azadi ka amrit mahotsav Karnataka

Tales of freedom by the veterans 

Freedom fighter R. Narayanappa in Bengaluru.

Freedom fighter R. Narayanappa in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Prerana Kulkarni

Freedom fighter C.B. Shankaranarayana Rao in Bengaluru.

Freedom fighter C.B. Shankaranarayana Rao in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Prerana Kulkarni

Freedom fighter H. Nagabhushan Rao in Bengaluru.

Freedom fighter H. Nagabhushan Rao in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Prerana Kulkarni

“I did some unthinkable things in order to revolt against the British,” recalled 101-year-old freedom fighter H. Nagabhushana Rao. He is one of the oldest freedom fighters alive in the State and is also amongst those who were recently identified by the government to be honoured on the occasion of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

In conversation with The Hindu, three freedom fighters shared some interesting stories, ranging from cutting off communication wires to their days in jails.  

Mr. Rao mentioned that he joined the freedom movement when he was in high school and said he cut telegram wires, destroyed post boxes, dug up roads, among many other things to cut off communication between British officials. He also said that he stopped people from entering offices, colleges, and factories by laying on the doorways and asking people to step on him if they had to go in.

When asked what freedom means to him, he said, “Freedom is the authority and governance over one’s own self”. He is known to be extremely disciplined and helpful amongst his family and friends and he does not hesitate to stand up against what is wrong even to this day. 

Halasuru-born R. Narayanappa, 97, remembered the impact the freedom struggle had on him as a young child. He said that at the age of 13, he joined his friends and played a significant role in the riot that broke out in Avenue Road against the British rule. He also helped boycott foreign goods in his school and college. He joined the Royal Indian Navy after completing his education. He spoke about how Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha had a significant influence.

Upon his return from the navy, he joined the State Bank of Mysore (SBM) from where he soon quit, to answer the various calls for freedom which were being raised around him. He joined the “Quit India” movement and became a full-fledged freedom fighter. He took part in riots in Chikkaballapura’s Viduraswatta. 

Like him, C.B Shakaranarayana Rao, 91, extended his support for the freedom movement from the early years of his childhood. He said that he was inspired by his father, who was a war veteran and was ordered to serve two years in World War II. He mainly took part in the boycott British movement. He studied in Sahyadri College, Shivamogga, where he actively took part in the demand for a responsible government in 1947, for which he was put behind bars for a month at the age of 18. 

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 11:10:14 am |