Today is the 160th anniversary of 1857 - the country's First War of Independence. 10th May 1857 is the day when the brave Indian soldiers first raised the war-cry for independence against the British regime. To secure freedom for the country by breaking the chains of slavery, on 10th May the soldiers started from Meerut, reaching Delhi on 11th May. In Delhi they requested emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar to lead the First War of Independence. The emperor, at the age of 82, accepted to head the struggle as the suggested by the soldiers and the citizens who had come along with them. It was an important day for India's struggle for freedom and for the combined Hindu-Muslim heritage of the country. The soldiers could not win the battle due to several reasons, which included the betrayal by some fellow Indians. In this First War of Independence which continued for about 6 months in Delhi and for about a year in the other parts of the country, lakhs of soldiers and common citizens achieved martyrdom. The British subjected the emperor to charges in the military court and in October 1858 sent him in imprisonment to Rangoon. At the age of 87, on 7 November 1862, he passed away in Rangoon and was buried there in the darkness of anonimity.
The Socialist Party has appealed to the president of India earlier in 2013 to bring back the remains of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the emperor who was an excellent poet and secular ruler of his times. The party had presented a memorandum to the president in this regard. Senior member of Socialist Party, Justice Rajindar Sachar had met the president and requested him to bring back the remains. On the 160th anniversary of the First War of Independence Dr. Prem Singh, president of the Socialist Party has again appealed to the president to bring back the mortal remains of Bhadur Shah Zafar before the end of his illustrious tenure. This will strengthen and honour the combined heritage of the country's First War of Independence.
A copy of the memorandum, sent to the president, is attached.
Dr. Abhijit Vaidya