Social Science
TGT(S. Sc.)
Topic :- Role of Women in Freedom struggle of India
Women of the freedom struggle
India has for a long time produced of most as feckless female
as she did male ones. Unlike in most other civilizations and
contrary to popular belief, Indian women played politically and
socially important roles since times unknown. HERE is a look
at a few such forgotten women heroes of the Indian freedom
Women’s participation in India’s freedom struggle began as
early as 1817 when BHIMA BAI HOLKAR fought bravely
against thebritish colonel and defeated them in gorilla warfare.
In 1824 rani Channama of kittur resisted armed might of the
east indian company. The role played by women in the Great
Revilt of 1987 invited the administration even leaders of the
revolt Rani of Ramgarh, Rani Jindan Kaur etc. daringly led
their troops into the battlefield.
Kamala Nehru
Kamala Nehru
Kamala Nehru was the wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Brought up
in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, she felt alienated amongst the
more Westernized Nehru`s. It was only with the involvement of the
Nehru`s in the national movement, did she emerge into the forefront.
Kamala Nehru gave full support to her husband in his desire to work
actively for the freedom struggle. In the Non Cooperation movement
of 1921, she organized groups of women in Allahabad and picketed
shops selling foreign cloth and liquor. When her husband was
arrested to prevent him delivering a "seditious" public speech, she
went in his place to read it out. She was twice arrested by British
authorities.She played a prominent part in organizing the No Tax
Campaign in United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh). Kamala Nehru
took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Among other
activities, Kamala set up a hospital in the premises of Swaraj
Bhavan. She defied the advice of doctors, family and friends to lead
processions, picket foreign cloth shops and visited women in their
homes to convince them to join the struggle for Independence.
Kamala Nehru and her associates wore only khadi clothes and
made bonfires of imported goods. As Kamala was the member of
Desh Sevika Sangh, she joined others in picketing foreign cloth
Sister Nivedita
Sister Nivedita
Her real name was Miss Margaret Noble. Sister Nivedita was one
of the hosts of foreign women who were attracted towards Swami
Vivekananda and Hindu philosophy. Born in Ireland on 28
October 1867, she arrived in India in January 1898, in search of
truth. She was impressed by the ideals of Womanhood in India.
She once remarked that India was the land of great women. She,
however, felt that Indian women needed, to cultivate among
themselves a wider and broader concept of the nation, so that
they could participate along with men in building a free and
strong nation. She propagated for the cause of India throughout
America and Europe. Swami Vivekananda described her as a
real Lioness. Rabindranath Tagore regarded her as Lok-Mata
whose name is very familiar in Bengal. Her writings on Indian
history and philosophy, on religious customs, festivals, her
lectures on multi faceted subjects, her travel interactions with
eminent persons have given a new depth, and added a new
dimension, to the socio-cultural history of India.
Lakshmibai Rani of Jhansi (1835-1858), a leader of the Indian
Mutiny of 1857. Born in varanasi in nothern India, Lakshmibai was
married to Gangadhar Rao, the ruler of Jhansi. The Raja died in
1853, learning no direct male their, but had adopted a son without
the consent of the British East India Company. Lord Dalhousie
annexed the state under “doctrine of lapse, incurring rani’s emmity.
When Jhansi fell, she joined the rebel leader Jantia Tope to fight at
Kalpi. When Kalphi, too, fell to the British, they escaped to the forest
and captured gwalor fort in, 1858. Here, supported by the Gwalior
forces, she continued to fight the British until shot dead during a
battle close to the fort. She Romanticized as a heroine and freedom
fighter, and apparently gaining the respect of her enemies for her
bravery. She resulted in considerable loss of life and frutalities on
both sides.
Sarojini Naidu
Naidu, Sarojini (1879-1949), Indian poet and prominent
figure in the Indian independence struggle. Naidu was
born into a Bengali Brahmin family in Hyderabad, India;
her father was a scientist and her mother a poet, and
she grew up surrounded by artists, intellectuals, and
revolutionaries. A brilliant student, she entered Madras
University at the age of 12, about which time, also, she
began to write poetry. In 1895, she was sent to England,
studying at King's College, London and Girton College,
Cambridge, before a breakdown in health forced her to
abandon her studies and return home. During this
period, nevertheless, she came into contact with some of
the great literary figures of the day, and formed particular
friendships with Edmund Gosse and Arthur Symons.
On her return to India in 1898, she married Govindarajulu
Naidu, a non-Brahmin. She soon came into contact with
Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas
Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, and Annie Besant.
Encouraged by Gokhale, she entered politics and, with her
remarkable powers of oratory, soon emerged as an
admired leader. She campaigned vigorously for women's
rights and for improvement in the conditions of workers. Ill
health took her back to England, where she was fired by
the enthusiasm of the young Muhammad Ali Jinnah, then
an ardent Indian nationalist who had founded the London
Indian Students' Association. By 1918, after the death of
Gokhale and her meeting with Gandhi, she had become an
important figure in the nationalist movement, actively
participating in Gandhi's civil disobedience campaign and
travelling widely across the country promoting HinduMuslim unity and the nationalist cause as well as
continuing her fight for the rights of women and the
depressed classes. In 1919, she returned to London as
part of the Home Rule Deputation, becoming involved in
the woman suffrage movement while there. During the
1920s she travelled to South Africa and represented
In 1925, Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian woman to be
elected President of the Indian National Congress. She took
part in the round table conferences in London in the 1930s
and, continuing her active participation in Gandhi's
satyagrahas, was jailed on several occasions by the British.
