radiant and his body strong as steel.

Guru Somadevji

Ramaprasad was greatly influenced by the principles of the Arya Samaj. So often
there were heated debates between him and Muralidhar. The angry father turned
his son out of his home. Ramaprasad moved about for two days in a nearby forest
and returned to Shahjahanpur. He was standing at a meeting organized by the Arya
Samaj, listening to a discourse. Two men who had been sent by his father caught
hold of him and took him to the Head Master of the Mission School in which he
was studying. That Christian gentleman advised both the son and the father to
behave better. Then Muralidhar realized that it was impossible to mend his son
by beating him.

The young, followers of the Arya Samaj banded together and established the Arya
Kumar Sabha. They began to organize meetings and processions. The police feared
that this might lead to a clash between the Hindus and the Muslims. So the
government banned meetings and processions. The elders in the Arya Samaj were
also dissatisfied with these young men. They turned Kumar Sabha out of their
quarters. The Sabha remained active for some months and then faded out. But
during that short period the Arya Kumar Sabha of Shahjahanpur earned a good name
by its good work.

At that time, Swami Somadevji, a leader of the Arya Samaj, came down to
Shahjahan- pur and stayed there to improve his health. He had become extremely
weak because of much loss of blood. Young Rama- prasad devoted himself to the
service of Swami Somadevji.

Swami Somadevji was a great patriot and a scholar. He was proficient in Yoga
too. He gave Ramaprasad advice on matters of religion and politics. He suggested
some good books for Ramaprasad to read. Under his guidance Ramaprasad's views on
religion and political subjects grew clearer.

In the year 1916, Bhai , Paramanandji was sentenced to death in -the Lahore
Conspiracy case. He had written a book with the title 'Thavasiq Hindu'.
Ramaprasad read the book and appreciated it immen- sely. He came to admire
Paramanandji. When he heard about the death sentence, his blood boiled and he
took a vow that he would settle scores with the British Government for this
great injustice. He told Guru Somadevji about his vow. The Guru remarked, "It is
easy to take a vow but hard to keep it." Then Ramaprasad touched the feet of
Guru Somadevji and declared, "if I have the grace of these sacred feet my vow
will surely be fulfilled; nothing can come in the way." This was the first step
in the revolutionary life of Rama- prasad.

Meeting With Tilak

After a short while Guru Samadevji passed away. Ramaprasad had come up to the
ninth standard. He was active as an enthusiastic volunteer in the Shahjahanpur
Seva Samithi.

The Indian National Congress was to have its annual session at Lucknow. There
were two groups in the Congress at that time. One group consisted of liberals,
who were opposed to any direct action against the British Government. They
believed in securing justice by explaining India's difficulties to the British
Government. They also believed that India should continue to be a part of the
British Empire. The other group was that of extremists who believed in fighting
the British Government. And attaining full independence. Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar
Tilak was their leader. Tilak was expected to participate in the session and so
the extremists had gathered in large numbers. Ramaprasad also went to Lucknow.
The liberals were in a majority in the Reception Committee. They had not made
any elaborate arrangements to welcome Tilak. He was just to be received at the
railway station.

But the young men desired that Tilak should be taken in a procession through the
city. With a student of the M. A. class as their leader they gathered at the
railway station. As soon as Tilak got off the railway carriage, the volunteers
of the Reception Committee surrounded him and took him to the waiting car. The
M.A. student and Ramaprasad leaped forward and sat in front of the car. "If the
car is to move, let it move over our bodies," they declared. The members of the
Reception Committee and Tilak himself tried to dissuade them but they would not
budge. Their friends hired a coach, set free the horses, and them drew the
coach. Tilak was made to sit in the coach and taken in a procession. All along
the way flowers were showered on Lokamanya Tilak.

From Books to Bullets..

