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Freedom fighters lament the decline and decay

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2012 00:20 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar

They are witness to how the century unfolded: how India started the freedom struggle, raised the pitch to 'Britishers Quit India', got freedom and made its place in the comity of nations.

And on Wednesday, the 66th Independence Day, they were pained to witness the fast degrading state of affairs in today's India.

Freedom fighters regretted the decline in values and ethics in the life of independent India. "There are some good people but the country is bad for them. Rest of them are cheats but the government cannot stop them," rued Momota B Mehta, 86, a former lieutenant of Rani of Jhansi regiment of the Indian National Army of Subhash Chandra Bose.

Mohan Singh Bammy, 105, who hailed from Gujranwala in undivided India, has harsher words to describe today's fall. "It is only the jameen(land) and the kameen (rogue people) that prosper. All corrupts have joined hands and only a natural disaster can save India."

Having raised her family of five children through the days when her husband lost his job for participating in 'Quit India' movement and later when he died, Gurbachan Kaur, 86, observed: "Everybody today is only into 'I, Me, Mine' … What do they think about the country? There has been a drastic change since our times."

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DN Tara (Chhibar), 103, said the English left us a legacy of bureaucratic mess.

"Due to this reason, not a single person thought of the plight of freedom fighters till about 1980. Several died without a roof, many without medical aid and yet many others went down the history unnoticed."

"And the height of absurdity in Delhi is that there are nine non-freedom fighter members, out of 21, in the Freedom Fighters' Relief & Memorial Committee," Tara added.