Historical Figures

Kunwar Pratap Singh Barath

Pratap Singh Barahath was born on 24 May 1893 in Udaipur. His father Thakur Kesari Singh was the son of Thakur Krishna Singh of Devpura Thikane of Shahpura State and mother Manikya Kunwari was the sister of Kaviraja Devidan Mahiaria of Kotadi Thikane of Kota State. Prata Singh got the feeling of patriotism from his father Kesari Singh. Pratap's childhood was spent in Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer and Delhi. His early education took place in Kota. He got his education up to matriculation from Dayanand Anglovedic High School in Ajmer but he did not sit in the examination. He had a desire to work for making the country independent. Therefore Kesari Singh sent him to the revolutionary Arjunlal Sethi. From there he was sent to the well-known revolutionary Master Amichand to give him practical education in revolution work.

Since Thakur Kesari Singh was in jail and his mansion was confiscated by Rajadhiraj of Shahpura, Pratap Singh's life was spent in deprivation and poverty. Whenever a marriage proposal came for Pratap Singh, he would laugh and say - my marriage will be on the gallows.

After some time Pratap Singh decided to go to participate in the revolution programs. He did not even have travel expenses. He told his mother that my dhoti is torn, so give me two rupees to buy a new dhoti. Pratap Singh was afraid that if the mother came to know that the money was needed to go to the revolution works, then the mother would not stop them. Mother gave him one rupee. Taking a rupee from his mother, Pratap Singh went straight to the house of his father's friend Munshi Mohanlal and laughed and said to him - I am going to get married now. Munshiji was shocked to hear this. He said – your father is in jail, house has been confiscated and you are thinking of getting married?

Pratap Singh took his leave and went straight to Master Amichand. When mother Manik Kanwar came to know about the act of the son, she said - Pratap, you made a mistake in recognizing your mother. You went with one rupee for the dhoti. Then only if you had spoken your mind, I would have sent you off with a tilak and would have garlanded you with flowers.

It was while working with Master Amichand that Rash Behari Bose kept Pratap Singh with him. After some time he was entrusted with the responsibility of forming a revolutionary party in Rajasthan. Pratap Singh started the work of preparing Indian soldiers for future armed revolution in the military cantonments of Rajasthan. At this time Pratap Singh was twenty years old.

In December 1912, Rash Behari Bose planned to throw a bomb on Lord Hardinge. Pratap Singh and Zoravar Singh were chosen to throw bombs on Lord Hardinge. After the bombing, they both parted ways and went underground. Joravar Singh did not come, but Pratap Singh was caught. The police tried a lot but could not make any indictment against Pratap Singh. Because of this he was freed. Rash Behari Bose had gone underground. The government announced a heavy reward for their capture. After getting released from the police, Pratap Singh went to Nadia (Bengal) to meet Rasbihari. From there he reached Banaras after receiving necessary directions for the future and started contacting the revolutionaries of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab along with Shachindranath Sanyal. During this time Pratap Singh had contact with prominent revolutionaries like Pingale and Kartar Singh Saraba. Now he started working in secret for setting up an organization for armed revolution in northern India and Rajputana.

In this connection he came to Jodhpur in AD 1914. Identified by his classmate on the train en route. This classmate was the station master at Asaranada station these days. He decided to deceive Pratap Singh and opened his quarters and put Pratap Singh to sleep in it and locked it from outside. He called the armed police from Jodhpur. The police surrounded the quarter and fired bayonets. Thus this great revolutionary was caught. Pratap Singh tried to fire by taking out a pistol from his pocket to avoid his arrest, but the police force was in large numbers, so Pratap Singh was taken prisoner. A case was made against Pratap Singh for his involvement in the Banaras Conspiracy Case and he was imprisoned in Bareilly Jail. At that time Kesari Singh was in jail and Zoravar Singh was absconding. No one could know what had happened. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years.

Inhuman atrocities were committed on Pratap Singh in Bareilly Jail. He was kept in the dungeon (solitary cell). His kind of inducements were given so that he could give information about his companions and their activities, but Pratap Singh did not budge. He never revealed the secret secrets of the revolutionaries. Sir Charles Cleveland, the Director of the Intelligence Department of the Government of India, went to the Bareilly Central Jail and met Pratap Singh. He knew that Pratap Singh was very close to Rash Behari Bose and knew a lot about him. His idea was that being young, Pratap Singh would spill the secrets of the revolutionaries. When Pratap Singh's father Kesari Singh came to know about these things, he also feared that Pratap Singh would break down and tell everything, but only then Pratap sent a message to Kesari Singh and assured him - Donor, you should be rest assured, Pratap is your son. Will not reveal the difference.

Pratap Singh was told that his mother was crying out for him. He was lured that if he would reveal the secret, all his father's property would be returned. He was also lured that his father's 20 years in prison would be forgiven. The arrest warrant of Zoravar Singh will be waived. Pratap Singh asked the police officers for a day's time to think. A day later, he gave this answer to the police- 'Look, I have thought a lot, have finally decided that I will not open anything. Till now only one mother who died is suffering, but if I reveal all the secret things, then the mothers of many more people will suffer just like my mother. How many more mothers will have to cry in exchange for one mother.'

Like Maharana Pratap, he remained firm on his vow. While praising Pratap Singh's perseverance, Cleveland has written – 'I have never seen a young man of such a brave and wonderful intellect as Pratap Singh. We left no stone unturned to harass him, but wah re veer-dear he did not budge. He was going to suffer a great deal. All our tips went in vain. We all lost, the same thing remained firm. He emerged victorious.'

Pratap Singh reached the brink of death due to the atrocities of the jail. He died in prison on 24 May 1918. The local people of Bareilly became suspicious of his death. That's why he asked for the dead body of Pratap Singh from the jailers, but the jailers denied his death and planned to perform his last rites in the jail itself. He was afraid that seeing the smoke burning, people would get suspicious. That is why he was buried in the earth instead of burning him even though he was a Hindu. The family members of Pratap Singh were also not informed about his death. When Kesari Singh was released from jail in 1919, he came to know about the death of Pratap Singh. Pratap Singh's mother was also not aware of his death, so she kept the doors of her house open every night so that if her son came on some night, she would not return seeing the house closed.

Ramnarayan Choudhary has written while praising Pratap Singh - 'The definition of Karmayogi given in the Gita was seen in Pratap and he was a true Karmayogi. He had complete distaste for Kamini and Kanchan. Once he continued to work continuously for three days and three nights, and then he slept in such a way that he continued to sleep for three days and three nights. If anyone has had the most impact on my life, it is that of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and the other of Kunwar Pratap Singh. Had he been alive, Mahatmaji would have been on the right hand.'

According to the information given about Pratap Singh in the pages of the jail, Pratap Singh's age is 18 years, height 5 feet 1 inch and weight 102 ser. This description suggests that he was thin, fat and very young. All this information is false and written to hide his identity. He was 28 at the time of his death, not 18. It is written in this register that his conduct in jail was very good and he died after noon on 24 May 1918. Gopal Singh Kharwa has written- 'The creator had created a Pratap by using a hundred ragged (Veer Kshatriya) cannabis.