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Friday, August 13, 2010

Independent INDIA and the struggle of freedom fighters...

The significance of the Independence Day in the existence of a nation is of greater value. The attainment of freedom and becoming a Sovereign Nation has a long history about those sacrifices of many selfless patriots. Independence Day is a day to pay respect to saviours because of whom we are breathing free air without the elements of exploitation and repression.

At the stroke of our 64th Independence Day, do you know who these people are : Shankaran, Vandanam Olaganathan Chidambaram, Varahaneri Venkatesa Subramaniam, Subramaniya Siva, chennimalai kumaran, Chellachamy, Subbaiah ………… perhaps too difficult !! .

The Kamal starrer ‘Indian’ was a superhit –in the Sankar directed film, Kamal plays Senapathy, a 70 year old ex freedom fighter. The travails of freedom fighter have been depicted in many cinemas – mostly sordid stories of old people running from pillar to post pleading the non budging bureaucracy. In films it would seem too exaggerated but here is a real life story brought out in the High Court of Judicature, Madras (WP 21745 of 2001)

Before we proceed, those venerable people are better known as : Veera Vanchinathan, Kappalottiya Tamizhan VO Chidambaram Pillai, VV Subramania Iyer, Subramania Siva, Thiruppur (kodi katha) Kumaran, Sathyamurthi and Mahakavi Subrahmanya Bharathiyar.

Here is a sad story of V Loganathan who in his prime youth fought the British and now was made to fight legal battle with the Union of India and the State Govt. This was a Writ petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution praying for issuance of Certiorarified Mandamus calling for the records pertaining to Union Govt order and quash the same, in a plea for sanction of Freedom Fighters Pension as per Swantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme 1980.

Thyagi Loganathan participated in the “Quit India Movement” (which incidentally took place in Aug 1942) and spent a precious part of his life in prison suffering for the Nation. He had to walk down the corridors of Govt so many times pleading for the recognition and the pension that goes with the scheme called Sanman Pension to Freedom fighters & their families introduced on 15th Aug 1972 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of our Independence. The categories of freedom fighters eligible for the Samman Pension are :
a) A person who had suffered a minimum imprisonment of 6 months in connection with the Freedom Struggle. (3 months in the case of women and SC/ST freedom fighters.)
b A person who remained underground for six months or more.
c) A person who was interned in his home or externed from his district for six months or more.
d) A person whose property was confiscated or attached and sold due to participation in the National Freedom Struggle.
e) A person who was permanently incapacitated during firing or lathi charge.
f) A person who lost his Government job (Central /State Government, including job in local bodies) and thus deprived means of livelihood for participation in the National Freedom Struggle.
g) A person who was awarded the punishment of 10 strokes of canning/flogging/whipping.

There is also a list of Movements / Mutinees numbering 37 which are recognized for the grant of the Pension. The Freedom Fighters Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs is to process the application received from the State Government complete in all respects for sanction of Samman Pension within 30 days; in case of applications which are not approved, the applicants are to be informed of the reasons within 10 days of the decision taken.

Life will be smooth for all, if only all things were to move by the scheduled time limits. Mr Loganathan has been making reqests from 1994 onwards, it was not considered. His claim was rejected (WP 3868 of 1994); a Division Bench set aside the same in 1998 and directed the authorities to reconsider. The said request was rejected again on 10/3/1999; unrelenting hemade another request in 2000 after rectifying the defects noted earlier. Again the Court directed the Central Govt to consider the fresh representation independently on the materials available on record without reference to the earlier order. This time was no different and Central Govt by order dt 24.1.2001rejected.

The petitioner filed the present writ petition in 2001. The Union Govt stated that the representation was rejected because theclaim was not made through the State Govt. The Court during 2009 directed the State to give their views / remarks on the application ; the Court also stated that the interim injunction was considering the long delay caused due to two rounds of litigation.

The State Govt submitted that on 11.1.2010 they submitted their remarks to the Central Govt and submitted the original file for perusal of the Court. They had stated that petitioner had produced all relevant documents required for sanction and stated the case may be reconsidered and appropriate decision taken.

The Court observed that the Central Govt had not acted swiftly and has not passed any order . The Court observed that this showed that the Officers i/c are not sensitive to the sentiments of a freedom fighter.

In the meantime, the counsel for the petitioner withdrew his appearance ahd the name of Mr Loganathan was listed in the cause list. He did not make appearance before the Court but represented to the Court (through a letter) expressing his anguish and desperation.

The Court observed that every citizen of this Country should think of the sufferings of those great men who fought for freedom of this great country. If not these great people are respected who else are going to be respected by the officials who are in the helm of affairs dealing with the files like the one which is under consideration in this writ petition. If this Court is not able to render justice to the petitioner at least now, then it will only result in erosion in the faith of the people in the very system of justice delivery.

Hon’ble Justice Mr S Nagamuthu recently, imposed cost on the  Central Govt to be paid to the petitioner. He recorded that ‘ having regard to the agonies of the petitioner, old age, number of litigations, etc., I am of the considered opinion that imposing a cost of Rs.50,000/- will alone meet the ends of justice, besides issuing a direction to the Central Government to consider the claim of the petitioner together with the recommendation made by the Government of Tamil Nadu and to issue appropriate order within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this order’ .

Today there is another report of the Court coming to the rescue of 86 year old Murugalamai claiming pension for participation in Quit India Movement in 1942 and remaining underground for nearly 3 years. Justice D Hariparanthaman allowed the writ petition stating that it would be unfair to insist that the freedom figher furnishes a certificate from another belonging to the same district ratifying the claim. The petitioner had attached four certificates from his contemporary freedom fighters who had served up to 5 years of imprisonment. The HC directed the authorities to reconsider their rejection order and take appropriate decision within 4 weeks.

It is not merely a fine or the directions, indictment, or the amount that are material – the lackadaisical approach by the bureaucrats, the inaction of Govt. machinery, the pathetic state of affairs are all to be seen and have to change. A responsible Govt. should ensure that all its citizens are treated fairly and those who had sacrificed for the Nation are treated better.

Jai Hind

Regards – Sampathkumar S


  1. well said sir atleast you are here to publish this material seeking justice.well what happened there after,can i expect the updated matter.please. with love,
    venkat anantharam.

  2. You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! where you can watch psl live match daily online in HD