My Freedom Fighter Heritage
My grandfathers from my motherís side were deeply involved with the freedom struggle movement. It is my privilege to share rare pictures of my own Nana, his brothers, and their illustrious contribution to the freedom struggle.
Let me begin with my Nanaji whom we all affectionately called Lalaji. I have very fond memories of him. He was called Lalaji even by my mother, Jiji. When he was fifty nine years of age he died of cancer.† His name was Kanhiya Lal ji. He was second of four brothers, who lived in a joint family in a house appropriately called Sri Prem Bhawan in Hapur, a town 40 miles from Delhi.
Lalajiís younger brother was Sri Sarju Prasadji, whom everyone including me called Pitaji. He was the intellectual of the family and joined the freedom movement in his youth. He was the secretary of the Reception Committee of the 54th Session of the Indian National Congress held at Meerut in 1946.
He had sent a letter to Acharya J. B. Kriplani, the president of the 54th Session of the Indian National Congress. In the letter written by him in his handwriting to J. B. Kriplani he has mentioned the date and his designation.
Mosi Sheela, who was the daughter of Nana Sarju Prasad ji, recalls that she had gone with her father to the Congress Session and was on the dais with dignitaries. There was some confusion at the end of the function. As Sarju Prasadji was occupied on the dais, Nehruji took Sheela in his lap to protect her. She recalls this incident as though it had occurred recently. As photography was not common then she regrets she cannot show me the picture of her sitting on Nehrujiís lap. She also remembers she went to Sevagram, Gandhijiís Ashram, with her father and had lunch with Gandhiji.
The entire family of my mother was followers of Gandhiji. They spun the Charkha each day and wore only homespun khadi clothes. Spinning of Charkha I have seen myself as I lived with my Nana Ė Nani in my childhood.
There is a second write-up about him, which is reproduced below.
Mosaji, Dr. Raghubar Dayal Maheshwari, died in a tragic motorcycle accident when he was under 30 years of age. I have vivid memories of my last meeting with him. I met him at the Delhi Railway station as I was escorting mosi Kamla Maheshwari and my 3 year old cousin Yogi to Simla. We were spending, I think, the Dussehra Holidays. The year was 1959 and I was 16 years old.
The following picture is of mosi, Kamla Maheshwari. This picture perhaps is of the period either before her marriage or soon after it.