By: Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti
Hemu Kalani was a Sindhi revolutionary and freedom fighter during the Indian Independence Movement who fought with British army and sacrificed his life for his motherland. Today is date of birth of noted freedom fighter Hemu Kalani. He was born in Sukkur Sindh on 23rd March 1923.
Hemu Kalani was born in Sukkur, Sindh on 23 March 1923. He was the son of Pesumal Kalani and Jethi Bai. As a child and young man he campaigned with his friends for boycotts of foreign goods and tried to persuade people to use Swadeshi goods. He was drawn to revolutionary activities and started participating in acts of protests with the aim of driving out the British. He was involved in raids and in the burning of vehicles belonging to the Raj.
Hemu Kalani joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India movement when it was started in 1942. Support for the movement in Sindh was such that the British rulers had to send special troops consisting of European battalions. Hemu Kalani found out that a railway train of these troops and their supplies would be passing through his local town and decided to derail it by removing the fishplates from the railway track. This despite the fact that neither he nor his colleagues had the necessary tools and so had to use a rope as a means to loosen the fixings.
They were seen by the British troops before being able to complete the sabotage. Hemu was caught, imprisoned and tortured in an attempt to get him to reveal the names of his co-conspirators. He refused to divulge any information, was put on trial and sentenced to death. The people of Sindh petitioned the Viceroy for mercy but the condition of granting it was that the authorities must be told the identity of his co-conspirators. He again refused to pass on the information and he was hanged on 21 January 1943.