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Maulvi Mohammad Baqir, the first journalist to attain martyrdom for India during the freedom struggle.

Moulvi Mohammad Baqir was born in 1780 in Delhi. His Father is Moulvi Mohammad Akbar Ali, spiritual leader of Delhi. Moulvi Baqar had his education at Delhi College, Delhi.

After completion his education, he took up several jobs such as teaching at Delhi College and as a Tehsildar in the Revenue Department but that was not his final goal.

In 1836 when the Government, after amendment in the Press Act, allowed publication of newspapers, he entered the field of journalism that became his art and identity.

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Delhi Urdu Akhbar and Moulvi Mohammad Baqir

In January 1837 Maulvi Mohammad Baqir launched the Urdu weekly “Delhi Akhbar” This newspaper survived for about 21 years during which its name was changed twice.

On 3 May 1840, it was renamed as “Delhi Urdu Akhbar” while on 12 July 1857, Delhi Urdu Akhbar was renamed after the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah as “Akhbar-al-Zafar”.

And then its ten last issues came out with this name. Delhi Urdu Akhbar was the proclaimer of the feelings of the nation.

The newspaper played a vital and leading role in creating a political awakening in the masses and uniting them against foreign rulers.

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It ignited the love of freedom and gave the courage and confidence to rally against the British Raj.
Soon after the start of the first freedom struggle of 1857, it became a freedom fighter itself.

The fire of Freedom that was ignited in Meerut on 10 May 1857 helped Mujahideen reach Delhi by 11 May.

Following this started a series of events of the magnitude that shook the ground underneath the feet of the Britishers.

Moulvi Mohammad Baqir responding to this call to freedom was busy doing jihad with his pen.
In its report of 17 May 1857 Delhi Urdu Akhbar carried a detailed report of the advance of Mujahideen.

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Later on, he continuously wrote different articles denouncing the actions of the British and encouraging the people and Sepoys to fight against the British for the freedom of the country.

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Maulvi Muhammad Baqir was a great advocate of Hindu-Muslim unity.
When in order to weaken the freedom struggle the British started to sow the seeds of discord among the public Delhi Urdu Akhbar challenged them and cautioned the people against the tactic of colonial rulers.

All these actions of Moulvi Mohammad Baqir angered the British and they decided to eliminate him.

On 4 June 1857, Maulvi Muhammad Baqir warned the masses of the conspiracies of the British and appealed to them to remain united.

Maulvi Muhammad Baqir was arrested on 14th September 1857 for revolt and without being tried, he was shot dead on 16 September 1857 by Major William S.R. Hudson.

Thus Maulvi Mohammad Baqir became the FIRST EDITOR who sacrificed his life and became a martyr for the freedom of our INDIA.

(Source: The Immortals, Album of 155 Muslim Freedom Fighters, authored by Syed Naseer Ahamed in 2014, Mobile: 9440241727)

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Syed Naseer Ahamed

Syed Naseer Ahamad is a Telugu writer and journalist who has written several books on the role of Muslims in the struggle for the freedom of India. Many of his books have been translated into other languages. He can be contacted at [email protected] and cellphone number 91-9440241727. Writing since 1998 exclusively on THE ROLE OF MUSLIMS IN THE STRUGGLE FOR THE FREEDOM OF INDIA. Syed Naseer Ahamed http://M.Com ., LL.B., D.J. Flat No. C-2, Sree Ram's Arcade, Amaravathi Road UNDAVALLI - 522501 Tadepalli Mandalam, Guntur, AP