Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujrat, India. He spent his life working for the cause of freeing India from the clutches of British rule, by using noble means and principles of non-violence and satyagrah. On 15 August 1947, he and his followers forced the British to leave India. Rightfully, he is called the father of the nation.
His full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He is known as Mahatma, meaning 'great soul', because of his work on non-violence, satyagrah and selfless service to his people .
Dr . Rajendra Prasad The first President of independent India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was also the President of the Constituent Assembly that drafted India's Constitution. He had participated actively in India's freedom movement. Born on December 3, 1884 in the remote hamlet of Ziradei in Bihar's Siwan district, his father was a renowned scholar of Persian and Sanskrit. He moved to Kolkata for his education. A brilliant student all throughout, he earned a Masters degree in Law, going on to complete a doctorate in law.
He plunged headlong into the Swadeshi movement and was influenced tremendously by Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was arrested in 1930 for participating in the Salt Satyagraha. In January 1934, a devastating earthquake struck Bihar. Rajendra Prasad was in jail during this time, but was soon released. Upon his release, he devoted himself to the task of raising funds and providing succour to the people. He collected a large sum of money to provide relief to the affected people. He set up relief committees during the Quetta earthquake of 1935
He became the President of the Indian National Congress during the Bombay session in October 1934. He became the President once again when Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose resigned in 1939. He served as a Cabinet Minister for a brief period in the first government of independent India, before serving as the President of India for a period of 12 years from 1950 to 1962. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1962. He left for his heavenly abode on February 28, 1963.
Shastri, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Lal Bahadur (b. 2 Oct. 1904, d. 11 Jan. 1966). Prime Minister of India 1964–6 Born in Moghalsarai, he joined Gandhi's call for non-cooperation in his first satyagraha in 1921, and dropped his studies. He resumed his degree afterwards, and graduated in 1926 with a first-class degree ( Shastri), from which he took his name. Deeply impressed and influenced by Gandhi's ideals, he became a loyal follower, first of Gandhi, and then of Nehru . He joined the latter's government and became one of Nehru's principal lieutenants, first as Minister for Railways (1951–6), and then in a variety of other functions, including Minister of Home Affairs. He was chosen as Nehru's successor owing to his conciliatory manner. He was a remarkably skilful politician, and defended India well against attack in the second Indo-Pakistan War of 1965. The war was formally ended in the Tashkent
Lala Lajpat Rai Date of Birth:Jan 28, 1865 Date of Death:Nov 17, 1928 Place of Birth:Moga district He was repeatedly arrested. Rai however disagreed with Mohandas Gandhi's suspension of the movement due to the Chauri Chaura incident, and formed the Congress Independence Party, which was particularly pro-Hindu in voice and policy. He was not only a good orator but also a prolific and versatile writer. His journal Arya Gazette concentrated mainly on subjects related to the Arya Samaj. Bande Mataram and People, contained his inspiring speeches to end oppression by the foreign rulers. He founded the Servants of the People Society, which worked for the freedom movement as well as for social reform in the country. He also wrote an autobiography in English titled The Story of My Life.Lajpat Rai came early under the influence of the dynamic Hindu reformer, Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj. In conjunction with like minded people like Mahatma Hans Raj and Lala Sain Das, he was instrumental in laying the foundations of a strong Arya Samaj presence among the Punjabi Hindu urban populace. A strong believer in leading by example, he himself led a procession to demonstrate against the Simon Commission, which was to prove fatal for him. He was made the target of a brutal lathi charge in which he was injured badly. A meeting was held the same evening where he spoke with such vigour that his words, "Every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British imperialism", became historic. Though he recovered from the fever and pain within three days, yet his health had received a permanent setback and on November 17, 1928, he succumbed to the fatal injuries. The Lajpat Nagar , Lajpat Nagar Central Market, Lala Lajpat Rai Hall of Residence at Indian Institue of Technology Kharagpur and Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engineering and Technology, Moga are named in his honor.
