Andhra Pradesh

Railways pays tribute to freedom fighter and body guard of Bose

G.V. Raghuram, son of freedom fighter G.V. Anantha Sarma, recalling the freedom struggle days of his father, in Vijayawada on Sunday.

G.V. Raghuram, son of freedom fighter G.V. Anantha Sarma, recalling the freedom struggle days of his father, in Vijayawada on Sunday. | Photo Credit: G.N. RAO

The family members of Goparaju Venkata Anantha Sarma, a Prisoner of War and freedom fighter, are celebrating the 75 years of Independence on a grand scale.

Anantha Sarma served in the British Indian Army and underwent training in rifle shooting. He participated in World War II, fought against Japan and was captured as Prisoner of War (PoW). He had served a jail term in Bangkok.

Later, he joined the Indian National Army (INA), also known as ‘Azad Hind Fauz’, in 1944. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose inducted him as a personal body guard, said his son Goparaju Venkata Raghuram, a retired bank manager.

In 1945, the British Army took the Azad Hind Fauz personnel as PoWs and shifted Anantha Sarma to Firozpur Cantonment Area. Mahatma Gandhi organised a ‘Satyagraha’ for the release of INA personnel and got them freed.

Joined railways

Under the guidance of ‘Andhra Kesari’ Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu, Anantha Sarma went to Chennapatnam and later joined as a ticket collector in the Indian Railways in 1947. He worked in Tenali, Godavari, Nidadavolu and Rajahmundry stations and retired as a station master at Vijayawada in 1977, Mr. Raghuram told The Hindu on Sunday.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs had sanctioned pension under freedom fighter’s quota and five acres land at Jegurupadu village in East Godavari district. But my father rejected the pension as he was in service in the Indian Railways, and asked the Government of India to allot the same land to a farmer. Later, my mother Goparaju Venkata Purushottamma had availed the pension,” Mr. Raghuram said.

“Anantha Sarma had served the army in Singapore, Malaysia, Burma and Bangkok. He was a man of high principles and ethics. He used to tell us to work hard and dedicate ourselves to building the nation,” recalled Mr. Raghuram.

“My grandfather used to share his experiences as an officer in the British Indian Army, in INA, World War II and the freedom struggle,” said the freedom fighter’s grandson settled in Australia who was also named Anantha Sarma.

Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Vijayawada, Shivendra Mohan, said that the great freedom fighter had served for 30 years in the Indian Railways which was a matter of pride for the SCR.

“As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, the SCR garlanded the portrait of Anantha Sarma, recalled his services to the railways and felicitated his son, Raghuram,” the DRM said.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:40:00 pm |