Thursday, 5 May 2011

Once with Bhagat Singh, he now fights for recognition

 Harbans Singh, 100, treasures picture old painting Bhagat Singh

"I have written to the authorities many a time for help, but nothing has come my way. In the last years of my life, all I want is respect"

HARBANS SINGH AFTER 64 YEARS OF FREEDOM, THE NATION IS YET TO BESTOW UPON HIM THE TITLE OF FREEDOM FIGHTER.

He fought for independence with Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and at 100 years now-Harbans Singh is still fighting-this time to be recognised as a freedom fighter. After 64 years of freedom, the nation is yet to bestow upon him the title of freedom fighter.

The indifference of successive governments has forced him and his family to live in misery. Now at Gandhi Nagar Colony, Harbans Singh once lived in Bagrian village, 12 km from Lahore (now in Pakistan).
Passionate about independence, he underwent third degree torture by the British Police at 14 years of age, during which he lost one of his eyes. He was jailed for two months for providing a safe house to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in 1928.

On July 12 the same year, when Bhagat Singh and his companions were hiding in his house, he was arrested by the then SHO of Khana Kasha police station in Lahore, but Bhagat Singh had escaped.

After his release from Lahore jail, he remained in touch with Bhagat Singh and his cronies, attending all their hearings in a Lahore court, the old man said.

The Britishers, during a raid at his house in 1927, broke his arm and his fingers stopped working properly. Loss of vision further aggravated his condition, putting him in the bracket of a disabled person, but the brave man continued to fight for survival. But, without any financial aid or recognition by the Central and state governments, he could barely earn two square meals a days. His son and four grandsons are now eking out a living by working as blacksmiths.

Cabinet minister Master Mohan Lal did announce Rs 1lakh grant to him for his service to the nation, but three years have gone by and there is no sight of the money.

“I have appealed and written to the authorities many times for help, but nothing has come my way. In the last years of my life now, all I want is appreciation and respect,“ he said.

When contacted, Ferozepur deputy commissioner Kamal Kishore Yadav assured to look into the matter.

Gaurav Sagar Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, May 5th 2011

1 comments:

Sandhu said...

Singh is king.....

Eh baba ji mere hero ne

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