|2||Subhash Chandra Bose|
|4||Bankim Chandra Chatterjee|
|5||Madan Mohan Malviya|
|7||Dr. Keshava Baliram Hedgewar|
India has had multiple invasions. At one point of time, survival amidst slavery was the only choice for her sons. But slowly after 1857 CE, things changed. Sons of the soil united in the name of the Nation to protect her from further atrocities. Since then, India has not looked back. The uniqueness of India’s freedom struggle is that diversity was very much visible. Freedom Fighters had their own unique ways of fighting against slavery. While some took to arms, some others were just happy with their extreme levels of tolerance. Let us delve into the lives of eleven freedom fighters who fought it a unique way. This might help us out in our speeches that we might be preparing for if any.
1. Bhagat Singh
- Born to a rich businessman and a freedom fighter, who followed Gandhian principles
- Bhagat Singh himself was a Gandhian in his childhood days. He even participated in the non-cooperation movement called by Gandhi.
- Later when it was taken back, with other incidents that happened under the British empire like Chauri Chaura Kand, Jalianwala Bagh Kand, etc., he turned out to be a revolutionary.
- During his college days, he had at times fight with the English students
- Such incidents invoked such hatred towards the Britishers that he decided to walk out of his home to join HRA and help India attain freedom
- Ramprasad Bismil, the then head of HRA, with his other counterparts interviews Bhagat
- Happy with his replies and determination, he passes on the legacy to him
- Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev take over the HRA along with Chandrasekhar Azad, the sole escaper of Kakori Kand.
- As a response to Lala Lajpat Rai’s violent death triggered by Scott, a British officer, Azad, Bhagat, Sukhdev, Rajguru plan to execute Scott, but by mistake execute Sauders
- With Saunders’s murder case being still on, to make HRA presence felt, Azad suggests to manufacture bombs and explode them
- Bhagat Singh convinces the chemistry professor, Jatin Das and takes his help in manufacturing bombs
- Some bills were ready to be passed by the Britishers against farmers, without even acknowledging the Indians in the parliament. So, Bhagat decides to throw the bomb in the parliament during the passing of the bill successfully, without causing harm to anyone along with Batukeshwar Dutt. They were sentenced to life imprisonment.
- While they were in jail, they observe a hunger strike for more than forty-five days, to stop the discriminatory law between British and Indian prisoners
- He was sentenced and hung a day before the actual date, for Saunders murder case along with Sukhdev and Rajguru. All three were smiling at the time of their death.
2. Subhash Chandra Bose
- He was born in a well to do family in Orissa Division of Bengal Province to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose
- He studies mostly in the schools started by the British
- Influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s books, he held his spiritual and philosophies high
- He turned against the British when they made offensive remarks on Indians and insulted openly
- A British professor manhandled a few Indian students. Furious about this Netaji assaulted the professor, following which, he was expelled
- Following the ambition of his father, he wrote the ICS exam and stood the fourth position. But because he did not want to work with an alien government, the Britishers, he resigned and wrote a letter to his brother
- He wrote in his letter “Only on the soil of sacrifice and suffering can we raise our national edifice.”
- Guided by Chittaranjan Das, a nationalist, he started a newspaper called “Swaraj” and was himself a chief editor in the newspaper “Forward” started by Chittaranjan Das
- He became the youth leader and secretary of Bengal State Congress
- Due to a difference of opinion between the seniors (who wanted dominion status) and juniors (who wanted complete freedom) Bose resigned from the party
- Although he hated the Britishers to the core, he ofter used to admire them for their structured way of thinking and lifestyle
- When the congress decided to support the British during the second world war, Subhash vehemently opposed the idea
- Soon after this, his call for Indians by his famous appeal “Give me blood and I will five your freedom” was welcomed by the people
- He was arrested by the Britishers, but due to his hunger strike and deteriorating health, they had to release him from jail. But they put him on house arrest instead
- Escaping from the house arrest, he reached Germany, who offered him full support to fight against the British.
- Moving from Germany to Japan where he formed an army calling it the “Indian National Army”. Forty thousand soldiers were a part of this army. It was a combined number from southeast Asia, including Singapore
- From there he attacked Andaman to capture it back from the Britishers and rechristened it as Swaraj and Shaheed Island
- Soon after this, he met with a flight accident shortly taking off from Japan. It is still a mystery that there is no evidence to prove this
3. Swami Vivekananda
- Born in a well to do family to Vishwanath Datta and his mother Bhuvaneshwari Devi
- He was named Narendra and was very naughty & lively in his childhood days in Calcutta
- A natural leader from his childhood days, he was a decision-maker of his team and his friends bowed to that
- A landlord threatened the children that there was a demon in the tree they were playing, a part of whom was Narendra. Narendra waited there for a long time alone, and when the demon did not come to the tree, only after confirming that it was a spoof played by the landlord he left the place
- With this naughtiness, he used to meditate and be oblivious of the world. Nothing on earth could distract him. It was one of his favorite sports
- He was a child who would give anything he was asked for. On one of his birthdays, a beggar came and asked for alms. Instead, Narendra gave him his new clothes.
