When we talk about monuments, it is mostly a big palace, fort, some attractive structure built by the rulers, Kings or in case of India and many other countries which remained as colonies of British rulers, the governor houses etc. where their representatives lived also are among some monuments which attract tourists.
The place I am going to talk about was built by the British rulers but it was not for the luxury of the rulers nor was it their intention to attract the tourists there. In fact it was built away from the main lands of India and also quite far by sea route. The place is cellular Jail, where the revolutionary freedom fighters of India were kept in an exile jail comprising of small cells, so that they may not be able to escape from there, neither by land route nor by sea route.
This place was called ‘Kaala Paani’ (Black water) considering that once somebody is put in prison there, it should be understood that he would not return back home. After the Sepoy rebellion of 1857, many rebels were killed by british rulers and around 200 were sent to this far away place, for spending life in exile. The number kept growing and this cellular jail was kept getting built and expanding with time.
There have been many pronged freedom struggle in India, the one led by Mahatma Gandhi in a non-violent way might have its own importance, but it was not the only thing and I feel that those who fought through other means are in no way less important, I would rather say that their sacrifices were much more than those like Pt. Nehru, who lived a luxurious life in jails, wrote books there, both are in no way comparable!
Anyway as I said those put in Andman Jail, lived in very small cells, were treated in very cruel way, they were given very hard tasks to perform and were beaten like anything on failing to do that. Among those put in Andman Cellular jail some prominent names were of Savarkar brothers, Batukeshwar Dutt, Shachindra Nath Sanyal etc. who faced a very severe jail term there. There were many-many freedom fighters who did not allow the English rulers to enjoy their colonial luxury here and they had to face very harsh treatment on being kept in Andman cellular jail.
This jail building has seven wings and at the centre there is a tower from where the guards kept watching.
When one goes there, there is light and sound show in the evening, with commentary I think in the voice of late Mr. Om Puri and it is not easy to hold one’s tears while watching the show.
I would just like to mention that every Indian should visit this great monument of Indian freedom struggle and know much about the thousands of the unsung heroes of our freedom struggle, we feel proud of all those and learn that it was not just non-violent movement which won us freedom.
• This is my humble submission on #IndiSpire prompt- Pick up ONE monument from anywhere in India and write about your visit there. #Heritage
Thanks for reading.