UPSC IAS Prelims 2022 Material | Important historical Personalities in News– Dec. 2021- 15th March, 2022

Dear Friends,

This post is a part of our current affairs series for the UPSC IAS Prelims 2022. In this post, we have covered all the Important historical Personalities, which were in news. This post covers current affairs from Dec. 2021 to 15th March 2022. In the 2nd part, we will cover the rest of the current affairs from July 2021 to 31st April 2022.

Important historical Personalities

To Read Other Current Affairs Compilations for UPSC Prelims 2022– Click here

Aurobindo Ghosh

News: The Prime Minister has chaired the first meeting of the High-Level Committee (HLC) which has been constituted to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo.

Source: Wikipedia

About Aurobindo Ghosh: Sri Aurobindo was one of the most creative and significant figures in the history of the Indian renaissance and Indian nationalism. He provided an element of spiritualism to nationalism and was the first Indian political leader to use the word “Independence” instead of “Swaraj’.

About life and other contributions of Sri Aurobindo

Aurobindo Ghosh was an Indian philosopher, yoga guru, poet and Indian nationalist.

He was born on 15th August 1872 at Calcutta. At the age of seven, Aurobindo was sent to England by his father to insulate him against any Indian influence.

In England, he organized a secret society called ‘Lotus and Dagger’ for the uplift of his motherland.

In 1890, Aurobindo competed for Indian Civil Service (I.C.S) and won the position. But he was later disqualified as he came purposefully late to the horse-riding practical exam as he had no interest in the ICS.

In 1893, he came back to India and joined Baroda state service as a professor of English at Baroda College.

In 1906, he joined as principal of National College, Calcutta but resigned from the post in 1907 to join the National Freedom Movement.

He associated himself with Journals and periodicals like the ‘Jugantar‘ and Bande Mataram through which he made stern criticism of British imperialism.

Aurobindo attended the 1906 Congress meeting headed by Dadabhai Naoroji. He participated as a councillor in forming the fourfold objectives of “Swaraj, Swadesh, Boycott, and national education.”

In 1908, he was arrested on the charge of the Alipore bomb conspiracy case but was acquitted in 1909 after a long trial.

Once out of the prison, he started two new publications, Karmayogin in English and Dharma in Bengali. He also delivered the Uttarpara Speech hinting at the transformation of his focus to spiritual matters.

In 1910, he left active politics and stayed in Pondicherry as a Yogi till his death on 5th December 1950.

Some of his important writings are – The Life Divine, Savitri, Essay on the Gita, The Ideal of Human Unity, Defence of Indian Culture etc.

Dadabhai Naoroji

News: Recently, Dinyar’s Patel biography Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian nationalism won the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize 2021.

About Dadabhai Naoroji

Source: Wikipedia

He belonged to a Parsi community. He was an Indian nationalist, educationist, an Economist, a mentor. He was a staunch moderate within the Congress, even during the phase when opinion in the party was split between the moderates and extremists.

As an educationist: He began his career as a professor and work towards equality and state-supported universal education.

As a British MP: He was the first British Indian MP and used the British institution to fulfil Indian interests. He passed a resolution in British Parliament to bring reforms in the Indian Civil Service.

As an Economist: Dadabhai Naoroji put forward the ‘drain of wealth’ theory in his book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India. In which he stated that Britain was completely draining India. He calculated that the British drain one-fourth of India’s revenue every year.

His theory facilitated alliance with other anti-imperialists and socialists. Karl Marx briefly dabbled with the idea of the drain of wealth. Socialists like Henry Hyndman applied it in their critiques of capitalists.

As a mentor: He mentored Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Pheozesha Mehta, Romesh Chunder Dutt and other leaders.

He is described as the “Grand Old Man of India”, for his contribution to India.

Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule

News: Maharashtra Governor was criticized for allegedly mocking 19th-century social reformers      for “getting married at a young age”.

Source: Indian Express

About Mahatma Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule

Mahatma Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule were an extraordinary couple in the social and educational history of India. They spearheaded path-breaking work towards female education and towards ending caste- and gender-based discrimination.

