Great Martyrs/Freedom Fighters of India

Subhas Chandra Bose

  • Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement against the British Raj.
  • Bose was educated at Cambridge University. In 1920, he took the Indian Civil Service entrance examination and was placed second.
  • However, he resigned from the prestigious Indian Civil Service in April 1921 despite his high ranking in the merit list, and went on to become an active member of India’s independence movement. He joined the Indian National Congress, and was particularly active in its youth wing. In May 1939, Subhas formed the Forward Bloc within the Congress as an umbrella organization of the left forces within the Congress.
  • On August 16, 1945, Netaji boarded a plane from Singapore to Bangkok. He was scheduled to fly in a Type 972 bomber ‘Sally’ from Bangkok to Saigon. The plane made a stopover in Taipei and crashed within minutes of take-off from Taipei.
  • Netaji’s body was cremated in Taipei on August 20, 1945 and his ashes were flown to Tokyo on September 5, 1945 where they rest in the Renkoji Temple. To this day, many believe that Netaji escaped from the air crash and went into hiding. His slogan “Jai Hind” still acts as a great binding force.

Jawaharlal Nehru

  • Jawaharlal Nehru, also called Pandit Nehru, was an important leader of the Indian Independence Movement and the Indian National Congress, and became the first Prime Minister of
    India when India won its independence on August 15, 1947.
  • Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, to Swaroop Rani, the wife of Motilal Nehru, a wealthy Allahabad-based barrister and political leader himself. He became the Prime Minister of
    Independent India on August 15, 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru served as India’s Prime Minister from August 15, 1947, to May 27, 1964 – the day he died.

Bhagat Singh

  • Bhagat Singh (September 27, 1907 – March 23, 1931) was an Indian revolutionary. He is considered to be one of the most famous martyrs of the Indian freedom struggle. For this reason,he is often referred to as Shaheed Bhagat Singh (the word shaheed means “martyr”). In search of revolutionary groups and ideas, he met Sukhdev and Rajguru. Bhagat Singh, along with the help of Chandrashekhar Azad, formed the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army (HSRA). During the Simon Commission protests, Sher-e-Punjab Lala Lajpat Rai was wounded and died later. To avenge his death, Bhagat Singh and Rajguru killed Mr. Saunders (one of the deputy officers in connection with the Simon Commission).
  • When the British government promulgated the two bills — Trade Union Dispute Bill and Public Safety Bill — which Bhagat Singh and his party thought were Black Laws aimed at curbing citizens’ freedom and civil liberties, they decided to oppose these bills by throwing a bomb in the Central Assembly Hall (which is now Lok Sabha) on March 23, 1931. Bhagat Singh, Shivram Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged to death.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad

  • Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the first President of India. Prasad was born at Jiradei in the Siwan district of Bihar.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

  • In India and across the world, he is known as Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The word Sardar stands for “chief” in many languages of India. Patel organized the peasants of Kheda, Borsad and Bardoli in Gujarat in non-violent civil disobedience against the oppressive policies imposed by the British Raj – becoming one of the most influential leaders in Gujarat. After suffering a massive heart attack he died in Bombay on December 15th, 1950.

Bal Gangadhar Tilak

  • Reverently addressed as Lokmanya (meaning “beloved of the people” or “revered by the world”), Tilak was a scholar of Indian History, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Mathematics and Astronomy. He was born on July 23, 1856, in a village near Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, into a middle-class Chitpavan Brahmin family. He organized the Deccan Education Society to improve the quality of education for India’s youth. Tilak opposed the moderate views of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, and was supported by fellow Indian nationalists Bipin Chandra Pal in Bengal and Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab. In 1907, the Congress Party split into the Extremists led by Tilak, Pal and Lajpat Rai and the Moderates led by Gokhale during its convention at Surat in Gujarat. 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 considered as the father of Hindu

Mahadev Govind Ranade

  • Mahadev Govind Ranade, a distinguished Indian scholar, social reformer and author, was born into a strictly orthodox Chitpavan Brahmin household in Niphad. He was a founding member of the Indian National Congress. During his life he helped establish the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha and the Prarthana Samaj.
  • He edited a Bombay Anglo-Marathi daily paper, Induprakash, founded on his ideology of social and religious reform.

Gopal Krishna Gokhale

  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale was one of the leaders of the Indian Independence Movement. He was a senior freedom fighter and also a respected leader of the Indian National Congress.
    Gokhale was also considered as the political guru of Mahatma Gandhi. He was born to Krishna Rao and Valubai in Kothluk in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. He completed his graduation in arts from the Elphinstone College, Bombay. Thereafter, he joined Fergusson College, Poona as professor of history and political economy.
  • Gopal Krishna Gokhale considered Mahadev Govind Ranade as his guru. Ranade was a great leader and scholar.
  • He was also a renowned social reformer. Together, they worked in establishing Servants of India Society and in a quarterly journal called Sarvajanik.
  • Gokhale was also sent to England on behalf of the Congress to present India’s constitutional demands among the British leaders. He passed away on February 19, 1915.

