10 Women Freedom Fighters - UPSC History for GS1

Freedom fighters and their contributions are an important part of Modern Indian History for UPSC Preparation. In this article, you will get a list of the most prominent women freedom fighters of the country for the IAS exam.

Modern Indian History is a vast and important section of the General Studies Paper 1 in the UPSC Syllabus. The historical backdrop of the Indian Freedom Struggle would be incomplete without citing the contributions of women. The sacrifices made by the women of India occupy a primary place in the annals of Indian history. They fought with real spirit and undeterred bravery and confronted several pains, exploitations, and sufferings to win us freedom.

10 Women Freedom Fighters in Indian History

Here are a few important female freedom fighters listed:

Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi Aruna Asaf Ali
Sarojini Naidu Usha Mehta
Madam Bhikaji Cama Kasturba Gandhi
Begum Hazrat Mahal Kamala Nehru
Annie Besant Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

#1 Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi

  • 19 November 1828 – 18 June 1858
  • In her confrontation with the British, she was a sign of courage, patriotism, self-respect, perseverance and generosity.
  • The Rani of Jhansi was a pivotal figure in the Indian Revolt of 1857.

Read more about Rani Lakshmi Bai – Rani of Jhansi.

#2 Sarojini Naidu

  • 13 February 1879 – 2 March 1949
  • Also known as the ‘Nightingale of India’.
  • She was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter, and a great orator.
  • She was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress in 1925.
  • She campaigned for the Khilafat (Indian Disobedience) Movement and also the Quit India Movement.

Read more on Sarojini Naidu in This Day in History dated Feb 13.

#3 Madam Bhikaji Cama

  • 24 September 1861– 13 August 1936
  • In 1907, she unfolded the first Indian National Flag at the International Socialist Conference in Germany.

#4 Begum Hazrat Mahal

  • 1820—1879
  • She was also known as the Begum of Awadh.
  • She played a major role during India’s First War of independence (1857-58).
  • She worked with Nana Saheb, Tantia Tope, etc. in the Revolt.
  • In 1984, the Government of India issued a stamp to commemorate Begum Hazrat Mahal.

#5 Annie Besant

  • October 1, 1847 – September 20, 1933
  • She was an Irish lady and a prominent member of the Theosophical Society.
  • She joined the Indian National Congress and was involved in political and educational activities in India.
  • She was the first woman President of the Congress.
  • In 1916, she established the Indian Home Rule Movement.
  • She started a newspaper, “New India.”
  • She set up a number of schools and colleges including the Central Hindu College High School at Banaras (1913).

Read more on the life of Annie Besant in This Day in History dated October 1.

#6 Aruna Asaf Ali

  • July 16, 1909-July 29, 1996
  • Aruna was an active member of the Congress Party.
  • She had participated in public marches during the Salt Satyagraha.
  • She edited ‘In-Qulab’ a monthly journal of the Indian National Congress.
  • She is known as the Grand Old Lady of the Independence Movement.
  • She is known for hoisting the Indian National Congress flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement.

#7 Usha Mehta

  • March 25, 1920 – August 11, 2000
  • She was known for broadcasting the Congress Radio (an underground radio station).

Read more on Usha Mehta in This Day in History dated March 25.

#8 Kasturba Gandhi

  • April 11, 1869 – February 22, 1944
  • She was a leader of the Women’s Satyagraha.
  • She participated with Indigo workers in Champaran, Bihar, in the No Tax Campaign, and Rajkot Satyagraha.

#9 Kamala Nehru

  • 1899–1936
  • Wife of Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamala planned parades, led picketing of liquor and foreign cloth shops, and engaged in the freedom movement.
  • She played a crucial part in consolidating the No Tax Campaign in the United Provinces.

Women Freedom Fighters – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

#10 Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

  • August 18, 1900 – December 1, 1990
  • She was the daughter of Motilal Nehru.
  • She was a President of the Congress Party.
  • She entered the Non-Cooperation Movement to fight against the British Rule.
  • She was arrested in 1940 and again during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
  • After independence, she represented India in many conferences abroad.

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