The Brave Daughters of Mother India

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09 Mar 2022
8 min read

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India has witnessed many braveheart women who not only fought for the freedom of India but also stood brave in front of the bullets of the British soldiers. Today, on the occasion of International Women's Day, let's take a minute to salute these daughters of mother India, who sacrificed their lives to see their motherland free from the chains of captivity. #TWN

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International Women's Day is celebrated every year on 8 March. It is celebrated to fulfill our duties of giving respect and love to women, making people aware of society, and making women aware of their rights. This day is of great importance to raise the spirits of women and remove the inequality that has infected our society. As we all know that women are not behind in any work and field. Similarly, there was unprecedented cooperation of Indian women in the Indian freedom struggle. In the struggle to liberate India, many courageous women raised their voices against British rule. These women had wonderful courage and a strong nationalist spirit.

Among the heroes who gave their lives for freedom and died for the country, there were also some great ladies of the country. Along with men, women also did not lag in sacrificing for freedom. For all those women, only the country was paramount. The respect and gratitude people have for those wonderful, unique women will live a lifetime. Today, on this International Women's Day, it is time to revive once again their contributions and the work and struggles they have done for the country. Because the discussion of International Women's Day is incomplete without mentioning the women freedom fighters, so today on this Women's Day, we remember and bow down to them, every moment for this country of India. Perhaps this would be our one true respect for them.

Sucheta Kripalani

Sucheta Kriplani was the first woman Chief Minister of independent India. Sucheta Kriplani was born on June 25, 1908, in Ambala, Haryana, in a Bengali family. Sucheta got married in the year 1936, and after that, she became fully active in the freedom struggle. During the Quit India Movement, she continued to raise her voice for the independence of the country. Sucheta was an eminent freedom fighter and had worked with Mahatma Gandhi during the riots of Partition. She played a major role in politics after joining the Indian National Congress. She was elected as a member of the Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly constituted to frame the Indian Constitution. She raised her voice for women's rights in the Constitution of India. She also sang 'Vande Mataram' in the Constituent Assembly of India. After the independence of India, Sucheta Kriplani entered active politics, and in the year 1952, Sucheta Kriplani was elected as a member of the Lok Sabha. After independence, she became the Chief Minister for the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Vijay Lakshmi Pandit

Vijay Lakshmi Pandit was born on 18 August 1900 in the Gandhi-Nehru family. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit was the sister of the country's first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. She also took part in the freedom struggle and made an invaluable contribution to the freedom movement of India. She was also imprisoned for participating in those movements. She used to be ahead in every movement and also went to jail. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was the first woman to hold a cabinet post during the British Raj. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit was also a member of the constituent assembly of India. She was also the first minister in the political history of India. She was the first Indian woman president of the United Nations and the first woman ambassador of independent India, representing India in Moscow, London, and Washington. Mrs. Vijay Lakshmi Pandit participated in the freedom movement along with her husband, and she was always active in political activities. Influenced by Gandhiji, he also started participating in the independence movements. Then he also participated in Gandhiji's 'non-cooperation movement' non-cooperation movement. Apart from this, Vijayalakshmi Pandit was also associated with many women's organizations of the country and abroad.

Durga Bhabhi 

Freedomefighter Durga Bhabhi was born on 7 October 1907 in Shahzadpur village of Sirathu tehsil of Kaushambi. The revolutionary spirit of her husband, Bhagwati Charan Vohra, also filled Durga Bhabhi with the spirit of patriotism, so she also became a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republic Army (HSRA). Her husband was a revolutionary, and because of her being Vohra’s wife, other members of HSRA called her Bhabhi. Just then, Durga Bhabhi became famous by the same name. Durga Devi Bohra, popularly known as 'Durga Bhabhi,' tried to rescue Bhagat Singh from the Lahore district. Durga Bhabhi also presided over the meeting called in Lahore in 1927 to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. An English officer named Taylor was injured in a plan to kill the Bombay Governor, Haley, who was shot by Durga Bhabhi. Then on 12 September 1931, Durga Bhabhi was arrested from Lahore. Wearing the guise of men, she participated in the freedom movement and was arrested and sent to jail after Bal Gangadhar Tilak joined the extremist group. While in jail, she also ground the mill. Durgabhabhi was a master of pistol-wielding, and she also knew how to make bombs. Durga Bhabhi’s job was to bring and carry pistols, bombs, and gunpowder from Rajasthan for fellow revolutionaries. Such was the heroic Durga Bhabhi, our salute to that great revolutionary and symbol of female valor Durga Bhabhi.

