Peer Ali- Patna's unsung hero of India's first war of Independence

Peer Ali- Patna’s unsung hero of India’s first war of Independence

Lost in the gaps of mainstream historical narratives, Peer Ali and his legacy is immortalized in Patna through the roads and Park dedicated to him. Peer Ali, described as the “Chief Rebel of the city” by then Patna Commissioner William Tyler, is the Chief Revolutionary and Pride of Patna.

Born in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh, Peer Ali left home at a tender age of 7 and arrived in Patna. He was taken in and educated by a benevolent Zamindar in Patna. He had a strong command of Persian, Arabic and Urdu. Ali later owned a bookshop, which served as a meeting place for revolutionaries. He secretly sent coded messages to other revolutionaries and distributed important pamphlets and leaflets. Peer Ali and his bookshop were central to the revolt.

On 3rd July 1857, a group of revolutionaries led by Ali, first charged at the house of a Roman Catholic priest but the priest escaped, later they killed Dr Lyell. Dr Lyell was a principal assistant to an opium agent. This incident induced terror and panic in the British administration.

Struck with fear and in order to quell the revolt, the administration arrested Peer Ali and his fellow revolutionaries. Though this step was hardly effective as the fire of revolution had reached Danapur Cantonment. Peer Ali was tried, brutally tortured and recived capital punishment for his involvement in the revolt.

When offered amnesty at the expense of information about the revolt. Ali chose death over disloyalty and a life in disgrace as a traitor.

On 7th July 1857, Peer Ali was publicly executed. Shaheed Peer Ali Khan Park near historical Gandhi Maidan is believed to be the place of his execution.

A revolutionary, who stirred the spirit of revolution in people, A man who even in the jaws of  death believed in his countrymen and revolution, Peer Ali was an inspiration that kept the pot of revolution boiling. His last words to William Tyler are chilling and awe inspiring. “You may hang me, or such as me, every day, but thousands will rise in my place, and your object will never be gained.”

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