Aruna Asaf Ali: Icon of India’s Freedom Struggle

OV Digital Desk

Aruna Asaf Ali (16 July 1909 – 29 July 1996) was an Indian educator, political activist, and publisher. An active participant in the Indian independence movement, she is widely remembered for hoisting the Indian National flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan, Bombay during the Quit India Movement in 1942. Post-independence, she remained active in politics, becoming Delhi’s first Mayor.

Life and Career

Aruna Asaf Ali, born on July 16, 1909, was an Indian independence activist and a prominent figure in the Indian National Congress. She was born in Kalka, Punjab, British India (now in Haryana, India). Aruna grew up in a politically aware family and was influenced by the freedom movement from a young age.

Aruna Asaf Ali actively participated in the Indian freedom struggle. She joined the Non-Cooperation Movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and was arrested several times for her involvement in protests against British rule. She played a significant role in the Civil Disobedience Movement, Quit India Movement, and other mass movements against colonial rule.

While she initially studied at the Delhi University, her activism led her to discontinue her formal education. Instead, she focused on political activities, working alongside other prominent leaders of the time. Aruna Asaf Ali passed away on July 29, 1996, in New Delhi, India, at the age of 87. Her death marked the end of an era, as she was one of the last surviving leaders who had actively participated in the struggle for India’s independence.

Award and Legacy

Aruna Asaf Ali’s dedication to the freedom movement earned her recognition and respect. She was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1997. This recognition was a testament to her unwavering commitment to the nation’s struggle for independence.

Her legacy lives on through her contributions to India’s fight for freedom and her role in shaping the country’s destiny. She is remembered as a courageous and inspiring leader who played a vital role in the Indian National Congress and the broader struggle against colonial oppression.