It was 22 August 1907, the independence of our country was still 40 years away. The whole world was not fully aware of the immense struggle young Indians were going through for attaining country’s freedom. At a time like these, a frail Indian lady with indomitable fire in her heart and a strong sense of patriotism raised India’s first National flag at the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart, Germany.
Bhikhaji cama, also known as Madame Cama, was the first woman who unfurled the very first tri-color. Born into very well-off Parsi family in Mumbai, she completed her early education in Mumbai. From the beginning she was interested in Indian National movement.
She got married to Rustamji Cama a very known pro British lawyer. But due to ideology difference she never had a good married life.
After moving to London she kept herself updated about the freedom movement of India. She interacted with many freedom fighters there like Dadabhai Naoroji , Vir Savarkar, Shyamjikrishnvarma, and even addressed several meetings in London’s Hyde park.
In 1907, she attended the International Socialist Conference in Stuttgart, where she asked every delegate to rise and salute the Indian flag in support of country’s freedom. She started travelling to many countries in Europe to mobilize public support and opinion against British rule in India. She met many expatriate Indians in France and Holland and gathered their support. With Har Dayal, she launched a revolutionary paper called Bande Mataram, copies of which were smuggled into India during the First World War. When France and England became allies the British asked for her extradition, but the French Government refused to cooperate. The British had banned her entry in India being afraid of her revolutionary past and confirmed nationalistic outlook. However, in 1935, she was allowed to return to India. She was very ill when she reached her homeland. She was hospitalized and breathed her last on August 13, 1936.
Salute to the Brave Lady who gave her everything to serve mother India.