Master Amirchand

  • He was a prominent worker in the Swadeshi Movement. Contact with the famous revolutionary leader, Lala Har Dayal, brought him into the revolutionary movement. He became leader of the Ghadar Party. He was arrested in February 1914 on the charge of conspiracy to kill Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy of India, and also accused of complicity in the Lahore Bomb Case. He was sentenced to death on October 5, 1914, along with his three compatriots.

Ashfaqulla Khan

  • A member of the revolutionary organisation called Matrivedi Sanstha, he participated in the Kakori Mail Dacoity. He was arrested and sentenced to death. He died on the gallows in the Faizabad Jail on April 3, 1927.

Chandra Shekhar Azad

  • He was born on July 23, 1906 at village Bhaora in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh. He was a student of the Banaras Sanskrit College and later of the Kashi Vidyapeeth and took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement (1921). He was arrested at the age of 14 years and punished with fifteen cane strokes. In his court statement, he described his own name as “Azad”, his father as “Swadhin” and his address as “the jail”. After being released from the jail, he was hailed as a young hero. He joined the Indian Revolutionary Party in 1922. He was a member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army and took part in several political dacoities, including the Kakori Mail Dacoity. He was declared an absconder and was hunted by the police. He carried a reward of Rs 30,000 for his capture. To avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai, he organised, along with Sardar Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, the shooting of British Police Superintendent, J. A. Scott, at Lahore. Scott escaped and the Asstt. Superintendent of Police, J.P. Saunders, was killed. Azad planned the bomb explosion in the Central Legislative Assembly that took place on April 8, 1929. He successfully evaded arrest by the police for about two years. He was betrayed by a companion and surrounded by the police at the Alfred Park in Allahabad on February 27, 1931.

Satyendra Nath Bose

  • A resident of Midnapur, West Bengal, he was a Member of the Revolutionary Party and one of the founders of Ananda Math, a revolutionary secret society at Midnapur. He organised the agitation against the partition of Bengal and actively worked for the Swadeshi Movement. He was arrested on June 28, 1908, on the charge of involvement in the Muzaffarpur Bomb Case and in the Alipur Bomb Case. Basu died on the gallows in the Alipur Central Jail on November 21, 1908.

Ram Prasad Bismil

  • He was a member of the revolutionary organisation known as the Hi ndustan Soci al ist Republ ican Associati on.
  • He participated in the Kakori Mail Decoity on August 9, 1925.
  • He died on the gallows in the Gorakhpur District Jail on December 19, 1927.

Khudi Ram Bose

  • He was born on December 3, 1889, at Midnapur, West Bengal.
  • He became a member of the Revolutionary Party. He distributed a pamphlet titled Bande Mataram. He organised a plot in collaboration with Prafulla Chaki to kill Kingsford.
  • He threw bomb on April 30, 1908, at Kingsford’s carriage, which happened to be carrying a European lady, Mrs. Kennedy, and her daughter. Both of them were killed by mistake.
  • He was arrested at Waini railway station and tried for murder. He died on the gallows in the Muzaffarpur Jail on August 11, 1908.

Vasudev Phadke

  • He was born at Shirdhon, Distt. Kolaba, Maharashtra on November 4, 1845 . He tried to organise a national revolt against the British. He successfully recruited a large number of followers from the Ramoshi tribe in Bombay Presidency and built up an armed force. He attacked British installations and communications and seized money from a few government treasuries. He carried on his activities for a number of years until he was captured by the British on July 3, 1879. He was sentenced to transportation for life and was sent to Aden, where he was kept in detention under inhuman conditions. He died on February 17, 1883, after undertaking a fast unto death.

Vishnu Ganesh Pingle

  • An engineering graduate from the University of Seattle, US, He was member of the Ghadar Party went to San Francisco, U.S.A. and worked at the Ghadar Party’s press. As a leader of the Lahore Military Conspiracy to overthrow British rule, he was arrested on March 23, 1915, with high-explosive bombs in his possession. He died on the gallows in the Lahore Central Jail on November 16, 1915. .

Rajendra Nath Lahiri

  • He was arrested and sentenced to imprisonment in the Dakshineswar Bomb Case. He participated in the Kakori Mail Dacoity on August 9, 1925. He died on the gallows in the Gonda Jail on December 17, 1927.

Udham Singh

  • A resident of Amritsar, Punjab, he was brought up in an orphanage in Amritsar after the death of his parents. He received early education at Amritsar. His tender mind was deeply shocked by the horrible scenes of cruelty and carnage at the Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, on April 13, 1919, when hundreds of people were brutally killed and wounded by British troops in firing with machine-guns ordered by General Dyer. He went to England and joined an Engineering course in London. He shot and killed Sir Michael O’Dyer (who was Governor of Punjab when the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy took place) at a meeting of the Royal Central Asian Society and the East India Association in the Caxton Hall, London, on March 13, 1940. He was sent to the gallows in London on June 12, 1940.