Role of Female Freedom Fighters of India in Independence
Without acknowledging the contributions made by women freedom fighters and activists, the history of the Indian freedom struggle would be inadequate. The sacrifices made by Indian women will always play a vital role in the Indian discussion for Indian Independence.
- They fought with true spirit and unwavering courage, enduring various tortures, exploitations, and sufferings to secure our liberation.
- When most male freedom fighters were imprisoned, the women stepped forward to lead the struggle.
- The freedom fighters' women's name list is a very long list of great women whose names have been engraved in the history of the freedom struggle for their commitment and unwavering loyalty to the service of India.
- Women began to participate in India's freedom struggle in early 1817.
- Bhima Bai Holkar fought bravely against British Colonel Malcolm in gorilla warfare and defeated him.
- In the 19th century, many women fought against the British East India Company, 30 years before the "First War of Independence (1857)", including Rani Chennamma of Kittur and Rani Begum Hazrat Mahal of Awadh.
- Women played an admirable role in the war of Independence (the Great Revolt) of 1857, earning respect and appreciation for even the revolt's leaders.
- Rani of Ramgarh, Rani Jindan Kaur, Rani Tace Bai, Baiza Bai, Chauhan Rani, and Tapaswini Maharani lead their troops bravely and to battle.
- Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi was one of the bravest of all freedom fighters in Indian history, whose bravery and exceptional leadership set a shining example of true nationalism and patriotism in the country.
- Women from educated and liberal families and those from rural areas and all different backgrounds, castes, religions, and communities joined the national movement for Independence.
- Sarojini Naidu, Kasturba Gandhi, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, and Annie Besant are names from the 20th century that are recognized even presently for their unique achievements on the battlefield and in the field of politics.
List of the Top 20 Female Freedom Fighters
Here is a few women freedom fighters of India listed below. Read more to know the total contribution of the top 20 women freedom fighters in Indian history. They made selfless sacrifices and fought courageously to see their country free and prospering.
Women Freedom Fighters Name
Year of major contribution
Captain Lakshmi Sahgal
Aruna Asaf Ali
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
Begum Hazrat Mahal
Kittur Rani Chennamma
Tara Rani Srivastava
Sarojini Naidu was a poet and an activist for independence. Sarojini Naidu was born in Hyderabad on February 13, 1879, as Sarojini Chattopadhyaya.
- Her father, Aghorenath Chattopadhyaya, was the Principal of Nizam College and an advocate for social reforms and women's education.
- Varada Sundari, Naidu's mother, was a Bengali author and dancer.
- Naidu received her education at home; her father taught her mathematics and science and urged her to continue pursuing them.
- Sarojini Naidu, one of India's renowned women freedom fighters, was granted the crown of The Nightingale of India.
- She was the first freedom fighters women to be governor of both the Indian region and a state post-independence.
- She became the Indian National Congress president.
- She founded the Women's Indian Association and was active in women's rights and empowerment.
- She got detained for participating in the movements like Civil Disobedience and Quit India.
- She backed Gandhiji in the Sabarmati contract, the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms, the Satyagraha commitment, and the Khilafat movement issue.
Kamala Nehru, a persistent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and the wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, joined India's freedom battle with the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921.
- Kamala has contributed a lot and comes under the list of famous Indian women freedom fighters.
- She was the first freedom fighter to lift their voice for women's empowerment.
- Kamala organized women's gatherings that boycotted foreign cloth and liquor stores.
- When her husband could not arrive on time, she repeatedly decided to stand in for him and give speeches.
Though primarily remembered as the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi, in herself, was among the bravest Women Freedom Fighters.
- She was the inspiration behind Satyagraha and played an essential role as a women's freedom fighter in India.
- Kasturba was a political activist who taught Indians the values of health, hygiene, and reading and writing.
- She took part in all of the Indian independence protests and movements.
Ram Prasad Bismil, a great Indian revolutionary, was the son of Moolmati, a less-known nationalist who supported the revolutionary sentiments of her son.
- Known as the sacrificial mother, when the British rulers hung her son, she handled public discussions, organized marches, and showed her son's support for the freedom struggle.
- Regarding her efforts, she is viewed as one of the freedom fighters among women.
- She promised her and her other son's support for the liberation struggle.
Captain Lakshmi Sahgal
The first woman in India to lead an all-women regiment, the Rani Jhansi Regiment of the INA, Captain Lakshmi Sahgal, was one of the greatest Indian women freedom fighters.
- She was a revolutionary, a doctor, and a social activist who worked for the welfare of the untouchables and patients till her last breath.
- She worked with great empathy until she died, caring for untouchables and patients.
- She received the Padma Bhushan for her contributions to society.
Aruna Asaf Ali
She, also popularly referred to as the grand old lady of India, was an Indian educator and political activist whose demonstrations and strikes enhanced the needs of the criminals in Tihar jail.
- She was believed to be a powerful personality and included as a women freedom fighter in India.
- She participated in the Quit India Movement by hoisting the Indian flag at the Gowalia Tank Maidan.
- Aruna was responsible for editing 'In-Qilab,' a monthly journal of the National Congress, and had engaged in public rallies during the Salt Satyagraha.
Madam Bhikaiji Cama
Madam Cama was a passionate lady who played an integral role in the earlier years of India's freedom struggle.
- She raised her voice for gender equality and is the mother of the Indian Revolution.
- Cama was the first woman to hoist the Indian flag on foreign soil in Germany.
- Bhikaiji Cama was a Parsi social worker, philanthropist, and dynamic freedom fighter.
- She became ill during the bubonic pandemic while helping those who got infected.
- She passed away all her belongings to charity and a girls' orphanage.
