Hemu Kalani (23 March 1923 – 21 January 1943) was a Sindhi revolutionary and freedom fighter during the Indian Independence Movement. He was one of the youngest revolutionaries to be martyred for the nation's freedom struggle, being executed by the British when he was only 19, two months before his 20th birthday. He was a leader of Swaraj Sena, a student organisation which was affiliated with All India Students Federation (AISF)
Hemu Kalani was born in Sukkur, Sindh (now in Pakistan) on 23 March 1923. He was the 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. He was involved in raids and in the burning of vehicles belonging to the Raj.
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 rulers had to send special troops consisting of European battalions. Hemu Kalani found out that a railway train of these troops and their supplies would be passing through his local town 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.
They were seen by the British troops before being able to complete the sabotage. Hemu was caught, imprisoned and tortured 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.
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.
- Adipur city in Kutch, Gujarat, has also Hemu Kalani Statue near Gandhi Samadhi, Maitri School road.
- Bhilwara City, In Sindhunagar Colony has erected Statue of Shaheed Hemu Kalani at the crossing of the road (chowk). Called Hemu Kalani Circle.
- Tonk city (Rajasthan) has erected statue of Young Martyr Hemu Kalani at the Sawai Madhopur Circle.
- Ahmedabad City (Gujarat) has erected Statue of Amar Shaheed Shree Hemu Kalani at the Rajavir Circle.
- Indore city has named a road intersection after Hemu Kalani and placed his statue at the centre of the intersection.
- Faizabad city has named a National Parks in His Name and a Faizabad to Ayodhya HWY A National Libraries in Ayodhya
- A statue of Hemu Kalani is located in the Parliament complex in front of the Deputy Speaker's office.
- Chembur, a suburb of Mumbai with a large Sindhi population, has Hemu Kalani Marg named after the famous freedom fighter.
- Ulhasnagar, also known as Sindhunagar has erected Statue of Shaheed Hemu Kalani at the crossing of the road (chowk).
- Jodhpur City (Rajasthan) has named a road intersection after Hemu Kalani and placed his statue at the centre of the intersection.
- Ajmer City (Rajasthan) has erected Statue of Shaheed Hemu Kalani at the Diggi Bazar Chowk.
- Ajmer City (Rajasthan) has a locality in Lakhan Kothri called Hemu Kalani Mohalla.
- Delhi City (Lajpat Nagar), located a senior secondary school named Shaheed Hemu Kalani Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya.
- Kanpur City, has a park named Hemu Kalani park located in the Sindhi Colony area named after Shaheed Hemu Kalani.
- Kota City, has a community hall Hemu Kalani Samudayik Bhawan located in the Sahjidera area named after Shaheed Hemu Kalani.
- Dhule city in Maharashtra has Shaheed Hemu Kalani Road.
- Amalner city in Maharashtra has Shaheed Hemu Kalani Road.
- Pimpri-Chinchwad city in Maharashtra has a children's park named Hemu Kalani Garden and a society named Hemu Kalani Housing Society located in Pimpri.
- Bhilwara city in Rajasthan has a Road Square in Sindhu Nagar named as Hemu Kalani Chowk.
- Bilaspur city in Chhattisgarh has a locality named after him called Hemu Nagar.
- Neemuch city in Madhya Pradesh has a Road Square named Hemu Kalani Chowk with an erected Statue of Shaheed Hemu Kalani.
- Bikaner City (Rajasthan) has named a road intersection after Hemu Kalani and placed his statue at the centre of the intersection.
- A poem " Hemu Kalani" was written on 25 January 1943 by Indra Bahadur khare just after Hemu's hanging on 21 January 1943, and it is published in 2017 after a span of 74 years.
- Raipur City of Chhattisgarh has a square in main street called Hemu Kalani Chowk.
- Shaheed Hemu Kalani education society is run in Sant Hirdaram Nagar Bhopal
- Hemu Kalani Park, Sukkur – was later renamed to Qasim Park.