“Behold, the flag of independent India is born! It has been made sacred by the blood of young Indians who sacrificed their lives in its honour. In the name of this flag, I appeal to lovers of freedom all over the world to support this struggle.” – Bhikaji Cama

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Bhikaji Cama was born on September 24, 1861 in a Parsi family in Mumbai. She was interested in the freedom movement from a very early age. Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare tracks how Bhikaji Cama became a face for India’s self-rule in many circles.

In 1896 when plague broke out in Mumbai, she worked tirelessly to save the victims but unfortunately became a victim herself. She was then asked to leave India in 1902 to take rest. She was in London when she met Dadabhai Naoroji, Lala Har Dayal, and Shyamji Krishnavarma, who were severely opposed to the British rule in India.

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She was forbidden to return to India if she continued to be a part of the freedom struggle, but she did not bow down to the British. She co-founded the Paris Indian Society along with Munchershah Burjoji Godrej. She even distributed revolutionary material like Bande Mataram.

She unfurled the national flag which she and Shyamji Krishna Varma had co-designed on August 22, 1907 in Stuttgart, Germany. In the flag, the top green stripe had eight blooming lotuses representing pre-independence India’s eight provinces. ‘Bande Mataram’ was written across the central saffron stripe in Hindi. On the bottom red stripe, a half moon was on the right and the rising sun on the left, indicating the Hindu and Muslim faith.

She is an unsung name of the Indian Independence Movement, but it was she who dared to challenge the British and take the voice of Indians abroad, something that was not done earlier. And to quote her, "Do not forget the important role of women play in building a nation."

About Abhinav Khare:

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News and hosts a daily show Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare.

He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He lives in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. He is a hands-on Tech Startup professional with an entrepreneurial DNA. He is passionate about policy, technology, economy and the synergy of them all. An avid traveller himself, he has already ticked over a 42 countries and hundred cities around the globe!