- In 1907, she was designated as India's ambassador to Germany.
As a British socialist, Annie Besant contributed to the Indian freedom campaign by launching the All India Home Rule League.
- She vigorously fought for self-rule for India with Bal Gangadhar Tilak and was the first woman to become the President of Congress.
- She merged the Indian National Congress and participated in scholarly and political events.
- Annie worked for equal rights for women and was a philanthropist.
- Being British, she propagated self-government for India and eventually got the label of Indian women freedom fighter.
- Her functions in self-rule movements are considerable.
One of the first Women Freedom Fighters to fight in the Indian Independence Movement of 1857, Rani Lakshmibai is regarded as a symbol of opposition to the British Raj.
- She's recalled for her courage and fearlessness in the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58.
- Lakshmibai is believed to be the most powerful and brave woman freedom fighter.
- She was the Rani of Jhansi and the Maratha queen.
- Lakshmibai fought against British rule until the bitter end and was regarded as a symbol of rebellion. The British regarded her as a formidable foe.
Considered to be the pioneer of the feminist movement in India, Savitribai Phule was the first female teacher at the first girl's school in India.
- Savitribai's significant contribution included her in the list of the 10 women freedom fighters in Indian history.
- Fighting against the conventional norms of society during British rule, she took the first step toward educating girls.
Jhalkari Bai was a brave and determined fighter. She used her fighting strategies, gunned down tigers in the woods, and forced dacoits to flee.
- She was highly crucial in the Battle of Jhansi.
- Because of her resemblance to Rani Laxmi Bai, she was able to take the army's leadership during the war, allowing the queen to flee.
Begum Hazrat Mahal
Begum Hazrat was also renowned as the Begum of Awadh. She was an eminent freedom fighter.
- Following her husband's death, she assumed control of Awadh, conquered Lucknow, and established her son as their ruler.
- The British later recaptured Lucknow.
- She fought against the destruction of temples and mosques for road construction.
Kittur Rani Chennamma
Kittur Rani Chennamma was a member of the Lingayat community from a tiny village in Karnataka.
- She was a brave freedom fighter skilled in sword fighting, archery, and horseback riding.
- She ruled her kingdom and fought against the Britishers' rule in India with immense bravery.
Rani Gaidinliu was the Rani of Manipur, named the daughter of the hills, and is well-known for her rebellion against British rule.
- She began her involvement in the Naga Tribe reformers at 17 years of age, which led to her arrest by the British.
- She was incarcerated for 14 years.
- After serving her sentence, she led a revolt against the British government in Cachar Hills and Hangrum Village.
- She fought for liberty with an unbreakable spirit.
Matangini Hazra, also renowned as Gandhi Buri, was a freedom fighter who opposed British rule and was briefly imprisoned.
- Her belief in patriotism and independence was well-known.
- She led a convoy of 6,000 people during the Quit India movement,
- Police shot her dead in Tamluk, Midnapore district.
- When confronted with death, she raised the Indian flag and chanted 'Vande Matram.'
Uda Devi and some other Dalit women fought for independence during the Indian Independence War of 1857.
- She was a strong and determined woman.
- Begum Hazrat assisted her in the formation of a women's troop.
- They fought bravely against the British under Uda Devi's command.
- She was accused of shooting British soldiers from a peepal tree.
Birbala, another name of Kanaklata Barua, was an Assamese freedom fighter.
- In 1942, she was an active member of the Quit India movement.
- She often showed her displeasure with the British by waving the Indian flag and shouting slogans in freedom rallies.
- At 18, she was shot dead by the British police.
Tara Rani Srivastava
Tara Rani Srivastava and her husband, Phulendu Babu, took part in the Quit India protests. They assembled a crowd and paraded with slogans towards the Siwan Police Station in Bihar.
Ammu Swaminathan was born in Kerala, in Palakkad, in 1894 and later relocated to Madras. She studied English and was drawn to the political and women's rights movements beginning in 1914.
- Ammu was a government activist and social worker during the pre-independence movement.
- She battled against the upper caste's arrogance.
- She also served on the commission that documented the Indian constitution.
- Her political work took her to foreign countries and made her a goodwill ambassador.
- She was also the Bharat Scouts and Guides' president.
Umabai Bhai Kundapur was a devoted political activist. She turned down multiple recognition and positions and chose to stay out of the spotlight.
- She took part in demonstrations and took action against the British.
- She discovered the Bagini Mandal and led the Hindustani Seva Dal's women's wing.
- She often gave the freedom fighters a place to stay.
☛ Also Read: Weekly Current Affairs
This article is a tribute to the Women Freedom Fighters of India as it covers the contribution of the queens who battled colonial powers against all odds and played a crucial role in shaping India.
Women freedom fighters of India UPSC
The women freedom fighters of India played a key role in India’s independence from British rule. Hence they are a crucial part of the history section in the UPSC prelims and also UPSC mains syllabus. One should prepare the available UPSC study material thoroughly. It is also necessary to go through the UPSC previous years question papers to look into the questions about this particular topic.
Question: Identify the following person:
“She was one of the first well-known Indian rulers planning an armed revolt against the British East India Company (EIC), opposing the Doctrine of Lapse's implementation.”
Choose the most suitable options below:
- Rani Lakshmibai
- Rani Kittur Chennamma
- Maharani Tarabai
- Bhikaiji Cama
|Other Important UPSC Notes|
|Mauryan Empire||Fiscal Policy|
|Social Audit||Mission Indradhanush|
|Basel Convention 1989||Liquidity Trap|
|Mauryan Administration||International Court of Justice|
|Iran Nuclear Deal||Fundamental Duties|
|Indian Diaspora||Judicial Review|