LAHORE - Azizan Rakasa is a mythical or a real character of the history of subcontinent that was part of the rebellion against British Empire at the time of 1857 independence war.

Wasim Ahmed Saeed of Department of Research on Lost Islamic History of Utter Pradesh (India) compiled 19 articles written on Azizan Rakasa, a lost character that is rarely discussed now. The book provides insight stories of the era of 1857 famously known as Indian Independence Movement when Hindus and Muslims came forward to get rid from the British Empire rule in the subcontinent.

Those who have written articles at different span of time include BJO Taylor who titled it ‘Revolutionary Azizan Rakasa’. The article was translated in Urdu by compiler Wasim Ahmed Saeed.

Other articles included in the book are written by PP Sariv Istawarand, Dr Banu Sartaj, Diya Sankar Mishra,Farooq argali, Fazal Haq Azeem Abadi, Dr Abida Samiuudin, Khalid Behzad Hasmi, Hassan Munsha, Myo Ram Gapt, Muhammad Saddiq Akbar, abdul Jabbar Ajmeri, Shabana NAsreen, Masroor Ahmed,Dr Abdul Aziz Irfan, Bushra Baighum, Shadam Hussain and Dr Mirza Muhamamd Baig.

A separate section in the book is ‘What history is all about’ written by Khuswant Singh.

The book author, Wasim Ahmed Saeed, has written in the preface that the purpose of writing this book was to highlight the untouched character of the Islamic history in the subcontinent.

The author said that Azizan Rakasa was goddess of beauty, whose splendor can only be compared with ‘Venice’ of Greek era. The Rakasa was a dancer till she left the profession and joined the rebels to fight against the Britishers.

Azizan Rakasa was born in 1832. According to author, from 1957 to 2007, there was no prominent event to recognise her efforts.

The ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’ (Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer) slogan, given to India by the Prime Minister of India Lal Bahadur Shastri, continuously broadcast round the clock in early erars after independence but the slogan would not be completed without mentioning the story of Azizan Rakasa, Wasim said.

In 1999, on the eve of 142th anniversary of 1857 rebellion, the Utter Pardesh government unveiled and placed statue of the Azizan Rakasa by Premlata Katiyar, the vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Party Uttar Pradesh unit and an Ex MLA from Kanpur.

Kanpur city was the epicenter of the rebellion against the British rule in India. Kanpur was the same when daughter of the soil was executed through firing squad on the orders of General Havelock.

According to some historians the general had offered her pardon, saying her life would be granted if she sought apology for rebellion against the British India. However, Azizan replied: “Why would I seek apology. For what? You seized our country. We will get rid from the intruders in our home (country) and we will do it.”

Azizan on the day of rebellion June 4, 1857 in Kanpur, gave orders to slaughter 150 women and children of the British who took refuge in Bibi Ghar in Kanpur. She argued that it was a response to manslaughter of innocent Indian children and women by the British rulers.

Kanpur was widely called in those days as ‘Manchester of India’. One other aspect is also cited in the book that her statue has been placed in Kanpur but her whereabouts of her grave were missing. On the headstone of the Azizan Rakasa these lines are written: “I am Azizan Rakasa. I am dancer by profession. I seek mercy and I appeal to people that they seek mercy for me.”