Participation of ASSAM’S WOMEN in Freedom Struggle of India
-By Jahidul Islam Khan
The participation of women of India up to the 19th century was restricted only to the members of the royal and noble families. During the first part of 20th century when the wave of women up rise was blowing in the country and Mahatma Gandhi started Non-Cooperation Movement against the British rule, the women from Assam took leading part in the struggle. In Non-Cooperation Movement, women’s participation was more important than that of the men, because they were the symbol of strength.
This strength encouraged thewomen folk of Assam to come out of the four walls of their homes and participate in social and political activities. In 1920, Gandhi started the Non-Cooperation Movement as an instrument to expel the British from India. Right from the days of consolidation and expansion of the British imperialists design in India, a feeling of uncompromising and anti-imperialism prevailed in the country. The East India Company - a British commercial company who had established rule in India was mainly concerned with making profit. They were primarily motivated to maximize profit through minimum capital investment. So it was a period of exploitation of local resources and expansion of private business. The people of India tried to resist it from its inception. The first big resistance of its kind came in the form of a revolt in 1857. Though it was the first great struggle of the people of India for gaining freedom from British imperialism yet it failed due to the organizational weakness. Mahatma Gandhi started his first Non-Cooperation Movement in the form of “Satyagraha”. The two major elements of “Satyagraha” were truth and non-violence. He defined it to be the soul force or love force, the force which is born out of truth and non-violence. The “Satyagraha” would refuse to do whatever he considered to be wrong. He would remain peaceful under any circumstances and instigations. He would resist evil but would not hate the evildoer.