Have you ever met any freedom-fighter?During British subjugation, lakhs of Indian people got involved in freedom movement. Unfortunately we do not know about most of them. Even nowadays young people don't know the names of martyrs from another part of the country, thanks to our present history education. Very fortunately I belong to the families of freedom-fighters, both from my father's side and from my mother's side. My grandfather's youngest brother was a revolutionary of the group led by legendary Surya Sen (Master-da). After the hanging of Surya Sen, my grandfather's youngest brother remained in an underground cell (specially made for him) in our ancestral house for 12 years, to avoid arrest. My mother's eldest brother had been a revolutionary. Later he joined 'Quit India' movement in 1942.
Since my childhood and till the first half of nineteen-eighties, I met many revolutionaries and freedom fighters who used to come to our residence and to our maternal uncles' residence. When my mother or father introduced them, I observed them very keenly. I found that almost all of them used to speak very little, were very self-conscious and self-respect was very important to them. Some of them used to live under abject poverty, but they never appealed to the Government for freedom-fighter's pension. They were very open-minded and used to listen to the views of the next generation (my father) very patiently. Almost all of them were very good in English. But the most remarkable feature which I noticed was their eyes. I used to feel that their eyes had a very rare brilliance. They died in their old age as 'angry young men/women'.
On the eve of India's Republic Day, I pay respect to those great but unknown freedom-fighters, who fought for India's freedom without expecting anything from the country.