In 1840, at a time when child marriages were common, Savitri at the age of ten was married to Jyotirao, who was thirteen years old at the time. The couple later in life strove to oppose child marriage and also organised widow remarriages.

Jyotiba Phule was influenced by Thomas Paine’s book titled The Rights of Man. He believed that the only solution to combat the social evils was the enlightenment of women and members of the lower castes.

About the contribution of Mahatma Jyotirao or Jyotiba Phule

  1. Female Education: Jyotiba Phule and his wife, Savitribai Phule were pioneers of women education in India. They started the first school forShudras and Ati-Shudras girls in 1848 in Pune.
  2. Women health and infanticide: In 1853, he opened a care centre for pregnant widows and started Balhatya Pratibandhak Griha (Home for the Prevention of Infanticide) at their home.
  3. Satyashodhak Samaj (Truth Seekers Society): It was founded in 1873 with the main aim of a) Social Service and b) to give education to the lower castes and make them aware of the exploiting tradition of society.
  4. Dalit word: He introduced the Marathi word dalit (broken, crushed) as a descriptor for those people who were outside the traditional varna system. The terminology was later popularised in the 1970s by the Dalit Panthers.
  5. Published works: a) Tritiya Ratna b) Gulamgiri c) Manav Mahammand (Muhammad) among others.

He was bestowed with the title of Mahatma in 1888 by a Maharashtrian social activist Vithalrao Krishnaji Vandekar.

About the contributions of Savitribai Phule

She is often referred to as the mother of Indian feminism.

  1. She established the Mahila Seva Mandal to raise awareness for issues concerning women’s rights.
  2. She became the first female teacher in India in 1848 and opened a school for girls along with her husband Jyotirao Phule.
  3. She went on to establish a shelter (1864) for destitute women.
  4. She had published Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892. In her poem, Go, Get an Education, she urges the oppressed communities to get an education and break free from the chains of oppression.
  5. She had also played a pivotal role in directing the work of Satyashodhak Samaj which was founded by Jyotirao Phule in 1873.

Women Freedom Fighters

News: Union Minister of State for Culture has released a pictorial book on India’s Women Unsung Heroes of Freedom Struggle as part of Azadi ka Mahotsav.The book has been released in  partnership with Amar Chitra Katha.

Women Freedom Fighters  Contribution to Freedom Movement
Rani AbakkaShe was the Queen of Ullal, Karnataka. She fought and defeated the mighty Portuguese in the 16th century.
Velu NachiyarShe was the Queen of Sivaganga and was the first Indian queen to wage war against the British East India Company.
Matangini HazraShe was a brave freedom fighter from Bengal, who laid down her life while agitating against the British.
Gulab KaurShe was a freedom fighter who abandoned her own hopes and dreams of a life abroad to fight for and mobilise the Indian people against the British Raj.
Chakali IlammaShe was a revolutionary woman who fought against the injustice of zamindars during the Telangana rebellion in the mid-1940s.
Subhadra Kumari ChauhanOne of the greatest Hindi poets, who was also a prominent figure in the freedom movement.
Durgawati DeviBrave woman who provided safe passage to Bhagat Singh after the killing of John Saunders and much more during her revolutionary days.
Sucheta KripalaniA prominent freedom fighter who became the independent India’s first woman Chief Minister of UP Government.
Accamma CherianShe is an inspirational leader of the freedom movement in Travancore, Kerala. She was given the name ‘Jhansi Rani of Tranvancore’ by Mahatma Gandhi.
Aruna Asaf AliShe was an inspirational freedom fighter who is perhaps best remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag in Mumbai during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
Durgabai DeshmukShe was a tireless worker for the emancipation of women in Andhra Pradesh and was also an eminent freedom fighter and member of the Constituent Assembly.
Rani GaidinliuNaga spiritual and political leader, she led an armed uprising against the British in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.
Usha MehtaShe was a freedom fighter from a very young age, who is remembered for organising an underground radio station during the Quit India Movement of 1942.
Parbati GiriShe was one of Odisha’s most prominent women freedom fighters who was called the Mother Teresa of Western Odisha for her work in the upliftment of her people.
Tarkeshwari SinhaShe was a prominent freedom fighter during the Quit India Movement, she went on to become an eminent politician in the early decades of independent India.
Snehlata VarmaShe was a freedom fighter and tireless worker for the education and upliftment of women in Mewar, Rajasthan.
Tileshwari BaruahShe was one of India’s youngest martyrs, she was shot at the age of 12 by the British, during the Quit India Movement, when she and some freedom fighters tried to unfurl the Tricolour atop a police station.
Jhalkari BaiShe was a woman soldier who grew to become one of the key advisors to the Rani of Jhansi and a prominent figure in the First War of Indian Independence, 1857.
Padmaja NaiduShe was the daughter of Sarojini Naidu and a freedom fighter in her own right, who would later become Governor of West Bengal and a humanitarian after Independence.
Bishni Devi ShahShe inspired a large number of people in Uttarakhand to join the freedom movement.

