Statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Rajendra Prasad unveiled to make their visit to Ballari memorable

Transport Minister B. Sriramulu garlanding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Ballari railway station on Saturday.

Transport Minister B. Sriramulu garlanding the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Ballari railway station on Saturday. | Photo Credit: SRIDHAR KAVALI

As part of the celebrations to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence, the Ballari district administration organised ‘Amirta Bharatige Kannadadarati’ programme on Saturday.

Transport Minister and Ballari In charge B. Sriramulu unveiled the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Rajendra Prasad to make their visits to Ballari memorable.

Gandhiji’s statue was installed near the railway station (in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office) and Dr. Prasad’s statue on the campus of Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS).

“On October 1, 1921, Gandhiji visited Ballari and stayed in the railway station for eight hours. He had advised the Kannada Congress and Telugu Congress units to get united and collectively fight for India’s freedom. His visit had infused new vigour into the freedom movement in the region. Thousands of youths from the area, especially from Kudligi and Kottur had joined the ongoing movement. The movement then spread to other areas including Hadagali, Sanduru, Hosapete and Siruguppa. People from Ballari had actively participated in the salt satyagraha and Quit India movement because of Gandhiji’s visit to the area. Thousands of people fought British rulers and went to jail. The struggle was so intense that jails had become a second home for freedom fighters,” Mr. Sriramulu said.

The Minister held that the installation of Gandhiji’s statue in Ballari would be an inspiration to today’s generation to know the past and fight for the India that Gandhiji had dreamt of.

“I hope that the statue would inspire the people to adopt Gandhiji’s thoughts and encourage them to actively participate in building India that he had dreamt of,” Mr. Sriramulu said.

In remembrance of Dr. Prasad’s visit to Allipur jail complex during the freedom movement, Mr. Sriramulu later later unveiled his statue at VIMS, the place where the former Allipur jail was located.

He also announced that the Swatantra Samara Soudha in the premises of VIMS would be developed into a full-fledged museum.

“We want to develop this Swatantra Samara Soudha into a huge museum to showcase India’s freedom movement and the people who led it. Apart from the statues leading freedom fighters and images of freedom movement, the museum would also provide necessary information about the freedom fighters and freedom movement in Ballari region,” Mr. Sriramulu said.

The Minister said that the British rulers had turned 173 acres of lands of Allipur into an open jail to keep the freedom fighters. 

“Chakravarti Rajagopalachari was one among the thousands of freedom fighters who were kept in Allipur jail. Dr. Prasad, during his Bharat Yatra, visited the jail on June 1, 1937, to meet Rajaji and discussed the ways forward in the freedom movement. After India got freedom, the jail was closed in 1958 and a medical college was opened in its place in 1963. The place where Rajendra Prasad met Rajagopalachari was preserved as Swatantra Samara Soudha,” the Minister said.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 2:54:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/statues-of-mahatma-gandhi-rajendra-prasad-unveiled-to-make-their-visit-to-ballari-memorable/article65564277.ece