CHENNAI: Did you know that Ashfaqulla Khan, a freedom fighter (whom some of you might remember because of Kunal Kapoor’s portrayal in the cult film Rang De Basanti (2006)) was a zamindar and he left all his wealth and luxury to fight for India during the freedom movement? Well, you can find such facts and figures in Muslim Freedom Fighters, an app launched by Hyderabad-based software engineer Syed Khalid Saifullah recently. “I realised that people do not have any idea about most of the Muslim freedom fighters. Even in my community, people are clueless about them!” he rues.
Khalid’s idea to create this app stemmed from the flak that the community has been receiving of late. He wanted to do his bit to show that Muslims are as much a part of this country like other communities. “This app will teach you more about our community. The personalities that we have listed are not just from the Muslim League but many others who decided to stay back and fight for the country, when they had the option of leaving,” he explains.
How does the app work? In this free, game-based app, the freedom fighters have been classified into various categories like Women, Rulers, Martyrs, Moulvis, Advocates, Journalists, Businessmen, Azad Hind Fouj, Doctors, Educationists, Poets, Bureaucrats, Judges and others. When a category is clicked, names of the freedom fighters are displayed and when you click on a name, a picture of the selected freedom fighter and a page containing the information of him/her is displayed.
You can take a test after reading the profile of each freedom fighter. After answering three out of five questions correctly in one level, you can advance to the next level. However, you can read all the profiles of freedom fighters without taking the test as well. When you pass all levels, a certificate of appreciation, ‘A tribute to Muslim freedom fighters’, will be sent to you.
To make this app, Khalid had to do a lot of research. He was unsuccessful initially, as there were only a few books on Muslim freedom fighters available in the market. “There were just two books and most of it was in Urdu. Sadly, many Muslims these days don’t know to read the language. At the same time, I chanced upon a book called The Immortals penned by Syed Naseer Ahamed,” he says. “This book stopped publication after the first run. When I got in touch with him to collate his collection into an app, he was more than happy to share.”
There are 155 levels in the app. “A unique feature about the app is that you can compete with people in your area and/or you can create a group and compete against them. Suppose a teacher has this app, he/she can create a group and keep a test for their students on the app,” he says.
Interestingly, most of the users are from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. “We have 400-plus active users from Tamil Nadu and more than 5,800 downloads till date. Most of the players have cleared more than 100 levels.”
Available currently for Android users only, the app has received rave reviews. “As the page consists our email address and phone number, some users have even called us asking us to add some of the freedom fighters we have probably missed out. I take those names back to the author and he helps us get details,” he says.
With an idea solely aimed at making full use of technology in a positive way, Khalid has two main points to address. “We are looking to add more freedom fighters and gathering as much information on it as possible. The second would be to make the app mutilingual. We are in the process of converting the information in the app to Hindi and Tamil, and are hoping to launch these additions in January 2017,” he shares.
This app is a result of passion and Khalid is not in this for monetary gain. “We would love it if schools or colleges would want to tie-up with us to teach something new to their students. If we can reach even 1% of the population, and earn their respect for Muslim freedom fighters, I would consider our mission ‘achieved’,” he avers.(The app is available on Google Play store)