Ramanujacharya – Statue of equality

News: The Prime Minister has inaugurated the Statue of Equality in Hyderabad. The statue commemorates the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya.

About Statue of Equality

Statue of Equality is a 216-foot-tall statue dedicated to 11th-century social reformer and saint, Ramanujacharya. The statue will be in a sitting position.

It is composed of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals comprising gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc. The statue will be the second-highest sitting statue in the world [the tallest is the Great Buddha in Thailand at 302 ft.]

About Ramanujacharya

Born: Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu in 1017.

  1. He was also referred to as Ilaya Perumal, which means the radiant one.
  2. Ramanujacharya was a Vedic philosopher and social reformer.
  3. He revived Bhakti Movement and considered to be the inspiration for poets like Annamacharya, Ramdas, Thyagaraja, Kabir, and Meerabai. His preaching inspired other Bhakti schools of thought.
  4. He is also credited with establishing the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples throughout India, the most famous being Tirumala and Srirangam.
  5. He appealed for the protection of nature and its resources like air, water, and soil.
  6. He propagated the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”, which translates as “all the universe is one family”.
  7. Literary contribution: He wrote nine works that came to be known as the Navratnas including three major commentaries, the Vedartha-Sangraha, the Sribhasya and the Bhagavadgita-bhasya aimed at providing a philosophical foundation for devotional worship.

About Vishistadvaita

Ramanujacharya is famous as the chief proponent of Vishishtadvaita subschool of Vedānta. Vishishtadvaita is a non-dualistic school of Vedanta philosophy. It is non-dualism of the qualified whole, in which Brahman alone is seen as the Supreme Reality, but is characterized by multiplicity.

It can be described as qualified monism or qualified non-dualism or attributive monism. It is a school of Vedanta philosophy that believes in all diversity subsuming to an underlying unity.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

News: In order to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Government of India has decided to install a grand statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.

Salient features of the statue

The Statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be installed at India Gate. The statue will replace the Amar Jawan Jyoti. Till the statue gets completed, a hologram statue of his would be present at the same place.

Other decisions taken by the Govt to honour Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose

1) Government has declared 23rd January as Parakram Diwas to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,

2) Government has instituted the annual Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. It will recognize and honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organisations in India in the field of disaster management. The award is announced every year on 23rd January.

3) Republic Day celebrations from this year will start on January 23 instead of January 24 to include the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

About Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Source: Wikipedia

Subhas Chandra Bose was born on January 23, 1897, in Cuttack, Orissa. He was affectionately called Netaji.

In England, he appeared for the Indian Civil Service competitive examination in 1920 and came out fourth in the order of merit.

However, Bose was deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre and left his Civil Services’ apprenticeship midway to return to India in 1921.

Contribution to Indian Freedom Movement

After returning to India, Netaji joined the Indian National Congress. He started working under Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das whom he later acknowledged as his political guru.

Netaji along with Jawaharlal Nehru opposed the Motilal Nehru Report, which spoke for dominion status for India. They asserted that they would be satisfied with nothing short of complete independence for India.

In 1938, Subhas Chandra Bose was elected President of the Haripura Congress Session.

In 1939 at the Tripuri Session, Netaji again won the presidential elections against Gandhi’s candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya. But due to ideological differences with Gandhi, Bose resigned and left congress.

He then founded a new party named ‘the Forward Bloc’. The purpose was to consolidate the political left and major support base in his home state, Bengal.

