Saraswathi Rajamani – The woman was India’s youngest spy, 16-year-old Saraswathy Rajamani, who smuggled secrets for the Indian National Army’s intelligence wing.
Rajamani was born in Burma, in 1927. Her father owned a gold mine and was one of the richest Indian in Rangoon.He was a staunch supporter of the freedom struggle; he settled down in Burma to escape arrest by the British authorities.
As Rajamani grew up, she started hearing a lot about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army. While she had always supported the nationalist movement wholeheartedly, it was Netaji’s powerful words that kindled a fervour in her to fight for her nation.
When Rajamani was 16 years old, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose visited Rangoon to collect funds and recruit volunteers for INA. Netaji gave a inspiring speech. Deeply impressed with his fiery speech, Rajamani removed all her expensive gold and diamond jewellery and donated it to the Indian National Army.
This generous action did not fail to attract the attention of Bose who, on enquiring, found out that Rajamani was the daughter of one of the wealthiest Indians in Rangoon. Netaji went to Rajamani’s home and met her father. Netaji told her father about Rajamani’s jewellery donation and returned all the jewellery. Her father just smiled in reply as he himself was a donor for the cause of freedom. However Rajamani was stubborn and was not ready to take back her jewellery. Netaji had left with no option. Rajamani was not satisfied with just the donation. She requested Netaji to recruit her in his army. From then, Netaji called Rajamani as “Saraswathi”.
Netaji joined her in training as nurse. Rajamani agreed however she had a urge to do more. She joined the training and during her training as nurse she noticed that a man from INA was giving valuable information to Britishers. She informed about this to Netaji. Observing her intellectual and spying skills, he recruited her as a spy at the age of 16, along with another girl called Durga.
Durga and Rajamani both dressed up as boys and British officers’ houses, responsible of intercepting valuable military intelligence from the British agents and handing it over to the INA. They not only provided information but also provided them with guns from the British officers homes. It was dangerous job but both the brave girls did it with ease and confidence.
One day Durga was caught by Britishers. INA spy’s have been instructed that if anyone was caught, others should escape without trying to help them. However Rajamani did not want to leave Durga in such a situation. Rajamani disguised herself and tried to escape Durga. They both escaped successfully but the process of escape Rajamani got shot in her right leg. Rajamani Saraswathi is still living in a small apartment in Chennai.
Born in a rich family and dedicated her life to the cause of freedom is now struggling to meet her ends.