Foundation of Patna's Martyrs Memorial laid on Aug 15, 1947; spl philatelic tribute on 75th anniv

PTI | Patna | Updated: 16-08-2022 19:35 IST | Created: 16-08-2022 19:35 IST
Foundation of Patna's Martyrs Memorial laid on Aug 15, 1947; spl philatelic tribute on 75th anniv
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As India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its Independence, the occasion also has coincided with the platinum jubilee of the foundation stone laying of the Shahid Smarak -- a memorial dedicated to seven youths who had fallen to the bullets of security forces in their bid to raise the tricolour at the Patna Secretariat in 1942.

The foundation of this landmark at a street roundabout in front of the Bihar Assembly complex here was laid on August 15, 1947 by the state's first Governor Jairamdas Daulatram in the presence of Bihar premier Sri Krishna Singh.

On Monday, the nation celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Independence led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who asked countrymen to remember the supreme sacrifices made by the freedom fighters to whom the free nation is indebted to.

On the same historic day, Patna General Post Office paid a special philatelic tribute to the seven martyrs who were killed during the Quit India Movement.

''As part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and 75 years of (foundation stone-laying) of the Shahid Smarak, a special cancellation was issued. It was unveiled in an event held yesterday at our GPO. It is our tribute to the seven martyrs and to our India at 75,'' a senior official of the Patna GPO told PTI on Tuesday.

The cancelation carries a monochrome image of the memorial at the centre of a circle, with a slogan in Hindi -- 'Karenge ya Marenge' -- and bilingual captions -- '75 Years of Martyrs' Memorial' in English and Hindi.

The incident took place on August 11, three days after Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for the Quit India Movement in August 1942. Its 80th anniversary was marked Thursday in a solemn ceremony at a memorial -- Shahid Smarak -- erected after Independence in their honour.

A group of youths had attempted to hoist the Indian flag at the British-era Patna Secretariat but seven of them fell to the bullets of security forces before they could raise the tricolour.

Five years after the supreme sacrifices made by these seven youths, or 'Saat Shahid' as they came to be known as later -- six of them were in high school while the seventh was in college -- India saw the dawn of Independence on August 15, 1947.

On the very same day, its foundation was laid, and the Martyr's Memorial in Patna was unveiled by first President Dr Rajendra Prasad on October 24, 1956.

On the 80th anniversary of their martyrdom, the Bihar government has released a short video on YouTube telling the story of the Quit India Movement in Patna and of the 'Saat Shahid', with a hashtag #AzadiKaUtsav.

''Students had taken the reins of the freedom struggle in their hands, after big leaders were arrested and put behind bars,'' says the narration with the video.

The video also shares the names of these seven young martyrs, sometimes poetically referred to as 'Inmortal Seven' -- Devipad Choudhary, Umakant Prasad Sinha, Ramanand Singh, Satish Prasad Jha, Jagatpati Kumar, Rajendra Prasad Singh and Ramgovind Singh.

Choudhary was a student of Miller High English School in Patna (established in 1919), located not far from the place of the incident. After Independence, his name was affixed to the school's name -- Devipad Choudhary Shaheed Smarak (Miller) Ucchya Madhyamik Vidyalaya.

Patna-based well-known philatelist Pradip Jain, who was present during the release of the commemorative cancellation at the Patna GPO, said, ''We are indebted to our freedom fighters, because of them we are a free nation today''.

''I am particularly happy about this tribute as I myself am a product of Miller High School. I recall the time the bust of Devipad Choudhary was installed at my alma mater. Though, it is sad the school, set up in 1919, has lost its glory. As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, we must also care for our heritage,'' he told PTI.

''Even the grand Sultan Palace near the Miller school is facing demolition and Patna Collectorate already demolished,'' Jain, 69, rued.

The sculptural masterpiece that sits on a tall pedestal was created by noted artist Debi Prasad Roy Choudhury who served as the principal of the Government College of Fine Arts College, Madras, from 1928 till his retirement in 1958.

His finely crafted imposing bronze statues of the seven martyrs, with the crease of dhoti-kurta being depicted, immortalised them in the consciousness of the people.

Choudhury is also famed for the ''Gyarah Murti'' installed in New Delhi in which Mahatma Gandhi is seen leading a group.

Also, the muhrat shot of the legendary first Bhojpuri film 'Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo' (1963) was done at the site of this celebrated monument which has adorned the covers of many books and special stamps.

In 1967, the postal department had issued this beautiful philatelic tribute in their memory to mark the silver jubilee of the Quit India Movement, Jain said. The monument is locally known as ''Saat Murti''.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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