I left India in 1908 for Persia with Sufi Amba Prashad and three others, At that time there was no need of obtaining passport to leave the country. Easily we caught a boat from Karachi which left for Bushire. It was the time of Persian Revolution. The first tiling we did on reaching Bushire was to get in touch with the head of the Iranian Revolution Party, Syed Asadullah Mujatubik. I told Syed Asadullah Mujatubik about the movement I had started in Punjab. It was a successful movement in as much the English after recognising that their laws were unjust and oppressive deported me to Mandalay in Burma just as a revenge. The Government was forced by the people to annul those laws imposed by the foreign rulers? And as the rulers could not see the people being taught to revolt and resist against the tyranny of foreign oppressors, so they made up their mind to arrest all those who were preaching the idea of liberty and independence and put them in to prison for life. They had selected first the foremost group to be their victim. The group he was confronting was the one to which the reference was made above. Then he was asked if this group could stay at Bushire without fear of being molested by the representative of British Government, to which he replied that at that moment the British could do anything which pleased them specially in the south of Persia for which he gave different reason.
The new Government at Tehran had neither time nor force to show its influence in different parts of the country and, to tell the truth, the influence of the newly established
constitutional Government of Tehran was confined only to Tehran district, and in districts in South there prevailed anarchy and disorder. There was no sign yet of the establishment of a constitutional Government; there was anarchy all over the country. In such circumstances the British Consul and horsemen at his disposal.
He felt the humiliation in seeing the British interfere foreign element (the British) in Asia. Our was a common cause of fighting against a common foe. In that meeting it was found expedient to leave Busbire as soon as possible. Now there remained the question where for to leave. Of course the destination was Shiraz, and the British not finding us in Bushire were naturally going to watch the Royal resolved to proceed through Tungustan, the less frequented to get in touch with him because just a few days after we reached the Britishers wanted to have us arrested, so we had to get help from him. He guided us and informed us of what was going on. We made for Tungustan by a road, on which the Persian at that time had not the courage to travel, since we were afraid that British horsemen might follow us. Thus, we reached Tungustan and met the Khan of Tungustan, Jauri Khizar. a very brave fellow, who gave us a warm welcome.
We had reached the Khan of Tungustan without any introduction or recommendation. Sufiji asked for the audience of the Khan, explained to him the true situation in which we found ourselves. The Khan showed great sympathy for our cause and offered all sorts of help and said that we could stay with them as long as we liked, and that we would be quite safe as long as he was alive. He further assured us to count him for helping our cause. Sufiji expressed his thanks. He treated us as his special guests. We felt at home in a free land (not in India).
After a few hours the British horsemen arrived. The Khan of Tungustan asked us what we wanted to be done with the horsemen, whether we wanted them to be imprisoned or to Be punished in some other way. We said they be sent back, nothing more was necessary. On this the brave Khan told them tbat they were allowed to go back alive this time, but if they made a similar attempt again, or for the matter of that any other British emissary, they would not go back alive. The horsemen thanked The Khan, prayed for his long life For having allowed them to go back alive. There were in all four horsemen. We stayed there for some days and then wanted to go. The Khan insisted on our staying for some time more. There were nice gardens on the mountains he said, while we could rest or meditate.
