Ved Parkash Mehra is the oldest living freedom fighter in the city and a treasure trove of memories, including a jail stint at four years of age.
He is 86 years old but his determination is still as strong as it was when he was just 16. Ved Parkash Mehra went to jail for the first time when he was four years old. Mahatma Gandhi had issued a call to agitate against British rule. With Ved Parkash in arms, his mother, Sukhdevi, had joined the marchers and was whisked off to the lock-up. His mother would be his inspiration throughout the freedom struggle.
His next stint behind bars was a longer one – two years. His crime was singing the revolutionary song, Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna, in front of a British officer. Mehra is now the oldest living freedom fighter of city and he hasn’t forgotten a thing about those heady days back in the 1940s. He certainly hasn’t forgotten Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna – just ask and he will burst into song.
Mehra’s family is deeply proud of him and say that patriotism has been his gift to them all — children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Swatantra Divas is the most sacred day of the year for Mehra. He would march down the street waving the Tricolour if he could but his octogenarian knees won’t cooperate now.
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