India achieved its freedom from the shackles of British rule on August 15, 1947. India has had a history of invasions and attacks which began with Aryans and continued till Mongolians. Then came the Britishers who established their rule over the country. India struggled under the British rule for 200 years. After being ruled by the British East India Company from 1600, the Sepoy mutiny, called ‘The Indian Rebellion of 1857’, began. This marked the initiation of the Indian Freedom Struggle. It took 90 years for the country to regain its political independence. Hundreds of freedom fighters struggled and even laid their lives to help India achieve freedom. Below is a list of freedom fighters who helped India to gain its independence.
Dr Ambedkar, the father of the Indian constitution, has played a significant role in transforming the lives of oppressed people. He gave them dignity and helped them to become responsible citizens of India. Dr Ambedkar was an important part of the social revolution and was made the first Law Minister of India.
Bahadur Shah Zafar
Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor of India was a great freedom fighter. He was involved in the revolt of 1857. He was the leader of the Sepoys and led his army to the Sepoy mutiny against the East India Company. He was exiled to Rangoon due to his rebellious activities.
He was one of the most influential revolutionary during the Independence Movement. Bhagat Singh did not believe in Gandhiji’s ideology of non-violence. He took revenge for Lala Lajpat Rai’s death and planned and executed 1929 assembly bombings. He was arrested for the bombings. He went on to fast for 116 days in jail to get his basic rights as a prisoner, which were being crushed by the British officials. He was sentenced to death along with Sukhdev and Rajguru. His death provoked the masses to make India free from British rule.
Chandra Shekhar Azad
Chandra Shekhar Azad wanted to free India by any means. Initially he participated in Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement. But later on he went on to use arms and violence as a means to achieve freedom. He established Hindustan Socialist Republic Association, mentored and encouraged other young revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev and established Jhansi camp. He was filled with angst against the Britishers. He ended his life by shooting himself because he preferred dying with pride rather than by the British police.
Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was a staunch supporter of Gandhiji. He supported Satyagraha. He was in favour of adopting non violent methods for the freedom struggle. He actively took part in the non-cooperation movement in 1920 and then the Civil Disobedience Movement. He also took the responsibility of becoming the Prime Minister of independent india , and helped the country to recover from the assaults of the Britishers and built a new nation with a successful economy.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an inspiring personality. He had a very strong set of moral values. He was a believer of nonviolence and gave up everything to make India free. He made efforts to erase poverty, ended untouchability and helped in establishing swaraj or self-rule. He led campaigns like Dandi Salt March, Quit India Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Satyagraha among others.
He was one of the first freedom fighters of India. He was a soldier in the army of British East India Company. He rose against the British rule during the revolt of 1857. Mangal Pandey attacked his British officers, revolted against the greased cartridges and played a pivotal role in the Barrackpore unrest. He was hanged till death in 1857.
Dr Rajendra Prasad, first president of The Republic of India, played an important role in India’s freedom struggle. He was a supporter of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined Indian National Congress during Independence movement and became a major leader from the region of Bihar. He participated actively in Salt Satyagraha and Quit India Movement. He too along with other leaders was imprisoned by the British authorities during these movements.
Rani Lakshmi Bai
Rani Laxmi Bai fought the British army to save her reign over Jhansi. She led her troop, the largest women army till date, and fought the battle against the Britishers.
Sarojini Naidu made significant contributions to India’s freedom struggle. She was the first woman to be elected as the governor of an Indian state and the Indian National Congress. She went to different states and delivered speeches on social welfare. Her poetry became a powerful medium of spreading the message of independence. She will always be remembered as the Nightingale of India, a poet and a social activist.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel
Sardar Vallabhai Patel took part in Satyagraha. When Mahatma Gandhi was put in prison Vallabhai Patel led the movement in Nagpur. He also participated actively in Civil Disobedience Movement and Quit India Movement.
Subhash Chandra Bose
Subhash Chandra Bose was the founder of Indian National Army. He was a believer of Swami Vivekananda’s teachings. He was a rebel. He joined Indian National Congress and later became its president.