Aruna Asaf Ali

Here we listed out important facts about The Firebrand Politician Aruna Asaf Ali, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 16 July 1909, Kalka
Died: 29 July 1996, New Delhi
Spouse: Asaf Ali
Books: Words of Freedom: Ideas of a Nation, more
Awards: Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, Lenin Peace Prize
Parents: Upendranath Ganguly, Ambalika Devi
Nationality: Indian

  • In the year 1942 Aruna Asaf Ali was the lady to hoist the ‘TRICOLOUR’ at the Gowalia Tank in Bombay and announce the start of “Bharat Chhodo” movement against the British Government ruling in India.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali was born on July 16, 1909 at Kalka in West Bengal in a distinguished Bengali family of Brahmo-Samaj lineage.
  • Her father, Mr. Ganguli, was a hotel owner, who had three sons and two daughters.
  • Aruna was a born rebel.  She joined the Christian Missionary School at Lahore much against her parents’ wishes, and later went to the Christian Institute at Nainital for further studies.
  • She was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his ideals at an early age, and followed his line of thought on matters regarding the movement of non-co-operation and non-violence.
  • A strong desire to set India free from foreign clutches made young Aruna an active participant in the national struggle for independence.  She took part in the Civil Disobedience movement in the 1930’s and went to jail.
  • At the age of 18, Aruna married Asaf Ali, a prominent lawyer of Delhi and 20 years senior to her.  Between the years 1930 to 1941, both Asaf Ali and Aruna Asaf ali were in and out of jail several times.
  • The ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942 gave a new turn to Aruna’s life.  The All-India Congress Commission had planned to launch the hoisting of the tricolor at the Gowalia Tank maiden to mark the beginning of the Quit India movement.
  • The British, however, got wind of the plan and swooped down and arrested all the prominent Congress leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, a few hours before the event.
  • As there was no national leader and the crowd was getting restless and impatient, Aruna went ahead and unfurled the flag.
  • The British offered an award for her arrest, But she remained free for over three years.  Gandhiji wrote to her asking her to surrender, but despite her reverence for him, she ignored his advice and instead of surrendering, Aruna went underground.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali was elected President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in 1947, but in 1948 she joined the Socialist Group and took active interest in the Trade Union movement.
  • She went to Mexico for the conference of the “UNESCO” along with Dr. Radhakrishnan, as a member of the delegation.
  • In the year 1950 she went to Russia and in 1955 the Socialist Group joined the “Comunist party” of India and she became a member of its Central Committee and a Vice President of the All India Trade Union Congress.
  • In 1958, Aruna Asaf Ali left the Communist Party of India and was elected Delhi’s “first lady Mayor”.  She took initiative to provide adult education, employment and medical facilities to the poor class.
  • She founded the ‘National Federation of Indian Women’ for the welfare of women.  Later this institution was merged with the “Women’s International democratic Federation” creating a wide platform for women.
  • She became the Vice-President of this institution on an international level and also took keen interest in the problems of women who were being exploited in Africa.
  • She also started two newspapers ‘Link’ and ‘Patriot’.  She rejoined the Congress Party in 1964 but ceased to play any active part in politics.  She was totally disillusioned with the politics of free India.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali was a selfless, sensitive and charming lady, She received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Understanding in 1987.
  • In 1975, she was awarded the Lenin Prize for Peace, and in 1991 she received the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
  • Aruna Asaf Ali finally retired from active politics and spent her last few days in New Delhi.
  • This great lady expired on July 29, 1996 and was posthumously honoured with the ‘Bharat Ratna’.
  • She is also the third woman after Indira Gandhi (1971) and Mother Teresa (1980) to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

Aruna Asaf Ali

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