‘We were better under the British’

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Oracle, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    MUMBAI: More than six decades after Independence, freedom fighters who helped overthrow foreign rule are struggling against the bureaucracy of modern India.

    “We were better under British rule,’’ wrote 82-year-old S J Chughani, president of the Mumbai Freedom Fighters Sabha, in recent letters to the state and central governments to express the sabha’s frustration at the slow pace at which applications for freedom fighter status, under the Centre’s Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme, are approved.

    Thousands across the nation still await ‘freedom fighter’ status and the pension and benefits that come with it. This includes at least 350 people from Mumbai and hundreds more across Maharashtra, which was a hotbed of the freedom movement.

    Speaking of the Mumbai sabha’s experience, Chughani said, “I have exchanged innumerable letters with the President and written to various chief ministers of Maharashtra, but they do not even bother to reply.’’ The Mumbai sabha has around 380 members, but only 30 or so are recognised as patriots. The other 350 have been writing to officials for 20 years.

    “I am sorry to say that in my last letter to the government I went to the extent of saying that we were better under British rule,’’ Chughani told TOI.

    In fact, as recently as May 2010, the Bombay High Court had to tell the state government not to be unfair to Namdeo Gaikwad, whose plea for a pension had been pending before a state panel for several years. Gaikwad, in his 90s, fought for the liberation of Goa.

    Pension has been granted to 1.71 lakh freedom fighters or their eligible dependents across the country under the Centre’s Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme, the main one for this purpose in the country, since its inception in 1972 and till October 2009.

    Till January 2010, 17,909 people from Maharashtra had received pension under the scheme, but many more await this recognition even as they and their dependents get along in years.

    According to official sources, the Ministry of Home Affairs is in the final stages of clearing the names of 1,614 people who took part in the movements to liberate Goa and Hyderabad. Many of those who fought to liberate Goa are from Maharashtra.

    If the recognition to those involved in the Goa Liberation Movement during 1954-55 (Phase II in the documents) comes this year, it would come 55 years after their sacrifice. Likewise, participants of the Hyderabad Liberation Movement during 1947-48 would be getting recognition 62 years after their efforts. Such recognition might be too late, because the freedom fighters and their kin would be well advanced in years or even deceased. Kin like unmarried daughters, widows or parents also get benefits.

    One reason for such delays is that certain historical events were not considered part of the freedom struggle for several decades by the government. For instance, only in 2003 did the government allow participants of the Goa Liberation Movement and those of the Hyderabad Liberation Movement to be included on the list of freedom fighters. This also means they can be eligible for pension and benefits only from 2003 onwards.

    Chughani recounted the pitched battles that freedom fighters in Mumbai fought with colonial police to challenge foreign rule. His office at Grant Road is now the nodal point for several freedom fighters to come together and share their problems. “I have met almost every minister and MP who matters. But nothing has been done. We just want our due, but what really hurts is that in many cases they do not even reply to our letters,’’ Chughani said.

    Pension is granted according to guidelines in the Swatantra Sainik Samman Scheme. In 2009-10 alone, the central government spent Rs 578 crore on benefits such as free railway passes, medical facilities, accommodation and monthly pensions, which can be as high as Rs 7,000 depending on which movement the freedom fighter was involved in.
    The largest number of beneficiaries of the scheme are from Bihar, followed by West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. A large contingent of freedom fighters who fought under the banner of the Subhas Chandra Bose-led Indian National Army have been recognised by the government.

    There have even been fake claimants, with the authorities coming across 35 cases last year in which details had been fudged to portray oneself as a freedom fighter.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ter-under-the-British/articleshow/6005545.cms
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    in 1947 we got physical freedom from british but not the intellectual freedom and on top of that we inherited the same bureaucracy from the british.only thing that same bureaucracy worked differently under british masters coz their bosses were hard taskmasters and in indian mentality any thing white is superior and still its same.Secondly,our politicians after freedom were too weary of the the bureaucracy and Army and police force they inherited from british coz they had suffered from all the three during freedom struggle hence they tried to subvert all these arms of the govt. untill nehru got the shocker of 1962 after that only india went for massive militarization program.
     
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  4. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    I salute to Great hero's .
    but now 50-70% who are getting benefits are fakes. this makes the original heros suffer,
    its pitty here, we cant even differentiate and give justice to the original Fighters.
     
