Hi readers! I appreciate you taking time for reading my blog. Indian independence day is coming on 15th August 2017. I today read an article in a news paper and thought that it should be shared with other people and everyone who can read or someone who had been a victim to governments apathy. It’s about a cycle repair man in Bareilly city in the state of Uttar Pradesh from India.
Almost every customer who visits Shaffan Miyan’s cycle puncture repair shop in Delapeer market of Bareilly is asked this question – have you heard of Khan Bahadur Khan? When most visitors respond with a no, 78-year-old Shaffan Miyan doesn’t get disappointed. Instead, with great pride in his voice, he introduces himself as Shaffan Khan, the descendant of Khan Bahadur Khan, a freedom fighter who took part in the revolt of 1857. Khan also claims to be the eighth generation of descendants of Hafiz Nawab Hafiz Rehmat Khan—an Afghan Rohilla chief in Rohilkhand in the late 18th century who ruled the region for 30 years. Khan Bahadur Khanwas Rehmat Khan’s son. “I don’t get disappointed when people say that they haven’t heard about my ancestors. It gives me great joy to narrate their tales of valour about how they fought against theBritish government. This is how I make people aware of their contribution,” says Shaffan claiming that Bahadur Khan was the only freedom fighter to be hanged with his shackles on. However, despite his grand legacy, Khan has been a victim of government apathy and is struggling to make ends meet. As he talks about the achievement of his ancestors, the smile on his face slowly fades into despair. On the 100th anniversary of the 1857 uprising, Shaffan’s father Hamid Ali Khan received a letter from the President’s office with job assurance for all his family members in the Railways. “Sixty years on, we still haven’t received a single penny as financial aid or the promised jobs from the government,” says Shaffan, who is the sole breadwinner in a family comprising 11 members.
In 1976, the family once again received a letter from the office of then prime minister Indira Gandhi, directing the district magistrate to verify if they were actual descendants of the freedom fighter. Even after the verification was completed, it took eight years before the family received another letter from the district magistrate on January 26, 1984, establishing that they were the freedom fighter’s descendants and were invited to collect the ‘Tamra Patra’ from the DM’s office.
Unfortunately, Shaffan’s father Hamid Ali couldn’t live to receive the honour. “My mother collected the ‘Tamra Patra’, along with the assurance that the family would get a pension,” claims Shaffan. The government apathy continued for another 22 years while the family struggled in penury. In the mean while, Shaffan’s mother also passed away and he got married.
They have lost everything including there family property. They have given up on the promises made by government. It’s a shame how government not keep there promises.