I remember having heard of my maternal grandfather who fought for the freedom of the country. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of everyone. His village had no electricity, water was scarce, and a train which passed by the village once a day was the only connection to the rest of the world.
My late grandfather, Dukkipati Nageswara Rao, involved himself in the Indian freedom movement to end the British rule in India. He was a man who was determined to win freedom with a great vision, and a freedom fighter who rejected violence. He is one of the many who contributed their time and efforts for Indian independence. And so, the more you can give of yourself, the more you can give of what you believe, the more you can discipline, say and do the things you actually believe, strange things start to happen.
Isn’t there something for all of us to learn from great leaders about power, when it feels like the right thing to do from deep inside — dreaming and relentlessly pursuing the impossible!
He belonged to that select breed of freedom fighters that walked the Gandhian path and contributed his time and efforts to making the freedom movement truly a mass movement in the country. He was barely twenty when he heeded Gandhi’s call for non-cooperation against the British and took it to villages. He met Mahatma Gandhi in his home town near Gudivada during the Independence movement. It was a life-changing moment for him and he became fascinated with Gandhian philosophy after it.
Chosen as a delegate to a meeting of the Indian National Congress, which the British declared illegal, he was arrested and sent to jail for two months. My grandfather’s stint in jail exposed him to even more active politics and nationalism. Along with his congress membership, he was determined to be very active in the State.
In 1932, Gandhi called for a major nationwide Satyagraha against foreign goods. There were cries of “Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai.” As they began to move around picketing shops selling foreign goods, they were arrested, taken to prison and charged with 4-and-a-half months of rigorous imprisonment. He set a personal example for his people in the years he spent in prison. He was never arrogant.
He worked to mend the tears in Indian society and with his character managed to prevent outbursts of racial hatred. The great freedom fighter, late N.G.Ranga was his mentor and his political guru. He participated in all the Gandhian non-violent mass struggles in the three decades before Independence and spent a good part of his life in various jails. He was a very active political worker and also a very skilful organizer.
All said and done, the family refused voluntarily a few acres of land along with a Tamra Patra given by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. They said that this is not what we stood for. This actually means a whole lot of Gandhi’s ideas, influences, words, and actions mean to people around the world and how they used them for guidance and gaining independence.
Nageswara Rao’s passion for freedom inspired many people and he was renowned for the activism against the British authorities. Everyone fought for freedom with great enthusiasm. Today, whatever development we see is the result of that very struggle.
There are so many unknown and unsung heroes who died for our motherland and the least we can do is not let their contributions and their sacrifices go in vain.
The numerous Freedom Fighters, with their courage and the true spirit, had faced much torture, hardships, and exploitation to get freedom. The Independence movement of India was the ultimate objective and dream of every Indian who lived under British rule.
Every individual during the British rule fought in some way, having a common aim of abolishing the British and various other colonial authorities ruling over different parts of India. The Indian Independence struggle saw millions of people with very important roles who participated in various movements. Some of them include the Revolt of 1857, Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Non-cooperation Movement, Salt Satyagraha, and Quit India Movement.
India faced innumerable hardships as it went through a long journey that had numerous national and regional percussions and the two main weapons used were truth and non-violence.
As the Tricolour flutters in the sky, let each citizen promise to work hard to bring glory, honour, and power to the country and reach the ultimate goal of making India a great nation that stands for human values and traditions.
I leave you with my favourite quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi.
I salute all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives. Remembering them, especially on Independence day.