Revolutionaries of Indian Freedom Struggle | Indian History

Chapekar Brothers
The three Chapekar brothers, Damodar Hari, Balkrishna Hari and Vasudeo Hari from Maharashtra, were known for their revolutionary actions in late 1890s. In 1896, Pune was hit by bubonic plague and by the end of February 1897 thousands of people died. During this period, a Special Plague Committee was formed, under the chairmanship of W. C. Rand, an Indian Civil Services officer, and troops were brought in to deal with the emergency. He used tyrannical methods and harassed the people. The measures employed included forced entry into private houses, examination of occupants, evacuation to hospitals and segregation camps, removing and destroying personal possessions, and preventing plague cases from entering or leaving the city. The Chapekar brothers decided to take the revenge on W. C. Rand.  In 1897, Rand and his military escort were shot by them while returning from the celebrations of Diamond Jubilee of the coronation of Queen Victoria at Government House. All three brothers were found guilty and hanged. This action of Chaphekar brothers was the first reaction of Indian revolutionaries against British atrocities in India during plague epidemic and was first political murder in Indian freedom struggle.

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Indian Freedom Fighters : Surendranath Banerjee

Sir Surendranath Banerjee (1848–1925) was one of the earliest Indian political leaders from Calcutta. He founded the Indian National Association and later became a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. He was also known as Rashtraguru. After graduating from the University of Calcutta, he traveled to England in 1868, along with Romesh Chunder Dutt and Behari Lal Gupta to compete in the Indian Civil Service examinations. He cleared the competitive examination in 1869, but was barred owing to a dispute over his exact age. After clearing the matter in the courts, Banerjee cleared the exam again in 1871 and was posted as assistant magistrate in Sylhet. However, Banerjee was dismissed soon from his job owing to racial discrimination. Banerjee went to England to protest this decision, but was unsuccessful. After returing to India, he founded the Indian National Association with Anandamohan Bose, one of the earliest Indian political organization of its kind, in 1876. He used the organization to tackle the issue of age-limit for Indian students appearing for ICS examinations. He condemned the racial discrimination perpetrated by British officials in India through speeches all over the country, which made him very popular. 

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Indian Freedom Fighters : W C Banerjee

Womesh Chandra Banerjee (1844 – 1906) was an Indian politician from Calcutta and the first president of Indian National Congress. After graduating in Law from Middle Temple, London,  he became the most sought barrister in the High Court of Calcutta. In 1883 he defended Surendranath Banerjee in the famous Contempt of Court Case against him in the Calcutta High Court. He founded East India association in 1865. He presided over the first session of the Indian National Congress held at Bombay in 1885. In the 1886 session held at Calcutta, under the presidency of Dadabhai Naoroji, he proposed the formation of standing committees of the Congress in each province for the better co-ordination of its work. He advocated that the Congress should confine its activities to political matters only, leaving the question of social reforms to other organisations. He was the president of the Indian National Congress again in the 1892 session in Allahabad. 

Indian Freedom Fighters : Pherozeshah Mehta


Pherozeshah Mehta (1845-1915) was an Parsi Indian political leader, activist, and a leading lawyer, who was knighted by then British Government in India for his service to the law. His political ideology was moderate and was hence not directly opposed to the crown's sovereignty but only demanded more autonomy for Indians to self-rule. When the Bombay Presidency Association was established in 1885, Pherozeshah Mehta became its president, and remained so for the rest of his years. He encouraged Indians to obtain western education and embrace its culture to uplift India. He contributed to many social causes for education, sanitation and health care in the city and around India. Pherozshah Mehta was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress and its President in 1890, as its president he presided over Indian National Congress session held in Calcutta. In 1910, he started Bombay Chronicle, an English-language weekly newspaper, which became an important Nationalist voice of its time, and an important chronicler of the political upheavals of a volatile pre-independent India.

Indian Freedom Fighters : Badruddin Tyabji


Badruddin Tyabji (1844-1906) was the third President of the Indian National Congress. He was the first Muslim to become the President of Indian National Congress. He passed the London Matriculation and became the first Indian Barrister in Bombay in 1867. He accepted a Judgeship of the Bombay High Court in 1895. In 1902, he became the first Indian to hold the post of Chief Justice in Bombay. He was known as a great Judge and for his courage and impartiality, typically shown by his granting bail to Tilak in a sensational case after it had been rejected thrice by others. Tilak had been charged with sedition by the government for what it saw as provocative articles in his paper, Kesari.

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Indian Freedom Fighters : Dadabhai Naoroji


Dadabhai Naoroji (1825–1917) known as the Grand Old Man of India, was a Parsi intellectual, educator, cotton trader, and an early Indian political leader. His book Poverty and Un-British Rule in India brought attention to the draining of India's wealth into Britain. He was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons between 1892 and 1895, and the first Asian to be a British MP. He is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. In 1867 Naoroji helped establish the East India Association, one of the predecessor organizations of the Indian National Congress with the aim of putting across the Indian point of view before the British public. This Association soon won the support of eminent Englishmen and was able to exercise considerable influence in the British Parliament.

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Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister of India


Jawaharlal Nehru  was the first and longest-serving Prime Minister of India (1947–1964). Nehru contributed to the establishment of a secular Parliamentary democracy in India and was one of the founders of the international Non-Aligned Movement. Nehru advocated Fabian Socialism (Socialism  through gradualism, not  through revolution) and a strong Public sector as the means by which economic development could be pursued by poorer nations. He created the Planning commission of India and started the Five-Year Plans in 1951. Nehru envisaged a mixed economy in which the government would manage strategic industries such as mining, electricity and heavy industries, serving public interest and a check to private enterprise. Nehru pursued land redistribution and launched programmes to build irrigation canals, dams and spread the use of fertilizers to increase agricultural production. Nehru envisioned the developing of nuclear weapons and established the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AEC) in 1948. Homi J. Bhabha was entrusted with complete authority over all nuclear related affairs and programs and answered only to Nehru himself.