Morarji Desai Morarji Desai ( February 29 , 1896 – April 10 , 1995 ) joined the civil disobedience movement against British rule in India in 1930 . He spent many years in jail during the freedom struggle. After independence was granted to India, he remained active on the political scene, and was elected to become the chief minister of Bombay in 1952 . He was a member of the Congress party, but he resigned from it in 1969 to join the opposition. Before this, he had been appointed the deputy prime minister of India in 1967 . Janata Party Political Party : April 10 , 1995 Date of Death: Bhadeli, Gujarat Place of Birth: February 29 , 1896 Date of Birth: Choudhary Charan Singh Successor: Indira Gandhi Predecessor: March 24 , 1977 - July 15 1979 Term in Office: Morarji Desai Prime Minister of India
He was arrested in 1975 , when Indira Gandhi had declared Emergency. When general elections were held in 1977 , he led the opposition Janata Party to power. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the foreign minister in this government. Due to numerious defections from his government, he handed in his resignation 2 years later.
Morarji Desai was a strict follower of Gandhi 's principles and a moralist. It is also rumoured that he used to drink his own urine (colloquially known as "Morarji Cola", a slang term/in-joke among the masses) to keep good health. He died at the age of 99.
Indra Gandhi Deprived of normal childhood Gandhi was born November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, India, to Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. Her life was drastically changed in 1919 when her wealthy and prominent family was visited by Mohandas Gandhi, the pacifist leader of the Indian freedom movement. Recently returned from exile in South Africa, he converted her parents to the cause of Indian independence Constant meetings and the frequent absence of Gandhi's parents deprived her of a normal childhood. Though she was spoiled by her grandfather Motilal, Gandhi later recalled she felt "insecure." She was four years old when her father and grandfather were first jailed for their activities, then the jailings, which also included her mother, became frequent
Shows independent spirit Because of the insecurities of her childhood Gandhi hardened herself and resolved not to be hurt, as her mother had been, She grew up as a solemn, precocious child whose games were related to the fight against Britain. For example, at age 11 she organized the Monkey Brigade. Imitating the Monkey army in the epic Indian story Ramayana, While she was in school in Poona in the 1930s She once commented that Gandhi "was always present in my life; he played an enormous role in my development.
SYMBOL FOR WOMEN AND THE THIRD WORLD India had been ruled by England for over a century prior to its independence in 1947. While the British hadbuilt many roads, schools, and hospitals, they had also acted as a superior colonial power. The Indians greatly resented British control. The organized struggle for freedom began early in this century and grew until after World War II, which ended in 1945, when the British finally realized they could no longer hold India. The ascension of a woman, Indira Gandhi, to the highest position in the world's most populous democracy was especially significant for Indian women, who had traditionally been subservient to men. In addition, she was also an inspiration to people in other Third World nations.
Kasturba Gandhi (1869-1944) Kasturbai was born in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat. Her father was a well-to-do At the time of her marriage to Gandhiji she was an illiterate and Gandhiji taught her to read and write. Throughout her life she was a steadfast companion to Gandhiji in all his experiments in South Africa and India. She followed her husband in word and deed and took to austere and simple ashram life with ease. businessman.
Although, she identified herself with her great husband, she did not accept his ideas unless she understood them and considered them right. Gandhiji often had to work hard to convince her. She was a deeply religious woman and following the ideologies of her husband she renounced all caste distinctions. A delicate, small but elegant lady, she was simple, straightforward and methodical.
Her public life began after she joined her husband in South Africa in 1897. From 1904-14, she was the heart and soul of the 'Phoenix Settlement' and from Kasturbai she became Kasturba-mother to the inmates, a role she continued at Kochnab, Sabarmati, and Sevagram Ashrams in India. In 1915, on his return to India when Gandhiji took up the cause of the indigo planters, Kasturba joined her husband and taught cleanliness, discipline and reading and writing to the village women and children. In his non-violent struggle for freedom whenever Gandhiji was arrested Kasturba took up the reigns of the leadership.
She suffered from chronic bronchitis. The strict and trough regimen of ashram life took its toll and she caught pneumonia. On 22 February 1944 on Mahashivratri Day she breathed her last on the lap of her beloved husband.
Biography: Nanasaheb Peshwa Nanasaheb Peshwa (also called Balaji Bajirao) was one of the important leaders of post-Shivaji Maratha rule. During his 20 year reign (1740 to 1761) of the Maratha kingdom, he completely transformed the village of Poona into a city. He established many new neighborhoods, bridges, and monasteries. He also established a reservoir at the nearby town of Katraj to provide clean running water to the city. K.L. Kamat /Kamat's Potpourri Nanasaheb Peshwa Detail from a painting - Deccan style
Maratha power in India reached its peak under his reign. Nanasaheb lost his son and brother at the Battle of Panipat. He could not recover from the shock, and died soon after the debacle.
