The forgotten heroes: Women freedom fighters.
When we think of freedom fighters we only think about Gandhi, Nehru, Netaji or Bhagat Singh. But there were thousands of people who fought with Britishers for an independent India. India’s independence from the colonial British rule was a dream for many. Amongst these people there were women who had the determination and their intense love for the motherland gave them the courage to look death in the eye. They gave selfless sacrifices and even laid their lives for independent India.
Here are some brave but unknown women who helped in shaping today’s India.
Velu Nachiyar: She was the first queen to fight for freedom from British India. Velu Nachiyar was the princess of Ramanathapuram and only chid. She was trained in martial arts, horse riding, archery. When her husband was killed by the Britishers she was drawn into the battle. She escaped with her daughter only to come back and fight the Britishers. Velu Nachiyar found the place where the British stored their ammunition. She arranged a suicide attack successfully.
Kittur Rani chenamma: She was India’s valent freedom fighter. Though she was from a small village she was fearless and opposed the wrong. She was proficient in horse riding, archery, and sword fighting. After losing husband and son she took over the responsibility of the kingdom. She could not succeed in the war, but she definitely evoked the fire of freedom in many.
Jhalkari bai: we all know Rani Laxmi bai but nobody knows another such lady Jhalkari Bai. She was the one who played a crucial role in the battle of Jhansi. She disguised herself as Rani Laxmi bai and took the command over the army , thus giving the Rani an opportunity to escape.
Matangini Hazra: Hazra was part of Quit India movement. She moved ahead with Indian flag shouting vandemataram even after being shot thrice.
Begum Hazrat Mahal: She was vital in the 1857 rebellion. After her husband was exiled she took charge.
Uda Devi: Fondly remembered as Dalit veerangana of 1857 Indian Rebellion. Uda Devi reached out to Queen Begum Hazrat mahal. Queen helped Uda Devi to form a battalion and be prepared for battle. Uda Devi and her husband both fought the battle. It was told that she killed almost 36 British soldiers.
Kanakalatha Barua: A freedom fighter from Assam who was shot dead by the Britishers for leading the quit India movement. She led the procession of the unarmed villagers. She was just 17 at the time of her martyrdom.
Aruna Asaf Ali: she was an active member during the freedom struggle. She participated in all freedom processions and quit India movement. She was held a prisoner in Tihar jail where she protested by launching a hunger strike. She will be remembered for hoisting the flag at Gowalia Tank Maidan, Bombay during quit India movement.
Tara rani Srivastava: Another great freedom fighter along with her husband. In 1942 quit India movement, when her husband was shot by the police, Tara continued to march returning later only to find that her husband had died. But she continued to remain part of freedom struggle until the country achieved its independence.
Begum Royeka: This great lady was among the few first who actively participated in a great struggle of independence. She fiercely fought gender equality back in the time, she advocated both men and women be treated equally.
Rani Gaidinliu: She is the forgotten daughter of the east. At the age of 13, she started preaching to her villagers against Britishers. She was arrested when she was 17. Her growing popularity and followers threatened the British soldiers which made them launch a manhunt for her. This forced her to go underground.
There are several other thousands of women who might have not made to the list, but their sacrifices and contribution towards society are laudable. They will be remembered for fighting for their motherland with grace and courage.