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Haji Shariatullah: The guiding light of Farazi movement

Haji Shariatullah, the leader of Farazi Movement (gathering of laymen/masses irrespective of occupational, religious, parochial differences for an insurrection), which was the source of inspiration for several revolutionaries in the Indian freedom struggle, was born in village Banderlakola, District Faridpur, Bengal in a weaver family. Haji, at the age of 18 years went for Hajj, whereat he became a scholar in spiritual scripts, besides came in contact with Syed Ahmed Barelwi (the founder of the Wahabi Movement and the warrior Syed Mir Nisar Ali Titu Mir (known as the fighter of Narkelbaria, Bengal). The trio decided/resolved for organizing a struggle against the alien rule in India before leaving for India. While imparting spiritual knowledge at his native place near Dhaka, he used to encourage the people towards the movement to emancipate the country from the yoke of British Raj (the mobilization of people for the cause was known as Farazi Movement).

While travelling extensively in Bengal, he saw the woes of peasants and artisans, inhumanly exploited by East India Company officials, Zamindars and Mahajans which led to his commitment to liberate the people from these problems through the path of revolution. He garnered support from farmers, artisans and the people from different classes and successfully launched several operations against British and their stooges. Haji’s preaching not only helped the people in fighting against anarchy but also provoked the desire of freedom among them. Farazi Movement remained active for about half a century and later, became the harbinger of freedom movement. Haji Shariatullah, the torch bearer of the movement, passed away in 1839, however remained as a star guiding the people for ultimate freedom.

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