The Struggle for Freedom

 
“The fields of your villages were singing of thy glory, and the towns were echoing with the melody—Victory to Mother India, Victory to Thee!” 

At the stroke of midnight on August 15th, 1947, millions hailed the freedom of their country. Towns and villages across India hoisted the tricolour flag.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi as a Young Woman“I saw the Union Jack coming down, and I saw the Tricolour going up. That was the moment - it's beyond me,” recalled Shri Mataji. “I cannot tell you what was the feeling at that moment—such a feeling that the truth has somehow or other overcome the untruth. The justice has been shown over the injustice.”
 
After years of British domination, the struggle toward independence had finally borne fruit, thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of countless citizens. “How many people sacrificed, how many martyrs there were," she said.

Her family's sacrifice began when Shri Mataji was only eight years old,  when her parents were jailed for participating in the freedom struggle. At this young age, she took up the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings.  Forced out of their comfortable home, the family adopted a spartan lifestyle, living in small huts, sleeping on the floor and sometimes going without food. “The feeling that whatever our parents are doing is for our country's freedom was so elevating… that we never even thought of little comforts that children ask for,” Shri Mataji recalled.

While studying at the Christian Medical College in Lahore, Shri Mataji became a youth leader actively involved in Mahatma Gandhi’s 'Quit India Movement' of 1942.[1] She was often arrested, even tortured, but this did not affect her determination to take part in the struggle for India's freedom.
 
During this time, she met an apprehensive Indian man who advised her against taking part in the 'Quit India Movement', as it would be very dangerous for a young woman like her. The man told her to stay home and be with her mother, but her father would not hear of it.  “My father called me on one side," Shri Mataji remembered. "He said, 'Don't listen to this old Johnny. How dare this old man tell you all this nonsense? I'm so very proud of you. I hope all my children become like you.'”  
Indian Freedom Struggle
 
India did become free, although the British ‘divide and rule' policy left its mark, ultimately spawning three separate countries—India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. During the confusion following independence, and despite the imminent danger to her own life, Shri Mataji opened her home to a Muslim family seeking refuge. She never discriminated against anyone, whatever his or her religion or background, and encouraged integration at all times.  
you should love your country with the view that we all will have one world, one day.


1. ^ A civil disobedience movement launched by MK Gandhi and the Indian National Congress in August 1942, calling for determined but passive resistance to the British rule and for 'an orderly British withdrawal' from India (wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
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