The Quit India Movement of 1942 had, somehow, an immediate impact and response from my older brothers, Vishnu Chandra and Jagdish Chandra. Vishnu was the oldest. At that time, they were quite young. They were studying in seventh and fifth standards at Ganeshrai Inter College in Jaunpur in UP.
As part of the Quit India struggle, they were asked to go, along with other boys, and hoist the tri-color flag on the roof of their school. Full of zeal, the boys hurried up to the roof with policemen downstairs. That did not stop the boys. They managed to hoist the flag atop a quickly fixed mast for that purpose.
The incident is captured vividly in this story in Hindi.
Rain drops had begun to wet the clothes of the teenage school boys who rushed to the roof of the college. Vijay, the youngest boy, was holding the tri-color flag, which was a symbol and pride of India's freedom struggle. He hurried up the staircase, followed by others who enthused him to hold the flag. In a few moments, the other boys helped the youngest to tie the flag with strings atop the mast. They ran down stairs, and then started running back to home with their back-packs. The policemen followed them slowly, waving their lathis, more to show their action rather than hurt the boys.
While running home, Vishnu and Jagdish somehow managed to snap and cut off the signal wires of nearby Railway Station, and carried them home. They told the whole story of their bravery of hoisting the national flag to their mother while they were still gasping and huffing from the run.
Their grandfather, who lived with the family, was an assistant to an English magistrate. He was upset and angry over their conduct. He snatched the wires, and dumped them in the well nearby, muttering to himself 'God save me now. These boys have put my job to risk by their action'.
© I C Srivastava. Published January 2020
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