Matangini Hazra was a revolutionary who actively participated in the Indian independence movement and even led a procession of six thousand supporters, mostly women, as part of the Quit India Movement. Today (October 19) the nation remembers him on his birth anniversary.
New Delhi: Matangini Hazra was a revolutionary who actively participated in the Indian independence movement and even led a procession of six thousand supporters, mostly women, as part of the Quit India Movement. Today (October 19) the nation remembers him on his birth anniversary.
Born on October 19, 1870 in Hogla village near Tamluk in Midnapore district of West Bengal, Hazra was said to be the daughter of a poor farmer who could not afford to provide her formal education. Apparently she married at the age of 12, and at the age of 18, she became a widow without any children.
After the death of her husband, Hazra started devoting herself to social work. In 1905, she became actively interested in the Indian independence movement. According to the archives of the Government of West Bengal, Hazra was so inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s beliefs that she became a devoted follower of him, earning herself the name ‘Gandhi Bari’.
In the 1930s, he participated in the non-cooperation movement and was arrested for breaking the salt law. After he was released, he protested for the tax to be abolished. Later, he was arrested again and sentenced to six months in prison at Baharampur. After being released, she became an active member of the Indian National Congress.
In 1933, she is said to have attended the Subdivision Congress Conference at Serampore and was injured in the ensuing lathi charge by the police.
On 29 September 1942, Hazra was shot dead by the British Indian Police in front of the Tamluk police station. She was apparently leading a procession from the north of the criminal court building. Even after the firing started, she kept on moving forward with the tricolor flag leaving behind all the volunteers. The police apparently shot him three times. She kept on chanting Vande Mataram as she was repeatedly shot. She died with the Indian National Congress flag still flying.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar paid tribute to Hazra on Twitter and wrote, “Tributes to the famous revolutionary #MatanginiHajra (Gandhi acquitted) on her birth anniversary. She faced bullets so that we breathe democracy. Her ideals will always make us the nation.” first. Democracy can flourish only with the constant vigilance of all.”
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also took to Twitter and wrote, “My humble tributes to an extraordinary woman and freedom fighter Matangini Hazra ji on her 151st birth anniversary. She fired bullets for India’s independence. Her courage and love for the country. Remains. An inspiration to all.”
All India Mahila Congress paid tributes to the revolutionary and tweeted, “Tributes to the revolutionary Matangini Hazra, who participated in the Indian independence movement, on her birth anniversary. She was affectionately known as ‘old woman Gandhi’.”
First published:October 19, 2021, 5:20 pm