Monday, July 2, 2007


Age :- 24
11 Rajputana Rifles
SoldierMission: Attacked by intruders and bombarded by artillery, he and his unit, equipped only with small arms, fought to the end.

Ek pal mein hai sach saari zindagi ka; Is pal mein ji lo yaaron, yahan kal hai kisne dekha (The truth of our lives is encapsulated in one moment; Live this moment, who knows what tomorrow holds).

It is difficult to miss the irony, in these lyrics of a song from an album cut by a remarkable singer-soldier, Captain Haneef Uddin. Haneef lived these lyrics -- written by his younger brother Sameer -- and even sang them to his troops. His impromptu "Jazz Band" spread his zest for life and music in the mountains, welcome relief for troops cut off from civilization and television, fighting tedium and tension. "Whether up in the hills or down here with us, his music system remained his constant companion," says elder brother Nafees, 26, a physics teacher. Fun, cheer, song and courage. Those values, his family and colleagues say, describe the young captain who died fighting on a craggy mountainside in Turtuk, Kargil, on the same day that he was commissioned into the army two years ago. The strapping young man -- he was crowned Mr Shivaji in Delhi's Shivaji College -- was multifaceted, training in computers before joining the Indian Military Academy in 1996. He was commissioned into the army on June 7, 1997.

Cutting across the snowy peaks to push for the enemy-held heights, Haneef soldiered on despite artillery bombardment. Outgunned and outnumbered, he and his unit fought to the end. His body has not yet been recovered from the perilous ridges of Turtuk, which is still in enemy hands.

Haneef's father died when he was only seven years old. His mother, Hema Aziz, a classical singer, displays the stoicism of grieving families nationwide: "As a soldier Haneef served his country with pride and dedication. There cannot be a greater statement on his valour than his death which came fighting the enemy."

The memories flood into Hema Aziz's east Delhi apartment: of the times when Haneef would come humming back after a busy day at Kerala School, his alma mater; of the times when the brothers would grapple wildly like pit wrestlers and then calm down with music; of his last call home saying he would be back for his birthday in September after collaring the enemy. Memories -- they are all that remain.

Nation's third highest wartime gallentry award VIR CHAKRA was awarded to Lt. Hanif-u-din on 15th August 1999

Martyr Indu Bhushan Roy

Alipore Bomb Case

Indu Bhushan Roy was convicted to 10 years Rigorous Imprisonment previously hurled bomb at M.Tardival, Mayor of Chandannagar, Narendra Goswami was his companion. Narendra Bandopadhyaya of Chandan Nagar organised this action. Brutal and sadistic torture in the Cellular jail made him a mental and physical wreck. In desperation he committed suicide on 29.04.1912

Veerapandia Kattabomman

Veerapandiya Kattabomman was born in an Nayakkar family to Aadi Kattabommu and Aarumugathammal on January 3, 1760 and became the 47th king of Panchalankurichi at an age of 30. Veerapandiya Kattabomman's father Aadi Kattabomman was a minister in the court of Jagaveera Pandiyan, a desendent in the Pandya line. Jagaveera pandiyan was issueless and declared Kattabomman as his successor. Since Kattabomman was the first of the new clan, he came to be known as Adi Kattabomman (aadi means first or beginning in Sanskrit and Tamil).

On February 2, 1790, Veerapandiyan, thirty, became the king of Panchalankurichi. The Nawab of Arcot who had borrowed huge sums of money from the East India Company gave them the right to collect taxes and levies from the southern region in lieu of the money he had borrowed. The East India Company took advantage of the situation and plundered all the wealth of the people in the name of tax collection. All the ‘poligars’ paid taxes except Veerapandiyan.

Kattabomman refused to pay his dues and for a long time refused to meet Jackson the Collector of the East India Company. Finally, he met Jackson at ‘Ramalinga Vilasam’, the palace of Sethupathi of Ramanathapuram. The meeting ended in a skirmish in which the Deputy Commandant of the Company’s forces, Clarke was slain. Kattabomman and his men fought their way to freedom and safety, but Thanapathi Pillai, Kattabomman’s secretary was taken prisoner.
The Commission of Enquiry that went into the incident fixed the blame on Jackson and relieved him of his post, thinking the Company’s plan to take over the entire country gradually could be marred by Jackson’s fight with Veerapandiya Kattabomman. The new Collector of Tirunelveli wrote to Kattabomman calling him for a meeting on 16th March, 1799. Kattabomman wrote back citing the extreme drought conditions for the delay in the payment of dues and also demanded that all that was robbed off him at Ramanathapuram be restored to him. The Collector wanted the ruling house of Sethupathis to prevent Kattabomman from aligning himself with the enemies of the Company and decided to attack Kattabomman.

Kattabomman refused to meet the Collector and a fight broke out. Under Major Bannerman, the army stood at all the four entrances of Panchalankurichi’s fort. At the southern end, Lieutenant Collins was on the attack. When the fort’s southern doors opened, he was killed by Kattabomman’s warriors.

After suffering heavy losses, the English decided to wait for reinforcements from Palayamkottai. Sensing that his fort could not survive a barrage from heavy cannons, Kattabomman left the fort that night.

A price was set on Kattabomman’s head. Thanapathi Pillai and 16 others were taken prisoners. Thanapathi Pillai was executed and his head perched on a bamboo pole was displayed at Panchalankurichi. Veerapandiya Kattabomman stayed at Kolarpatti at Rajagopala Naicker’s house where the forces surrounded the house.

Kattabomman and his aides fled from there and took refuge in the Thirukalambur forests close to Pudukkottai. Bannerman ordered the ruler of Pudukkottai to arrest Kattabomman. Accordingly, Kattabomman was captured and on October 16, 1799 the case was taken up (nearly three weeks after his arrest near Pudukkottai). After a summary trial, Kattabomman was hanged unceremoniously on a tamarind tree. The fort of Panchalankurichi was razed to the ground and all of Kattabomman’s wealth was looted by the English soldiers.

A fort constructed by the Tamil Nadu Government at Panchalankurichi in 1972 stands as a monument to this great hero from the south who played a pivotal role in the freedom movement of our country


Naik Jadunath Singh, was born on 21 November 1916 in Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was enrolled in the 1 Rajput on 21 November 1941. During the Jammu & Kashmir operations in the winter of 1947, the capture of Jhangar on December 24th, by the Pakistani raiders, placed them in an advantageous position in the Naushahra sector. Being in full comand of the communication lines from Mirpur to Poonch, they could now build up their forces for attack on Naushahra. The Army was alive to this threat. In January 1948, they conducted operations to prevent the enemy build up in the area and in the process occupied Kot village to the Northwest of Naushahra. In any case an attack on Naushahra was imminent. Brigadier Usman of the 50 Para Brigade had made adequate preparation to thwart this attack by establishing strong pickets on possible enemy approaches. One of these approaches lay to the north of Naushahra through Tain dhar.

The expected enemy attack came on the foggy morning of February 6th, at 0640 hrs. The enemy started the attack by opening fire from their pickets on the Taindhar ridge on an Indian patrol. Simultaneously, the whole of Tain dhar and the surrounding hills became live with bursts of machine gun and crunches of mortar fire. Meanwhile under the cover of darkness the enemy crept up to the Indian pickets. In the first light of dawn the men on the post saw thousands of hostiles creeping up to them. On the crucial day of February 6th, Naik Jadunath Singh was in command of a forward post of picket No.2 at Taindhar. 9 men garrisoned the post.

The enemy launched their attack in successive waves to take this post. At this juncture Naik Jadunath Singh displayed great valour & superb leadership and used his small force in such a manner that the enemy retreated in utter confusion. When four of his men were wounded he re-organised the battered force for meeting another onslaught. The post did not give in despite its being outnumbered. When all men including him were wounded, he personally took over the bren gun from the wounded bren-gunner. The enemy was now right on the walls of the post. Naik Jadunath Singh, unmindful of personal safety encouraged his men to fight. His fire was so devastating that what looked like a certain defeat was turned into a victory. Thus the post was saved a second time.

By now all men of the post had turned into casualties. The enemy put in his third and final attack determined to capture the post. Naik Jadunath Singh, wounded and alone, rose to give a battle for the third time. He came out of the Sangar and firing his sten gun charged on the advancing enemy. The surprised enemy fled in disorder. He met a gallant death, in this third and last charge, when two enemy bullets pierced him in the head and the chest. At a most critical stage in the battle for the defence of Naushahra, he saved his picket from being overrun by the enemy. Naik Jadunath Singh was honoured with the highest wartime gallantry medal, Param Vir Chakra, posthumously.

