Who are the best freedom fighters of India, you ask?
“For some days, people thought that India is shaking.
But there are always tremors when a great tree falls.”
Rightly said by India’s former PM Rajiv Gandhi, the gigantic tree of the British rule fell slowly, but with the most impact and was removed off the soil of our nation forever. However, this uprooting was neither easy nor simple. It was all possible due to some of the best freedom fighters of India.
Indians saw independence only after a few centuries of fighting. It wasn’t easy, and it led to the loss of the lives of many brave hearts. The struggle is marred with the blood of the sons and daughters of our country who laid their lives for the freedom we relish today. This struggle is marred with the tears of mothers who gladly sent off their children into the arms of uncertain fate.
The Top Ten Freedom Fighters of India
These are in no particular order, and we do understand that there are scores many that have contributed for India’s freedom struggle. We would love to talk about them in other articles – so please let us know who you think we missed out on.
They not played an important role in the achievement of independence of India, but also left behind a legacy of valour, undying determination and unceasing love for the motherland. Even in the afterlife, they continue to inspire millions to preserve and uphold our precious freedom.
1. Mahatma Gandhi: The Freedom Fighter of India Nobody Can Forget
“Freedom is not dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?”
Born on 2nd October 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is referred to as the father of India. Armed with nothing but truth and the ideals of non-violence, he led the Indian masses towards freedom.
He not only fought for the nation, but also for equality among the Indian masses, divided by castes and classes. He coined the term “harijan” (children of God”) for the untouchable community and advocated for them to be included in the freedom struggle.
On the morning of 30th January, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting. His death was a cause of sorrow for the whole nation. However, his ideals and memories continue to live in the hearts of the nation.
2. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose: The Freedom Fighter of India With a Difference
The revolutionary leader and the president of the Indian national army and the Indian independence league, he inspired the youth of the nation to lay down their lives fearlessly in the pursuit of independence.
With his charismatic personality, he was able to garner support against the British rule from Indians living abroad. Even though his ideals stood in stark contrast to those of Gandhi’s, his goal was not very different.
On 18th August 1945, he died in a plane crash in Taiwan, though a lot of mysteries surround his death.
3. Bhagat Singh: The Freedom Fighter of India Who Wasn’t Afraid
A rebellious nationalist, Bhagat Singh became a folk hero in the nationalist struggle. Along with his associates, Shivaram Rajguru and Batukeshwar Dutt, he exploded two bombs inside Delhi’s central legislative assembly.
They showed no resistance to arrest and were sentenced to death. Even awaiting his judgement, he did not stop his struggle against the British. He soon joined a hunger strike, demanding better conditions for Indian prisoners.
His fight came to an end on 23rd March 1931, when he, at the youthful age of 23 was hanged along with Rajguru and Sukhdev. However, his martyrdom fuelled the Independence struggle further and is considered a revered hero and one of the best freedom fighters of India.
Here is a video about Bhagat Singh you may want to take a look at.
4. Sarojini Naidu: The Freedom Fighter of India Who was a Poet
The nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu was born on 13th February, 1879 in Hyderabad. A poet by nature, she was inspired by the work of the Indian national congress against the British rule.
Her political career started when she joined the Indian independence movement. In 1925, she was appointed as the president of the Indian national congress. She was the first woman to hold the governor’s office when she was appointed as the governor of the United provinces in 1947.
A courageous and inspiring woman, she was laid to rest on 2nd march, 1949, having lived her life as among the best freedom fighters of India.
5. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan: The Freedom Fighter of India Known for Nonviolence
Nicknamed as Fakhr-e-Afghan (pride of Pashtuns), Badshah Khan (king of chiefs) and ‘Frontier Gandhi’, he was a strong follower of Gandhi’s principle and one of the top freedom fighters of India .
He was actively involved in the freedom struggle and was strongly opposed to the two-nation policy and was a strong advocate of a secular country. He founded the ‘khudai khidmatgars’ (servant of god) or the ‘red shirts’. The organisation organized strikes and non-violent satyagrahas. He died in 1988, under house imprisonment in Peshawar.
6. Rani Lakshmi Bai: The Freedom Fighter of India We Can Never Forget
The Queen of Jhansi, one of the prominent personalities of the 1857 rebellion was born as Manikarnika Tambe in November of 1828. She was among the best freedom fighters of India and refused to give up her kingdom to the oppressive laws of the British. When the siege of Jhansi began on 23rd march, 1858, she valiantly defended her territory.
She fought various wars but was defeated. However, she refused to give up and fled to Gwalior. There, he again clashed with the British army set on taking control of Gwalior and killing rani Lakshmi Bai. Even in her last moments, she battled on, and was martyred on 18th June, 1858.
7. Bal Gangadhar Tilak: The Freedom Fighter of India Who Started it All
Referred to as “the father of the Indian unrest” by the British, he was the first advocate of ‘Swaraj’ (self-rule). He joined the Indian national congress in 1890. He untiringly agitated for the Indian independence struggle.
He was considered as the most widely known politician before Gandhi. He was imprisoned on various occasions. Tilak strongly favoured the ‘swadeshi movement’. He started “kesari”, a weekly newsletter. Bal Gangadhar Tilak died on 1st august, 1920 due to pneumonia at the age of 64.
8. Begum Hazrat Mahal: The Freedom Fighter of India who Took On the British
Born as Muhammadi Khanum, she was a prominent figure, and an active member of the 1857 rebellion against the East India company. Her husband, Nawab Wajid Ali shah was exiled to Calcutta after Awadh was annexed by the British.
Even after taking a divorce from the Nawab, she took control of the troops and rebelled against the British. However, Awadh was recaptured and she was forced to retreat to Nepal where she breathed her last and was buried at Kathmandu’s Jama Masjid in 1879.
9. Chandra Shekhar Azad: The Freedom Fighter of India Who was a Revolutionary
An Indian revolutionary, Azad was born on 23rd july,1906 in Madhya Pradesh. He became an inseparable part of the freedom struggle at the tender age of 15, when he joined the non-cooperation movement.
He became an active member of the Hindustan republican association. He died fighting the British police at Azad Park in prayagraj. Surrounded by police and out of ammunition, he shot himself to keep the police from capturing him alive.
10. Jawaharlal Nehru: The Freedom Fighter of India And The First Prime Minister
The first prime minister of independent India and a dedicated statesman, Nehru can be considered to be among the most important political figures in India. Lovingly called as “Chacha Nehru” by the children of India, he was at the forefront of the Indian independence struggle.
A close aide of Gandhi, Nehru was in the favour of a secular nation. He also campaigned against indentured labour and the discriminatory laws of the British rule. He led Indians with his remarkable leadership towards the end goal, freedom. He died on 27th may, 1964 due to a heart attack at the age of 74.
Who else should have been on our list of the best freedom fighters of India? Let us know below.