Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, hailed as the ‘Hero of Jallianwala Bagh’, was born on 15 January 1888 in Faridkot in Punjab state. His father was Azizuddin and his mother was Jaan Bibi.
Saifuddin Kitchlew was born into a wealthy family. He studied law in London and obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy in Germany. Dr. Kitchlew returned to India in 1913 and settled as an advocate in Amritsar.
He married Sadat Banu in 1915, who was also an activist in the Indian National Movement and an Urdu poet. Saifuddin Kitchlew was a great orator.
He entered into politics by participating in the Home Rule Movement. He conducted a public meeting at the historical Jallianwala Bagh on 30 March 1919, protesting against the Rowlatt Act during the Indian National Movement. There he delivered a lecture slamming the British imperialist rulers.
His speech before the huge gathering at Jallianwala Bagh sent shivers into the spines of the British rulers. Then British government invited Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and Dr. Dang for discussions but took them into custody and sent them to exile. This incident made Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew the ‘Hero of Jallianwala Bagh’. Later, he was released by the end of 1919.
Dr. Saifuddin left his legal practice to dedicate himself totally to the Indian National Movement. He participated actively in the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement and became the President of the All India Khilafat Committee.
Dr. Saifuddin started an association named ‘Tahreek-i-Tanzeem’ and also a magazine in Urdu called ‘Tanzeem’. He desired harmony between the Hindus and Muslims and appealed to the people to involve in the National Movement irrespective of the religious feelings.
Dr. Kitchlew opposed the separatist ideology of the All-India Muslim League from the very beginning. He worked as the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress in 1924.
He was also the President of the reception Committee for the Indian National Congress Sessions in 1929, held at Lahore. Though Dr. Kichloo had respect towards Gandhi, he followed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Thus, he distanced himself from Congress.
He underwent rigorous imprisonment for a period of 14 years in British India. After 1947, he got attracted towards Communism and worked for world peace through the institutions like ‘Peace and Friendship’.
He was honoured with ‘Stalin Peace Prize’ in 1954. Dr. Saifuddin Kichloo, who dreamt of Socialist society and worked for world peace through out his life, passed away on 9 October, 1963.