We remember and honour our freedom fighters. We applaud their immense sacrifice for helping us live in a free country. There are many names which went on to be praised and remembered by people. But there are a few which have been lost to obscurity. Here is a list of those Unsung Heroes of Indian Freedom Struggle who are not as well known as others.
Alluri Sitarama Raju
Born in a prosperous Kshatriya family he gave up everything for the freedom struggle. He led the “Rampa Rebellion” of 1922–24, during which a band of tribal leaders and other sympathisers fought against the British Raj. He took the cause of tribal people in Agency areas. These people were being harassed by British officials under the forest act. He led an armed rebellion against the British forces.
He was a follower of Gandhiji. He was also known as Diamond Venkayya because of his knowledge of diamond mining. He was the person who designed the national flag of India. His design was first modified and then adopted as the flag of Indian National Congress and later modified again to be the national flag of India.
A follower of Gandhi he spent most of his life doing humanitarian work and working for the Dalit community. He was also praised by Gandhiji for his fasting abilities and dedication. He lost his life during the fast demanding a separate linguistic state of Andhra from the Madras Presidency.
She led a revolt against the British rule in India. She was a Naga spiritual. She was opposed to the idea of conversion of Naga religious practitioners to Christianity. She joined the Heraka movement initiated by her cousin. It was a religious movement which later turned into a political movement that tried to drive the British away from Manipur and nearby Naga regions. She was only sixteen when she was arrested and was put into life imprisonment by the British. In 1937, five years after her arrest, Nehru visited and promised to get her out and gave her the title ‘Rani’. She was released in 1947. She continued to work for the community and was also awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Sardar Gouthu Latchanna
Arrested at a young age of 21 for being a part of the Satyagraha movement, he was known as Sardar among his friends. His name reflected his fearless attitude and he was an integral part of the Quit India Movement.
He leads the Chittagong Armory Raid. Under his leadership, a group of sixty-four other revolutionaries captured the Police Armory, destroyed the telephones and telegraph lines and dislocated the railway lines to and from Chittagong. They captured the town and declared it as Gandhi’s raj by hoisting the tricolour. But eventually, they were surrounded and overpowered by the British forces. He was captured, tried and hanged.
The Trio: Benoy, Badal & Dinesh
This trio is famous for their attack on the Dalhousie Square in Kolkata. All of them were from Bengal. Colonel N.S. Simpson, the Inspector General of Prisons, brutally oppressed his prisoners. The trio decided to murder him and strike terror among British officials by launching an attack on the Secretariat Building – the Writers’ Building in Dalhousie Square, Kolkata. They killed Simpson and then themselves as they did not want to get arrested. The Dalhousie Square was renamed as the B.B.D. Bagh after them.
Their full names were Badal Gupta, Dinesh Gupta and Benoy Basu.
He started his career as a lawyer but gave up his practice in 1921 and was drawn to the freedom movement. One of his most famous acts was in 1928 during the protests against Simon Commission in Madras. The police had imposed a ban on protests in some areas. They had warned of shooting people who violated orders. Prakasam faced the police, tore open his shirt, bared his chest and dared them to shoot if they could. This act won him the title of ‘Andhra Kesari’. He also became the first Chief Minister of Madras Presidency and then the Chief Minister of the Andhra state.
He was one of the chiefs of Khasi people in the early 18th century. He fought against British attempts to take over control of the Khasi hills. He died on 17 July 1835, fighting the British.
The founding member of the Desa Bandhu Youth Association, he held the national flag till his last breath. He was killed during a protest march against the British colonial government in 1932.
He began a war with the Britishers sixty years before the 1857 rebellion occurred in northern parts of the country. He was captured and hanged in 1799. His protest was against the sovereignty of the East India Company. He refused to pay their taxes. This irked the Britishers who destroyed his fort and looted his wealth.
We Often talk about independence and then limit our conversations to those famous names and forget the ones who worked sweat and blood behind the scenes. This independence let’s remember these Unsung Heroes of Indian Freedom Struggle and thank them for this free air.