Indian National Army

In 1941, Bose reached Germany via Afghanistan. On the maxim that “an enemy’s enemy is a friend”, he sought the cooperation of Germany and Japan against the British Empire.

In 1943, he arrived in Singapore. Here he took over the reins of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia from Rash Behari Bose and organized the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) composed mainly of Indian prisoners of war.

Azad Hind Fauj then proceeded toward India to liberate it from British rule.

However, the defeat of Japan and Germany in the Second World War forced INA to retreat, and it could not achieve its objective.

Guru Ravidas

News: Recently, the Punjab elections have been postponed because of the Guru Ravidas Jayanti, an annual occasion during which Ravidassias travel to Varanasi in large numbers.

About Guru Ravidas

  1. Ravidas was a 14th-century saint and reformer of the Bhakti movement in North India. He was an Indian mystic, poet, social reformer, and spiritual guru. He contributed in the form of devotional songs, verses, spiritual teachings during the Bhakti movement
  2. Guru Ravidas Jayanti: It is celebrated on Magh Purnima. (It is the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Magha).
  3. Disciple of: He is believed to be a disciple of the bhakti saint-poet Ramananda. He was also contemporary to the bhakti saint-poet Kabir.

Teachings of Guru Ravidas

  1. Abolition of Caste: Guru Ravidas dedicated his whole life to the abolition of the caste system. He openly disliked the notion of a Brahminical society.
  2. One God: He gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems.
  3. Guru Granth Sahib: The devotional songs of Guru Ravidas made an instant impact on the Bhakti Movement. Around 41 of his poems were included in the religious text of the Sikhs ‘Guru Granth Sahib’.
  4. Begampura: His idea of “Begampura” was considered as his moral and intellectual achievement. Begampura was a city conceived by him. In that city, there will be no sorrow, no caste and class.
  5. Ravidassia Religion: His teachings resonated with the people leading to the birth of the Ravidassia religion or Ravidassia Dharam.

Veer Baal Diwas

News: The Prime Minister has announced that 26th December shall be observed as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’.

Veer Baal Diwas

The day will mark the martyrdom of Sahibzada Zorawar Singh Ji and Sahibzada Fateh Singh Ji.

Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh were the sons of Guru Gobind Singh. They are remembered as among the most respected martyrs in Sikhism.

In 1704, a combination of Mughals and hillmen besieged Anandpur Sahib on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

The two sons of Guru Gobind Singh were captured in this event and offered safe passage if they became Muslims. Both refused, and so Wazir Khan sentenced them to death. They were bricked alive. They chose martyredom instead of deviating from the noble principles of Dharma. This sacrifice is seen as the bravest sacrifice for Dharma in the Indian history.

About Guru Gobind Singh

Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Sikh guru. He was born in Patna, Bihar in 1666. He became the Sikh guru at the age of nine, following the demise of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru.

He founded the Sikh warrior community called Khalsa in 1699. He introduced the turban to cover the hair along with the principles of Khalsa or the five ‘K’s.

He laid the rules of Khalsa warriors, like abstaining from tobacco, alcohol, halal meat, and imbibing the duty of protecting innocent people from prosecution.

He named Guru Granth Sahib as the religious text of the Khalsa and the Sikhs. He fought against the Mughals in the Battle of Muktsar in 1705.

He also wrote the Zafarnama which was a letter to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Maharaja Bir Bikram

News: The Prime Minister has inaugurated the New Integrated Terminal Building of Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport.

About Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport

Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport was originally built by the US Air Force during the Second World War in collaboration with King Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarman of the erstwhile princely State.

It was formerly known as the Agartala Airport and was renamed in 2018.

About Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarman

Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Debbarman (1908-1947), belonged to Manikya dynasty, was the king of Tripura State. He was the king of Tripura State till 1947.

He played an important role in the development of Tripura and is known as Father of modern architecture in Tripura. During his rule, the entire planning of present-day Tripura was initiated.

He was also a pioneer in land reforms. In 1939, he reserved land for the local Tripura tribals. Later, this step was instrumental in the creation of the Tripura autonomous district council. He also laid the foundation for Tripura’s high rate of literacy.

Rani Velu Nachiyar

News: The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth anniversary.

