The Revolutionary

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story of a man driven buy thirst for freedom for his native land.

Submitted: July 09, 2016

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Submitted: July 09, 2016

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THEREVOLUTIONARY.

 

 

‘ We have to stand against those people who are robbing our country barrel and stock, insulting us, degrading us and treating us like dogs. If they like to think so, I want you to become real dogs and grow fangs, sharp penetrating fangs which will rip the farangis to pieces, for raping and looting our mother land.’

 

 There was a big applause from his audiences, packed in a small hall on a foreign soil.

 

 ‘Why to remain at the levels of the dogs? Why not grow in size, become bigger, become tigers.’

 

‘ Look at me! I have been transformed into a tiger. My name is Kaiser Singh, a Kaiser Tiger, roaring across the continents in the hope that my voice will echo across the seven seas and reach my country and its people and who will then rise against the oppressors. I will not rest until my country is free, free from the shackles of farangis, the foreigners. As long as there is blood in my veins and hatred in my heart, I will not rest until I throw all those invaders into the Indian Ocean.’

 

 People stood on their feet to applaud the young revolutionary amidst them and truly admired that fiery brand who could speak like a seasoned speaker, and in spite of still being young and of tender age. Kaiser was sixteen only but could affect the older generation with such zeal and passion. Here was a lad who could inspire them to do great things and that hope gave them renewed vigour and a purpose and their faces shone with an inner glow.

 

 The movements of the speaker on the platform truly became like a ferocious animal, like a tiger roaring across the jungle and audiences marveled at the audacity of that boy. The words were pouring from his mouth like the hissing tongues of a coiled cobra, just coiling and uncoiling itself and ready to spring into action for biting. The people around caught his mood and their shouts and noise hissed like snakes too, full of hatred and full of venom.

 

 Yes they were slaves, treated like salves; degraded, wounded and insulted. They were being abused with verbal racial remarks - such as coolies, Hindu bastards, dirty faces and sometime even being attacked physically. In the streets in broad daylight and like the wounded animals they were ready to show their fangs and snarl at their white oppressors.

 

 

It was Saturday evening and throngs of crowds were milling around in the center of the town, in anticipation for the pleasures of night – drinks, violence, food or any available sexual indulgence.

 

 The long rays of the setting sun were pouring down the streets painting them in crimson and in the colours of blood red.

 

He was walking down the high street on his way to take a train. People were shouting at him in an angry manners and which turning into a nasty racial abuse. Being a minority he felt nervous and frightened.

 

Suddenly he heard behind him shouts of racial taunts. He ignored them and hastened his pace to get away from those people. The voices followed him and then followed sounds of big running foot thumps on the pavement.

 

He turned around a saw a party of youths ready to attack him, in a sheer drunkard spree.

 

Someone stuck him hard from behind and he fell downwards hitting his face onto

hard stone of pavements. He felt a taste of blood in his mouth and penetrating pain in his temples. He felt dazed and disoriented.

 

Before the other expected blows s, he managed to get up and confronted his attackers. Nothing mattered to him but to face those animals and to shower his indignation on that abusive party. He lunged and fought back in his rage and managed to bring two of them down

 

The attacking party felt slighted and in revenge started hitting and kicking him. A blonde girl did a sort of war dance with her wriggling body and shouted

 

“ Kill the f---- bastard, kill the bloody foreigners" He was thrown into the ground again by the sudden thrust of his attackers. Blows and kicks came from all angles and he felt nauseating pain and felt his bones cracking under their fierce blows. Someone managed to hit him between the eyes with a metallic object and which induced a paralyzing daze and he felt a numbness advancing from his forehead upwards.

 

Soon he lost his conscience.

 

 After a lapse of time he came around and found himself crawled on the payment. Crowds were still milling around but nobody paid any attention to him.

 

A gruff voice came out from the sky and he saw a big policeman standing over him and ordering him to get up. He tried to explain in his choked voice about his attackers but he was told by the policeman that he was just a trouble maker picking up fights and furthermore he was obstructing the highway and if he did not go away

Immediately he was likely to be arrested and charged with a disturbing the peace.

 

He felt weak and asked the police- man to take him to the hospital, pointing out to his blood soaked garment but he refused.

 

He was told to go home, as the police had no time to waste on such trivial matter and had more important things to do. He felt bruised, slighted with tremors of coldness and

humiliations.

