Kanpur (UP), Aug 14 : The family of Shyamlal Gupta ‘Prashad’, the writer of the patriotic song ‘Jhanda Ooncha Rahe Hamara’ will be felicitated in his village at Narwal in Kanpur at Ganesh Sewa Ashram.
Shyamlal Gupta’s three grandsons Rakesh Gupta, Sanjay Gupta and Rajesh Gupta live with their families in in a dingy lane of Jagannath Road in Generalganj, Kanpur.
Rakesh Gupta is a clerk in a college run by a private trust, Sanjay sells grocery items and Rajesh is an electrician.
“We have been invited for the first time to an event on Independence Day in our village, we were never recognised before but now, each of us is overwhelmed,” said Rajesh.
Gupta, who belonged to Kanpur, had vowed to walk barefoot till the country attained freedom from the British.
Vinayak Singh, Block Development Officer of Sarsaul, said that the freedom fighter’s school, Omar Vaishya Inter College on Birhana Road in Kanpur, is holding Tiranga Yatras and a lecture series with a theme centred on him.
Alok Mehrotra, president of Vande Matram Sangharsh Samiti, said: “His immortal song is always played in the background somewhere and everybody sings it.”
About 200 women from the village have been making 3000 tricolours for the past two weeks.
“Shyamlal Gupta was born on September 9, 1896 as the third child of Visheshwar Prasad and Kaushalya Devi. He penned the ‘Jhanda’ song on March 3, 1924 and it became a sensation in no time. The song became so popular that Khanna Press had published 5000 copies of it. Among several patriotic numbers written in those times, it was given the title of ‘Jhanda Geet’ or the flag song,” informed Sanjay Gupta, his grandson.
The same year, the All India Congress Committee also recognised it as the flag song and it was sung for the first time on Jallianwala Bagh Diwas on April 13, 1924 at Phoolbagh, Kanpur, in the presence of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Sarojini Naidu presented this song at the Haripura session of the Congress in the presence of Mahatma Gandhi in 1938, and she even sung it in the film “Azadi ki Raah” 10 years later.
“We hope this time our standing demand of making this house a national monument will be considered. For years, we have been making representations and submitting memorandums,” said the grandsons.
Several historians have expressed dissatisfaction that Shyamlal Gupta Prashad remain a forgotten freedom fighter.
Among the freedom fighters, he was unique. He not only walked barefoot, but also never used an umbrella till India got its freedom.