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Indian Freedom Fighters: 25 Popular Freedom Fighters of India

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Behind the celebration of Independence on 15th August, 1947, there is a much violent and chaotic history of fierce rebellions, wars and movements done by thousands of spirited freedom fighters.

They all fought, struggled and some of them even sacrificed their lives in an effort to free India from British rule. To end the reign of foreign imperialists and their Colonialism in India, a great number of revolutionaries and activists from diverse family backgrounds came together and embarked on a mission. Many of us might have heard of some of them, but there are so many prominent heroes whose contributions have not been celebrated.

To respect their efforts and devotion, we have made a list of 25 top freedom fighters and revolutionaries of India without whom we wouldn’t be breathing in Independent India.

1. SardarVallabhbhai Patel

  • Born: 31 October 1875, Nadia
  • Died: 15 December 1950, Mumbai
  • Full name: Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel
  • Nicknames: Bismarck of India, Strong (Iron) Man, Sardar, Iron Man Of India
  • Awards: Bharat Ratna
Most brave and epic from the young age, Vallabhbhai Patel was born in 1875 and earned the title ‘Sardar’ after his heroic contribution in BardoliSatyagrah. Due to his brave endeavors, he eventually began to be regarded as ‘the iron man of India.’. Sardar Patel was originally a lawyer but he withdrew from law and joined freedom fight to represent India against British rulers. He became the Deputy PM of India after the independence and dedicated himself to integrate princely states into the Union India.

2. Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was the only son of Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani and was born in 1889. Nehru was originally a barrister and became popular as both freedom fighter of india and a politician. His passion for India’s freedom was the influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s efforts to relieve India from Britishers. He joined the freedom struggle, became the President of Indian National Congress and was eventually made the First Prime Minister of India post the independence. Since he adored children, he was called Chacha Nehru and his birthday is celebrated as Children’s day.

3. Mahatma Gandhi

  • Born: 2 October 1869, Porbandar
  • Full name: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
  • Assassinated: 30 January 1948, New Delhi
  • Spouse: Kasturba Gandhi (m. 1883–1944)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 2nd October, 1869 and was entitled “Father of Nation” and Mahatma Gandhi because of his great deeds. Married to Kasturba at 13, he studied law in London and went to South Africa for practice where racial discrimination towards some Indians inspired him to fight for human rights. Later, after watching the status of India ruled by Englishmen, Gandhi fiercely joined the freedom fight. He took “DandiKuch” on his bare foot to relieve tax on salt and led several non-violence movements against Britishers in efforts for freedom.

4. Tantia Tope

Tantia Tope was born in 1814 and became one of the great classic Indian rebellions in 1857. He led a group of soldier and to fight and end the dominance of the British. A firm follower of Nana Sahib, he served as General and continued his fight despite extreme circumstances. Tantia made General Windham to leave Kanpur and was involved in reinstating Rani Lakshmi to Gwalior.

5. Nana Sahib

Nana Sahib was a significant contributor in 1857 uprising in which he led a group of ardent rebellions.He overwhelmed the British forces in Kanpur and threatened British camp by killing the survivors of the force. Audacious and fearless, Nana Sahib was a skilled administrator as well who prepared and ledthousands of Indian soldiers.

6. Lal Bahadur Shastri

Lal Bahadur Shastri was born in 1904 in UP. He received the title “Shastri” Scholar after he completed his study at Kashi Vidyapeeth. As a silent yet active freedom fighter, he participated in Quit India movement, Civil Disobedience movement and Salt Satyagrah movement led by Mahatma Gandhi. He also spent many years in Jail. After the independence, he graced the position of Home Minister and later became Prime Minister of India in 1964.

7. Subhash Chandra Bose

Famous with the title Netaji, Subhas Chandra Bose was born in 1897 in Orissa. The Jallianwala bagh Massacre potentially shook him and made him return to India from England in 1921. He joined Indian National Congress and was a part of Civil Disobedience Movement. Since he wasn’t content with Non-Violence method of freedom as promoted by Gandhi Ji, he went to Germany for help and eventually formed Indian National Army (INA) and Azad Hind Government.

