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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Do you know the names of Peer Ali Khan, and many other freedom fighters?

We all know the role that Mahatma Gandhi played in winning the freedom of India, but the names of many freedom fighters are not much known.

Seventy four years of freedom from the British Raj will soon be celebrated on August 15 in India. The country will also recall our two hundred-year-old campaign for our countrymen’s independence.

Mahatama Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Bhagat Singh are some of the well known freedom fighters.  However, the names of many others who struggled for our freedom have gone into the dark.

Here are the names of a few men and women who made great sacrifices for the freedom of India. But they are not much known.

Peer Ali Khan

Mangal Pandey was the most recognised hero of the 1857 uprising, but just a few people have heard of Peer Ali Khan.  He was one of India’s first rebels and one of the 14 people who were hanged for their part in the rebellion. Even then, his work continued to inspire people who came  after him. However, his name simply faded away over time.

Aruna Asaf Ali

Aruna Asaf Ali rose to popularity among Indians and became unpopular in the British Raj camp at the age of 33 after hoisting the National Congress of India’s banner at the Bombay’s Gowalia Tank Maidan during 1942’s Quit India Movement.

Although a warrant to arrest her was issued, she avoided arrest by going underground and launched an underground movement. Aruna Asaf Ali’s property was confiscated and sold. Then a prize of Rs. 5,000 was given by the UK government to arrest her.  She continued to be involved in politics and humanitarian activities after India’s Independence, but she was never recognised.

Matangini Hazra

Matangini Hazra was another woman who fought for our  freedom. She devoted her life to independence in the country, but  did not receive her fair share of honour.Hazra was a member of the Quit India and Non-Cooperation Movement. She was shot several times during a protest against the British, but it didn’t stop her from walking with the tricolour in her hand.

Bhikaji Cama

On the highways and in the buildings, people have heard her name, but few know who was Bhikaji Cama and how she was doing for India.Cama was not part of the movement for independence in India and also a symbol, which in the late 19th and early 20th century stood for female equality. She gave away much of her personal property to a girl’s orphanage. At the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907, she also unfurled the flag of India. 

Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi

For his strong participation in India’s free movement, Munshi was also known by pairs as Kulpati. He was a great advocate for the movement to quit India. The British authorities repeatedly arrested him for his participation in actions relating to freedom. He was also Bharatiya Bhavan’s founder Vidya.


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