6. Raj Kumari Gupta
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She was a prominent player in the Kakori Dacoity plan. Raj Kumari was in charge of supplying the firearms to those involved in carrying out the operation. She hid the revolvers in her undergarments and delivered them to the HRA revolutionaries, with her three-year old son. She was, however, disowned by her husband’s family after being arrested.
7. Surendra Sai
Image Credit: Karunakar Supkar Sadharana Purusha
He died in obscurity despite protecting western Odisha from British rule. The crown prince to the Sambalpur throne, he encouraged lower caste tribals to uphold their culture and language against the British. He was jailed in 1862 after surrendering and spent the next 20 years in prison. Sambalpur was among the last regions in India to be occupied by British.
8. Sido and Kanhu Murmu
Image Credit: Panoramio
The two brothers led a 10,000-strong armed Santhal rebellion against British colonists on 30 June 1855. They initially managed some success. But in the conclusive battle that followed the Santhals, armed with bows and arrows and other indigenous weapons, were no match for the British equipped with modern firearms. The British officers also rode war elephants. After the rebellion was culled, the British attacked every Santhal village to annihilate all revolutionary spirits. Though the rebellion was brutally suppressed, the event brought a change to colonial rule and administration.
9. Lakshmi Sahgal
Image Credit: Tomboy Tarts
She led the all-women Jhansi Regiment of Indian National Army (INA) and later became the “minister of women affairs” of the Azad Hind government. Born Lakshmi Swaminadhan, she changed her surname after marriage to Prem Sahgal, also an officer in the INA. Lakshmi set up a clinic to help the poor at Singapore in the early 1940s. There she met several Indian prisoners of war who were contemplating a Japanese proposal to forge an Indian army for independence. She soon shut down her clinic and joined Subhas Chandra Bose in the INA.
10. Begum Hazrat Mahal
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She played a major role in the 1857 rebellion and took charge of Awadh after her husband was exiled by the British. Hazrat Mahal went on to seize control of Lucknow at the height of the rebellion. She later fled to Nepal when the mutiny was crushed by the British.