At the Lucknow Session of the Congress Ramaprasad came into contact with some
members of a secret committee; this committee was playing an important role in
revolutionary activities. The previous year he had developed revolutionary
ideals. This contact with the committee gave a practical shape to them. In a
short while he became a member of the executive committee of the
revolutionaries. The committee had very little money. It needed money quite a
lot of it to buy arms and ammunition. It needed thousands of rupees. Ramaprasad
thought of a plan. Why not take up the publication of writings which would, on
the one hand, spread the
revolutionary ideas and, on the other hand, bring them money? He took four
hundred rupees as a loan from his mother and published a book entitled 'How Did
America Attain freedom? 'At that time a revolutionary leader by name Gendalal
Dikshit had been imprisoned at Gwalior. Ramaprasad was very keen on drawing
public attention towards him and win him people's sympathy. Therefore he printed
a pamphlet entitled 'A Message to My Countrymen.' By his book trade, he could
not only repay the loan he had taken from his mother but could also make a
profit of two hundred rupees. But the then Govern- ment of the United Provinces
banned both these books.

Publication of books brought them money and this, in turn, brought them arms. On
an earlier occasion Ramaprasad had wandered in Gwalior City and had bought a
revolver. With this experience he went there again. In those days collection of
arms was comparatively easier in the native states.

Ramaprasad observed in a shop in the market a few muzzle loaders along with
swords, shields and daggers. He gathered enough courage and approached the owner
and casually inquired what they would cost.

'Well, don't you sell, any rifles and revolvers?" he asked. The shop owner
showed some muzzle loader pistols and said, "Please come again.I shall somehow
manage to get one or two rifles and revolvers." Ramaprasad purchased some muzzle
loader pistols and daggers and returned.

A few such visits gave him some know- ledge of fire arms. He could make out
which weapon was old and which was new and the price of every weapon.

Once he was about to fall into the hands of the police. The police of Gwalior
State got scent of the collection of arms. A constable of the confidential
investigation department approached Ramaprasad and offered to get him some
weapons. He took Ramaprasad with him. Can you guess where he took him? To the
house of a police inspector!

Luckily for him the inspector was not at home. A constable was standing guard in
front of the house. Ramaprasad happened to know him. He managed to elude the eye
of the constable who had taken him there, and asked the man keeping guard there
whose house it was. He was assured it was the house of a police inspector. In
the twinkling of an eye Ramaprasad vanished. But somehow the police constable
had already found out that the team had collected weapons and that they intended
to move them that very day. Ramaprasad, who had now grown cautious, walked past
several railway stations with the weapons; then he boarded the train and reached

Another time he had to purchase a revolver from a Police Superintendent who was
about to retire. The Superintendent had his own doubts and hesitated; so
Ramaprasad got an affidavit prepared declaring that he was the son of a
Zimindar, (a rich land-lord) and forged two signatures of Zamindars in Hindi and
the signature of a Police Inspector in English. Anyhow he managed to buy the

So they managed to collect a good quantity of weapons such as rifles, muzzle
loaders, revolvers, cartridges, daggers and knives.

Sale of Banned Books

The Indian National Congress was to meet in Delhi. Ramaprasad felt that it would
be a good opportunity to sell the remaining copies of 'How Did America Attain
Freedom? `An ambulance team was sent to Delhi on behalf of Shahjahanpur Seva
Samithi. Volunteers of the ambulance team could move about freely. The book had
been banned by the United Provinces Government, hadn't it? The young men of
Shahjahanpur used this very fact to advertise the book. They kept crying: "How
Did America Attain Freedom' - the book banned in the United Provinces" and began
to sell the books.

This drew the attention of the secret police and they surrounded the Congress
camp. They began a hunt for the young men who were selling the books. As soon as
Ramaprasad got scent of this he ran to the tent where the books were stocked. He
wrapped them up in his big over coat and, displaying the red badge of the
ambulance, walked on with the bundle. He was in the uniform of a volunteer of
the ambulance team and walked right into the Congress camp right under the nose
of the police. The police could not enter the Congress camp without the
permission of the Reception Committee. Thus all the copies of the book were
saved. Later they were sold.

