Free Press Journal

Independence Day 2016: 10 unsung heroes from India’s history


Benoy, Badal, Dinesh

August 15 is the most historic day for every Indian, either living in India or aborad. On this day Indian’s celebrate free and independent nation. On the eve of 15th August 1947, the Indian flag was unfurled proudly by Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, at the Red Fort in Delhi. India’s Independence Day is deeply inspirable for everyone. Many people, their families sacrificed themselves for the nation’s freedom. Today young kids are able to breathe freely it’s only because of these people who gave so much to our freedom.

We all know about some of the great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Netaji Subashchandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Jhansi Ki Rani who started the fight of freedom, Veer Savarkar and many more. However, there were many people of whose contributions we are not aware of, and yet they were pivotal role silently in India’s freedom fight. Free Press Journal today lists down such lesser unsung heroes of India’s Freedom Struggle as a mark of respect towards them.

Ramprasad Bismil

  1. Ramprasad Bismil: He who lived like a hero and died like a hero. He participated in Manipur, kakori conspiracy and fought against the British East India. Kakori rail dacoit was a great land mark in the history of revolutionary movement in India. It was him who planned and faultlessly executed. Other than being a freedom fighter, Bismil was a patriotic poet and wrote poems in Hindi and Urdu by using the pen names – Ram, Agyat and Bismil. Ramprasad Bismil will and always live in our memory as a Revolutionary, writer and above all as an ‘Ideal man’.Begum Hazrat
  1. Begum Hazrat Mahal: She was wife of first Nawab – Wajid Ali Shah. She was known as ‘Begum of Avadh’. She rebelled against the British East India Company during the rebellion of characters of 1857. Her fight against British was remarkable one.Jatindras Das
  1. Jatindra Das: Jatindra Das was just twenty five years at the time of his death. Dr. Subhash Chandra Bose admired him. As a student he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement and had spent several years in prison. Before Bhagat Singh and trio, Lahore conspiracy case claimed another victim – Jatindra Das. The atrocities of Lahore conspiracy case decided to go on hunger strike to protest against the atrocities. He fasted for 63 days. He never hesitated, never faltered for one small second. Every heart in country melted down but not of bureaucracy. He died martyrs death. After his death the country gave him an ovation which few men in recent history received.babu-genu
  1. Babu Genu: He is better known as ‘Shahid Babu Genu’. Born in a poor farmer’s family, Genu was brought up in one of a cotton mill in Mumbai and was an active participant in protests by Indian Independence activist. He knew economics is a driving wheel of British rule and also economic independence of India is interlinked, integrated with political independence. In year 1930, a truck loaded with foreign clothes was stopped in Mumbai. The freedom fighters begged not to move the truck but police forced protesters aside and managed to get the truck moving. Babu Genu then stood in front the truck, started shouting praises of Mahatma Gandhi. Babu Genu never gave up stopping the truck. At first an Indian was driving the truck but later he gave up and said, “I am Indian and he is also Indian, So, we both are the brothers of each other, then how can I murder my brother?”After that, the English police officer sat on the driver seat and drove the truck over Babu Genu and crushed him to death under the truck. This resulted in a huge wave of anger, strikes, and protests throughout Mumbai.vasudev-balwant-phadke
  1. Vasudev Balwant Phadke: After the loss of 1857s war of Independence, the nation and especially youth started feeling despair. Phadke played an important role in reviving back the spirit of nationalism. Vasudev rebelled against the British and formed revolutionary group called ‘Ramoshi’. The group started an armed struggle to over throw the British Raj. The group launched raids in British businessman to obtain money for their struggle. British caught him and sent him in jail in Poona. Though he later escaped but that was short lived and he was caught again and sent to jail. Phadke then went on a hunger strike till and died because if it.Benoy, Badal, Dinesh
  1. Benoy, Badal, Dinesh: There are stories which never become a part of daily folklore. The story of these three men’s – Benoy Krishna Basu, Badal Gupta and Dinesh Gupta are one of them. They were merely teenagers when they attained They were part of Bengal volunteers, an underground revolutionary group created by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose against the British colonial rule.Captain Laxmi Sehgal
  1. Laxmi Sahgal: An officer in Indian National Army. She was a pioneer personality of Indian freedom movement and also aided many people during her time of service. She was commonly reffered as ‘Captain Laxmi’. When Laxmi heard Dr. Subhash Chandra Bose keep forming a woman into the organization she requested a meeting with him and later formed woman’s regiment, to be called as ‘Rani of Jhansi Regiment’. Woman’s responded positively to join the all woman brigade and Dr. Laxmi Swaminathan became ‘Captain Laxmi’- a name and identity that would stayed with her for life.RJ
  1. Raj Kumari Gupta: She and her husband closely worked with Mahatma Gandhi and Chandrashekhar Azad. She played a crucial role in Kakori case. She was in charge of providing guns to those who are involved in the operation. Raj Kumari hid firearms in her undergarments and went to deliver them alongside her 3-year old son, when she was arrested. There are very few people to know her contribution to Kakori train robbery incident.She began supporting Azad by carrying messages and materials to other revolutionaries without her husband and in-laws knowledge. After her arrest she disowned by her in-laws. There is very little known on her life thereafter. But she was a true hero and deserves to be mentioned in history.savarkar
  1. Veer Savarkar: Besides knowing him as a person who fled away from prison through a hole of toilet what we know about Savarkar? Savarkar was always against the caste system. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar or commonly known as ‘Veer Savarkar’ was a fearless writer, philosopher, activist, social reformer, poet, political leader. Veer Savarkar occupies a special space in history of India’s struggle for independence.  He was an extraordinary Hindu scholar. Founded Abhinav Bharat society and Free India society. Savarkar published ‘The Indian war of Independence’ about Indian rebellion of 1857 but later got banned by British government. He became fierce critic of Indian National Congress and its acceptance to India’s partition. Savarkar always believed the ideal Indian as a Hindu Rastra. Savakar was also the first Indian leader to open Ganeshovtsav among all including ‘ex- untouchables’

    Tara Rani Srivastava (third from left). Image source: Pyjama People

  1. Tara Rani Srivastava: Married to Phulendu Babu, both joined Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement in 1942. Both were very passionate about freeing India from the British rule. Both decided to organise protest in their area and raise Indian flags at the roof of Siwan police station. In those days police were seen as a symbol of government authority and raising a flag on its roof would represent a major defiance. They managed to gather the crowd and marched towards the police station shouting ‘Inquilab’. Seeing the protest police started open firing and her husband got hit and fell on ground. Tara tore a part of her saree and bandaged him and continued to lead the crowd towards the police station shouting ‘Inquilab’ and holding Indian flag. But by the time she returned her husband, Phulendu was dead. The woman lost her husband in fight for country but that didn’t stop her from holding the flag still high.Ashfaqullah-khan
  2. Ashfaqulla Khan: Born in UP and the youngest among six children to Shafiqur Rehman and His father worked in the police department. Ashfaq was a child when Mahatma Gandhi called Non Cooperation Movement. This movement had a great influence on him and he shaped to become a freedom fighter. He took active participation in Kakori train robbery and hence labelled terrorist by the British government.
    After chauri chaura incident, Gandhi withdraws from Non Cooperation movement,  leaving youth of the country depressed. Ashfaq was one of them.  To free India as soon as possible he joins extremists. In famous Bollywood movie ‘Rang de Basanti’ Amir Khan played the role of Ashfaq.

    “JAI HIND”

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