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freedom fighter participating in india's freedom struggle.

10 unknown women freedom fighters of India

India got freedom from the British colonial system through the untiring struggle of our freedom fighters.

Whether men or women, all equally participated in the India Independence Movement.

We can never forget the contribution of women like Lakshmibai, Indira Gandhi, Kamla Nehru, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Lakshmi Sehgal, Annie Besant and Kasturba Gandhi.

However, there are several women who are not part of our history books.  But the country will always be grateful to their services for the country.

Today, we make a little tribute to such personalities.  Here we are presenting 10 unsung women freedom fighters of India.

 

1. Usha Mehta

 

Usha Mehta (1920-2000) was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and an Indian freedom fighter.  She became famous for organising an underground radio station during Quit India Movement.

Her birthplace was Saras village near Surat in Gujrat.  She was fortunate to visit Mahatma Gandhi at Sabarmati Ashram when she was just 5 years old.

 

freedom fighter usha mehta participating in india's freedom struggle.

 

Usha participated in the protest march against Simon Commission just at her 8 and shouted- “Simon, go back”.

She and other children also participated in protest and dharna in front of a liquor shop.

Usha Mehta actively participated in Quit India Movement in 1942.

She was one of the workers to hoist the tricolour at Gowalia Tank Ground from where the movement commenced.

In addition, she alogwith her associates began a secret radio station that aired for three months.

It broadcast uncensored news and other information banned by the British government.

After that, she was arrested and imprisoned with other organisers.  In 1988, the government of India awarded her Padma Vibhushan.

 

2. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay

 

Kamladevi Chattopadhyay (1903-1988) was an Indian freedom activist and social reformer.  She belonged to Mangluru.

Kamladevi was a part of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement.  After that, she joined the Seva Dal, an organisation set up by Gandhiji for social upliftment.

The Mangluru woman would recruit and train women throughout the country to become volunteers.

 

freedom fighter usha kamla devi chattopadhyay participating in india's freedom struggle.

 

Kamladevi became the first Organising Secretary of All India Women’s Conference that ran voluntary programmes and worked for legislative reforms.

Moreover, she was one of the seven-member team of Salt Satyagrah called by Gandhiji to prepare salt.

She came in limelight when she clung to the Indian flag in order to protect its dignity.

During World War II, she travelled to many counties to represent India’s situation and gain support for the independence of the country.

She was conferred with many awards including Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Ramon Magsaysay and UNESCO awards.

3. Durgabai Deshmukh

 

Durgabai Deshmukh (1909-1981) was an Indian freedom fighter, lawyer and social activist.  At her 12, she left school in protest of English medium education.

Thereafter, she started her own school to promote Hindi education for girls.

 

freedom fighter Durgabai Deshmukh participating in india's freedom struggle.

 

In 1923, the conference of the Indian National Congress was held in her hometown Kakinada.  Durgabai was working as a volunteer in the charge of Khadi exhibition.

The organiser had given her the responsibility to ensure every visitor enter with the ticket.

She did her task with honesty and even forbade Pd Jawahar Lal Nehru from entering the conference without a ticket.

However, she allowed him only after the organisers bought the ticket for him.  For her courage and honesty, Nehruji praised the girl.

Durgabai was one of the followers of Mahatma Gandhi.  Therefore, she participated in Salt- Satyagraha activities.

Subsequently, the British government imprisoned her three times during this movement.

4. Kittur Rani Chenamma

 

Kittur Chenamma (1778-1829) was the queen of Kittur, situated in Karnataka and one of the female warriors to resist East India Company.

She was born in a small village Kakati of Belagavi district of Karnataka.  She got the training of horse riding, sword fighting and archery from the young age.

 

freedom fighter kittur rani chenamma participating in india's freedom struggle.

 

Rani Chenamma was married to King Mallasarja Desai at the age of 15.  After the death of her husband and son, the British government imposed the doctrine of lapse on her state.

