Women freedom fighters of India
list of great women whose names have gone down
in history for their dedication and undying devotion
to the service of India is a long one. There are
endless number of women who daringly fought for
India’s freedom with their true spirit and
undaunted courage and had faced various tortures,
exploitations and hardships to earn us freedom
that we enjoy today in our motherland India.
It is a very difficult task list out all Women
freedom fighters and equally difficult to segregate
a few amongst them.
With all respect and due apologies, furnishing
below a brief note on selected ten Women freedom
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi (19 November 1828 –
17 June 1858)
Lakshmibai was one of the leading warriors of
India’s freedom struggle who laid an outstanding
influence on the succeeding women freedom fighters.
She used to go into the battlefield dressed as
a man. Holding the reins of there horse in her
mouth she used the sword with both hands. She
fought valiantly and although beaten she refused
to surrender and fell as a warrior should, fighting
the enemy to the last. Her remarkable courage
inspired many men and women in India to rise against
the alien rule.
was a symbol of bravery, patriotism, self respect,
perseverance, generosity and resistance to British
rule. She fought till her last breath for the
welfare of women in the country and for the noble
cause of India’s independence.
Sarojini Naidu(February 13, 1879 – March
Naidu, the Nightingale of India, was a distinguished
poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the
great orators of her time. She was elected as
the president of Indian National Congress. The
dynamic phase of Sarojinis career was from 1917-1919.
She campaigned for the Khilafat Movement.
When Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience
Movement, she proved a faithful lieutenant.
With great courage she quelled the rioters,
sold proscribed literature, and addressed frenzied
meetings on the carnage at Jallianwala Bagh
in Amritsar.In 1930 when Mahatma Gandhi chose
her to lead the Salt Satyagraha the stories
of her courage became legion. After Gandhi's
arrest she had prepared 2,000 volunteers under
the scorching sun to raid the Dahrsana Salt
Works, while the police faced them half a mile
up the road with rifle, lathis (canes) are steel
She gave up writing poetry and fully devoted
herself to emancipation of women, education,
Hindu-Muslim unity etc. She became a follower
of Gandhiji and accompanied him to England.
Whenever in England, she openly criticized British
rule in India which caught the attention of
scholars and intellectuals.
Madam Cama (24 September 1861-- 13 August 1936.)
Madam Cama fought for the freedom of the country
till the last in her own way, and helped many
revolutionaries with money and materials. She
unfurled the first National Flag at the International
Socialist Conference in Stuttgart (Germany)
in 1907.She declared “This flag is of
Indian Independence! Behold, it is born! It
has been made sacred by the blood of young Indians
who sacrificed their lives. I call upon you,
gentlemen to rise and salute this flag of Indian
Independence. In the name of this flag, I appeal
to lovers of freedom all over the world to support
this flag." A thousand representatives
from several countries were attended. She traveled
a lot of places including America and propagate
Americans about Indians struggling for Independence.
Begum Hazrat Mahal (1820—1879)
Begum Hazrat Mahal was a great Indian freedom-fighter
who played a major role during India's First
War of independence (1857-58). She was also
known as the Begum of Awadh (Oudh) and was the
wife of the then Lucknow ruler, Nawab Wajid
she led a band of her supporters against the
British, and was even able to seize the control
of Lucknow. She worked in close association
with other leaders of the India’s First
War of Independence, including Nana Sahib. Begum
was not only a strategist but also fought on
the battlefield. When the forces under the command
of the British re-captured Lucknow and most
part of the Awadh, she was forced to retreat.
When her forces lost ground, she fled Oudh and
organized soldiers again in other places. She
turned down all offers of amnesty and allowances
by the British rulers.
Finally, she took refuge in an asylum in Nepal,
where she died in the year 1879. To acknowledge
her endless effort in fighting for the freedom
of country, the Government of India issued a
stamp on 10th May 1984.
Annie Bezant (October 1, 1847 – September
an Irish lady the leader of the Theosophical Society
joined the Indian National Congress and gave it
a new direction.
She was the first woman president of the Congress
and gave a powerful lead to women's movement in
India. She soon became a leading labour organizer,
strike leader and reformer. She also became involved
in Indian Nationalism and in 1916 established
the Indian Home Rule League of which she became
President. She started a newspaper, “New
India”, criticized British rule and was
jailed for sedition. She came to be associated
with rationalistic congress group of workers who
did not appreciate Gandhi’s views.
She got involved in political and educational
activities and set up a number of schools and
colleges, the most important of which was Central
Hindu College High School at Banaras which she
started in 1913.
3.6 Arun Asaf Ali (July
16, 1909,—July 29, 1996)
Aruna became an active
member of Congress Party and participated in public
processions during the Salt Satyagraha. She was
arrested on the charge that she was a vagrant
and hence not released in 1931 under the Gandhi-Irwin
Pact which stipulated release of all political
prisoners. Other women co-prisoners refused to
leave the premises unless she was also released
and gave in only after Mahatma Gandhi intervened.
In 1932, she was held prisoner at the Tihar Jail
where she protested the indifferent treatment
of political prisoners by launching a hunger strike.
Her efforts resulted in an improvement of conditions
in the Tihar Jail but she was moved to Ambala
and was subjected to solitary confinement. She
edited ‘Inqulab’ a monthly journal
of the Indian National Congress.
On August 8, 1942, the AICC
passed the Quit India resolution at the Bombay
session. The government responded by arresting
the major leaders and all members of the Congress
Working Committee and thus tried to pre-empt the
movement from success. Aruna Asaf Ali presided
over the remainder of the session on 9 August
and hoisted the Congress flag and this marked
the commencement of the movement. The police fired
upon the assembly at the session. Aruna was dubbed
the Heroine of the 1942 movement for her bravery
in the face of danger and was called Grand Old
Lady of the Independence movement in her later