Sainath interviewed an Adivasi girl, Demati Dei Sabar "Salihan", who was barely 16 when she led a spectacular counterattack on a British police force raiding her village in Odisha.
The pages of history are filled with tales of courage and sacrifice during India’s struggle for freedom. While iconic leaders and activists often take center stage, there were also dedicated individuals who played a crucial role by providing financial support to fuel the movement. Here are 10 remarkable financers who backed India’s fight for independence:
Sir Dorabji Tata: A visionary industrialist, Sir Dorabji Tata’s financial contributions were instrumental in supporting the nationalist cause. His support extended to funding institutions like the Indian National Congress and scholarships for Indian students abroad.
Jamanalal Bajaj: A staunch Gandhian, Jamanalal Bajaj used his wealth to support Mahatma Gandhi’s campaigns. His contributions went beyond finances, as he played a pivotal role in organizing the Dandi March and other civil disobedience movements.
Purushottamdas Thakurdas: A close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Thakurdas generously contributed to the freedom struggle. He financed various activities of the Congress and was a key figure in bridging the gap between Indian business leaders and the national movement.
GD Birla: Ghanshyam Das Birla’s financial aid was crucial in sustaining the freedom movement. He supported Gandhiji’s activities and offered resources for initiatives like the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Civil Disobedience Movement.
Lala Lajpat Rai: Not only a prominent freedom fighter, but Lala Lajpat Rai also played an active role in funding the movement. He used his earnings from writing and public speaking to contribute to the cause.
Seth Hukumchand: A significant financier, Seth Hukumchand was a staunch supporter of Gandhi’s ideologies. His generous contributions helped finance various movements and initiatives aimed at achieving independence.
Sarala Devi Chaudhurani: A feminist and freedom fighter, Sarala Devi Chaudhurani used her financial resources to support the cause. She actively participated in fundraising campaigns and encouraged women’s participation in the movement.
Tirupur Kumaran: A lesser-known hero, Tirupur Kumaran from Tamil Nadu contributed significantly to the freedom struggle. He sold his family jewelry to fund the struggle and is remembered as a symbol of sacrifice.
Madan Mohan Malaviya: A multifaceted leader, Madan Mohan Malaviya, used his influential position to raise funds for the freedom movement. He was instrumental in establishing the Banaras Hindu University and used its funds to support the cause.
Chittaranjan Das: Known as Deshbandhu, Chittaranjan Das was a lawyer, leader, and financier of the Indian freedom movement. He used his legal practice to support the movement financially and dedicated his earnings to the cause.
These financiers may not have held political office, but their financial support acted as a backbone for India’s freedom movement. Their contributions exemplify the spirit of unity and dedication that defined the struggle for independence, reminding us that freedom was a collective effort that required support from all walks of life.