Delhi couple pens book on forgotten heroes of independence

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 03, 2011 09:30 hrs

Mumbai, Feb 3 (IANS) A Delhi-based writer couple has penned a book with accounts of 25 families whose ancestors played a sterling role during the country's freedom struggle.

The idea for the coffee-table book came about when Neena and Shivnath Jha met Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan in Delhi when he was a union minister. He expressed his sentiments to provide a 'dignified life' to the descendents of martyrs of the Indian freedom struggle.

'After nearly one-and-half years of efforts, we have managed to locate 25 such families,' the Jhas told IANS here Thursday.

The couple is here to meet Chavan and request him to release their book, 'Indian Heroes & Martyrs: Their Descendents-1857-1947'.

'The present generation does not even know how many young people and freedom fighters laid down their lives for the sake of the country. Even more ironical is the fact that not even five percent population of this nation actually remembers those who died during the freedom struggle,' said Neena Jha.

The book comprises accounts of 25 descendants of martyrs Rani Laxmibai, 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, among others.

The primary research by the duo threw up some startling results. The surviving grandson of Udham Singh, who avenged the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by killing Gen. Michael O'Dwyer on March 13, 1940, Jeet Singh, survives as a daily-wage labourer in Sangrur in Punjab.

His elder son works in a cloth shop while his younger one assists at a printing shop. The Jhas plan to donate the proceeds of the book to Jeet Singh's family.

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