Bangalore: Manjunatha Ramachandra Hegde, the lone survivor of a six-member family hailing from Siralagi village of Siddapur taluk in Uttara Kannada district, all of whom were jailed by the British for participating in the No-tax Campaign and Quit India movement, is a happy man today.
The family lost 30 acres of agricultural land in and around the village 60 years ago for daring to protest against the British under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Now Mr. Hegde has been gifted a 30x40 ft site to build a house in Bangalore.
Mr. Hegde, 84, who chose to remain a bachelor for the cause of the freedom struggle, was presented with an allotment letter by the Bangalore Development Authority for a site in BTM Layout. He was overjoyed when Governor Rameshwar Thakur handed over the letter to him at a function organised for the purpose by the BDA.
Recalling his participation in the freedom struggle, Mr. Hegde said his father, Ramachandra Venkatarama Hegde, was first imprisoned in 1932 because he refused to pay land revenue for the 30 acres that he was tilling. He was on parole for some time.
His brother, Shamayya Ramachandra Hegde, set up a tea stall to eke out a livelihood. He was arrested in 1942 for responding to the call of the Mahatma and participated in the Quit India movement, and his tea stall was auctioned. The Government slapped him with a penalty of Rs. 200, which he could not pay. During the same period, Mr. Hegde said, his two other brothers and one sister also joined the freedom struggle. Engaged in many socio-economic activities aimed at improving the living conditions of people in the area, the family also set up a Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi.
Another freedom fighter who was allotted a site, 99-year-old Basappa N. Shirura of Kalagurki in Basavana Bagewadi taluk of Bijapur district, said he was happy that the BDA had given him a site in Bangalore. An associate of the Mahatma, he was in the Hindalaga jail in Belgaum from 1939 to ’42. He participated in the historic Congress session in Belgaum, which was presided over by Gandhiji. He received a Tamarapatra from the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, as well as a Rajyotsava Award.
Jailed in 1947
S.V. Bhadranna (87) of Hoovina Hole in Hiriyur was jailed in 1947 for preventing officers from working in the taluk office during the non-cooperation movement under the leadership of the then Minister, V. Masiappa.
K.A. Kotrappa (82), a Sanskrit and Kannada scholar from Davangere, was arrested for making provocative speeches against the British.
N.M. Chandrashekaraiah (85) of Harihar was jailed as a high school student for blocking the road and railway track in 1942. He was released only after Independence.
Andanappa of Bangalore was jailed for seven months in 1942 for participating in the Flag Movement and chanting Vande Mataram at Cubbonpet.
Eswara Ram Hegde of Honnavar was jailed in 1943 for indulging in arson. He has been given a site after ten attempts.