Many women have participated in the Indian freedom struggle. One of them was Sarla Devi, the niece of Rabindra Nath Tagore.

About Sarala Devi

  • She was also called as Sarala Devi Chaudhurani.
  • She was born in September 1872 to Swarnakumari Devi, Tagore’s elder sister, and Janakinath Ghoshal, one of the founding members of the Indian National Congress.

Role in freedom struggle: 

  • She authored a book titled ‘Ahitagnika’ for school students to generate awareness concerning the freedom struggle and also launched an underground revolutionary group.
  • She created the musical composition for Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s “Vande Mataram”
  • She promoted the use of Swadeshi products.
  • In 1910, she founded the ‘Bharat Stree Mahamandal’, the All India Women’s Organization, a semi-revolutionary group with branches across the Indian subcontinent.
  • She also worked for widows in an association named “Vidhwa Shilpashram”, where widows were given education and skills to help them find employment.
  • In 1919, in the aftermath of the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, she and her husband were arrested because several articles critical of the British were published in the weekly newspaper ‘Hindusthan’ published by them.
  • She was also deeply influenced by Subhash Chandra Bose’s political views of achieving freedom only through violence against the British.
  • Last years:
    • Under the tutelage of Binoy Krishna Deb Sharma, she began studying the Upanishads.
    • She wrote her biography ‘Jiboner Jhora Pata’, the ‘Scattered Leaves of My Life’.
    • She died in the city on August 18, 1945, at age 73.

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