In The Shadow of Death

When he returned to Shahjahanpur from Delhi, he learnt that the police were on
the look out for him and his friends. Because of a quarrel between two members
of the
revolutionary committee, the police had been able to get details of their arms
dump. As this internal quarrel took place at Mainpuri, the case was conducted
there and came to be known as the Maitipuri Conspiracy case.

As soon as Ramaprasad learnt about this, he left Shahjahanpur with three
friends. They wandered here and there for some time and reached Prayag. There
they camped in a choultry. Heated arguments developed among them about the
future course of action. His friends felt that there was one coward in the
group; they feared that, if he were arrested, the police would learn all their
secrets. Their solution to the problem was to kill that member. Rama prasad did
not 'agree. So the friends were now angry with him.

One evening, all the four went for a stroll to the banks of the river Yamuna.
Rama prasad bathed and sat down for his evening prayers. One friend said, "Rama
prasad, sit near the river." Ramaprasad was sitting on a mound. He began his
prayers there. The friends sat down near by. As, with his eyes closed, he was
immersed in prayers, he heard a whiz and was startled. A bullet whizzed past his
ear. Opening his eyes he reached out for his revolver and turned back. Another
friend was about to shoot. By the time Ramaprasad took out his revolver, two
more shots rang out. As his revolver was in a leather case he took some time to
take it out. By the time he stood up with his revolver, his friends had run

Ramaprasad was stunned and frustrated, when he realized that a serious attempt
had been made to kill him. The bullet had passed within a foot from him. If he
pursued the friends, bloodshed was certain. Moreover he was one against three.
He would have to collect his supporters before making a move.

A Cowherd Writer

He spent that night with a friend and then went to Lucknow. He gave a detailed
report of the incident to the other members of the revolutionary committee. He
wandered in a forest for a while gloomily and then went to his mother. Hearing
the woeful tale of her son she suggested that he should go to the relatives in
Gwalior State.

In the meanwhile the police had filed a case against him. They asked Muralidhar
to surrender his son; they threatened his property would be confiscated. He sold
property for whatever price he could get and went away with his family to join
his son.

During this period when he was in hiding Ramaprasad became a farmer. He took to
agriculture and animal husbandry. But above all he learnt to express his
revolutionary ideas in literature. He trans- lated many Bengali works into
Hindi. He wrote original works, too. He had to take the cattle out to graze. He
then carried writing materials with him. He would allow the cattle to graze and
he would settle down in the shade to write. Thus he wrote 'The Bolshevic
Programme,' 'A Sally of the Mind,' 'Catherine' and 'Swadeshi Rang' and
translated two works. He translated 'Yogic Sadhana' of Maharshi Aurobindo. All
these were published in a series called 'Sushil Mala'. 'Prabha', a periodical
run by Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, used to publish his articles.

In the year 1919, when the First World War was over, the Government of India
changed its policy towards the revolu- tionary and national movements. Political
cases were withdrawn. Political convicts were released. Ramaprasad returned to

Independent Life

So far as money was concerned, Ramaprasad's family faced a very grave situation.
One sister was old enough to be married. But even satisfying the needs of life
was a problem.

Therefore Ramaprasad devoted his attention to the affairs of his family. At
first he tried to reorganize his publication venture and earn some money. It did
not work well.

With the help of some friends he became the manager of a factory. With a steady
income his financial position improved.

Gradually he turned to the reorganization of the revolutionary movement also,
but all over the country, the non-cooperation movement was gaining ground.
Moreover, there was a dearth of ability among those who volunteered to lead the
movement. On the whole revolutionary activities had come to a standstill.

Ramaprasad arranged to get some capital and started a silk weaving factory. He
worked devotedly day and night. In a matter of a year and a half his factory
established itself. The capital of three or four thousand yielded a net, profit
of two thousand. During this period he married off his last sister to a
Zamindar. His mother wished that he should also marry. But he was not prepared
to marry until he could stand on his own legs.


After Mahatma Gandhiji withdrew the non- cooperation movement in 1921, the
revolutionary movement regained strength. An all-India revolutionary party
called 'The Hindusthan Republican Association' was formed.

