Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hajara Begum

HAJARA BEGUM
Date of Birth: 22nd December, 1910 and Date of Death: 20th January, 2003
            Hajara Begum, who fought against the British to liberate the Nation and worked for the welfare of the toiling masses of the country, was born on 22nd December, 1910 at Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.  She came to know about the sacrifices of the freedom fighters that were fighting against the British from her father, who was a police officer.  After the failure of marriage, she went to London to pursue her higher education, where she got acquainted with the anti-British forces.  This led her to decide to fight against the British Imperialist forces to liberate the nation.  She had to face the anger of the British Government as she was criticizing their acts in several International fora.  She returned to India and joined as a lecturer in the Karamat Hussain Women’s College at Lucknow in 1935.  She also worked along with famous poet Sajjad Zahir in the formation of All India Progressive Writers’ Association.  She got married to a nationalist leader Dr. Zainul Abedeen Ahmed in 1935 and in the same year both of them took membership in the Indian National Congress.  Since the police were after them for their anti-British activities, they resigned their jobs and dedicated themselves totally to the Indian National Movement.  While participating in the activities of the Indian National Congress, Hajara Begum also campaigned for the Communist Party without the knowledge of the Police.  She actively took part in the election campaign in those days, and as a result of this a number of Congress leaders could get elected.  She attended secret political workshop at Kotthapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in 1937.  She spoke on different subjects in the workshop as a lecturer.  Hajara Begum was against the gender bias since younger age.  She fought against all types of inequalities successfully.  She left the Indian National Congress in 1940 along with her husband.  Since then, she played a vital role in organising the unorganised labour sector.  She become very popular as ‘Hajara Aapa’ in the circles of toiling people and women.  The Soviet Union honoured her with ‘Supreme Soviet Jubilee Award’ in 1960 in recognition of her work for the downtrodden people on the eve of the birth centenary of Lenin.  Hajara Begum, who spent her entire life in the service of the country, breathed her last on 20th January, 2003.

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