Friday, September 17, 2021

Book on life of revolutionary freedom fighter Sher Ali who had assassinated Viceroy Lord Mayo

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Revolutionary freedom fighter Sher Ali, who was hanged by the British in Andaman and Nicobar islands, was among the early revolutionaries on whose path Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Madanlal Dhingra and many others, walked, later. 
Though Sher Ali's sacrifice is well-known, but the need was felt for a long time to have a proper book on his life. Dr Md Shahid Siddiqui Alig has written the book on the revolutionary who was executed in Andaman and Nicobar. 
Sher Ali was hanged as he had attacked and assassinated Lord Mayo. No other such high-ranking British official faced such an attack on Indian soil. Sher Ali's life and patriotism, how he turned into an anti-imperialist, in the company of other freedom fighters, is a long story.
Sher Ali Afridi was born in Tirah valley. He had assassinated Lord Mayo when the latter made a visit to Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1872. He was immediately overpowered. Subsequently, he was arrested, incarcerated, faced trial and was executed. 
The author delves deep into history though Colonial era documents, and brings to fore the entire turn of events. The reader also gets to know about Andaman islands, the harassment and extreme torture meted out to freedom fighters who were kept in the prison.

Author brings to us British officials' comments about Sher Ali, as well. WW Hunter wrote that Sher Ali was a 'hillman of immense personal strength and when heavily fettered in the condemned cell overturned lamp with his chained ankle, bore down English sentry by brute strength of his body & wrenched away his bayonet with the manacled hands'.

We know well about great revolutionary leaders--Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Chandrashekhar Azad who planned the assassination of Saunders. Also, about Madanlal Dhingra, who in England assassinated William Hutt Curzon Wyllie, but a dedicated book was needed on Sher Ali's life. 

In foreword, M Ahmad Mujtaba mentions that earlier an event was held every year in Hopeland on March 11, in memory of the pioneering revolutionary of Indian's independence struggle. He mentions that not even a street in Andaman and Nicobar is named after Sher Ali. 

Dr Shahid Siddiqui Alig went through historical texts, documents, visited multiple libraries, accessed archives' records and also visited Andaman and Nicobar, before he began penning this book. It's an important book and must be in your collection, if you are interested in history and Indian freedom struggle.

You can get the book through a local Urdu publisher in your city. It has been published by All India Urdu Taleem Ghar. The cost is Rs 150, 10 US dollars for readers abroad. In case, you want to communicate, write to publishers at this Email:

READ: Remembering Sher Ali on the anniversary of first war of independence