Sufi Amba Parshad ‘s father Sh Gobind Parshad Bhatnagar shifted from his ancestrial village Adwanpur with his family in 1855 to Moradabad and built his house in Mohalla Kanungaon .
Amba Parshad was born in 1858 at Muradabad and was sixth son out of seven sons and one daughter.
He was short statured and was born without his right hand, He used to joke that as he was fighting against British in 1857 war of Independence and he lost his hand during the fight, At the time of my rebirth god forgot to restore it.
But this was never a handicap in his learning and writing. He could even write with his foots and with his left hand .
He had his early education at Moradabad, after matriculation he went to Baraily for studying F A and law as that was the only law college in the northern India. He qualified Law and graduated from there.
He was proficient in Hindi , Urdu, Persian and English languages. He did not adopted the profession of lawyer instead adopted the journalism.
He got married at Barailly but his wife died within two years because the famines and following malnutrition was the bane of the times. This caused him quite bit of distress and he spent much of time on the banks of Ram Ganga, The city Muradabad is situated on its bank.
This time was mostly spent on thinking about the misery caused by British rule as well as the spiritual discourse. His personal anger turned into national one.
He learnt about Sufism from Sh. Said Mohumad Hussain of nearby Lakrhiwalan mohala. He not only learnt the philosophical aspects but adopted it as a way of life. Since then he came to be known as Sufi. To which he was true as sufi believes in public empowerment and standing fast to truth against all odds.
He established his own printing press to publish and create awareness and for exposing the reality of British rule. In 1887 he started his paper named Sitar-e-Hind. It was very well received by public but was discordant with the rulers. It was closed and then he started a new one named Jami-ul-Ulum in 1890. This addressed the Unity of Hindu, Muslim, srcastic and humour etc . He faced many harassments on the hand of administration but continued his work of exposing anti people British policies. In 1890’s the British resident was conspiring against Raja of Kashmir to curtail his powers and virtually take over the power. He joined resident as a cook and collect all information and exposed it in Amrita Bazar patrika because the most efficient minister of the Raja was a Bengali. This investigation journalism caused lot of worry to the British Government.
He was committed by the Magistrate of Moradabad to the Court of Session of Moradabad for trial on a charge “ that on or about the 14th of July 1897, he did attempt to excite feelings of disaffection to the Government established by law in British India by publishing in a newspaper called the Jami-ul-ulam, of which he was proprietor, editor and publisher, an article entitled “Azadi band hone se kabal namuna” and had thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code “ and was awarded punishment of 18 month . It was parallel with Trial of Tilak in 1897 under this section and was also awarded 18 month imprisonment . But this could not deter his spirit of courage and boldness. His pen continued its task.
He kept up writing more boldly hence, to the consequence that in January 1901 he was prosecuted in four different case of defamation and one of forgery and was sentences a total of 7 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1000.
This was the time when British as policy took to suppress the press freedom in every way and with firm hand. Fraudulent cases were instituted to silence the free voice and awareness in the masses.
After his release from Muradabad jail in early 1907. He arrived in Lahore Punjab in early April 1907 and joined the news paper Hindustan as sub editor. Punjab was most active centre for agitation against British rule. He wrote forcefull articles in Hindustan but as the policy of the paper showed meekness, he resigned.
The punjab was in turmoil because of anti agrarian policy of British administration and Sardar Ajit Singh (Uncle of Shaheed Bhagat Singh ) along with his brothers Kishan Singh and Swaran Singh, Lal Chand Falak , Mehta Nand Kishore ,Ishwari Parshad and others were busy in organising the farmers against newly introduced laws impinging tenecy rights and enhanced taxes . These laws also gave executive powers to effect inheritance of land. This agitation is popularly known as Pagri Sambhal Jatta movement. He joined Ajit Singh and others as a member of the Anjuman-i- Mohaban-i-watan. In May he was declared the editor of the Bharat Mata paper and also wrote articles for India published from Gujranwala by Pindi Dass . It was for his connection with India paper that he was prosecuted under sedition sections 124 A ,131 and 135 IPC. But was acquitted by Session Judge to the great disappointment of prosecuters.
