Padmashri Shyamlal Gupta ‘Parshad’ immortalised the Indian Flag through his melodious lyrics Vijayi Vishwa Tiranga Pyara, Jhanda Ooncha Rahe Hamara. He wrote this immensely motivating song in 1924, eulogising the flag. The song’s popularity could be gauged from the fact that among several other patriotic songs written in those times, it was honoured with the title of Jhanda Geet.
Shyamlal came in touch with many freedom fighters including Shahid Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, who particularly influenced him. He was sent to jail in 1921 and again in 1930 and 1944. He took a pledge in the year 1921 that he would remain barefoot and would not use any umbrella in the rains till the country got its freedom from the British. And he religiously honoured his pledge.
Between 1932 and 1942 he worked underground for the freedom struggle. After the release of his composition of Jhanda Geet, a wave of patriotism flooded the sentiments of people in Bharat. The song brought a special passion among Bharateeyas and invigorated them further to fight for the freedom of Bharat. People of all ages, caste, creed and religion were overwhelmed by the emotions Jhanda Geet created in their mind and heart.lt became an integral and inseparable part of the freedom movement. The Jhanda Geet was given a status of National Song by Haripur Congress in the year 1934, which was presented by Sarojini Naidu. Shyamlal Gupta participated in the freedom movement along with towering personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Dr Rajendra Prasad, GV Pant, Purushottamdas Tandon etc.
On the August 15th 1952, Shyamlal Gupta himself sung the Jhanda Geet at the Red Fort. This great freedom fighter was given the ‘Scroll of Honour’ at the Red Fort on the August 19th 1972.
Nirmal Joshi ( Courtesy : Wah Bharat )