Mohamed Barakatullah Bhopali
(1854 – 1927) – (Madhya Pradesh)
Mohamed Barakatullah Bhopali (Aged 73) was born on July 7, 1854, in Itwra Mohalla Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. He is known by his honorific, Maulana Barkatullah, and was an Indian revolutionary who sympathized with the Pan-Islamic movement. He fought for the independence of India from outside the country through fiery speeches and revolutionary writings in leading newspapers.
However, he did not live to see India gain independence, as he passed away in San Francisco in 1927 and was buried at Sacramento City Cemetery, California. In 1988, Bhopal University was renamed Barkatullah University in his honor. Barkatullah was also the Prime Minister of the first Provisional Government of India, established in Afghanistan in 1915.
Barkatullah traveled to several countries around the world with a mission to politically rouse the Indian community and seek support from famous leaders of the time in those countries. Notable among them were Kaiser Wilhelm II, Amir Habibullah Khan, Mohammed Resched, Ghazi Pasha, Lenin, and Hitler. On December 1, 1915, during the First World War, he established the first Provisional Government of India in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Pratap’s 28th birthday.
It was a government-in-exile of Free Hindustan with Raja Mahendra Pratap as the president, Maulana Barkatullah as the Prime Minister, and Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi as the Home Minister. Anti-British forces supported his movement. However, Jawaharlal Nehru later wrote in his autobiography (p. 151) that he couldn’t take Raja Mahendra Pratap seriously and that he seemed like a character out of medieval romance, a Don Quixote who had strayed into the twentieth century. The Afghan government withdrew its help under pressure from the British, and the mission was closed down. Barkatullah passed away on September 20, 1927.