Famous Indian Activists

Vote for Your Favourite Indian Activists

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

 1 
Kailash Satyarthi
(Child Rights Activist)
Kailash Satyarthi
15
Birthdate: January 11, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vidisha, India

Kailash Satyarthi is an Indian social reformer who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Satyarthi is best known for his campaign against child labor in India. Kailash Satyarthi is credited with founding several social activist organizations like Global March Against Child Labour, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, and Global Campaign for Education.

 2 
Anna Hazare
(Social Activist)
Anna Hazare
5
Birthdate: June 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Anna Hazare is an Indian social activist known for his efforts to improve rural places in India. His contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi earned him the Padma Bhushan in 1992. He is also known for his fight against corruption; he went on a hunger strike in 2011 to exert pressure on the government to enact an anti-corruption law.

 3 
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
(Socio-religious Reformer)
Raja Ram Mohan Roy
5
Birthdate: May 22, 1772
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Radhanagore, West Bengal, India
Died: September 27, 1833

Raja Ram Mohan Roy was an Indian social and religious reformer. He is credited with co-founding the Brahmo Sabha, a social-religious reform movement. Often referred to as the Father of the Bengal Renaissance, Roy has had an influential role in fields like politics, education, and religion. In 2004, he was ranked 10th in BBC's Greatest Bengali of all time poll.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Kasturba Gandhi
(Wife of Mahatama Gandhi)
Kasturba Gandhi
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1869
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Porbandar
Died: February 22, 1944

Kasturba Gandhi was an Indian freedom fighter and political activist. Best remembered as the wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Kasturba took part in Indian independence movements along with her husband. Her life and career inspired a play titled Kasturba which was written by Narayan Desai and directed by Aditi Desai. The play was staged several times in India.

 5 
Gauri Lankesh
(Activist, Journalist)
Gauri Lankesh
5
Birthdate: January 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Died: September 5, 2017

The daughter of Kannada poet P. Lankesh, Gauri Lankesh began her career as a journalist for The Times of India. She also worked as an editor of Lankesh Patrike. Later, she was known for her firebrand left-wing activism against Hindutva and was eventually shot dead by three men near her Bengaluru home.

 6 
Baba Amte
(Indian Social Worker Who was Known for his Work for the Rehabilitation of People Suffering from Leprosy)
Baba Amte
4
Birthdate: December 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wardha, Maharashtra
Died: February 9, 2008

Baba Amte was an Indian activist and social worker best remembered for his work that aimed at empowering people suffering from leprosy. Dubbed the modern Gandhi of India, Amte received several prestigious awards, such as the Gandhi Peace Prize, Dr. Ambedkar International Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the Padma Vibhushan.

 7 
Teji Bachchan
(Human rights activist)
Teji Bachchan
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Faisalabad, Pakistan
Died: December 21, 2007
 8 
Vinoba Bhave
(Indian Social Reformer and Philosopher Best Known for the 'Bhoodan Movement')
Vinoba Bhave
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1895
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Died: November 15, 1982

Vinoba Bhave was an Indian social reformer and advocate of human rights and nonviolence. A close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhave played an important role in the Indian freedom movement. In 1958, he became the first person to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. In 1983, Vinoba Bhave was posthumously honored with the prestigious Bharat Ratna award.

 9 
Medha Patkar
(Social Activist)
Medha Patkar
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai

Medha Patkar is an Indian social activist known for her work concerning several issues raised by farmers, tribes, women, and laborers facing injustice in India. She is also known for popularizing the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) movement which opposes the construction of large dams across the Narmada River. Medha Patkar is the recipient of many awards including the Mother Teresa Award.

 10 
Aruna Asaf Ali
(Indian Independence Activist, Educator)
Aruna Asaf Ali
2
Birthdate: July 16, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kalka, Punjab, India
Died: July 29, 1996
Recommended Lists:
 11 
Irom Chanu Sharmila
(Indian Civil Rights Activist, Political Activist and Poet)
Irom Chanu Sharmila
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Imphal

Gwangju Prize-winning human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, also known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, made international headlines with her 16-year hunger strike to urge the Indian government to repeal the AFSPA Act. She later married British citizen Desmond Coutinho and is now a mother to twin daughters.

 12 
Sunderlal Bahuguna
(Environmentalist, Political activist)
Sunderlal Bahuguna
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tehri

Sunderlal Bahuguna was an Indian environmentalist best remembered for his involvement in the Chipko movement. The movement, which aims at conserving forests, received a major boost after Bahuguna created the slogan ecology is the permanent economy. The movement inspired similar movements across India. Sunderlal Bahuguna is also remembered for leading the anti-Tehri Dam movement.

 13 
Teesta Setalvad
(Author, Journalist)
Teesta Setalvad
2
Birthdate: February 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai

Social activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad is best known for establishing the Sabrang Trust, aimed at peace-building after the 1992 Mumbai riots, and the CJP, aimed at seeking justice for the 2002 Gujarat riot victims. The Padma Shri awardee has also successfully obtained 117 convictions against the Gujarat rioters.

