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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Indian Martyrs & Their Descendants - book by shivnath Jha

Indian Martyrs  Their Descendants - book by shivnath Jha

Proceeds from a new book will help Jeet Singh, the surviving grandson
of freedom fighter Udham Singh, who avenged the Jallianwalla Bagh
massacre by assassinating General Michael O'Dwyer.

Compiled by journalist Shivnath Jha and his wife Neena, the 444-page
pictorial coffee-table book "Indian Martyrs and Their Neglected
Descendants:1857-1947" will have information and pictures of freedom
fighters killed by Britishers during this period but have been
forgotten over time.

Jeet Singh, presently works as a daily-wage labourer in Sangrur in
Punjab. His two children also work - Jaspal the elder son works in a
cloth shop while his only sibling Bobby assists at a printing shop.

"Former President Giani Zail Singh had assured Jeet Singh of doing
something for his family but years later, Jeet Singh continues to live
a miserable and unknown life," Jha told PTI.

"The family feels sad due to the fact that despite its ancestors dying
for the country the Government even after more than more than 60 years
after the independence continues to ignore them," he adds.

According to the book, the adopted son of the legendary Rani Laxmibai
of Jhansi, Damodar Rao did survive the first war of independence of
1857 in which his mother died.

Today Rao's third generation descendants are living in anonymity in

"Damodar Rao lives on as a small footnote in history of India and in
popular imagination as a little boy tied to a fearless heroine's back,
and the historians also ignored finding out about his next generation.

He lived the rest of his days in penury begging the British government
to restore to him some of his rights without avail," says the book.

To be released in November, the book comprises the 35 descendants of
martyrs from 1857 to 1947, including Rani
Laxminbai, Tatya Tope, Thakur Durga Singh, Azimullah Khan,Jaipal Singh
(who fought with Babu Kunwar Singh in Bihar),
Mangal Pandey, Jabardast Khan, Surendra Sai, Udham Singh,Khudiram
Bose, Bhagat Singh, Ras Behari Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad
Bismal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Rajguru, Surya Sen, Batukeshwar Dutt and
Baikunth Shukla.

"We have the example of Chapekar brothers of Pune, where all three
brothers were killed by the Britishers. Nobody knows what their
families are doing for a survival," says Jha.

The coffee table book is the fourth in the series launched by the
"Andolan Ek Pustak Se" movement, which began in the year 2007 under
which the husband wife duo aimed to publish one book per year in order
to honour and help "those who have brought laurels to the country."

The series began with a "Monograph on Ustad Bismillah Khan," that was
aimed at drawing attention to the plight of the ailing shahnai
maestro. Other books in the series include one on former Union Railway
minister Lalu Prasad, - "Lalu Prasad: ..India..'s Miracle," and "Prime
Ministers of India: Bharat Bhagya Vidhata."

It will be the third attempt by the author to rehabilitate descendants
of the forgotten freedom fighters from the proceeds of the books.

Earlier, he helped Vinayak Rao Tope, the fourth generation descendant
of frontline leader of 1857 mutiny Tatya Tope and Sultana Begum, the
great granddaughter-in-law of India's last emperor and commander-in-
chief of the 1857 mutiny Bahadur Shah Zafar.

His earlier efforts have helped the families of freedom fighters in a
big way.

"We collected Rs2 lakh for the marriage of Sultana Begum's daughter
and railway minister Mamta Banerjee has agreed to give her a job in
the railways," says Jha.

"Pragati and Tripati, greatgrand daughters of Vinayak Tope got jobs in
the Container Corporation of India. Vinayak Tope has received Rs5 lakh
and efforts are on to make a railway station in his name in Bithoor,"
he adds.

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