Somewhere near Pune....

A proposed international airport, a residential school run by the Krishnamurti Foundation, an SEZ at Khed and acres of farmland are Rajgurunagar’s current claim to fame. But the memorial to freedom fighter Shivram Hari Rajguru, who gave the village its name, has been five years in the making and is nowhere near completion. Most of the house where he lived is dilapidated. Only the room where he was born in 1908 and the outhouse have been restored, and a retaining wall along Bhima river has been built. The rest of the work on the place, some 45 km from Pune, ground to a halt two years ago. Rajguru was sent to the gallows by the British in 1931 in the Lahore conspiracy case along with Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev Thapar. On Tuesday, the village celebrated Rajguru’s 101st birth anniversary. But efforts by his followers to have the young revolutionary’s wada restored and build a memorial have, at best, crawled. Work on the memorial began in 2005 with Rs 2 crore from the state government. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was roped in to restore the house. But funds crunch and a slow-moving state government have ensured that much of the house has run to seed, said locals. Corruption has brought work to a standstill, said Atul Deshmukh, a member of the Rajguru Smarak Samiti. “The last construction work on this site was in 2008. Nothing has happened after that,” said Deshmukh.

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