A Strange Incident Before our Departure from Tungustan
When we decided to [take] leave of the Khan for proceeding on our journey Northward and thank him for his marvellous hospitality, Sufiji approached the secretary of the Kban and informed him of our intention. The secretary got pale and said to Sufi Saheb, "You do not really mean leaving this place. IT will be a great shock to the Khan and his family." Upon [this] Sufi Saheb felt wonders-truck and told the secretary that we did not want to abuse Khan's hospitality, we were profoundly indebted and obliged to him for all that he did for us and naturally we were to beg our leave of him wilh a sense of eternal gratitude. There was nothing new as we had already told [him] that we were going to Shiraz pass through his territory. But the reason of his looking afflicted was rather strange. "Could he be kind enough to inform about it? [Sufi asked]. Then tile poor secretary spoke and related the strange incident of Khan's daughter. After having heard of our story from her father and out of curiosity [having] managed to see me twice, [she] had got enamoured, and had expressed her desire of getting married to me, and fha1 the news of our departure was the cause of poor secretary's affliction. He then began to enumerate the domains of the Khan in plains and mountains, of his army and income, of his affection for his daughter, saying in the end that news of our departure would be a great shock to the Khan, and that be dare not take such a 1lows to him. Stiff al tbat moment left him and came back to tile and told me the whole story. I told Sufi to accompany tile secretary and reach the presence of Khan and express our heart-felt Thanks and if by chance any reference was made about the love story he should explain to the Khan about the mission I had in view and which needed my movements from place Io place. This was the only thing for which I and my companion lived, and we all espoused the same cause. Accordingly, Sufi saw the secretary and told him that [if] the audience of Khan was granted, he was ready to go personalIy and beg leave of him thus. The secretary managed the reception of Sufi Saheb by the Khan, and Stiff took my message to him. The Khan got very sad and told Sufi what Sufi had already learnt from the secretary and [he] again begged Sufi if we could stay at least a few weeks more before going ally furtber, but Sufi told him that [our] mission did not permit us to delay our departure and that we were under very high obligations to him; we were obliged to go further and that his recommendation to [Khan of] Dehdasht would be highly appreciated
which he promised, and that if there was no way of staying further we were allowed to leave new morning. But we said we must go. Thereupon he sent word to Jamal Khan, the Khan of Dehdasht. He sent 200 horsemen to receive us. We were his guests for a day. Next day we asked his leave to go further. We wanted to [meet] Salat-ud-Doulah,s Salat-ud-Doulah had 83,000 soldiers. Jamal Khan wanted us to stay longer, but we could not. Salat-ud-Doulah was the Chiefof nomad tribes--Kashkuli and Khuka--about which
Hafiz, the great Persian poet, wrote the following verse:
Agar an Turk Shirazi badast arad dilay mara
Bakhal Hinduash Samarkando-Bukhara ra."
We stayed with these nomad tribes [for] agood deal of time. These tribes live in tents moving from place to place. They received us very well. Next day some of them saw
my watch and heard the sounfl of tick, tick. They had never seen a watcb boil, re and they thought there was an insect kept inside which kept on turning the little wheel round. A number of them joined and said they would take care to see that the insect did not turn the wheel round. I told them there was no insect. I opened the watch and showed them that there was no insect. I talked to them in Persian. But they peristed that ir was hidden somewhere making the parts of the watch go round. These tribesmen knew very little of the world.They thought that all the kings of the world were under Persian king. They knew no other government. Mushruteh was the head of the revolution. The religious leaders had given fatwah that they should side with Mushruteh against the King. Mushruteh was an old, revered poison with Iong white beard, shining eyes and good heart. I spent a long time with them. I sent Sufi first to Shiraz. [The] Britishers sent many presents to Salat-ud-Doulah thinking that he would hand us over to them, but nothing of the kind happened. It was a state [of] anarchy in Persia when we arrived there. When I left him I had only one companion one returned to India, one I sent to America--Rikhikesh by name. When we were marching on our journey, Rikhikesh was 100 meters behind, and I reached a stream weich fell on our way earlier. Three men having rifles also reached the stream the same time I reached there. One of them asked me where we were going. I said what business he had to ask such a question. There upon he jumped on me to attack me. I took hold of his rifle and he fell down. I snatched his rifle. The other two also jumped on me. They began beating me, and I [began] laughing. By this time Rikhikesh came. He also involved himself in the struggle and was beaten by the riflemen. He was weeping. Rikhikesh asked me what it was that made me laugh, and 1 replied that I was laughing at this very strange experience—it was for the first time that I was having the experience of being beaten. The riflemen took us to an out-of-way place where they asked us to get blind (Korshud) in order that they could deprive us of all the money, papers etc. The act of making us to close our eyes was adopted to obviate the chances of our studying them closely, while they were lobbing us, thereby minimising the chances of our being able to identify Them later on. They deprived us of most of our money but I was able to save some notes which I had cleverly put in an envelope on which I had written Imam-i-Juma of Tehran. After robbing us they asked us not to move or else they would shoot us. I got up and took my way although Rikhikesh asked me not to risk my life by disobeying them. This news reached Khan Ali Khan, cousin of Salat-ud-Doulah. He asked the Katkhuda (headman of the nearby village) to find out the culprits. He sent 4O persons in our direction and they were all calling Mirza Hassan Khan (this name I had adopted by them), 30 of them went after our invaders. We reached the village and the Katkhuda asked us what we would like to eat. l said i had eaten a lot of Kutak (Kutak Khurdan). He prepared a very good pulao etc. which we took and we had a nice rest. We wanted to resume our journey but the Katkhuda requested me to stay on for at least a day. He said if I left without culprits being caught, Salat-ud-Doulah would play hell with him. At about 3.30 p.m. our invaders were arrested. They were tied to trees and were given good Beating. Every villager had to strike. 1 had to spit on them. I asked the Katkhuda to set them free. They were not guilty. They needed the money and I would rather prefer to give them more. With great difficulty I made them stop beating those poor creatures. The Katkhuda, however, did not set them free and sent them to Salat-ud-Doulah. I wrote a letter to Salat-ud Doulah requesting hiln to pardon these people, and We left that village and arrived [at] Shiraz the next day. I went to lmam-i-Juma of Shiraz and from him I learnt that Sufi Amba Pershad had been sent by him to his [estate] I0 or 12 miles away From Shiraz, because, in his view, he would be safer there. Sufi had left instructions for me that I should immediately proceed to Tehran without trying to meet him. I along with my companion left for Tehran [in] diligence [via]--lspahan.
