Here's where the city fought from during the independence struggle

This laidback city too simmered during the independence struggle. Here’s where you can go, to recall its contribution

Published: 15th August 2016 04:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2016 04:12 AM   |  A+A-


Typewriting Institute, at Malleswaram Circle

This space (now a silk showroom)  above a police station was empty in the afternoons, recalls H Srinivasaiah, president of Gandhi Bhavan. “We printed an underground newspaper from here,” he says. “My friend and I posted copies to government officials.” They had a fake ‘Mysore Government Service’ rubber stamp so the post office would think it government correspondence. Later, when the Gandhian placed a country bomb in a city college, his house was searched for the bomb and the newspaper. “We were imprisoned for three months,” he says. They also made copies of Gandhi’s Harijan magazine. “The police station below the press was a protection,” he says. “We would distribute them in the nights.”

Martyrs' Memorial, Mysore Bank Circle

Wherea.jpgIn 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asked for an “orderly withdrawal of British from India” and launched the Quit India movement, nine youngsters in the city joined in. Mansoor Ali, historian and founder of Bengaluru Walks. says, “They were shot down by the British soldiers and all lost their lives.” Only four names have been carved into the elongated stone memorial -- Sree Shammanna, son of Bette Rangappa; JV Thirumallaiah; Prahlad Shetty and Sri Gundappa.

“We know only the four names,” says Ali. 

Freedom Park, Seshadri Road

This park is where the Bangalore Central Jail once stood. The jail, built in 1866, was used by the British to imprison freedom fighters. Post indepedence, during the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi in 1975, leaders such as LK Advani and Deve Gowda were kept in its VIP cells till 1977. In 2003, after a nationwide contest, Bengaluru’s architects Soumitro Ghosh and Nisha Mathew Ghosh were selected to design a park and six years later came The Freedom Park. The architects have retained the barracks, the hospital blocks, the central tower and entrances of the earlier prison. There is also a museum in the complex.

Kumara Krupa Guest House

Mahatma Gandhi is said to have visited the city about 14 times, and stayed in this guest house during most of those trips. He came here to collect funds for the Harijan magazine.

Central College of Bangalore

Srinivasaiah recalls how students were part of the Quit India movevement. “After August 8, there was Section 144 invoked but that could not be done in college campuses... Students would stand under a tree and call out ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Mahatma Gandhi Ki Jai’” Every day a student was arrested.

Sampige Road, Malleswaram

The residents placed a mike on the night on August 14, to listen to their new Prime Minister. “Jawaharlal Nehru gave that speech at midnight,” says Srinivasaiah. He says he still gets goosebumps thinking of his speech: “While the world sleeps, India will awake to life...” “That midnight was thrilling,” he says.

Sarvodaya Sangha in Basavangudi

Gandhian Srinivasaiah, as a student, would collect khadi from here during the early 1940s and sell it to homes across the city. “We would go and sell khadi and Gandhian books... People were scared to take them,” he says. “The money was then handed over to the Sangha.”

Malleswaram 6th Cross

Students led a Quit India March and in the corner of this lane a high-school student was shot dead. “Thirumalaiah had come with the procession, and when we stopped and were shot at, he lost his life,” recalls Srinivasaiah, also a resident of Malleshwaram.

Memorial at Lalit Ashok

It marks the spot where Gandhi used to meditate. “The place where he used to hold his meetings is where the hotel has its swimming pool,” says H Srinivasaiah, president of Gandhi Bhavan.

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