Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take not their only paradise . . . !


Hi, Everyone! One is awestruck by the courage and patriotism of the political prisoners who were incarcerated in the Cellular Jail——not only did they bravely face their ordeal there, but continued to fight for their motherland after their release and wrote biographies recording their experiences while still under British rule . . . ! That is why a lot of valuable material is available to us today.
·        In each and every biography of these heroes that I read there was one common factor—despite the grueling hardship they suffered in the CJ, they wrote with humor, recording their situation but not wallowing in the pathos of it, even making light of it.
These heroes would certainly have been totally obliterated from human memory otherwise.
I had a hard time finding out some information, even so. Pandit Parmanand of Jhansi (not to be confused with Bhai Parmanand) was a volcano! I wanted to give him a little role in my novel, but the sad truth is, I could not even locate his name. His father’s name is to be found, but his—no. Pandit Parmanand from Jhansi, that is almost the sum total of what we know of him. I did find this link giving some info on him:
Savarkar has recorded incidents of Nanigopal Mukherji. We know that he visited Savarkar in Ratnagiri and that’s all.
Chatar Singh: can you imagine being put in a cage—a cage! Not tall enough to stand up, barely long enough to lie down—for two plus years, day in day out? You do this for your country, and then, what? The country forgets you—just like that.
So many of them were well-to-do; so many had their wealth and property confiscated by the British. So many of them died as uncared-for-paupers in the country for whose freedom they fought, for whom they sacrificed so much.
It pained my heart as I researched and wrote that I could not write more of these Sons of India, that I could not do more justice to them.
I do fervently hope that someone somewhere has recorded a little more of all these heroes.
 “Remembrance is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven away.”
And yet we have driven away these brave men from the only paradise they had?

Anurupa

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