Gopal Krishna Gokhale,  (May 9, 1866   /  Feb 19, 1915 )

Gokhale was born in Kothapur, Maharashtra, he was the pioneer of Indian National Movement, and was the political guru of Gandhi Ji.

In 1885, Gokhale along with his Deccan Education Society colleagues founded the Fergusson College in Pune. In the subsequent year he met a great scholar and a social reformer Mahadev Govind Rane. Being highly influenced by the social works of Ranade, Gokhale called him guru and started moving on the path of social reforms. He founded the Servants of India Society in 1905. The main objective of this society was to train Indians to raise their voices and serve their country.

Gokhale was actively involved in the Morley-Minto reforms of 1909 that gave Indians right to access highest posts in the government. He also wrote articles for Tilak’s weekly paper. Through his articles he tried to awaken the lost voices, latent patriotism and the feeling of liberty. Gokhale had greatly contributed to India’s independence and development in all spheres.

Dadabhai Naoroji,   (Sept, 4, 1825  /  June 30, 1917  )

Dadabhai was born in Bombay to a Parsi priest’s family.  He was fondly known as ‘the promise of India’ in his youth and ‘the grand old man of India’ in the later years of his life.  He was a man who laid the foundation of India’s freedom struggle and was personified as the symbol of purity, sincerity, generosity, bravery and patriotism.

Naoroji started with his political career in 1852, and as strongly opposed the misrule of British, wrote several petitions to Governors and Viceroys regarding the sufferings of Indian people. As there was no action taken and later he realized that this is because of the ignorance of Indian people, he worked to promote education and propagate the seeds of Free India, and founded the Gyan Prasarak Mandal.

He demanded for Swaraj, self government for India, publicly during his third term of Presidentship of INC and strongly opposed violence and revolutionary methods as means of attaining freedom.

Chakravarthi Rajagoapalchari,   (Dec, 10, 1878  /  Dec, 25, 1972  )

 Popularly known as ‘Rajaji’ or ‘C.R.’, was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in a village of Salem district of Tamil Nadu. He was a great patriot, astute politician, incisive thinker, and a great statesman.

 Rajaji actively participated in Home League Rule under Bal Gangadhar Tilak. Later in 1919, he was highly influenced by the work of Gandhi Ji and chose to join him in the freedom struggle. Thereafter, he came into contact with Sardar Patel, Annie Besant, Rajendra Prasad and Maulana Azad.  . In 1946, he became minister in the interim government and finally in 1947, after independence, he was appointed as the governor of West Bengal. In 1948, he was honored with the title ‘First Indian Governor General of India’.

 In 1957, Rajaji founded the Swatantra Party with an aim to oppose the licensing system required to set up a business in India. He also published the Hindu epic Mahabharata that was translated from Sanskrit to Tamil and then to Hindi. Till his last breath, he served the country and worked for its betterment.

Chandrashekhar Azad,  ( July 23, 1906  /    Feb, 27 1931  )

A fearless revolutionary and a great freedom fighter, Chandrashekhar Azad was born at   Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, at the age of 14 he went to Varanasi where he was taught to live the austere life of a Brahamachari.

He was highly inspired by the Non Cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi. In which he actively participated for which he was sentenced to fifteen lashes of logging at the age of 15. In the court he addressed himself as ‘Azad’, and gave his father’s name as ‘Swadhin’ and his mother’s name as ‘Dharti Ma’. With endurance, courage and fortitude he tolerated all the lashes. With each stroke of the whip he shouted ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. From then, on he was honored and titled as ‘Azad’.  When he was released, he took a pledge that he would never be arrested by the Britishers and will die as a free man.

When the Non Cooperation Movement was suspended due to Chauri-Chaura incidence, he turned to armed revolution and formed ‘Hindustan Socialist Republican Association’ with other revolutionaries.  He was involved in the Kakori train robbery and the attempt to blow the Viceroy’s train.  He was a terrorist to the British  because he killed John Poyantz Saunders to avenge the death of Lala Lajpat Rai.