 14 
Jamnalal Bajaj
(Businessperson, Social Activist)
Jamnalal Bajaj
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sikar, India
Died: February 11, 1942
 15 
Nana Saheb
(Peshwa of the Maratha Empire)
Nana Saheb
2
Birthdate: May 19, 1824
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bithoor
Died: 1859 AD

Nana Saheb, also known as Dhondupant, was a major figure of the 1857 Sepoy Munity, or the first war of Indian independence. The adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao II, he was initially on friendly terms with the British but was later forced by circumstances to join the rebels against the British.

 16 
Naresh Kanodia
(Actor)
Naresh Kanodia
2
Birthdate: August 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kanoda, British India
Died: October 27, 2020
 17 
Aruna Roy
(Political and Social Activist)
Aruna Roy
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chennai

Social activist Aruna Roy is best known for establishing the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan. Initially a professor, she later served as an IAS officer, following which she concentrated on social work. She spearheaded the right to information movement, which led to the passage of the RTI Act in 2005.

 18 
Mohammad Ali Jauhar
(Indian Muslim Activist and One of the Founders of 'The All-India Muslim League')
Mohammad Ali Jauhar
0
Birthdate: December 10, 1878
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: January 4, 1931

Mohammad Ali Jauhar was an Indian Muslim activist, journalist, poet, and freedom fighter. After starting his career by writing articles for major Indian and British newspapers, Mohammad Ali went on to become one of the founders and an important member of the All-India Muslim League. His life and career inspired a 1984 documentary film titled Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar.

 19 
Ela Bhatt
(Indian Cooperative Organiser, Activist and Founder of 'Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA)')
Ela Bhatt
2
Birthdate: September 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ahmedabad, India

Best known as the founder of the Self-Employed Women's Association of India, or SEWA, Ela Bhatt is a champion for women empowerment. Her efforts have won her awards such as the Padma Shri, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the Padma Bhushan. A trained lawyer, she has also been a Rajya Sabha MP.

 20 
Mirabehn
(Political Activist)
Mirabehn
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: July 20, 1982
 21 
Jatindra Nath Das
(Revolutionary, Activist)
Jatindra Nath Das
0
Birthdate: October 27, 1904
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kolkata, West bengal, India
Died: September 13, 1929
 22 
Vasudev Balwant Phadke
(Revolutionary, Activist)
Vasudev Balwant Phadke
0
Birthdate: November 4, 1845
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shirdhon, Maharashtra, India
Died: February 17, 1883
 23 
Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari
(Politician, Activist)
Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari
0
Birthdate: December 25, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: May 10, 1936
 24 
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
(Social worker)
Chandi Prasad Bhatt
2
Birthdate: June 23, 1934
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chamoli Gopeshwar

Chandi Prasad Bhatt is an Indian social activist and environmentalist best known for founding the Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sangh (DGSS) in 1964. DGSS gave rise to the famous Chipko Movement for which Bhatt was honored with the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1982. In 2005, he was awarded India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.

 25 
Pradip Krishen
(film director, writer)
Pradip Krishen
2
Birthdate: 1949 AD
Birthplace: New Delhi

Pradip Krishen is an Indian environmentalist and filmmaker renowned for directing the 1989 TV film In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones which has acquired a cult status since its release. Starting from 1995, Krishen became known for his work as an environmentalist. He is currently leading a team of horticulturists to restore a set of sand dunes in Rajasthan.

 26 
Daya Bai
(Social activist)
Daya Bai
2
Birthdate: 1940 AD
Birthplace: Pala, Kerala
 27 
Hakim Ajmal Khan
(Physician, Politician)
Hakim Ajmal Khan
0
Birthdate: February 11, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: December 29, 1927

Hakim Ajmal Khan was an Indian physician best remembered for co-founding the popular Jamia Millia Islamia University, which is currently located in New Delhi. He is also credited with establishing another institution named Tibbia College in Delhi. Hakim Ajmal Khan also took part in important pre-independent movements, such as the Khilafat movement.

 28 
Purushottam Das Tandon
(Indian Freedom Fighter Best Known for His Opposition to the Partition of India)
Purushottam Das Tandon
2
Birthdate: August 1, 1882
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Allahabad, India
Died: July 1, 1962

Popularly referred as Rajarshi, Purushottam Das Tandon was an Indian lawyer, political leader and scholar. A member of the Indian National Congress, he actively participated in its various movements and vehemently opposed the partition of India. As a member of the Constituent Assembly, he not only promoted Hindi as the official language, but also the usage of Devanagari script.  .

 29 
Hasrat Mohani
(Poet, Politician)
Hasrat Mohani
0
Birthdate: October 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: May 13, 1951
 30 
Tiruppur Kumaran
(Revolutionary)
Tiruppur Kumaran
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chennimalai, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: January 11, 1932
 31 
Shaukat Ali
(Politician)
Shaukat Ali
0
Birthdate: March 10, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: November 18, 1938
 32 
Sanal Edamaruku
(Journalist, Publisher)
Sanal Edamaruku
2
Birthdate: May 26, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Thodupuzha

Apart from being an author and a journalist, Sanal Edamaruku also founded the Indian Rationalist Association. He was accused of blasphemy when he investigated a miracle at Mumbai’s Our Lady of Velankanni church. After receiving death threats from the Catholic community, he moved to an undisclosed location in Europe.