About Rani Velu Nachiyar

Rani Velu Nachiyar is the 18th century queen from Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu, who fought against British rule to recapture her kingdom.

She was known as the first queen to fight against the colonial power during that time.

She is widely known as Veeramangai (brave woman).

Life of Rani Velu Nachiyar

Velu Nachiyar was born in 1730. She was the princess of Ramanathapuram. As she was the only child, she was trained in archery, horse riding, martial arts, and even handling different weapons.

At the age of 16, she was married to Sivagangai Mannar Muthuvaduganathur following which they had a daughter who was named Vellachi.

In 1772, the British troops and the Nawab of Arcot came together and invaded Sivagangai. During the Kalaiyar Koil war, her husband died fighting for his kingdom.

Velu Nachiyar somehow escaped with her daughter Vellachi and lived in Dindigul for a few years. During this time, she formed an alliance with other kingdoms and plotted her revenge against the British.

Following a strong fight, Velu Nachiyar was successful in recapturing her kingdom and hence became the queen of Sivagangai again.

She proudly ruled Sivagangai for more than 10 years. During her reign, the queen also created a women’s only army called Udaiyaal.

National Youth Festival (NYF)

News: The Prime Minister has inaugurated the 25th National Youth Festival (NYF) hosted by the Union Territory of Puducherry.

About National Youth Festival (NYF)

National Youth Festival is an annual gathering of youth with various activities including competitive ones.

The festival has been conducted since the year 1995. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.

Objective: To provide a platform to bring the youth of the country together in an attempt to provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talents in various activities.

Organized by: Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in collaboration with one of the State Governments.

Adi Shankaracharya

News: The Prime Minister has inaugurated a 12-foot statue of Adi Shankaracharya at Kedarnath, Uttarakhand. It is believed that this is the place where Adi Shankaracharya attained samadhi at the age of 32 in the ninth century.

About Adi Shankaracharya

He was an 8th-century Indian spiritual leader and philosopher. He is said to have been born in Kaladi village on the bank of the Periyar, the largest river in Kerala.

Philosophy of Adi Shankaracharya

Advaita Vedanta: He propounded the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta which articulates a philosophical position of radical non dualism, a revisionary worldview which it derived from the ancient Upanishadic texts.

According to the philosophy, the whole world is a manifestation of the one and only God (brahman) and all diversity we see is delusion (maya) as the result of ignorance (advidya).

Mathas: Shankaracharya established Mathas in Sringeri, Dwaraka, Puri, and Joshimath for the spread of Advaita Vedanta.

Major Works of Adi Shankaracharya

He authored 116 works. Among them, the celebrated commentaries (bhashyas) are on Upanishads, the Brahma Sutra, and the Gita. His famous poetic works include Maneesha Panchakam and Saundaryalahiri.

He authored the Vivekachudamani which spells out the qualifications required in a student of Vedanta.

He also composed the Kanakadhara Stotram, following which there was a rain of golden amlas which brought prosperity to the household.

Further, he also composed texts like Shankara Smrithi which seeks to establish the social supremacy of Nambuthiri Brahmins.

Birsa Munda

News: Union Cabinet has approved 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas to remember the contributions of tribal freedom fighters to the country. This date was chosen as it is the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda who is revered as Bhagwan by tribal communities across the country.

About Birsa Munda

Birsa Munda was born in 1875. He belonged to the Munda tribe in the Chota Nagpur Plateau area. He converted to Christianity in order to join the German Mission school. However, he later decided to renounce Christianity and drop out of the School.

Birsait Faith: He created a new religion called Birsait, which worshipped only one god. Given his growing influence in the tribal community, Birsait soon became the popular religion among the Mundas and Oraons. He was also given the nickname ‘Dharti Abba’ or Father of the Earth.

Influence on Birsa Munda: During the 1880s, Birsa closely witnessed the Sardari Larai movement in the region, which demanded the restoration of tribal rights through non-violent methods like sending petitions to the Raj. However, the oppressive colonial regime paid no heed to these demands.

About Munda Rebellion

It was led by Birsa Munda. It was a revolt against the colonial masters and exploitative dikus (outsiders) and was aimed at establishing Munda Raj or Munda rule in this region. The revolt later came to be known as The Ulgulan or “the Great Tumult”.

