NEW DELHI

This freedom fighter remains unsung

BAGHRAJI (MADHYA PRADESH): While the whole India is chanting `Mangal Mangal Mangal........' as the spark of India's first freedom struggle, Mangal Pandey, is being remembered through a Bollywood movie, his contemporary during the struggle Thakur Kundan Singh is still unsung.

Thakur Kundan Singh, who is part of folklore in Jabalpur, is unknown outside his native place.

Kundan Singh was born in Baghraji near Jabalpur and rose in rebellion against the British in 1857 and motivated the local people including tribals to rise against the British rule.

He died a painful death at the hands of the British army but not before killing many English soldiers.

"Our fore-fathers say that Thakur Kundan Singh was a revolutionary who fought with the British, reportedly killing hundreds of soldiers. In Narayanpura, he used a secret tunnel to come to the temple. He was a great warrior. The tricolour is unfurled in his memory on August 15 and January 26,'' said Kamlesh Kumar Vishwakarma, a resident of Baghraji with a population of 5000.

Almost all the later freedom fighters were inspired by Thakur Kundan Singh. But the descendants of Singh got no recognition and are forced to lead lives of abject poverty.

Singh has a temple and herbal garden in his remembrance but residents and his descendants believe that justice has not been done to the martyr.

"He was very helpful to the poor and a devotee of the goddess. He has not received any honour from the Government. No memorial, no schools have been built in his memory. Only a temple and a herbal garden were made in his memory,'' said Sambal Singh, descendant of Thakur Kundan Singh.

As the movie of Mangal Pandey is bringing people's attention to the sacrifice made by freedom fighters, people in Jabalpur hope that the contribution made by Thakur Kundan Singh will also be its given due. - ANI