1 RAJPUT (NO 27373)

At No 2 picquet on Taindhar on 6 February 1948, No 27373 Naik Jadunath Singh was in command of a forward section post, which bore the full brunt of the enemy attack. Nine men against overwhelming odds garrisoned the little post. The enemy launched its attack in successive waves and with great ferocity to overcome this post. The first wave swept up to the post in a furious attack. Displaying great valour and superb qualities of leadership Naidk Jadunath Singh so used the small force at his disposal that the enemy retired in utter confusion. Four of his men were wounded but Naik Jadunath Singh again showed his qualities of good leadership by reorganizing the battered force under him, for meeting another onslaught. His coolness and courage were of such an order that the men rallied and were ready for the second attack which came with greater determination and in larger number than the preceding one. Though hopelessly outnumbered, this post under the gallant leadership of Naik Jadunath Singh resisted. All were wounded, and Naik Jadunath Singh, though wounded in the right arm, personally took over the Bren gun from the wounded Bren gunner. The enemy was right on the walls of the post but Naid Jadunath Singh once again showed outstanding ability and valour of the highest order in action. By his complete disregard for his personal safety and example of coolness and courage, he encouraged his men to fight. His fire was so devastating, that what looked like impending defeat was turned into a victory and the enemy retreated in chaos leaving the dead and wounded littered on the ground. With this act of supreme heroism and outstanding example of leadership and determination, Naik Jadunath Singh saved the post from the second assault. By this time, all men in the post were casualties. The enemy put in his third and final attack in undiminished numbers and determination to capture this post. Naik Jadunath Singh, now wounded, prepared literally single-handed to give battle for the third time. With great courage and determination, he came out of the sangar and finally with the Sten gun, made a most magnificent single-handed charge on the advancing enemy, who, completely taken by surprise, fled in disorder. Naik Jadunath Singh, however, met his gallant death in his third and last charge when two bullets hit him in the head and chest. Thus, charging single-handedly at the advancing enemy, this Non-Commissioned Officer, performed the highest act of gallantry and self-sacrifice and by so doing saved his section-nay, his whole picquet from being overrun by the enemy at the most critical stage in the battle for the defence of Nushera

Madan Mohan Malaviya

Madan Mohan Malaviya was born in Allahabad on December 25, 1861. His ancestors were poor but had a social status and were known for their Sanskrit scholarship. Madan Mohan's education began at the age of five when he was sent to Pandit Hardeva's Dharma Gyanopadesh Pathshala. Mohan who was a diligent boy, matriculated in 1879 and joined the Muir Central College and finally graduated from the Calcutta University in 1884. He was appointed as a teacher in his old school on forty rupees a month and soon became popular among his pupils. As there were no rules in those days preventing government servants from attending political meetings he attended the second Congress session held in Calcutta in 1886 and delivered a speech which held the audience spell-bound. A. 0. Hume the General Secretary of the Congress made a very appreciative reference to it in his annual report. Soon after his return from Calcutta he was offered the editorship of the Hindi weekly, the Hindustan. He also edited another weekly, the Indian Union. Malaviya wanted to devote himself entirely to the service of the country. The legal profession did not attract him though he studied law and passed the LL.B. examination in 1891.

With few exceptions Malaviya regularly attended the annual Congress sessions from 1886 to 1936. In 1887, he invited the Congress to Allahabad. During the session great enthusiasm prevailed among the delegates and its success was phenomenal. Malaviya was the Secretary of the Committee. He invited the Congress to Allahabad again in 1892, and again its success was largely due to his devoted efforts. In the Congress sessions he spoke generally on the political subjection of the country, the poverty of the masses owing to the British economic policy and the monopoly of the higher posts by officers recruited in England. On account of his services to the Congress he was elected its President in 1909,1918,1932 and 1933, but owing to his arrest by the Government of India, he could not beside over the 1932 and 1933 sessions which had been banned. Perhaps, he tried to popularise the national cause more than many other leaders.

Although he was a strong supporter of the Congress he founded the Hindu Mahasabha in 1906. It was established, according to its supporters, to oppose not the just claims of the Muslim community but the "divide and rule" policy of the British Government. Malviya became a High Court Vakil in 1893. He always gave preference to public work over his legal work. He virtually withdrew from the legal profession in 1909 but he made an exception in 1922 in regard to the appeal of 225 persons condemned to death in connection with the Chauri Chaura riots (Gorakhpur District, U.P.) on account of which Mahatma Gandhi suspended the civil disobedience movement, and saved 153 accused from the gallows.

Malaviya's zeal for public work made him realise the necessity of starting newspapers particularly in Hindi, for the education of the public. He started the Abhyudaya as a Hindi weekly in 1907 and made it a daily in 1915. He also started the Maryada a Hindi monthly in 1910 and another Hindi monthly, in 1921. He started the Leader, an English daily in October 1909. He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hindustan Times from 1924 to 1946.

In consequence of the active work that he did as Senior Vice-Chairman of the Allahabad Municipality, he was elected to the Provincial Legislative Council in 1902. The ability and independence which marked his speeches in the Council led to his election in 1909 to the Imperial Legislative Council, of which he soon became one of the most important members. He participated in the debates on important resolutions, e.g. those relating to free and compulsory primary education, the prohibition of recruitment of Indian indentured labour to the British colonies, nationalisation of railways, etc. He took a keen interest in the industrial development of the country and was therefore appointed a member of the Indian Industrial Commission in 1916.

In view of the non-cooperation movement started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920, he did not seek election to the Indian Legislative Assembly in 1921. But he was a member of the Assembly from 1924 to April 1930. He resigned shortly after the salt satyagraha started by Mahatma Gandhi and took part in it. He supported the demand for the grant of full Dominion Status to India put forward by Pandit Motilal Nehru. He was invited to the Round Table Conference in 1931, but he inevitably returned dissatisfied with the attitude of the British Government.

The Benares Hindu University betrays the keen interest that he took in the education of the mind and the spirit. The importance that he attached to the economic development of the country made him combine the teaching of science and technology with that of religion.

Malaviya was a conservative in social matters. He believed in the 'Varnashrama Dharma' (caste system). He was, however, prepared to adjust himself to social changes in the country to a limited extent, but wanted to take the leaders of the Hindu community and the Benares pandits with him in matters of social reform. He felt strongly the injustice done to the depressed classes in connection with temple entry and pleaded their cause before the pandits in 1936. He also favoured the raising of the position of Hindu women.

He occupied a very high position in Indian public life and his public activities were numerous. The freedom struggle, the economic development of the country, promotion of indigenous industries, education, religion, social service, the development of Hindi and other matters of national importance continued to occupy his attention as long as he lived. He was the President of the All India Seva Samity from 1914 till 1946. He was known for his gentleness and humility but he did not yield where principles were concerned. He had the courage to differ more than once from the Mahatma even at the risk of becoming unpopular. He opposed, for example, the boycott of schools and colleges, the burning of foreign cloth and the boycott of the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1921. It will be true to say that he considered responsive co-operation a better policy than civil disobidence

Rash Behari Bose

Rash Behari was born on May 25, 1886, in Palara-Bighati (Hoogly) village. His mother passed away in 1889 when Rash Behari was still a baby. He was brought up thereafter by his maternal aunt Vama Sundari.

Rash Behari's was initially educated at Subaldaha under the supervision of his grandfather, Kalicharan, and later in Dupleix College at Chandernagore. At the time Chandernagore was under French rule thus, Rash Behari was influenced by both British and French culture. The French Revolution of 1789 had a deep impact on Rash Behari. Rash Behari was not a very attentive student. He was a day-dreamer, his mind preoccupied with revolutionary ideas. He was more interested in his physical prowess than his studies.

Rash Behari got hold of a well-known revolutionary novel called "Ananda Math (Abbey of Bliss)" written by noted Bengali novelist, poet and thinker, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee. Rash Behari also read the famous Bengali poet, Navin Sen's, Plasir Yudha, a collection of patriotic poems. In course of time he read other revolutionary books. He read nationalistic speeches by orator and revolutionary, Surendranath Banerjea, and Swami Vivekananda. In Chandernagore, his teacher Charu Chand, a man of radical ideas, inspired Rash Behari along revolutionary lines.

Rash Behari did not get a chance to complete college because his uncle got him a job at Fort William. From there he transferred to the Government press in Shimla on his father's wish. He was appointed the copy-holder in the press and was able to master English and typewriting. After some time he moved to the Pasteur Institute in Kasauli. Rash Behari was not happy with these jobs.

On a colleague's advice, Rash Behari went to Dehra Dun as a guardian tutor in the house of Pramantha Nath Tagore. He got a clerical post at the Dehra Dun Forest Research Institute where through hard work, Rash Behari became a head-clerk.

The partition of Bengal in 1905 and the events that followed in its wake drew Rash Behari headlong into revolutionary activities. Rash Behari concluded that the Government would not yield without revolutionary action on the part of the patriots. He started gearing up his revolutionary activities under the guidance of Jatin Banerjee, an eminent revolutionary leader. Rash Behari made Benaras one of his headquarters. Propaganda among the Indian soldiers was taken up with a view to including them in a rebellion all over northern India. Contacts were established with Indian soldiers from Dinapore to Jalandher cantonment. The plan was that on the night of February 21, 1915, the Indian sepoys would attack the English soldiers. At the same time telegraph wires would be cut, the treasury looted and prisoners released. Accomplishing this the revolutionaries would meet in Lahore. A spy, Kirpal Singh, secretly communicated the date to the police. As soon as this was known the date was changed to February 19. Kirpal Singh was under strict vigilance but he managed to send word of the change of plans to the police. The Government swooped down and arrested the suspects. Rash Behari managed to escape.

