Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that the Balidan Diwas of Raja Shankar Shah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah will be observed by the state government every year on 18th September.
Chief Minister Chouhan said this today after paying tribute to the tribal heroes Amar Shaheed Raja Raghunath Shah and his son Kunwar Raghunath Shah on their 166th Balidan diwas by offering a wreath on their statue at Malgodam Gondwana Chowk in Jabalpur. The Chief Minister paid tribute to both the immortal martyrs on behalf of 9.5 crore people of the state.
Chief Minister Chouhan said that Raja Shankarshah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah led such a fiery revolution that the British were compelled to leave India. It is our sacred duty to preserve the sacred memory of the martyred father-son duo who sacrificed everything for their country.
Therefore, the state government will now observe the martyrdom day of Raja Shankarshah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah on 18th September every year.
Chief Minister Chouhan called upon the people to remember the saga of the sacrifice of the martyrs of Gondwana Kingdom and take a pledge to contribute to realize their dreams. The Chief Minister said that the father-son duo sacrificed everything for the freedom of the country. It was because of their sacrifice that India became independent.
Earlier, on reaching the site of the statue, Chief Minister Chouhan was welcomed with the traditional tribal Gond Karma dance. The Chief Minister was honoured with the traditional Pagdi, Safa, and yellow gamchha by the Gadha Gondwana Sanrakshan Sangh.
On this occasion, MLA Ajay Vishnoi, Ashok Rohani, Nandini Maravi, District Panchayat President Santosh Varkade, former ministers Anchal Sonkar, Prabhat Sahu, Subhash Tiwari Ranu, Akhilesh Jain and Sharad Jain, Municipal Corporation President Kishori Lal Bhalavi, a large number of office bearers of the Gond community and villagers were present.
Death penalty given by tying the duo to the mouth of a cannon
Raja Shankarshah and his son Raghunath Shah laid down their lives for the country in the freedom struggle. They also instilled enthusiasm and zeal for freedom among the people through their thoughts and poems against the oppressive policies of the British rule. Their poems ignited the fire of rebellion against the British.
Deputy Commissioner E. Clarke, with the help of a spy, captured the father and son at 4 pm on 14 September 1857. After staging a trial for the next three days, the brave sons Raja Shankarshah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah were given death sentence by tying them to the mouth of a cannon at 11 am on 18 September 1857.
Prison is being developed as a museum
The room where tribal leaders Raja Shankar Shah and Kunwar Raghunath Shah were kept captive by the British after their arrest on 14 September 1857 and where they were sentenced, is being developed as a museum.