Hyderabad Liberation Day: Story of a forgotten freedom fighter

C. Shankar Rao was a freedom fighter from Secunderabad who took part in the Indian Independence movement (in the Quit India movement) as well as the Razakars movement.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  17 Sep 2022 9:41 AM GMT
Hyderabad Liberation Day: Story of a forgotten freedom fighter

Hyderabad: Amidst all the hue and cry about and widespread celebrations of Telangana Integration Day on Saturday, 82-year-old Nirmala Devi sits eagerly at the doorstep of her home in Balamrai in Hyderabad's Secunderabad expecting somebody to come and pay respects to her beloved husband and freedom fighter C. Shankar Rao. But all her waiting was in vain. In fact, her wait for the last 20 years has been futile.

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Hyderabad Liberation Day (or the Telangana Integration Day), Shankar Rao's son Chandrasekhar requested the BJP if his father would also be felicitated during the liberation day celebrations along with other freedom fighters. But he was told that only those freedom fighters who are receiving pensions will be felicitated. Citing the injustice done to his father and his family, Chandrasekhar said, "Give due recognition to the people who fought hard, whether it is liberation or integration."

No proof, no pension

C. Shankar Rao was a freedom fighter from Secunderabad who took part in the Indian Independence movement (in the Quit India movement) as well as the Razakars movement.

Since the 1980s, Rao was trying to get his pension due for freedom fighters from the Central government. The authorities asked him to show evidence that he had taken part in the freedom movement. The fact that he had to show proof of his selfless, hard work pained him. He tried hard to get it but unfortunately in 2002, he died due to age-related ailments without getting his pension.



Response from Centre to Rao's pension application

'Give him the due respect'

After Rao's death, Nirmala Devi, his wife, asked Chandrasekhar to do something about it. He wrote to leaders like Union minister G. Kishen Reddy and BJP Hyderabad president N. Ramchander Rao but he did not get any positive response.

"His efforts cannot be quantified but at least they can give him the due respect. Leaders from Delhi are coming to Hyderabad and celebrating today. But they can't take out a few minutes and visit a freedom fighter's wife who lives at Balmarai, just a few yards away from the Parade Grounds (where the celebrations are happening). It's really painful to see this," said Chandrasekhar. He also added that all the people who fought with his father got pension.

Chandrasekhar said he was very young when his father fought along with the Razakars. Recollecting his vague memories, he said, "I remember my father being sent to jail many times. But we were too young to understand what was happening. My father was a very simple and honest man. He retired from the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat. He used to cycle to the Secretariat for work. He always used to save money. He tried hard to provide us with everything despite the poverty at home."



Rao's wife C.S Nirmala Devi


Further, Chandrasekhar added that beyond money, he said recognition is all his mother yearns for, for that would make her happy.

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