8. Sukhdev

  • Born: 15 May 1907, Ludhiana
  • Died: 23 March 1931, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Siblings: Jagdish Chand Thapar, Prakash Chand Thapar, Mathuradass Thapar, Krishna Thapar, Jaidev Thapar
  • Parents: Ralli DeviRamlal Thapar
  • Education: National College of Arts, National College, Lahore
  • Children: Madhu Sehgal

Born in 1907, Sukhdev was a valiant revolutionary and an integral member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He worked close with his associates Bhagat Singh and Shivram Rajguru. He was said to be involved in killing a British officer John Saunders.Unfortunately, he was arrested and martyred along with Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru at the age of 24.

9. Kunwar Singh

  • Born: November 1777, Jagdishpur
  • Died: 26 April 1858, Jagdishpur
  • Full name: Babu Veer Kunwar Singh
  • Nickname: Veer Kunwar Singh
  • Nationality: Indian

Born in November 1777, Kunwar Singh led a force of soldiers against the British in Bihar at the age of 80. Clever and deceptive, Kunwar Singh was fondly called Veer Kunwar Singh due to his intimidating bravery. He targeted British Troops with guerrilla warfare tactics and defeated British forces heavily. Kunwar Singh is always remembered for his young audacity, passion and respectable bravery.

10. Rani Lakshmi Bai

  • Born: 19 November 1828, Varanasi
  • Died: 18 June 1858, Gwalior
  • Full name: Manikarnika Tambe
  • Spouse: Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar (m. 1842–1853)
  • Parents: Moropant Tambe, Bhagirathi Sapre
  • Children: Damodar Rao of Jhansi, Anand Rao

Rani Lakhsmi Bai, the Queen of Jhansi, was born in 1828. She was a key member of India’s fierce uprising of independence in 1857. Despite being a woman, she embodied bravery and fearless attitude, inspiring thousands of women to participate the freedom battle. She bravely defended her palaceof Jhansi in 1858 when it was to be invaded by British force led by Sir Hugh Rose.

11. Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • Born: 19 November 1828, Varanasi
  • Died: 18 June 1858, Gwalior
  • Full name: Manikarnika Tambe
  • Spouse: Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar (m. 1842–1853)
  • Parents: Moropant Tambe, Bhagirathi Sapre
  • Children: Damodar Rao of Jhansi, Anand Rao

Bal GangadharTilak was born in 1856 and was a remarkable freedom fighters of India. In a raging protest against British, he created burning flame across the nation with the slogan – “Swaraj is my birthright”. He was more popular as one of the triumvirate: Lal, Bal and Pal. To defy English rulers, Tilakbuilt schools and published rebellious newspapers. Since people loved and respected him as one of the greatest leaders, he was called Lokmanya Tilak.

12. LalaLajpat Rai

  • Born: 28 January 1865, Dhudike
  • Died: 17 November 1928, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Nickname: Punjab Kesari
  • Education: Government College University, Government Higher Secondary School, Rewari
  • Parents: Gulab Devi, Radha Krishan

LalaLajpat Rai was born in 1865 in Punjab and was informally called Punjab Kesari. A part of Lal-Bal-Pal trio, he was one of the extremist members of Indian National Congress. In 1920, he became a popular leader as he led the Non-Cooperation Movement and Punjab Protest against the Jalliawala Bagh incident. In a Simon Commission protest in 1928, he died from brutal Lathi charge by the Britishers.

13. Mangal Pandey

  • Born: 19 July 1827, Nagwa
  • Died: 8 April 1857, Barrackpore
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Known for: Indian independence fighter
  • Parents: Abhairani Pandey, Divakar Pandey

Born in 1827, Mangal Pandey was one the early freedom fighter. He was among the first rebels to inspire young Indian soldiers to instigate the great rebellion of 1857. Serving as a soldier for the British East India Company, Pandey launched a first attack by firing at English officials, which was the beginning of the Indian rebellion in 1857.

14. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

  • Born: 28 May 1883, Bhagur
  • Died: 26 February 1966, Mumbai
  • Party: Hindu Mahasabha
  • Education: City Law School (1909), Fergusson College (1902–1905), Wilson College, Mumbai, Mumbai University (MU)
  • Children: Vishwas Savarkar, Prabhat Chiplunkar, Prabhakar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born in 1883 and spent his life being a passionate activist and Indian revolutionary. He founded Abhinav Bharat Society and Free India Society. He was known as Swatantryaveer Savarkar. As a writer, he also wrote a piece titled ‘The Indian War of Independence’ that included glorious details about the struggles of the Indian uprising of 1857.

Also Read: 9 Union Territories of India and their Capitals

15. C. Rajagopalachari

  • Born: 10 December 1878, Thorapalli
  • Died: 25 December 1972, Chennai
  • Nicknames: CR, Mango of Krishnagiri, Rajaji
  • Education: Presidency college(autonomous), Bangalore central University (1894), Bangalore University
  • Awards: Bharat Ratna

Born in 1878, C Rajagopalachari was a lawyer by profession but later joined the Indian National Congress in 1906 to become a respected Congress representative. He was a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi and defended a revolutionary P. Varadarajulu Naidu. He also actively participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Lajpat Rai.

16. Bhagat Singh

  • Born: 28 September 1907, Banga, Pakistan
  • Died: 23 March 1931, Lahore Central Jail, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Education: National College, Lahore, National College of Arts, Dayanand Anglo-Vedic Schools System
  • Siblings: Bibi Amar Kaur, Bibi Shakuntla, Kultar Singh, Rajinder Singh, Kulbir Singh, Bibi Parkash Kaur, Jagat Singh, Ranbir Singh
  • Parents: Vidyavati, Sardar Kishan Singh Sandhu

Bhagat Singh was quite a famous revolutionary and also controversial Freedom Fighters of India as he became proud martyr for his country. He was born to a Sikh family of freedom fighters in 1907 in Punjab. He was therefore a born patriot and joined non-Cooperation movement in 1921. He formed the “Naujawan Bharat Sabha”, to instill patriotism in youth of Punjab. Chauri-Chaura Massacre changed him and made him extreme in his fight for freedom.

17. Dadabhai Naoroji

  • Born: 4 September 1825, Navsari
  • Died: 30 June 1917, Mumbai
  • Organizations founded: Indian National Congress, Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, National Congress, London Indian Society
  • Parents: Naoroji Palanji Dordi, Manekbai Naoroji Dordi
  • Education: Mumbai University (MU), Elphinstone College

DadabhaiNaoroji was born in 1825 and is accountable for establishing the Indian National Congress. He is also one of the prominent activists to have joined the non-violence independent movement. He criticized in one of his books about British colonialism in India being equivalent to stealing wealth from the country.

18. Ram Prasad Bismil

  • Born: 11 June 1897, Shahjahanpur
  • Died: 19 December 1927, Gorakhpur Jail, Gorakhpur
  • Nationality: British Raj
  • Organization: Hindustan Socialist Republican Association
  • Books: Musings from the Gallows: Autobiography of Ram Prasad Bismil, Kranti Geetanjali, Nij Jeevan Ki Ek Chhata, Atmakatha
  • Parents: Moolmati, Murlidhar

Like Shahid Bhagat Singh, Ram Prasad Bismil was also a memorable young revolutionary who martyred for his country. Born in 1897, Bismil was one of the respectable members of the Hindustan Republican Association with Sukhdev. He was also involved in the notorious Kakori train robbery because of which British government sentenced him to death.

19. K. M. Munshi

  • Born: 30 December 1887, Bharuch
  • Died: 8 February 1971, Mumbai
  • Education: The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
  • Books: Lomaharshini, Prithivivallabh, Lopamudra, MORE
  • Children: Girish Munshi, Jagadish Munshi, Usha Raghupathi, Lata Munshi, Sarla Sheth
  • Organizations founded: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan

Born in 1887, K.M. Munshi established Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and emerged as a strong freedom fighter as he participated in Salt Satyagraha and Quit India movement with Mahatma Gandhi. He also joined Swaraj Party and Indian National Congress. He was a strong follower of Sardar Patel, Gandhi and Sayajirao Gaekwad and was also arrested many a time for his freedom protests.

