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Shyam Lal Gupt 'Parshad’

Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

June 21, 2022

Shyam Lal Gupt ‘Parshad‘ was born on 9 September 1896 in Narwal Village, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He joined the freedom movement in 1915 and made Fatehpur district his area of activity. From 1920 onwards for a number of years, he was Chairman of the Fatehpur District Congress Committee. During the Non- Cooperation Movement, as Chairman of the Fatehpur Congress Committee, he was jailed. He was declared the most dangerous revolutionary by the District Collector and sent to Central Jail, Agra where he was kept under special security. In 1930 he was again jailed for his role in the Salt Satyagraha. During his frequent imprisonment, for his role in the freedom movement, he came into association with towering nation leaders like Motilal Nehru, Mahadev Desai, Ram Naresh Tripathi, and others.

On 3/4 March 1924, Shyam Lal Gupt wrote the song झंडा ऊँचा रहे हमारा” on the National Flag. Gandhiji wanted a song in honour of the National Flag to be composed in seven stanzas. This became popular and was sung by freedom fighters all over the country during the struggle for independence. On 13 April 1924, the song was first sung in a gathering at Phulbag, Kanpur in remembrance of the Jallianwala Bagh incident. The gathering included the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. In Nehru‘s words, “People may not know, Parshadji, but the whole country is familiar with his song on the National Flag.” In 1952 Shri Shyam Lal Gupt recited the song himself at the Red Fort.

Shyam Lal Gupt worked tirelessly for the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity, popularisation of khadi and emancipation of women and children in the rural areas. He preferred to stay away from active politics and devoted his life to social work. He is responsible for the establishment of ‘Ganesh Seva Ashram’ at Narwal and a number of orphanages, schools and teaching institutions. He was awarded Padamshree on 26 January 1976.

Source: Information Brochure of Commemorative Postage Stamp issued by Department of Posts.