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Muslims' role in INA immortalised in book

Muslims role in INA immortalised in book
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Bringing to the attention of newer generations the role of Muslim revolutionaries who were part of the Indian National Army (INA) and fought side by side with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in freedom struggle, journalist-turned-historian Syed Naseer Ahamed narrated their sacrifices in his 15-year work in the form of a book, ‘Azad Hind Fauj – Muslim Porata Yodhulu.’

Hyderabad: Bringing to the attention of newer generations the role of Muslim revolutionaries who were part of the Indian National Army (INA) and fought side by side with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in freedom struggle, journalist-turned-historian Syed Naseer Ahamed narrated their sacrifices in his 15-year work in the form of a book, 'Azad Hind Fauj – Muslim Porata Yodhulu.'

Prominent amongst the revolutionaries he tried to immortalise through his latest book is a Hyderabadi, Abid Hasan Safrani, who later served as a diplomat in Independent India.

The closest aide of Netaji in the Azad Hind Fauj, it was Safrani who coined the eternal slogan, 'Jai Hind,' according to the author. He was also the first to call Subhas Chandra Bose 'Netaji'.

"He was so close to him that when Netaji started from Germany towards Burma (Myanmar) on a four-month journey in a submarine, Abid Hasan was the only aide who accompanied him throughout his journey.

Moreover, when there was a dire need for coining a 'single salutation' which would rouse inspiration amongst the INA men and women representing different religions, Abid Hasan, after much pondering, came up with the salutation, 'Jai Hind', which continues to inspire Indians. On this occasion, Netaji was so ecstatic that he hugged him, while announcing this," said Naseer.

Speaking to The Hans India, the author hailing from AP, who was in the city, said that for coming up with this kind of book, he had spent 3 years only for penning his findings, after carrying out a 15-year research work.

As part of his study, he contacted Netaji Research Bureau (Kolkata, West Bengal) and All India INA Committee (New Delhi). With pictorial references, the book highlights the struggle and role played by a number of revolutionaries, most of whom sacrificed their lives in this endeavour.

Naseer was helped by V S R Avadhani, Chief Editor, Supreme Court Journal (Hyderabad), Ashok Tankashala, a senior journalist, and several other authors and researchers. This is his 17th book focusing on the subject of freedom fighters from the Muslim community.

Speaking to The Hans India, the author, who gave up journalism in 2004 to focus on his passion to explore the history, emphasised the need for telling the tales of freedom fighters so that younger generations can draw inspiration.

Since Telugu books are not available on this subject, he continues to delve into the life histories of freedom fighters by meeting historians, freedom fighters, their family members, visiting libraries and studying books in different languages to gather information.

Starting with his first book, 'Bharata Swatantra Udhyamam - Muslim Mahilalu' (Independence Struggle – Muslim Women), he received positive response from the public, which inspired him to continue his work.

"Some of my books are reprinted seven times, as Telugu readers are ready to accept," he says. Emphasising the need for books on this subject, he says, "If you forget your history, history will forget you.

The sacrifices of our freedom fighters should be known to newer generation and this would not only inspire people but cement the communal fabric of the nation, reinvigorating the memories of how different communities were united and fought for our freedom," he adds.

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