When a woman smiles, the beauty of the nature gets adorable and garnished. When she is dressed up as a bride, the real Goddess seems to pious the earth. The all-in-one-relation, a woman obeys is certainly onerous. Vast areas have been ruled by passionate women leaders who have changed the entire history and brought peace and harmony.One cannot certainly deny that nature has bestowed more strength upon women who are like Himalayas, no matter how harsh the environment might be, but their motivation and determination cannot be stirred. Many times the society frames many rigid and bewildering policies that tries to bring a despicable margin between men and women,but women have proved themselves in every field, from love to war, from kitchen to Moon. The history has been a smoking gun of the fact that no expanse is left untouched by women. Many legends took birth and hailed the earth with their blood and love. The never extinguishing fire that a woman carries has burned several enemies. Many laurels are sung by great poets in the name of great women and their work.
The war of independence was one such arena where these gladiators came up to show and multicast their energy and their devotion to fight off the enemies who tried to demolish the nation. The free air and holy water on which we live is certainly a gift to our generation. We are indebted to these great real life heroines who shed their blood for a noble cause.
The Indian past has seen much violence against women and the most important national issue that brought women together was the Mathura rape case in 1979-1980. Thereafter women protested against alcohol as it was the leading issue of violence against them. Female activists also united over issues like women female infanticide, gender bias, women’s health. Many great poets and novelist also helped people regenerate and enlighten their minds, thus motivating them to come out of their houses and step forward.
It is imperative for all of us to know about these women who fought valiantly and bravely to overcome the British rule and breathe free air. These are the brave warriors who clashed to strike off the devil and evil powers that tried to hollow the nation.
1. Rani Lakshmi Bai
It will be embarrassing for every Indian if he did not hear the famous song “Khoob ladi mardani vo to Jhansi wali rani thi”, sung in the honor of brave, valiant and fearless queen of Jhansi, the Maratha Empire. She was among the very few who fought as a real gladiator with a never-say-die spirit .In the 1857 revolution, she became a singing laurel as her name seemed to garnish every Indian as well as foreign lips. She was a leading figure in the 1857 revolution of India and she became a symbol of resistance to the rule of British. She taught her subjects that Britishers were coward, and not to fear them. She learnt horse-riding, archery and many arts that were restricted to men at that time. When the East India Company tried to impose doctrine of Lapse, she refused and headed towards war sitting on horseback, with a sword, followed by a small troop and her son tied behind her back. Poets still sing her bravery and she is a metaphor of courage.
2. Sarojini Naidu
Also known as the Nightangle of India, she was an Indian activist and a renowned poet. She was the first woman to become the President of Indian National Congress and the governor of an Indian state. She was a strong supporter of women empowerment, social welfare, and nationalism, and she delivered lectures on the same, across India. She was a lady with kind heart and her work during the Indian epidemic plague is greatly remembered. She was honored for the same by the British government. She played a major rule during Quit India Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement. She happily embraced jails along with Mahatma Gandhi and many others and was arrested for her contribution in national awakening during Quit India Movement. Her writings and poems awakened many people and played a source of inspiration to the people who were in dark .Her contribution to the Indian politics, India literature; Indian freedom shall always be appraised.
3. Madam Bhikaji Cama
Her role in the Indian struggle is worth mentioning. She kept herself occupied with philanthropic and social activities after her marriage. She co-founded the Indian Paris Society, living in exile in Paris as she was threatened to come to India only after she promises her disinterest in national movements. She wrote and distributed revolutionary literatures like bande mataram and madan’s talwar. She designed the tricolor and showed valor by hoisting it in foreign country. She is remembered for her radical speeches on gender equality in Egypt.
4. Begum Hazrat Mahal
One of the charming and gorgeous beauties. She was an Indian freedom fighter during the first revolution for freedom (1857). She rebelled against East India Company during the national uprising. She urged the rural folk to rise against British corruption. She mocked the British claim of building roads at the cost of bringing down temples and mosques. She took the charge of the state of Awadh and seized control of Lucknow after her husband was sent to exile to Calcutta. She also arranged a son, Prince Birjis Qali to become the ruler of Awadh. However, she was forced to abandon and sent to exile where she died. Begum Hazrat Mahal Park was built in her memory and honor at Lucknow.
5. Aruna Asaf Ali
She was an Indian independence activist. She was one the fortunate women to have hoisted the Indian National Congress flag during the Quit India Movement. She helped editing the inquilab magazine of Congress Party while she was hiding underground on account of her arrest warrant. She provoked youth to join the revolution irrespective of the violence or non-violence discussions. She was the one who tried to evade the practice of caste and untouchability. She believed in unity and was christened as ‘Political children of Gandhi but recent students of Karl Marx’. She was helpful in forming the National Federation of Indian Women. She was given the title “Grand Old Lady of India”.
6. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
She was an Indian Diplomat and the politician, a member of Indian National Congress and sister of Jawaharlal Nehru. She was the first woman to hold the cabinet post in 1937. She strongly held the Quit India Movement and the Non Cooperation Movement. Her husband, a successful young barrister was arrested for his support in Indian Independence and died in Lucknow prison jail. Vijaya Lakshmi was designated minister of local self-government and public health and became a member of Constituent Assembly from the United Provinces. She was a brilliant writer and author of Evolution of India and The Scope of happiness: a Personal Memoir. In 1979, she was appointed as the Indian representative of UN Human rights commission. She tried to bury down the caste issues and encouraged women to come out in the National Movement.
7. Kamala Nehru
Highly sincere, patriotic and sensitive lady, whose major role in awakening the illiterate women can never be discarded. She urged them to emerge upfront and help India gain freedom. She was the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru. She organized the non-cooperation movement in Allahabad. She was against foreign goods and believed in swadeshi goods. She imparted Pundit Nehru’s speech in public as he was arrested. Her popularity among the women groups became a potential threat to the British and she was arrested on many occasions during her freedom struggle. She died of tuberculosis at the age of 36.
8. Sucheta Kriplani
She became the first woman Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. She was a member of Indian National Congress. Sucheta was born on 1908, in Ambala, Punjab and married a socialist, Acharya Kriplani in 1936. She was a great freedom fighter and politician. She was among the few women who worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi during the Partition riots. She was a member of Constituent Assembly and the part of subcommittee that drafted Indian Constitution. Like many other fighters, she came up and punched the clock during the Quit India Movement. She was the one, who vocalized Vande Mataram in the Independence Session of the Constituent Assembly on 15 August, 1947.
9. Indira Gandhi
Well who can commit the greatest mistake by not mentioning our first lady prime minister Indira Gandhi, the only daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. She was named the woman of the millennium in a poll organized by BCC. She brought significant changes to Indian society during her reign. She nationalized the banks, brought green revolution, and launched five year plans. Her role in development of free India will always be written in golden words.
10. Kanaklata Barua
Born in the Borngabari village of the undivided Darang district of Assam on 22 December, 1924, she was the one of those freedom fighters who came out of very small family. She was only thirteen when her parents died and she dropped off her education after class three to care of her family. She actively participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. She was shot dead in a procession while she was leading and bearing the national flag.
Kanaklata was only 17 at the time of her martyrdom.