Hey, guys as u all know today we are celebrating our 70th independence day but there are many more freedom fighters, who still unknown to us. This is an attempt to recall them.
I wonder that the first independence struggle( in 1857) start due to religious factors, strange but true.
Whether it was Mangle Pandey or Begum Hazrat Ali they opposes the British rule because of their religious beliefs . In 1857 there was roomers that bullets and cartridges greased with the fat of pig and cow which was against the religion of Muslims and Hindus.
One of the principal complaints of Begum Hazrat Ali was that the East India Company had casually demolished temples and mosques to make way for roads,to build churches and English schools.
Freedom for religion or worship initiate the struggle against the British Empire which later on turns to the struggle for independence.
We often ignore our women freedom fighters or know very less about them, so just have a look.
Bhima bhai Holkar :
In 1817, Bhima Bai Holkar (at the age of 20 yrs) fought bravely against the British colonel Malcolm and defeated him in guerilla warfare.
It is believed that Bhima Bai Holkar as a soldier inspired Rani Lakshmibai during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Rani Chennamma :
She was the first Indian woman ruler to lead an armed rebellion against the British in 1824.
Her story is very similar to Rani Lakshmibai.
Rani Chennamma was married to Mallasarja Desai king of Kittur at the age of 15. Her husband died in 1816. She had only one son, but fate seemed to play tragic game in her life. Her son died in 1824. After their son’s death in 1824 she adopted Shivalingappa, and made him heir to the throne. The Britishers did not accept this and ordered Shivalingappa’s expulsion, using a policy of “doctrine of lapse” but Chennamma defied the order.
(according to this policy the native rulers are not allowed to declared an adopt child as a successor, if they had no children of their own and their territory came under the British Empire automatically.)
Rani laxmi bai : When we talk about the women freedom fighters, the first name that is comes to the mind is Rani laxmi bai. Her remarkable courage strength and braveness inspired many men & women of India to rise against the British Empire. Before her marriage, she was known as Chabeeli because of her jolly nature. She used to go into the battlefield and lead her army. Holding the reins of her horse in her mouth she used to sword with both hands. Under her leadership the rani’s army showed great courage. Her outstanding leadership and heroism laid a marvelous example for future generations. She fought bravely although defeated, she refuses to surrender and died a hero’s death in a battle field. Even her enemies admired her courage and braveness, British also considered her bravest leader.
“Khoob ladhi mardani vahe toh Jhansi wali Rani thi”.
Begum Hazrat Ali : She was a powerful lady. She fought with British alongside Rani laxmibai & Nana sahib. When British had taken over Avadh and put her husband into exile. She fought bravely to reclaim Avadh .
Santisudha: A brilliant student of mathematics and a college teacher. Santisudha was arrested in connection with a dacoity case in 1933.
She had a bold independent thinking which was reflected in “Nari”, her collection of essay.
She boldly supports the right to divorce and economic independence of women, she wonder, why married women has to wear sindur & other things to prove that she is a wife of someone. Why shouldn’t a husband also use something as the symbol of his husband hood??
She boldly said that wife is treated as husband property. “Hence the need for sindur as the trade mark”
Pritilata Waddeder : She was an activist of the revolutionary group captained by Surya Sen (in Bengal). She conducted the raid successfully, along with her other members on Pahartali European club which had a typical British sign board with caption “Dogs and Indians not allowed”. Although they succeeded in entering in the club, they were held captured, Pritilata didn’t surrender and had cyanide to end her life. The leaflet found on her body ended with these sentences – “I earnestly hope that our sisters no longer nurse the view that they are weak. Armed women of India will demolishes thousand hurdles, disregard thousand dangers & join the rebellion and the armed struggle for freedom and will prepare themselves for it, with this hope in my heart, I am proceeding today for self immolation”
Bina Das : She tried to assassinate the Bengal Governor and former England Cricket Captain,Stanley Jackson,in the University of Calcutta,at the Convocation Hall,in front of many people. However even after 5 consecutive shots at him, she failed to kill him due to which she subjected to 9 years of torturous imprisonment.
Prafulla Nalini Brahma: She was born in 1914 at a village of Comilla. Prafulla was the first girl to be recruited by Jugantar group of Comilla. Her first task was to organize the women’s wing of revolutionary group in the district. Prafulla recruit Shanti Ghosh & Suniti Chaudhary to the revolutionary group. She was one class senior to the Shanti & Suniti. She was arrested on 15th December in CGB Steven’s murder case.
Shanti Ghosh and Suniti Chaudhary :
On 14th December 1931 two teenage school girl Shanti Ghosh(1916-1989) and Suniti Chaudhary (1917-1994) had shot dead Steven, the district magistrate of Camilla.
In May 1931,Subhas Chandra Bose was a chief guest in Tripura student conference. He meet the girl students at the end of the conference. Prafulla asked his opinion about women’s involvement in direct revolutionary action, in reply he said “I will be pleased to see up people in front rank.”
Shanti Ghosh request bose to give his autograph then, subhash chandra bose wrote in her autograph book “To preserve ur honour, take up arms yourselves, Ye mothers”.
It should be noted that Mahatma Gandhi also called upon women participation in different movements but his call was not for the women who wants to participate in armed revolution.
It is strange that his close associates denounced women revolutionaries. On 15 December 1931, a day after Shanti & Suniti assassinated the Comilla magistrate, Vallabhbhai Patel declared that “It is heinous crime and unbecoming of the tradition of Indian womenhood”.
Another politicians Mayer Dr. B C Roy said that “The news that Mr. Steven was brutally murdered by a bengali girl was particularly shocking on account of the s*x of the alleged assailant.”
One can wonders, how they would place goddess Durga or Rani laxmi bai in their hierarchy of Indian womenhood.
Giving these kind of statements by the topmost leaders at that time had not only demoralized the revolutionaries, also indirectly helped the British by defaming them.
Which they surely hadn’t want.
However, subhash bose didn’t make any difference among women who wanted to liberate India based on the path they chose.
He lead the foundation of women regiment called Rani Jhansi regiment which lead by Captain laxmi Sehgal in INA(Indian national army).
This regiment was the first women regiment in the world.
It is highly unfortunate that after the independence Indian women had to wait longer and struggle for the direct participation, in the front rank of armed forces, in spite of having a women regiment in INA, even before the independence.
Happy independence day.☺
Thanks for reading despite not having much intresting.