In the United Provinces (the Uttar Pradesh of today) too the revolutionaries re-
organized themselves. A call went forth to Ramaprasad too. He asked for six
month's time, to establish his business on a firm footing and make it over to
some reliable person. Within that period he made over his business to a friend
and turned again to revolutionary activities.

The revolutionary movement had the support of the people. There was no dearth of
workers. But lack of funds haunted them. It became exceedingly difficult even to
provide food and clothing to members who devoted their entire life and energy to
the institution. Collection of weapons was next to impossible.

Disappointed young members used to come to Ramaprasad and ask him, 'What next,
Panditji?" He would feel unhappy at their miserable plight. But what could he do
without money? So he concentrated on collection of money.

They resorted to dacoity and looting in one or two villages. But a hundred or
two hundred rupees they secured could not be of much use. Another thought
troubled Ramaprasad. Who, after all, were the victims of these dacoities? They
were the villagers who were also Indians. The dacoits might have acted with
excellent intentions. But what was the good of getting money, by harassing our
own brothers?

Immersed in such thoughts, he was traveling one day by a train, which was going
from Shahjahanpur to Lucknow. At each station, when the train halted he would
get off and move about on the platform. He observed that at each station the
Station Master brought bags of money and put them in the Guard's carriage. There
was no special guard to protect the money. Ramaprasad noted that it was the
eight down train.

A plan to secure money for the revolutionary activities gradually took shape in
his head.

The Kakori Rail Dacoity

Kakori is a village near Lucknow. It became famous, because the attack on the
train took place near by.

It was the evening of the 9th of August 1925; the number eight down train was
passing near Kakori. Ramaprasad and his nine revolutionary followers pulled the
chain and stopped it. They looted the money belonging to the government,
deposited in the Guard's carriage. Excepting that one passenger was killed by an
accidental shot, there was no bloodshed.

This extremely well planned dacoity jolted the government. After a month of
detailed preliminary inquiries and elaborate preparations the government cast
its net wide for the revolutionaries. Arrest warrants were issued not only
against the ten participants but also against other leaders of the Hindusthan
Republican Association. With the lone exception of Chandrashekhar Azad, all
participants were caught.

The case went on for over a year and a half, Ramaprasad, Ashfaqullah Roshan
Singh and Rajendra Lahiri all four were sentenced to death, A strong campaign
was organized throughout India to save the lives of these revolutionary heroes.
All the leaders of public life appealed to the British Government to show mercy
to the condemned men. But the Government was unyielding.

On the 18th of December 1927, Rajendra Lahiri was hanged. Ramaprasad and
Ashfaqullah were executed on the 19th and Roshan Singh on the 20th. All of them
greeted death bravely, with a smile on their faces. Thus they added a
chapter to the history of the freedom movement.


While awaiting execution, Ramaprasad wrote his autobiography. It is considered
as a work of rare excellence in Hindi literature.

Ramaprasad was always under strict watch. And yet he wrote the book and it was
successfully smuggled out of the prison. This itself was a feat of great

Ramaprasad got thick register like books and sent the manuscript out of prison
in three installments. The final pages were written on the 17th of December; and
they were sent out through Shiv Varma, a friend who interviewed him on the next
day. The book was published in 1929 and was immediately banned by the

It saw the light of day again only in free India.

His narrative covers a wide span; his ancestors, his interesting childhood, his
entry into the Arya Samaj, his flights from the police, his experience in the
revolutionary movement, the internal squabbles -all find their place there.
There are intimate pen pictures of his mother, his grandmother, and his teacher
and close friends. The style is captivating and at times compels tears.

Addressing his mother, he says, 'Mother dear, who gave me birth, bless me! Bless
me that my heart may not flinch even at the last moment. Bless me so that I
leave this body prostrating myself at your sacred feet and praying to the
Almighty. Pundit Gendalal Dixit, the main accused in the Manipuri Conspiracy
case, eluded arrest and died of tuberculosis at Delhi in pitiable conditions.
Referring to him Ramaprasad writes, 'He never even dreamt that he would have to
sacrifice his life in such helpless circumstances in the service of his
Motherland. His greatest desire was to be killed by a bullet. A great soul of
Bharat passed away. But no one in the country heard of it even.'

