Hero of the neglected descendants: Shivnath Jha

Shivnath Jha (left) collected Rs.1 million for Jeet Singh (right). Photo: C.Rahul.

He rescued Sultana Begum — a descendant of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar — from a Howrah tea-stall, ensured her financial help and a dignified life. Before this, he raised funds for Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan when the beloved doyen of Shehnai was passing through the last stages of his life. Then he also went on rehabilitating the descendants of 1857 hero Tatya Tope.

Sultana Begum
Jeet with Rs.5 lakh cheque.

Meet journalist Shivnath Jha, who has just reached out to Indian martyr Udham Singh’s neglected grandson Jeet Singh. As everyone is aware, Udham Singh had avenged the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre by assassinating General Michael O’Dwyer, but it’s Jha who traced his grandson working as a labourer.

When Jha met Jeet Singh, he was working as a daily-wager at Sangrur in Punjab. “I was shocked to find him in such a situation. Our president Giani Zail Singh had assured him and his family of help … How he could live in such a miserable condition,” Jha told a function to felicitate Jeet Singh for whom he raised over Rs. 1 million.

A 300+ page pictorial coffee-table book “Forgotten Indian Heroes & Martyrs: Their Neglected Descendants” was also released on the occasion, as part of the series launched by Jha and his wife Neena, a social worker and teacher. The writer couple believes their book tells stories that need to be passed on from one generation to another.

While giving a cheque of Rs.5 lakh, a member of upper house of Indian Parliament Vijay Darda promised to take up the cause of the families of Indian martyrs. “If the government can take care of parliamentarians for life, the families of national heroes certainly deserve immediate attention,” he said.

Well, the job that Jha, a bushy moustached carefree-n-serious journalist, has undertaken is challenging. There must be many-many families whose stories he must collect and share. Contact him if you know someone who must figure in his continuing research to protect musicians and artists and rehabilitate the descendants of martyrs. Let not any selfless sacrifice go unsung. Shivnath Jha lives at SRB-124D, Shipra Reveira, Gyan Khand – III, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) and can be contacted on 09810246536.

“We have come a long way since India became independent on 15th August, 1947. But it is ironical that the present generation of India does not even know how many young people and freedom fighters laid down their lives for the sake of the country. This book is a resounding rebuff to those allegations and accusations and goes on to prove that idealism and those lofty values are still alive in Indian journalism,” says Lok Sabha TV’s Ajay N Jha who has also written the Preface of the “Forgotten Indian Heroes & Martyrs…”

Photograph of Lalu Prasad & family in Shivnath Jha’s ‘Lalu Prasad – India’s Miracle’.

At the same time, seldom before has any newspaper vendor got the privilege of working for the national media until Shivnath Jha surprised everyone with his stories while reporting for Sunday, The Indian Express, The Statesman, The Asian Age, ANI, Dainik Bhaskar, Sahara Time, Aaj Samaj and Tehelka. As a post-graduate from the Patna University, Jha paddled through Patna’s streets for over seven years, beginning 1968, to deliver newspapers from house-to-house before he joined ‘The Indian Nation’ newspaper as a copy-holder. And once he tasted journalism, it did not take long to turn out to be an addiction. Judge his work except the one book he did on Lalu Prasad Yadav, which was totally uncalled for.

9 comments

  1. I am a non Indian, but I had been intrigued by Indian History, very rich, diverse and inspiring country and its History gaining Independence fighting the last colonialism of British Empire. India as an example of a country with different religions yet live harmoniously with each other. I love the heroism of Queen Laxmi Bai of Jhansi and Tatya Tope but sad to know that their descendants either died without getting their righteous positions in the society and also were not given financial assistance that they deserved.

    hanks to Mr.Shivnath Jha, what he did was exceptional… Hope India will flourish and the new generations will not forget the Heroes and Martyrs who fought the nation’s freedom and continue to fight for corruptions in the Govt. officials.

    As the spirits of Laxmi Bai and Tatya Tope and Nana Sahib will live on to the new Generations…Long Live India and Great Mahatma Gandhi.

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  2. Dear Neeraj..
    you all innocent citizen. u never even can think, whats going on behind screen.
    Mr. Shivnath playing with peoples sentiments and earning crores in the name of martyr heroes. kindly check all his account.
    cheers…lets start investigative journalism……

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      • Dear Neeraj… just check Mr. Shivnath Jha ” Bismillaah foundation” account details. for your kind information, Martyr film not made by ShivNath Jha’s son ( Aakash Jha), you ever listen film made by cameraman? watch martyr film credit title, i am sure, you will understand all game of Mr. Jha. its first case in indian film history, when a cameraman who just shoot 2-5 shoot given credit as film maker by indian media, its due to excellent PR of Mr. Jha. ( paid news)

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    • I don’t mind if he make a lot of money as long as he is helping the like’s of Mr. Jeet Singh. There are other people in india making money BUT how many came forward to help the needy. Keep up the good work Mr. Jha

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  3. Hats off to them who is trying to find the fact and bring them up for the new generation, about those forgotten heroes. It is a great job. I am pretty sure they will highlight the contribution of Muslims to our beloved India. Some mischievous people or organization are trying to brand Muslims as terrorists. But there are people like Shivnath Jha who has the courage to bring the truth. I wish you for your success.

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  4. Dear Neeraj,

    We were planning to start a program to post on the net details about our Indian Heroes & martyrs for the benefit of Young Indians. Here I find your blog on that subject.

    The more I read your blogs, respect for you just continues to grows.

    Many people write blogs but none bring out the sensitivity of subjects as you do.

    Please do request Mr. Shivnath Jha to load the contents of book on his web site so that we may be able to call upon fellow Indians to contribute financially towards Forgotten Indian Heroes & Martyrs: Their Neglected Descendants.

    This would also help us all to inform the young Indians about the deeds of these Indian Heroes and Martyrs.

    Sincerely
    Anil Kohli

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