Memories of Childhood ; Quit India Movement, August 9 th , 1942

The British ruled India for a long, long time and the effects of their rule, good and bad, were felt all over the country. We got our freedom in 1947 . My father writes about what happened in his hometown in 1942.

“This was the day which changed the face of
India.  The famous “Quit India” resolution
was passed by the Congress Party led by Mahatma
Gandhiji.  Within 5 years, the British  left India.

  But, to us, residents of Hospet, this day
was  a day of sorrow.  The Municipal High School,
of which my father was the Headmaster had a
wonderful library  It was at its South East corner.
Books of many languages were there.  I was too
young to have read any book from that library.

On a night of August, 1942, we woke up in
the middle of the night and saw a big light
to our west.  The sun had set a long time back.
My father too woke up.  He suddenly started
walking towards the High School. As he came near,
he saw that there some fire coming out of the
school building.  He called a few students and
men who were nearby.  They were amazed to find
that their library was burning.  Immediately,
police were informed.  And soon, they came to
the school with a large number of policemen and
some residents of the town.

They found that the school library was
burning and that there was no way of
stopping it.  Water was far away, as the school
well was on the other side of the school.  As
hundreds of students arrived along with other
men, they formed a line from the well and
brought water to the fire.  It took some time
to stop the fire.  By that time, the
library room, its roof supported by wooden
beams and almirahs carrying books were all burnt.

When we woke up in the morning, we walked
towards the school. We found that the large school-
ground with its hockey, football and cricket
fields was littered with papers from the burnt
books.  At many places, we could not see the ground.
I had never seen my father with such a face. He
was short of weeping.  The picture of my school
ground covered with half-burnt paper can never
leave my mind.

We do not know what the persons who burnt the
books to be read by their children, gained from
their action.  But, we students lost thousands of
books which were the main source of our knowledge.”

1942

     (photos from the internet)

 

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.