We live in free India and it is a known fact that our freedom is hard-earned. This independence was hard-fought by many freedom fighters of India. While a lot of freedom fighters received the spotlight, there were many, who disappeared in the pages of history. On our 75th Independence Day, IFORHER remembers sung and unsung heroes of Indian independence.
1. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar: Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar is popularly known as Babasaheb Ambedkar. He was one of the famous freedom fighters, who campaigned against social discrimination and fought for dalits. He was Independent India’s first law minister and the principal architect of the Constitution of India.
2. Subhash Chandra Bose: Subhash Chandra Bose, fondly known as Netaji, gave two famous quotes, “Give me blood and I’ll give you freedom.” and “Chalo Dilli”. He became the chief of ‘Azad Hind Fauz’ at a later stage. Netaji is also a highly respected name in Japan because of his great leadership in the Indian National Army.
3. Sarojini Naidu: She is known as the ‘Nightingale of India’. Sarojini Naidu was the first woman governor of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Also, she was the first president of the Indian National Congress in 1925. She was a great orator, poet, and freedom fighter.
4. Chandrashekhar Azad: He adopted the last name Azad and had taken the pledge not to be caught alive by the British force. He had trained Bhagat Singh and many other activists. ‘Jaliawala Massacare’ incident left a deep scar on young Azad’s mind. He lived only till the age of 24, but had a significant impact on the freedom movement.
5. Annie Besant: She was an Irish lady who joined the Indian National Congress. She came to India to spread the message of the Theosophical Society and later became involved in India’s freedom struggle. She also started a newspaper ‘New India’ and launched the All India Home Rule League. She travelled to different parts of India and the world to raise awareness about the independence movement.
6 . Matangini Hazra: Matangini Hazra played an important role in the Quit India Movement. She was a lady with great determination. During one of the processions, she continued to move forward with the Indian flag despite being shot thrice. She kept on saying, “Vande Mataram”.
7. Birsa Munda: He was a religious leader and freedom fighter who fought against British Colonialism. He headed the Millenarian movement that inspired the tribal belt of Bihar and Jharkhand to go against the British Raj. He lived a very short life but contributed a lot to the Indian indepdendence movement.
8. Kushal Konwar: He was a freedom fighter from Assam who participated in the independence movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. He left the school at a young age to actively participate in the freedom movement. He became the leader of the Sarupathar Congress Committee. He was sentenced to death by the Britishers in the last phase of the Quit India Movement.
9. K.E. Mammen: K.E. Mammen is often referred to as ‘Kerala’s Gandhi’. He was an Indian freedom fighter and follower of Mahatma Gandhi. When Mahatma Gandhi invoked youth to join the freedom movement, Mammen got inspired and started working among the people of Thiruvalla and Kottayam. Mammen was also actively involved in anti-liquor campaigns across the state of Kerala till his death.
10. Mohandas Gandhi: The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi led India to achieve freedom from British Colonialism. Under his leadership, India received independence on 15th August 1947. ‘Dandi Salt March’ led by Mahatma Gandhi, brought worldwide attention to the Indian independence movement. He undertook long fasts as a means of protests and believed in non-violence.