|One of the leading figures
in the 1857 Revot, Azimullah Khans exact
date of birth is not known. He was picked up with
his mother during the famine of 1937-38 and remained
in a Muslim orphanage where his mother served
as an Ayah. He learnt English and
French in a Government School at Kanpur.
He went to England in 1854 to plead Nana Sahibs
pension case, and stayed there for over two
years. On the return journey he visited France
and Sebastopol and made secret overtures to
Russia to fight the English in India.
He played a prominent part in the Revolt of
1957 at Kanpur. He acted as confidential adviser
of Nana Sahib Peshwa. The policy of Azimullah
Khan and Nana Sahib was that the Hindus and
Muslims should unite and fight together for
Indias freedom. Azimullah Khan toured
important stations in Northern India and prepared
the ground for the Revolt. The preparations
for the rising were secret. Letters were written
in code, and secret symbols of the coming bloodshed,
the red lotus and the chappatis, were passed
from village to village and from regiment to
regiment. Azimullah Khan worked as an active
organiser of the Revolt.
Azimullah Khan was a handsome slim young man
of dark olive complexion, dressed in oriental
costume and covered with rings
and finery. His handsome personality attracted
for him a place in the society of English ladies.
That Azimullah was very orthodox can be judged
from what he said to Russel, that unless
women wee restrained, as they were in the East,
like moths in candle light, they will fly and
get buired. But he was in favour of Hindu-Muslims
todine together and mix freely.
Letters of Azimullah found at Bithur were published
under the title of Letters of an Indian
Prince. Azimullah Khan also left diary
depicting the court life of Baji Rao and Nana
Sahib. But some people doubt its authenti-city.
These is also a controversy over Azimmullah
Khans hand in the Kanpur massacre.
Azimullah Khan tried his best to secure foreign
help against the British. He wrote letters for
help to the Sultan of Turkey and also tried
to make some overtures to Egypt.
After the failure of the Revolt, Azimullah
Khan fled to Nepal along with his master Nana
Sahib. He died of fever in Nepal in October
Azimullah Khan was a good organizer, capable
leader and true freedom-fighter who believed
in Hindu-Muslim unity, and tried to get freedom
for India from British yoke. He will be Ion
remembered for his loyalty to his master Nana
Sahib and for his love of the country.