Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sher Ali: The revolutionary Indian freedom fighter who killed the British Viceroy

Do you know that a Viceroy was killed on Indian soil during the freedom movement?

Though many other revolutionary freedom fighters are remembered, the name of Sher Ali who was behind the assassination, is mostly forgotten.

In fact, Sher Ali's name find almost no mention in the history. Forget textbooks, the voluminous studies also have his name just in footnote.

It was in February 1872, when this revolutionary who had been sent to Andaman Islands [Kala Pani[, assassinated Lord Mayo, the viceroy who was on a visit to the Andamans where the freedom fighters were kept incarcerated.

Richard Bourke, the 6th Earl of Mayo and Viceroy of India, was visiting the Andaman along with high ranking officials and security personnel, when Sher Ali stabbed him to death. When asked why he murdered the viceroy, the man from Tirah valley of Khyber said that 'Khuda ne hukm diya, is waste kiyaa'.

He was charged with murder and hanged on Viper islands the next year. One may nor may not agree to the revolutionary ways but that was surely one of the few ways in sight to the ordinary Indians to take on the might of the foreign imperialistic power.

1. Here is the Link to the Wikimapia image (the map) of the coast of Andaman where 135 years ago this incident had occurred.
2. Also, a link to the Times of India editorial page article on Sher Ali.

On the 150th anniversary of 1857

[Above photo of Sher Ali on the left and the place on Viper Isles where he was hanged]