A 93 years old freedom fighter, who is the lone survivor today from the legendary Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s army force is now in a terrible condition. He is now living in a thatched rented home and life has not been good for him.
His only problem is that the government didn’t offer him shelter, even after plenty of years of appeal. He has 3 daughters and 2 sons.
The oldest freedom fighter identified as C.M Pandiraj who now resides at Ramanathapuram explains his story from the word go. When asked about his experience in the ‘Team Bose’, Pandiraj wore his military uniform and marched toward Netaji Subash Chandra Bose’s photo and posed a salute.
Not just his actions, but all his words were also filled with the utmost spirit of patriotism.
The Indians who had lived in East Asian countries apart from all the religious and language barriers, joined in the Subash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army. Most of them were Tamilians in it.
‘I was 17 years old when he joined INA in the year 1943. Back then, I was living with my mother in Malaysia. There I worked in the Netaji’s Gorilla team in certain camps’, he said.
“In 1945, due to the bombing in Japan, INA was not provided with adequate army support. At that time, the British forces captured soldiers in INA, Malaysia. I was imprisoned, for over 6 months and suffered a lot as a prisoner. Had the British army not intercepted in the plan, we the forces of Netaji Subash Chandra bose would have chased away Bristish away from India by entering into Northern states of India. Due to the spoiled plan, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, felt heart broke.
One day, he contacted us using Singapore radio. He addressed us as his friends and brothers. Hre told us that he is diluting the operation and bid goodbye. He asked us to join our families.
He added that he has no idea where he was going. If he had a chance of second birth, he would be born as a Tamilian. I cried out loud after hearing this. Later in 1946, all I was able to hear was the news that Netaji died in a plane crash at Taiwan,” he said.
He had also expressed his concern that this freedom citizens enjoy has so many untold stories besides it. Many struggles and loos of blood! -And, youths of the nation today should develop the feel of patriotism and cherish it.
Over 55 years, he is still living in an old rented house and nobody came to help him. He has also appealed the government repeatedly for the past 16 years but no use.
‘There are several freedom fighters, who struggle to meet their basic needs today due to poverty. If the government could understand our plight, it would be a relief’, he said.