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This 75th Independence Day, let’s celebrate the unsung heroes of India’s freedom struggle6 min read

August 15, 2021 5 min read


This 75th Independence Day, let’s celebrate the unsung heroes of India’s freedom struggle6 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

India’s fight for freedom from British rule was a series of historic events involving several sacrifices by brave people called freedom fighters. You have definitely heard the names of Mahatama Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Mangal Pandey, Rani Lakshmibai and many more, who are among the most famous faces of the Independence. Their sacrifices and hard work have been immortalised in numerous ways, serving as examples even today for people all across the world.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

Did you know that at the time of Independence, India did not have a national anthem. It was on 24 January 1950, that Jana Gana Mana was officially declared as India’s National Anthem.

However, we are not going to talk about them today. Today, we will look at the contributions of some of India’s lesser-known heroes. Though they are not spoken about as much, the role they played in bringing freedom to India was crucial.

Matangini Hazra

Hazra was part of the Quit India Movement and Non-Cooperation Movement. During one procession, she continued to advance with the Indian flag even after being shot thrice. She kept shouting ‘Vande Mataram‘ even in her last moments, it is said.

Begum Hazrat Mahal

She was a vital part of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. After her husband was exiled, she took charge of Awadh and even seized control of Lucknow during the rebellion. Later, Begum Hazrat had to retreat to Nepal, where she died.

Aruna Asaf Ali

Unfortunately, few have heard of this brave woman. When she was 33 years old, she gained prominence as she hoisted the Indian National Congress flag during the Quit India Movement at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay, 1942.

Bhikaji Cama

Although there are numerous roads and buildings named after her around the country, only few know who she was and what she did for the country. Not only was she a part of the Indian Independence Movement, she was also a figure for gender equality. She donated most of her personal effects to an orphanage for girls. She also unfurled the Indian flag at the International Socialist Conference at Stuttgart in Germany, 1907.

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi

Also known as Kulpati, Munshi was very active during India’s freedom movement, especially the Quit India Movement. He was the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, which are education institutes located across the country. The number of times he was arrested by the British regime showed his dedication and passion for an independent India.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Kamaladevi was the first woman to run for a legislative seat in India and interestingly, she was also the first Indian woman to be arrested by the British regime. She played a very vital role as a social reformer and popularised handicrafts and handlooms to help in uplifting the socio-economic standard of the Indian women.

Garimella Satyanarayana

He was an inspiration for the people of Andhra. As a writer, he used his skill to write influential poems and songs to motivate the people of the state of Andhra Pradesh to join the movement against the British.

 Birsa Munda

Though he died at the young age of 25, he had some remarkable achievements in his short life. The most notable one being heading the ‘Millenarian movement’ that inspired the tribal belt of modern day Bihar and Jharkhand to go against the British Raj in the late 19th century.

Alluri Sitarama Raju

He lead the ill fated ‘Rampa Rebellion’ in 1922-1924 with the support of other local tribals. For his bravery and valour, he was nicknamed ‘Manyam Veerudu’ (‘Hero of the Jungles’).

The trio of Benoy, Badal and Dinesh

Benoy Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta were 22, 18 and 19 years old respectively, when they wore western outfits and entered the Writer’s Building. Their target was the brutal Inspector General of Police, Colonel NS Simpson. They succeeded in killing him but were outnumbered. Benoy took a cyanide pill while the other two shot themselves to avoid capture.

Government to honour forgotten heroes

The Union government is planning to showcase unsung heroes and little-known groups and events of the freedom struggle during the year-long celebrations to mark 75 years of India’s independence. Several events and lectures will be organised to underline their contribution.

The government has drawn up a list of 146 names and planned 75 regional, six national and two international seminars under the banner of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the campaign to mark 75 years of Independence.

The names have been compiled by government departments and the Indian Council of Historical Research, an autonomous body under the Union education ministry.

 Did you know?

Guess who?

Unscramble this jigzaw puzzle to uncover the face of a man who was a prominent Indian revolutionary in the Independence Movement.

*Hint: He was known as ‘Netaji’, which in Hindi means ‘a respected leader’. 

Happy Independence Day from us to you!

Sources: India Today, Hindustan Times, Times of India

Images: Wikimedia, India Today

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