A Punjabi book on Rehmat Ali Wajidke, a Ghadar Party activist who was hanged in 1915, was released at a public event held in Surrey on Sunday.
Authored by Sarwan Singh Aujla, a retired school principal from Barnala, the book is written in the form of a long poetry and throws light on Wajidke and his struggle.
Wajidke was hanged for sedition by the British government in March 1915. He was among the Ghadar Party members who had returned from foreign countries to India to launch an armed rebellion against the British occupation. This year marks the centenary of Wajidke’s martyrdom.
Aujla, who is a freelance writer, has authored many books. He had served at the government public school in Wajidke, the native village of Rehmat Ali. He was instrumental in getting the school renamed after the Ghadar hero and had also traced his descendants in Pakistan and brought them to India where they were duly honoured by the Punjab government in 1970s. Wajidke’s relatives had migrated to Pakistan after the partition in 1947.
Aujla has been highlighting the story of Wajidke through his columns in the local newspapers as well. He told HT that his story needs to be amplified to challenge the communal forces which are inimical to peace and people’s unity.
“Today when the Hindu nationalists are in power in India, we need to remind our younger generation that men like Wajidke and not the RSS played a significant role during the freedom movement. This has become important as the Hindutva forces continue to question the patriotism of Muslims,” he said.