Hasrat Mohani (14 October 1878 – 13 May 1951) was an Indian activist, Freedom Fighter in the Indian independence movement ,leader of Communist Party of India and a noted poet of the Urdu language. He coined the notable slogan Inquilab Zindabad (translation of "Long live the revolution! Viva la revolución!") in 1921. Together with Swami Kumaranand, he is regarded as the first person to demand complete independence for India in 1921 at the Ahmedabad Session of the Indian National Congress.
He was born in 1875 as Syed Fazl-ul-Hasan at Mohan, a town in the Unnao district of United Provinces in British India. Hasrat was his pen name (takhallus) that he used in his Urdu poetry whereas his last name 'Mohani' refers to Mohan, his birthplace.
He studied at Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College which later became Aligarh Muslim University, where some of his colleagues were Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar and Maulana Shaukat Ali. His teachers in poetry were Tasleem Lucknawi and Naseem Dehlvi. To honor him, Aligarh Muslim University has a hostel named after him
A few of his books are Kulliyat-e-Hasrat Mohani (Collection of Hasrat Mohani's poetry), Sharh-e-Kalam-e-Ghalib (Explanation of Ghalib's poetry), Nukaat-e-Sukhan ( Important aspects of poetry), Mushahidaat-e-Zindaan (Observations in Prison), etc. A very popular ghazal Chupke Chupke Raat Din sung by Ghulam Ali and 'Ghazal King' Jagjit Singh was penned by him. He was also featured in the film Nikaah (1982). The famous slogan of Indian freedom fighters Inquilab Zindabad was coined by Mohani in 1921.
Mohani was a member of the Indian National Congress for many years and also joined the All India Muslim League, serving as its president in 1919. Mohani supported the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah but chose to remain in India after the Partition of India in 1947. He became a member of the Constituent Assembly of India which drafted the Indian Constitution. He saw hypocrisy towards Muslim minorities in the constitution. So he never signed it. In order to represent the remaining Indian Muslims on different platforms, Hasrat Mohani chose to live in India rather than migrate to Pakistan.
He never accepted Government allowances or stayed at official residences. Instead he stayed in mosques and used to go to the Parliament in a shared tonga. He was a religious practicing Muslim and led a simple life. Maulana had gone for Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) several times. He used to travel in third class railroad cars. When asked why he travelled third class, he quipped because there is no fourth class.
Mohani participated in the struggle for Indian Independence (end of British Raj); and was jailed in 1903 for many years by British authorities. At that time political prisoners were treated like common criminals and forced to do manual labor.
In 1904, he joined the Indian National Congress Party. He was the first person in Indian History who demanded 'Complete Independence' (Azadi-e-Kaamil) in 1921 as he presided over an annual session of All-India Muslim League. In December 1929, his campaign for 'complete independence' resulted in the shape of Indian National Congress session in Lahore.
After complete independence from the British rule, Maulana Hasrat Mohani wanted a confederal set up on the pattern of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). He wanted to see a confederal constitution in India after freedom from the British rule. His proposal had six federations: 1. East Pakistan; 2. West Pakistan; 3. Central India; 4. South-eastern India; 5. South-western India; and 6. Hyderabad Deccan.
He was among the founders of the Communist Party of India at Kanpur in 1925. He was also imprisoned for promoting anti-British ideas, especially for publishing an article against British policies in Egypt, in his magazine 'Urdu-e-Mualla'. Afterwards, unlike some Urdu poets like Josh Malihabadi and many Muslim leaders, he chose to live in India rather than move to Pakistan after independence (1947) to represent left over Indian Muslims on various platforms. In recognition for his efforts, he was made a member of the constituent assembly which drafted the Indian constitution. But unlike other members, he never signed it.
Hasrat Mohani Memorial Society was founded by Maulana Nusrat Mohani in 1951. In Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, Hasrat Mohani Memorial Library and Hall Trust, Karachi have been established by Hasrat Mohani Memorial Society. Every year, on his death anniversary, a memorial meeting is conducted by this Trust as well as many other organisations in India and Pakistan. Also Hasrat Mohani Colony, at Korangi Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, was named after Maulana Hasrat Mohani. A famous road is named after him in the financial hub of Karachi.
There is a Street Named Maulana Hasrat Mohani in Kadar Palace, Mumbra, Dist: Thane, Maharashtra.