Bundelkhand’s ‘Jallianwala Bagh’ led to martyrdom of 21 freedom fighters

The people of Bundelkhand have also made a major contribution to the freedom struggle of the country.

Chhatarpur district’s Charan Paduka area had witnessed a bloodbath similar to Punjab’s Jallianwala Bagh on the orders of British political agent Fisher.

On January 14, 1931, when people gathered in Charan Paduka to protest against the taxes imposed by the colonial administration and were planning an agitation, Fisher gave orders to fire in which 21 freedom fighters were martyred.

It was a major agitation whose leaders Pandit Ram Sahai Tiwari and Heera Singh had already been arrested by the colonial police.

This incident is reminiscent of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre as on April 13, 1919, people protesting against the Rowlatt Act were fired upon on the orders of General Dyer in which hundreds of people were killed.

Charan Paduka area lies on the banks of Urmila river and when the order to fire was given, many people jumped into the river leading to the river’s water turning red. At that place, a fair is held and tributes are paid to the martyrs.

Bundelkhand senior journalist Ravindra Vyas said the situation here is like “shaheedon ki chitaon par lagenge har baras mele” (fairs will be held on the pyres of martyrs every year), where on Makar Sankranti a fair is held and people ranging from political parties to social organisations come to pay tributes.

This area has not got an identity at the state or country level.

In 1930, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement was at its peak and his Dandi March had posed a challenge to the colonial rulers. At that time people in Bundelkhand were also uniting to fight for the freedom of the country.

People were angry with the colonial police and it was evident at the Mahrajpur assembly too.

The district magistrate was present there but his presence had an adverse effect on the protestors and they started pelting stones at his car.

After this, cases were filed against many people post which many of them were slapped with fines and others were jailed.

This year, the country is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ but till date, not even a single memorial has been built for the martyrs of Charan Paduka.

There is a pillar on which a torch is visible, that is the only identity of the place. Promises were made many times but not fulfilled.

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