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No takers for freedom’s history

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Rare collection: The exhibition at the KPCC office in the city depicted the history of the freedom struggle.
Rare collection: The exhibition at the KPCC office in the city depicted the history of the freedom struggle.

T.S. Ranganna

Cool response to exhibition from Congressmen

BANGALORE: It was a rare occasion for Bangaloreans, especially Congressmen, who attended the 125th anniversary of the party at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office, to pay their respects to freedom fighters.

Rare pictures and caricatures of great events — each containing a brief note of their history — starting in chronological order from 1857 till 1947 were featured on the occasion. Collected by former Railway Minister C.K. Jaffer Sharief for the Sarvodaya Sangha, which he was associated with, the collection portrayed the history of the Freedom Movement.

The First War of Independence, the spark of which was lit by Mangal Pandey at Ballia of the then United Provinces, the lead taken by the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar who was eventually deported to Rangoon and the revolt by revolutionaries of Tosham in Haryana were all depicted in the exhibition. There was a drawing of Nagas belonging to the Angami clan fighting the British at Kohima in 1879, and another of Gambhir Singh of the Manipur royal family waging a war to liberate Manipur from the Burmese in 1826.

And there was Surya Sen, who led the Chittagong Republican Army in 1930 capturing Jalalabad, and the Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Also depicted were Surendranath Banerjee, an ICS officer who launched the Indian Association in 1876 in protest against discrimination by the British, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya who penned the revolutionary song “Vande Mataram”, Gopalakrishna Gokhale and Balagangadhara Tilak, and Alluri Sitarama Raju who revolted against Assam Rifles in 1922, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, Sheikh Abdullah, the civil disobedience by Muslim women against the Maharaja in Jammu and Kashmir and the Non-cooperation Movement by Abdul Karim Golam Jilani at Dacca in 1921.

The Dandi march by Gandhiji, the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, and his friends, Chandrashekhar Azad and Turebaz Khan, a civil liberties leader hanged in 1859 for his attack on the Hyderabad Residency, the role played by the Indian National Army of Subhash Chandra Bose and the participation of Badshah Khan, the Frontier Gandhi, were part of the exhibition.

But ironically, few Congress leaders bothered to check out the exhibition despite repeated requests by KPCC Senior Vice-President H. Hanumanthappa.

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