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Tuesday, July 19, 2011


                                        RANI OF JHANSI :
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi was an outstanding freedom fighter.  She used to go into the battlefield dressed as a man. Holding the reins of the horse in her mouth she used the sword with both hands.   She died bravely in the battlefield fighting for freedom of our country.  

                                       SAROJINI NAIDU :
When Gandhi launched the Civil Disobedience Movement, she was in the forefront.  With great courage she quelled the rioters, sold proscribed literature, addressed frenzied meetings on the carnage at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar.  As a follower of Gandhiji, she accompanied him to England and whenever in England, she openly criticized the British rule in India which caught the attention of scholars and intellectuals.  She was finally arrested and was interned before imprisonment.
                                      KASTURBA GANDHI :
The wife of Mohandas Gandhi was the leader of Women's Satyagraha for which she was imprisoned. She helped her husband in the cause of Indigo workers in Champaran, Bihar and the No Tax Campaign in Kaira, Gujarat. She was arrested twice for picketing liquor and foreign cloth shops, and in 1939 for participating in the Rajkot Satyagraha. 

She died in Mahatma Gandhi's arms while both were still in prison. He was never the same after her death. 
                                      ARUNA ASAF ALI  :
She was an active member of the Congress Party and participated in public processions during the Salt Satyagraha. She was arrested on the charge that she was a vagrant and was not released until 1931.   However, the other women co-prisoners refused to leave the premises unless she was also released and gave in only after Mahatma Gandhi intervened. A public agitation secured her release.  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 years.  
                                       INDIRA GANDHI : 
She was active in the national liberation struggle from an early age.  During the 1930 movement, she formed the ‘Vanar Sena’, a children’s brigade to help freedom fighters.  She became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1938. Soon after her return to India in March 1941, she plunged into political activity.   Throughout her career in politics, she was loved and respected by many.
                                        KAMALA NEHRU :
 She was the wife of Nehru.  During the freedom movement,  she organized processions, addressed meetings and led picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops.  In the Non Cooperation movement of 1921, she organized groups of women in Allahabad and picketed shops selling foreign cloth and liquor. When her husband was arrested to prevent him from delivering a "seditious" public speech, she went in his place to read it out. She was twice arrested by British authorities.

                                VIJAYALAXMI PANDIT :
Jawaharlal Nehur's sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, inspired by Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, and impressed by Sarojini Naidu, entered the Non Cooperation Movement. She was arrested in 1932 and was sentenced to one year's rigorous imprisonment. She was arrested again in1940 during the Quit India Movement.

                                        MADAM CAMA : 
She was called the Mother India’s first cultural representative to USA.  She informed the Americans about Indians struggling for Independence. She told about British efforts to smother the voice of educated Indians who protested against tyranny and despotism of British who always boasted themselves as "mother of parliamentary democracy" over the world.  Her sacrifice and work is still etched in the hearts of minds of Indians.

                                   BEGUM HAZRAT MAHAL :

She was a royalty who actively took part in the defence of Lucknow against the British. Although, she was a queen and used to a life of luxury, she appeared on the battle-field herself to encourage her troops. She stood up against the British with all her strength as long as she could. Ultimately she had to give up and take refuge in Nepal

                                    MISS PADMAJA NAIDU :
Sarojini’s daughter, Miss Padmaja Naidu, devoted herself to the cause of the nation like her mother.   At the age of 21, she entered the national scene and became the joint founder of the Indian National Congress of Hyderabad. She spread the message of Khadi and inspired people to boycott foreign goods. She was jailed for taking part in the “Quit India” movement in 1942.  Her services to the Nation and especially her humanitarian approach to solve problems will long be remembered. 
                                      SUCHETA KRIPALANI :
The contribution of Sucheta Kripalani in the struggle for freedom is noteworthy.  She became a deeply involved in the Indian National Congress and fought tirelessly during the Quit India movement.  She was a close confidante of Mahatma during the partition of India.  Even after the Independence, she served India.  


There were a number of women from foreign countries who worked for the cause of our Independence.   Their contribution, sacrifice, and commitment to work with our famous leaders of freedom struggle are deeply embedded in our hearts and minds.

                                      SISTER NIVEDITA :
She arrived in India from Ireland in 1898.  She personally took of cause of Indian struggle to Europe and the USA.   She was the disciple of Swami Vivekananda.  He described her as a real lioness.  It was Swami Vivekananda who gave her the name Nivedita which means “one who is dedicated to God.  Throughout her life in India she not only worked for the freedom struggle but also she dedicated her life for the improvement of the lives of Indian women of all castes.

                                       ANNIE BESANT :
Annie Besant is an Irish lady.  In 1914 she joined the Indian National Congress and gave it a new direction.  The idea of the Home Rule League was first discussed by her. She with the radical congress leader Tilak presented a memorial to Montagu on December 18, 1917 which gave equal rights to women in the matters of political franchise. She was the first woman president of the Congress and gave a powerful lead to women's movement in India.

                              MEERA BEN AND SARLA BEN :
These two exemplary souls were known affectionately to many as Mahatma Gandhi’s English daughters.  They took part in Second Round Table Conference with Gandhi, worked with him in the campaign against the British.  They undertook Khadi tour throughout the country.  They helped the families of political prisoners.  Several times they went to prison along with Gandhi to give us freedom.

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