ACK-055: Kunwar Singh

An out of print ACK (#311)

(Actually we have an English version without cover. That is why contributor has added Hindi cover. We try to post a English cover later.)

Kunwar Singh epitomises not only the spirit of liberty but also unparalleled courage and the will to resist injustice at all costs and under any circumstances. Babu Kunwar Singh was already past his prime being nearly eight years old. Despite his age and failing health, when the call to fight came, the old lion plunged into the thick of it and for nearly a year battled against the British forces with grim determination and undoubted courage. The great warrior that he was, he gave a good fight and harried British forces for nearly an year and remained invincible till the end.

Kunwar Singh was one of the leading figures of the Indian Movements of 1857-59. A scion of Rajput nobility he was born in Jagdishpur in the Shahabad District of Bihar about 1777 and was detained to die as hero in the Great rising of 1857.

Kunwar Singh, zamindar of Jagdishpur near Arrah, in the state of Bihar, was the chief organizer of the fight against British in Bihar. He assumed command of the soldiers who had revolted at Danapur on 5th July. Two days later he occupied Arrah, the district headquarter. Major Vincent Eyre relieved the town on 3rd August, defeated Kunwar Singh's force and destroyed Jagdishpur. Kunwar Singh left his ancestral village and reached Lucknow in December 1857. In March 1858 he occupied Azamgarh. However, he had to leave the place soon. Pursued by Brigadier Douglas, he retreated towards his home in Bihar.

It is believed that while crossing the Ganga on his way to Jagdishpur he was wounded in the arm by the pursuing forces and the old warrior severed the injured limb and flung it into the Ganga as his last offering. Soon after he fought his last battle near Jagdishpur on 23rd April, 1858 in which the British forces led by Captain Le Grand were completely routed. Kunwar Singh passed away the next day.

The mantle of the old chief now fell on his brother Amar Singh who, despite heavy odds, continued the struggle and for a considerable time ran a parallel government in the district of Shahabad. In October 1859 Amar Singh joined the rebel leaders in the Nepal Terai.

To honour his memory and his contribution to India’s freedom movement, the Republic of India issued a commemorative stamp on 23 April 1966. Veer Kunwar Singh University named after him, was established by Government of Bihar near his birth place.

Many many thanks to “Apoorva Chandar” for providing ACK scan.

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3 comments:

Apoorva Chandar January 23, 2009 at 2:22 AM  

you are n a roll prabhat...great...hope to get the english cover and inner notes soon...

Prabhat's Books and Comics January 23, 2009 at 2:26 AM  

Apoorva Chandar:Welcome! Ajay's many ACK are in his home city, not with him. He promised to send these later.

Apoorva Chandar January 23, 2009 at 7:34 AM  

oh alright...no problem...

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