Rajkumari Gupta: The forgotten hero of Indian Freedom Struggle
Rajkumari Gupta, a name not many have heard. She belongs to that clan of freedom fighter who barely found a name in the Indian history of freedom fighter. She was born in Banda Zilla of Kanpur in 1902 to a father who was a grocer. At an early age of 13, she got married to Madan Mohan Gupta who was a revolutionary but was also an active participant in the activities of the Congress. Both she and her husband joined Gandhi’s march for freedom.
However, she got influenced by the revolutionaries who believed in armed rebellion against Britishers. Being closely associated with Chandrashekhar Azad, she began supporting him by secretly carrying messages and materials to other revolutionaries, without the knowledge of her husband and her in-laws. She got closely connected with Azad’s group in Allahabad, which was later led by Bhagat Singh.
Not many are aware of her role of delivering firearms to revolutionaries during the famous Kakori train robbery. It was deemed to be a conspiracy.
She served jail terms in 1930, 1932 and 1942. Revealing that she had close connections with Chandra Shekhar Azad’s group in Allahabad, she had once said: “Hum upar se Gandhivaadi the, neeche se krantivaadi.” (We were Gandhians from above; underneath we were revolutionaries).
Walking in afield hiding firearms under her garment, she got arrested. Her in-laws disowned her upon hearing the news. They even went onto claim in the local newspaper Vir Bhagat, that they didn’t have any relationship with her. She led a secluded life after that.
As mentioned in Women in the Indian National Movement: Unseen Faces and Unheard Voices, 1930-42 by SuruchiThapar-Bjorkert, she had once recited:
Beech Charkha chamaktasitara
Shaan ye he Izzat humari
Sar jhukatihai hind saari
Chahe sab kuchkhusisacgadhana
Goliyokijhadi ab lag gayithi
As India celebrates 70 years of independence, we bring you stories of women who were part of the Indian Independence Struggle. You might have heard about some of them but most do not find a mention in our history books or popular memory.
These were ordinary women from all walks of life who managed to make extraordinary contributions to the cause of freedom. This series is our tribute to these women and their exemplary work.
You may not have heard of the woman who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our country, but this year let’s devote our freedom to the woman who overcame everything, just for the sake of independence of the nation we call home today.