 33 
Maniram Dewan
(Activist)
Maniram Dewan
0
Birthdate: April 17, 1806
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sibsagar, Assam, India
Died: February 26, 1858
 34 
G. D. Agrawal
(Environmentalist, Engineer)
G. D. Agrawal
0
Birthdate: July 20, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kandhla, Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 11, 2018

G. D. Agrawal was an Indian environmentalist, engineer, monk, and professor. A patron of Ganga Mahasabha, Agrawal is remembered for protesting against the approval of several projects on River Ganga. On 22 June 2018, he started fasting to exert pressure on the government to clean and save River Ganga. He continued his fast until his death on 11 October 2018.

 35 
Jayi Rajaguru
(Activist)
Jayi Rajaguru
0
Birthdate: October 29, 1739
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Puri, Odisha, India
Died: December 6, 1806
 36 
C. Sankaran Nair
(Lawyer)
C. Sankaran Nair
1
Birthdate: July 11, 1857
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kerala, India
Died: April 24, 1934

A Madras High Court judge and lawyer, C. Sankaran Nair had also served the Indian National Congress as its president. The author of Gandhi and Anarchy, he is best remembered for his fearless courtroom battle against Michael O’Dwyer, the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, whom he held responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

 37 
Nahar Singh
(Revolutionary)
Nahar Singh
0
Birthdate: 1823 AD
Birthplace: Faridabad, Haryana, India
Died: January 9, 1858
 38 
Gail Omvedt
(She was a prolific writer and published numerous books on the anti-caste movement)
Gail Omvedt
0
Birthdate: August 2, 1941
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: August 25, 2021
 39 
Hemu Kalani
(Revolutionary, Activist)
Hemu Kalani
0
Birthdate: March 23, 1923
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sukkur, Pakistan
Died: January 21, 1943
 40 
Kushal Konwar
(Rebel, Activist)
Kushal Konwar
0
Birthdate: March 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sarupathar, Golaghat, Assam, India
Died: June 15, 1943
 41 
Anant Laxman Kanhere
(Revolutionary)
Anant Laxman Kanhere
0
Birthdate: January 7, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra, India
Died: April 19, 1910
 42 
Anil Agarwal
(Indian Journalist Known for His Work as One of the Country’s Most Prominent and Respected Environmental Activists)
Anil Agarwal
1
Birthdate: November 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kanpur, India
Died: January 2, 2002

Anil Kumar Agarwal was an Indian environmentalist best remembered for founding a Delhi-based research institute named Centre for Science and Environment, which is currently led by another popular environmentalist Sunita Narain. Anil Kumar Agarwal's work as an environmentalist was recognized by the government of India as he was honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in 2002.

 43 
Tantia Bhil
(Activist)
Tantia Bhil
0
Birthdate: 1840 AD
Birthplace: Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, India
Died: December 4, 1889
 44 
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
(Indian Politician, Administrator, Educator, Orator and Indian Independence Activist)
V. S. Srinivasa Sastri
1
Birthdate: September 22, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Valangaiman, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: April 17, 1946

Known for his mastery over English, Indian orator V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was also a noted independence activist, politician and writer.  A close follower of Gopal Krishna Gokhale and a friend of Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi, he took part in various international delegations and was seen as too sympathetic to British rule in India by many nationalistic leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru.  

 45 
Sankaralinganar
(Activist)
Sankaralinganar
0
Birthdate: January 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tamil Nadu, India
Died: October 13, 1956
 46 
Abdul Bari
(Educator, Social reformer)
Abdul Bari
0
Birthdate: 1892 AD
Birthplace: Kansua, Bihar, India
Died: March 28, 1947

Indian academic and labor leader Abdul Bari is remembered for his involvement in the freedom struggle, his historic deal with the Tatas, and his efforts to curb slavery and other social ills. He was shot dead while on his way home while serving as the Bihar Provincial Congress Committee president.

 47 
Neela Satyanarayanan
(Civil servant)
Neela Satyanarayanan
1
Birthdate: February 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: July 16, 2020
 48 
Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi
(Politician, Poet)
Maghfoor Ahmad Ajazi
0
Birthdate: March 3, 1900
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Muzaffarpur, India
Died: September 26, 1966
 49 
Manasi Pradhan
(Indian Author and Women's Rights Activist)
Manasi Pradhan
0
Birthdate: October 4, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banapur, Odisha, India

Manasi Pradhan is an Indian author and women's rights activist. She is best known for founding the Honour for Women National Campaign, a movement to bring an end to violence against Indian women. In 2014, she was honored with the Stree Shakti Puraskar by the Indian government. Pradhan's life and career have inspired several documentaries in Israel and the USA.

 50 
Chandrawati
(Politician)
Chandrawati
1
Birthdate: January 8, 1928
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bhiwani District, India
Died: November 15, 2020