Matangini Hazra, The woman who actively participated in the Indian independence movement until she was shot dead by the British Indian police. She was defying section 144, held the tri colour even when she was dying.
Matangini Hazara was born on October 19, 1870 in a poor farmer family of Eastern Midnapore district of West Bengal. Due to the poor financial condition, she did not obtain proper education and got married at the tender age of 10 with a 60-year-old wealthy man. She was widowed by the age of eighteen. Thereafter she devoted herself to social service, working tirelessly for others.
She built a hut near the house of her husband and started working towards the social welfare. In 1930s, Matangini first heard of freedom, when some of the youth from the village had participated in the movement. At that time the Nationalist movement was at its peak in Bengal, Matangini Hazra became deeply inspired and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and she decided to take part in the freedom movement. In 1932, she was actively participating in the Non-Cooperation Movement and was arrested for breaking the Salt Act.
In the Jail she met with many other political prisoners and learned more about the freedom movement. Due to senility, she was released from prison. She used thisopportunity and quietly went ‘Tumluk Kachahri’ to unfurl the tricolor flag. She again got arrested and incarcerated for six months at Baharampur. After being released, she became an active member of the Indian National Congress. As a part of the Movement, members of Congress planned to take over the various police stations.
Matangini Hazra, who was 73 years at the time, led a procession of six thousand supporters mostly women volunteers with the purpose of taking over the Tamluk police station. When the parade reached the outskirts of the town, they were prepared to disband under Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code by the Crown police. As she stepped forward, Matangini was shot once. Apparently, she had stepped forward and appealed to the police not to open fire at the crowd.
The first shot was at the her foot. Yet when she was stepping up, her hands were targeted. As she was repeatedly shot, she kept chanting Vande Mataram, “hail to the Motherland”. She died with the Indian flag held high and still flying.
Team Don’t Give Up World salutes this lady for her dedication, passion and heroic attitude which inspired Indians toward independence.