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Freedom-Struggle of India- A book review

"Swantantrata Sangram ki Krantikari Mahilayen"

By- Jyoti Jha Choudhary (UK)


History of freedom-struggle of India is full of brave and patriotic stories of Indian role models. And so are the number of books published in this topic. A book titled "Swantantrata Sangram ki Krantikari Mahilayen" in Hindi by Rachana Bhola Yamini is one of them and unique in itself. Unique in the sense of its dedication and presentation. This book presents short biographis of 43 brave ladies who participated in freedom fight directly or indirectly and always remained a challenge to British rulers.

Cover of the book has photographs of four brave ladies two of them are at the top- one is of Maharani Laxmi Bai who participated in first fight of Indians against British rule in 1857 and the second picture is of Late Mrs Indira Gandhi who not only participated in freedom struggle but also became the first lady Prime Minister of Indian Republic.

Contents of the book is very simple and interesting. A short statement by writer is followed by her declaration that the book is exclusively dedicated to those legendary brave Indian ladies who sacrificed their family lives for shake of freedom of India. The forty three names are as follows:

(1) Ujjwala Majumdar,
(2) Kalpana Dutta,
(3) Shridevi Musaddi,
(4) Sunanda,
(5) Durga Bhabhi,
(6) Shanti Ghosh and Suneeti Chaudhary,
(7) Preetilata Vadedar,
(8) Suhasini Ganguli,
(9) Indira Gandhi,
(10) Bela Mitra,
(11) Durgabai Deshmukh,
(12) Lajjawati,
(13) Renu Sen,
(14) Saroj Das Nag,
(15) Van Lata Sen,
(16) Kshiroda Chaudhary,
(17) Shanno Devi,
(18) Kumari Maina,
(20) Maya Ghosh,

 (21) Meera Ben,
(22) Prafulla Nalini Ben,

(23) Urmila Devi Shastri,
(24) Tukadibala Devi,
(25) Nani Bala Devi,
(26) Kamala Devi Chattopadhyay,
(27) Mahadevi Tai,
(28) Rani Guidinlyu,
(29) Captain Laxmi Sahgal,
(30) Halena Dutta,
(31) Malati Bai,
(32) Meera Dutta,
(33) Bhikaji Kama,
(34) Rani Channama,
(35) Maharani Laxmibai,
(36) Rani Ishwar Kumari,
(37) Sushila Mitra,
(38) Subhadra Kumari Chauhan,
(39) Neli Sengupta,
(40) Begum Hazrat Mahal,
(41) Aruna Asaf Ali,
(42) Sarojini Naidu and
(43) Ani Besent.


Some interesting facts about this book:
This book narrates everything in very simple language so it is successful in achieving its goal i.e. drawing attention to the great deeds of those brave Indian women. Many of us might not be knowing before reading this book that :-

  • Sunanda was niece of Laxmi Bai, 
  • Bela Mitra was niece of Subhash Chandra Bosh,
  • Indira Gandhi's favourite play in her childhood was giving speech by standing on table to her servants,
  • Bhikaji , a parsi patriotic lady dared to give speech against the British Rule in Indian in Hyde Park of London and
  • Neli Sen was born in England but as soon as she came to India one year after her marriage with her patriotic husband she joined the Indian Freedom Movement and
  • Almost 30 % of these 43 ladies are Bengalis.
    Some critical views:
  • Language is too simple.
  • The narration is interesting but no evidence is provided e.g. from where these facts are collected, some scholars statements about these brave ladies etc
  • In biography of Shanno Devi a name " Sushila Devi" is mentioned who seems to deserve a separate biography in this book.
    Overall this book is very informative and inspirational. It reminds the cost we paid to get our freedom. And it is my personal opinion that this book deserves good advertisement and translation in different languages.