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“Police charged ‘lathi’ on protestors, but we stood for the freedom”

10:17 PM, Sunday, August 14th, 2016
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Bhojaraj Hegde Padangadi Mangaluru : We have heard many stories about freedom fights. We have learnt many things about Gandhi and his movements. Dandi march, quit India movement and many other movements were carried out during the freedom fight. Here in Mangaluru also many had gone to jail during quit India movement. We have an exclusive story for the readers of Mega Media News, narrated by a freedom fighter.

“It is a story of 1942 and I was very young at that time. One of my uncles had invited me to take part in the movement. I requested my mother to give some money to visit Mangaluru, as I haven’t seen Mangaluru. My mother gave me Rs 4. We went on a cycle and sat for ‘dharna’ at Nehru Mydaan, Mangaluru. Suddenly a police car came near us and warned the protestors withdraw the protest. When protestors opposed to clear the area, police started to charge ‘lathi’ on us. Some of my mates ran away from the spot, and handful of protestors was remained at the place. We stood for freedom,” said freedom fighter and a great follower of Gandhi’s thoughts, Bhojaraj Hegde Padangadi.

He fought for freedom, he fought for our rights and still he is fighting against the social issues. Here is an exclusive interview of freedom fighter Bhojaraj Hegde, who was a part of 1942 ‘Quit India Movement’.

Bhojaraj Hegde Padangadi A 94-year-old, hailing from Padangady, Belthnagady taluk, Bhojaraj Hegde started his fight for the freedom in 1937.

While continuing the story of quit India movement in Mangaluru he further said “I tarred my silk dhoti and shouted slogans against British and their ruling. I got beaten up by the police for my deed and my uncle came to save me. Instead of arresting me they took a signature of mine and let me to go. As I didn’t have a dhoti to wear, I went to a ‘Khadi’ shop and bought a Khadi dhoti. Since then I have decided to wear only Khadi products instead of any other material. ‘Quit India Movement’ was a turning point of my life,” he said.

While, going down the memories he said that in 1937 there was an election for MLA and MLC seat. “Only two parties were contesting the elections during that time. One is Congress and other one is Justice. My uncle was a candidate from Congress and I served as his volunteer. British had imposed Rs 300 as tax for those who will vote the Congress leaders. 8 votes were needed to win a constituency. And I had the responsibility of bringing 5 votes out of eight,” he added.

Speaking about the life after the movement he said that he served as a syndicate member of Congress and helped the organisation in many movements. “There are not much interesting things to share till the date August 15, 1947. I lived for that day, I am still breathing in the memories of that particular day. Yes, we had got the freedom. We were free. We had our own right on our country. We had succeeded in our struggle. It took us hundreds of years to be the free birds,” he said adding “I am feeling very much proud to say that I was the one who hoisted the Congress flag here in Dakshina Kannada. The organisers wanted me to hoist the flag.”

Bhojaraj Hegde Padangadi He further explained the importance and criteria of flag hoisting and flag lowering. Speaking about flag hoisting he said “everyone didn’t had authority to hoist the flag. Either the person should be a freedom fighter or a magistrate level officer. Now days, everybody is hoisting the flag. Even the panchayat members are also invited to hoist the flag. Moreover, the flag should touch the top end of the pole and there should not be any space between the top end and the flag.”

Speaking about flag lowering he said “as per the rules the flag should be lowered before the sunset i.e. between 5.30 pm to 6 pm. Other feasibilities also there to lower the flag and they are, during the natural calamities the flag can be lowered, during any sort of communal violence, if lethal weapons are being used then also flag can be lowered.”

Adding to this he expressed his grief towards the present value of the Indian flag in India; he said “now nobody is respecting the flag. Respecting a flag is equal to respecting the nation. We should love our flag first which shows your respect towards your nation.”

While speaking about the life after the freedom he said “I joined national Seva Dal as a trainer. I trained many children, all over India. I served as security guard of Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadhur Shashtri, Indira Gandhi and S. Nijalingappa. I am the one among five who were felicitate by Morarji Desai for the service in Seva Dal at Ahmadabad.”

“If I had enough money then I wanted to do two things, one is free treatment for the poor patients another is free education for poor students. We started to kick our mother when we were in womb. But she gave her utter love and care for the betterment of her child. Same way we kick our ‘Bharath Matha’ also. But she is our mother she is nourishing us since our birth. Let’s not forget her, let’s salute her. Let’s use the freedom that we have after lot of struggle and sacrifices, with a genuine way. Let’s not forget to be the proud children of mother India,” he concluded.

Story : Lloyd Dias 

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