Ramaprasad had thought deeply about the future of the revolutionary movement to
which he had given the greater part of his life. He wrote: 'Historically our
work is very valuable - this anyone must concede. It proclaimed that, even when
India was
downtrodden, the youth of the country yearned for freedom and that they
struggled for freedom to the best of their ability.' Considering the conditions
of the day he gave this advice to the youth of India: 'I know this for certain
the revolutionary movement in India will not succeed for the next fifty years.
The conditions are not favorable, give up the desire to arm yourselves with
pistols and revolvers and become real servants of the country – this is my last
message to our youth.'

The Poet 'Bismil'

'Bismil' is the penname of Ramaprasad. As 'Bismil' he is well known as a great
revolutionary poet in Hindi. At the end of his autobiography, he has reproduced
some selected poems. Every line of his poems throbs with patriotic fervor.

In one poem he prays: 'Even if I have to face death a thousand times for the
sake of my Motherland, I shall not be sorry. Oh Lord! Grant me a hundred births
in Bharat. But grant me this, too, that each time I may give up my life in the
service of the Mother land.'

In a poem written just before going to the gallows, he prays: 'Oh Lord! Thy will
be done. You are unique. Neither my tears nor I will endure. Grant me this boon,
that to my last breath and the last drop of my blood, I may think of you and be
immersed in your work.'

Hard As A Diamond, Yet Soft As A Flower

Ramaprasad Bismil was an exemplary man who lived like a hero and died like a
hero. In him were blended those great qualities which Indian culture has
regarded as ideal and has held in great respect.

The Motherland, trodden under the iron heel of the foreigner, should become
free; the right way to achieve it was armed revolution - so he thought. No
matter what problems and obstacles came in his way, no matter what thorns
crowded his way, he walked with his head held high. Death lay in wait on that
path. But yet he did not flinch.

He was never treacherous to anyone. When he suspected treachery, he denounced
the traitors without casing for their position or prestige. In a way, he had to
die only because he was not prepared to be treacherous.

In his autobiography he has narrated how he was arrested and taken to the police
station in connection with the Kakori case. 'The arrests had kept the police
officers busy throughout the night and they had not slept. They all went away.
Even the one constable who was on guard was fast asleep. Only one clerk was in
the station busy writing. He was Roshan Singh's cousin. If I had wished, I could
have simply walked out. But that clerk would have got into great trouble. I
called him and told him that I would walk away if he were prepared to face the
consequences. He knew me well. He fell at my feet and said that he would be
arrested if I did so and that his wife and children would have to starve and
die. I pitied him.' After a little while Ramaprasad found an excuse to go out;
the constable on guard went with him. The other constables said, "Put him in
chains" but he declared, " I have faith in him, he will not run away." 'We went
to a lonely place. I placed my palms on the wall and looked back. The guard was
watching a wrestling match and was absorbed in it. One leap and I could have
scaled the wall. After that who could have caught me? But my inner self said,
"Would you cheat and send to prison that poor constable who trusted you and gave
you so much freedom? Is it right? What will his, wife and children think of
you?" This thought filled my mind, I drew a long breath, called the guard and
returned to the police station.'

Whether it was a clerk or a constable, the man who had trusted him should not be
betrayed. This was his principle. Even in prison, the prison guards had great
faith in him because of his conduct. Even after he was sentenced to death, his
principles remained unchanged. He was not prepared to escape, leaving those who
had trusted him in trouble.

The Kakori Rail Dacoity is a great land mark in the history of the revolutionary
movement in India. It was the brave Ramaprasad Bismil who planned and executed

Ramaprasad Bismil lives forever in our memory as a revolutionary, as a
revolutionary - writer and, above all, as an ideal man.

"Even if I have to face death a thousand times for the sake of my Motherland I
shall not be sorry. Oh Lord! Grant me a hundred births in Bharat. But grant me
this, too, that each time I may give up my life in the service of the

This prayer should echo in each and every soul in free India.