Explained: Women heroes of India’s freedom struggle, mentioned by PM in his I-Day speech

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Women heroes of India’s freedom struggle, mentioned by PM in his I-Day speech” published in Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

What is the News?

During 75th Independence Day anniversary speech, the Prime Minister hailed “nari shakti”, and urged people to pledge to not do anything that lowers the dignity of women. He also paid tribute to women freedom fighters for showing the world the true meaning of India’s “nari shakti”.

Who are the women freedom fighters mentioned by PM in his speech?

Rani Laxmibai: Rani Laxmibai is known for her role in the First War of India’s Independence in 1857. 

She was born in 1835. She got married to the king of Jhansi. The couple adopted a son before the king’s death which the British East India Company refused to accept as the legal heir and decided to annex Jhansi.

Refusing to cede her territory, the queen decided to rule on behalf of the heir and later joined the uprising against the British in 1857.

Cornered by the British, she escaped from Jhansi fort. She was wounded in combat near Gwalior’s Phool Bagh where she later died. 

Sir Hugh Rose, who was commanding the British army, is known to have described her as “personable, clever and one of the most dangerous Indian leaders”.

Jhalkari Bai: She was a soldier in Rani Laxmibai’s women’s army.

She rose to become one of the queen’s most trusted advisers. She is known for putting her own life at risk to keep the queen out of harm’s way. 

To date, the story of her valour is recalled by the people of Bundelkhand, and she is often presented as a representative of Bundeli identity.

Durga Bhabhi: Durgawati Devi was popularly known as Durga Bhabhi. She was a revolutionary who joined the armed struggle against colonial rule. 

She was born in Allahabad in 1907 and married to Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) member Bhagwati Charan Vohra.

She was a member of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. She helped Bhagat Singh escape in disguise from Lahore after the 1928 killing of British police officer John P Saunders.

During the train journey that followed, Durgawati and Bhagat Singh posed as a couple and Rajguru as their servant. 

Later, as revenge for the hanging of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev, she made an unsuccessful attempt to kill the former Punjab Governor, Lord Hailey.

Click Here to read about: Kittur Chennamma, Rani Gaidinliu and Rani Velu Nachiyar.

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