We have seen what happens to movies made on these subjects. People don’t value the works and the struggles of these freedom fighters. This is utterly depressing. Why don’t people show some respect to the real heroes of the country? They gave everything for their country. No matter to which strata of the society they belonged to, they rose up to the occasion and did what no others had thought of doing. For them Freedom, was not just a seven letters word it was more than their life. Chandrashekhar Azad wished to be resurrected a hundred times to die again fighting for his country and his motherland. And not just Azad even Jawaharlal Nehru who was born in a family of high ranking lawyers, renounced his luxurious life for a greater cause.
There are so many known and many un-sung heroes who died for their motherland and the least we could do is not let their contributions and their sacrifices go into vain. Here we present to you Top Ten Greatest Freedom Fighters of India.
10. Mohandas KaramChand Gandhi(1869-1948)
Mahatma Gandhi was born in Gujarat into a ‘vaishya’(business) class family. He was a mediocre student and barely passed his matriculation exam. He became a major political leader of India and enhanced Satyagraha- the movement against non-violence. This movement; led India towards independence, helped to attain freedom, inspired the movements towards civil rights and invigorated similar movements across the world. He organized protests against the land-tax and discrimination of peasants, farmers and laborers by the Brtitishers. He fought against untouchability and worked for women-rights. He took out campaigns to gain freedom without violence, that is why his birthday 2nd October is commemorated as a national holiday i.e. ‘the international day of non-violence’.
9. Bal Gangadhar Tilak(1856-1920)
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a social reformer, a teacher, journalist, lawyer and an activist and was the first leader of ‘Indian Independence Movement’. He was called the ‘Father of the Unrest’ by the British authorities. He was given a title ‘Lokmanya’ which means revered by the people . His most famous quote was ‘Swaraj is my birthright, I shall have it’ thus he was deemed as one of the strongest advocates of Swaraj. He showed active participation in public affairs. He was impressed by Gandhiji and he tried to convince him to drop the idea of ‘Total Ahimnsa’ and adopt ‘Swaraj’ by all means.
8. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel(1875-1950)
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress, a barrister, statesman and one of the founding fathers of ‘Republic of India’. He was addressed as ‘Sardar’ which means Chief. He devoted himself for the country’s struggle for independence. He practiced to be a lawyer and was also inspired by the works of Mahatma Gandhi. He took part with the peasants of Kheda, Borsad and Bardoli in non-violent Civil Disobedience Movement against the policies and taxes imposed by British. He became one of the most inspirational leaders of Gujarat and took an active part in all the rebellions and political events for the freedom of India.
7. Lal Bahadur Shastri(1904-1966)
He is one of the great heroes of the history of India and Indian Independence Movement. He was inspired by the works of Mahatma Gandhi and followed him. He was against the caste system and also worked for the improvement of ‘Harijans’ under Gandhiji’s leadership. He also joined the Indian Independence Movement in 1921 and non-cooperation movement. He even did jail time for fighting against British. He whole-heartedly supported ‘Salt Satyagraha’ . Shastri spent almost 9 years in jail for fighting against the British and he didn’t waste even a single moment of his confinement, he spend his time reading books and works of the revolutionaries and social reformers.
6. Dr. Rajendra Prasad(1884-1963)
Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of the Republic of India for 12 years. He was a lawyer by profession and training but he is better known for his exemplary work in India’s Freedom struggle. He was so dedicated that as soon as he heard about the motion of Non Cooperation Movement, he gave up on his career as a lawyer and became the active member of the Movement. He also helped to aid the people affected from the floods in 1914 that struck Bihar and Bengal. He was the supporter of Mahatma Gandhi and was sent to jail by British officials during Salt Satyagraha in 1931 and for the Quit India Movement in 1942.
5. Chandrashekhar Azad(1906-1931)
Chandrashekhar Azad was another revolutionary who struggled for freedom. He reorganized the Hindustan Republic Association(HRA) after the death of its founder and was a mentor of Bhagat Singh. After Gandhiji was suspended from Non-Cooperation Movement, he got more aggressive and was to ready to gain independence by any means. He was impressed by the idea followed by HRA i.e. free India with equal rights, no discrimination of caste, gender, religion or social status. He decided to become the active member of the association to gain its motive and became the chief strategist of HRA. He got into several violent acts and was also involved in the Kakori Train Robbery in 1925. He had vowed to never get caught alive and he kept his word till the last bullet in his gun and the last breath in his body.
4. Mangal Pandey(1827-1857)
Mangal Pandey was a brave Indian soldier and a part of one the most earliest acts of rebellion that marked the start of first Indian Uprising in 1857. He was a soldier in 6th company of 34th Bengal native Infantry and was involved in the attack on the regiment’s officers. British considered him a traitor and mutineer. This war was the opening phase of the First War of Independence in 1857. He rebelled against the sacrilegious usage of cartridges greased with cow fat. The punishment of Mangal Pandey was seen as the opening scene of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
3. Lala Lajpat Rai(1865-1928)
Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as ‘Punjab Kesari’ was an author and a politician fought against British Raj for Independence. He was highly influenced by Manusmriti and Hinduism and he followed the ideals by creating a career of reforming Indian policy by writing and politics. He also collaborated with the activities of Punjab National Bank and Lakshmi Insurance Company. He proposed the discussion on the partition of Punjab and setting up of Muslim provinces in East Bengal and Sindh. He was fatally wounded while leading the protest against Simon Commission. His death anniversary is celebrated as ‘Martyrs Day’ in India.
2. Subhas Chandra Bose(1897-1945)
Netaji was one of the most prominent Indian Nationalist who fought against British rule during World War II. He was placed under house arrest by British, but he escaped from India in 1941. He tried to gain India’s Independence by force and turned to Axis Powers for help. He organized the Indian National Army (INA) with Japanese support and recruited a large number of Indian soldiers. He also worked with Jawaharlal Nehru for independence and became the General Secretary of the Congress Party. He also underwent jail time for his role in Civil Disobedience Movement.
1. Bhagat Singh(1907-1931)
Bhagat Singh is one of those few young freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of their country. In his teenage, he was attracted towards anarchist and Marxist ideologies. He took part in many revolutionary organizations. Bhagat Singh took the revenge of the death of Lala Lajpat Rai by murdering a British officer John Saunders. He threw two bombs inside the Central Legislative Assembly while screaming slogans of revolution. He was arrested and he went for 116 days fast in jail to get equal rights for Indian and British prisoners. Bhagat Singh also kept a personal diary with him in prison in which he penned down his philosophical thoughts and famous quotations and sayings of people whose views he agreed upon. The British officers found evidence against him for murder and he was hanged to death. He remains popular among the Indian youth and is hailed as the idol for fighting for independence.