 

 

Those frangis, who originally came to his country as traders in search of spices but slowly formed themselves into a band of brigands and crawled up the map of India, trampling and conquering people who could not understand their strategy. They were past masters in the art of dividing and ruling. It was astonishing that a small cold dark country up on the edge of Atlantic ocean, would come all the way to kick a big country of Hindustan in the face and knock out its teeth. How can Hindustanis be so stupid and unsophisticated as not to gauge their strategy? Some Indians trusted them as friends, to fight with their assistance against their own kith and kin and which gave a great opportunity for the invaders to take advantage of their stupidity. The invaders were cunning and were shaving their beards while sitting in Indian laps, as the saying went. They had a handshake in one hand and the dagger in the other and stabbed them in the backs. They were cunning like foxes and sly like spiders that wove their nets to people entangled, just to swallow them at their leisure.

 

  It was no good to be slaves of foreigners in their own country. There was no dignity and no standing for them as human beings; they were simply chattels and cattle for the colonizers. Kaiser Singh was right; one has to live like a human being in full freedom. It was better to stand and fight for freedom then to be crawling around the globe living like ants. They have to do something and follow their leader who was now proposing a radical but difficult change. They had to organize themselves into groups and raise enough cash to finance their movement. Everyone wanted to contribute morally and financially to the group and soon a considerable sum was raised among the people, the poor contributing the most.

 

The audiences were in greater spirit of strength and shouted  ‘ Inklab ! Zindabad’ ‘Inklab ! Zindabad ’ as  ‘Long Live the Revolution. Long Live the Revolution.’

 

 

* * *

 

 

  Kaiser was born in a village in Punjab and was the only son of his parents but as soon his father died, he was taken in by his grandfather as to be brought up. He was a diligent boy who wanted to travel and see the world and after his elementary schooling, he went to live with a cousin in a distant province

 

After his high schooling, he enrolled for a university and began to read books outside the narrow curriculum, to broaden his mind. It was a time when the National movement had started in India, to get rid of the colonial rule, to be free by throwing the foreign yoke. He was greatly affected by what was going on in the world and decided to go to America. He duly arrived in San Francisco but soon realized that it was not what he had thought about it. This land of a ‘Free Nations’ turned against him. He was called a damned Hindu and a nigger by the white population and was set upon by the gangs, to be beaten up. He used to cry first for such inhuman treatment but soon toughened himself up and began to fight back.

 

 As he began to acquire more courage and fortitude, he matured quickly and took his stand against this kind of brutality and degradation. He realized that what he was suffering personally was simply the common lot of his countrymen. He somehow had to fight for his country as he had fought for himself. He resolved the he would take a stand against all the bullies irrespective of the land in which he lived.

 

He could not fight alone and began to organize people on a bigger scale, by organizing Indian workers. Once he took to the stage as a speaker, words just flowed out of his mouth, words of courage, of revolution, of dignity of human beings and of their equality. He told them about the movement in India of the freedom fighters, which touched a raw nerve among his audiences.

 

  He realized that most of his audiences were of low educational standard and had to be coached to better intellectual standard, in order to be fully compatible, to cope with the demands of the organization. He arranged classes for them after work so that they could read books and pamphlets, deciphering the aims of the organizations like his. He found a need of having their own newspaper published regularly. They bought a hand printing press and started publishing a paper with small circulation but had to increase its number soon as it became a  ‘must read’ for the masses.

 

His paper ‘ Echoes of Freedom ‘ began to circulate widely throughout California and some copies even reached India. Kaiser held meetings in community halls, religious places and in friends’ houses. He introduced an  ‘Oath Ceremony’ in which people took oath to commit themselves wholly as to devote their lives, to the cause of gaining freedom for India.

 

 Suddenly world war was declared in Europe and Kaiser found it a suitable occasion of going back to India and carrying out his mission there, a mission of greater numbers and to press upon the colonizers the necessity of granting freedom to his country. He sailed to Colombo and then from there he went to South India to meet and recruit people for his cause. He traveled the length and breadth of India and became a tireless worker. He never cared for his life or for his health and it seemed he had found the cause to which he wanted to devote his entire life.

 

Most of his friends in the freedom fighter movement were without jobs or money and soon they realized that organizing this sort of work needed a greater mount of finance. They held a special meeting with the aim of raising more finances and various suggestions were put forth such as approaching the big landowners, rich merchants but soon it was rejected due to danger of the information being passed on to authorities. It seemed that they have come to an impasse as far raising of more funds were concerned. Someone suggested of robbing a bank, which was strongly opposed on moral grounds.

 

 A second meeting was arranged and more people came to accept the suggestion of robbing a bank. So it was decided to form a five-member committee as to find a suitable target. The committee came back after due considerations and presented their plan. In a big city they had targeted a branch of a National bank where bulk of the money was delivered on a certain day of the week. They needed a car and a driver who was skillful enough to get away fast before the police arrived. They bought a second hand car and practiced their dress rehearsal in a field isolated from human habitation. They have to have three people with handguns as guards- one person to fill in the bags of looted money and one to organize the whole operation. Five members of the committee were assigned  to their roles in the coming big robbery.

