Over the last four days, we profiled four little-known freedom fighters though there were hundreds of thousands unknown names who laid down their lives or contributed for the nation’s freedom. As India celebrates the 72nd Independence Day, www.lifeandmore.in remembers a few other freedom fighters who played an important role in helping us breathe in an independent nation
Kartar Singh Sarabha
- Main architect of Ghadar revolution which aimed to incite mutiny in British Indian Army during World War I.
- Sought to take advantage of the war to uproot the British from India but the betrayal of an insider resulted in Sarabha getting arrested.
- After trial, 19-year-old Kartar Singh Sarabha was hanged on November 16, 1915, in Lahore central jail.
Raja Mahendra Pratap
- One of the first Marxist revolutionaries in the country.
- Born in the princely Jat family of Mursan in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh.
- First president of the provisional government of India formed in Afghanistan.
- Went to Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1906 to attend the Congress session and met several leaders of the Swadeshi movement but realised Congress won’t be able to help his cause of freedom.
- Moved out of India in 1915 and entered Germany.
- Met German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm-II who promised him assistance to invade India via Afghan border.
- Had family relations with Jat Sikh states of Jind, Nabha and Patiala and wanted to use these states to crush the British in India.
- But with Germany’s defeat in WW-I, his dream was shattered.
- One of the chiefs of Khasi people in early 18th century who fought against British who tried to take control over Khasi Hills in 1835 to extend their possession on Lower Assam areas.
- Objected to British occupation of the area.
- British tried to crush the opposition which resulted in a war between Khasi tribes and British in which Singh sacrificed his life defending his tribe and land.
- Designed a version of flag for Indian National Congress which later became the Indian National Flag after minor alterations post-Independence.
- Said to be an authority in geology, agriculture and an educationist. However, he died in poverty in 1963, largely forgotten by society and by Congress.
- Rebelled against the British and refused to pay taxes to them, almost 60 years before the First War of Independence in 1857.
- Waged a war against the British to protect his land as a chieftain of Palyekar community in the 18th century.
- Died in the war against the British.
- Was a part of the Quit India and Non-Cooperation movements as also of Civil Disobedience Movement and was arrested for breaking the Salt Act.
- Continued to advance with the Indian flag during one procession even after being shot thrice, shouting Vande Mataram.
- Was affectionately known as Gandhi buri, Bengali for old lady Gandhi.
- Inspiration for the people of Andhra during freedom struggle.
- As a writer, used his skills to write influential poems and songs to motivate the people of Andhra to join the movement against the British.
- Founder of the Desa Bandhu Youth Association.
- Killed during a protest march against the colonial government on January 11, 1932, for holding a flag of Indian nationalists that was banned by the British.
- Though he succumbed to injuries, he was found dead holding the National Flag.
- Was only 16 but actively in the forefront of all freedom activities, especially Quit India Movement.
- Imprisoned for two years for taking part in such activities.
- Served the public socially post-Independence.
- Also known as the Mother Teresa of Western Orissa (now Odisha).
- First Indian queen to wage a war against the British, she gave them a good run for their money.
- Former princess of Ramanathapuram opposed the British rule even before the First War of Indian Independence.