Various freedom fighters played a crucial role in India’s struggle for Independence. We talk and read about some of them, but many of such fighters have disappeared from our discourse and textbook. They sacrificed everything in the service of the nation. Here are few unsung heroes of freedom struggle. Take a look...
Tirupur Kumaran: Kodi Kaatha Kumaran or Kumaran, the saviour of the national flag died from injuries sustained from a police assault on the banks of Noyyal River in Tiruppur during a protest march against the British government on January 11, 1932. At the time of his death, he was holding the flag of the Indian Nationalists, which had been banned by the British, which led him to get the moniker.
Potti Sreeramulu: Like other leaders, Potti Sreeramulu was a dedicated freedom fighter. He was also a staunch supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. Impressed with his dedication for humanitarian cause and the country, Gandhi said, "If only I have eleven more followers like Sriramulu, I will win freedom in a year." Post Independence, Sreeramulu took up the cause for a separate state for Telugu-speaking areas. He began fast-unto-death for a separate Andhra state in October 1952 and died after 58 days. Following his death, Andhra State was carved out of Madras State on October 1, 1953.
Aruna Asaf Ali: She was an Indian independence activist and she is widely remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan in Bombay during the Quit India Movement, 1942. Post-Independence, she became Delhi's first Mayor.
Durgabai Deshmukh: Durgabai Deshmukh was one of 15 women in the 299-member Constituent Assembly. There is an interesting story about her. At the Khadi exhibition in 1923, she barred Jawaharlal Nehru from entering the venue as he did not have a ticket. She only allowed him to pass after organisers gave him a ticket. (Image: Wikipedia)
Khudiram Bose: August 11 marks the death anniversary of Khudiram Bose, India’s youngest revolutionary freedom to be executed by British. It is reportedly said that he went to gallows with a smile on his face and the Bhagavad Gita in his hand. (Image: Wikipedia)
Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi: Founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, KM Munshi was arrested several times by British for his role in the freedom struggle. A prolific writer in Gujarati and English, Munshi was an admirer of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. He served in the Central Legislative Assembly in the 1930s and also played an active role in the Quit India Movement of 1942. (Image: Wikipedia)
Bhikaji Cama: Known as Madame Cama, she was a political activist and an advocate for women’s rights. She unfurled the first version of the national flag – having stripes of three colours, green, saffron, and red - at the International Socialist Congress in 1907. It took place at Stuttgart, Germany. Cama also donated most of her personal assets to an orphanage for girls.
Alluri Sitarama Raju: An Indian revolutionary, he led the Rampa Rebellion of 1922–24, during which a band of tribal people and other sympathisers fought in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam regions of Madras Presidency, in present-day Andhra Pradesh, against the British Raj. (Image: PIB)
Sucheta Kriplani: Sucheta Kriplani was the first female chief minister of an Indian state, Uttar Pradesh. Founder of the All India Mahila Congress, she was an ardent supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. She sang Vande Mataram in the Constituent Assembly on August 15, 1947, the day India got Independence.
Begum Hazrat Mahal: She rebelled against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and finally found asylum in Nepal where she died in 1879. She organised an army of women and placed Uda Devi as its commander. She actively took part in the revolt of 1857 against the Doctrine of Lapse under which Dalhousie wanted her to surrender Lucknow.
Birsa Munda: Birsa Munda-led the Millenarian movement which inspired tribals of Bihar in the late 19th century to fight British. Although he died at a young age of 25, he left a strong mark of protest against British rule. Jharkhand was created in 2000 on his birth anniversary.
Peer Ali Khan: An Indian revolutionary and rebel, who participated in the Indian independence movement, he was given capital punishment for participating in the freedom struggle of 1857. Khan was a bookbinder by profession and he used to secretly distribute important leaflets, pamphlets and coded messages to freedom fighters.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: She was the driving force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India; and for the upliftment of the socio-economic standard of Indian women by pioneering the co-operation. (Image: PIB)
NG Ranga: Known as the father of Indian Peasant Movement, NG Ranga was a member of the Central Legislative Assembly, Constituent Assembly and Provisional Parliament. He was the founder of the Indian Peasants Institute at Nidubrolu. Ranga was also a founding member of the Swatantra Party. He raised his voice against untouchability and the pardah system.
Surya Sen: A Bengali Indian revolutionary, he is best remembered for leading the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid in Chittagong in British India. Surya Sen was known for recruiting a group of young and passionate revolutionaries known as the Chittagong group including Anant Singh, Ganesh Ghosh and Lokenath Baul, who fought against the British stationed in Chittagong.
Lakshmi Sahgal: She was an officer of the Indian National Army and the Minister of Women's Affairs in the Azad Hind government. Sahgal is commonly referred to in India as "Captain Lakshmi", a reference to her rank when taken prisoner in Burma during the Second World War.
Rani Gaindinliu: She was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India. Gaidinliu was arrested in 1932 at the age of 16 and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the British rulers. She was released in 1947 after India's independence and continued to work for the upliftment of her people.
Matangini Hazra: Affectionately known as Gandhi Buri, Bengali for old lady Gandhi, she was shot dead by the British Indian police in front of the Tamluk Police Station on September 29, 1942. Earlier, in 1932, she took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement and was arrested for breaking the Salt Act.