The then high-profile collector and district magistrate of Hyderabad (now in Pakistan) had warned his rebel son not to participate in the 1942 Quit India movement. But his son went ahead and was jailed, his father disowned him and eventually banned him from using the family name.
Now, barely a month before the 66th Independence Day, 95-year-old Radha Krishan, who has since forsaken his surname, is awaiting justice from the Delhi HC when it hears his case on Friday related to denial of freedom fighter’s pension.
His legs still bear testimony to the torture in the jail in Sindh. “I gave up my family, I gave up my family name, I went to jail … was tortured … now what? The government has still not given me freedom fighter’s pension,” the Shivalik resident said.
After Partition, he migrated to Bombay, before shifting to Delhi in 1952 to work in the Ministry of Rehabilitation. Following advertisements by Delhi government in 1957 and the (MHA) in 1972, he submitted his claim as a freedom fighter.
The MHA told him a namesake from Indore was drawing his pension and that his file has gone missing. In the meantime, he retired in 1980 and continues to draw a monthly pension of Rs 10,000. If he is declared a freedom fighter, he will be entitled to an additional Rs 17,000 a month.
He finally wrote to the chief justice of Delhi HC in August 2010. The court sought replies from the MHA and Delhi government. “At this age, my fight is not for money but necessarily for recognition as a freedom fighter,” the nonagenarian said.