- Before going to bed, he would be all ears for a story of Ramayana or Mahabharat that his mother would narrate. It was a regular habit and his favorite character was Hanuman
- His father was a lawyer who had kept different hukkas for people of different castes. When he tried all the hukkas kept for different castes and nothing happened, he discovered that caste has no meaning
- Compassion was very evident in Narendra’s childhood days. When an iron bar fell on a sailor who was watching a Gymnasium show, none of them but Narendra and his friend come forward to help him
- His thirst for knowledge was immense. He used to borrow and go through books that were not related to his courses to quench his thirst for knowledge
- To test and accept him as Guru, Narendra had hidden a coin under his Gurus pillow in his absence. When sat on the pillow, it immediately made his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsa jump as if bitten by a scorpion
- Suddenly on a day, Paramahamsa took Vivekananda to a secluded place, where he said he has the power to fulfill any desire, and since he does not have any desire, he wanted to know if Narendra wanted any. Paramahamsa accepted him as his true disciple when Narendra said all he wanted was God-realization.
- At times, whenever Narendra lost his faith on Paramahamsa, Paramahamsa would touch him and bring him back to his realization goal
- After his father’s untimely death, Narendra’s family plunged into poverty. Even when in such poverty, when he got three chances to connect with Goddess Kali, he did not ask for any worldly things
- After the death of Paramahamsa, Narendra became Swami Vivekananda. He was now a monk with all the spiritual powers that his guru had expounded.
- With no attachment to both people and places, the whole nation became his home
- The first city he visited was Varanasi, where he exchanged his views with many other scholars and triumphed in discussions and arguments.
- He argued with Maharaja Mangal Singh about idol worship and convinced him that there are many paths
- When asked by Maharaja of Mysore, Swami revealed that Vedanta of the east and science of west has to be reconciled and that he wanted to go to America. When the Maharaja accepted the proposal, he said he will come back when needed.
- His next visit was Ramanand where he got himself into a situation where the prince suggested him to go and attend the conference of world religions and that is when Swami attended the conference in Chicago. He delivered an exceptional speech and won the hearts of Americans and people from across the world.
4. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
- Born to a govt servant and a pious lady his name was synonymous to his stature. He was like the moon on the second day of the bright fortnight.
- He was so intelligent in the childhood days that he had learned the entire alphabet in a single day. That was just a sample of his intelligence
- He passed his final college exams in the first class with ease
- Though he was not very enthusiastic about sports, he would never be stuck to his own books. In his free time, he would read Sanskrit books and understand them on his own. He was struck by the beauty of Sanskrit language
- Reading Sanskrit in his free time was a foundation for his writing books at a later stage. It helped him a lot to write books
- He became a deputy collector in the British Government, in his early twenties, he got through in BL Examination with hardly any effort
- There were many incidents throughout his career as a government server that he never succumbed to the arrogance of the British officers
- He met a dramatist namely, Deenabandhu Mitra. They became close friends. Later Bankima Chandra dedicated his novel “Ananda Matha” to his dead friend Deenabandhu Mitra, after his untimely death
- His seeking knowledge in his younger days like Ramayana and Mahabharata came in handy when he wrote some of the big novels that inspired millions
- In one of his novels, he wrote the phrase that brought together people. It was a slogan/motto for so many people even now. That was picked from Ananda Math called Vande Mataram
- In his later stages of life, he stopped writing novels and turned philosophical. Which is when he was in close association with Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and had met Swami Vivekananda too
- His last three years went by translating Bhagavad Gita and Vedas. He died at the age of fifty-six leaving behind a whole generation of freedom fighters inspired by Vande Mataram
5. Madan Mohan Malviya
- Madan Mohan Malviya was born to a poor family in which his father was a storyteller (narrating the stories of Krishna from the Srimad Bhagavata) and did not have any other source of income
- Their suffix names were Vyas, but when they started living in the village Malva, according to the convention they changed it to Malaviya
- When most of the people had already started following the west, Malaviya’s family was going against the tide. They remained very strict and had deep faith in the moral principles of their forefathers
- There was no school in Ahiya where they lived, so he had to go to the school started by Pandit Haradeva called ‘Dharmajnanopadesha Pathashala’
- In the casual talk with the teacher before joining the school, he impressed his teacher and was the favorite student too. This is where he learned Sanskrit and got exposed to deep knowledge
- In addition, he was so fond of games that he would forget food and sleep when left to play
- Like many other children, Malaviya wanted to learn English. The English schools were all expensive. But this did not stop their parents from getting him to join one. Her mother pledged her gold bangle with a rich man and got money for his English learning
- In an assembly of scholars, a boy of age fifteen years, spoke with his sweet voice and logic. This impressed one of the scholars who presided over the assembly. He gave his third daughter in marriage to the young man and Malviya was married at fifteen
- At the age of sixteen, Malaviya had started composing poems. He soon was a famous poet and the name he used as a writer was “Makaranda”
- In a congress meeting, he was told to join, by his teacher, the young man went and delivered a speech before the great leader Dadabhai Naoroji. The youth’s words were full of patriotism. The founder of Congress Hume enjoyed the speech so much that he said the speech was unforgettable. This is the very place where Malaviya met Rampal Singh, who made him the editor of his newspaper “The Hindustan”
- Malaviya with his public life became an advocate of Allahabad High Court, in a short span of time he became very famous. He always took over the cases where innocent and poor people were involved and used to win cases for them
- The dream of establishing a university stuck the mind of Malaviya when there were a lot of people who wanted to learn and live like Englishmen. Even the teachings were all from the west. It was essential for a university that caters to Indians in an Indian way
- In the twenty-first Indian congress session when Gokhale was the president, it was a great opportunity for Malaviya to put forth his idea. This is when everybody in congress readily agreed to the proposal. Many agreed to even contribute in terms of money and time
- The land that the university now stands on belonged to Raja of Banares. He was too attached to it, even then he agreed to gift it for the university on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti
- On the same mission, he toured the entire country for contribution. He visited the nizam too. But the nizam was a little reluctant in the beginning. When he saw that Malaviya did not want to return empty-handed, he contributed generously
- It was the art of Madan Mohan Malaviya to raise funds and get people to work for a mission. His name MMM was also referred to as Money Making Machine
- He was the person who popularised the Sanskrit phrase, Satyameva Jayate
6. Asfaqulla Khan
- He was born in Shahjahanpur of Uttar Pradesh to Shafiqulla Khan.
