Top Indian female revolutionary dies aged 97

Top Indian female revolutionary Lakshmi Sehgal, who fought Allied forces during World War II, died on Monday following a heart attack, a doctor said. She was 97.

Sehgal, who fought against Britain and its allies in an all-female regiment organised by Indian radical Subhash Chandra Bose, was hospitalised last Thursday after suffering a heart attack in the northern city of Kanpur.

The mother of two daughters slipped into a coma following a brain haemorrhage and was in critical condition until she died, a hospital doctor said.

"She was put on ventilator support but due to her advanced age she succumbed to multiple organ failure," Kanpur Medical Centre hospital chief V.K. Johri told AFP by telephone.

Born on October 24, 1914, to a lawyer in the southern Indian city Chennai, then known as Madras, Sehgal studied medicine and practised as a gynaecologist before travelling to Singapore in 1940.

After three years in Singapore she met fiery nationalist Bose, who famously broke ranks with Indian independence champion Mahatma Gandhi over his non-violent approach to combating British rule on the sub-continent.

Bose, revered as a hero by many, enlisted Sehgal into his Indian National Army where she fought in a female regiment named after 18th-century Hindu warrior queen Laxmibai.

Sehgal was arrested in 1945 at the end of World War II as she retreated from the jungles of Myanmar towards India's northeastern city of Imphal.

The revolutionary, known as "Captain Sehgal" by her supporters, was held under house arrest for several months in Myanmar and was then brought to Kolkata and freed, according to one of her daughters, Subhashini Ali.

"In terms of progressive female revolutionaries, Sehgal was number one because she also had a vision for social change and wanted equity in the Indian society," said historian R. Gopinath from New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia University.

"Sehgal and Bose were also instrumental in waging an armed opposition to the British, which was the first systematic opposition to colonial rule after the (anti-British) revolt of 1857 in India," Gopinath told AFP.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent his condolences, describing her as an "icon of liberal values and selfless service".

After India's independence from the British in 1947, Sehgal joined the country's main Marxist party which nominated her to a seat in the federal parliament's upper house in 1971.

In 1998, India gave Sehgal the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award and four years later she unsuccessfully contested India's presidential elections.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • High spirits battle: Asia tycoons vie for cognac maker Louis Royer

    * Louis Royer valued at about $150 mln - sources * Suntory selling cognac maker as part of portfolio reshuffle * Asia cognac demand seen rising 13 pct in 2015-19 -Euromonitor By Denny Thomas and Khettiya Jittapong HONG KONG/BANGKOK, May 30 (Reuters) - Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi is considering buying cognac maker Louis Royer, people familiar with the matter said, potentially locking horns with a Philippine tycoon for the French firm amid a forecast rebound in Asian demand for …

  • OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF
    OIC asked to complete review of peace pact with MNLF

    The Philippine government is asking the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to finally complete the tripartite review process of the implementation of the 1996 peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). The review – snagged  for several years as government had its hands full with the peace process with rival faction Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – tackles how the 1996 peace pact with the MNLF has been implemented and centers on the three remaining …

  • Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe
    Alleged Binay dummies appear in Senate probe

    Eight of the resource persons ordered arrested by the Senate finally attended the 21st public hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee into the alleged anomalies involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, but the proceedings turned out to be a review of matters previously presented. For over three hours, the subcommittee heard presentations regarding the alleged hidden assets of Binay and the issue regarding the supposed P200 million in kickbacks he received from a deal between the Boy …

  • DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe
    DOJ wraps up Mamasapano probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is wrapping up its investigation into the “massacre” of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A joint team of prosecutors and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigators is about to finish the second part,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has told congressmen. She was responding to questions raised by former senior police officer and now Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of party-list …

  • APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism
    APEC meet in Bataan seen to boost tourism

    BALANGA CITY, Bataan – More than 2,000 delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and international media outfits are expected to enjoy the splendid coastline of Bagac town, which faces the West Philippine Sea, as they converge for a workshop in this province next month. …

  • DOST opens P54-M research facility
    DOST opens P54-M research facility

    A P54-million research and development facility of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was recently opened in Bicutan, Taguig for scientists and researchers to develop technology and techniques to allow Filipino fashion and clothing designers and manufacturers to produce more mainstream products from local, tropical fabrics like piña, banana and abaca. Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the Innovation Center for Yarns and Textiles (ICYT) is the DOST’s flagship effort at reviving …

  • DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights
    DFA worried about alleged violations of convicted Pinoys’ rights

    Philippine embassy officials in Doha have raised their concern with Qatari authorities over coercion and human rights violations in the alleged forcing of three Filipino workers convicted of spying to provide information and confess to the crime. Speaking to reporters, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Charles Jose yesterday said the embassy has raised the matter during several high-level meetings with Qatari officials and the national human rights committee in Qatar. “Our embassy …

  • US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl
    US affirms ‘ironclad’ promise to defend Phl

    US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told his Philippine counterpart on Wednesday that Washington’s pledge to defend the Pacific nation remains “ironclad” and called for an end to land reclamation in the South China Sea, officials said. In talks in Hawaii with Voltaire Gazmin, Philippine secretary of national defense, the Pentagon chief “reaffirmed” the strong ties between the two countries and discussed territorial disputes in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where Beijing has been …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options