Women, who gave their lives to ensure us freedom. Revolutionaries, who did not think twice before standing tall to the sticks and guns of the British officials to claim justice, if those martyrs don’t get their due credit then it is selfish and careless on our part. So in this month of August when we remember our beloved martyrs, SheThePeople brings to your notice some of the ladies whose name got faded away in the history and their selfless deeds forgotten.
1. Kanaklata Baruah- Kanaklata always harboured the dream of serving the country and helping in the Independence struggle. From the tender age of 17, she wanted to join the freedom struggle but since she was a minor, she couldn’t join the Azad Hind Fauj. Kanaklata’s determination did not give up at that and she joined the Mrityu Bahini. Born in 1924 in Assam, Kanaklata was one of the greatest warriors of Assam. She joined the “do or die” for independence initiative started by Indian National Congress from Assam. Not just that, she died while marching to hoist the Indian flag in Assam during the Quit India Movement.
2. Matangini Hazra- One of the first female members of the Indian National Congress, Matangini Harzra fought bravely for the freedom of the country, but in today’s era, her name is unheard off. The history books, we read in schools, have no mention of the courageous lady. She was a staunch Gandhian and supporter of Non-cooperation movement. She, at the age of 73, was also an active participant of the Quit India Movement leading a procession of 6000 supporters, most of them were women, to confiscate the Tamluk police station when she was shot dead even after requesting the police not to open fire to the crowd.
3. Kasturba Gandhi- Kasturba Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s popularity is only based on being the doting wife of the father of the nation- Mahatma Gandhi. But how many of us know that she was one of the preeminent members of the Salt Satyagraha? Kasturba, born in Porbandar and married to Gandhi at the age of 13, worked in close association with his husband and fought for the civil rights of women. Her strength and power showed when she took charge when Gandhi was under arrest. When her death was nearing her reply to those trying to bolster her sagging morale saying “You will get better soon,” Kasturba would respond, “No, my time is up”.
4. 4. Begum Hazrat Ali- Her role in the first war of independence in often ignored by the current generation. Wife of the last Tajdaar-e-Awadh Wajid Ali Shah, Begum Hazrat Ali was a powerful lady. She fought with the British alongside Rani Lakshmibai, however, her name got erased out of the thin pages of history. When the British had taken over Awadh and put her husband into exile. She fought bravely to reclaim Awadh from the British and put her son on the throne. The people of Awadh supported her completely and she inspired and urged them take part in the freedom struggle.
5. Bhogeshwari Phuknani- One more example of martyrdom that went unnoticed was from the district of Nagaon. Quit India Movement inspired many women from different parts of India to fight in the freedom struggle and one was a gallant lady, Bhogeshwari Phuknani. When the revolutionaries had just taken back control of their offices in Berhampur, the joyful atmosphere turned into gloom and terror when the Policed raided the place and at that time a crowd came marching from the nearby village shouting “Vande Mataram. This crowd was led by Bhogeshwari. She hit the Captain who had come to raid the revolutionaries. While later the Captain shot her and she succumbed to her injury.
Cover Picture Credit- Cleveland