RSS Marks Death of 1857 Muslim Martyr with March

published on March 31, 2008

Mumbai, Mar 30: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh paid tribute to the martyrs of the 1857 independence uprising through a ghosh sanchalan on Saturday. The commemoration was an effort to shed light on the Hindu-Muslim unity during the 1857 war.

Playing various tunes, the 500-odd RSS band marched from Azad Maidan to the Gateway of India. A fire was lit at 6.57pm to pay tribute to the martyrs. Actor Sachin Khedekar was the chief guest. Sharad Joshi, a senior RSS functionary, said, “Mangal Pandey had opened fire at his a British officer on March 29, 1857, at Barrackpore. So we decided to mark the day by paying tribute to the martyrs.”

The party also commemorated a Muslim soldier, Sayyed Hussain. He was the first Mumbaikar killed by a cannon on October 15, 1857, at Azad Maidan. Mangal Gadiya was the  other. The governor who ordered the killing was Sir Elphinstone. “The independence war of 1857 is a unique example of Hindu-Muslim unity. Unfortunately, it was the last effort of freedom where Hindu and Muslims joined hands against the British. Sensing that this unity can prove dangerous for their rule, the British adopted the ‘divide-and-rule’ strategy and succeeded in staying in India for the next 90 years. This functionwill be helpful in reiterating the need for Hindu-Muslim unity once again,” said a senior RSS leader.

He said, “RSS has never had hatred for the Muslims. In fact, we will welcome the Muslims to the RSS if they are ready to accept our values.”

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