Azad was betrayed by one of the associates who informed the British Police. In Alfred Park, Allahabad he was besieged by the British police, he fought bravely for quite some time but seeing no other way he shot himself and fulfilled his desire to die a ‘free man’.

‘Dushman ki goliyon ka hum samna karenge, Azad hee rahein hain, azad hee rahenge’ is still recited by Indian soldiers fighting for free and Happy India.

Bhikaji Cama,   (Sept, 24, 1861   /   Aug, 13, 1936 )

Born in a rich Parsi family at Bombay, Bhikaji Cama, also known as Madame Cama was an outstanding lady of great courage, fearlessness, integrity, perseverance and passion for freedom and a pioneer amongst those who martyred their lives for India’s freedom and was considered the Mother of Indian Revolution.

In 1896, Bombay Presidency was adversely hit by plague. Being a nationalist and a social worker Cama voluntarily worked for the victims of plague later she herself was infected by the disease, but became very weak and was advised to go to Europe for rest and further treatment. In 1902 she left for London and there too she worked for promoting India’ freedom struggle.  She had also worked as private secretary to Dadabhai Navaroji, a great Indian leader.

She was constantly making people realize the importance of freedom from British rule.  The Bitishers unpleased with her popularity concocted an assassination but fortunately Cama came to know about the planned murder and escaped to France.   In France, her house was a shelter for revolutionaries from all over the world, the British even asked for her deportment which the French govt negated, which led the British to exile her.

In 1905, Cama along with her friends designed the India’s first tricolor flag with green, saffron and red stripes bearing the immortal words – Bande Matram. This flag was raised by Madam Cama On August 22, 1907, for India’s Independence at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart, Germany. After 35 years fighting for India’s independence on foreign land she returned to India and died.

Bipin Chandra Pal,   (Nov, 7, 1858  /  May, 20, 1932 )

Bipin Chandra Pal was a noted politician, journalist, an eminent orator and one of the three famous patriots, known as the trilogy of Lal Bal Pal.  He was born to a wealthy  Kayastha family in Sylhet.

He was further inspired by the work, philosophy, spiritual ideas and patriotism of Tilak, Lala and Aurbindo, highly influenced and inspired by all these political leaders, Bipin   devoted himself to the freedom struggle. He went to England to study comparative ideology in 1898 and on return he started preaching local Indians with the idea of Swaraj. Being a good journalist and orator he always used articles, speeches and other write ups to spread nationalism, humanity and social awareness and the need for complete Independence.

Pal had ‘never say die’ attitude and with great courage he participated  Partition of Bengal in 1905, Swadeshi Movement, Non Cooperation Movement and Bengal Pact in 1923. He had also published a lot of journals, weekly and books to spread nationalism and the idea of Swaraj. Most prominent books of Pal include Indian Nationalism, Nationality and Empire, Swaraj and the Present Situation, The Basis of Social Reform, The Soul of India, The New Spirit and Studies in Hinduism.
Bipin was a great warrior and till the end he fought against ill practices of Indian culture and for freedom of India

Bal Gangadhar Tilak,   (July, 23, 1856   /   Aug, 1, 1920)

Born to a Brahmin family in Ratnagiri, Maharastra, Bal Gangadhar Tilak is considered to be the ‘Father of Indian Unrest’.  . He was a scholar of Indian history, Sanskrit, mathematics, astronomy and Hinduism.  With an aim to impart teachings about Indian culture and national ideals to India’s youth, Tilak along with Agarkar and Vishnu Shastry founded the ‘Deccan Education Society’.  He also started ‘Kesari’ and ‘Marati’ and also celebrations like ‘Shivaji Jayanthi’ and ‘Ganapathi Utsav’  to highlight the plight of Indians and the bring the people to the mainstream against the British Rule.

He launched Swadeshi Movenment and said that ‘Swaraj is my birth right and I shall have it’.  He was constantly fighting against injustice till his death.  He was one of the prime architects of modern India and is still living in the hearts of millions of India