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The Forgotten Heroes

 By Aleem Faizee


At most of the places in the country, the names of the martyrs have been put on specially constructed Memorials. But the Memorial in Malegaon is still waiting for the names of the seven martyrs to be written over it.



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“I have always wondered how, the Muslims and the Hindus together, had decided to set a Mandir on fire”, said Dr. Iftekhar Ansari recalling the incident when on April 25 in1921, the Malegaonians set the Pophale Mandir on fire where, Bhaskarrao, the PI and Incharge of the only Police Station in Malegaon was hiding. He was ultimately killed by the people. A Muslim Constable was also killed in the same uprising.


He further said, “It demonstrates not only the harmony with which the Malegaonians were living then, but also shows their eagerness for the country’s freedom. For them, the freedom was above everything, even their religion. In fact, Hindus and Muslims, except few from both the communities as was the case everywhere, had demonstrated a rare unanimity during the whole struggle. I believe if it was a Mosque, a Gurdwara or any other place, it must have met with the same fate.”


Agreeing with Dr. Iftekhar, Ramzan Painter 74, who has collected more than hundred-years of the city records added, “A confirmed account of the exact situation during 1921, clearly suggests the harmony with which people were living.” Mentioning the name of Balu Shah, owner of the first newspaper in Malegaon and a prominent figure of that time who was actively involved in the whole movement with the Muslims, he added, “And who can forget the contributions of Advocate Tatya Khare and Gadgil Wakeel, who remained at the forefront in establishing a separate court in Malegaon.”


"I have always wondered how, the Muslims and the Hindus together, had decided to set a Mandir on fire”

But, as it had done at several other places in the country, the British Police registered the whole incident as rioting and hanged the upfront leaders of the uprising in Yeroda jail. However, after the independence in 1947, the State as well as the Central governments, mentioned the historic event of April 1921 as part of the freedom struggle and included the names of the seven martyrs in their gazettes with due respects. Also, when the Parliament passed a resolution for the construction of a Memorial of similar shape everywhere in the country and to put the names of the martyrs on them, a Memorial was also built in Malegaon.


However in Malegaon, unlike other places in the country, the names of the martyrs have not been put on the Memorial till now. Interestingly the civic body, despite passing many resolutions in its general meeting for putting the names of these martyrs on the Memorial, has also not cared for doing so.


And as if it is not enough to dishonor these martyrs, every year on Kranti Diwas when officials gather everywhere near these Memorials for offering their tributes, in Malegaon, no one cares to honor these martyrs.


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