Unsung Heroes: Bimal Prasad Jain

We Indians are free today. There are Prime Ministers, Ministers, Chief Justices, Judges, Chief Ministers, IAS officers and other endless persons holding power today. We all owe a debt to all those who fought the British for the freedom of this country and by making great sacrifices with their lives made it possible for these persons to live in free India and hold such powers today.

These sacrifices were made by them voluntarily out of their love for their mother land. While these true sons and daughters of mother India suffered great agonies at the hands of the enemies of their country, a large number of make-believe political leaders – who took reins of the free India in their hands as Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers etc. – were enjoying their life in cosy jails or in palaces with full sympathy of the British rulers.

We have a long, really a very long, list of such make-believe official ‘Freedom Fighters’ and the make-belive ‘heroes’ of this freedom struggle; but there is no mention of those who sacrificed their comforts and life for this country. In this regard, the Indian history needs to be corrected and the real and the fake freedom fighters need to be put in the places in Indian history where they actually belong.

We must be sensible to understand one thing: the British people were at that time of the history, as they are today, very pragmatic people. They had the means, the weapons, and they had the strength, the British Army, to foil any non-violent attempt to liberate India and thus deprive them “the Jewel of their Empire”. They were pragmatic and knew fully well that Indian revolutionaries like Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen, Aurobindo Ghosh, Batukeshwar Dutt, Subhash Chandra Bose and countless others of the same elk had mesmerizing effect on the Indian people’s psyche; that if they were not pragmatic enough to hand over soon enough after the WW 2  the rein of India to those who advocated non-violence and worked for the amicable settlement of the question of Indian independence, Indian people would rise in the foot-steps of these belligerent and ferocious revolutionaries. The imperialists were pragmatic and decided in their best interest to disband their empire in India and hand over its reins to the votaries of amicable settlement of the issue of Indian independence.

We all owe a debt to these revolutionaries. At the least that we can do to them is to remember them and cherish their heroic deeds. We are narrating here the life story of one such revolutionary. His name is Bimal Persad Jain.

Bhimal Persad Jain (also spelled Bimal Persad Jain in the Proceedings of Delhi Conspiracy Commission) was one of many prominent revolutionaries close to Chandra Shekhar Azad, the Commander-in-Chief of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA).  He was arrested by the British police for participating in the blowing up the train of Lord Irwin, which was allegedly done by the accused persons / revolutionaries in a conspiracy to overthrow the British government by the use of violent / revolutionary means. He was one of the accused persons put on trial before the Delhi Conspiracy Commission.

Persons who had appeared as accused on the very first day of the opening of the trial before the Commission on 31st day of May, 1931 were: N. K. Nigam; B. R. Gupta; Rudra Dutt Mishra; Bhagirath Lal; Hardwari Lal Gupta; K. R. Gupta; Harkesh Singh; Gajanand Potdar; Kapur Chand. This Commission was manned by L. S. White, President; Kanwar Sain, Member; and Amir Ali, Member. The name of the lawyer who was appearing for the British government was Zaffarullah Khan, Bar-at-Law, along with Khan Sahib Mohamed Amin and Sardar Bhag Singh, Court Inspector. The names of the lawyers who appeared for the accused persons from time to time were: Asaf Ali, Bar-at-Law along with B. Banerji, Ansari, Baljit Singh, Bose. The evidence given before the Commission disclosed that the accused persons, along with many other revolutionaries who were not accused before the Commission (who were later on arrested, tortured and put in prisons), were running a bomb factory in the name of ‘Himalayan Toilets’ ( a smokescreen to hide the real work of bomb-making) at Qutub Road, Delhi.  It was found by evidence that not only Bimal Prashad Jain but also his wife Smt. Roopvati Jain, their co-revolutionaries Ageya, Durga Bhabhi, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Yashpal and many more persons were working to manufacture ingredients for making bombs, like Picric Acid, nitroglycerine and fulminate of Mercury. After the Delhi Conspiracy Commission was disbanded, Bimal Prasad was put on separate trial, convicted and sentenced to seven and half years’ rigorous imprisonment for his revolutionary activities.