But, Rani Chenamma did not accept this and had to enter the battle with British forces.

The battle went for several days and the British forces suffered heavy losses.  Two British officers and their several soldiers were killed.

But at last, the British army captured and imprisoned her at Balihongal fort.

The central government has installed a statue of Rani Chenamma in the Parliament Complex in memory of her bravery.

5. Tara Rani Srivastava

 

Tara Rani Srivastava belonged to Saran district in Bihar.  She participated in Quit India Movement in 1942.

Moreover, she encouraged women of her village to join the protest against the British.

 

Tara Rani Srivastava, one of unknown Indian woman freedom fighters
Image courtesy: ILoveIndia

 

Tara Rani was married to Phulendu Babu.  In the 1942 movement, she and her husband organised a protest march to hoist the Indian flag in front of Siwan police station.

The British police opened fire to control the protesters.  Phulendu Babu suffered bullet injury and later he died.

But, Tara Rani continued to march to hoist the flag and knew about her husband only after her return from the protest.

Tara Rani continued to work for the freedom of India.

 

6. Maniben Patel

 

Maniben Patel (1903-1990) actively participated in the Indian freedom struggle.  She was the daughter of noted Indian leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Maniben was a part of the Borsad Movement and Bardoli Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1924.

Further, she motivated women to join this movement by paying no tax which the British government had levied heavily on Indian people.

 

freedom fighter maniben patel participating in india's freedom struggle.

 

Maniben alongwith Kasturba Gandhi went on Rajkot Satyagraha to protest the unjust rule of Rajkot Diwan.  She also participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and Quit India Movement.

For these protests, the British government imprisoned her for a long time.

7. Matangini Hazra

 

Matangini Hazra (1869-1942) belonged to a poor family.  Hence, she did not get a formal education.  Unfortunately, she became a widow just at her 18.

Hazra participated in the Indian freedom struggle and shot dead by British police.  Bengali people affectionately called her Gandhi Budhi (old lady Gandhi).

 

 

Hazra protested for Salt Act and Abolition of heavy tax for this British police arrested and sent her in jail.  She also joined the Indian National Congress and spun her own khadi dress.

She faced baton charge by the police while attending the conference of Congress at Serompore.

During Quit India Movement, she at her 72 was leading the possession of nearly six thousand supporters to take over Tamluk police station.

In the midst of the town, the police came and shot her repeatedly.  However, she kept chanting Vande Mataram and died with the flag held high and flying.

 

8. Basanti Devi

 

Basanti Devi (1880-1974) was the wife of Chitranjan Das.  Subhash Chandra Bose had great regard for her.  She was amongst the four prominent women in Bose’s life.

Therefore, Bose would discuss the personal and political issues with Basanti Devi.

 

freedom fighter basanti devi

 

Basanti Devi took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement and Khilafat Movement.  She was one of the key persons in the collection of gold ornaments for the Tilak Swaraj Fund.

The British police arrested her for promoting khadi at Kolkata streets.

Moreover, Indian youths got motivation from her to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai following baton charge by the police.

The government of India awarded her with Padma Vibhushan in 1973.

 

9. Kanaklata Barua

 

Kanaklata Barua (1924-1942) is also known as Birbala (brave girl) and Shaheed (martyr).  She belonged to Darrang district of  Assam.

Kanaklata was an Indian freedom struggler who was shot dead at the early age of 17.

This freedom fighter girl also led the All India Student Federation, the oldest student organisation in India.

 

 

During the 1942 Indian Movement, she joined a death squad namely Mrityu Vahini.  The Vahini planned to hoist the national flag at the local police station.

Kanaklata led an unarmed possession for this task.  She continued marching ahead despite the police’s warning.

The police shot her dead and the flag was held by another worker who was also killed in police firing.

Certainly, Kanaklata’s life is a source of inspiration for all.  The government made her a statue in her memory in Gauripur in 1911.

