PUNE: A-90-year old retired teacher Rajaram Keshav Shinde recalled his early school days when they were restricted by a teacher from drawing Indian flag pictures in their notebooks.
“The then British government had appointed a teacher to run the school. He was an Indian national. But he would instruct us not to draw a picture of the Indian flag in our notebooks. That was the situation when I was in school. But today, we are hoisting our flags proudly at homes,” he said while participating in the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga‘ campaign at Nira village Nira in Purandar tehsil, about 72 km from Pune.
Born on February 2, 1932, Shinde did his primary education at a school in Valhe village.
A group of people from Valhe were involved in various activities against the British government. Some of them were even arrested and sent to jail, he said.
“Although I was not directly associated with them, I was highly motivated by their works and activities,” he added.
The meeting of Nana Patil, popularly known as ‘Krantisinh’, an independence activist from Sangli, in his village had given him a broad idea about the draconian rules and acts of the British government.
“Thereafter, I joined a branch of ‘Rashtriya Seva Dal’. I became a regular member of it. I used to attend daily parades and other events. My parents did not oppose me though I was a school student,” he said.
Shinde recalled his first Indian flag hoisting ceremony at Wai village in Satara district when he had gone to his relatives’ place.
“The flag was hoisted at the revenue office of Wai then. I still get goosebumps even after 75 years,” he concludes.