Ever so often, on ThursdayTreeLove, we hear the words, if only this tree could tell its story... Especially when its an old stalwart holding its own.
Today is 26th January, celebrated in India as the Republic Day. An important landmark in my country's freedom.
It seems a good day to write about this particular Peepal tree or Ficus religiosa of the Moraceae family.
Since our bloghop is about trees, I will very briefly touch upon the history (not doing it the justice it deserves) and the story the tree has to tell. I have added some links for anyone interested to read more. Google will also help!!
I saw this massive old Peepal at the Mamledar Kacheri in Pune which is a government office related to land records. Everyone coming there keen on finishing their work and rushing off, possibly only looking at this tree as a spot to shelter from the Sun.
Umaji Naik was a revolutionary who fought against rule of the British from around 1826-1832 inflicting great damage . To cut a long story very short, the British captured him and he was imprisoned, tried. On 3 Feb 1832, Umaji Naik was hanged at the above mentioned premises from the Peepal tree. Thereafter, he was left there for three days in order to deter people from more revolts.
This tree is indeed a witness and participant in our freedom struggle. It stands to remind us of how our fore fathers fought so that we are free and independent today.
You can read more about Umaji Naik in this Wikipedia article and about his life here.
|The Peepal grows in one corner of the premises. Offering cooling shade to visitors|
|People end up sitting under the tree little realising its part in our freedom struggle.|
|There is a small sign post on the tree which states that Umaji Naik was hung from this tree|