Matangini Hazra and Kanaklata Barua

TOPICS COVERED: Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.


During her address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President of India paid tributes to women freedom fighters.

Matangini Hazra:

  • She was born in a village named Hogla, near Tamluk, West Bengal in 1869.
  • Matangini was the daughter of a poor farmer who could not afford to provide her a formal education.
  • With no means to raise a decent dowry, she found herself married at 12 and was widowed at 18.
  • Matangani’s love for Gandhi was so great that she became known in our village as Gandhiburi, the old Gandhian woman.
  • At the age of 61, she was arrested for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 and the Salt March led by Gandhi.
  • She became an active member of the Indian National Congress and started spinning her own khadi in Gandhi’s footsteps.
  • Her involvement with the freedom struggle intensified during the Quit India Movement launched by Gandhi in August 1942.
  • In September that year, a 73-year-old Hazra led a large procession of around 6,000 protesters, mostly women.
  • The procession marched with the aim to take over the Tamluk police station from British authorities.
  • British police personnel shot at her thrice.
  • She collapsed and died, chanting ‘Vande Mataram’.
  • In 1977, the first statue in the Kolkata Maidan dedicated to a woman revolutionary was that of Matangini Hazra.

Kanaklata Barua

  • One of the youngest martyrs of the Quit India Movement, Kanaklata Barua has an iconic status in Assam.
  • Barua led the Mrityu Bahini, a procession of freedom fighters, to unfurl the Tricolour at Gohpur police station on September 20, 1942.
  • When police did not let them move forward, an altercation led to firing, killing Barua at the head of the procession.
  • The squad strictly admitted members aged 18 and above but Kanaklata was an exception.


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