Rash Behari planned the attempt on Lord Harding's life, Viceroy to India. On December 23, 1912, Lord Harding was to make his entry into Delhi in a procession. At 11.45am the procession reached Dhulya Katra in Chandni Chowk. A bomb ripped through the procession. The Viceroy escaped, but the man to his right in his howdah was killed and 20 spectators were injured. In the ensuing man-hunt Master Amir Chand, Avadh Behari and Bal Mukund were arrested and hanged in Delhi jail. The Maulana Azad Medical College is located at the site of the old jail. The portion where the hanging took place is preserved and every year people gather to pay homage to the martyrs. Basanta Viswas, who threw the bomb disguised as a lady, was hanged in Ambala jail. Rash Behari averted arrest owing to a clever disguise. The event, as observed by Sir Valentine Chirol, had a "tremendous effect on the subsequent revolutionary activities."

Rash Behari remained on the move from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh to Bengal in different disguises. A police officer noted that Rash Behari could have been a "great stage actor" instead of a revolutionary if he so desired.

In the mean time Rash Behari came in contact with the Ghadar Party, and revolutionaries like Sachin Sanyal, Pingley and Satyen Sen and began planning an another armed uprising. The Ghadar Party was established in 1913 in U.S.A. by expatriate Indians who were sympathetic toward India's struggle. Sachin Sanyal was Rash Behari's right-hand man. He formed the Hindustan Republican Association and emerged as a great leader of the revolutionaries. The plan for the armed uprising was discovered. Sanyal was arrested and awarded transportation for life under the Benaras Conspiracy Case. Pingley, a Maharashtrian, was arrested with some bombs in 1915 and was executed. Rash Behari decided to leave India for Japan. He went to Benaras and stayed with Swami Vidyanand of Sandhya in a math.

Rash Behari left Calcutta on May 12, 1915. He went to Japan as Raja P.N.T. Tagore, a distant relative of Rabindranath Tagore. Some historians say that Rabindranath Tagore was aware of this impersonation. Rash Behari reached Singapore on May 22, 1915 and Tokyo in June. Between 1915 and 1918, Rash Behari lived almost like a fugitive, changing his residence 17 times. During this period he met Herambalal Gupta and Bhagwan Singh of the Ghadar Party. Japan was an ally of Britain's in the First World War and tried to extradite Rash Behari and Herambalal from Japan. Herambalal escaped to U.S.A. and Rash Behari ended his hide and seek by becoming a Japanese citizen. He married Tosiko, daughter of the Soma family who were sympathetic toward Rash Behari's efforts. The couple had two children, a boy, Masahide, and a girl, Tetaku. Tosiko died in March 1928 at the age of 28

Rash Behari learned Japanese and became a journalist and writer. He took part in many cultural activities and wrote many books in Japanese, explaining India's viewpoints. It was due to Rash Behari's efforts that a conference was help in Tokyo from March 28 to 30, 1942, for discussion on political issues. Another conference was held in Bangkok from June 15 to 23, 1942, where Rash Behari hoisted the Indian tri-color and inaugurated the Indian Independence League.

Rash Behari gained prominence during World War II. He, with the help of Captain Mohan Singh and Sardar Pritam Singh, formed the Indian National Army (I.N.A.) on September 1, 1942. Rash Behari was elected President and later gave Supreme Command of the I.N.A. to Subash Chandra Bose in 1943. Rash Behari expired before the end of World War II, on January 21, 1945

Pazhassi Raja

Pazhassi Raja - Another brave king who resisted the British suzerainty of North Kerala. Refusing to pay the high taxes demanded he was isolated by the other princely states who feared the british, lost his kingdom in battle, retreated to the forests of wayanad from where he waged a fierce guerilla-style war against the British defeating them several times until he and his band of warriors mainly adivasis were cornered and he was gunned down in battle. With him ended the story of the resistance in Malabar

Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu, the eldest daughter of scientist-philosopher, Aghornath Chattopadhyaya, and Barada Sundari Devi, a poetess was born on 13 February 1879 in Hyderabad. Her father was also a linguist, a crusader, who established the Nizam's College in Hyderabad in 1878, pioneering English and women's education.

Sarojini was a bright child who passed her matriculation at the age of 12 standing first in the Madras Presidency. She studied at the King's college, London and Girton College, Cambridge for a while. During this period her creative urge found expression in poems. She also happened to be a good singer. Her ability to sing charmingly fetched her the title 'Nightingale of India'. After 1917 she stepped into active politics. In 1898 she married Dr. Govindarajulu Naidu.

During 1903-17 Sarojini came into contact with Gokhale, Tagore, Jinnah, Annie Besant, C.P.Rama Swami Iyer, Gandhi and Nehru. She began her political career in 1906. From 1915 to 1918 she lectured all over India on welfare of youth, dignity of labour, women's emancipation and nationalism. After meeting Jawaharlal Nehru in 1916, she took up the cause of the indigo workers of Champaran. In 1925 she was elected as the President of the Congress.

Sarojini actively campaigned for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the Rowlatt Act, the Sabarmati Pact, the Satyagraha Pledge and the Civil Disobedience Movement.
In 1919, she went to England as a member of the all-India Home Rule Deputation. After 1920 she toured widely as the President of the Bombay Provincial Congress Committee opposed Council entry in Calcutta and protested against the anti-Moplah measures in Calicut.

From 1922-26 she espoused the cause of Indians in South Africa, she took part in the Salt Satyagraha and the Round Table Conference in London and campaigned for participation of women and youth in the public life. She organised a National Week in 1940 rallied against the Cripps Mission to India and was jailed in 1942 on the Quit India Resolution of the AICC in Bombay.

She was the first woman Governor of UP. Her Presidentship of the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 was remarkable. At the age of seventy on 02 March 1949 she died in office at Lucknow.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

Born in Kothluk, a village in Maharashtra, on May 9, 1866, Gopal Krishna Gokhale was raised in the home of his maternal grandfather. This village was not too far from Tamhanmala, the native town of his father, Krishna Rao, a farmer by occupation who w as forced to work as a clerk due to the poor soil of the region. His mother, Valubai, also known as Satyabhama, was a simple woman who instilled in her children the values of religion, devotion to one's family, and caring for one's fellow man.

Supported by his elder brother and sister-in-law, Gokhale managed an education at Rajaram High School in Kothapur. Due to his respect for his brother and a recognition of the compassion with which he was treated, Gokhale learned the value of self-sacrifice to avoid asking for more material support. At times he went without meals and studied by the light of street lamps to save his elder brother as much money as possible. A hardworking student, he moved on to college and graduated from Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1884 at the age of 18, earning a scholarship of Rs. 20 per month in his final year. His education influenced Gokhale's life in many ways. Primarily, his understanding of the English language allowed him to express himself without hesitation and with utmost clarity. Also, his appreciation and knowledge of history instilled in him a respect for liberty, democracy, and the parliamentary system.

After graduation, he moved on to teaching, and took a position as an Assistant Master in the New English School in Pune. Among many achievements which testify to his talent and passion for teaching, perhaps the greatest of them all was a compilation, a book of arithmetic in collaboration with a colleague, N. J. Bapat, which became a widely used and widely translated textbook across the country. Gokhale moved on to become a founding member of Fergusson College in Pune in 1885, with colleagues in the highly honored Deccan Education Society. He pledged twenty years of his life to this college, as a teacher and board member. So apt was he at teaching subjects of any variety, that he was known as the "Professor to Order."

The year 1886 saw the entry of Gopal Krishna Gokhale into public life. At only 20 years of age, he delivered a public address concerning "India under the British Rule" and was applauded for his expression and command of the English language. Gokhale soon moved on to managing public affairs. While contributing articles to the English weekly Mahratta, he was seduced by the idea of using education as a means to awaken patriotism among the people of India. Just as this idea was enveloping Gokhale was promoted to Secretary of the Deccan Education Society. Once in the limelight, there was no looking back. After being given charge of the Bombay Provincial Conference in 1893, he was elected to the Senate of the Bombay University. In time, Gokhale came to devote all his spare time to the causes of the common man: famine, plague relief measures, local self- government, land reform, and communal harmony. As a member of the Pune Municipality, twice elected its president, Gokhale conti nued to strive to solve the problems of the poor, and those who came to him with grievances concerning water supply, drainage, etc. were pleased with the practical manner in which he dealt with the problem. Gokhale also published a daily newspaper entitled Jnanaprakash, which allowed him to voice his reformist views on politics and society. In 1905, he founded the Servants of India Society, which trained people to be selfless workers so they could work for the common good of the people. So strong was the desire to make a difference, that these kindred spirits vowed a simple life of dedication to these causes. Among the many things the organization did, there were the commendable services of helping victims of floods and famines, and taking the time to educate women in society, so that they too may have a voice. Many people influenced Gokhale and gave him the strength and discipline to bring his ideas to the realm of reality, but none more than Mahadev Govind Ranade, to whom he was apprenticed in 1887. Ranade trained him for 15 years in all spheres of public life, and taught him sincerity, devotion to public service, and tolerance. These qualities, which Ranade helped instill in Gokhale, are those qualities which helped make Gokhale the man he is known today.

