More on Ummid: International l National Regional l Politics Sports Religion l History l Culture l Education

 

Young US adults more politically active, but not more...

Gujarat Govt. sets up 3 member panel to probe Ishrat encounter

Mah assembly election dates to be announced after Aug 22: EC

AYUSH to be integrated with mainstream health services

Don’t create panic over swine flu: PM

US body accuses India of failing to protect minorities

Rahman to offer free peace concert in Australia

AMU VC cancels MA admission list, orders fresh list

Singing ‘Vande Mataram’ no taboo for Muslim BJP leaders

 

Bhopal-based Maulana Azad NIT girds up its loin to bolster sagging image: Bhopal-based Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT) ..... Read Full

Girl students exult again, this time in M. Sc.

   

Singing ‘Vande Mataram’ no taboo for Muslim BJP leaders: Singing "Vande Mataram" is no taboo for Muslim leaders associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP). This was amply on display when BJP's Minorities.....Read Full

NHRC probe into Batla house shootout not fair: NGO: The probe by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which gave a clean chit to the police in a south Delhi shootout last year, "was not fair", an NGO told the Delhi High Court Wednesday.....Read Full

Girl students exult again, this time in M. Sc.: After SSC, HSC and UPSC exams, the girl students extended their winning streak yet again by securing the top two slots in the list of the successful students in M. Sc. exams......Read Full

Anger against State, ATS refuses to die down Thousands thronged Janata Dal (S) rally and dharna, Malegaon Bandh call received mixed response: Thousands thronged the rally.....Read Full

The ‘Practical Work’ of the Ulema: It has become something of a fashion for people today to constantly criticize and even condemn the traditional madrasa-educated ulema. Not just non-Muslims but many Muslims themselves.... Read Full

 
   

 

Black flags rule the Golden Night in Malegaon:  The day witnessed dharna, the night saw special prayers as the 2006 blast anniversary peacefully reaches the fag end. Unlike thousands of other towns in the Indian .... Read Full

NCERT team all praise for state Madrasas: A central team comprising experts from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Tuesday heaped praise on the 575-odd madrasas.... Read Full

Crime and No Punishment -
Malegaon Blast Accused Get a Respite: Eleven suspects of Malegaon blast, September 9, 2008, got a breather (August 01, 2009) when the special court dropped the charges under MCCOA against 11 suspects of the crime...... Read Full

Gujrat HC orders probe into Ishrat Jahan encounter case: In a significant development, the Gujarat High Court on Friday directed the state government to submit a list of police officers of the rank of Additional...... Read Full

Rethinking the Dalit Muslim Movement: The Pasmanda Movement (PM) refers to the contemporary caste/class movement among Indian Muslims. Though the history of caste movements among Muslims can be traced back to the comme..... Read Full

 
   
 
 
 
 
 

Once freedom fighters, now battling penury

Friday, August 14, 2009 08:54:23 PM, Maitreyee Boruah IANS

My Hero, Your Hero - The War Goes On: Come August and its raining functions in the country on Freedom Struggle. And why not, the struggle had embedded the Hindus & Muslims, Privileged & Poor..... Read Full

Bangalore: As teenagers, they were inspired by the call of Mahatma Gandhi and took part in India's independence movement. Now, 62 years later, Karnataka's freedom fighters continue their lonely battles against poverty.

 

"I actively took part in the Quit India movement in 1942. I was a student in Mysore's Maharaja College at that time. I was part of the non-violent brigade and a part of various protest marches against the British rule. I was also jailed for a few months," a visibly proud 88-year-old freedom fighter, now settled in Bangalore told IANS, on condition of anonymity.

 

"Today I sell newspapers and tea in a stall. I get only Rs.3,000 as a freedom fighter's pension from the state government. It's difficult for me and my wife to survive with a paltry sum of money. It is a hard life for us," he lamented.

 

Echoing a similar concern, H.O. Sreenivasaiah, another freedom fighter and president of the Karnataka Freedom Fighters' Action Committee, told IANS that selling tea and newspapers on the roads has become the livelihood for several freedom fighters in the state.

 

"We request better treatment for freedom fighters. Freedom fighters have given their blood and soul to get India's independence. Now, in their old age, freedom fighters deserve an increase in their pension and medical benefits", said Sreenivasaiah, 85. After meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1934, as a nine-year-old in Malleswaram in north Bangalore, he had decided to take part in the freedom movement.

 

"If state MLAs (members of the legislative assembly) can get a hike in their monthly salary from Rs.22,000 to Rs.44,000, why have the freedom fighters been ignored?" asked Sreenivasaiah, who is also president of Gandhi Bhavan in Bangalore and worked as an underground activist here, during the Quit India movement in 1942.

 

The assembly last month approved doubling of its members' salary and a hike in some allowances.

 

Currently, the state government is giving a pension of Rs.3,000 per month to Karnataka freedom fighters.

 

Freedom fighter and veteran journalist K.S.Subramanya, 87, who is currently general secretary of the committee, said the state should immediately increase the pension of the freedom fighters and take care of their medical needs.

 

"All the freedom fighters are above eighty years old. It's the responsibility of the government to take care of the financial needs of the freedom fighters," said Subramanya, who was jailed for 12 months during the Quit India movement.

 

On Aug 9 state governor H.R. Bhardwaj hosted a reception for freedom fighters at his official residence, Raj Bhavan, to mark Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India call. It was there that the freedom fighters put forward their demands.

 

Their demands included an increase in their pension amount from Rs.3,000 per month to Rs.6,000, a hike in the amount they get for funeral rites from Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000, jobs and education for their children and grandchildren and continuation of their pension to family members in case of their death.

 

The governor assured them that he would extend support and invited them to come and share their problems with him.

 

"If one of the compatriots has been forced to sell newspapers and tea, then it is a shame for the entire community. The government needs to address the issue," said a freedom fighter from Arsikere town in Hassan district, about 180 km from Bangalore.

 

"Why do we have to beg for our rights? It's the duty of the state to look after the needs of the freedom fighters," added the 89-year-old freedom fighter, who did not wish to be named.

 

According to figures available from the Karnataka Freedom Fighters Action Committee, there are around 5,000 surviving freedom fighters in the state now. The primary function of the committee is to address the problems of freedom fighters from across the state and seek the state's intervention to solve the problems.

 

However, the committee members have also warned the government not to entertain any fake cases. As of late there have been many fake cases of people claiming to be freedom fighters to get government benefits.

 

"The government should ask for a certificate and documents before considering the claim of a person to be a freedom fighter. Many dubious people in order to get government benefits are maligning the entire freedom fighters community of the country," said Sreenivasaiah.

 

Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at m.boruah@ians.in

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page

Your Ad Here

  Comment on this article

Name:
E-mail Address:
Write here...
     
     
 

 
 
 

Ummid.com: Home | Contact Us | Disclaimer | Terms of Use | About Us | Feedback

Ummid Business: Advertise with us | Careers | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and condition mentioned.