- Begum Hazrat Mahal, the queen of Awadh, played an important role in the 1857 rebellion.
India’s struggle for freedom went through several phases. But history etched out certain events and names in this struggle that questions the so called conventional thinking of the then society. Even today, people get amazed to know about those unknown facts and participation of all to set free the country from British rule. Women’s role in this struggle writes a huge history to be cherished through centuries. To talk about female freedom fighters in India, it starts around 18th century, from the onset of sepoy mutiny. In this regard we explain a few of the great women freedom fighters of India, remembered through ages.
Rani Laxmibai: She is the lady with whom the chronological discussion may start about Indian women freedom fighters. She was the Maratha queen of the state Jhansi and is still remembered for her bravery and the way she fought the British soldier, Sir Hugh Rose. He himself praised and was awestruck by the queen’s valour. Rani Lakshmibai is considered the first among the Indian women freedom fighters who participated in the 1857 rebellion.
Begum Hazrat Mahal: She was the queen of another princely state of Awadh. Begum too played an important role in the 1857 rebellion. She ascended the throne of Awadh after the demise of her husband Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Later on Begum applied tactics to combat the cunning of British East India Company. She took the shelter of religious sentiment and influenced people against the Britishers, who were demolishing temples and mosques to construct road.
Annie Besant: Though a British socialist, Annie Besant had active participation like many other great women of India. She founded the Central Hindu College and even led the Indian Home rule League during the First World War.
Kasturba Gandhi: being the better half of the great Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi, she continuously participated along with her husband in every movement. Even in his absence, Kasturba took the lead and taught Indians the need of basic hygiene, education etc.
Sarojini Naidu: Popularly known as ‘the Nightingale of India’, Ms. Naidu rose to fame in active political participation during the Partition of Bengal in 1905. She was the second woman president of INC.
Sucheta Kripalani: She worked actively with Mahatma Gandhi. A freedom fighter, she was elected a member of the drafting committee of constituent assembly.
Aruna Asaf Ali: An Indian independence activist, Aruna Asaf became an active participant of salt Satyagraha. While she was imprisoned even there Aruna continued with her strikes and protests against the inhuman treatment towards prisoners at Tihar Jail.
Usha Mehta Savitribai Phule: She has to her credit the formation of Secret Congress Radio. Phule, successfully ran the radio station secretly during the Quit India Movement.
Indira Gandhi: The daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira was the first women PM of India. She fought against Pakistan to support East Pakistan gain freedom.
Madam Bhikaij Cama: Bhikaji Cama was a philanthropist and an active social worker during the late 19th She was infected by the bubonic plague that struck Mumbai in 1896. In spite of her illness she continued struggle from Britain, since she was barred an active participation due to her infection.