10 Interesting facts about Bhikaiji Cama
Bhikaiji Cama was born on 24 September, 1861 in Bombay, India. She is also known by the name Madame Cama. She was an Indian political activist and advocate for women's rights.
Interesting Facts about Bhikaiji Cama
- Bhikaiji Cama was born to a wealthy Parsi family who pursue business. She had received her early education in Bombay (Mumbai). At an early age, she was diverted to political regime.
- She was married to Rustomji Cama in 1885 who was a well-known lawyer. But Bhikaiji Cama was involved in socio-political issues and so the differences between the two couple arose. Due to her marital problems and poor health she went to London.
- In London she met Dadabhai Naoroji who was against the British economic policy and later she started working for Indian national Congress. She came in contact with other Indian nationalists like Vir Savarkar, lala Har Dayal etc. and attends meetings in London Hyde Park.
- Against British rule in 1907 she attended a conference in Stuttgart and travel abroad to seek the opinion of public especially the opinion of expatriate Indians. She always focuses on women's rights.
- In 1909, she shifted to Paris from London. Here, her home became a headquarter for those people who are working for India's Independence.
- Do you know that she helped Har Dayal to launch his revolutionary paper named Bande Mataram and the copies were smuggled into India from London?
- On 22 August, 1907, she hoist the first version of the Indian flag that is a tricolour of green, saffron and red stripes at the International Socialist Congress that was held at Stuttgart, Germany. It is also said that the flag that was unfurled by Bhikaiji Cama was co-designed by her and Shyamji Krishna Varma that later served as a template from which the current national flag of India was created.
- About the flag: Flag consist of green stripe at the top which had eight blooming lotuses that represent pre-independence India's eight provinces. Across the central stripe of saffron colour 'Bande Mataram' was written in Hindi. At the bottom a red stripe was there and on it half moon was placed on the right side and the rising sun on the left which indicate the Hindu and Muslim faith and unity.
- She became ill and paralysed by a stroke so remain in exile in Europe until 1935 and filed a petition to the British government to allow her to return her home back to India. She was not in a condition to participate in freedom struggle movement and in November 1935, she return to India her home in Mumbai. She died on 13 August, 1936. She had given her personal assets to the Avabai Petit Orphanage for girls.
- On India's 11 Republic Day, The Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department on 26 January, 1962 issued a commemorative stamp in her honour. Also, in 1997, the Indian Coast Guard also commissioned a Priyadarshini-class fast patrol vessel named the ICGS Bhikaiji Cama.
No doubt she was a strong socio-political activist who had participated in Indian Freedom struggle. Her courage and view regarding women's right were very clear and always focused for it.
She declared once that "Do not forget the important role of women play in building a nation".