 

 

 On the appointed day they dressed in ordinary clothes as not to raise any suspicion and surrounded the bank and observed the security van delivering bundles of money to the bank.

They waited for the bank to open to the public and saw a crowd of customers entering the building. They waited until it became busy and then charged in. They told the cashier that they wanted to see the manager and when the cashier refused Kaiser pointed out to his loaded pistol underneath his shirt. The cashier was trembling in panic and feared for his life. Kaiser insured him that nothing bad was going to happen unless he shouted for help or pressed the panic button.

 

The cashier lead him to the manager who was trembling when confronted by a man with a loaded gun and covered face, with his eyes only visible through the slit. He wanted to know why his bank was being robbed and Kaiser told him with a little enthusiasm in his voice that they were not criminals and it was done in a noble cause. It was being done in the name of the revolution. They manager did not comprehend all that but lead him to the safe room and eventually gave him the key to open it.

 

 In the meantime there was a great deal of commotion and noise in the customer area. The gang had locked the front gate and pulled drawn the shutter, with a notice stuck that the bank had been closed until further notice. The customers were told to lie down and keep quiet while the operation was being carried out. There were adults, old people and the children accompanying the adults. Every body lay on the floor awaiting their fate.

 

Soon sounds of crying and coughing came from the crowd. A pretty girl lay on the floor showing her full figure, dressed in colorful cloths .One of the gang member noticed her and could not take his eyes of her. He caught hold of her and dragged her into a dark vault to satisfy his evil intentions. She began to scream, which alerted Kaiser, who rushed in and saw a gang member trying to hold her down and slapping her.

 

Kaiser told him to get off her but the culprit fired the pistol, which grazed his shoulder. Kaiser took the culprit by his collar and threw him against the wall. Other member soon arrived and put strains on him. This episode was disturbing but they stuck to their plan

and soon were ready to go. The mother of the assaulted girl came around in tears and cursed Kaiser and his gang for doing such evil things. Her daughter had been assaulted and her honour have been transgressed and she would have a hard time in finding a suitable groom to marry her and may have to pay a great deal of dowry. Kaiser felt sorry for the girl and ordered the gang to pay three thousand rupees out of their loot. Other gang members hesitated but he told them that they were revolutionaries and revolutionaries never did things that hurt common people and there was a noble cause.

 

 

With the money from the raid, funds were now available to organize the movement on a wider scale. More secret agents were recruited and were give a special training and sent t to propagate the movement in different parts of the country. One thing was certain that whosoever came in contact with Kaiser, was converted to his cause at first sight. He had such a charisma and presence that he could win people over without any sort of hackle or argument.

 

 

It helped people a great deal, seeing his example in front of their eyes. Kaiser wanted nothing for his own-self but sacrificed everything for the cause. He was obsessed with it and did not care for his discomforts; he traveled long distances without much sleep or food. He sometime admitted that in a cause like his, he sometime had to compromise his principles regarding doing wrong sometime, like raiding the bank but admitted that during the raids he never killed or maimed anyone.

 

 But he may have to kill his enemies when the final showdown came with the armies of the Raj. He saw that peaceful demonstration and the movement of the non-violence were not sufficient in themselves to affect the colonialist who simply laughed at the tactics of the Indian. When Indians had peaceful protest gatherings, British simply sent out soldiers to organize a lathi charge, that was to beat up people with long wooden staves, which they operated in a  fast circular t motion and whoever came into contact was liable to have their skulls broken. He remembered a recent episode when a white general fired on a crowd in a walled park, putting his machine guns on four exists and killing hundreds of peaceful civilians by firing continuously on the trapped victims. The general did not cared an iota for the innocents but simply did it to teach ‘Indians a lesson’.

 

There was no point for the people to offer themselves like a sacrificial lamb, to be killed at will and as a game to be enjoyed by the British. You need not turn the other cheek when hit, as it would encourage them even more to hit not the other cheek but the whole of your body. You had to hit back not only with an equal force but with double that force, so that they would not have the guts to hit you again for fear of their own vulnerability.

 

His movement began to teach people the art of self-defense in the face of aggression. They were taught the marshal arts and other military skills including the operation of arms.

 

 

 

 

He bought large quantity of guns to be distributed to selected few all over the country. Through an intermediary he made contacts with Indian soldiers employed by the Raj at a cantonment, when on the appointed day they were going to put their guns down and refuse to fire on rebels. He was not sure that it would work as the said soldiers were bound to be court marshaled and shot in case the plot did not work. This would have taken years for proper organization but Kaiser became impatient and appointed a day of some sort of mutiny six months hence.

