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Begum Nishatunnisa Mohani: A firebrand freedom fighter, known for ‘Total Independence Concept’

Begum Nishatunnisa Mohani, whose total independence concept was adapted by Gandhiji, was born in 1884 in Awadh, U.P. Married to Moulana Hasrat Mohani, a fierce freedom fighter who was also the coiner of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. Begum was acutely critical of British rule and sided with Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the then hard liner of the freedom movement. She encouraged and boosted the moral of her husband Hasrat Mohani, subsequent after his arrest for publishing anti-British article, by writing him ‘Face the dangers fallen upon you courageously. Don’t think about me. No weakness should be expressed from you. Take care’. Later, she faced several legal battles against the Government and took over the publication of her husband’s newspaper ‘Urdu-e-Mualla’ during his incarceration.

Once she mocked Lord Montagua on his suggestion to leave the path of revolution, ‘Why are you not liberating the detained freedom fighters in India, while you are releasing the revolutionaries in Ireland?’ She played active role in Khilafat, Non-Cooperation and other aspect of the national movements, besides opened the first Khadi garment store, Aligarh Khilafat store in May 19, 1920 for funding the magazine ‘Young India’. Later, she left the congress and dedicated for the cause of peasants, workers and the trade unions. Begum who dedicated herself to the national movement passed away on April 18, 1937 at Kanpur, U.P., however would be immortal in the memory of Indians whenever paying homage to freedom fighters including chanting ‘Inquilab Zindabad’.

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