Gokhale visited England and voiced his concerns relating to the unfair treatment of the Indian people by the British government. In one span of 49 days, he spoke in front of 47 different audiences, captivating every one of them. Before long, he was touted as the most effective pleader for India's cause. While Gokhale pleaded for gradual reform to ultimately attain Swaraj, or self-government, in India, some of his contemporaries, comprising a radical element, wished to use force as a means of persuasion. Gokhale maintained his moderate political views and worked out some reforms for the betterment of India. He was instrumental in the formation of the Minto-Morley Reforms of 1909, which eventually became law. Unfortunately, the Reforms Act became law in 1909 and it was disappointing to see that the people were not given a proper democratic system despite Gokhale's efforts. The communal harmony he had longed for was shattered when he realized that the Muslim community was steadfast in considering itself as a separate unit. On the bright side, however, Gokhale's efforts were clearly not in vain. Indians now had access to seats of the highest authority within the government, and their voices were more audible in matters of public interest.

The years of hard work and devotion of Gopal Krishna Gokhale did much for the country of India, but sadly also took their toll on the health of this great leader. Excessive exertion and the resulting exhaustion only aggravated his diabetes and cardiac asthma. The end came peacefully, however, on February 19, 1915. Pointing his finger toward heaven and then folding his hands respectfully, Gopal Krishna Gokhale made his final statement to an audience, a fond farewell

Doctor Muhammad Allamah Iqbal

After `Ghalib' had left the world and signed his name on the chair of poetry, few believed that there would ever be another poet of his level again. When the sun went down for Urdu poetry for a while, it rose in a small city, many miles away from Delhi, the center for Urdu poetry then. Sir Doctor Muhammad Allamah Iqbal, son of a Kashmiri merchant Sheikh Natthu and Begum Imam Bibi, was born on February 22, 1873 in Sialkot. Iqbal started a revolution, with which ushered a new era in Urdu poetry. We count Iqbal for inheriting the throne after `Ghalib'. A small fire was lit in the age of darkness and will keep shining as long as the world will last. The facts of Iqbal's life can be briefly stated. He finished his early education in Sialkot and migrated to Lahore in 1895 for higher studies. In Sialkot he was lucky to have as his teacher Shamsul-Ulema Mir Hasan, a great Oriental scholar. This great man did not take long to recognize the perspicacity of his young pupil's intellect, and encouraged him in every possible way. At Lahore, Iqbal came under the influence of Sir Thomas Arnold. Sir Thomas Arnold's company introduced him to all that is best and most noble in Western thought, and at the same time initiated him into the modern methods of criticism. Iqbal graduated from the Government College, Lahore , in 1897, with English Literature, Philosophy and Arabic. In 1899, Iqbal took his M.A. degree in Philosophy. As advised by Sir Thomas Arnold, Iqbal went to Europe for higher studies in 1905 and got his Doctorate in Philosophy from Munich University in 1908 . Iqbal also qualified for the Bar in this interim. The Governor of Punjab, impressed by Iqbal's poem on the death of Queen Victoria, conferred knighthood upon him in 1922.

In Europe, Iqbal began to see the larger horizon of things and to move in spacious realms. He stayed there for three years, and these years played a great part in the development of his thought. It was not a period of deeds but one of preparation. His outlook on life underwent two important changes about this time: he got a n utter dislike for narrow and selfish nationalism which was the root cause of most political troubles in Europe, and his admiration for a life of action and struggle became more pronounced.

One simply cannot set a definition on Iqbal, as he was able to convert everything in poetry. There is no subject he hasn't debated upon in his poetry: Politics, life, love, religion, philosophy, literature, West, East, countries, legends, history, etc. The list is longer as one goes deeper and deeper in Iqbal's poetry - not least discovering that Iqbal beheld the true meaning of poetry, whereas his ambitions and abilities to move the masses were yet still indiscussable subjects. There was never any doubt why he got the title: "Shayer-e-Mashrik" - the Poet of the East.

To the Indian nationalist he appears a fervent nationalist who wrote, `Of all the countries in the world, the best is our Hindustan' (sarey jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara), exhorted Hindus and Muslims to come together, build new shrines where they could worship together and who regarded every speck of dust of his country as divine. Iqbal exhorted the peasantry to rise against its oppressors, uproot the mansions of the rich and set fire to crops which did not provide sustenance for them.

It could be said that Iqbal sang in many voices: he was a nationalist as well as an internationalist, a Marxist revolutionary as well as a supporter of traditional Muslim values and a pan-Islamist. Whatever he wrote was born of passion and executed with the skill of a master craftsman. Few poets of the world have been able to cram so much erudition and philosophy in verse; and fewer still use words both as colors on an artist's palette to paint pictures as well as deploy them as notes of a lute to create music. He was fired by a creative zeal which could only be explained as divinely inspired. Three years in Europe (1905-1908) brought about a complete reversal in his beliefs. The world became real; life had a purpose to serve; latent in every man was a superman who could be roused to his full height by ceaseless striving to create a better world. This post-European phase has been designed as Iqbal's philosophy of khudi. As used by Iqbal what comes closest to khudi is assertive will-power imbued with moral values. This is apparent from these oft-quoted lines:

Endow your will with such power
That at every turn of fate it so be
That God Himself asks of His slave
'What is it that pleases thee?'

What exactly did Iqbal want human beings to strive for? Obviously towards some kind of perfection. But he does not care to spell it out in any detail. It would appear that for man ceaseless striving was not to be for material gains in this world or with an eye on rewards in life hereafter. Thus to Iqbal a man who inherits wealth without having striven for it is worse than a beggar, while a poor man who works for the good of humanity is truly rich. Iqbal writes:

In man's crusade of life these weapons has he:
Conviction that his cause is just;
Resolution to strive till eternity;
Compassion that embraces all humanity.

However, Iqbal did not accept the Hindu belief in predestination and assured man that he could be the master of his fate and make the world what he wanted it to be: 'Tis how we act that makes our lives; We can make it heaven, we can make it hell. In the clay of which we are made Neither light nor darkness (of evil) dwells.

Iqbal would have had little patience with the current obsession with meditation (transcendental or otherwise) to induce peace of mind, because he believed that anything worthwhile only came out of a ceaselessly agitated mind:

May God bring a storm in your life;
The sea of your life is placid, its waves devoid of tumult.

In the introduction to his Persian work, Asrar-i-khudi ('Secrets of the Self'), Iqbal writes: 'Personality is a state of tension and can continue only if the state is maintained.' What was true of the individual Iqbal believed to be equally true of races and communities. According to him the real sign of vitality in races is that their fortunes change everyday:

In every age this alone marks a vibrant race
That every morn and eve its fortunes change.

So far as Iqbal was concerned, from now onwards there was complete accord in his thought, the goal was clear and the future lines for his work were well-defined. The task that Iqbal had set himself was gigantic and lesser people would have quailed at the immensity of the mission which involved shaking millions of people out of moral inertia that had been paralyzing their spirits for centuries. He flung a challenge to the forces of reaction, inertia, and stupor in unmistakable terms, and never faltered in his mission.

Think of thy country, O thoughtless!
Trouble is brewing, In heavens there are designs for thy ruin.
See that which is happening and that which is to happen,
What is there in the stories of olden times?
If you fail to understand this, you will be exterminated,
O people of India! Even your story will not be preserved in the annals of the world!

It is ironic how beautifully these words apply to every Indian today and tomorrow. There is no doubt that Iqbal fought for freedom with his words: a freedom that started with self-realization and finished with ceaseless striving.

Sir Dr. Allamah Iqbal died on April 21, 1938

S. Satyamurti

S. Satyamurti, was born on August 19th 1887 at Thirumeyyam in the former pudukottah State.Satyamurti after finishing Intermediate in the Pudukottah Maharaja's College joinedin the MAdras Christian College for his B.A.(History).After graduation, he worked as a tutor in his own college before joining the Madras Law College.On completing Law he worked initially in the Chambers of Mr. V.V. Screenivasa Iyengar and later with Shri S. Sreenivasa Iyengar, former President of the Indian National Congress.

