23rd July 2020 is the 8th death anniversary of Captain Lakshmi, the legendary head of the women’s regiment of Indian National Army, headed by Subhas Chandra Bose.
Born in Anakkara, Kerala on 24th October 1914 to the well known couple Shri Swaminathan and Smt. Ammukkutty Swaminathan, both activists in the freedom movement, she was well educated, passed MBBS and practiced medicine for some time. Later, joined the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) led by Subhas Chandra Bose and became the Captain of the Rani Jhansi Regiment marching to Delhi from Burma as part of the struggle to free India. But after the British victory in the II World war, she was arrested along with many of the INA leaders and sent to India for trial.
Lakshmi married Captain Saghal of the INA later. Lakshmi Saghal started practicing medicine in Kanpur, where she was settled. Two daughters, Com.Subhashini Ali and Smt. Anisa Puri. Dr. Lakshmi was a solace to the poor patients, whom she treated free. She Joined CPM(I) and contested for the post of President of India as a candidate of the left parties, but lost. She was a Member of the Rajya Sabha as a candidate of CPI(M).
Captain Lakshmi passed away at the age of 97 on 23-07-2012. Daughter Com. Subhashini Ali is PB Member of the CPI(M) and leader of AIDWA. Captain Lakshmi will always be an inspiration for the people of this country and especially women.
I had the opportunity to meet her at Delhi as also at Kanpur and visit her home. Later also I could go there and meet Com. Subhashini Ali in connection with our activities in U.P. She was very helpful.
Red salute to Com. Lakshmi Saghal on her 8th death anniversary!