We bring you the stories of a few unsung heroes who, in their own special ways, led this country to the path of freedom from the British and kept the fight on....
Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy, 98, was jailed for the first time in his life for 14 months when he, along with his brother made bombs to damage government documents during the Quit India Movement in 1942. In 1947, as part of a Mysore Chalo Movement, his newspaper published many articles against the government. Eventually, the government took control of the press and seized it.
He has been an unrelenting protester even in Independent India. In 2014, Doreswamy spearheaded the anti-land grabbing protests in Bengaluru with the help of AAP, A T Ramaswamy who was part of the Joint Legislature Committee on Encroachment in Bangalore Urban District and many other activists. Eminent citizens including Justice Santosh Hegde lent their support to the protest. The protest was held at the town hall. My Early Life by Mahatma Gandhi influenced him to join the freedom movement. Justice Santosh Hegde, former Solicitor General of India, said, “Even at this age, he has the strength to protest against corruption. He is a fantastic human being and it has been a pleasure to be associated with him.”
My Early Life by Mahatma Gandhi influenced Doreswamy to join the freedom movement
T R Krishnaswamy Iyer, born in 1890, was brought up in an orthodox family and was in the epicenter of the freedom struggle. He educated and initiated Dalits (untouchables) into Brahminhood much to the fury of his community. When he showed no signs of heeding their advice, Krishna, dubbed the ‘Untouchable Brahmin’ was ostracised from his community. It was a huge deal, but Krishna was undeterred. He, along with his wife, Easwari Ammal continued his service for the untouchables through the Sabari Ashram that stands even today, which is committed to the cause of educating Dalits. Gandhiji adored Krishna and paid him a visit during each of his tours to southern India. In 1933 the Sabari ashram came under the National Harijan Sevak Sangh and today it is lying in a dilapidated state. The family regrets that Krishnaswamy is already a forgotten hero, but is hopeful that government would help in the ashram’s upkeep.
Moidu Moulavi was born in 1886. His father Malayankulathel Marakkar Musaliyar was a scholar and activist from Ponanni. He joined the Indian National Movement in 1919. Moulavi was arrested and had to go through rigorous imprisonment during Khilafat Movement of 1921. He was also arrested for another nine months in 1930 for his participation in Payyanur Salt Sathyagraha which was organised as a support to Gandhi’s Salt March. He was again three jailed for three years for taking part in the Quit India Movement. He was released in 1947 after the Congress party came to power. Moidu Moulavi along with Mohammed Abdul Rahiman had started the newspaper ‘Al — Ameen’ from Calicut during 1929 — 1939. He spent his life concentrating on social reforms of his community
He is 99. He cannot hear properly depsite using hearing aids. His vision is blurred too. Moreover, he finds difficulties in moving around. But all these did not stop Sudhanshu Biswas from the service he is doing. The freedom fighter who has seen India for almost a century is the founder of Ramakrishna Sevashram an organisation that takes care of the poor orphans, senior citizens and the desitute.
Born in 1917 in Bengal, Sudhanshu Biswas was an active member of the terrorist group Jugantar. As a part of the fight against the British, he had to flee Kolkata (then Calcutta) to the Sunderbans. He stayed there for quite long and established a few ashrams there. After India gained Independence from the British, Biswas came back to Kolkata where he established Ramakrishna Sevashram. The ashram is spread across 30 acres of land.
He has so far established around 18 schools into Sunderbans. He also recently opened a vocational training centre for the people nearby his ashram in Kolkata.
For Biswas, who never married, the ashram is his home and the inmates are his family, says Dr SK Bagchi, President of the organisation. “He currently supervises the activities of the students in our ashram. Whatever difficulties he has, he informs the trust about them and in turn, we try to solve them,” he says.
With old age catching up, Biswas finds it difficult to attend to problems. But despite that, he tries his best to take care of the inmates