Qualities of eloquence, dignity and integrity in Satyamurti came to be recognised by Lokmanya Tilak and Srinivasa Sastri.It was a fitting tribute to his talents that young Satyamurti was chosen to accompany such giants to Britain in 1919 as Secretary of the Congress delegation on the eye of the passage of the Montage-Chelmsford Reforms by the British Parliament.In 1926 the Swaraj Party sent him to Britain to explain to the British public the Indian Point of view.
Obeying the clarion call of the Mahatma for non co-operation with British ruler both in 1930-1932, Satyamurti defied prohibitory orders and, courting imprisonment, was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment.
Right from the mid-twenties, Satyamurti had been an active and eloquent member of the Madras University Senate and Syndicate helpingto usher in numerous reforms in the educationalfield.His service to education led him toplay a major role in the creation of the AnnamalaiUniversity.All along, whenever timecould be spared from his political work, it wasdevoted to the promotion of Carnatic musicand the resurgence of classical dance.He becamethe Vice-President of Madras MusicVilas Sabha, a prominent amateur theatricalgroup.
In 1939 he was elected Mayor of Madras and during his tenure he worked tirelessly to makeMadras what he called 'the city beautiful'.He initiated the Poondi Reservoir Scheme, now called the Satyamurti Sagar.
In 1940 Satyamurti participated in the 'individual satyagraha' campaign, defying a prohibitory order and making an anti-war speech.
He was detained for 8 months in prison.In 1942while returning from the Congress Working Committee meeting in Bombay, when thehistoric 'Quit India' resolution was adopted, he was arrested before he reached Madras.
Alongwith other leaders from the south, he was detained in Amraoti.Broken by the privations of jail, he died on 28th March, 1943 in the Madras General Hospital, a Martyr for freedom.
The Department of Posts is privileged to issue a commemorative stamp on Shri S. Satyamurti in the series India's Struggle for Freedom.

Rani Lakshmi Bai

Rani Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi, one of the great nationalist heroine of the first war of India freedom, a symbol of resistance to the British rule in India was born on 19th November 1835 at Kashi (Presently known as Varanasi). Her father Moropanth was a Brahmin and her mother Bhagirathibai was a cultured, intelligent and God fearing lady. Mannikarnika (Manu) was the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai in her childhood. Manu lost her mother at the age of four. The Complete responsibility of the young girl fell on the father. She completed her education and also learned horse riding, Sword fighting and shooting on a target with a gun.

She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and became the Rani of Jhansi. After the marriage She was given the name Lakshmi Bai. The Marriage ceremony was perform in Ganesh Mandir, the temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately this child died when he was about four months old. After this tragedy, Damodar Rao was adopted as son. Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao also died on 21st November 1853. After the death of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this time she was eighteen years old. Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lost her courage, She always remembered her responsibility.

At that time Lord Dalhousie was the Governor -General of India. Though little Damodar Rao, adopted son of late Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai was Maharaja's heir and successor as per the Hindu tradition, but the British rulers rejected Rani's claim that Damodar Rao was their legal heir. Loard Dalhousie decided to annexe the state of Jhansi as Maharaja Gangadhar Rao had left no legal heir. This misfortune of Jhansi was used by the Britishers to expand there Empire.

In March 1854 the British ruler announced 60,000 ( Sixty Thousand) annual pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. Jhansi was in humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption.Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi. She was a symbol of patriotism and self respect. Britishers were making every effort to destroy the freedom of country whereas Rani was determined to get rid of Britishers.

Rani Lakshmi Bai strengthened the defense of Jhansi and she assembled a volunteer army of rebellions. Women were also given Military training. Rani was accompanied by her brave warriors, some of them were Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. Along with all these warriors the local population of Jhansi irrespective of their religion or caste were always determined to fight and give their lives with pleasure for the cause of Independent and their beloved Rani.

The Britishers attacked Jhansi in March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In the Jhansi army women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the defense of the city. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the British forces.

On that black day, the British army entered the Jhansi City. Rani Lakshmi Bai, still full of courage and deathless patriotism dressed as a man, took up arms, her son Damodar Rao was strapped tightly to her back. She was holding the reins of her horse in her mouth. In the fierce fighting she was using the sword with both her hands. When the situation was not in control, Rani of Jhansi with some of her warriors departed from Jhansi.

Rani Lakshmi Bai reched Kalpi. Many other rebellions force joined her. Tatia Tope from Kalpi was also one of them, from Kalpi Rani departed to the Gwalior. Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Jhansi fought with deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However on the second day of fighting, the great heroine of the first struggle for India freedom, at the age of 22 years, lost her life. That unfortunate day was 18th June of 1858

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tatia Tope

He was the here of the Revolt of 1857, he was among the first to raise his voice for the freedom of his country. The British rulers feared this courageous and mighty general. When he was deceived by his friend, he faced his death like a hero.

Hero of the fight for freedom in 1857. His very name made the mighty English generals tremble. Deceived by his friend, he faced death like a hero, for the sake of his country. The British troops had pitched their tents on the parade grounds near the fort of Shivpuri, 75 miles from Gwalior. The day was April 18, 1859. It was 4 o'clock in the afternoon. A smiling, charming prisoner was brought out of the prison.

His hands and feet were chained. Under guard he was taken to the hangman's post. He had been condemned to death. The prisoner stepped towards the post fearlessly. There was no hesitation as he stepped upon the platform. It was the custom to cover the eyes of the condemned man with a scarf. When soldiers stepped forward with the scarf, he smiled and made signs to say, 'I don't need all this.' Nor did he allow the hands and feet to be bound. He himself put the noose around his neck. The rope was tightened. Then, at last, there was a pull....In a moment it was all over.

It was a heart-rending scene, which moved the whole country to tears. The man who was hanging lifeless on the gallows of the English was no criminal. He was not a thief, he was no cutthroat. He was the Supreme commander in the War of Indian Independence,which, in 1857, had challenged the hold of the British over India. It was he who, more than anybody else, shook the mighty British Empire to its foundations. Holding aloft the flag of freedom, he sought to break the chains of slavery and fought the military might of the English heroically. His name was Tatia Tope, a household word for bravery.

V.K. Krishna Menon

Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon was born on May 3, 1896 at Panniyankara in Calicut, Kerala.The third son of a successful lawyer of the Calicut bar, Komath Krishna Kurup, Menon grew up in a modestly well-to-do family.

Menon had his early education in Tellicherry.He took his B.A. degree from Madras Presidency College.While in College, he started taking an active interest in the national movement.While studying in the Madras Law College, he became actively associated with Annie Besant and the Home Rule Movement.He was a leading member of the 'Brothers of Service', founded by Annie Besant who spotted his gifts and sent him to England in 1924.

In London, Menon bloomed into a passionate fighter for India's freedom.He founded the India League in 1928 and made it the nerve centre of nationalist propaganda and activity in England.The Labour Party was influenced considerably by Krishna Menon who became on of its very effective spokesmen.In 1934, he was elected as St. Pancras Borough Councilman on the Labour ticket.He was elected again and again till be became India's first High Commissioner in England.St. Pancras conferred on him the Freedom of the Borough, the only other person so honoured being Bernard Shaw.

Krishna Menon became a barrister and took up cases of the poor.In 1932, he inspired a fact-finding delegation headed by Ellen Wilkinson, Labour M.P., to visit India.Menon served as its Secretary and edited its report entitled 'conditions in India'.In the thirties he also edited the Twentieth Century Library.

The close freindship between Nehru realised the significance of the battle which Krishna Menon carried on in England and the tole played by him in bringing about the peaceful transfer of power.

From 1952 to 1953 and from 1954 to 1962 Krishna Menon led the Indian delegation to the United Nations.In evolving the policy of non-alignment he played a very important role.He made diplomacy a dynamic instrument for world peace, socialism and national liberation.He took an active role in resolving the Korean and Suez crises.

Krishna Menon became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1953.On February 3, 1956, he joined the Union Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.In 1957 he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bombay and in April of that year, hebecame Defence Minister.He worked tirelessly to modernise the defence forces and initiated a number if measures of far-reaching significance.
Krishna Menon resigned from the Cabinet in 1962, soon after the Chinest aggression.But he continued his activities on the national and international planes. He passed away on October 6, 1974.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel

The Man who infact really made the real United India, The Man who could have been the First Prime Minister of India.

Sardar Vallabhai Patel was born on the 31st of October 1875, in Gujarat. He was the son of Zaverbhai who had served in the army of the Queen of Jhansi and Ladbai. Vallabhbhai started his education in a Gujarati medium school and after middle school he switched over to English medium in the Nadiad High School. During the course of his studies his penchant towards organizing came to light. He successfully organized many events. He matriculated in 1897.

In 1891 he married Zaverbai and they had two children. But after she passed away in 1909, the following year he went to England to study law. He completed his law studies in 1913 and came back to India and started his law practice. He joined the Gujarat club and started following a western lifestyle. One day Gandhiji came to the club to give lectures. Sardar Patel was greatly influenced by this master spokesperson. As soon as he came in contact with the Mahatma he decided to discard his foreign clothes and follow the rules of Satyagraha as laid down by Gandhiji. A relationship of teacher and student began to develop in between them.

