Friday, April 15, 2011

Gurubari Meher - Freedom Fighter & Martyr

From the Times of India:
On January 28, a few months before India became independent, the then (princely) state government of Sonepur let loose a reign of terror at Binika town. The people rose in revolt against the king for his pro-British stance.

Nearly 20,000 freedom fighters, led by a brave woman, organized a mass movement against the king. Police resorted to baton charge and the woman leader of the movement was shot dead by the police. The woman, Gurubari Meher, became a martyr in India's freedom struggle.

But while the names of many other freedom fighters of the state have made it to the hall of fame, hardly anyone remembers this valiant woman. The story of Gurubari is one that has never been retold to the residents of Independent India, and, strangely, neither do many historians know of her.

She laid down her life for India's sake but remained unsung. Except for a small mention of her participation in the Praja Mandal Movement, she has not been portrayed as the brave soldier of western Orissa that she was.

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