In my company I had a prince and three merchants. The prince, a very delicate fellow, was wearing shoes of patent leather, [and he] had a good stock of biscuits with journey we heard shots being fired. A voice came asking us to stop--and we stopped. They were robbers. We had to undergo the process of Korshud. "Durish Kachi", they asked the driver. He said, "Nothing". (Durish Kachi stands for what money have you got). They struck him at his head and so many coins dropped from his head. They gave them. I was wearing a white turban and they took a person, named Ismail, a funny chap. He shouted, saying that he was suffering from syphilis and if they took his clothes they would contract that disease He succeeded in his trick and was thus able to save his clothes. They, however, deprived others of apart of their garments. They deprived the prince of his ring, umbrella, money, shoes and biscuits. The prince begged me to ask them to give back half of his biscuits, shoes and umbrella.I persuaded them to return his shoes, umbrella and half of his biscuits. This process was repeated 11 times between Shiraz and lspahan. I hid my money in the grass and was able to save it. I lost my Jill}aba (long sleeve coat). The syphilis trick cf lsmail did not succeed with later invaders and he had to lose his garments.
At ihe third attack an interesting thing happened. There happened to be soldiers on the top of a hill. As the
robbers were robbing us, the soldiers began firing on them. The invaders also replied with fire while robbing us. This time I lost my turban. Hearing the shooting, children from a nearby village came running to the spot. I asked them to follow ihe invaders and bring to us whatever they [had] left while running. I offered children money in return. They brought certain articles, contained among them were two shoes, both for left foot. At the next village people came to ask what they could do for us. I asked them to help the poor prince who had lost his garments, shoes etc., and was unable to waik bare-footed. One of the villagers said, ''About 20 years back I robbed a prince and I have his clothes still decorating the walls of my house. They are of no use to me." He gave the clothes to the prince—they were in fact better than the clothes he had lost. I was no more a Sheikh but a Syed because I was now wearing on my head a piece of black cloth, which I had torn from my shawl, after losing the turban. One of the villager-, said. "O, Syed, God [has] sent you to [perform] marriage of my son". He said he had been waiting for a pretty long time for some Syed to come and perform this ceremony. I told him it was not an auspicious day, I would do it on my way back or if in the meantime some other Syed came this way he would do it, since I did not know anything about performing marriage ceremony.
On reaching Ispahan I met son of Imam-i-Juma of Ispahan, a fine fellow, knowing French, a man of modern ideas and a progressive outlook. I was his guest. He recommended me to Milza Mahmud Khan Pehlvi. the Secretary of Democrat Party in Tehran. When King Reza Khan became King of Persia, Muhmud Khan was obliged to change his name from Mahmud Khan Pehlvi to Mahmud Khan Mahmudi. He is now the Governor of Tehran. He was then a young boy, very enthusiastic for the advancement of his country. It was he who sheltered Sufi Amba Parshad so that the British could not take him.
After 24 years when I came back from [South] America to Paris [and] I [talked] to Mohd. Khan Kazbin, the greatest writer alivein persia, another man was also there. He was Hekmat, the leader of the present Persian Delegation to Asian Relations Conference. When we met here in Delhi Hekmat said that super-natural circumstances had made us meet again. According to the Persian system, he kissed me and I kissed him in Marina Hotel where he [was] staying.