In 1918 when there was a flood in Kaira, the British insisted on collecting tax from the farmers. This time the Sardar made optimum use of Satyagraha and asked the farmers not to give in to the demands of the government. All of this was done peacefully and the farmers followed his guidance. The British got fed up and eventually returned the land confiscated by them earlier.
In 1928 the farmers faced a similar problem and Vallabhai came to their rescue again. The British were as usual demanding an unjust tax and the farmers of Bardoli under the supervision of Vallabhbhai did not budge. The government in retaliation seized the lands. This agitation took on for more than six months until Patel’s brother, Vithalbhai, an important figure in the Central Legislative Assembly struck a truce. This event immensely delighted Gandhiji and the title of ‘Sardar’ was conferred on him. When he was assisting Gandhiji in the Salt Satyagraha, he faced imprisonment for the first time

With great wisdom and political foresight, he consolidated the small kingdoms. The public was with him. He tackled the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Nawab of Junagarh who intially did not want to join India. There were a lot of problems connected with the reunion of the numerous states into India. Sardar Patel's untiring efforts towards the unity of the country brought success. Due to the achievement of this massive task, Sardar Patel got the title of 'Iron Man'. ' He is one of the prestigious leaders of the world who became immmortal by uniting a scattered nation without any bloodshed.

When India became free and Pakistan attacked Kashmir, it was Patel who asked to withhold the cash balances left by the British for Pakistan. Gandhiji felt this was immoral and went on a fast until death. Sardar withdrew his argument because he could not bear to see his teacher's suffering. In independent India he held the portfolio of Home Minister, Minister of state and the Minister for information and broadcasting. One of his major achievements included the integration of the princely states into the union of India.

On 3oth January 1948, when Gandhiji was assassinated Sardar Patel was a totally shattered man. He had lost a dear friend and the guiding force of his life.
He died in Bombay in December 1950

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru, the son of Motilal Nehru was born in Allahabad on Nov 14, 1889. He was the first Prime Minister of Independent India. He grew up in an influential political family, his father being a lawyer and prominent in the Nationalist Movement.

His Childhood was privilege; he was tutored at home and then studied in England at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was admitted to English Bar and returned to India very westernized. He married Kamala Kaul in year 1916. And in 1917 their only child Indira was born.

Nehru met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916 at an INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS party meeting. From then on, their lives were entwined, though they differed on several points, Largely because of Nehru's international outlook clashed with Gandhi's simple Indian outlooks and views. The turning point in his life came in 1919 when he overheard General Dyer gloating over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. From this point he vowed to fight the British. Regardless of the criticism, he was one of the most influential leaders in freedom struggle. He was the pioneering articulators of Asian resurgence and an unusually idealistic advocate of consciences in International Politics.

The younger Nehru became a leader of more radical wing of the congress party and in 1929 he was elected as the party president. British repeatedly arrested him for civil disobedience strikes and other political actions; he spent half of his next 18 years in jail.

During his life time, he went through the variety of individual and collective reactions- to be adored as a revolutionary and vibrant personification of the forward looking spirit of India, to be described as a pampered young man who unintentionally acquired the national leadership due to influence of his father and the nepotism of Mahatma Gandhi.

He is admired as the leader of freedom movement, as the father of institutional democracy and as an architect of Indian policy in all manifestations, and as the longest serving Prime Minister of India (1946-1964).

After World War II he participated in the negotiations that eventually created the separate states of India and Pakistan, a partition of Indian subcontinent between Hindus and Muslims that Gandhi refused to accept. When independence came on Aug. 15, 1947, Nehru became Prime Minister of India, leading his country through the difficult transition period. Nehru had to cope with the influx of Hindu refugees from Pakistan, the problem of integrating the princely states into the new federal structure, and war with Pakistan (1948) over Kashmir and with China (1962).

In International affairs he pursue a policy of strict nonalignment, a difficult course in the cold-war years; his neutralism broke down, however, when he asked for western aid during the Sino-Indian conflict. A firm upholder of democratic socialism at home, Nehru remained immensely popular in India. In January 1964, after 17 years in office, he suffered a stroke. He died four months later. Nehru was the author of many books, including an autobiography, Toward Freedom

Lala Lajpat Rai

Lajpat Rai was born on 28th Jan, 1865 at a village named Dhudike in Ferozepur District of Punjab. His father,Munshi Radha Krishan Azad was a great scholar of Persian and Urdu. Lalaji's mother, Shrimati Gulab Devi, a strict religious lady, inculcated in her children strong morals values. Lalaji was brought up in a family background that allowed freedom of having different faiths and beliefs. Since childhood he had a desire to serve his country and its people, and therefore took a pledge to free it from foreign rule.

In 1884 his father was transferred to Rohtak and Lala Lajpat Rai came along. He became the secretary of Arya Samaj in Rohtak. In 1886 he passed his Law exams and he started his practice in Rohtak but moved to Hissar where some of his friends were also practicing Law. Lalaji's early legal practice at Hissar was very successful. His life of six years in Hissar became the apprenticeship for public service. He was elected to the Hissar municipality as a member and later as secretary. Besides practicing, Lalaji collected funds for the Daya Nand College, attended Arya Samaj functions. After the death of Swami Dayananda, Lalaji with his associates toiled to develop the Anglo-Vedic College. He came in contact with all the important Arya Samajis there.
In Hissar Lalaji started attending the meetings of the Congress Party and became an active worker in the Hissar-Rohtak region. When the Lieutenant Governor visited Hissar, Lalaji pleaded that the Welcome Address to be presented to him should be in Urdu. To satisfy the British officer a speech had already been prepared in English. Lalaji's suggestion made everyone nervous. But without a trace of fear, he presented the Address in Urdu and there by invited the wrath of the British.

Lala Lajpat Rai shifted to Lahore in 1892. Lalaji provided immense service toward the famine relief efforts during the famines of 1897 and 1899. He mobilized D A V college students and went to Bikaner and other areas of Rajasthan to rescue destitute children and bring them to Lahore. He believed that "a nation that does not protect its own orphan children cannot command respect at the hands of other people." When people fleeing the famine reached Lahore, they spent their first night at Lalaji's house. In 1898, Lalaji curtailed his legal practice and vowed to devote all his energy for the nation. The Kangra district of Panjab suffered destruction in the earthquake of 1905. Lalaji was there once again, organizing relief for extricating people from the debris.

His activities were multifarious. He was an ardent social reformer. He founded the Indian Home Rule League of America in October 1917, in New York and, a year later, he also set up, with himself as Director, the "Indian Information Bureau" in New York to serve as a Publicity Organization for India. Lala Lajpat Rai returned to India on Feb.20, 1920 as a great hero.
He plunged into Gandhi's non-cooperation movement, which in Panjab, under Lajpat Rai's leadership spread like wildfire in the province, and he soon came to be known as "The Lion of Panjab" or "Panjab Kesri". He traveled far and wide in India and his eloquence brought hundreds to the Congress fold. Lalaji injected new life in his countrymen. His writings and speeches were both hard hitting and effective. They swayed those they aimed to reach. He was a crusader, who knew no fear and championed every worthy cause with all the passion of his soul.

His love for service was insatiable. He founded educational institutions. He befriended the suppressed classes. In the political field he was indispensable. Lala Lajpat Rai's supreme sacrifice came when he led a procession in Lahore on Oct.30, 1928 to boycott the Simon Commission. The procession was sought to be broken up by the police and Lajpat Rai received lathi blows. While Lalaji tried his level best to keep the demonstration peaceful, the police targeted him and wounded him on his chest. The people were enraged at this insult and held a meeting the same evening. Lalaji, though in intense pain, gave a speech and declared "...every blow aimed at me is a nail in the coffin of British Imperialism....".

He recovered from the wounds left by the British but he remained emotionally scarred at the brutality of the "civilized" British. Why had he been specifically targeted by the British? Why had they lathi- charged against a peaceful gathering. These thoughts racked his spirit till the very end. Lalaji died on November 17, 1928 of heart failure.

Madam Bhikaji Cama

Today we Salute our National Flag our Very own Tricolour which we keep near to our Hearts. Display it , In Cars On computers, On Softboards, on Table Top, Every Prominent Govt Building ,etc but before this Flag was designed there were other versions prior to this. The First ever Flag was designed and unfurled by Madam Bhikaji Cama.

In an age when the women were still secondary citizens and essentially bread makers, Madam Bhikaji Cama, a Parsi lady from Gujarat flew the Indian National Flag at the Socialist Convention held in Germany in the August of A.D. 1907. She was a radical, who had devoted her life to the nation and its independence and committed this act of valour and bravery exactly 40 years before the Indian national flag of independence adorned the skies in A.D. 1947, 15th August. This great revolutionary was instrumental in creating awareness for India's independence struggle and helping the revolution by way of providing finance and publishing revolutionary literature.

This dynamic personality was born on 24th September 1861 in an affluent Parsi family. During those times Parsis were leading in varied fields like education, business and industry. In spite of belonging to a very affluent family she always strived for India's freedom.