Rani Lakshmi Bai 19th November 1828– 17 June 1858 Biography Rani Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi, one of the great nationalist heroine of the first war of India freedom, a symbol of resistance to the British rule in India was born on 19th November 1828 at Kashi (Presently known as Varanasi ).
Her father Moropanth was a Brahmin and her mother Bhagirathibai was a cultured, intelligent and God fearing lady. Mannikarnika (Manu) was the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai in her childhood. Manu lost her mother at the age of four. The Complete responsibility of the young girl fell on the father. She completed her education and also learned horse riding, Sword fighting and shooting on a target with a gun.
She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and became the Rani of Jhansi. After the marriage She was given the name Lakshmi Bai. The Marriage ceremony was perform in Ganesh Mandir, the temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi . Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately this child died when he was about four months old. After this tragedy, Damodar Rao was adopted as son. Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao also died on 21st November 1853. After the death of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this time she was eighteen years old. Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lost her courage, She always remembered her responsibility
At that time Lord Dalhousie was the Governor -General of India. Though little Damodar Rao, adopted son of late Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai was Maharaja's heir and successor as per the Hindu tradition, but the British rulers rejected Rani's claim that Damodar Rao was their legal heir. Loard Dalhousie decided to annexe the state of Jhansi as Maharaja Gangadhar Rao had left no legal heir. This misfortune of Jhansi was used by the Britishers to expand there Empire
In March 1854 the British ruler announced 60,000 ( Sixty Thousand) annual pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. Jhansi was in humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption.Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi . She was a symbol of patriotism and self respect. Britishers were making every effort to destroy the freedom of country whereas Rani was determined to get rid of Britishers.
Rani Lakshmi Bai strengthened the defense of Jhansi and she assembled a volunteer army of rebellions. Women were also given Military training. Rani was accompanied by her brave warriors, some of them were Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. Along with all these warriors the local population of Jhansi irrespective of their religion or caste were always determined to fight and give their lives with pleasure for the cause of Independent and their beloved Rani.
The Britishers attacked Jhansi in March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In the Jhansi army women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the defense of the city. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the British forces.
On that black day, the British army entered the Jhansi City . Rani Lakshmi Bai, still full of courage and deathless patriotism dressed as a man, took up arms, her son Damodar Rao was strapped tightly to her back. She was holding the reins of her horse in her mouth. In the fierce fighting she was using the sword with both her hands. When the situation was not in control, Rani of Jhansi with some of her warriors departed from Jhansi .
Rani Lakshmi Bai reched Kalpi. Many other rebellions force joined her. Tatia Tope from Kalpi was also one of them, from Kalpi Rani departed to the Gwalior . Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Jhansi fought with deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However on the second day of fighting, the great heroine of the first struggle for India freedom, at the age of 22 years, lost her life. That unfortunate day was 18th June of 1858.
Subhash Chandra Bose Subhashchandra Bose was the most visionary and fierce activist in the pre-independence era. Known as Netaji, he followed the path which no one even could have thought of. An unparalleled example of the declaration of Independent Indian government with a cabinet & its own army was seen in form of the Indian National Army under the leadership of Subhash Chanda Bose. It literally had a military attack on British India & had confronted them till Imphal. With the help from Germany & active support from Japan, they shook the very foundation of the British Empire. The saga of their valor is chronicled separately, under the head Indian National Army.
Bose advocated complete freedom for India at the earliest, whereas the Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through a Dominion status. Other younger leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru supported Bose and finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress had to adopt Poorna Swaraj (complete freedom) as its motto. Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and the inability of the Congress leaders to save his life infuriated Bose and he started a movement opposing the Gandhi-Irvin Peace Pact. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. But defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again!
