August 15, 2015
August 15, 2015:
It was a day of travelling down the memory lane for many of the freedom fighters who took part in the Independence Day celebrations today at VOC Park Grounds on Saturday.
Based on their experiences, freedom fighters from Coimbatore urged students and youth to learn more about the freedom struggle movements to keep the patriotism alive in them and in the next generation.
Most of them are nonagenarians who took part in the 69th Independence Day Celebrations had vivid memories of the freedom struggle movements in 1940s in spite of their advanced age.
Karuthi Veera Devar, 90, from Usilampatti near Madurai, settled in Coimbatore a decade ago, narrated his contribution to the freedom struggle.
He said: “I was doing farming when I was attracted by Mahatma Gandhi’s call for joining the protests against British Government. I used to take part in all the agitations in Usilampatti and Madurai. We marched along the roads raising the cry ‘Vande Mataram’ and also slogans against the British rule.”
According to him, he was arrested by the police in 1942 for taking part in a protest and was beaten by them. “I was sentenced to six months imprisonment. However, I took part again after my release from the prison,” he added.
Meanwhile, Karuppathal, 90, from Sirumugai near Coimbatore, took part in the celebrations on behalf of her husband and freedom fighter Narayanasamy, who passed away in 1996. She said: “He joined the freedom struggle movement at the age of 17 in Coimbatore. Due to his continuous activity against the British Government, he was arrested in 1942 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. After undergoing severe torture in the prison, he was released after three years.”
She said that taking part in the Independence Day celebrations made her remember her husband’s patriotism and its importance for every citizen.
K. R. Venkatasamy, 91, resident of Kurichi in Coimbatore, said: “We used block trains and also picket Government offices. Once I stoned the post office and tried to set fire as part of the protest. I was arrested many times and spent many months in jail.”
He also said: “Nowadays, patriotism does not mean much to most of the people and the recollection of the freedom struggle is becoming a thing of the past. Students and youth should be taught to cherish and remember the sacrifice of freedom fighters and leaders.”
Mariappan, 99, from Vellalore, felt happy being present on the occasion, though he could not speak much. Another freedom fighter, Subramaniam,86, was also present.