Role of Women in Indian Freedom Struggle:

The women slowly emerged from the darkness of subjugation and slowly became part of the mainstream society and polity. The freedom movement played a pivotal role in bringing the woman to the fore.

The contribution of women in the freedom struggle ranges from taking upon beatings in the hands of ruthless forces to dying on the battlefields to honour their existence.

Some of the Notable leaders and their contributions to the freedom movement are discussed below.
1. Velu Nachiyar
Velu Nachiyar was born to a royal couple as their only daughter. She was raised like a true warrior who was very well trained in archery, horse-riding, martial arts, etc.

In \(1772\), at the battle of kalaiyar kovil, her husband was killed by the combined forces of the Nawab of Arcot and British company.
Veeramangai: Velu Nachiyar was considered the first woman ruler who fought and emerged victorious against the British. Hence, she was popularly known as the “Veeramangai (Brave Woman) and also Jhansi Rani of South India”.
She met Haider Ali and had a cordial relationship with him. Haider, who was impressed with the courage of Nachiyar, assisted her in the fight against the British.

Nachiyar planted a surprise attack against the British by gathering intelligence from her assistors, attacking British ammunitions and later recapturing Sivagangai.
2. Rani Laxmi Bai
Rani Laxmi Bai - Yaclass.jpg
Rani Laxmi Bai
She was a valiant ruler of Jhansi who fought against the tyranny of the British with nerves of steel.
The BEIC imposed various clauses on her with the “Doctrine of Lapse” Policy under which an adopted heir cannot occupy the throne after his father's death.
Doctrine of Lapse: This policy of Doctrine of Lapse was created by the British governor-general “Lord Dalhousie”.
Rani rose against the British and headed a revolt in which she fought bravely till her last breath. The British General “Hugh rose” hailed her valour and charisma, who killed her in the battle.

Other notable women rulers who contributed to the freedom movement were Chand Bibi, Rani Durgavati, Begum Hasrat Mahal etc.

Women freedom fighters of \(\text{20th century}\):  

The Women Freedom fighters of the \(\text{20th century}\) took the tyranny by intelligence as they were educated by that time. The woman took major participation in various freedom movements.

Swadeshi Movement in \(1905\), Non-Cooperation movement in \(1920\), Bardoli Satyagraha in \(1928\) and Quit Movement in \(1942\) were some of the landmark movements that witnessed the enormous participation of women.
Usha Mehta: She played a crucial role in the Quit India Movement by establishing an “Underground All India Radio” that kept the struggle for freedom alive under stringent Censorship.
Other notable women contributors were Annie Besant, Bikaji Cama, Aruna Asif Ali, Sarojini Naidu, etc.

Impacts of Reform Movement in India:
  • Eradication of Social evils like Sati and Dowry System through legislations.
  • Enlightening the minds of people through education which in turn gave way for rational thoughts.
  • Emancipation of women by ensuring their rights.
  • The practice of Widow remarriage was made legal.
  • The feeling of oneness and National Unity was promoted among the Masses.