By Nasim Yousaf;
In a ground-breaking cinematic endeavour, the long-awaited documentary “The Road to Freedom: Allama Mashriqi’s Historical Journey from Amritsar to Lahore” will make its world premiere, providing a compelling and enlightening exploration of one of the most influential figures in the history of the Indian subcontinent, now comprising Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The film
presents Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi, famously known as Allama Mashriqi, and his side of the story, offering a fresh perspective on the freedom movement and shedding light on his pivotal role in the demise of the British Raj in the region.
It is the story of a man who broke all previous academic records at the University of Cambridge, had his book, Tazkirah, nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and served as the Under Secretary of Education. He declined Knighthood and Ambassadorship, abandoning all luxury to become a freedom fighter, dedicated to liberating his nation from the shackles of oppressive British rule. During the struggle, he faced bans, restrictions, threats, physical attacks, imprisonments, and tortures. His wife, sons, daughters, and followers were not spared from suppressive actions and were used to put pressure on Mashriqi to disband the Khaksar Movement. However, none of the aforementioned brutalities could waver him from his goal.
The Khaksar Movement, founded by Allama Mashriqi in 1930, rapidly gained popularity due to its core principles of equality, unity, discipline, service to humanity, self-cleansing, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and its aim to free the nation from British colonialism. It was the private army that empowered women in the 1930s when females in Europe and America were still striving for equal rights. They paraded in uniform, carrying spades, representing the dignity and power of the labor class on their shoulders. Mashriqi instilled in them tremendous courage, leading even veiled women, who were culturally expected to remain confined to their homes, to willingly come to the streets and fight for their nation’s freedom. A unique blend of spiritual, political, and military elements, the Khaksar Movement attracted a vast following among the masses.
The documentary showcases rare archival footage, historical photographs, and features interviews with a Khaksar veteran and other experts, providing a vivid and comprehensive portrayal of the Khaksar Movement’s rise and its significant role in the struggle for independence.
“The Road to Freedom” delves deep into the life, vision, and contributions of Allama Mashriqi, revealing him not just as a world-famous mathematician, logician, political theorist, esteemed scholar, visionary leader but as fearless freedom fighter. His unwavering dedication to the service of humanity and his relentless pursuit of liberating his nation from the clutches of the British Raj are central themes that resonate throughout the narrative.
Produced in the United States of America by author Nasim Yousaf, a grandson of Allama Mashriqi, this extensive research-based film marks a monumental achievement in its genre. The contents of the documentary promises to enthral viewers worldwide, particularly those interested in the history of the Indian sub-continent, the independence movement, and the partition of India, as well as Mashriqi and the Khaksar Movement’s role in the freedom movement. It will be a great addition to the historiography of South Asian Studies and informative not only to the general public but enlightening for academics and students of history, journalists, writers, intellectuals, political analysts. It is expected to be shared or showcased by academics specializing in South Asian History, who will use it as a means to enlighten and educate their students about Mashriqi’s perspective on the freedom movement and his crucial role in ending British rule. This momentous video would also be a great source of information for film and documentary makers with an interest on producing big screen movies on freedom fighters.
The documentary is a testament to the enduring legacy of Allama Mashriqi and the Khaksar Movement, reminding us all that the pursuit of justice, unity, and humanity knows no boundaries.
The world premiere of “The Road to Freedom: Allama Mashriqi’s Historic Journey from Amritsar to Lahore” is expected to be released on August 27, 2023 or after. The film will be available on social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, making it accessible to a global audience. Additionally, for platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, which have video length restrictions, teasers or promos with basic information about the documentary will be provided. These platforms will offer sneak peeks, highlights, and intriguing facts related to the film, captivating audiences and encouraging them to explore the full-length feature available on other platforms. A dedicated Facebook page has been launched for the interested viewers to seek information on it.