Sufi Amba Parshad died in Shiraz where his tomb is still there. He died during first world war, when he organized people to fight against the British. His corps was called Zam-e-Khizar (Dil-ara-i-Watan). Sufi fell prisoner in the hands of the British. The day they wanted to shoot him, they found him dead, It was 1916. Sufi used to say the British cou!d net kill him but that he would take his own life. One day, I hope lndians would bring bis tomb or atleast his remains here. Sufi Amba Parshad wrote a book called Mohobban-i-Watan which was translated in[to] Persian 'Dust-Daran-i-Watan', later revised by Hekmat Khan, the leader of the Persian Delegation.
Muhammad Khan introduced me to certain other people among whom was Syed Zia-ud-din Tabatabai, ex-Prime Minister of Persia who later on became one of my best friends in the world. He was editor of Barq and Rad. He helped me a lot . One day when we were coming out from a cinema, a policeman approached us and said they had orders to arrest me. At lhat time the name of the police chief was Yaprin Khan, a Russian revolutionary from Siberia. Syed Zia-ud-din left me wilh the police and asked them not to move me till he had come back. He went to Yaprin Khan and asked him if he was net ashamed of having arrested me—an Indian revolutionary—when he himself was a revolutionary. Yaprin Khan had then been ailing forr a long lime. He said he had no idea of this affair. He secured from Yaprin Khan my release orders and thus he was able to save me. He went to the Prime Minister and said
that he would write against him in papers but he [implored] not to do il. Syed Zia-ud-din then told the Prime Minister that he had been able to secure my release. So the police told !he British that they arrested another mistaking him for Sardar Ajit Singh. When we left Persia it was the lime when Shuster wrote the book, Struggle in Persia. Syed Zia-ud-din accompanied me to Europe.
In all i stayed in Persia for about a year. Here in the company of syed Zia-ud-din I met a Russian revolutionary on whom Russian Government had put a prize for capturing him.
From Rostov we took a boat and reached Baku (Russia). At the platform myself and Syed Zia-ud-din got separated. He by mistake boarded the train which was going to Warsaw and when I discovered it, the train had left. We were only two now—myseif and the Russian revolutionary. He could not goto the authorities lo obtain visa.We solicited the help of a Jew, who procured visa for us. When we entered Russia we had kept no papers with us. In Russia all papers were searched. The word liberty was
banned there. Even dictionary was not allowed to be kept by any person. In Persia i was able to obtain passport and visa through the help of Dr. Sikandar Khan. an enthusiastic Persian patriot who had studied in France and was a great friend of mine. He was then in Tehran and I resembled him a lot; he obtained a passport for himself and put my photo on it, since we looked alike, and I had taken the name of Mirza Hassan Khan. We stayed in Russia, for about 10 or 12 days all told. By then the British had lost all track of me.
One day my Russian companion had gone out at Baku [and] he saw a cannon being placed in front of a chemist's shop. He asked Ihe people what it was and came to know
that the chemist's shop was to be blown up, for the Russian Government suspeclcd that il had supplied certain material for manufacturing bombs to revolutionaries. He approached the gunners and bribed them to turn the gun to another bouse. They did so and blew another house and reported to the Government that they had blown the chemist's shop.
From Constanza (Rumania) we took a boat and reached Constantinople (Turkey), where we stayed for about 5 weeks. Here I met a great Persian revolutionary, Taqi-zadeh (at present Minister of Persia in London). When in London recently, I rang up Persian Lmbassy to find out who was the Persian representative and found that Taqizadeh was the representative. I rang him, saying it was Mirza Hassan Khan speaking. He at once called back, Sardar Ajit Singh. He asked me where from I was speaking—from the Continent— since he knew I could not go to London. When I told him that I was speaking Irom London, he felt very happy and later we met. I got from him information about friends in Persia. Taqizadeh, when I first met him in Constantinople, was the head of a Persian revolutionary centre, Revolutionaries from various parts of the world used to meet there—in fact it was a cell of revolutionaries. I met Mustafa Kemal Pasha in company with young Turks. Turkey was excited at the idea of progress—all young people were enthusiastic to bring progress to their country. I had managed to learn some Turkish when I was with Salat-ud-Doula- I could read Turkish papers after a week. At that time Turkish language was full of Persian expression. It kept me aware of what was going on in Turkey.