Deeply disappointed by the partition of India with
independence, ending her hopes for Hindu-Muslim unity,
and by the assassination of Gandhi, she nevertheless
accepted the Governorship of United Provinces (now Uttar
Pradesh), a post she held till her death in 1949 at Lucknow.
Her published poetic works include The Golden Threshold
(1905), The Bird of Time (1912), The Broken Wing (1917),
Selected Poems (1930), The Sceptred Flute (1937, edition
with introduction by Joseph Auslander), and The Feather of
the Dawn (1961). Many of her speeches have also been
Annie Besant
British Mystic Annie Besantworked in the Indian Nationalist
movement in India. From 1907 to 1933 she was President
of the Theosophical Society, a mystical organization that
followed elements of Eastern religions.
Annie Besant
Besant, Annie (1847-1933), British theosophist and
nationalist leader in India, born in London. Besant
became interested in socialist and free-thought
movements early on, and wrote pamphlets defending
them. She became closely associated with the British
social reformer Charles Bradlaugh and later with the
Fabian Society. She and Bradlaugh republished an old
pamphlet, The Fruits of Philosophy, which advocated
birth control; for this, they were brought to trial on a
charge of obscenity. In 1889 she joined the Theosophical
Society, serving as president from 1907 until her death.
Shortly after joining the society Besant moved to India,
where she later became a leader of a Hindu nationalist
movement. She founded Central Hindu College at
Vārānasi in 1898 and organized the Indian Home Rule
League, becoming president in 1916. She was elected
president of the Indian National Congress in 1917, and
general secretary of the National Convention of India in
1923. Besant lectured frequently on theosophy and in
1926 travelled widely with her Indian protégé Jiddu
Krishnamurti, whom she declared to be the new
Messiah. Her works include Reincarnation (1892), The
Basis of Morality (1915), A World Religion (1916), and
India, Bond or Free? (1926).
Aruna Asaf Ali
Aruna Asaf Ali was born as Aruna Ganguly on July 16 1908 at Kalka
(Haryana) in an orthodox Hindu Bengali family. Aruna Asaf Ali was a
legendary heroine of India`s freedom struggle. Her first major political
action was during the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 when she addressed public
meetings and led processions. British Government charged her for being a
"vagrant" and sentenced her to one year`s imprisonment. When political
prisoners were released in the aftermath of Gandhi-Irwin pact, Aruna was
not released. But a public agitation in favour of her release, forced British
government to release her. She was again arrested in 1932 and put in Tihar
Jail. In Tihar Jail she went on a hunger strike against the treatment done
towards political prisoners. Her protest caused an improvement in
conditions, but she herself was moved to lonely imprisonment in Ambala.
Aruna Asaf Ali was a dedicated sociologist. She was elected the first Mayor
of Delhi. She devoted her entire life for the betterment of the country without
any selfish means. Her contribution in liberating Goa had tremendous
impact in achieving the freedom for Goans. She was a true patriot. The
Bharat Ratna was honoured to Aruna Asaf Ali with a stamp issued by the
Indian Postal Service in 1998.
Madam Bhikaji Cama
Madam Bhikaji Cama
Madam Cama was born on 24th September 1861 to rich Parsi parents.
Young Bhikaji received good English education, but from the beginning
she was a rebel, and a nationalist. She had good flair to learn
languages and became expert in arguing her country`s cause in
different circles at a young age. She fought for the freedom of the
country till the last in her own way, and helped many revolutionaries with
money and materials. Madame Bhikaji always believed that British had
looted India, and practiced worst form of imperialism. She had thousand
and one reasons to show how India was kept in abject poverty by the
British to help them to become the most powerful country in the world of
that period. Bhikaji Cama always stood for swaraj or self-rule. She
fought for unity of Hindus and Muslims. She continued financing
revolutionaries in and out of India. British were not happy with her
activities and there was a plan to finish her off. Madam Cama also
fought for the cause of women. She published many books on Indian
freedom struggle, which had writings against the British rule
Sister of JAWAHAR LAL NEHRU, and leader of
CONGRESS party of India. Mrs. Pandit was first
women to having been appointed minister in the
political history of India.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Vijayalakshmi came from a prominent family. Her father Motilal
Nehru was the president of Congress, and brother Jawaharlal Nehru
went on to become India`s Prime Minister. She was inspired by the
persona of Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi and impressed by Sarojini
Naidu. She entered the Non Co-operation Movement to fight against
the British rule. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit represented India in many of
the conferences abroad. She was present in San Francisco when
the U.N first met there. She attended numerous public lectures and
challenged the British dominated delegates rights to represent India
therein. National and international affairs were part of the air she
breathed at home and her own interest in these woke up early. At
the age of sixteen she wanted to join Annie Besant`s Home Rule
League but being too young, she was only allowed to enroll as a
volunteer. She was a great fighter and took parts in many of the
freedom movement. She was elected to Uttar Pradesh Assembly in
1936. The political career made her India`s first women cabinet
minister in 1937.