Saturday, June 30, 2007

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.


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