The women freedom fighters of India are often forgotten. The sacrifices they made for the love of their country is a source of inspiration to all around the world.
These are top 25 women freedom fighters of India contributed to the independence struggle of India. They fought courageously, many of them being jailed and many facing death.
The women freedom fighters resisted British rule. They fought relentlessly against the oppressors and were steadfast in their ideals. They were brave and intelligent women. We mention here some of the well-known and lesser-known of the women freedom fighters of india.
1. RANI LAKSHMI BAI
The Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmi Bai, was the queen of Maratha. She was the first freedom fighter of India who fought in the Independence Movement of 1857.
She is always remembered for her bravery and valor as a warrior. She fought against the British rule till the end and was considered a symbol of resistance.
The British considered her a force to reckon with.
2. SAROJINI NAIDU
Sarojini Naidu was a poet and an independence activist. She was the first lady to become a governor of a province and of a state in independent India.
She was appointed as the president of the Indian National Congress. She established the Women’s Indian Association and was involved in women’s welfare and empowerment.
She was arrested and jailed for her roles in the Civil Disobedience and the Quit India movements.
She supported Gandhiji in the Sabarmati pact, Montagu-Chelmsford reforms, Satyagraha pledge and Khilafat issue.
3. KASTURBA GANDHI
Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of Gandhiji, took an active role in politics and the independence of India.
She taught Indians the basic qualities of health and hygiene and the value of reading and writing. She partook in all the demonstrations and movements for Indian independence.
4. KAMALA NEHRU
Kamala Nehru, wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was a freedom fighter herself.
She was instrumental in organizing women groups during the Non-cooperation Movement in 1921 and picketed foreign cloth and liquor stores.
She often stood in for her husband and delivered speeches when he could not arrive on time.
5. JHALKARI BAI
Jhalkari Bai was a courageous woman and a fighter. With her fighting tactics, she killed tigers in the jungle and forced dacoits to retreat. She played a crucial role in the battle of Jhansi.
Her close resemblance to Rani Laxmi Bai enabled her to take command of the army during the battle allowing the queen to escape.
6. BEGUM HAZRAT MAHAL
Begum Hazrat was known as Begum of Awadh. She rebelled against the British. On the demise of her husband, she took over the rule of Awadh. She captured Lucknow and appointed her son as the ruler.
Lucknow was later re-captured by the British. She fought against the demolition of temples and mosques for the construction of roads.
7. KITTUR RANI CHENNAMMA
She belonged to the Lingayat community in a small village in Karnataka. She was a valiant freedom fighter well versed in sword fighting, archery and horse-riding.
She ruled over her kingdom and rebelled against the British rule in India.
8. RANI GAIDINLIU
Rani from Manipur, a daughter of the hills, is known for her resistance to British rule. She started at a young age joining the movement for the revival of the Naga Tribe which led to her arrest by the British when she was 17 years.
She was imprisoned for 14 years. On completion of her jail term, she engaged in rebellion against the British in Cachar Hills and Hangrum Village. She fought for freedom with an indomitable spirit.
9. MATANGINI HAZRA
Matangini Hazra, known as Gandhi Buri, was a revolutionary who protested against British rule and was imprisoned a few times. She was known for her patriotism and independence.
She led a procession of six thousand people during Quit India movement. She was shot dead by the police in Tamluk, Midnapore district.
She held the Indian flag high and chanted ‘Vande Matram’ when faced with death.
10. UDA DEVI
Uda Devi, along with other Dalit ladies was known as Dalit Veeranganas of the Indian Independence struggle of 1857.
She was a bold and resolute woman. Begum Hazrat helped her in forming a women’s battalion.
Under Uda Devi’s command, they fought bravely against the British. She is said to have shot dead British soldiers from a pipal tree.
Moolmati was a little known patriot who resisted British rule. She was known as the sacrificial mother.
When her son Ramprasad Bismil was hanged by the British rulers, she was unmoved and proud. She addressed public meetings and arranged processions. She offered her and her other son’s support to the freedom struggle.
12. ARUNA ASAF ALI
She was a political activist and an active member of the Indian National Congress. She participated in the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India movement.
She was imprisoned by the British. She organized protests inside the jail against the treatment meted out to prisoners. Her strikes resulted in the improvement of the conditions of the prisoners in Tihar jail.
13. KANAKLATA BARUA
Known as Birbala, Kanaklata Barua was a freedom fighter from Assam. She actively participated in the Quit India movement in 1942.
She protested against the British by waving the Indian flag and shouting slogans. She was shot dead by the police at the age of 18.
14. TARA RANI SRIVASTAVA
Tara and her husband Phulendu Babu joined the Quit India movement protests. They gathered a crowd and marched towards Siwan Police Station in Bihar shouting slogans.
The police opened fire and her husband was badly hurt. She still led the crowd holding the Indian flag. Her husband eventually died, but she continued her struggle for freedom.
