The Indian freedom was a long struggle which claimed thousands of lives and countless sacrifices. Many of these sacrifices went unnoticed but some of them found their way into history books and are even remembered today with great pride and honor.
The date August 15 brings a sense of patriotism to all Indians whether in India or abroad and makes the people behind our independence even more special. Here’s a look at some of those great personalities because of whom we stand on the brink of social, political and economical greatness.
The father of the nation who was also given the title ‘Mahatma’ gave the world a perspective which supported humanity and not tyranny. His non violent measures which seemed ineffective in the tense scenario proved to be a method which not only brought the British Raj under pressure but also gathered worldwide support for India.
His efforts to abolish untouchability, remove poverty and Swaraj (self-rule) guided India towards a state of unity and tolerance. With non cooperation movement, Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement he employed non-cooperation, non-violence and peaceful resistance as his “weapons” in the struggle against the British Raj.
Rani Lakshmibai commonly known as ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ was an iconic figure in the first freedom struggle of India in 1857. After the East India Company, under the leadership of Lord Dalhousie decided to apply the Doctrine of Lapse to acquire Jhansi, the queen took the responsibility of leading her army to oppose the British oppression.
One of the first major initiatives to oppose the East India Company, Rani Lakshmibai became a symbol of courage, women empowerment and the patriotism. She died at the hands of the British but her sacrifice did not go waste as it set the tone for many future leaders.
Lal Bal Pal:
The trio of Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal advocated the Swadeshi movement which spread the message of self-reliance. Their efforts included boycotting foreign goods, strikes and protesting the partition of Bengal to unite the people with the ultimate motive of overthrowing the British Raj.
Lala Lajpat Rai who led a number of demonstrations against the British succumbed to injuries after being ‘Lathi charged’ in his protest against the Simon Commission. Bhagat Singh, who was an eyewitness to this event, claimed that it was this act that triggered the sense of revenge in him.
Bhagat Singh is considered to be one of the most influential extremists in the freedom struggle of India. He believed in raising his voice to make the British hear it and in an attempt to do so, he threw a bomb in the Central Legislative Assembly. After the bombing, Bhagat Singh gave himself up to the police.
With his extremist approach Bhagat Singh has been an iconic figure amongst the Indian youth even today.
Subhash Chandra Bose:
Considered to be one of the greatest brains involved in India’s freedom struggle Subhash Chandra Bose or Netaji as he was affectionately called was a key figure in India’s freedom struggle. He formed the Indian National Army with the involvement of Indians in other parts of Asia to attack the British forces in India.
He sought alliances around the world with countries such as USSR, Japan and Germany to strengthen his force against the British Raj in India. His famous motto “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”, truly defined the spirit of Subhash Chandra Bose.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel:
An iconic leader in the Indian National Congress and the first deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhai Patel was a key member in the Quit India Movement. Also known as the ‘iron man of India’, Sardar Vallabhai Patel did the herculean task of uniting hundreds of princely states of India to form the Republic of India that we know today.
Other influential leaders:
Apart from these names there were many others who made immense contributions towards the freedom of India. Freedom fighters like Chandrasekhar Azad, Bagha Jatin, Khudiram Bose, Madan Lal Dhingra, Udham Singh, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Veer Savarkar and Mangal Pandey who made imperative contributions will always remain in Indian hearts as a source of inspiration, spirit and patriotism. The people not only wrote Indian history but also paved a path for the success that we all enjoy today.