Kamala Choudhary 

Kamala Chaudhary was born on 22 February 1908 in Lucknow. Since childhood, she was of nationalist views. She actively participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement, the movement started by Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1930. Till the independence of the country from the Civil Disobedience Movement, Kamla Chaudhary took part in the struggle for freedom and traveled till the imprisonment. She was elected as the Vice-President of the All India Congress Committee and a member of the Lok Sabha. She was also a member of the Constituent Assembly from 1947 to 1952. Kamala Chaudhary, rich in versatility, was a popular fiction writer of her time. Her stories usually dealt with the inner world of women. Many of her stories were published during the independence movement itself. She was particularly active as a social reformer, as a writer, as a political activist, in drafting the Constitution, and for the upliftment of women. Today it is our duty to remember the struggles of that woman and her contributions made for the country and society. That would be our one true respect towards her.

Lakshmi Sehgal 

Dr. Lakshmi Sehgal was born on 24 October 1914 in a Tamil family. She played a major role as a social worker despite being a doctor by profession. Lakshmi Sehgal also participated in the 2002 presidential elections. She was the candidate of the Left Front in the presidential election but was defeated by APJ Abdul Kalam. Her full name was Lakshmi Swaminathan Sehgal. Influenced by the thoughts of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, she expressed her desire to get involved with Netaji himself. She joined the Indian National Army as a follower of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. In 1943, Dr. Laxmi took over as Captain in the Rani Jhansi Regiment. Due to her courage and amazing work, she got the rank of colonel. She was awarded the Padma Vibhushan Padma Vibhushan in the year 1998. As a freedom fighter, doctor, parliamentarian, social worker, this country will remember his work and will always remember him. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, British forces also started capturing the soldiers of Azad Hind Fauj. Lakshmi Sehgal was also among the Azad Hind soldiers captured in Singapore. After this, she also came into active politics, and Dr. Laxmi Sehgal, who was the captain of Subhash Chandra Bose's Azad Hind Fauj, died in a hospital in Kanpur on the morning of July 23, 2012.

Durgabai Deshmukh 

Durgabai was born on 15 July 1909 in Rajahmundry. Durgabai Deshmukh was a fearless patriotic woman as well as a social worker, lawyer, and skilled politician. She was popularly known as Iron Lady. Durgabai Deshmukh, who participated in the non-cooperation movement at the age of twelve, was ahead in social service since childhood. Durgabai was the chairperson of several central organizations such as the Central Board of Social Welfare, the National Council of Education, and the National Committee on the Education of Girls and Women. Along with Andhra Kesari Tea Publications, he participated in the Salt Satyagraha movement in the city of Madras in May 1930. Founded the Andhra Mahila Sabha in 1936, which within a decade became a great institution of education and social welfare in the city of Madras. She was also a member of the Parliament and Planning Commission. In 1971, she was awarded the fourth Nehru Literary Award for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of literacy in India. In 1975, she was awarded the Padma Vibhushan.

