Ram Manohar Lal Srivastava, born in 1918 in the Futera locality of Damoh, Madhya Pradesh, was a renowned freedom fighter and a key figure in the revolution and freedom struggle of 1857. His father, Thakur Prasad Srivastava, was a patriotic individual who adhered to Gandhian principles. Ram Manohar Lal Srivastava received education up to matriculation and emerged as the favourite child of his father.
In 1942, when the Quit India movement gained momentum following Mahatma Gandhi's call for independence, he inspired by the spirit of liberation, joined the freedom movement. He actively participated in the non-cooperation movement in Damoh. Along with numerous other revolutionaries and freedom fighters, such as Prabhu Narayan Tandon, Mahadev Prasad Gupta, Gaya Prasad Pyasi, and Raghuvar Prasad Modi, he gathered at Damoh's Gandhi Chowk to strategize and plan for the country's liberation.
Driven by his admiration for Gandhi and his ideologies, he wholeheartedly embraced the boycott of foreign goods, disregarding government warnings against boycotting the foreign clothes. His deep reverence for Gandhiji made him resonate only with the tricolour flag but also the chant of "Vande Mataram." Consequently, he was arrested and sentenced to six months of imprisonment in Damoh Jail. Even while being incarcerated, he continued to sing patriotic songs like Vande Mataram and shared stories of Mahatma Gandhi. His unwavering commitment to the cause of independence earned him a prominent place in the Damoh Gazette of that year, where his name is recorded as number 58.
Source: Rajeev Ayachi, Contributor for CCRT