Bharat Mata Society and Anjuman-i- Muhabana -i -Watan was established for carrying out propaganda and organising peasent agitation on militant basis. Sufi sahib was a great participator and was a great impetus with his direct and bold writings .
The viceroy of India Mr Minto rightly noted that a great danger is building up because 1907 is the 50th Anniversary of 1857 and soldiers are being asked to call strike against their low wages, the peasantry is up in revolt against new laws and people’s suffering due to disease like plague, for which the administration is being blamed .
The government arrested Sardar Ajit Singh and Lala lajpat Rai in May 1907 and deported them to Mandley Burma. Sufi along with Sardar Kishan singh and Mehta Anand Kishore went to Nepal to seek help from Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Singh, Who refused to hand them over to British administration till assurance was given of not prosecuting them .
The public pressure on Government of India was so great that to avoid any repercussions of stir in Army, all the bills against rights of peasantry of Punjab and and action of enhancing revenue were withdrawn and Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh were released from Mandley in Nov 1907.
On return of Ajit Singh from deportation, Sufi sahib became very active in awakening of public through publishing .
The group now started publishing revolutionary tracts and books for which sufi sahib had very rich contribution.
Some of the books published by Sufi Amba Parshad and Sardar Ajit Singh are of following titles.
Baghi Masiha, Bandar bant, Desi Fauz Zafar mauj , Ungli pakri pahncha pakra etc. These and many other tracts were for political awareness.
But Sufi Amba Parshad also wrote Hindi books on various topics for general awareness, some which are as follows
Por Phal, a novel divided in four parts and is about exploits of Rani Bhowani a bold woman who was in Bengal at the time of Warren Hasting. This novel is a law of courtesy and is very good for females.
Bir Kalank, This account about Abhimanyu, son of Arjun, written as a drama. By reading a wave of heroism and valour arises in one’s mind.
Madho Madan, a book on physics.
Sidh sagar, and Heza ke Chakitsa -A book on cholera treatment.
In 20 July 1908, Bal Gangadhar Tilak was tried again under 124A IPC for his bold articles and was sentenced to 6 yrs of imprisionment. Ajit Singh, Sufi Amba Parshad along with Ishri parshad, and Lal Chand Falak took vow to live like sadhus till Tilak is in prision. A Tilak Ashram was also started to train the revolutionary volunteers at Lahore. At Hoshiarpur, Tilak press and Tilak paper was established .
In 1909 Peshwa was started which carried most of the articles by Sufi amba Parshad and was nominally edited by Zia-ul -hak . It carried an article Peshwa Ke Akhri Awaz in its 30th August 1909 issue. For which Zia-ul-haq was later imprisioned for five year . He is also known to be on pay of CID UP most probably in knowledge of Sufi Amba parshad.
The administration was so paniccy that it kept full watch on Ajit singh and Sufi Amba Parshad . It also took note that when Kishan was released from jail at Sialkot, sufi was there to receive and attended a meeting too. Administaration initiated 23 prosecutions against Ajit Singh ,Swaran Singh ,Kishan Singh , Sufi Amba Parshad , Lal Chand Falak , Nand Gopal , Ishri parshad , Munshi Ram and Zia-ul-Hak .
In August 1909 Sardar Ajit Singh and SufiAmba Parshad along with three other revolutionaries took political refuge in Iran to avoid political Vandata by Indian British government.
These others included Rishikesh Letha (a.k.,a Who later assumed the alias Zia al Din), Thakar Das Dhuri and Zia ul Haq. Seyyed Abdullah Mujtahid (Baladi-i-Bushehri) being one of the first Iranian benefactors after they reached Bushehar, before finally taking refugee in city of Shiraz.