Bhagat Singh is one of the most revered freedom fighters of Indian Independence movement. His execution by the British rulers at a young age of 23 inspired many young people to join the freedom struggle. His life’s mission was to free India from colonial rule and his legacy as a symbol of bravery and patriotism continues to live on.
Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.
Chandra Shekhar Azad joined India’s freedom struggle against the British after being deeply affected by the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Born Chandra Shekhar Tiwari, he declared himself as Azad when arrested in connection with Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement. He shot himself to death to escape being held captive by the British.
Lala Lajpat Rai was an Indian politician who played a major role in the Indian Independence movement. He is credited with inspiring many young men, including Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar Azad, to join the freedom struggle through journalistic writings and activism. He was popularly known as Punjab Kesari.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was an Indian independence activist, Islamic theologian, and scholar. He played a key role in the Indian independence movement, serving as a senior leader of the Congress. His contribution to the Indian education system is recognized across India by celebrating his birthday as National Education Day.
In spite of his short life, which ended at age 24, Birsa Munda is remembered for spearheading the tribal movement against the British. He also made the British introduce new laws for the protection of the tribal land rights. He died in prison while undergoing trials.
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.
10 Tantia Tope
Best remembered for leading the Indian Rebellion of 1857, tribal leader Tantia Tope used guerilla tactics in his fights against the British. In spite of no formal military training, he also managed to seize Gwalior temporarily with Rani Lakshmibai. He was later hanged to death by the British.
11 Surya Sen
Surya Sen, popularly known as Master Da, was initially a school teacher in Chittagong and later an eminent freedom fighter. Best known for his association with the 1930 Chittagong armoury raid, he was later imprisoned by the British and tortured mercilessly, before being hanged to death.
Also known as Begum of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal was the second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She is remembered for rebelling against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following her husband’s exile, she took over affairs in the state of Awadh. However, she was forced by the British to abandon Awadh.
14 Udham Singh
15 Nana Saheb
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 M. N. Roy
Apart from being one of the co-founders of the Communist Party of India, M. N. Roy also established the Mexican Communist Party. Jailed for his political activities, he penned the nine-volume Prison Manuscripts in prison. He later joined the Indian National Congress but quit it soon after.
Born to a Sanskrit teacher, Pandurang Shastri Athavale was taught as part of a separate school system set up by his father. The Padma Vibhushan-winning activist and spiritual leader later started his own Vedic movement known as the Swadhyaya Parivar. Shyam Benegal’s Antarnaad was based on his movement.
23 Kunwar Singh
31 Bakht Khan
Bakht Khan is best remembered for his service as the commander-in-chief of the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British. Initially part of the East India Company army, he served the Bengal horse artillery and gained 40 years of military experience. He eventually died fighting at the age of around 61.
33 Har Dayal
The son of a government reader, Har Dayal rejected a career in the Indian civil services and became involved in industrial unionism in the US. He had also been a lecturer of philosophy and Sanskrit, and co-founded the Hindustan Ghadr Party. His notable works include Our Educational Problem.
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. .
35 Ali Musliyar
36 Roshan Singh
37 Nahar Singh
38 Dinesh Gupta
Known as the founder of the Khalistan movement that sought to create an independent homeland for the Sikhs, Jagjit Singh Chauhan entered politics as a short-lived MLA from Punjab. On losing election, he traveled abroad to start his campaign for creation of an independent Khalistan, continuing with his mission in exile until he was allowed to return home in 2001.