NEW DELHI: Old colleagues, friends and admirers got together here on Saturday to honour and celebrate veteran freedom fighter and senior socialist leader Captain Abbas Ali’s 90th birthday.
The freedom fighter was felicitated by Union Chemicals, Fertilisers and Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and senior Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav at a function presided over by socialist leader Surendra Mohan. Captain Ali’s autobiography was also released on the occasion.
Happy amid his old friends, Captain Ali said: “I am delighted that I have been able to live in free India and see it grow into a powerful country. However, I am also pained to see the growing gap between the rich and poor, poverty and communalism which have become the bane of the country today.”
“We fought not just for independence but also social equality for all and that is yet to come true and I pray that I be able to see that happening in my lifetime. I hope my country grows from strength to strength and is able to take along even the poorest of the poor in its move towards greater social and economic development,” he added.
Captain Ali, who was born in Uttar Pradesh, was from his early days inspired by the revolutionary ideas of various Indian freedom fighters. “While pursuing my studies in AMU, I came into contact with some great Communist leaders and I was inspired to join the British Army in 1939 to revolt in it. I was later posted in South East Asia during World War II. During World War II, I became a prisoner of war in Singapore and when Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose called for revolt I joined the INA. I became a prisoner of war again and was court-marshalled and awarded death sentence. After India gained Independence I was released. Today I live as a proud and free Indian.”