“Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom”
These were the words spoken by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who was one of the heroes of Indian revolution, while addressing the nation for the very first time after India got Independence. People, even today, remember his speech. But what people don’t know about or have forgotten are the stories of heroes of Indian revolution who also had an immense contribution in India’s freedom struggle. Let’s have a look at stories of some of the forgotten Indian revolutionaries of the freedom struggle.
When I read the story of this man for the first time, I was moved to tears. Defying all the odds and by giving tough time to Britishers, Khudiram Bose got martyred at the tender age of 19. He and Prafulla Chaki were the two Indian revolutionaries who were sentenced to death for their role in the Muzaffarpur Conspiracy case. He carried out several bomb attacks on Britishers, one of the most prominent one being on Magistrate Kingsford. The last words before being hanged to death were “Vande Mataram”. Khudiram Bose’s attitude of keeping the country first is very inspiring. The valour and strength that he showed at the tender age of 19 is commendable and praiseworthy.
Batukeshwar Dutt was the member of HSRA(Hindustan Socialist Republic Association) along with the likes of Bhagat Singh, ChandraShekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil to name a few. Dutt, along with Shaheed Bhagat Singh had thrown bombs on the Central Legislative Assembly, on April 8, 1929. Instead of finding an escape, they surrendered themselves in front of Britishers. While Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar and Shaheed Rajyaguru were hanged to death on 23rdMarch 1931, Batukeshwar Dutt was sent to Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was released in 1942 but was incarcerated again for actively participating in Quit India Movement. He, finally, got to see the light of the day after India got Independence.
Shaheed Udham Singh
After witnessing the horrific incident of Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, Udham Singh took a vow to avenge the death of his countrymen. Despite all the odds, he successfully completed his mission of killing Michael O’ Dwyer, 21 years after the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. While in custody, he had changed his name to Ram Mohammad Singh Azad, which represented three main religions of Punjab and his anti-colonial sentiments. His act of killing Governor General of Punjab- Michael O’Dwyer was condemned by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. The only prominent leader who had appreciated him was Subhash Chandra Bose. Udham Singh was hanged to death in July 1940 in Pentonville Prison.
Matangini Hazara was an Indian revolutionary who had actively participated in Indian Independence movement until she was shot dead by the Britishers. Matagini Hazara had led a procession towards Tamluk Police Station during the Quit India Movement. She was known as Gandhi Buri (Bengali word for Old Gandhi Lady).The first woman of Independent India to have a statue of her own in Kolkata was Matangini Hazara.
Bhikaiji Cama- The mother of Indian revolution
Bhikaiji Cama also known as Madam Cama ,was an Indian political activist and staunch supporter of women empowerment. She was the first lady to unfurl one of the versions of the National flag- a tricolour of Red, Green and Saffron Stripes at a conference held in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907. Madam Cama also used to talk to Indian expatriates in England and motivate them to join the Indian National Movement. After getting to know about her deportment from England, she shifted her base to Paris. She helped Lala Har Dayal launch his revolutionary paper “Bande Mataram” copies of which were smuggled to India from London. She maintained active contacts with Indian, Irish, and Egyptian revolutionaries and liaised with French Socialists and Russian leadership. In 1935, at the age of 75, she was allowed to return to India, where she died the following year.
Rani Gaidinliu led an armed rebellion against the British Raj at the tender age of 13. She was believed to have been incarcerated at the age of 16 and spent next decade and a half in prison. She was released after India got Independence. Rani ignited the flames of patriotism in the hearts of people of North East. She urged people to fight against the oppressive regime of British Raj. She was introduced to the Heraka movement by Haipou Jadong, her Guru and her cousin. Rani was believed to possess exceptional oratory skills, which helped her in persuading people to join the fight for India’s freedom. She was believed to have successfully completed the mission of mobilizing people to join her army to wage guerilla warfare against the oppressive British Government.
Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew
Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew was hailed as one of the prominent figures who opposed the Rowlatt Act and Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. In March 1919, the Imperial Legislative Council passed the Rowlatt Act, which gave permission to imprison people without proving them guilty and allowed the Britishers to file a court case against a person if they find his deeds objectionable. Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew and his friend Satypal Malik led a procession in Amritsar to oppose the implementation of the Act. They were arrested for opposing the Act and were freed in December 1919.He also played a crucial role in laying the base of Jamia Millia Islamia University. Besides that, he motivated Shaheed Bhagat Singh to start Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
Veer Savarkar aka Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was among one of the most prominent Indian revolutionaries during the freedom struggle .Some people call him freedom fighter, some call him a staunch supporter of Hindutva ideology and some call him a traitor and supporter of British Raj in India as he had written a mercy petition to the Britishers to free him from the prison. He was imprisoned by the British Raj for 50 years in Cellular Jail (Kala Pani) in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was the president of Hindu Mahasabha and among the few people who opposed the Quit India Movement . Through his book “ History of War of Indian Independence” he became one of the first writers to give a clarion call for fighting against the British Raj.