  5. Solid Beast

    Solid Beast New Member

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    The British gave Pakistan everything. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was also at his core an Englishman, his philosophies and education all derived from the United Kingdom. During their stay the British were responsible for much of the infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and roads that are still used today. I don't know about India but Pakistan could have benefited immensely by keeping better ties with the crown, perhaps we could have avoided becoming a "jangli qawm" as you see us today. As soon as the Pakistan military become "mullah-fied" the civilian administration also went to hell. The British were the ones who taught the Pakistanis civility and to keep the seductive poison tongue of the cleric at bay. A sense of nationality that we still cherish today came from the British. Otherwise the Arabs or the Persians would have dissolved our borders into theirs.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    For some reason i could not post from my phone..but i had to post it here.. luckily its still saved on my phone.. here it goes.

    Thank you Sir for being a freedom fighter and thanks to all those who took part in the freedom movement. Salute you for that. But then it was both your duty and right to fight and ask for your freedom. Did you do it so that you could reap the benefit of it all your life in the form of pensions and drain the exchequer? Did you think that your job was over after you won freedom and sit back and relax? The generation of today has inherited what you did or didnt do in your prime after freedom. If the second revolution for progress and transparency had come about then India would have been far more advanced than it is today.

    No offence to our freedom fighters, I respect and salute you for all your effort back then, but then it should be with no strings attached as in free India you were free to do whatever you wanted to do to make a better living and not wait for pensions.
     
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  7. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    I agree with Yusuf, however I kinda like the post title.

    Just one example: The Assam Bengal Railway brought Silchar into the Indian railway map in 1899. The railway line from Lumding to Silchar is hailed as one of the most exciting pristine railway tracks of India. Built by the British during the colonial rule, the Meter Gauge line stands testimony to the grandiose of what was once a highly popular city in the North-East.

    Btw, we are still using that railway line, those old bridges(though some bridges have been built and the tracks depend highly upon maintenance). Nothing new has been done even after 60+ years of independence.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Don't want to divert this topic but wanted to say---For all his development of gujrat and hi good administration when Modi cannot be called as good CM due to his 2002 riots likewise for all their contribution to subcontinent in the form of railways,postal service,civil service british cant be called good for india coz of their imperial rule over india and stealing of treasures /partition/bengal genocide...and the list goes on....
     
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  9. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    I partially support your raving Yusuf. The freedom fighters do owe us our misery, just as we owe them our happiness and pride. They simply couldn't demonstrate to a free India, how to survive in it's own. They also failed their next generations by choosing leadership who were too weak, or too hasty, or too greedy that they split the country. We bled rivers during the separation, and still bleeding now.

    But, strings or no strings, these people also fought for their next generation and whatever India is today - good or bad, is due to their sacrifices. They shouldn't have to ask for govt. support or pension; it's govts. duty - our duty to take care of them.
     
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  10. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Negative. It was the governements duty to provide good opportunity for the people to earn well as for with other common people. The freedom fighters didnt have to fight and then demand pensions for it. Paid service is not duty. And i say this not to belittle their efforts during the freedom struggle, but they belittle themselves by asking for money in return for what was their duty.
     
  11. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    A lot has been done since independence. But we didnt have to redo everything that we inherited from the British. Railways was one of them. In fact that is the only thing good they left us after looting us for a couple of centuries. Why would India re-build anything that was good enough?
    Take the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata for eg. It is still going strong and when the need arose, another was built.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    well do take care of our old parents dont we even if we inherit good or bad life from them or do we discard them to old age houses.well these day this concept is becoming popular too i indian cities....
     
  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    What about those old people who didn't take part in the freedom movement? They are also parents. Give them pension too?

    Your comparison was actually wasn't right. No one is talking of discarding parents here.
     
  14. Oracle

    Oracle New Member

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    The railway tracks and the bridges I am taking about have never been re-built. People there have no option but to travel by train, even if it is risking your life. People there are used to it Yusuf.
     
  15. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    No Yusuf. Those old people didn't earn their right to receive pension in this regard. You and I may not understand or realize, but those freedom fighters did give us a very important gift - independence. If want think in materialistic way, why don't you think it's the royalty of the flourishing concern - the Nation of India, they are due? They do deserve a great deal, least of them is a measly pension.

    btw, elder people automatically is entitled to pension, discounts and etc by Indian law.
     

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