The long struggle of 95-year-old freedom fighter, Heera Singh has finally got over as the Delhi High Court hearing a plea related to his pension directed the central government to disburse entire arrears of pension within four weeks from Monday. Singh had applied for the pension under Swatantrata Sainik Samman (SSS) Pension Scheme, which is provided to freedom fighters for their struggle in the independence movement.
The court, directing central government to pay him pension, observed that people have forgotten the agonies of those who suffered the thorns of ignominy and incarceration so that they could strew the path behind them with roses for generations to follow, like ours, to tread upon.
In his petition, Heera Singh said that during the freedom struggle, he along with some other freedom fighters had captured government buildings like railway station, post office and police station making it tough for the British officers to establish communication in several areas of Bihar like Madubani, Dharbhanga and Patna.
Justice C. Hari Shankar said, “Complacency and inertia are endemic to mankind, and the instant case presents a classic example thereof. Ensconced in our ivory towers, we have become blind, and deaf, to the plight of those who made a cosy existence, for us, possible.”
The court also mentioned that after India’s independence, several schemes and policies were made to honour the struggle of freedom fighters and Swatantrata Sainik Samman is one of them. It went on to add that officials responsible to implement these policies are required to be compassionate and should adopt considerate approach.
It was found that 25 years were consumed by the centre in order to only reject Heera Singh’s application in 2007. The veteran fighter had applied for the pension in the year 1982 itself but then fought for almost 40 years to secure it.