In an attempt to preserve history of Muslim freedom fighters and spread awareness about the forgotten/sidelined heroes of the Indian independence movement, a Hyderabad-based software engineer has come up with a unique smartphone application called ‘Muslim Freedom Fighters’.
Image credit: Syed Khalid Saifullah
The application available on the Google Play Store documents history of 155 Muslim freedom fighters, and can be installed on android smartphones. It was launched on August 15 this year, on the occasion of Indian independence day.
The developer of the mobile application Syed Khalid Saifullah, who also has conceptualised the app, told SabrangIndia, “We love our nation as much as our forefathers loved (it). They actively participated in the freedom struggle and made a lot of sacrifices for our country. People seem to have forgotten their contribution. Apart from a couple of names like Abul Kalam Azad, names of the several freedom fighters from the Muslim community have been eliminated from history. Our brothers from other communities tend to think that Muslims are not enough patriotic. That is why the concept of such an application came to my mind.”
However, collating the information was a difficult task for Saifullah. “There’s hardly any information or literature on Muslim freedom fighters. After a lot of struggle, I came across a Telugu book by Syed Naseer Ahamed, which had in-depth information on the lives of 155 Muslim freedom fighters. It was out of publication at that time. I had to track the author and have used information from this book for my app,” he said.
Saifullah has divided the list of freedom fighters into different categories and the information has been put into a more concise and succinct format – suitable for a mobile application. To make the experience of using the app fun, he has introduced a quiz-like format, in which users will have to clear 155 levels to win the game.
“You can see other people playing from your area and their scores in the app. It generates the fun element of competition, making the app more youth-friendly,” said Saifullah.
The application has been downloaded by 5000 users, and has close to 300 positive reviews making for a very good rating of 4.8 out of 5.
“Fifteen to 20 per cent of our users are Hindus. So, information is not remaining limited to just a few Muslims. To increase the base of our users, we’re going to bring in a Hindi version of the same app,” he said. The Hindi version is scheduled to be launched on coming Republic day.
When asked if he foresees attempts of saffronisation and resultant adulteration of history, he said, “They’re going to achieve it (saffronisation). We don’t have the capacity and power to influence the government, so I’d rather look at what I can do. I like to focus on the positive side. I have the platform, and the technology to at my disposal; so using that, I have managed to put together an app.”
“Let them remove the history from the textbooks, technology can help us preserve it,” he added.