10 Freedom Fighters You Don’t Know Well
We all know that India got independence on 15th August 1947 and our ancestors had to struggle hard to get this freedom. We all have grown up reading and listening about sacrifices and struggles of our freedom fighters. But there are still names we don’t know well, yet their contribution to the freedom movement was as big as any of the other famous name, let’s remember those as well
1. Matangini Hazra
In 1905, Matangini started participating in India’s struggle for Independence. She was a part of the Non – Cooperation movement and was also arrested for abolishing the salt Tax. After her release, she again agitated against the tax for which she was incarcerated in Baharampur for six months. She also joined the Indian National Congress and attended a conference at Serampore. She was a part of the ‘Quit India Movement’, a quest in which the agitators tried to overtake the police station and other government offices in the Midnapore district. During the agitation, she was shot thrice but still continued to advance shouting “VandeMatram”.
2. Begum Hazrat Mahal
She was the first wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Khan and Begum of Awadh. After her husband’s demise, she along with her group of rebels seized the control of Lucknow and enthroned her son as the ruler of Awadh. Though later it was recaptured by the Britishers. She formed an alliance with Nana Saheb and rebelled in the revolution of 1857 against the Britsh. After her defeat, she refused to bow down and retreated with her groups to Nepal where they died in poverty and restitution.
3. Potti Sreeramulu
He was also an Indian revolutionary and a Gandhian concomitantly. He was imprisoned several times for his participation in Quit India Movement and Satyagraha. He was also involved in village restoration programmes in Rajkot. Midst 1943 and 1944 he started spreading awareness about the significance of charkha and hand woven cloth. Apart from this, he also undertook a three-day fast for the allowance of Dalits in Holy places and giving them equal rights which bore fruitful results. He would roam around the city crying out slogans of Dalit upliftment under the blistering sun with no footwear under his feet and no umbrella. Impressed with his efforts Gandhi once quoted “if only I have eleven more followers like Sreeramulu, I will get freedom in a year”.
4. Bhikaji Kama
She was a famous personality not only because of her role in Indian Independence movement but also for contribution to the cause of gender equality. She found many societies in foreign lands through which she led her agitation programmes. On 22 August 1907, she attended a meeting in Germany, where she demanded the autonomy of India along with rights for gender equality. She even unfurled the Flag of Independence for the first time which would serve as a template for our national flag later on. She donated most of her belongings to an orphanage and to the cause of equality.
5. Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi
He was an outstanding person, writer, poet and barrister. He was an active participator in the Indian independence movement. He was incarcerated several times for agitating in Quit India Movement and Satyagraha Movement. He supported the idea of a civil war when the talks of demarcating Pakistan gained momentum. Due to this he was asked to leave Congress but was taken back in 1946. He was a member of the ad hoc committee which selected the Indian Flag and also a part of the constitution drafting committee.
6. Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay
She was among those women, who had contributed tirelessly for the nation. She was also known for her immense contribution to the handloom and handicraft industry during the Indian Independence movement. She was the first woman to run for a legislative seat in the country and was also one of the seven main member lead team prepared by Gandhi. She was also the founder of All India Women Conference. In 1930’s, she served a year in jail for selling salt in the Bombay Stock Exchange.
7. Lakshmi Sahgal
Also known as Dr. Lakshmi Swaminathan , she used to aid the prisoners of war during the World War II and showed keen interest in forming a liberation army in Singapore, since there were many nationalists presented there at that time. It was after Subhash Chandra Bose arrived at Singapore that she met him and expressed her desire to do so. She was given a mandate from Bose to form Rani Jhansi Regiment. After this, she came to be known as Captain Lakshmi. She was captured by the British army in March 1945 and had to serve a year in Burma prison after which she was sent back to India.
8. Durga Bai Deshmukh
She was a prominent member of the Indian Independence Movement. She was arrested and sent to jail three times for her involvement in Satyagraha Movement. She is well known for one incident where she was given the responsibility of allowing people with tickets only to enter a handicraft exhibition. So she stopped Jawaharlal Nehru from entering the premises after he was unsuccessful to produce a ticket. She was later praised by him for adhering her duties. She has also received many awards including Padma Vibhushan from the government of India.
9. Khudiram Bose
At a very young age of 16 he became an active agitator and a revolutionary. He was so inspired by the idea by Independence that he requested his school teacher for a revolver. He planted bombs near police stations and targeted many government officials. He is famously known for Muzaffarpur killings where he tried to kill Lord Kingsford by throwing bombs at his chariot but was unsuccessful since the chariot was inhabited by his wife and daughter. Bose was arrested 3 years later and hanged till death at a very young age of 18 years and 8 months.
10. Raj Kumari Gupta
She was known to work along with Gandhi and Chandra Shekhar Azad in Indian Independence Movement. She also played a crucial role in the Kakori case. She was given the duty of bringing revolvers for the agitation. She would hide them in her undergarment and wrap a Khaadi sari around it so as to avoid any speculation and went to deliver them with her 3-year-old son on her side. She was disowned from her house when this was discovered.