|Biographies of Great
Indians & Hindus
|From Books to
At the Lucknow Session of the Congress Ramaprasad came into contact with some
members of a secret committee; this committee was playing an important role in
revolutionary activities. The previous year he had developed revolutionary ideals. This
contact with the committee gave a practical shape to them. In a short while he became a
member of the executive committee of the revolutionaries.The committee had very little
money. It needed money quite a lot of it to buy arms and ammunition. It needed
thousands of rupees. Ramaprasad thought of a plan. Why not take up the publication
of writings which would, on the one hand, spread the
revolutionary ideas and, on the other hand, bring them money? He took four hundred
rupees as a loan from his mother and published a book entitled 'How Did America Attain
freedom? 'At that time a revolutionary leader by name Gendalal Dikshit had been imprisoned
at Gwalior. Ramaprasad was very keen on drawing public attention towards him and win him
people's sympathy. Therefore he printed a pamphlet entitled 'A Message to My Countrymen.'
By his book trade, he could not only repay the loan he had taken from his mother but could
also make a profit of two hundred rupees. But the then Govern- ment of the United
Provinces banned both these books.
Publication of books brought them money and this, in turn, brought them arms. On an
earlier occasion Ramaprasad had wandered in Gwalior City and had bought a revolver. With
this experience he went there again. In those days collection of arms was comparatively
easier in the native states.
Ramaprasad observed in a shop in the market a few muzzle loaders along with swords,
shields and daggers. He gathered enough courage and approached the owner and casually
inquired what they would cost.
'Well, don't you sell, any rifles and revolvers?" he asked. The shop owner showed
some muzzle loader pistols and said, "Please come again.I shall somehow manage to get
one or two rifles and revolvers." Ramaprasad purchased some muzzle loader pistols and
daggers and returned.
A few such visits gave him some know- ledge of fire arms. He could make out which weapon
was old and which was new and the price of every weapon.
Once he was about to fall into the hands of the police. The police of Gwalior State got
scent of the collection of arms. Aconstable of the confidential investigationdepartment
approached Ramaprasad and offered to get him some weapons. He took Ramaprasad with him.
Can you guess where he took him? To the house of a police inspector!
Luckily for him the inspector was not at home. A constable was standing guard in front of
the house. Ramaprasad happened to know him. He managed to elude the eye of the constable
who had taken him there, and asked the man keeping guard there whose house it was. He was
assured it was the house of a police inspector. In the twinkling of an eye Ramaprasad
vanished. But somehow the police constable had already found out that the team had
collected weapons and that they intended to move them that very day. Ramaprasad, who had
now grown cautious, walked past several railway stations with the weapons; then he boarded
the train and reached Shahjahanpur.
Another time he had to purchase a revolver from a Police Superintendent who was about to
retire. The Superintendent had his own doubts and hesitated; so Ramaprasad got an
affidavit prepared declaring that he was the son of aZimindar, (a rich land-lord) and
forged two signatures of Zamindars in Hindi and the signature of a Police Inspector in
English. Anyhow he managed to buy the revolver.
So they managed to collect a goodquantity of weapons such as rifles, muzzle loaders,
revolvers, cartridges, daggers and knives.
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