SPA UK Sandesh 2017 - Page 51

Context around India and Independence It has to be recognised that India’s independence came at a Any freedom movement would have taken to arms. Yet price – the partitioning of the country on religious grounds determined, courageous and visionary Indians thought that turned the lives of millions of people upside down. It was outside the box and achieved independence through non- the world’s biggest man-made human migration across the violence and non-cooperation means. This unthinkable view line of partition. at a time of high tension that separated India’s independence movement is unique amongst any other struggle for India, as we know it today, established itself as the Republic independence seen around the world. It exemplified to the of India when the Constitution of India came into force on world that India can offer alternative approaches. 26th January 1950. REMEMBRANCES OF INDIA’S INDEPENDENCE BY PRAJAPATIS Balubhai was studying in the fifth standard at that time. He sang patriotic songs, practised lathi techniques in Sevadal, took training in self-defence, So many people had participated and learnt self-reliance lessons. In his in the struggle for independence of own words, “On the Independence Day India in one form or another. So how (15th August 1947) at 12 mid-night, we have the members of the Prajapati hosted the Indian flag in our street, and community been involved in this as such our street was named ‘Zanda struggle? Did any of our members Chowk’, which is still addressed today participate in or witness Gandhiji’s as ‘Zanda Chowk, Jalalpore’.” famous salt march, non-violence and civil resistance, meet any freedom During the Haripura Conference there fighters, attend political meetings of was an unprecedented procession those times, and so on? Yes, I am going back to 70 years ago or more. Our community members who might have taken part at that time may not be present any more, but their children or grandchildren or relatives might be somewhere. They might have some knowledge - verbal, photographic, written - about such participation. In trying to obtain such information, I was fortunate to get in contact with some members of our community who have provided information and experiences which I would like to share with you. I am very grateful to all of them. Shri Balubhai Vallabhbhai Lad Shri Balubhai is the President of Navsari Ashram, India. He was born in 1933 in Jalalpore. I have taken the gist of his recollections of those days as under. Many Prajapati and Koli community members lived with Gandhiji in South Africa and followed what he said. Gandhiji was well-versed about the surrendering spirit of all these people. He got much support from the local people when he started salt Satyagraha in Dandi and Dharashana in South Gujarat. The British government did “lathi charge” and a lot of people were beaten up badly about whic [XZB^\8'Z[H\Y[و[[ܙKBHHZ\^\Y[\[[\H\]HY[]XYܘZH\ۙ\Z[˜[\[[\[\][ۋܝ\Y[HXH][ۈ[۝[X\\[ X\\B\K[[H\X\]Y\B[\X\X[KH[\\ق[XZK\ MYX\\[[K[ۈHXXH[\X\]Y[Hۙ\[HX\\YYHX\[K]][YKH\Z\[H\œ]\܈HYYHYH[\H[YKH\Y\[\B[ZHX]YZ\Y\[^YY]Z\]HۈH[ۙYH[KH\Y\Y][][YHHݙ\Y[[[HXYH]\ [[[\]\\[\XHۈ[Xx&\™YYHYHXY[ݙ\[XH\X\Y[\H]Hق'\\H[Xx'HKKXY\\\x&\YXܛH[Kو^H 'B Z\]H[\ M