Chennaiite recollects his first Independence Day memory

Chennai: “Independence was not achieved in a day or two. It took thousands of protests, decades of sacrifices and never-ending national fervour. But things have changed now. In the name of freedom, people are treading a different path. Whenever I come across such things, I feel guilty,” said 88-year-old Krishnamurthy, about Independence.

The resident of Thilakar Avenue First Cross Street, Madipakkam in the city opened about how the Independence struggle unravelled in front of his eyes.

Born in Tiruppur, Krishnamurthy had went on to work as an accountant at the Vellore Collectorate, where he stayed till 1953. Then, he was employed at Railway Mail Service and served there for over 35 years. After his retirement, he settled in Madipakkam in the mid 90s with his family.

“The first Independence Day is still fresh in my mind. It was a wonderful morning, where houses at my street in Tirupur were decorated with colourful flowers. Women were seen drawing rangolis and tri-colour flags were hoisted in every household. Patriotic songs were played through speakers as well,” recollects Krishnamurthy.

“There was no television at that time. Radio was the only medium through which we heard that we were no longer slaves to the British. A new government was formed and I was on cloud nine, when I heard it all over the radio,” he said.

“I was a young child, when Congress movements became popular in our village. My dad was a part of it as well. He worked for All India Spinners Association, which served national leaders who were imprisoned by the British in Vellore jail,” he said.

When Congress leaders from north came to Tamilnadu, his elder brother met former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and received his blessings, he said and added that he used to wear only ‘Kadhi’ at that time.

When asked about regretable moments in the pre-Independence era, Krishnamurthy said, “Tiruppur Kumaran’s murder was a regrettable one. When Kumaran was assaulted by the British, my dad was along with him. Fortunately, he escaped with minor injuries, while Kumaran died.”

Balamurugan Selvaraj