 

 

The whole plan failed miserably as people within the movement simply told the authorities, in exchange for a big monetary award. Kaiser was arrested and charged with treason against the British Raj.

 

* * *

 

 

 

The court was full but the authorities had warned that any disturbance by those present would be dealt severely and the culprits will either be thrown out or put into prison.

The judges were all attired in their fine robes with wigs and all, looking very official and pompous and when the prisoner was ushered in, there were few hisses and shouts of shame, according sympathy to the accused. The chief judge hammered his mallet on the wooden plate in order to control and keep the masses in check.

 

 The prosecution barrister stood up with his hands tucked in his scarlet robe, put in an expression of frowning and looked with disdain towards the audiences and prisoner. He put the charge to the prisoner as whether the accused was guilty or not guilty.

 

‘Not Guilty’

 

‘ I see, but what prompted you to commit such heinous acts’

 

‘ I have not committed any such crimes’

 

‘ But you have to admit that you are an evil man and have let loose a series of evil acts’

 

‘ Which act are you referring to? ‘

 

‘ You plotted to throw the legitimate government of the land ‘

 

‘ But its not legitimate. It is made of robbers and thieves who came all the way to loot my land.’

 

‘ That is not true, what drove you to do such an evil?’

 

‘ I hate evil of any kind and it is my duty to fight against it.’

 

‘ But majority of your countrymen find the government good and full of justice.’

 

‘You must be joking. Evil is often deliberately supported by large segment of the population who are afraid to stand against it, for fear of reprisal by the authorities.’

 

‘ As I see, but it happens that you are the only evil one and most of the decent people will be horrified by your acts.’

 

‘ You have brainwashed the people as to keep the status quo and the greatest mistake made by common people is their choice to be indifferent and not to fight against injustices and so be cowards in the face of evil.’

 

‘ And which role do you put yourself into?’

 

‘I put myself in the role of a hero who is willing to fight for freedom. You are all evil, the judges, the lawyers, the moneymakers, the merchants and the journalists. You do not give a damn for others. You are only concerned with your own prestige and profit.’

 

These heroics were enough to incite the crowd present, who shouted:

 

‘Kaiser Singh , Zindabad.’

 

The judges were appalled at what was happening, closed the session and cleared the court out. The court session was rearranged in an empty court, without the crowds and he was pronounced as guilty of treason and sentenced to death by hanging.

 

 

* * *

 

 

The date of his hanging was brought forward by the authorities in secret, for fear of riots or demonstrations. At the appointed time he was awoken by the jailer accompanied by governor general of Punjab Province, medical staff and a Sikh priest. They put him in ankle chains and handcuffs to which he objected to, as he wanted to be free during his last moments. He spoke to the priest and who conveyed the message to Governor General. The jailer objected to it vehemently but the governor general ruled over it, as he was concerned with his name for the future times and history, as the man who did not grant him his last wishes. His shackles were removed, as he was lead into the hanging platform.

 

 Everybody was surprised by his cheerful demaeanour and when the time came he refused to put the blindfold and delivered his last speech stating he was being sacrificed by the evil people and that he was so glad to die for his country. He will be born again and again in India and would carry out his fight until country was free from foreign shackles.

 

On the platform he kissed his noose and put it around his neck and shouted  ‘Long live the revolution ‘ until the plank underneath his feet were pulled aside and his voice ended

in a gargling noise as the noose tightened around his throat, breaking the bones in his neck and elongating it. Soon his body was dangling when sepoy of the Raj climbed the platform and whacked his body with a long staff. It was the last revenge of the empire.

 

 

 The corpse was taken down and after the official examination was handed to his grandfather and who was ordered, contrary to his religion ceremonies, to burn the body immediately by the riverbank. His grandfather was totally overcome with grief and his loss and did not know what was he doing. Other people came to help and a funeral pyre was constructed and finally his grandfather put the torch to the pyre. Dense smoke lifted from his burning body with crackling noises, his bones and flesh were being engulfed by the tongues of flames. The authorities did not allow that his ashes to be collected and taken away but ordered these to be thrown straight into the river so that no mark would be left of him, for any monument to be constructed to his memory.

 

The old man’s mind went blank under piles of grief and despair. He sat down by the water completely broken. He could not envisage why was he called to his cruel mission and why did he threw away his young life like that.

 

‘ To hell with Freedom ‘

 

‘ To hell with white imperialist who came all the way to murder my only support, my dear grandson, Kaiser’

 

A sob rose from his chest and traveled to his throat. He let out a howl, like a lonely animal at its wits end.

 

 

 

Durlabh Singh© 2016.


© Copyright 2017 Durlabh. All rights reserved.

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