Bimal Prasad had arranged entry-passes for Bhagat Singh to enable him and his co-revolutionaries to enter the assembly where they threw bombs, a symbolic gesture which they famously said was ‘to open the ears of the deaf British’. After the blast, Bimal Prasad handed over a press release to Hindustan Times newspaper about the necessity of blasting the bombs by the revolutionaries and before the newspaper staff could comprehend the contents of this press release he ran away from the newspaper office.

Bimal Prasad Jain was of the view that it was Yashpal (who later became a communist) who was responsible for the death of Bhagwati Charan Vohra, which he thought was done by Yashpal by sabotaging a bomb that was being tested by Bhagwati Charan Vohra. The reason for this suspecian was that Yashpal was having an improper relations with the wife of Bhagwati Charan Vohra. (later on, Yaspal married the widow of Bhagwati Charan Vohra). In HSRA the character of a revolutionary was considered of the highest value and particularly it was so in the matter of sex. This matter of the crime of sexual overtures of Yashpal towards the wife of another revolutionary was discussed under the leadership of Chandra Shekhar Azad in the Qudsia Bagh. It was decided in the meeting that Yashpal be punished by shooting and killing him. But by then, Yashpal had left Delhi for Lahore, which was his native place of influence. A team of revolutionaries was sent to chase him in Lahore and kill him. On reaching Lahore, Yaspal spread a word among his followers there that the decision to kill him was taken without hearing him. Due to this strategy adopted by him, there was a dissention among revolutionaries and he could not be killed as the party had decided. In saving the life of Yashpal there was some help from Kailashpati, who had not given permission to shoot Yashpal. The team that was assigned the task to shoot Yashpal had a number of persons (perhaps including Bimal Prasad Jain). Kailashpati  later had become an approver for the British State and had disclosed the names of revolutionaries of HSRA.

A biography of Bimal (or Vimal) Prasad Jain was written by his wife Smt. Roopvati Jain, which was released by the then President of India Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma. This book includes in its contents the revolutionary ideology of HSRA, which was declared by the organization in the pamphlet titled ‘The Philosophy of the Bomb’ distributed just after the blowing-up of the Vice Roy’s train in Delhi.

Bimal Prasad would have been hanged for being involved in the revolutionary activities but for a Valmiki lady named Asharfi Devi who refused to give details to the British police about the contents of the waste-materials coming out of the Bomb Factory, which details she refused to give to the police when she was told by some revolutionaries that if she told the truth to the police many of the youngsters working in the bomb factory would be convicted and hanged.

When this revolutionary’s real story was told to the former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma, he opened a school on Qutub Road in the name of ‘Asharfi Devi’.


Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Bimal Prasad Jain

The house of Bimal Prasad Jain was in Khari Baoli. He originally hailed from Sisana in Meerut District. At the end of July 1929, it was decided that they would make picric acid in the house of Gajanand Sada Shiv Potdar in Gwalior for filling bombs.

Azad sent Vaishampayan somewhere to bring apparatus and acids for this purpose and he brought them. Vaishampayan also purchased in Gwalior antimony tri-sulphate, potassium chlorate and sulphur.  Azad, Sada Shiv Rao, Gajanand Sada Shiv Potdar, and K began to make picric acid.

After two unsuccessful attempts they sought the help of D.V. Tailang who was a class fellow of Potdar and a member of the party who used to come there. Tailing referred them to J.V. Cochen’s ‘Practical Chemistry’ and following the instructions in it, they succeeded in making picric acid.

They also started to make tin bombs, that is, cigarette-tins. These bombs were made with a view to defend themselves if necessary as they had not sufficient weapons. These bombs were filled with sulphur, antimony tri-sulphide, sugar and potassium chlorate. Some were also filled with picric acid.

They also made a cast-iron shell. One of the tin bomb was taken away by Vaishampayan, Sada Shiv Rao, Bhagwan Das and Kailaspati to a hill outside Gwalior for experiment. They threw one and it exploded well and found by experiment that the bombs made by them were satisfactory. The other three were kept to be used in case of need or if any ‘action’ took place.

%d bloggers like this: