We Indians have not received our Independence easily, there have been a great number of lives which were sacrificed in order for us to live the life that we enjoy today. It should always be our priority and duty to be grateful for the lives and efforts of the freedom fighters who fought for our independence and made our lives so much better, full of hopes and a promising future. When looking at our freedom fighters, it is worth paying attention that a huge number of these were from the magical land of Uttar Pradesh. Hence, as a tribute to these great people on the occasion of India Independence Day, we share the list of top 10 freedom fighters from Uttar Pradesh who have played an outstanding role in initiating the agony of being a British colony and some who took forward the resistance movement.
- Mangal Pandey
I am sure that every child and adult knows the name of this great Indian freedom fighter who was one of the earliest men to begin the resistance towards the British colonial rule. What people don’t know for a fact is that Mangal Pandey was born in a Brahmin family, in Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh. Mangal Pandey was a very dedicated military person who soon realized that India was moving towards the age of slavery. It was him, who ignited the need to rebel and protest against the ongoing colonialization amongst his fellow troop mates. Ultimately the quest that he had started was soon confronted by the British army and Mangal Pandey was sentenced for life. However, his sacrifice began the journey towards the free India movement which was now embedded in every child and adult likewise.
- Rani of Jhansi
Also known as Rani Laxmi Bai, she was and still regarded as one of the most courageous women and leading women freedom fighters of all times. As dedicated as she was for her native country, it is still hard to believe that she fought the Britishers, alone with her month’s old child tied on her back. She is yet another Freedom Fighter born in Uttar Pradesh, Jhansi district to be precise. For her the rebel was due to the betrayal that the Britishers had done to her by telling her to abandon all her rights to Jhansi after her husband, the Maharaja had died. It is said that she took it on her to save herself and her son when she somehow managed to escape the palace but lost her life not much later. Nonetheless, she will always remain an epitome of courage, dedication, and fearlessness to every girl that is born in this country.
- Ram Prasad Bismil
Also popularly known by his last name, Bismil is another most popular name in freedom fighters of India. He was born in Shahjahanpur province of Uttar Pradesh on 11 June 1897 to a regular Hindu Family. Started from his childhood until his death, the two passions which never left his sight were poetry and patriotism. Not too late into his teenage years did he realize the ongoing cruelty of the British Raj. It wasn’t much later that he gave up on his otherwise life and began exploring the loopholes to bring forward the freedom movement. He was the leading member in the Manipur and Kakori conspiracy which shook the Britishers to their very core.
- Mohammad Ali Jauhar
He was one of the most influential Muslim activists, playing an important role in uniting the Muslims and Hindus together. Born on 10 December 1878 in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, he was member of the Indian National Congress during the early 1900’s and later became a part of the All India Muslim League. He got his higher education from one of the most prestigious colleges in the world, The Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Besides his regular awareness amongst the people about the need for Independent India, he was a leading name during the Khilafat Movement.
- Abadi Bano Begum
Back when she was born, that is during the 1850s in Uttar Pradesh, the resistance against the British Rule hadn’t yet taken a firm shape yet. But after the revolution of 1857 when each and every Indian knew for a fact that something was wrong, that the young mind of Bano Begum was getting molded. As soon as she grew up, she became one of the first women who started to protest against the British. After her marriage to Abdul Ali Khan, and having 6 children she didn’t stop with her work of spreading awareness.
- Chandra Shekhar Azad
Born to a Brahmin family on 23 July 1906, he was then called, Chandra Shekhar Tiwari, in Bhacra Village. It was her mother who wanted for him to have Sanskrit education, hence, sent him away to the Kashi Vidyapeeth School in Banaras. It was in Banaras where Chandra Shekhar actually spent all his young life at. He was only 15 when he heard of the Non-Cooperation movement by Mahatma Gandhi and decided to join in. He was unstoppable after that and changed his name to Chandra Shekhar Azad, that is, to claim that independence is his and everyone else’s right. His name was usually associated with fellow freedom fighters namely, Bismil, Bhagat Singh, and Sukhdev. He died in a shootout at Alfred Park in Allahabad on 27 February 1931.
- Mahavir Tyagi
Mahavir Tyagi was born in the Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh on 31 December, 1899. He was a parliamentarian and later became a leading name in the list of Freedom Fighters. After getting his education from Meerut, Mahavir Tyagi joining the British Indian Army where he was deployed to Persia. But he decided against it as soon as the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place. He soon became a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi and wanted Independence for India. He continued to be in the Indian National Congress for as long as he lived.
- Purushottam Das Tandon
He was born on 1 August 1882 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. From the very beginning he was a scholar student hence, he studied law and also MA in history. He was one of the most scholar students of his own time and continued to become an inspiration for others. He practiced law at the Allahabad high court for about 15 years until 1921 when he realized the need to be an activist given all the ongoing protests. He was a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi hence took part in many famous movements such as the Salt Satyagraha and the non-cooperation movement. Even though he got arrested too many times but that didn’t stop him from the independence movement.
- Bakht Khan Barech
He was born on 1797 at Bijnor, Rohilkhand (then called as the Mughal Empire). Bakht Khan, as regarded by many as one of the first rebellions who started the revolution against the British. He was a subedar in the British Indian Army where he started a tiny group of sepoys as a rebel against the rifle cartridges that were greased with pig’s fat. This troop of sepoys later turned out to be a full-fledged group of traitors who wanted to fight against the British system and somehow, help Bahadur Shah Zafar to sustain the Munhall sultanate. He soon joined the ongoing rebel forces of Lucknow and Shahjahanpur only to be sentenced to death not much later in 1862.
- Ashfaqulla Khan
Born in Shahjahan, Uttar Pradesh on 22 October 1900, Ashfaqulla Khan was the youngest of 6 siblings. He was spoiled as a child but as he was growing up, he felt the need to contribute his efforts and himself to his country hence he became a part of the resistance movement which was now going on everywhere across the country. He soon joined the Hindustan Republican Association which was formed by Bismil, Chandra Shekhar, and Bhagat Singh. He was an important part of all the conspiracies which took part within the HRA and was the important freedom fighters those causing trouble to the British army. Ultimately, he was sentenced to death with his fellow rebellions on 19 December 1927.
All the activists and freedom fighters from the aforementioned lists had a choice to lead a normal life by adopting ‘ignorance is bliss’ but they did NOT. They chose to rebel and fight which is something to be grateful about every single day of our existence. Who knows if it weren’t for them we would still be living the life of slavery? Hence, this Independence day, let us all come together and pay our tribute to these great lives by swearing to not be truthful to the citizens of our country and to help who all we can.