It was a hectic search for freedom fighters in Bengaluru over the last week

Members of Karnataka Mahila Dourjanya Virodhi Okkuta raising awareness Freedom Fighters at Shivajinagar in Bengaluru

Members of Karnataka Mahila Dourjanya Virodhi Okkuta raising awareness Freedom Fighters at Shivajinagar in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

After a hectic search of about a week, seven freedom fighters were identified in Bengaluru by Monday night, as the country observed the 80th anniversary of the Quit India Movement on Tuesday and is set to celebrate the 76th Independence Day in a few days.

Though a few of them were known to the district administration as they had been felicitated before, some were identified to be living in Bengaluru.

With the Freedom Fighters’ Association now almost defunct, with a large number of members dead, it posed a challenge for the officials. “Two were tracked late on Monday night after ascertaining the pension records and other documents following directions from the Governor’s office,” an official said.

The seven tracked

Among those identified were Narayanappa of Ulsoor, Srinivas Kamath of Karkala now residing in Koramangala, S.V.T. Gupta of Kadur residing in Yelachenahalli, Shankar Narayan Rao residing in Banashankari, Nagabhushan Rao, a resident of Malleswaram, Narayanappa of Chickballapur now residing in Bhoopasandra, and Satyanarayana of Mavalli. 

Mr. Gupta is the president of the Freedom Fighters’ Association. They took part in the Quit India Movement, the Mysore Chalo Movement, and other agitations.

Revenue Inspectors and village accountants were employed in the search over the past week after Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot directed the government to identify the freedom fighters and felicitate them.

“Some whose contacts were available with the administration had died. Some claimed to be freedom fighters and had approached the Assistant Commissioner’s office without proper documents,” an official confirmed.

Seniors gone

Things were different a decade or two back, a source said, as veteran freedom fighters, such as H.S. Doreswamy, Chaturvedi, and V.S. Krishna Iyer, among others, were alive.

“During many occasions, they came forward to help in ascertaining an event or even identifying those who participated in the freedom struggle with them.”

Another official said though the list of those receiving the freedom fighters’ pension is available with the office of the Accountant General of Karnataka, the short notice put them on the job immediately.

“In most cases, we have the postal address since the freedom fighters are sent invitation to participate in the Independence Day and the Republic Day celebrations. However, if they had changed address or have died, the invitation do not come back. Two freedom fighters were tracked from the protocol list. The AG office has the authentic list,” the official said.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 4:20:02 pm |