India celebrates its 75th Independence on August 15, 2021. In 1947, with the combined effort and sacrifices made by hundreds of Indian freedom fighters, our country finally attained its freedom. We are all aware of the contribution made by great freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Rani Laxmibai, Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and Jawaharlal Nehru among others. But there are many other unsung warriors who gave their all to bring the 200-year-old British Raj to an end in India.
On this Independence Day, let's throw light on the contribution of five such lesser-known heroes of the Indian freedom struggle:
Matangini Hazra AKA Lady Gandhi
After becoming a widow at the age of 18, Matangini Hazra joined the Indian independence movement as a Gandhian in 1905. She started spinning her own "khadi" and came to be known as "Gandhi Buri" or "Lady Gandhi". She participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement. She was also arrested by the British police for breaking the Salt Act. During the Quit India Movement, Hazra was shot dead by the police when she moved forward at a protest site to appeal to the police not to open fire at the crowd. She died with the Indian still flying high in her hands.
Kodi Katha Kumaran or Kumaran came to be known by the name of the place he was shot dead at by the British police. The freedom fighter participated in a protest against the British on January 11, 1932. He was holding the Indian nationalist flag, banned by the British, in his hands at the time of death.
Alluri Sitarama Raju
A tribal Indian revolutionary, Alluri Sitarama Raju led the Rampa Rebellion of 1922. He helped the tribal people fight with the British in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam regions of Madras Presidency. He rightly became popular as the "Hero of the Jungle" among the locals. He was, however, held by the British police, tied to a tree, and executed in gunfire.
Peer Ali Khan
Peer Ali Khan is another unsung hero of the 1857 Independence rebellion. A bookbinder by profession, Khan used to secretly distribute pamphlets and pass information among the Indian freedom fighters. He was held by the British police and given capital punishment.
A Naga spiritual and political leader, Rani Gaindinlu led a revolt against British rule in India. At the age of 16, she was held by the British police and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1947, after India attained freedom, Gaindnilu was released from jail.
Do you know more about such unsung heroes from the Indian freedom movement?