Reason for Munda Revolt: In 1874, the British replaced the Khuntkari system of Munda tribals with the zamindari system. The introduction of the zamindari system created the classes of zamindars (landlords) and ryots (tenants).

It also intensified the forced labor (veth bigari) in the forested tribal areas and made tribals depend on money lenders for money.

Impact of the Munda Revolt: The movement compelled the British to take cognizance of the plight and exploitation of tribals and bring in the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act of 1908 for their protection. This Act restricted the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals giving Adivasis a huge relief and became a landmark legislation for the protection of tribal rights.

Rani Kamlapati

News: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister has renamed the Habibganj railway station after Rani Kamlapati.

About Rani Kamlapati

She was the 18th Century Gond queen of the region. She was the widow of Gond ruler Nizam Shah, chief of Ginnorgarh.

She is known to have shown great bravery in facing aggressors during her reign after her husband was killed.

Kamlapati is also claimed to be the “last Hindu queen of Bhopal” who did great work in the area of water management and set up parks and temples.

Kamalapati Palace: It is a secular architecture built-in 1722. The palace has been designated as a Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

About Gond Community

Gond community is the largest tribal group in India. The community is largely spread in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, and Odisha.

Rani Gaidinliu

News: Union Minister of Home Affairs has laid the foundation stone for setting up of the Rani Gaidinliu Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum at Luangkao village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district.

About Rani Gaidinliu

Rani Gaidinliu was born on January 26, 1915, in the present-day Tamenglong district of Manipur. She belonged to the Rongmei Naga tribe. At the age of 13, Rani Gaidinliu joined the Heraka Religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang.

Heraka Movement

Heraka was a socio-religious movement that arose in the 1920s in the Zeliangrong territory. It was started by Jadonang to resist the infiltration of Christian missionaries as well as the reforms imposed by the British government.

However, in 1931, Jadonang was arrested by the British and was hanged for opposing the colonial rule. To ensure the movement does not die down, Gaidinliu took up the movement.

She openly rebelled against British rule by telling the Zeliangrong people not to pay taxes. She also received donations from the local Nagas, many of whom also joined her as volunteers.

She was then arrested in 1932 and sentenced to life imprisonment by the British rulers. Between 1932 and 1947, the Naga freedom fighter was kept at several prisons across the Northeast.

Acknowledging her role in the struggle against the British, Jawaharlal Nehru called her the “Daughter of the Hills” and gave her the title “Rani” or queen.


In independent India, Gaidinliu was against the Naga National Council’s (NNC) demand for sovereignty and independence of Naga territory from India. She, in fact, demanded a separate Zeliangrong area within the Union of India.

Since she faced opposition from other Naga leaders for her demand, she was forced to go underground in 1960. She later reached an understanding with the Government of India and dismantled the underground movement. In 1993, Rani Gaidinliu passed away.


She was awarded the Tamra Patra (an award bestowed upon distinguished individuals for their contribution to the Indian freedom struggle) in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 1982.

The government of India issued a postal stamp in her honor in 1996, and a commemorative coin in 2015.

The Indian Coast Guard commissioned a Fast Patrol Vessel “ICGS Rani Gaidinliu” in 2016.

Lachit Borphukan

News: The Prime Minister paid tribute to Lachit Borphukan on the occasion of Lachit Divas. Assam celebrates Lachit Divas on November 24 as a tribute to Borphukan valour and heroism.

About Lachit Borphukan

Lachit Borphukan was a commander in the erstwhile Ahom kingdom.

He is known for his leadership in the 1671 Battle of Saraighat that thwarted an attempt by Mughal forces to capture Assam.  The battle of Saraighat was fought on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Guwahati.

He defeated the Mughal Army by brilliant uses of the terrain, guerrilla tactics, clever diplomatic negotiations to buy time, military intelligence and by exploiting the sole weakness of the Mughal forces—its navy.

Significance of Lachit Borphukan

Lachit Borphukan was the inspiration behind strengthening India’s naval force, revitalising inland water transport and creating infrastructure associated with it due to his great naval strategies.

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