Unsung heroes of freedom struggle need to be highlighted: P Sainath


Amritsar, January 16

Under the series of the Majha House and Kuldip Nayar Annual Lecture, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner, writer and journalist P Sainath delivered a commemorative lecture where he talked about the independent India and the unsung heroes of the independence struggle. P Sainath spoke at a day-long literary festival hosted by Hindu College by Majha House and the Kuldip Nayar Trust.

At the event, Amritsar East MLA Jeevanjyot Kaur released four books.

Preeti Gill, the founder of the Majha House, said, “This festival looks at the history of 75 years of India, and it will force us to think about how far India has travelled in these years and in which direction we are moving in the future.” Mandira Nayar and Preeti Gill presented a memento of Saadat Hasan Manto to Hindu College as he was a student of the college.

P Sainath, Founder of the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI), has been a journalist and reporter for 42 years, winning 60 national and international reporting awards and fellowships including the Magsaysay Award in 2007. His books, include the bestselling ‘Everybody Loves a Good Drought’ and his latest book, ‘The Last Heroes: Foot Soldiers of Indian Freedom’ published in late 2022, was released at the event. In his lecture, P Sainath said that it would appear that all freedom fighters were from UP and Bihar, but it’s a fact that many came from Bengal, Orissa and Punjab. “It is lamentable that they do not find mention anywhere in official records,” he stressed.

He said, “Only a few names come in the freedom struggle but in reality, many men and women were involved, who contributed to the fight even while staying at home but their mention does not come anywhere.” He further said that he has travelled all over India and met people to collect these forgotten stories so that their names do not get lost in history.

In the second session, writer Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, the bestselling author of books, including the award-winning ‘The Radiance Of A thousand Suns and The Long Walk Home’, talked about her latest, ‘The Partition Trilogy’. Manreet said that this series of books narrate the history of independence. She said that there are many such stories in every house which have never been recorded.

Next, author Ranbir Sodhi’s book ‘Dark Star’, was discussed. Greece-based Ranbir is a Pushcart Prize winner and has the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. His book is also about India’s historic journey. In this, he has talked about India from independence till today, in which the farmer’s movement is also mentioned. In the fourth session Professor Gurpartap Khairah of Hindu College discussed his new novel ‘How Dinkar Lost His Job and Found a Life’. His debut novel, Gurpartap said that it talks about many issues in which importance has been given to one’s own thinking and one’s own decisions.

In the last session, Bobby Sachdeva, an Amritsar-based writer, spoke on his book ‘Once There Was Me’. He said that this book is based on his life, and that it also describes his spiritual journey. In his narrative, he has attempted to depict Punjab’s journey and his own journey.