15. MADAM BHIKAIJI CAMA
Madam Bhikaiji Cama was a Parsi social worker, an active freedom fighter and a philanthropist.
She was affected by bubonic plague while providing assistance and aid to those infected.
She voiced for human rights and equality between men and women. She donated all her assets to help and orphanage for girls. She was designated as an Indian ambassador to Germany in 1907.
16. ANNIE BESANT
Annie Besant was a British socialist but an active fighter for self-rule for India. She was president of the Theosophical Society, helped in establishing Hindu colleges and was a co-founder of the All India Home Rule League.
She became president of the Indian National Congress. Her contributions to self-rule agitations are innumerable.
17. CAPTAIN LAXMI SEHGAL
Capt Laxmi was a doctor as well as a social activist. She was the first lady in India to lead an all-women regiment, the Rani Jhansi Regiment.
She worked with her heart looking after untouchables and patients till she died. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan for her dedication to society.
18. AMMU SWAMINATHAN
Ammu was a political activist and social worker during the pre-independence movement. She fought against the arrogance of the upper caste. She was member of the committee which drafted the Indian constitution.
Her political work took her to countries abroad as a goodwill ambassador. She was president of the Bharat Scouts and Guides.
19. UMABAI KUNDAPUR
Umabai was an unselfish political activist. She preferred to stay out of the limelight and refused many honors and posts offered to her. She participated in protests and acted against the British. She founded the Bagini Mandal and led the women’s wing of the Hindustani Seva Dal. She provided shelter for the freedom fighters.
20. SUCHETA KRIPLANI
Sucheta, a political activist, came into limelight during the Quit India movement. She was the first woman to be a chief minister of Uttar Pradesh of independent India.
She believed in the ideals of Gandhiji and partook fearlessly in the riots with him. She was a member of the committee that drafted the constitution of India.
21. KAMALADEVI CHATTOPADHYAY
Kamaladevi was a social reformer and a dedicated freedom fighter. She was the first woman to be arrested by the British for her active role in politics.
She was fearless and committed to her efforts. She participated in the Salt Satyagraha. She was elected to the Legislative Assembly. She worked for the improvement of the conditions of women in India. She promoted theater and handicrafts in post-independent India.
22. VIJAYALAKSHMI PANDIT
Vijayalakshmi Pandit, the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, is known for her diplomatic role in Indian politics. She was the first lady to be designated as a cabinet minister for public health.
She was the first woman to hold the post of the president of the United Nations General Assembly. She was the first woman ambassador in the world. She was ambassador to Moscow, London and Washington.
23. SAVITRI BAI PHULE
Savitri Bai along with her husband Jyotirao Phule took the first step to educate girls.
She was the first female teacher at the first girl’s school in India. She fought against the orthodox norms of society during the British rule. She overcame all resistance and brought about social reform in Maharashtra.
24. BEGUM ROYEKA
Begum was one of the earliest women freedom fighters and social activists in India. She fought for gender equality at a time when it was not thought of.
She wrote books, stories, poems and essays wherein she advocated the necessity for men and women to be treated on par. She did mention that lack of education was the prime cause of backwardness in women.
25. DURGA BAI DESHMUKH
She was a political and social activist in India’s struggle for independence. A lawyer, by profession, she was an ardent follower of Gandhiji and was a part of the Satyagraha movement. She was elected to the Lok Sabha and the Planning Commission as a member. She formed the Social Welfare Board to rehabilitate and improve the conditions of women and children.
Also Read: 25 Popular Freedom Fighters of India
The women freedom fighters came from different parts of India. Though with different backgrounds, they all came together to fight for the independence of India. Stories of their valor, courage and patriotism inspire us.
Rani Chenamma, the Queen of Kittur, Karnataka is said to be the first woman freedom fighter of India. She was born in October 23, 1778 about 56 years before the birth of Jhansi ki Rani.
She was proficiently trained in sword fighting, horse riding and archery. Though she was also a valiant woman freedom fighter, Indian history has always showcased only Rani Laxmibai as a woman freedom fighter.
Indian women were not cowards when it came to fight for their nation. And so, India has many valiant freedom fighters in its list. Some of them are:
This is really a difficult question to answer, as there are multiple answers. But as per the records as of now, Puli Thevar- the ruler of Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, is believed to be the first freedom fighter of India.
In this we can aslo add the names of Maveeran Alagumuthu Kone, Velu Nachiyar, Jayi Rajguru, Maruthu Pandiyar and Pazhassi Raja.
Maharaja Nandakumar of West Bengal, a tax collector and a diwan of various areas, is supposed to be India’s first victim to be hanged under British rule. Some historians argue that he was falsely charged of forgery.
Khudiram Bose is known to be the youngest freedom fighter of India. He was brought up by his sister after their parent’s death and he gave up studies when he was in 9th standard due to his interest in political activities. From there e joined the Swadeshi movement and hence became the youngest freedom fighter of India.
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