She was married to Rustom K.R.Cama, a rich and handsome lawyer interested in social work. But their ideologies were too diverse to let them enjoy a happy companionship. As she did not find happiness in her personal life she turned towards social causes for solace. Madam Cama played a very significant role in the early part of the freedom struggle.

While in India she served the plague victims and in the process contracted it herself. Luckily she survived it but later migrated to London where she spent the rest of her life. She had the privilege of unfurling the first Indian National Flag at the International Socialist Conference in Germany on 3rd August 1907. This flag was a tricoloured one having green, saffron, and red stripes having eight lotuses and was designed with help of Veer Savarkar with the help of other freedom fighters.

She traveled a great deal to promote the cause of India's independence. Madame Cama also published books on patriotic literature and helped to finance the freedom movement. She had become a major problem for the British and had to reach France in order to save her life. She interacted with revolutionaries from all over the world. She was particularly supportive of Savarkar and his endeavor of writing the history of the first Indian War of Independence. She helped send revolutionary magazines to India, which were not available otherwise.

She was not permitted to return to India, keeping in view her contribution to India's freedom revolution. But she did finally return to her home country as a very old and ailing revolutionary. Unfortunately she expired on 13th August 1936 and the nation lost a fearless leader.

Jay Prakash Narayan

Jay Prakash Narayan was born in Sitabdiara a village in Ballia of Uttar Pradesh, where Ganga and Sarayu meet. He did his High school from Sisabdiara and thereafter was sent to Patna to do his college and with the blessings of Gandhi he was married in Patna, but his wife was sent to Sarbarmati Asharam. While JP did his studies and went to USA for further studies where he did odd jobs in order to pay for his education.

In 1929 he returned to India and joined the Congress Party. In 1932 he was sentenced to a year's imprisonment for his participation in the civil-disobedience movement against British rule in India, thereafter he formed Congress Socialist Party, a left-wing group within the Indian National Congress

J P was imprisoned by the British again in 1939 for his opposition to Indian participation in World War II on the side of Britain, but escaped and for a short time tried to organize violent resistance to the government before his recapture in 1943. After his release in 1946 he tried to persuade the Congress leaders to adopt a more militant policy against British rule. In 1948 he, together with most of the Congress Socialists, left the Congress Party and formed the Praja Socialist Party in 1952. Soon fed up with the political atmosphere he announced in 1954 that he would now concentrate and devote his life exclusively to the Bhoodan Yajna movement founded by Vinoba Bhave. In 1959 he floated a new agenda for a "reconstruction of Indian polity" by means of a four-tier hierarchy of village, district, state, and union councils.

In 1974 Narayan came back to politics when he saw the rise of corruption in India and the increasingly undemocratic government of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He gained a following from students and opposition politicians and from the masses. Narayan was one of the people who wanted Mrs Gandhi to resign, and therefore in Emergency he was put in Jail. In prison his health broke down. He was released after five months but never regained his health. When Gandhi and her party were defeated in elections in 1977, Narayan became the advisor of the Janata party in its choice of leaders to head the new administration. He too died a broken man dreaming to build India where there was true freedom to all

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

To be frank he is one of My Favorite National Leader, The Who started The Indian National Army, Mystery surrounds him. A Man with a Short Stature but with a dashing personality. One of the few person respected by Hitler. Netaji.

Known as Netaji (leader), Mr. Bose was a fierce and popular leader in the political scene in pre-independence India . He was the president of the Indian National Congress in 1937 and 1939, and founded a nationalist force called the Indian National Army. He was acclaimed as a semigod, akin to the many mythological heroes like Rama or Krishna, and continues as a legend in Indian mind.Subhas Chandra was born on January 23rd 1897 in Cuttack as the ninth child among fourteen, of Janakinath Bose, an advocate, and Prabhavati Devi, a pious and God-fearing lady. A brilliant student, he topped the matriculation examination of Calcutta province and passed his B.A. in Philosophy from the Presidency College in Calcutta. He was strongly influenced by Swami Vivekananda's teachings and was known for his patriotic zeal as a student. His parents' wishes kept him away from the Indian freedom struggle and led him into studies for the Indian Civil Service in England. Although he finished those examinations also at the top of his class (4th), he could not complete his apprenticeship and returned to India, being deeply disturbed by the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. He came under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the Indian National Congress (a.k.a. Congress). Gandhiji directed him to work with Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the Bengali leader whom Bose acknowledged as his political guru.Bose was outspoken in his anti-British stance and was jailed 11 (eleven) times between 1920 and 1941 for periods varying between six months and three years. He was the leader of the youth wing of the Congress Party, in the forefront of the trade union movement in India and organized Service League, another wing of Congress. He was admired for his great skills in organization development.The Influence of Bose

Bose advocated complete freedom for India at the earliest, whereas the Congress Committee wanted it in phases, through a Dominion status. Other younger leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru supported Bose and finally at the historic Lahore Congress convention, the Congress had to adopt Poorna Swaraj (complete freedom) as its motto. Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and the inability of the Congress leaders to save his life infuriated Bose and he started a movement opposing the Gandhi-Irvin Peace Pact. He was imprisoned and expelled from India. But defying the ban, he came back to India and was imprisoned again! Clouds of World War II were gathering fast and Bose warned the Indian people and the British against dragging India into the war and the material losses she could incur. He was elected president of the Indian National Congress twice in 1937 and in 1939, the second time defeating Gandhiji's nominee. He brought a resolution to give the British six months to hand India over to the Indians, failing which there would be a revolt. There was much opposition to his rigid stand, and he resigned from the post of president and formed a progressive group known as the Forward Block (1939). The Second World War broke out in September of 1939, and just as predicted by Bose, India was declared as a warring state (on behalf of the British) by the Governor General, without consulting Indian leaders. The Congress party was in power in seven major states and all state governments resigned in protest.Subhas Chandra Bose now started a mass movement against utilizing Indian resources and men for the Great War. To him, it made no sense to further bleed poor Indians for the sake of colonial and imperial nations. There was a tremendous response to his call and the British promptly imprisoned him . He took to a hunger-strike, and after his health deteriorated on the 11th day of fasting, he was freed and was placed under house arrest. The British were afraid of violent reactions in India, should something happen to Bose in prison.Bose suddenly disappeared in the beginning of 1941 and it was not until many days that authorities realized Bose was not inside the house they were guarding! He traveled by foot, car and train and resurfaced in Kabul (now in Afghanistan), only to disappear once again. In November 1941, his broadcast from German radio sent shock waves among the British and electrified the Indian masses who realized that their leader was working on a master plan to free their motherland. It also gave fresh confidence to the revolutionaries in India who were challenging the British in many ways.The Axis powers (mainly Germany) assured Bose military and other help to fight the British. Japan by this time had grown into another strong world power, occupying key colonies of Dutch, French, and British colonies in Asia. Bose had struck alliance with Germany and Japan. He rightly felt that his presence in the East would help his countrymen in freedom struggle and second phase of his saga began. It is told that he was last seen on land near Keil canal in Germany, in the beginning of 1943. A most hazardous journey was undertaken by him under water, covering thousands of miles, crossing enemy territories. He was in the Atlantic, the Middle East, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. Battles were being fought over land, in the air and there were mines in the sea. At one stage he traveled 400 miles in a rubber dingy to reach a Japanese submarine, which took him to Tokyo. He was warmly received in Japan and was declared the head of the Indian army, which consisted of about 40,000 soldiers from Singapore and other eastern regions. Bose called it the Indian National Army (INA) and a government by the name "Azad Hind Government" was declared on the 21st of October 1943. INA freed the Andaman and Nicobar islands from the British and were renamed as Swaraj and Shaheed islands. The Government started functioning.Bose wanted to free India from the Eastern front. He had taken care that Japanese interference was not present from any angle. Army leadership, administration and communications were managed by Indians only. Subhash Brigade, Azad Brigade and Gandhi Brigade were formed. INA marched through Burma and occupied Coxtown on the Indian Border. A touching scene ensued when the solders entered their 'free' motherland. Some lay down and kissed, some placed pieces of mother earth on their heads, others wept. They were now inside of India and were determined to drive out the British! Delhi Chalo (Let's march to Delhi) was the war cry. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the history of mankind. Japan had to surrender. Bose was in Singapore at that time and decided to go to Tokyo for his next course of action. Unfortunately, there was no trace of him from that point. He was just 48 and his death or disappearance is still a mystery. The Indian people were so much enamored of Bose's oratory and leadership qualities, fearlessness and mysterious adventures, that he had become a legend. They refused to believe that he died in the plane crash. The famous Red Fort trial wherein Bose's generals and the INA officers were tried, became landmark events. Initially, the British Government thought of a court-martial, but there was a countrywide protest against any kind of punishment. For common Indians, Axis and Allied powers hardly mattered, but they could not tolerate punishment of fellow countrymen who were fighting for freedom. The British Government was in no position to face open rebellion or mutiny and a general amnesty for INA soldiers was declared.While Bose's approach to Indian freedom continues to generate heated debate in the Indian society today, there is no denying of his burning patriotism, his tireless efforts to free India from inside and outside and his reckless adventures in trying to reach his goals. His exploits later became a legend due to the many stories carried by the disbanded INA soldiers who came from every nook and corner of our great country. Had he been around, Subhas Chandra Bose could have given a new turn to Independent India's political history. But he lives on eternally in the Indian mind

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Everyone appreciated him during his time, Even though some did not accept his ideology but still respect was there for him. Today People say good or bad about him but he had power and the Charisma to lead a Nation. No Man of Ordinary Being can reach to the Level that this man has Reached I am Talking about Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in India and was murdered in 1948 by the fanatic Hindu Nathuram Godsey. Gandhi was a Hindu as well and born in the second highest cast. Hindus hold the belief that people get born in a cast in which they stay their whole life. When their behavior according to the religious rules of Hinduism is good they get in a higher cast in their next life. On the other hand, if they behave badly they get in a lower cast. There are also the Untouchables or people without a cast. People from other casts treat them badly and very often would not even touch them. They live in the biggest poverty and have hardly any chances to live a good life.

