Hemu Kalani
Kalani on a 1983 stamp of India
Born(1923-03-23)23 March 1923
Died21 January 1943(1943-01-21) (aged 19)
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Occupation(s)Revolutionary leader, freedom fighter, political activist
OrganizationAll India Students Federation
MovementIndian Independence Movement

Hemandas Kalani[1] (Sindhi: هيمو ڪالاڻي, 23 March 1923 – 21 January 1943) was a revolutionary during the Indian Independence Movement. He was a leader of Swaraj Sena,[2] a student organisation which was affiliated with All India Students Federation (AISF). He was one of the youngest revolutionaries to be martyred for the nation's freedom struggle, being executed by the British colonial authorities when he was only 19, two months before his 20th birthday.[3]

Early life

Hemu Kalani was born in a Sindhi family[4] at Sukkur in Sind Division of Bombay Presidency in British India (now in Pakistan) on 23 March 1923.[5] (His birthday coincides with the day Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev & Rajguru were hanged). He was son of Pesumal Kalani and Jethi Bai. As a child and young man he campaigned with his friends for boycotts of foreign goods and tried to persuade people to use Swadeshi goods. He was drawn to revolutionary activities and started participating in acts of protests with the aim of driving out the British from the Indian subcontinent.

Freedom struggle

Funeral of Hemu Kalani, 21 January 1943

Hemu Kalani joined Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India movement when it was started in 1942. Support for the movement in Sindh was such that the British colonial authorities had to send military detachments after him consisting of European battalions. Hemu Kalani found out that a train of these troops and their supplies would be passing through his local town on 23 October and decided to derail it by removing the fishplates from the railway track. This despite the fact that neither he nor his colleagues had the necessary tools and so had to use a rope as a means to loosen the fixings.[2]

They were seen by the British before being able to complete the sabotage. Hemu was caught, imprisoned, and tortured by the Indian Imperial Police in an attempt to get him to reveal the names of his co-conspirators. He refused to divulge any information, was put on trial and sentenced to death. The people of Sindh petitioned the Viceroy for mercy but the condition of granting it was that the authorities must be told the identity of his co-conspirators. He again refused to pass on the information and he was hanged on 21 January 1943.[2]

It is said that Hemu Kalani was so happy upon being handed the death sentence that, contrary to usual, he gained a good deal of weight during the time between his sentencing and his execution. On the day of his execution, he appeared extremely overjoyed, and walked to the gallows with a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his hands, smiling and humming the whole way.



Statue, institutions and many more name of the Shaheed Hemu Kalani.

Hemu Kalani Statue near Sadar Tehsil, Hemu Kalani road, Agra. Statue erected by Agra Sindhi Samaj & Hemu Kalani Murti Sthapana Samiti, Agra.


Hemu Kalani has been unfortunately largely forgotten in Pakistan, being entirely absent from history books, except from the Sindh Province in Pakistan where he was born and raised in.


  1. ^ "THE FORGOTTEN LIFE OF HEMU KALANI". DAWN.COM. 26 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Shaheed Hemu Kalani
  3. ^ "Welcome to Official Website of Amar Shaheed Hemu Kalani Yadgar Mandal". Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ "THE FORGOTTEN LIFE OF HEMU KALANI". DAWN.COM. 26 March 2023. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  5. ^ نادر سولنگي (20 January 2016). "سنڌ جو ڀڳت سنگهه شهيد هيمون ڪالاڻي". Online indus News. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  6. ^ PM to unveil Kalani’s statue. Tribuneindia.com (19 August 2003). Retrieved on 2018-12-11
  7. ^ The Think Tanks: Shaheed Hemu Kalani – A Forgotten Sindhi Young Revoluter Hero. The-thinktanks.blogspot.hu (18 May 2009). Retrieved on 2018-12-11.