Legendary Indian freedom fighter Capt. Lakshmi Sehgal passes away

Monday, July 23, 2012
Capt. Lakshmi Sehgal
[Credit: Soman
Kanpur: Legendary Indian freedom fighter and noted revolutionist Captain Lakshmi Sehgal died on Monday following a cardiac arrest.

The 97-yeal-old Sehgal, who had served in Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, breathed her last at a private hospital here in Kanpur.

She is survived by her two daughters Subhashini Ali (also a prominent leader) and Anisa Puri.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in his condolence message said, "In the passing away of Lakshmi Sehgal the nation has lost an icon of liberal values and selfless service".

Born in Madras on October 24, 1914, she was one of the last surviving members of the Indian National Army, whose brave exploits were a shining chapter in India's history. 

Capt. Lakshmi Sehgal (inset) standing next to
Netaji Shubhash Chandra Bose
[PHOTO: Archives]  
Capt. Sehgal was popularly known for her association with the Rani of Jhansi Regiment. She epitomized the valour and sacrifice of Indian women and the critical role they played in the freedom movement. 

Even after India won freedom, she carried on her selfless service and patriotic duties through her medical practice and the support she provided to refugees after Partition and later in 1971.

In 1998, Capt. Sehgal was awarded second highest civilian award in India - the Padma Vibhushan by then President K. R. Narayanan. 

Notably, In 2002, four leftist parties – the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and the All India Forward Bloc – nominated Sehgal as a candidate in the presidential elections. She was the sole opponent of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who emerged victorious.
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