ancient indian history

A forgotten hero

A forgotten freedom fighter.

“Giani Balwant Singh dutt”
(A tribute to my grandfather)
In the annals of history of Pre-Partitioned India, there exists countless stories of brave freedom fighters, who had made immense sacrifices for our nation.
Tragically, some of these heroes, have been overlooked or neglected by our own governments, even in their death.
Such stories serve as poignant reminders of the challenges faced by those, who had fought for independence. Despite the neglect, their courage and dedication continued to inspire the young generations, highlighting the importance of recognizing and honoring their contributions.
Giani Balwant Singh dutt was a resident of Samundri, Lyallpur, Pakistan.
This small town was known for major grain, whole corn, other agriculture products and sugar market. The farmer communities, had to part with a major portion of their produce, to the British government. Those were the days, when Giani jee had joined gurm dal i.e an extremist group of congress. Those days the INC was split into two factions,
1. Extremists group — Garam Dal (hot faction) led by Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
2. Moderates Naram Dal (soft faction) led by Gokhale.
Giani jee had not only actively participated in the Indian independence movement, but had also recruited several young men from adjoining villages to the extremist group of congress. A non-cooperation movement was launched in 1920, with the aim of obtaining self-governance and ultimately getting the British colonial authorities to grant full independence to India. The farmer community of the village, was convinced by him to participate in the non co-operation movement.
The spread of the fire of the non-cooperation movement was seen in  almost all parts of the country.
and it was extended to almost all sections of the society. All government institutions of Punjab were led by Lala Lajpat Rai. The reaction of the Indian public, who had been suffering from the brunt of British exploitation for a long time, erupted in the year 1920.
In these struggles, the peasants of East Punjab emerged as the main force fighting directly, with the British, for their demands.
Peasants in zamindari areas faced high rents, illegal taxation, arbitrary evictions and unpaid labour. Apart from this, the government also imposed heavy land revenue. The economic policies of the British government were in favor of big landlords and moneylenders and exploited the small farmers. Against this injustice, the small farmers also revolted during the same period.
And the farmer movement, was called
“चाभी वाला आंदोलन”
(As they had refused handling keys of godowns containing farm produce)
This movement had spread throughout India. The British started collecting taxes forcibly, from the poor farmer communities of the town.
During this process, a few young farmers of the village headed by Giani Balwant Singh attacked the Jaildar, of the town, who had forced them, to hand over keys of their godowns. The freedom activists led by Giani jee, broke the legs of the Jaildar.
A case, under section 307 of IPC, on charges of attempt to murder, was registered against him.
In his confession statement, he wrote
“हाँ मैं जैलदार को मारना चाहता था मैं खुद भी मरना चाहता था ! मेरा एक मात्र उद्देश्य अंग्रेजी हकुमत को हिंदुस्तान से बाहर निकालना है इस के लिये मुझे मरना भी पड़े तो मै लड़ूँ गा यदि मुझे  मरना है, तो सरकार की इस निरंकुश व्यवस्था के खिलाफ लड़ते हुए मरना है  इस व्यवस्था ने मेरे देश को अनंत शर्मिंदगी और अंतहीन पीड़ा के अधीन कर रखा है !

The court gave him nine years of rigorous imprisonment. He was kept in Lahore & Amritsar jails. He was subsequently shifted to Karnal jail. Understand that he had spent a few days with bhagat singh as a co-prisoner in Lahore Jail. This was the reason for his frequent shifting to different jails. The British didn’t want that the freedom fighters to mingle with each other.
After his release from jail,
Giani Balwant Singh, returned to his village.
During 1947 partition of India, the family shifted to Karnal in most miserable conditions. On the way to hindu part of partitioned India, they were attacked many times, but they successfully repelled the rioters.
On one night, a rumour spread that heavily armed Baloch tribes, have come very near to the convoy, & may likely attack the convoy.
They knew that this time they may not be able to save their women. His younger brother, Harbans Dutt, requested Giani jee to take his daughter, to nearby farm and kill her, as this time they may not be able to save their women. Giani jee carried his young niece to the farm, but returned. His eyes were full of tears. He informed his elder brother, that his conscious doesn’t allow to kill the innocent child.
Fortunately before baloch tribes could attack the convoy, Indian Army troops arrived and safely carried them to Amritsar relief camps.
There after the family settled in village Salaru, Karnal district. They were allocated a small piece of agriculture land in lieu of the vast properties at Pakistan.
He spent last phase of his life in utter poverty.
During the winter nights of 1983, his life was ended  by the side of a road on GT Road near Madhuvan, Karnal. His dead body was in a very mutilated state and was completely decomposed. Passers-by found his body. The police was informed and After investigation, it was found that he was a great patriot, Giani Balwant Singh Dutt, who was a freedom fighter.
Sadly, we couldn’t say good bye to the great soul, with his body wrapped in national flag.
All this neglect happened in our own nation, for which this great son of motherland, had put everything on hold. We must salute the great freedom fighter of our nation.

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