Freedom Fighters' Memorial to get a facelift

The Jallianwalah Bagh of South India

Freedom Fighters' Memorial to get a facelift

 The Veerasoudha constructed in memory of freedom fighters. A gallery depicting the life and times of freedom fighters. DH photos

The Union Government and State Tourism Department have released Rs three crore each, to develop the Memorial.

Known as the Jallianwalah Bagh of South India, the Memorial has a place in the history of Independence movement in India.

Following the call by Mahatma Gandhiji for non-violent struggle in 1930s, the people of the province chalked out their own plan to take part in the freedom struggle.

The Congress convention was held in Shivpura of Mandya in April 1938. The movement gained steam over the course of time and Congress leaders H Nagasandra, N C Nagaiah Reddy, N C Thimma Reddy, H Hanumantha Reddy, S V Srinivasa Rao, Gedare Ramaswamy, G Venkataswamy Gowda, Siddappa and others decided to hold a satyagraha at Vidurashwatha on April 25, 1938.

Vanguards arrested

The freedom fighters conducted a door-to-door campaign exhorting people to take part in the satyagraha.

The colonial administration swung into action and banned the event. People in the vanguard of the movement were arrested. However, thousands of people assembled at Vidurashwatha on the scheduled day. They refused to move from the place despite warning from the police.

Vidurashwatha Massacre

Idaguru Bheemaiah, Chowluru Narasappa, Gajjannagari Narasappa, Hanumanthappa, Rayagondanahali Mallaiah, Nama Ashwathanarayana Shetty, Narasappa and Maraluru Gowramma fell to police bullets. The incident has been termed as “Vidurashwatha Massacre.”

A ‘Veerasoudha’ and a Guest House was constructed at the place during the tenure of N Jyothi Reddy as legislator in 1994. The present legislator, N H Shivashankara Reddy, along with Kannada and Culture Department, constructed a gallery in the premises of Veerasoudha. The gallery displays the photographs depicting the life and times of the freedom fighters.

Unfortunately, the progress of the facelift project is not up to the mark. It is yet to catch speed.

The Memorial holds a special place in the history of the State and the district. People hope that the Memorial should be developed in a proper manner and it should become a centre of information on the Independence struggle for the generations to come.

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