Freedom fighter feels sorry for politicians

Freedom fighter feels sorry for politicians

Freedom fighter feels sorry for politicians

 “I do not want to talk about present day politicians. Please do not ask about them. But, if we had had the kind of money spent nowadays, we would have covered the roads with sheets of gold,” said freedom fighter H N Venkatasubbu, popularly known as Kasturi.

Apologising for not being able to remember a lot of things, due to his age — 97 — Kasturi, at his humble home at Bylahalli near here, said he jumped into the freedom struggle in 1936.

Stating that he had studied only fourth form, he recalled how his working in a printing press helped him become part of the freedom movement.

“We used to print pamphlets to be distributed among the people to bring in awareness about the freedom struggle. Apart from working in the press, I used to distribute the pamphlets and shout pro-Indian slogans.

When Aranya Satyagraha was launched in 1936, I was made leader of a group of youths to function from Karadi in Tiptur taluk to Javagal. We used to destroy toddy pots tied to palm trees and also cut down such palm trees. We also would stage dharna in front of toddy shops and urge the shop owners to stop selling toddy.

“Following my group’s activism, I was arrested for the first time in 1939 and imprisoned for three months,” he recalled.

Kasturi said: “When Quit India movement intensified in 1942, we jumped into the bandwagon once again. We were closely watched by the police as we were noted for our activism in earlier movements. I was arrested in 1947 and kept at the Military Camp Jail in Bangalore for two-and-a-half months.”

“After Independence I continued with my old profession of printing. However, I was into social service due to encouragement from leaders like Kengal Hanumanthaiah, B D Jatti, Nijalingappa and Sir M Visveswaraya. I was also president of the Hassan Taluk Board.

“Later, I lost interest due to rampant corruption, mismanagement and nepotism in politics. I felt the dreams the freedom fighter had for India had shattered. Now, I am happy leading a nondescript life, away from all the happenings in politics,” he said.

He said he had not applied for freedom fighter’s pension for a long time but was forced to apply when he faced some financial crisis meeting his children’s education expenditure.

“Now, the pension is supporting my life. I got two acres of land from the government in the village.

“But, when people objected to it, stating that it was in the lake’s catchment area, I returned it,” he added.

His daughter is happily married, while one son died some years ago.

One of his sons is in government service while another unmarried son lives with Kasturi.