captain sehgal

Captain Sehgal

Lakshmi Sehgal was an Indian National Army officer and an activist in the Indian independence struggle (INA). She is remembered as Captain Lakshmi in reference to the rank she held in the INA.
 
Captain SehgalABOUT
• Captain Lakshmi Sehgal was born on October 24, 1914, in the Pattambi district of Kerala as Lakshmi Swaminathan. She is the daughter of lawyer S. Swaminathan and social worker and Indian Independence activist A.V. Ammukutty, also known as Ammu Swaminathan.
• She developed a strong anti-British colonialism sentiment as a result of growing up in an environment rife with defiant efforts to free our country from imperialism's colonial clutches.
• Lakshmi received her MBBS degree (Gynaecologist) from Madras Medical College in 1938.
• In 1940, she flew to Singapore where she came in contact with members of the Azad Hind Fauj.
• When the Imperial Japanese Army conquered Singapore in 1942, Dr. Lakshmi was sent to help the many prisoners of war captured during the Japanese assault. These detainees were also eager to join an Indian independence army aided by the Japanese.
• World War II presented the ideal opportunity to depose British colonial rule in India. In this regard, an Action Council comprised of Indian nationalists was formed, but no approvals from the Japanese forces were forthcoming.
• When Subash Chandra Bose arrived in Singapore on July 2, 1943, the Japanese effort to build an overseas army made progress. He wanted not only fighting men, but also women with the same grit and determination to join his Azad Hind Fauz.
• Dr. Lakshmi learned of his recruitment drive and requested a meeting with Bose. As a result, a decree was issued to establish a women's regiment to be known as the Rani of Jhansi Regiment. Dr. Lakshmi Swaminathan assumed the identity of Captain Lakshmi, which she would keep for the rest of her life.
• Captain Lakshmi began recruiting other women into the INA on July 8, 1943, and a regiment of 1500 women soldiers was formed.
• In Subhas Chandra Bose's Provisional Government of Azad Hind, Sehgal was given the portfolios of Women's Affairs and Rani of Jhansi Regiment.
• During Operation U-go in December 1944, the INA and the Japanese army attacked Burma. They were forced to retreat from northeast India after the disastrous battle of Imphal.
• In May 1945, the British Army captured Captain Lakshmi in Burma, where she remained until March 1946, when she was sent to India to stand trial.
• The Red Fort Trials in Delhi was a watershed moment in the Indian Independence Movement because they sparked a new wave of nationalism and popular discontent, hastening the end of British colonialism in India.
• In 1947, Captain Lakshmi married Prem Kumar Sahgal. They settled in Kanpur, where she used her medical skills to assist refugees arriving during India's partition.
• In 1971, Lakshmi Sahgal joined the Communist Party of India and was elected to the Rajya Sabha to represent the party. She ran a small clinic in Kanpur and, at the age of 92, was still seeing patients on a regular basis in 2006.
Captain Sehgal• During the Bangladesh crisis, she organised relief camps and medical aid in Calcutta for Bangladeshis seeking refuge in India.
• She was one of the founding members of AIDWA (The All India Democratic Women's Association) in 1981.
• She led a medical team to Bhopal after the Bhopal gas tragedy in December 1984, and years later wrote a report on the long-term effects of the gas on pregnant women.
• She was out on the streets in Kanpur during the anti-Sikh riots that followed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984, confronting anti-Sikh mobs and ensuring that no Sikh or Sikh establishment was attacked in the crowded area near her clinic.
• President K. R. Narayanan bestowed the Padma Vibhushan on Sahgal in 1998.
• In the presidential election of 2002, she ran as A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's sole opponent.
• Despite knowing she had no chance of winning, she used her platform to publicly criticise a political system that has allowed poverty and injustice to grow, as well as fueling new irrational and divisive ideologies.
• Sahgal died in Kanpur in July 2012 at the age of 97.
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