In the time Gandhi was born India was a colony of the British Empire. The British ruled the country for several hundred years. Many people lived in great poverty because the British took all the wealth. After school Gandhi went to London and studied Law in an university. He became a lawyer. Shortly after he was back in India an Indian firm wanted him to go to South Africa where he worked for them. In South Africa the Indians were not welcome by the white settlers. One day Gandhi got pushed out of the train when he refused to leave his seat for a white person. It was then that decided never to be pushed down again and to fight for the rights of minorities. He started to lead the Indian workers in South Africa and fought for their rights. He made a very important rule for himself which he used his whole life: never to use violence in his fights, even if others would use violence against him. So he started to fight for the rights of Indian workers in South Africa and he had great success. And he never used violence.
He started a project (ashram) where people from different religions lived together in peace and freedom. He never made no secrets of anything and was a nice and friendly person throughout his whole life. When he came back to India crowds were already waiting and cheering for him at the harbor and people celebrated his arrival. But that did not make him happy. He wanted to live like most of the people in India: out in the countryside and poor. He wanted to be one of them, one of the country he was born in but was away from for so long. So he started traveling through the country by train in the third class wagons. There he saw a lot of India and a lot of the ways how people lived and worked there. Very soon he became the leader of the Indian Campaign for Home-Rule. The Indians loved him because he was so close to them. He lived in the country and lived an easy life of joy and satisfaction. And he started spinning. He continued spinning for the rest of his life from then on. He had the opinion that a lot of poverty in India was the result of all the clothes that were produced in and imported from Great Britain to India. Since spinning used to be a common job for people in the Indian villages, Gandhi believed that these imported goods destroyed great parts of India´s economy and thus many people lost their work. Gandhi encouraged the people to start spinning again if they do not have anything better to do because so they could make some money and would produce something. One day - as a symbolic event - he asked his followers on a big meeting to throw all their British clothes on a big fire. He encouraged them not to buy any more British clothes but to produce and buy their own Indian clothes. After that many people started to boycott British goods. People in the British factories got unemployed but more people in India had something to do. That was only one step to India's independence from the British.

Another very important step to independence was that he asked the whole nation to strike for one day. And they did. Nothing worked on that day. There was virtually no traffic, mail was not delivered, factories were not working and - for the British a very important thing - the telegraph lines did not work and the British in India were cut off their mother country. It was then that they first realized Gandhi's power in India. There was another very important event on India's way to independence. The British had control of the salt that was taken out of the sea. Indians had to pay taxes for the salt nobody could live without. Gandhi thought that the rule over the salt industry was one of the British basics to rule India. He started a march over 140 miles (about 200 kilometers) to the ocean. When he started, Gandhi had only a few hundred followers but when they reached the sea they were a group of many thousands of people. People from many villages which they came by decided to walk with them. When they arrived at the sea Gandhi took a handful of salt. That was a symbolic action and he asked everybody to do the same. After the police "cleaned" them all away from the beach they decided to walk into the salt factories and take salt from there. The British ordered soldiers to stand before the gate to the factories and not let anyone in. The protesters walked to them and tried to walk in, only five at a time. And the soldiers hit them all until they could not walk any further. Women picked them up and took them away. No one on the side of the protesters used violence.

Most of Gandhi's actions were a great success. The reason was that the British did not know how to act against an enemy who does not use violence. But it was very important as well that the media all over the world talked about Gandhi and his actions because otherwise there would not have been enough public pressure upon the British officials. More and more people everywhere in the world agreed with Gandhi when they saw the British violence against the non-violent people. And they loved him because he was so close to the people in his country. To work together with the press and to have no secrets was one of the important things of his work. Gandhi went to jail very often in his life. He was arrested several times in South Africa as well as in India. He used the time in jail to think and plan other actions. He also used the time to think about how he could help the Untouchables. He was a religious man and believed in casts but he did not think that God wanted Untouchables to have no rights. He went for long walks through India to collect money for the Untouchables and he fought for their rights his whole life. He also fought for the peaceful understanding of different religions. When fights broke out between Hindus and Moslems he tried to talk to them and when that did not help he started to fast which he did a lot of times in his life. Once he nearly fasted to death when Hindus and Moslems fought against each other. Then the fights stopped and the two religions started to live together in peace again. He also fasted when he heard of violence against the British or against soldiers or policemen. Violence made him very sad and he had more than once the feeling that all he had done was useless when people fought each other again.

When people came to him and said that it would be their right to kill someone if that person had killed their son or wife Gandhi used to reply: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind". During the Second World War Britain did not have much power to keep India as a colony anymore and they started to talk about independence. After the war, in 1947 India got finally independent and the British left the country. But Gandhi did not feel like celebrating because religious fights broke out again. But with his speeches to the people and finally with his fast he stopped the violence and people lived together again. But India was divided into India and Pakistan. Pakistan was the part where most people were Muslims and India was the part with mainly Hindus. Gandhi did not want to divide the country but he could not help it. Shortly after his last fast with which he stopped the religious violence a fanatic Hindu shot him at his daily prayer.

Gandhi and his influence in the nonviolent movement

I think Mohandas Gandhi was one of the most significant persons in the 20th century. He was the one who proved that it is possible to fight very successfully without violence. He fought his whole life with humanity, tolerance, ideas and without violence. He showed the way to a better world. And still today there are many people who love him and who use his philosophy to change the world. A very important example is the fight against wars. Usually people who fight against a war try to fight without violence. They march through cities and try to convince people not to go to the war or something like that.

Another very popular example is the fight against nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. Demonstrators sit on the road in front of a nuclear power station or block the way of trucks or trains that carry nuclear waste. Or, very popular example, the French tests of nuclear weapons in the pacific 1996. People opposed them and the press all over the world was talking about these tests. That was non-violent resistance. Marches all over the world and other non-violent actions. Another good example is "Greenpeace". They fight for nature and their most important weapon is the public opinion. They do not use violence but they use the press. The actions they do are very spectacular and interesting for the whole world. Many people all over the world agree with what they are doing. An example for not using violence even if others use it against them was when they went very close to where the French wanted to test their nuclear weapons and the French soldiers entered their boat and destroyed lots of things and hit the Greenpeace activists. And all that was filmed by Greenpeace and these pictures were sent all over the world and came in the news everywhere. Also Martin Luther King did not use violence in his fight for the rights of the black people in America.

An example which all of us see and experience from time to time is the strike. Gandhi made the strike as a way of fighting popular and it is still widely used today. In the beginning of the 20th century the British Empire was the biggest empire in the world. India was it's biggest colony and was very important to Britain. Gandhi managed to get India independent of the British. The biggest Empire in the world lost a war of independence against a country like India that not even used violence and good weapons for its fights. That was a sign for the world. And especially for the other countries ruled by the British. It was then that many of those countries saw their chance for independence. Gandhi showed them the way. That was one of the main causes for the independency of many of those countries.

In the 1960's most colonies in Africa became independent and also Indochina became independent. I think that was also one of the things Gandhi caused or helped causing. Gandhi fought for the rights of minorities and people who were pushed down their whole life. He encouraged every one to stand up for their rights and to fight against cruelty. He showed the whole world how easy it is to fight for the rights and how successful it can be if there are many people fighting for the same cause together. Many people in the whole world decided to start fighting for their rights when they realized how successful Gandhi was. That was the start of many fights for humanity and for rights of minorities. Good examples are the fights of the blacks in North America. Especially Martin Luther King fought under the influence of things Gandhi had said. Or the fights in South America under Ché Guevara or even the fights of Aborigines in Australia. But those are only a few examples.

Fights for rights happened and still happen all over the world again and again because there are always people who push others down. I think Gandhi played a big part in the fight for humanity and the rights of minorities. I think Gandhi was and is still a very significant person. He changed people's minds and opened lots of people´s minds. Still today when people see the movie that was made about his life and his fights they think about this person and how successful non-violence and rebellion can be. And that it is important to save the (human) life and not to destroy it.