The Chief Minister also received a cheque worth Rs 200,000 by the founder of Sulabh International, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak to be spent on the marriage of Ms Priyanka, daughter of Bijendra Singh.
“This book is meant to give a new life to Bijender Singh Tomar, the one and only living bloodline of Martyr Ram Prasad Bismil living in anonymity and penury in the country side”, Jha said. Bismil was hanged on December 14, 1927 for his involvement in the Kakori train robbery case.
Hailing the efforts, the chief minister said that it will give a massage to the people of India to know thew martyrs of India's freedom movement and their living descendants. Later, the cheif minister handed over the cheque to Shivnath to hand-over it to Priyanka's father.
Compiled and edited by Special Broadcasting Service (SBS Radio, Sydney, Australia) journalist Shivnath Jha and his educationist wife Neena Jha, the book, is the fifth in the series of ‘Andolan Ek Pustak Se’. It will be launched in all state capitals throughout the year as a part to impart information about the freedom movement’s revolutionaries and martyrs and give a dignified, if not luxurious, life to the living descendants of forgotten heroes and martyrs of freedom movement.
The book, perhaps first of its kind in the post independence era, comprises pictorial details of as many as 200 forgotten heroes and martyrs of freedom movement and the misery and poverty of 30 descendants located so far by the couple.
“This book will give a new life to Bijender Singh Tomar, the one and only living bloodline of Martyr Ram Prasad Bismil living in anonymity and penury in the country side”, Jha said. Bismil was hanged on December 14, 1927 for his involvement in the Kakori train robbery case.
Union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid - the man behind the mission - who has penned foreword says: “This work undoubtedly inspire a new generation of young Indians to give their best to the nation that got its freedom through fearless struggle of their ancestors.”
Khurshid further mentioned that “the context of struggle may have changed dramatically; the nature of call to the service of the nation may have been transformed profoundly; the quality of objectives may well be different; but the sense is the same, of giving altruistically. Given that we encounter hypocracy, cynicism, selfishness, intellectual dishonesty, corruption in abundance and ideology as well as leadership is scare, the heroes of our time need mental endurance much more than physical strength.”
Published under the aegis of “Andolan Ek Pustak Se”, the book is a crusade to bring to light the miserable conditions of descendants and families of freedom fighters as well as an attempt to bring about a change,” Jha, who has spent more than seven years to locate 30 descendants’ families so far, said.
Eight years ago when Bharat Ratna Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan had to give a charity show for his own cause at the winter of his life, Shivnath and his wife did a book on the Ustad – Monograph on Ustad Bismillah Khan – that was launched by him five month before he took his last breath on August 21, 2006.
In 2007, Jha found Vinayak Rao Tope (54), a fourth generation descendant of Tatya Tope, martyr of the 1857 uprising. Vinayak Rao Tope, his wife Smt Saraswati Devi and three children were living in penury in Uttar Pradesh’s Bithoor village. Vinayak ran a small grocery shop.
In January 2009, Jha discovered the sad plight of Sultana Begum, the great grand daughter-in-law of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. Sultana lived in a Howrah slum and ran a tea stall to make ends meet.
In April 2011, Jha met Jeet Singh, the grandson of Udham Singh, the freedom fighter who shot dead Michael O’Dwyer, the British Lieutenant Governor of colonial Punjab. O’Dwyer had endorsed General Reginald Dyer’s Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Jeet Singh works as a labourer at a construction site in Punjab.
Besides the Ustad, Jha couple did four books and provide a dignified, if not luxurious, life to the descendants Tatya Tope, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Udham Singh.