While he was the president of Indian National Congress during 1937 to 1939, he founded the Indian National Congress. He was acclaimed as a god like figure, akin to the many mythological heroes like Rama or Krishna, and continued as a legend in Indian mind. Subhas Chandra was born on January 23rd 1897 in Cuttack (in present day Orissa) as the ninth child among fourteen, of Janakinath Bose, an advocate, and Prabhavatidevi, a pious and God-fearing lady. A brilliant student, he topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. He joined the Indian Civil Services in England as per his parent's wishes. This kept him a little away from the Indian Freedom Movement. He finished those examinations also, at the top of his class (4th rank), he could not complete his apprenticeship and returned to India, being deeply disturbed by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. He came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress . Gandhiji directed him to work with Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the Bengali leader whom Bose acknowledged as his political guru. Due to his outspoken character for the British Government, he went to jail for around 11 times between 1920 and 1941 for periods varying between six months and three years. He was the leader of the youth wing of the Congress Party, in the forefront of the trade union movement in India and organized Service League, another wing of Congress. He was admired for his great skills in organizational development .
Bhagat Singh Shaheed Bhagat Singh did not live long. In fact Bhagat Singh was all of 24 years when he was sent to the gallows along with fellow comrades Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar. But during this short span, Bhagat Singh shone like a gleaming meteor in the Indian sky and inspired millions with his heroic battle against the oppressive British regime. Born into a Sikh family of revolutionary leaders, it was only a matter of time before Bhagat Singh plunged into the struggle for freedom. From an early age he was influenced by socialist ideology and his embracing of armed struggle had as much to do with the success of socialist revolutions elsewhere in the world as with his disillusionment with the prevalent political leadership. He read extensively and wielded a powerful pen.
A great organizer, Bhagat Singh united the restless youth of the day under the aegis of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and gave a direction to the fledgling armed struggle. Even though he could not achieve freedom for India, Bhagat Singh's martyrhood stirred up the nation and inspired millions of Indian youth to fight against British oppression. While the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress are usually credited for India's independence, the sacrifices made by Bhagat Singh and his comrades too are glorious chapters in India's history
Chandrasekhar Azad Chandrasekhar Azad was a born revolutionary. A contemporary of Bhagat Singh, Azad too lived for a short span but during the 25 years that he lived, Azad waged a valiant battle against the British and inspired the youth of the nation with his heroics. Worshipped by the masses and loathed by the government, Azad was on the run all his life and he used all the survival tricks up his sleeve to escape police dragnets again and again.
As a true revolutionary, Chandrasekhar Azad vowed that he would never be nabbed by the police and when the time comes, he would die a free man. On that fateful day of February 27, 1931, surrounded by police in the Alfred Park, Allahabad and all escape routes sealed, Azad fought like a man possessed and ultimately took his life with the last bullet of his pistol.
Chandrasekhar Azad is no more but his legacy continues till today in the form of legends and inspiring anecdotes. But somehow the Indian nation has failed to honor the supreme sacrifice made by Azad and his brave comrades. The present generation fails to even recognize many of our freedom fighters, let alone appreciating their contribution to Indian Independence.
Ram Prasad Bismil Ram Prasad Bismil was the famous freedom fighter who was involved in the historic Kakori train robbery. He was born in 1897 at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. His father Muralidhar was an employee of Shahjahanpur Municipality. Ramaprasad learnt Hindi from his father and was sent to learn Urdu from Moulvi. He wanted to join an English medium school and got admission in one of such schools despite his father'sdisapproval.
Ramaprasad joined Arya Samaj. He was also very talented in writing poetry. All of his poems have the intense patriotic feeling. He always wanted to see India as a free nation and dedicated himself to the cause of the country. His team members consisted of great freedom fighters like Ashfaqulla Khan, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagawati Charan, Rajguru and many more. Ramaprasad used to take advices related to religion and politics from great patriot and scholar Swami Somadevji.
The practice of Brahmacharya inspired him a lot and he became an ardent follower of it. He got himself engaged in the volunteering of Shahjahanpur Seva Samithi. In order to get people's attention, he published a pamphlet named 'A Message to My Countrymen'. Ramaprasad made many Hindi translations of Bengali writings. Some of his works include: The Bolshevik Programme A Sally of the Mind Swadeshi Rang Catherine Yogic Sadhana of Rishi Aurobindo was translated by Ramaprasad. All of his works were published in the series called 'Sushil Mala'. He wrote his autobiography while he was in the cell. On 9th August, 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with his fellow followers looted the money of the British government from the train while it was passing through Kakori, Lucknow. Except Chandrashekhar Azad, all other members of the group were arrested. Ram Prasad Bismil along with others were given capital punishment. This great freedom fighter of india was executed on 19th December, 1927.