The never-ending spirit of Azadi

The never-ending spirit of Azadi

 Satyavimala Vemaraju


Satyavimala Vemaraju, an 86-year-old lady who belongs to a village called Kavitam in West Godavari District and now settled in Hyderabad recollects how one actively participated in freedom struggle in her childhood days

The patriotic fervour of people irrespective of age, caste and community was something that cannot be described in one sentence. It is unfortunate that over the last 75 years, nothing much has been done to tell the generations of post-Independence era about its importance says Satyavimala Vemaraju, an 86 year old lady who belongs to a village called Kavitam in West Godavari District and now settled in Hyderabad.

Talking to Hans India after hoisting a flag in her balcony she walked down the memory lane and recalled all the past incidents. She said whether one actively participated in the freedom struggle or not, the desire to get freedom was equally strong and people were ready for any kind of sacrifice. This had nothing to do with one's education.

Narrating some very interesting memories, she said farmers used to go from house to house and tell all educated male members to join the freedom struggle. When the educated male members used to go out to participate in the movement, the farmers who had land holdings of 5-10 acres used to don the role of care takers. They used to supply necessary food grains, vegetables and all other essentials and stand by the families in case of any need or emergency.

This was a common scenario in all villages like Iduru near Bhimavaram, Jagannadhapuram, Palakole, Raikudur and Veeravasaram in the district where she had all her relatives.

She said her maternal uncle who was a professor in Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya in those days resigned his job, came back to the village and participated in the freedom movement. He was also jailed for some time.

Walking down the memory lane, she said as young children, they used to sing several patriotic songs. Recalling her days when she was in Nidadavole, she said the entire population of this small place converged at the railway station as the train in which Mahatma Gandhi was travelling was to pass through that station. As a small girl, she had heard a lot about him, and she too went there to see Gandhi. The train was made to stop for about 30 minutes so that people could see Gandhi.

She said she also had an opportunity to meet Kaloji Narayana Rao and Rayaprolu Subbarao.

The spirit of Azadi should not end with celebrations of few days. Its value, its importance, the unity in villages and how people used to care for each other should be told to the present generation and it is time that kind of national spirit and bonding between people was revived. Educational institutions and government have a major role in this so that at least some of the lost glory can be revived. Azadi should not remain as part of history or just a day's annual event, she added.

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