India’s independence has been a struggle throughout. From beginning to today, when we complete 74 years of “Independent India” it has been an overwhelming journey and a large (by large I mean uncountable) number of people involved in the struggle. But do we really appreciate everyone or at least those whose names we haven’t heard but we must know? Have we really tried to acquaint ourselves with the unsung heroes who came forward and played significant roles in building a strong foundation for the country? So this Independence Day, I decided to express my gratitude towards those unsung heroes, who we never really mention.
I was swiping through the internet when I found an article on The Better India mentioning 10 names from Indian Freedom Struggle we don’t know, but we must know. The nostalgia that is created when we romanticize the freedom struggle of India is hopeful and commemorating. But, in this journey from then to now, we have lost a significant number of names and a few of these unsung heroes and their contributions are mentioned here:
A Naga spiritual and political leader who worked for driving the British away from Manipur and Naga areas. She participated in revolts and then joined the Heraka Religious movement which soon became a national movement for the freedom struggle. She was arrested at 16 and was put into life imprisonment by the British. It was 1937 when Nehru visited her and gave her the title of “Rani”.
Alluri Sitarama Raju
Known as the “Manyam Veerudu” (Hero of the Jungles) of Andhra Pradesh, he gave his everything for the freedom struggle. He took up the cause for tribal people in Agency areas who were tortured by the Britishers.
He was a Khasi who fought against British attempts to take over the Khasi hills. He died on 17 July 1835 while fighting against the British.
The “Diamond Venkayya” was a devotee of Mahatma Gandhi. An educationalist, majorly authorized in geology and agriculture, he contributed in designing the National Flag of the country.
Titled as “Andhra Kesari”, he with his act of defiance and courage participated in the protest against Simon Commission in Madras. He faced the police with a bare chest and was ready to give away his life selflessly for the national freedom struggle. It was when the police had banned protests in several areas of the country that he came forward to protest against British Rule.
The Trio: Benoy, Badal, Dinesh
The trio – Badal Gupta, Dinesh Gupta, and Benoy Basu (B.B.D) hailed from Bengal. People of India know them for their attack on Dalhousie house in Kolkata. This was a major event in the history of the struggle for Independence. The revolutionaries decided not only to murder him but also to strike terror among British officials by launching an attack on the Secretariat Building – the Writers’ Building in Dalhousie Square, Kolkata.
Often called the Amarjeevi – a devout follower of Gandhi, he mainly worked for Dalit Community. He was praised by Mahatma Gandhi himself for his fasting abilities. He died during the fast demanding a separate linguistic state of Andhra from the Madras Presidency.
The other unheralded names in the National Freedom Struggle are Kanak Lata Barua, Kushal Konwar, Piyali Phukan, Acharya N.G Ranga, and many more.
THE CITIZENS OF INDIA :
To all the citizens of India,
We want to express our immense gratitude for existing selflessly throughout the fight for independence. You emerged as selfless human beings ready to die for the national cause. You were strong, courageous, zealous, and brave that you coped with consuming days and nights very smoothly. If it wasn’t for you, we hadn’t been living freely in a democracy like India today.
With extreme pride in our hearts, we convey our condolences to the lost citizens of India who died for the freedom struggle and being a common man or woman, were not appreciated or even mentioned.
For the India that we see today, we are grateful that you existed then to make our now better.
Also read: A Letter to Indian Soldiers