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102-year-old Doreswamy has to show proof of being a freedom fighter : BJP raised questions

BJP MLA BP Yatnal from Bijapur in Karnataka termed the freedom fighter HS Doreswamy a fake freedom fighter and asked for evidence of being a freedom fighter including proof of his contribution in the freedom struggle.
|| Kumud Ranjan

Controversy has increased over BJP legislator BP Yatnal from Bijapur in Karnataka after calling freedom fighter HS Doreswamy a fake freedom fighter and Pakistani agent.

According to the report of the Indian Express, Yatnal asked Doreswamy to present evidence that he had any role in the freedom movement. Yatnal’s statement was supported by many BJP leaders including Union Minister Prahlad Joshi.

In response to this statement of the BJP on Tuesday, Congress released a 1971 document, signed by the senior superintendent of Bangalore Central Jail.

This 1971 document states that 25-year-old unmarried men, Doreswami, were lodged in the Central Jail in Bangalore since 18 December 1942 and were released on 8 December 1943. 

The BJP leaders alleged Doreswamy as a Pakistani agent as he is in touch with Amulya Leona who is now behind the bar in sedation charges. There have been many allegations against Doreswamy.

The BJP has accused Doreswamy based on a picture in which he has been seen at Amulya’s house in Koppa.

Historian Ramachandra Guha calls this entire propaganda against Doreswamy as shocking and condemnable.

 Mr. Guha says, “He is the conscience of our state. He is a very gentle and honest person. He has been a part of many social and environmental movements and has always raised the voice of farmers and landless people. He has also criticized the Congress government for many bad land deals, but what surprises me the most is the silence of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who knows what kind of person Doreswamy is.”

On this whole incident, Doreswamy says, “I have had 60 years of public life. There may be differences of opinion regarding our ideologies but I also have friends in BJP and RSS. I never thought that the BJP would ever attack me like this.”

He further urged, “I have criticized every government. This is the priority of a citizen. During the Emergency, I wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, saying that you are ruling in the name of democracy but behaving like a dictator. If this continues, I will go door to door and tell people that you are a dictator.”

At that time Doreswamy was kept in jail for four consecutive months and was released after the magistrate dismissed his case. The magistrate had said, ‘He has every right to criticize the Prime Minister.’ 

Doreswamy, chemistry and mathematics teacher in a Bengaluru school, was associated with the independence movement in June 1942 at the call of Mahatma Gandhi.

Doreswamy says, ‘We used to keep small-time bombs near the post box in government offices. This did not mean killing people. Documents were simply burnt from them, causing the communication between the government to come to a standstill. Sometimes we used to tie bombs with mice and throw those mice in the record room. ‘

Doreswamy was also arrested for arson. When he was released in 1943, he joined the freedom movement. Since then, Doreswamy has been a part of many movements, even if it is a protest against the Kaiga nuclear plant in northern Karnataka for the rights of landless farmers. 

A social Activist, SR Harimath claims, is ridiculous to call a person with a Gandhian image like Doreswamy a Pakistani agent and accusing him of inciting violence.

In 2014, Doreswamy and late journalist Gauri Lankesh were part of a civil society platform under which surrendered Naxalites were brought into the mainstream. 

Doreswamy says”We want Naxalites to join the democratic system but painfully and unfortunately some people call me Naxalites. ‘

Doreswamy says“I am not worried. My friends say that all this is happening so that they can suppress my voice. But the Constitution is protecting us. People are here with me who know me very well. My life is like a crystal glass and people will support me. Still, I am fighting for the food for poor, employment, education, etc..”

(Writer is a Mentor & Social Worker) 

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