Sufi Amba Prasad

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Sufi Amba Prasad
Born Amba Prasad Bhatnagar
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
Died 1919
Body discovered
Resting place
Known for 1905 Punjab unrest, Hindu-German Conspiracy

Amba Prasad, (1858–1919) also known as Sufi Amba Prasad, was an Indian nationalist and pan-Islamist leader notable for his involvement in the agrarian unrest in Punjab in 1900s and subsequently in the Revolutionary movement for Indian independence.[1] Prasad was born in 1858 in the north Indian city of Moradabad, then in the United Provinces (now in Uttar Pradesh). Prasad was born without his right hand. He later worked as a journalist in Moradabad when he became involved in the emerging nationalist movement. He was at this time the editor of the Peshwa. His editorials were noted for sarcastic and unsparing criticisms of the Punjab government policies. He was incarcerated twice in 1897.[2][3]

In 1900, Prasad became involved in the agrarian movement that was emerging in Punjab in response to the much criticised Bari Doab Canal act and the Colonization act.His associates at the time included Sardar Ajit Singh (uncle of Bhagat Singh), Mahasha Ghaseeta Ram, Kartar Singh and Lala Lajpat Rai. In 1906, Prasad was one of the key founding members of the Bharat Mata Society.[4] A crackdown later forced him to flee India for Nepal in 1907, where he was granted asylum by Deva Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana. Prasad later fled India for Persia.[5][6]

Around the 1910s, Indian nationalists groups, especially pan-Islamic ones, were growing in Turkey and Persia under the leadership of Sardar Ajit Singh and Sufi Amba Prasad who began their work there around 1909.[7] The recruits to these groups included young radicals of the likes of Rhishikesh Letha, Zia-ul-Haq, and Thakur Das. By 1910, the activities of these groups and their publication, the Hayat, had come under the observation of British intelligence, while .[8] However, Ajit Singh's departure in 1911 brought the Indian revolutionary activities to a grinding halt, while British representations to Persia successfully curbed whatever activity that remained in the country.[8]

However, as World War I began, Prasad again became involved in the Indian revolutionary conspiracy. He was at this time associated with Indian revolutionaries of the likes of Har Dayal and Mahendra Pratap.[5] Sufi worked with the revolutionaries of the Berlin Committee in Mesopotamia and Middle East, attempting to spread propaganda among Indian troops of the Indian expeditionary force. His attempts were directed at organising Indian troops into a nationalist force incursions from the western border of India from Persia, through Baluchistan, to Punjab. Amba Prasad was joined during the war by Kedar Nath Sondhi, Rishikesh Letha and Amin Chaudhry. These Indian troops were involved in the capture of the frontier city of Karman and the detention of the British consul there, and also successfully harassed Percy Sykes' Persian campaign against the Baluchi and Persian tribal chiefs who were aided by the Germans.[9][10] The Aga Khan's brother was killed while fighting the rebels.[11]

The rebels also successfully harassed British Forces in Sistan in Afghanistan, confining them to Karamshir in Baluchistan, and later moving towards Karachi. Some reports indicate they took control of the coastal towns of Gawador and Dawar. The Baluchi chief of Bampur, having declared his independence from British rule, also joined the Ghadarites. It was not before the war in Europe turned for the worse for Turkey and Baghdad was captured by the British forces that the Ghadarite forces, their supply lines starved, were finally dislodged. They retreated to regroup at Shiraz, where they were finally defeated after a bitter fight during the siege of Shiraz. Amba Prasad Sufi was killed in this battle, but the Ghadarites carried on guerrilla warfare along with Iranian partisans until 1919.[10][12] The works of Amba Prasad had a significant impact on Bhagat Singh.

See also[edit]

  • Pan-Islamism Sufi amba prasad was continuing his revolutionary activities in shiraz in the guise of an English teacher. He was teaching English to the famous diplomat and scholar dr. ashgar ali hikmat. Hikmat was the first one who initiated the revival of diplomatic relations first between the British govt in 1946 when he came along with two other Iranian scholars namely rasheed yasmi and poor dawood. Poor dawood was the first one who stayed in the shanti niketan established by guru rabindranath tagore. after Indian independence asghar ali hikmat became Iranian ambassador to India and later on Iranian education minister too. In his memoirs ( ed. by dr. dabir siyaghi, pub. anjumane mafakhir, tehran 1999, two vols.In this work, name of this Indian revolutionary is mentioned as amma prasad)he has given the detail about Sufi amba prasad. In the Encyclopedia for Persian language and literature in subcontinent, (pub by academy for Persian language, tehran, 2002,vol. I) too an article is written about him and his literary pursuits while staying at shiraz.


  1. ^ Ahluwalia 1965, p. 353
  2. ^ Rai 1978, p. 19
  3. ^ Yadav & Singh 2006, p. 25
  4. ^ Radhan 2002, p. 351
  5. ^ a b Punjab Government 1962, p. 14
  6. ^ Gupta 1972, p. 84
  7. ^ Yadav 1992, p. 29
  8. ^ a b Yadav 1992, p. 30
  9. ^ Sykes 1921, p. 101
  10. ^ a b Herbert 2003
  11. ^ Singh, Jaspal. "History of the Ghadar Movement". Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  12. ^ Asghar, S.B (June 12, 2005). "A famous uprising". Archived from the original on 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  • Punjab Government, Public Relations Dept (1962), Advance, Punjab 
  • Ahluwalia, M. M. (1965), Freedom Struggle in India, 1858 to 1909, Rajit Printers & Publishers 
  • Gupta, Manmathnath. (1972), History of the Indian revolutionary movement, Somaiya Publications 
  • Rai, S. M. (1978), Punjabi Heroic Tradition, 1900-1947, Punjabi University 
  • Yadav, K.C.; Singh, Babar (2006), Bhagat Singh: Making of a Revolutionary : Contemporaries' Portrayals, Hope India, ISBN 81-7871-059-5 
  • Radhan, O. P. (2002), Encyclopaedia of Political Parties, Anmol Publications Pvt ltd, ISBN 81-7488-865-9 
  • Yadav, B. D. (1992), M. P. T. Acharya, Reminiscences of an Indian Revolutionary, Anmol Publications Pvt ltd, ISBN 81-7041-470-9