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The Forgotten Saraswati: Saraswati Asmita Rajamani

~ By Khushbu Chauhan

Women had always played an significant role in India . Especially in Hindu Culture where lord Shiva represent the constitutive elements of the universe, while Shakti is the dynamic potency, which makes these elements come to life and act. India in itself is personified as mother India (Maa Bharti). That’s why whenever we talk about the freedom struggle nobody can disregard the valor of Rani Lakshmibai during the revolt of 1857. Although, after independence freedom fighters at fore front got their due, however those who slogged hard behind the scenes were never recognized and given credit for the successful transformation of a nation from colonial rule to an independent nation.

Asmita Rajamani was born in Rangoon, Burma. Her father was the owner of a gold mine and was one of the richest Indians in Rangoon. From the very young age she idealized Bhagat Singh for his sacrifice and love towards the nation and hence she became a staunch supporter of Indian freedom movement. At the age of 16, she was inspired by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s speech at Rangoon, where he asked for blood from people and promised them to give freedom in return.

Rajamani believed that he is the strongest competitor for Britishers as he believes in ‘direct action’. Hence she donated all her jewellery to the Indian national army camp. Realizing that she has taken this step naively, Netaji himself visited her house to return it. However she was adamant that he must use it for the army. Impressed by her determination he christened her the name Saraswati and recruited her in INA. In her early days she worked as nurse but after sometime she was recruited to Rani of Jhansi regiment of INA and then became the part of of army military intelligence wing in 1942 during the second world war.

Rajamani along with her other female colleagues masqueraded as helper boys in British camps and gathered various strategic information as spies. While posing as boy, her name was Mani. Once,one of her colleague Durga was caught by the British troops in doing so. To rescue her, Rajamani infiltrated the Britishers dressed as a local Myanmar women helper and freed her colleague. While escaping, Rajamani was shot on the leg by a British guard but still they managed to avoid capture. They ran towards the forest and climbed up the trees as they were unable to run fast as the were injured and stayed there on trees for three days without food and water in fear of being caught. On the fourth day, they gathered all their courage and
successfully escaped from there. Finally, falling-stambling they managed to reach their destination at Rangoon INA camp from Maumya.

Saraswati Rajamani got a letter of appreciation from Netaji and more than happy she felt content that she didn’t give up. On 15th August 1947, India became independent as Netaji said, but sadly he was no more to taste the fruit of his hard work. After his sudden demise INA and it’s members were also disbanded. And with new air ,the work of INA and its people also faded with. And so did the work of Saraswati Rajamani.

She and many others deserves much more recognition and appreciation as well because without their struggle and passion for the country , we would be unable to do what we are doing.Hence we must always remember them and also let others know about them. And should always be thankful to them for this Life.

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