Kamala Nehru

Kamala Nehru was born on August 1, 1899, in Delhi. Kamala Nehru was the wife of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and the mother of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. She was married to Jawaharlal Nehru when she was only seventeen years old. After marrying Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamala Nehru got a chance to know and see the freedom struggle very closely. Kamala Nehru was very calm, but when the time came, this calm woman proved to be an iron woman. Because her husband Jawaharlal and father-in-law Motilal Nehru were fully active in the movement. Kamala Nehru would sometimes face the British in a dharna procession, sometimes go on hunger strike, and sometimes sleep within the boundary wall of the jail. She actively participated in the non-cooperation movement and civil disobedience movement. She had amazing confidence and leadership ability. She was also arrested twice by the British government during the independence movement. Kamala Nehru also participated in this Satyagraha, at the time when Gandhi traveled to Dandi during Salt Satyagraha of 1930. In 1930, when all the top leaders of Congress were in jail, she also participated in politics. As long as she lived, she supported her husband Jawaharlal Nehru, shoulder to shoulder. Kamala Nehru died and breathed her last on 28 February 1936 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Kanaklata Barua

Kanaklata Barua was born on 22 December 1924. When she was just seven years old, revolutionaries came, and a meeting was held in the nearby village of Gameri. It was from there that the sprout of revolution had sprouted in her childhood. On 8 August 1942, the Congress session was held in Mumbai and, there the resolution of the Quit India Movement was passed. She actively participated in the Quit India Movement. She came to the fore as a big threat to the British. Meanwhile, it was decided to hoist the tricolor in Tezpur. The day of 20 September 1942 was fixed in which the tricolor was to be hoisted at Gahpur police station, 82 miles away from Kanaklata's house. The crowd was told not to move even an inch now, but no one was there to listen to him at that time. Kanaklata walked in the forefront, and the constable opened fire. Kanaklata got shot in the chest. Kanaklata Barua became a victim of police bullets while trying to hoist the tricolor at the police station at a very young age. Kanaklata's body was taken by the revolutionaries to her village. The nation will forever be indebted to the martyrdom that Kanaklata Barua gave at such a young age.

Matangini Hazra 

Matangini Hazra is also known as 'Old Gandhi.' She joined the freedom struggle at the age of 62. She also participated in the Quit India Movement and the Non-Cooperation Movement. In 1942, Gandhiji announced the 'Quit India Movement and gave the slogan, 'Karo ya Maro,' (do or die), then Matangini Hazra had accepted that the time for independence was near. She took over the command of the Quit India Movement in Tamluk. It was then decided to end the British rule by hoisting the tricolor at all government offices and police stations in Midnapore. It was September 29, 1942, and it was mostly women. Matangini was in front of everyone, and in her right hand was the tricolor. During that time, at the age of 72, the British ridiculed her with bullets, but she did not let the tricolor fall till her death, and Vande Mataram kept coming out of her mouth. Despite being shot three times, she was present with the Indian flag and fell, kept the tricolor on her chest, and then loudly said Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jai. Hazra Road in Kolkata is also named after her. It is astonishing to hear the stories of their courage and sacrifice. The name of this Old Gandhi, who sacrificed her life for the pride of her country, will always be immortal.

Aruna Asaf Ali

Aruna Asaf Ali was born on 16 July 1909 in an orthodox Hindu Bengali family in Kalka (Haryana). Her husband Asaf Ali was completely associated with the freedom struggle, so Aruna Asaf Ali also joined her. During the Salt Satyagraha in 1930, she addressed public meetings and took out processions. The British government sentenced her to one year in prison, but due to a mass movement, the British government had to release her. Aruna Asaf Ali actively participated in the Quit India Movement in 1942. She challenged the British to leave India by hoisting the tricolor at the Gawalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai. Then she fell ill, and Gandhiji advised her to surrender. Aruna Asaf Ali herself surrendered on 26 January 1946 when the warrant for her arrest was revoked. She was elected the first mayor of Delhi. She was also awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1975 and the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Knowledge in 1991. In 1998 she was awarded India's highest civilian honor 'Bharat Ratna' and a postage stamp issued by the Indian Postal Service. Aruna Asaf Ali, an agitator who emerged as a heroine in the freedom struggle and full of amazing skills, died on 29 July 1996.

In the end, on International Women's Day, I would say this for every woman:

You are the creator, the destroyer of evil, you are the saint, and you are the guide. Life without you would have been impossible. It is the day to celebrate God’s best and most beautiful creation. Happy Women’s day.

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