Jhalkari Bai- A great warrior

Jhalkaribai (November 22, 1830 – 1858) was an Bharatiya woman soldier who played an important role in the war of 1857 during the battle of Jhansi. She was a soldier in the women’s army of Queen Laxmibai of Jhansi.

Jhalkaribai was daughter of a Sadoba Singh, and Jamuna Devi and belonged to Julahi community (weavers community). She was born on November 22, 1830 in Bhojla village near Jhansi. After the death of her mother, when she was very young, her father raised her like a boy. She was trained in horse-riding and using weapons. She soon became well-trained as a warrior. She killed a leopard in the forest with a stick she used to herd cattle.
Jhalkaribai bore resemblance to Rani Laxmibai. She married an artilleryman, Puran Singh, from the artillery unit of Rani Laxmibai. Jhalkaribai was introduced to the queen by Puran Singh. She joined her. After joining the army, she gained further expertise in all aspects of warfare.
During the Rebellion of 1857, General Hugh Rose attacked Jhansi with a large army on 23 March 1858. The queen valiantly faced the army with 4000 of her troops in her fort. She waited for relief from Peshwa’s army camping at Kalpi but it did not come because Tatya Tope was defeated by Rose. Meanwhile Dulha ju, incharge of Orcha Gate made pact with English and opened doors of Jhansi for English Army. The English Army rushed through and amidst this mayhem, Rani, on advice of her Courtier escaped through Bhanderi Gate with heavy fighting and casualties. On hearing escape,Jhalkaribai thought of a plan to confuse Gen Rose. Jhalkaribai set out for General Rose’s camp in disguise as the queen and declared herself to be the queen Laxmibai. This led to a confusion that continued for a day and she was released only after it was revealed that she was not the queen.

Baba Deep Singh


Baba Deep Singh (20-Jan-1682 to 11-Nov-1757) is revered among Sikhs as one of the most hallowed martyrs in Sikhism and as a highly religious person. He is remembered for his sacrifice and devotion to the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. Baba Deep Singh was the first head of Misl Shaheedan Tarna Dal – an order of the Khalsa military established by Nawab Kapur Singh, the then head of Sharomani Panth Akali Buddha Dal.

The Damdami Taksal also state he was their first head of their order. His name is also found as Deep Singh and Baba Deep Singh. In April 1757, Ahmad Shah Durrani raided Northern India for the fourth time. While he was on his way back to Kabul from Delhi with precious booty and young men and women as captives, the Sikhs made a plan to relieve him of the valuables and free the captives. The squad of baba Deep Singh was deployed near Kurukshetra. His squad freed a large number of prisoners and raided Durrani’s considerable treasury. On his arrival in Lahore, Durrani, embittered by his loss, ordered the demolition of the Harimandir Sahib. The shrine was blown up and the sacred pool filled with the entrails of slaughtered cows. Durrani assigned the Punjab region to his son, Prince Timur Shah, and left him a force of ten thousand men under General Jahan Khan.

Baba Deep Singh, aged 75-years old, felt that it was up to him to atone for the sin of having let the Afghans desecrate the shrine. He emerged from scholastic retirement (he had been making copies of the Guru Granth Sahib), and declared to a congregation at Damdama Sahib that he intended to rebuild the temple. Five hundred men came forward to go with him. Deep Singh offered prayers before starting for Amritsar: “May my head fall at the Darbar Sahib.” As he went from hamlet to hamlet, many villagers joined him. By the time baba Deep Singh reached Tarn Taran Sahib, ten miles from Amritsar, over five thousand peasants armed with hatchets, swords, and spears accompanied him.

According to the Sikh legend, Baba Deep Singh had vowed to avenge the desecration of the Golden Temple by the Afghan army. In 1757, he led an army to defend the Golden Temple. The Sikhs and the Afghans clashed, in the battle of Amritsar, at the village of Gohalwar on November 11, 1757and in the ensuing conflict Baba Deep Singh was decapitated.


Deep Singh continued to fight after having been decapitated, supporting his head with one hand and slaying his enemies, with the sword in the other hand. He reached the periphery of Harmindar Sahib where he breathed his last. The Singhs celebrated the Bandhi-Sor Divas of 1757 A.D. in Harminder Sahib”. The Sikhs recovered their prestige by defeating the Afghan army and the latter were forced to flee.

Vasudeo Balwant Phadke

Vasudev Balwant Phadke

Vasudeo Balwant Phadke (4 November 1845 – 17 February 1883) was an Freedom Fighter of Bharat. Phadke was moved by the plight of the farmer community during British Raj. Phadke believed that ‘Swaraj’ was the only remedy for their ills.

There was a terrible famine in Maharastra in 1876-77. Thousands of people died of starvation. And on one side were the white-skinned people who were nourished by Indian grain and were pleased to see the Indians die. Vasudev Balwant Phadke could not endure it. His soul rebelled. With the help of Kolis, Bhils and Dhangars communities in Maharastra, Vasudev formed a revolutionary group called as Ramoshi. The group started an armed struggle to overthrow the British Raj. The group launched raids on rich English businessmen to obtain funds for their liberation struggle.
He wrote in his daily dairy. “These my countrymen are the sons of the same mother as I am. It is impossible to think that they should starve and I should live uncaring like a beast. It is better to sacrifice my life to help them and make them free”
The British government was extremely troubled by the spread of Phadke’s terror. The British rule staggered under the impact of Phadke’s devastation. Traps were laid to capture him. The governor of Bombay, Sir Richard Temple, announced a reward of Rs 5000/- for anybody who captured or killed Phadke. Phadke could not keep quiet either. He too made an announcement: “I shall give a reward of Rs 10,000 to anybody who brings me the head of the governor of Bombay Sri Richard Temple”.
The government accelerated its efforts to catch Phadke and the time came when both the armies of Nizam and British were pursuing Phadke to capture him. In the course of chase, Phadke reached the Kingdom of the Nizam. He had been running for 1 full day and was very tired. He was suffering from fever as well. He came to a village in Kaladgin district in Hyderabad to seek shelter and lay down for rest in the temple of the Devi. He had become almost unconscious from fever and fatigue. Right then, the pursuing British army reached there Major Daniel who led the forces came and stood on his chest and put one of his booted feet on his neck and said “So Phadke! What do you want now”

