Women of Revolutionary Movement in British India: Usha Mehta
Usha Mehta(1920-2000) was a Gandhian and freedom fighter of India.
At the age of 8 years she became an active member of the Indian freedom struggle with her first protest being against the Simon Commission in 1928.
She became even more actively involved when her family shifted to Mumbai in 1932 by distributing clandestine bulletins, publications and carrying messages to jailed leaders.
She was known for broadcasting the Congress Radio (an underground radio station), which functioned for a few months during the Quit India Movement of 1942.
- The radio broadcasts recorded messages from Gandhi and other prominent leaders of the freedom movement. The messages were played across India by the Congress Radio.
- The Congress Radio played an important role in the freedom struggle by spreading uncensored news and other information banned by the colonial authorities.
The British eventually found it and all the organizers including Usha were arrested. Usha was held in solitary confinement and offered incentives to betray the movement but she chose to remain silent. For this she was sentenced to four years imprisonment at Yerwada Jail in Pune. She was released in 1946.
Upon India’s independence, Usha Mehta actively spread Gandhian thought and philosophy.
She was conferred the Padma Vibhushan in 1998, second-highest civilian award of India.