The Bhikaji Complex of Delhi, the capital of the country, by the way, every person of Delhi is familiar with the name. In the 75th year of independence, today we are going to tell you why the name of Bhikhaji was associated with this place. How has he contributed in the independence of India that every Indian still remembers him. In fact, this place was named after such a free-thinking woman associated with the Indian independence movement, who went to London, Germany and America to awaken India’s independence and fought the British rule. This is the fascinating story of this indomitable woman who played a vital role in the early years of India’s freedom struggle.
Bhikaji Cama was born on 24 September 1861 in a large, affluent Parsi family. His father, Sorabji Framji Patel, was a renowned businessman who was at the forefront of business, education and philanthropy in the city of Bombay. An environment in which the Indian nationalist movement was taking root and influenced by this, Bhikaji was attracted to political issues from a very young age. She had a penchant for languages and soon she became adept at debating the issues of her country in various circles. In 1885 she tied the knot with Rustamji Cama, a renowned lawyer. But their involvement with socio-political issues led to differences in married life. Rustamji Cama loved the British, loved their culture and thought they had done great for India,
In 1896, the bubonic plague broke out in the Bombay Presidency and Bhikaji immediately volunteered to work with her team to save the plague victims. Hundreds of people were dying in Bombay and Bhikaji also fell prey to this deadly disease. Although she later recovered, the disease took a toll on her health. He was advised to move to Europe for rest and recovery, and in 1902, Bhikaji moved from India to London, which was to become his home for life. During his stay, Cama met Dadabhai Naoroji, a strong critic of British economic policy in India. Later Bhikaji started working for the Indian National Congress. Cama also came in contact with other Indian nationalists including Lala Hardayal and Shyamji Krishnavarma and addressed several meetings in Hyde Park, London.
Bhikaji Rustam Cama hoisted the country’s flag at the 7th International Congress held in Stuttgart, Germany in August 1907. On August 21, 1907, an International Socialist Conference was being held in Stuttgart, a city in Germany. One thousand delegates came from all over the world to attend the conference. On this occasion, Bhikaji Rustam Cama unfurled the first version of the Indian National Flag with green, saffron and red stripes. He hoisted the tricolor and said – this is the flag of independent India. I appeal to all the gentlemen to stand up and salute the flag.
Amazed by this dramatic event, all the delegates present in the conference rise up their places and salute the first flag of independent India. Madam Cama wanted to end the poverty, hunger and oppression faced by the country under the British Raj as well as bring India’s thirst for independence to the attention of the international community and in which she was successful to a great extent. This was no small feat. India stood 40 years away from its independence. The world was still unaware of the fiery patriotism of thousands of young Indians who stood ready to sacrifice their lives to free their country from colonial rule. Apart from this, at that time the British were trying their best to punish the revolutionaries by bringing ordinances, by banning them and by giving them life imprisonment. Madam Cama’s fight for her country was treason to the British Raj and if they had captured her,
After Stuttgart, Bhikaji went to the United States, where she told the Americans about India’s freedom struggle. He also fought for women and often emphasized the role of women in nation building. Speaking at the National Conference in Cairo, Egypt in 1910, he asked, “Where is the other half of Egypt? I only see men who represent half the country! where are the mothers? where are the sisters? When the First World War broke out in 1914, Bhikaji took an anti-British stand. For more than thirty years, Bhikaji Cama raised the demand for his country’s right to independence through speeches and revolutionary articles in Europe and America. She was detained twice during the First World War and it became extremely difficult for her to return to India. He was finally allowed to return to his homeland in 1935 on the condition of leaving the nationalist work. By this time Madam Cama had become very ill and due to deteriorating health she died in 1936.