Indians grew up listening and reading stories of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Bhagat Singh and other leaders who used their own firebrand ways of making sure that India got freedom. However, a leader is incomplete without its followers. There are many other freedom fighters who were either inspired by the nationalistic wave fired by the top leaders or lost their life at a young age despite being fiery.
And what better time than India's 70th Independence Day to revisit those who were lost in the sands of time.
1. Matangini Hazra - Daughter of a poor peasant, widowed at an early age and also known as Gandhi buri had led a procession of 6,000 people in September 1942 at Tamluk in then Midnapore district. The 71-year-old was a Gandhian and an active member of the Indian National Congress. She was shot dead in front of the Tamluk police station for leading the Quit India Movement procession.
2. Kanaktala Baruah - She died at the age of 17 in Assam's Gohpur for hoisting the Indian flag and leading a procession towards the local police station during the Quit India Movement in 1942. She was shot dead by police. Also known as Birbala, she was a member of the Mrityu Bahini.
3. Kunwar Singh - He led a hard fight against the East India Company's troops in Bihar during the first war of Independence in 1857. He was 80 when he took up arms in 1857, becoming a pain in the neck of the British for almost a year before he died a warrior's death. In 1858, he brought down the Union Jack flag from the Jagdishpur Fort and hoisted the flag of his family before dying. He was part of the royal family of Jagdishpur.
4. Damodar Chapekar, Balkrishna Chapekar and Vasudeo Hari Chapekar - The Chapekar brothers were revolutionaries charged for murdering WC Rand, the British plague commissioner of Pune in 1897. Rand had ignored complaints of residents of Pune who were forced into segregation camps and medical examinations during a plague epidemic in the city. Rand was shot on the day when the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria's coronation was celebrated in Pune.
5. Aruna Asaf Ali - Born as Aruna Ganguly, she is known for hoisting the Indian National Congress flag at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay during the Quit India Movement in 1942. She was known as the Grand Old Lady of the Independence movement. She hoisted the flag despite many INC leaders being jailed and warning by police. Her bravery began the movement in India.
6. Potti Sreeramulu - A staunch Gandhian, he was jailed in 1930 for taking part in the Salt March. Also known as Amarajeevi, he was arrested multiple times for taking part in the Satyagraha movement and the Quit India Movement. He also worked for the upliftment of the Dalit community.
7. Anant Laxman Kanhere - Anant had shot Jackson, the Collector of Nasik in British India in 1909. Jackson had been instrumental in the prosecution of Babarao Savarkar, who printed a sixteen-page book of the songs of Kavi Govind. He was hanged at the age of 18 for Jackson's murder.