 

10. Jhalkari Bai

 

Jhalkari Bai was born at Bhojla village in Jhansi.  She had exceptional strength and will power.  Subsequently, she got training in horse riding and other weapons.

Jhalkar Bai amazed people by killing a tiger and a leopard with a single stroke.

 

 

After her marriage, she joined the army of great warrior Rani Lakshmi Bai.  She resembled Lakshmi Bai and helped the Queen to escape from the fort.

Jhalkari Bai disguised herself as the Queen and bravely fought against the British army.

However, historians are not unanimous about the last days of her life.

A statue of Jhalkari Bai has been constructed at Guru Teg Bahadur Complex in Bhopal.

So, these are the list of a few names.  However, this is not the end.  There are several women who did not become so much popular and remained anonymous.

It is our duty to remember such heroic personalities and take inspiration from their life.

If you know about some lesser-known Indian women freedom fighter, please comment.

Please share the post, if you liked it.

 

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Queen of Jhansi

Rare facts you should know about Queen of Jhansi

You must have read about Lakshmibai, the queen of Jhansi who was one of the greatest warriors of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.  She was so brave, fearless and resolute that even the Britishers admired her during the Great Indian Mutiny.

“She was a man among mutineers” – these were the words of Sir Hugh Rose who was leading British forces against her.

Rani Lakshmibai was born on 19 November 1828 in a Maratha Brahmin family in the Varanasi town.  Her father’s name was Moropant Tambe while her mother was Bhagirathi Sapre.

Lakshmibai remained devoid of motherly love as her mother died in her very childhood.

Moropant Tambe was in the services of Baji Rao II who was Peshwa of Bithoor district.

Rani Lakshmibai got her education at home and she was more independent than any other peers.

Here we provide some informative facts about Rani Lakshmibai.  We hope these facts not only increase your knowledge about her but also increase your curiosity to know more about her.

 

Life journey From Manu to Lakshmibai

 

Her formal name was Manikarnika.  Her parents lovingly called her Manu.  Peshwa Baji Rao loved her so much.  He called her Chhabili as she was very naughty and playful.

Manu also got weaponry education like shooting and horse-ridingNana Sahib and Tatya Tope were her childhood friends with whom she practised these pieces of training.

Three horses namely Sarangi, Pawan and Baadal were her favourites.  While escaping from the fort in 1858, she rode Baadal.

Manikarnika was married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar who was the king of Jhansi.  After her marriage, she was named Lakshmi  Bai in honour of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi.

 

 

Only one foreigner could see her face to face

 

 

In any movie or serial drama of Rani Lakshmibai, she is shown as being face to face with Britishers. 

But in fact, no Britishers could have ever seen her.  The reason is that she remained behind Pardah on the arrival of British persons as per the present custom.

However, one foreigner had a chance to look her for a moment.  That was Australian Lawyer John Lang who petitioned in London Court for Rani Lakshmi Bai.

The British Company had ordered Lakshmi Bai to leave her palace according to The doctrine of Lapse. 

But, Rani was not ready for that and she hired an Australian Lawyer John Lang to file a petition against British Company.

When John Lang arrived at Rani’s palace to discuss the matter, Rani with her adopted son was behind a pardah.  During the conversation, Rani had quoted her historical line-

“Mai apni Jhansi nahi dungi.” 

Suddenly, the child removed the curtain and John Lang could have a glimpse on Rani Lakshmi Bai. 

John Lang could not stop looking at her and said- “If the Governor-General had been fortunate to have a look on her, he certainly would have returned Jhansi to this most beautiful queen”. 

Lakshmi Bai accepted this compliment with great simplicity.

John Lang later mentioned her beauty in his book ‘Wondering of India’.

Also Read :

 

15 Major Contributions Of India To The World

 

Other Countries That Got Independence On August 15

 

10 Interesting And Incredible Facts About India

 

Abrogation Of Article 370 And Future Of Jammu & Kashmir

 

10 Unknown Women Freedom Fighters Of India