Kendrapada, August 11 (Odisha.in) Nation is all set to observe 60th anniversary of Independence Day on Wednesday and many will pay tribute to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to free India from the shackles of British.
But the old house of Sanada Swain one of the four martyrs of India’s freedom movement, in village Krushnanagar under Bari block of Jajpur district is now a jagged pile of bricks overgrown with weeds thanks to state apathy. The house, which merited heritage status , has in stead been allowed to lie neglected.
“Though the history of revolt of against the British rulers is taught at schools and colleges in the state, songs about four martyrs , Sanada Swain , Hadibandhu Panda of Krushnanagar village , Sauti Mallick of Srirampur and Mayadhar Bhuyan of Hatasahi are sung dutifully by the people in the meetings .
They laid down their lives while fighting the British police on 22nd, August 1942 on the Rakha Bandhan day , in village Kalamatia during the “Quit India” movement called by Mahatma Gandhi” , said noted historian Bijaya Mohanty of Kendrapada.
History of freedom movement in Orissa will remain incomplete without the mention of the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs of Kalamatia . Large number of villagers of these areas fought against the British rule during the freedom struggle.
On the other hand many people had also succumbed to the might of British administration ,but all the four martyrs and many villagers chose to rebel against the British Raj”, said Mohanty.
On 22nd, August , 1942 about 200 villages set afire the village post office at Kaipada and prevented the British police to enter the village to arrest the freedom fighters but the police managed to enter the village in six boats and opened fire and killed four persons and injured many near a pond at village Kalamatia, said the historian.
Jameswar Shukla , the grand-son of another martyr, Hadibandhu Panda of Krushnanagar said “ Nothing had been done by the state or center government despite repeated appeals to develop the birth places of the martyrs”.
Ranjan Mallick the grand-son of the martyr, Sauti Mallick of Srirampur village said that there was no government grant either to help the poor family.
“ I have been running from pillar to post to get money under Indira Awas Yojana to construct a house. But the authority is yet to provide me a house, lamented Ranjan.
To remember the sacrifice of four martyrs in 1975, some villagers had erected a martyr tower (Sahid Stambha ) at the spot in Kalamati where all the four were shot dead by the police . But Rivulets of Human excreta, and piles of rotting garbage decorate the vicinity of the martyrs’ tower. The plaque below the tower states the names of all the four martyrs.
Now the martyr tower stands like a mute spectacle at Kalamatia. The villages Kalamatia, Krushnanagar , Srirampur and Hatasahi remain neglected even after 60 years after the independence.
“The villages are neither connected by any bridge nor can it boast of a health center despite the fact many leader including ministers, Chief Ministers and Governors visited the village Kalamatia to pay rich tribute to the martyrs many times in the past”, said Pranakrushna Mallick a villager of Kalamatia.
More down to earth is Narayan Chandra Beuri (81) an eyewitness to the police firing in Kalamatia said ,”This place has not changed at all. It remains what it was 60 years ago. Before independence ,we were slaves of the British. When they went away, they placed before us ministers and bureaucrats who are more interested in themselves”.