Phadke replied “I would like to fight a duel with you”. Daniel did not accept the challenge. He handcuffed him and took him to Poona.
Phadke was transported to jail at Aden, but escaped from the prison by taking the door off from its hinges on 13 February 1883. But his escape was too short lived: he was recaptured and put back in prison. Phadke then went on a hunger strike to death. On 17 February 1883 Phadke breathed his last breath as a result of his protest hunger strike.

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (C.V. Raman)

CV Raman

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman(November 1888 – 21 November 1970) was an Physicist of Bharat,  born in the former Madras Province, whose ground breaking work in the field of light scattering earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. He discovered that, when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect.

Raman passed his matriculation examination at the age of 11 and he passed his F.A. examination (equivalent to today’s Intermediate exam) with a scholarship at the age of 13. Love of science, enthusiasm for work and the curiosity to learn new things were natural to Raman. Nature had also given him the power of concentration and intelligence. He used to read more than what was taught in the class. When doubts arose he would set down questions like How?”, “Why?” and “Is it true” in the margin of the textbooks.

At the age of 19, Raman held a high post in the Government. He was appointed as Assistant Accountant General in the Finance Department in Calcutta. One evening Raman was returning from his office in a tramcar. He saw the name plate of the “Indian Association for the Civilization of Science”. Immediately he got off the tram and went in. Dr. Amritlal Sircar was the Honorary Secretary of the Association. There were spacious room and old scientific instruments, which could be used for demonstration of experiments.

Raman asked whether he could conduct research there in his spare time. Sircar gladly agreed. Raman took up a house adjoining the Association. A door was provided between his house and the laboratory. During the daytime he would attend his office and carry out his duties.
His mornings and nights were devoted to research.

Raman was appointed as Professor in Science College of Calcutta. He sacrificed the Government job which gave him good salary. Raman was deeply interested in musical instruments. Sir C. V. Raman had proved that plant growth can be positively influenced by music, as the plants have life. Smilarly cows and buffaloes yielded more milk when music was played.

Raman was president of the 16th session of the Indian Science Congress in 1929. He was conferred a knighthood, and medals and honorary  doctorates by various universities. He did eventually win the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his work on the scattering of light and for the
discovery of the Raman effect”. He was the first Asian and first non-white to receive any Nobel Prize in the sciences. Before him Rabindranath Tagore had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Raman and Suri Bhagavantam discovered the quantum photon spin in 1932, which further confirmed the quantum nature of light.During his tenure at IISc, he recruited the then talented electrical engineering student, G. N. Ramachandran, who later was a distinguished X-ray crystallographer.

Two days before Raman died, he told one of his former students, “Do not allow the journals of the Academy to die, for they are the sensitive indicators of the quality of science being done in the country and whether science is taking root in it or not.”

Source: “Dr.C.V.Raman” Book by A. KRISHNA BHATT; and Wikipedia

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – Iron Man of India

SardarVallabhbhai Patel

Patel,Sardar Vallabhbhai(1875-1950)born on October 31,1875.After qualifying as a lawyer,he started practice in 1913 at Ahmadabad.Met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916 and was instantly overwhelmed by his honesty and sincerity,he led Ahmadabad labour strike in 1918.Later leader of the Nagpur Flag Satyagraha(1923),and the Bardoli Movement in 1928.It is at that time that Mahatma Gandhi conferred him the title of “SARDAR”.In 1931,he was elected President of the Indian National Congress.Chairman of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee of the Indian National Congress,1935-40.Also took part in the Individual Satyagraha(1941) and the quit India Movement(1942),and was imprisoned in the Ahmadabad Fort up to June 1945 along with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other national leaders.In the interim Government,he served as Home Minister and after India won her freedom,he was made the Deputy Prime Minister of India.
One of the greatest contributions of Sardar Patel was to organise the princely states and induct them into the federal structure under the 1950 Constitution..President Rajendra Prasad said in an obituary estimate of his life and work “His life-long work shall ever remain a shining example of the sacrifices one should undertake in the service of the country.”

The rulers of Junagadh and Hyderabad were plotting secretly to join Pakistan. Patel sent an army under Brigadier Gurudayalsimha to the border of Junagadh to deal with Pakistan. The people of the state who wished to join India rebelled against the ruler and set up a People’s Government. The Nawab, who had tried to betray the people, ran away. Patel reached Junagadh on the 12th of November 1947. In the course of a speech there, hewarned that the Nizam of Hyderabad would share the fate of the Nawab of Junagadh if he did not behave sensibly.

But the Nizam did not learn the lesson. He sent millions of rupees to Pakistan.One of his men, Kasim Razvi , began to harass the Hindus. His gang was called the Razakars. They tried to drive the Hindus out of Hyderabad. There was no limit to their crimes. They tried to get arms and ammunition from outside. Finally Sardar Patel sent some forces under General Chowdury to undertake ‘Police Action’. Within five days the Nizam was forced to surrender. Kasim Razvi ran away to Pakistan. The atrocities of the Razakars came to an end and peace returned to Hyderabad. The firm policy of Sardar Patel, the Man of Iron, crushed all the plots against India.