Film to highlight lives of descendants of freedom fighters

Mumbai: Senior journalist Shivnath Jha is producing a film on the descendants of the forgotten heroes and martyrs of India`s freedom movement, living in anonymity and penury in the countryside.

Delhi-based Jha had launched a nationwide movement `Aandolan: Ek Pustak Se` under the aegis of `Bismillah: The Beginning Foundation` to identify, rescue and give a dignified life to the descendants of the forgotten heroes of the freedom movement, during 1857-1947.

Supported by General Insurance Corporation-Reinsurer (GIC-Re), `Aandolan: Ek Pustak Se` is coming up with the two-hour film, `1857-1947 BHARAT KA KHOJ: Gumnaan Shahidon Ke Vanshaj`, expected to be released nation-wide on November 24, the day Indian Constitution was enacted 62-years ago, Jha said.

The film contains interviews with 25 living descendants of the forgotten heroes, including those of Rani of Jhansi and Tatya Tope, he said.

The others include Thakur Durga Singh, Azimullah Khan, Jaipal Singh (who fought with Babu Kunwar Singh in Bihar), Mangal Pandey, Jabardast Khan, Surendra Sai, Udham Singh, Ashfaqullah Khan, Khudiram Bose, Bhagat Singh, Satyendranath Bose, Ras Behari Bose, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Madan Lal Dhingra, Rajguru, Surya Sen, Batukeshwar Dutt, Baikunth Shukla, Bal Mukund, Avadh Behari, Amir Chand, Basant Biswal, Kushal Knowar, Bhaga Jatin, Chapekar brothers.

The Foundation, on April 13 this year, financially helped Jeet Singh, grandson of India``s freedom struggle martyr Udham Singh, who shot and killed Michael O`Dwyer, who as Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, endorsed the massacre on Baisakhi day in 1919.

At the function, Rajya Sabha MP and founder of the Lokmat media group Vijay Darda had honoured the memory of Udham Singh by handing over a cheque of Rs 11 lakh to Jeet Singh,collected through contributions by his media group and individual philanthropists.

GIC-Re chairman and managing director Yogesh Lohia, a patron of `Aandolan: Ek Pustak Se`, said, "It is ironical that the present generation of India does not even know how many young people and freedom fighters laid down their lives for the sake of the country."

In 2002, Jha and his wife Neena helped raise funds for Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan when the beloved doyen of Shehnai was passing through the last stages of his life. "The Ustad had to perform at a charity show in the winter of his life, in 2002 in Parliament Annexe in New Delhi," Jha said.

In 2008, Jha came out with `Prime Ministers of India: Bharat Bhagya Vidhata-1947-2009`, a coffee-table book, which he says played a big role in giving a dignified life to Sultana Begum, a descendant of Bahadur Shah Zafar, India?s last emperor and leader of the 1857 war of Independence. She used to live in a slum in Howrah.


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