Freedom fighter Pt. Motilal Tripathi’s birth centenary on July 24, took part in the fight for independence from ‘Quit India Movement’

Raipur. July 24 is the birth centenary of freedom fighter Pt. Motilal Tripathi. He was born on 24 July 1923 in village Artery (Rajim), now in Gariaband district. Tripathi’s grandfather Bhubaneshwar Prasad Tiwari ‘Biratiya’ had settled in village Palari near Balodabazar from village artery. Pandit Motilal was the middle son of father Pandit Pyarelal Tripathi and mother Jamabai. His father Pandit Pyarelal Tripathi himself was a freedom fighter, who had been imprisoned for a total of one year and 15 days in different periods.

When Pandit Motilal was only ten years old, he welcomed Mahatma Gandhi during his visit passing through Palari in 1933 by wearing a gundi (garland) of cotton spun by his mother. The boy studied at Jaitusav Math in Raipur after his primary education from Motilal Palari. His guardian in Raipur was Mahant Lakshminarayan Das. Motilal Tripathi participated in Satyagraha training camp in 1939 at National School, Raipur. In the second phase of individual Satyagraha in 1941, Pandit Motilal was elected Satyagrahi. He was arrested by the police in Bhundabharari village. Bilaspur Court sentenced Motilal Tripathi, Mahant Sukhchaindas, Jhaduram Chandravanshi (Village Jarve) and Ramswaroop Das (Akaltara) to 3 years imprisonment. On 12 April 1941 all were sent to Nagpur Jail. Released on 5 December 1941 on the basis of Gandhiji’s agreement.

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After release, Motilal Tripathi served in Khadi Bhandar Raipur on the suggestion of Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla and Mahant Lakshminarayan Das. After taking training from Charkha Sangh from District Chanda (erstwhile Maharashtra), he was appointed at Narsinghpur Khadi Bhandar on 27 July 1942. On August 9, 1942, during the ‘Quit India Movement’, he escaped and came to Raipur. At that time senior freedom fighters used to print and distribute pamphlets in Raipur. On January 26, 1943, Sunderlal Upadhyay, Damodar Tripathi, Motilal Tripathi and Ramcharan Sahu were arrested while distributing pamphlets in front of Girdhar Bhawan in Sadar Bazar. Sentenced to 6 months. Released on 14 July. On October 1, 1943, he went to his village Palari, but on October 2, on the information of the informer, the constable of Narsinghpur arrested him and took him to Narsinghpur. There he was released on 31 December 1943. Motilal stayed in Gandhiji’s Wardha ashram in 1945, where Gandhiji used to praise Tripathiji’s handwriting in the magazine. Pandit Tripathi was also associated with the princely state integration movement, whose guides were Thakur Pyarelal Singh, Shyamnarayan Kashmiri and Professor Jaynarayan Pandey. Pt. Tripathi joined Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla’s Mahakaushal newspaper in 1946 as sub-editor. Then the editor was Swarajya Prasad Trivedi. Apart from Mahakaushal, Tripathiji was associated with newspapers and magazines like Janmat, Adhikar, Uday, Milap etc. He also edited the magazine “Sahyog-Darshan” of Raipur District Cooperative Union till 1983.

After independence, in 1948, Govind Das, the chairman of the Mahakaushal Provincial Congress Committee, presented a copper plate to Tripathi for his active participation in the freedom struggle. On August 15, 1972, he was honored by presenting a copper plate on behalf of the nation. Pt. Tripathi was married in 1951 with Ramadevi, daughter of Pandit Anantlal Shukla, a resident of village Mohadi. After this he went to Hyderabad for Khadi promotion, returned from there in 1960. In 1962 he again went to Shahdol, where he stayed till 1967.

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Pt. Tripathi was associated with institutions and organizations in Raipur since 1967. His main task was to correspond with the administration for the Samman Nidhi of the families of the freedom fighters and for solving other problems. Madhya Pradesh government and then Chhattisgarh government nominated him in various committees, as well as getting information about any fighter of Chhattisgarh region or any information related to the freedom struggle, Chhattisgarh’s Pura and Kalatattva department used to contact him only.
He was the General Secretary of Chhattisgarh Freedom Fighters Organization. He was the last convenor of the separate Chhattisgarh state movement. In 1980, CM Punacha, the governor of the undivided Madhya Pradesh, laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Shaheed Smarak Bhavan in the capital Raipur. Then there were freedom fighters Kamal Narayan Sharma, Hari Thakur, Narayan Rao Ambilkar, Narayan Das Rathore, Motilal Tripathi, Dhaniram Verma and others in the construction committee. Every year on 2 October and 30 January, Pt. Tripathi and Pt. Kamal Narayan Sharma used to recite the hymn ‘Vaishnav Jan to Tene Kahiye Re, Peer Parai Jaane Re…’ after washing the (old) Gandhi statue’s courtyard at Azad Chowk, Raipur and after bathing the statue.

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On August 9, 2004, the then President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, on the occasion of the anniversary of the August Revolution, invited Pt. Tripathi’s health suddenly deteriorated in New Delhi for the second time. He was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi, on 12 August he was brought to Raipur. After battling for about two and a half months due to kidney infection, finally on October 19, 2004, this freedom fighter closed his eyes forever. Pt. Motilal Tripathi was imprisoned for one year, 4 months and 15 days, which is mentioned in the third volume of the book ‘Swatantrata Sangram Sainik’ of Madhya Pradesh, published by the Language Directorate of undivided Madhya Pradesh.

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Today the children of Pandit Motilal Tripathi are making his name famous in their respective areas. His elder son Dr. Akhilesh Tripathi, from the post of Deputy Director of Chhattisgarh, second son Rajesh has retired from Transport Department, third Dhananjay is in the field of life insurance and fourth son Sanjit is discharging his tradition of journalism. His daughter Dr. Neerja Sharma is doing her own practice.

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