20. Bipin Chandra Pal 

  • Born: 7 November 1858, Habiganj District, Bangladesh
  • Died: 20 May 1932, Kolkata
  • Books: The Soul of India: A Constructive Study of Indian Thoughts & Ideals, MORE
  • Parents: Ramchandra Pal, Narayani Devi
  • Education: St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, Presidency University
  • Spouse: Birajmohini Devi (m. 1891), Nrityakali Devi (m. 1881)

Bipin Chandra Pal, born in 1858 was a substantial part of the Indian National Congress. He is an unforgettable revolutionary. He encouraged the the abandonment of foreign goods. He formed an association with LalaLajpat Rai and Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a Lal-Pal-Bal trio, and together he executed many revolutionary activities for the country.

21. Chandra Shekhar Azad 

  • Born: 23 July 1906, Bhavra
  • Died: 27 February 1931, Chandrashekhar Azad Park
  • Full name: Chandrashekhar Tiwari
  • Nickname: Azad
  • Education: Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith
  • Parents: Sitaram Tiwari, Jagrani Devi

Chandra Shekhar Azad was born in 1906 and was a close associate of Bhagat Singh in the struggle for freedom. He was also a part of Hindustan Republican Association and the most fearless and challenging freedom fighter against British rulers. During a skirmish with British soldiers, after killing many enemies he shot himself with his Colt pistol. He swore he would never be captured alive by those Britishers.

22. Chittaranjan Das

  • Born: 5 November 1870, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Died: 16 June 1925, Darjeeling
  • Nickname: Deshbandhu
  • Title: “Deshbandhu” (Friend of the Nation)
  • Parents: Nistarini Devi, Bhuban Mohan Das

Born in 1870, Chittaranjan Das was a lawyer by profession and the real founder of the Swaraj Party. Famous as Deshbandhu, he also took part in the Indian National Movement. As a law practitioner, he successfully defended Aurobindo Ghosh who was charged with a said crime by the British. Subhash Chandra Bose was mentored by Chittaranjan.

23. Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barakatullah

  • Born: 7 July 1854, Bhopal
  • Died: 20 September 1927, San Francisco, California, United States
  • President: Mahendra Pratap

Abdul Hafiz Mohamed Barakatullah was born in 1854 and has uniquely fought for the nation’s freedom. He was a co-founder of Ghadar Party that was operated overseas from San Francisco. Being an overseas revolutionary, he took pen as a fighting weapon and published blazing articles in England’s leading daily to incite the fire of Independence.

24.Ashfaqulla Khan

  • Born: 22 October 1900, Shahjahanpur
  • Died: 19 December 1927, Faizabad
  • Organization: Hindustan Socialist Republican Association
  • Other name: Ashfaq Ulla Khan.
  • Parents: Mazhoor-Un-Nisa, Shafiq Ullah Khan
  • Siblings: Riyasat Ullah Khan

Born in 1900, Ashfaqulla Khan was another young fountain of revolutionary fire who also sacrificed his life for his mother India like many other martyrs in the list. Like Bismil and Chandrashekha, he, too, was a prominent member of the Hindustan Republican Association. He carried out the popular train robbery at Kakori Khan with the help of his associates, which led him to being executed by the British.

25. Begum Hazrat Mahal

  • Born: 1820, Faizabad
  • Died: 7 April 1879, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Nationality: British Raj
  • Spouse: Wajid Ali Shah (m. ?–1879)
  • Children: Birjis Qadr

Born in 1820, Hazrat Mahal participated in the 1857 mutiny to insurrect against British rulers. She worked along with the leaders like NanaSaheb and Maulavi of Faizabad. She single-handedly defended Lucknow, leading the troops when her husband was away. She also fought to stop the demolition of temples and mosques after which she retreated to Nepal.

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