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Jawaharlal Nehru as Freedom Fighter | Indian Freedom Fighters


Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964) was one of the prominent leaders of Indian freedom struggle. He was the favourite disciple of Gandhiji and later became the first Prime Minister of India.  Nehru is widely recognized as the architect of modern India. He had spent almost 14 years of his life in prison during India’s freedom struggle.  After his studies in England, Jawaharlal Nehru returned to India in 1912 as a barrister. He married Kamala Nehru in 1916. In 1917, he joined Home Rule League. His became active in politics after meeting Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. At that time Gandhi had launched a campaign against Rowlatt Act. Nehru was instantly attracted to Gandhi's commitment for active but peaceful, non-co-operation movement (1920-1922). He actively participated in the movement and was arrested twice in connection with the Non-Cooperation Movement of 1920-22. He organised the first Kisan March in Pratapgarh District of Uttar Pradesh in 1920.

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Vinayak Damodar Savarkar | Indian Freedom Fighters


Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966) was an Indian freedom fighter, revolutionary and politician. Savarkar created the term Hindutva, and emphasized its distinctiveness from Hinduism. Savarkar's revolutionary activities began when studying in India and England, where he was associated with the India House and founded student societies including Abhinav Bharat Society and the Free India Society, as well as publications supporting the cause of complete Indian independence by revolutionary means. Savarkar published The History of the War of Indian Independence about the Indian rebellion of 1857 that was banned by British authorities. He was arrested in 1910 for his connections with the revolutionary group India House. Following a failed attempt to escape while being transported from Marseilles, Savarkar was sentenced to two life terms amounting to 50 years' imprisonment and moved to the Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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Aurobindo Ghosh | Indian Freedom Fighters


Aurobindo Ghosh (1872–1950) was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter. He later turned into a world famous philosopher, yogi and guru. After education in England, he passed the famous ICS exam and joined the Baroda state service. When Bengal was partitioned, a nationalist campaign was carried out by groups of revolutionaries, led by Aurobindo Ghosh. He was one among the leads who established Jugantar, a main secret revolutionary group operated in Bengal. He was also the part of another revolutionary group, Anushilan Samiti. To take the extremists' view to the public, Bipin Chandra Pal had founded the nationalist Bengali newspaper Bande Mataram. Pal invited Aurobindo to become its editor along with Pal. Pal after a few issues discontinued contributing to the paper. The paper rapidly became a major success and the radical views finally found a popular voice. But as a result of its popularity and open espousal of aggressive methods, the paper came into frequent confrontation with the Raj.

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Bipin Chandra Pal | Indian Freedom Fighters


Bipin Chandra Pal (1858-1932) is known as the 'Father Of Revolutionary Thoughts' in India and was one of the freedom fighters of India. He was famous as one of the trio militant patriots of the Congress - the "Pal" of Lal Bal Pal. The trio was responsible for initiating the first popular upsurge against British colonial policy in the 1905 partition of Bengal, before the advent of Gandhi into Indian politics. Pal was also the founder and cheif editor of the journal Bande Mataram.  In 1907, Pal was imprisoned for refusing to give evidence against Aurovinda Ghosh in the Bande Mataram Sedition Case. After release, he left for England, where he was briefly associated with the radical India House and founded the Swaraj journal. However, political repercussions in the wake of Curson Wyllie's assassination in 1909 by Madanlal Dhingra lead to the collapse of this publication, driving Pal to penury and mental collapse in London.

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Bal Gangadhar Tilak | Indian Freedom Fighters


Bal Gangadhar Tilak (1856-1920, Maharashtra), was a social reformer and freedom fighter who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement. His famous quote, "Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it", created waves all across the country during the initial period of national wide freedom struggle movement. The British  derogatorily called him as "Father of the Indian unrest". He was also conferred with the honorary title of Lokmanya, which literally means "Accepted by the people". He was one of the first and strongest advocates of "Swaraj" (self-rule). Tilak was considered the political and spiritual leader of Gandhi. When Tilak died in 1920, Gandhi paid his respects at his cremation in Bombay, along with 200,000 people. Gandhi called Tilak "The Maker of Modern India". Tilak is also today considered the father of Hindu Nationalism. He was the idol of Indian revolutionary Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who penned the political doctrine of Hindutva.

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Lala Lajpat Rai | Indian Freedom Fighters

Lala Lajpat Rai (1865–1928) was an Indian author and freedom fighter. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari (The Lion of Punjab). His death anniversary (November 17) is celebrated as martyr's day in India. He founded the National College, inside the Bradlaugh Hall in Lahore to impart quality education to the Indians, who did not want to join British institutions. Bhagat Singh was a graduate from the National College. He was one of the three most prominent Hindu Nationalist members of the Indian National Congress.The other two members of the trio were Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal.  They were known as Lal-Bal-Pal trio. They formed the extremist faction of the Indian National Congress, as opposed to the moderate one led first by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. Lalaji actively participated in the struggle against partition of Bengal. Along with Surendra Nath Banerjee, Bipin Chandra Pal and Aurorbindo Ghosh, he lead the Swadeshi movement which started in 1905. Lajpat Rai was arrested in 1907 for creating "turmoil" in Rawalpindi. He was put in Mandalay jail for six months.

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