While our history books tell us about the valiant efforts by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and SardarVallabhbhai Patel to gain India her independence, there is very little about the women who fought for the freedom of our country. Here is a list of some of the women who fought for India's freedom and in the process led the way for India's women to fight for their own freedom.
The fearless warrior-queen Lakshmibai, called Jhansi Ki Rani in the many legends that told her tale, battled against the British during the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. She fought the British on multiple occasions until her death on the battlefield.
She is remembered for these words: "We fight for independence. In the words of Lord Krishna, we will if we are victorious, enjoy the fruits of victory, if defeated and killed on the field of battle, we shall surely earn eternal glory and salvation."
Far away from the kingdom of Jhansi, another queen defied the might of the British army during the First War of Indian Independence. Begum HazratMahal rebelled against the British and seized control of Lucknow.
She led another attack on Shahjahanpur but after her defeat she found asylum in Nepal.
Known as The Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu played a large part in India's freedom struggle. She joined the Indian national movement after the events of the partition of Bengal in 1905. She participated in the Salt Satyagraha and the Quit India movement.
She is an inspiration for her work on women's empowerment. Sarojini Naidu gave lectures on women's issues and social welfare across the country. She founded the Women's Indian Association and was the first woman governor in India.
Though she was British, Annie Besant supported India's freedom struggle. She travelled to India and joined the Indian National Congress. During World War I, she campaigned for democracy in India.
Annie Besant was arrested for her defiance of the British rule, inspiring people to join the freedom movement.
Along with her brother Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit too dedicated her life to the freedom struggle. She was the first woman to become a cabinet minister in the country.
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was also the first woman president of the United Nations General Assembly.