- A participant of the non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi, felt dejected after Gandhi called off the non-cooperation movement just because of a violent incident occurring in Chauri Chaura. His yearning for country’s freedom increased
- He wanted to win the friendship of Ram Prasad Bismil who was already a revolutionary and wanted to join him in contributing to the freedom of the nation
- The only thing that came in the way was Ram Prasad Bismil’s association with Arya Samaj and to reconvert the already converted lot
- In the beginning, Ram Prasad was a little reserved as there were very few Muslims participating in revolutionary movements. But Ashfaq conversed about Ram Prasad’s common friends with him. Fortunately, Ram Prasad’s brother was also Ashfaq’s classmate. All this made them good friends
- Ashfaqulla and many other revolutionaries ideas became strong after the non-cooperation movement being withheld
- They formed an organization called Hindustan Republican Association whose objective was to win freedom for the nation through armed revolution
- Kashi became their center of activities. They grew and many youths joined them. Moreover, to carry the revolution they wanted money to purchase arms
- Due to lack of support, there was not enough money to cater to the needs of the youths
- They were badly in need of money when his friend Ram Prasad Bismil noticed that the English were transferring money from one place to the other through trains
- This led to the idea of stealing money from the train, which gave birth to Kakori Kand, in which, Ashfaqulla was an active participant, You can read more about Kakori Kand here. They were all in the wanted list of the police, after the incident he settled in a remote place and worked there for some time
- Ashfaq was a great poet and had written a lot of Urdu poems. The proprietor of the place where he worked was also very fond of such poem songs. So Ashfaq was a fond employee of his owner
- The owner even increased his salary. Had he been there no one would have known about his whereabouts
- He wanted to study engineering, so he went to Delhi to inquire more about it and going abroad. While he was in Delhi he met his school mate who took good care of him that day and handed him over to the police the very next day
- He, with other revolutionaries, was sentenced to death. Even in the last days he sang poems and died as a happy individual
7. Dr. Keshava Baliram Hedgewar
- Born to Baliram Panth Hedgewar in Nagpur to an orthodox family
- Their parents died when Hedgewar was a child due to plague hit in Nagpur
- A born patriot, who, after seeing the English flag on a building tried to dig a tunnel route to the building from his master’s place
- When everybody was having a sweet distributed on the English queen’s birthday, the sole person to reject it, keeping in mind that it has come out from slavery, was none other than Keshav
- With a group of youth in every class, shamed a British officer, who visited their school, by chanting Vande Mataram across the school
- When invited to a fight by a local bodybuilder, he easily wins by a strong blow on the bodybuilder proving he was strong
- Did not care for a British Officer who went before him. Hedgewar did not salute him. Moreover, he argued with him that it is not necessary to do any of such things to a stranger
- He went to Calcutta to study MBBS. This was for the very reason that he can meet a lot of revolutionaries, as that was the hub of revolutionaries, then
- Despite such big decisions, he never let down his studies. He was always good at it
- When asked about his marriage, he wrote a letter to his uncle and declined. His sole goal was to serve the motherland
- He came back to Nagpur and kept himself busy in political and social activities
- None of these activities gave an answer to his questions about society
- But he continued his speeches and to unite people even when the Britishers imposed on his schedule. He did not bother about such things and continued his work
- He was imprisoned for a year and left out. People welcomed him heroes welcome
- His questions to himself were what after freedom. Is the common man of the country matured enough to retain independence? Why did the Britishers in the first place take our freedom?
- With these questions for which he thought about answers in the jail, one thing was clear. Bringing up children in a manner that contributes to society. He thought about man molding
- This is when he started Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He gathered a few kids in whom he molded nationalism and brought them up in such a way that they became responsible people
- Today RSS is the biggest private organization all over the world