India is a land of great leaders who ruled the country effectively and also by protecting its national interest. We the people of India are proud to have such great leaders.
Each and every leader played a prominent role in changing the perspective of the world towards India.
So here is the list of the Great leaders of India whose contribution cannot be measured and is highly praised by the Indians.
1. Jawaharlal Nehru
Born on 14 November 1889 in Prayagraj was the only son of Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani.
Jawaharlal Nehru was not only a freedom fighter of India but also a great Politician both before and after independence. The first Prime Minister of India served India post-independence in 1947 till his death in 1964.
As a Prime Minister, he provided free and compulsory primary education to all children in his five-year plan. He also committed India to a policy of industrialization.
He is also known as Pandit Nehru due to his connection to the Pandit community in Kashmir. As for him, children are the real assets and strength of the country. He died of a heart attack in 1964.
2. Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar was an Indian lawyer, political ethicist, and anti-colonial nationalist.
He was known as ‘Mahatma’ and ‘Father of Nation’ because of his good deeds. He married Kasturba at the age of 13. He was assassinated in New Delhi on 30 January 1948.
Studied law in London and moved to South Africa for practice he realized that Indians were denied their basic human rights and were discriminated against in every aspect by the Britishers. He led various movements like Salt Satyagraha, Non-Cooperation movement, Khilafat Movement, Civil-Disobedience Movement and Quit India Movement.
Gandhi Ji joined the freedom fight and helped India’s independence from British rule through nonviolent resistance that inspired the civil rights movement and freedom all over the world.
3. Lal Bahadur Shastri
Lal Bahadur Shastri, born on 2 October 1904, Mughalsarai was an Indian statesman who became the second Prime Minister of India. He died at the age of sixty-one in 1966 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
He encouraged the White Revolution, a national campaign whose main aim was to increase the production and supply of milk by helping the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat. He also encouraged the Green Revolution in India in 1965 to raise India's food production especially in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.
A freedom fighter who also participated in various movements led by Mahatma Gandhi to bring an end to British rule in India.
He was titled “Shastri” after he completed his studies at Kashi Vidyapeeth.
4. Subhash Chandra Bose
Subhash Chandra Bose was born on 23 January 1897, Cuttack was an Indian nationalist popularly known as Netaji. He died on 18 August 1945, Taipei, Taiwan due to third-degree burns from an air crash.
He was known for his role in the Indian independence movement by forming the Azad Hind Fauj or the Indian National Army to fight the Britishers who occupied India.
His aim to get rid of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan left a troubled legacy.
5. Sukhdev Thapar
Sukhdev Thapar, born in 1907, Ludhiana was an Indian revolutionary and an integral member of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association.
He is popularly known for his assaults in the Lahore Conspiracy Case and also participated in various revolutionary activities such as a prison hunger strike in 1929.
He was martyred by the British authorities on 23 March 1931 in Lahore, Pakistan at the age of 23 along with other revolutionaries Bhagat Singh and Shivaram Rajguru.
6. Rani Lakshmi Bai
Rani Lakshmi Bai, born on 19 November 1828, Varanasi was known as the Queen of Jhansi as being one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Manikarnika Tambe was her full name. She is remembered for her bravery during the Indian Mutiny of 1857–58.
Being the wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, She inspired thousands of women to join the freedom battle because of her fearless attitude and bravery.
She was wounded and killed in a battle on 18 June 1858, Gwalior in the Rebellion which was suppressed by November that year.
7. Lala Lajpat Rai
Lala Lajpat Rai, also known as Dhudike, was an Indian independence campaigner who played a key part in the Indian independence movement. He was born on January 28, 1865. He was famous with his nickname Punjab Kesari.
When Britishers controlled India from 1906 to 1918, he was a member of the Lal Bal Pal trio of forceful nationalists (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Bipin Chandra Pal).
He also led the Non-Cooperation Movement and Punjab Protest against the Jalliawala Bagh incident.
He helped in the establishment of schools in the country and also led the foundation of the Punjab pop National Bank.
He died on 17 November 1928 from a brutal lathi charge by the Britishers on a peaceful protest march against the Simon Commission which was constituted by Britain for Indian constitutional reform.
8. Mangal Pandey
Mangal Pandey, born in 1827 was an Indian soldier who was among the first rebels who stood against British rule and inspired young Indian soldiers to instigate the great rebellion of 1857.
He Served as a Sepoy for the British East India Company
The Indian government also issued a postage stamp in 1984 in his remembrance. He was hanged on 8 April 1857, Barrackpore.
9. Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh, born on 28 September 1907, Banga, Punjab, British India was an Indian socialist revolutionary. A born patriot in a Sikh family that inspired many Indians to fight against the British.
He joined the non-Cooperation movement in 1921 and formed the “Naujawan Bharat Sabha” to infuse nationalism among the youth of Punjab.
He was against British rule and fought against it till his last breath. One of the greatest freedom fighters of India who became the hero of the early 20th-century in the Indian independence movement.
He was found responsible for killing a British Police officer for which he was hanged on 23 March 1931.
10. Chandra Shekhar Azad
Chandra Shekhar Tiwari, born on 23 July 1906, Bhavra was an Indian revolutionary and also a part of the Hindustan Republican Association. He is known for organizing and conducting a band of militant youth during India's independence movement.
He was called by names like Azad, Balraj, and Panditji because of his bravery.
One of the fearless freedom fighters of India shot himself in the head during a battle with British soldiers, fulfilling his oath of dying as a free man and not as a British captive.
11. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, born on 14 April 1891 was an Indian jurist, social reformer, economist, and politician. He was strongly against the caste system and Dalit struggles.
Till today he is admired as a hero among Dalits because he fought against the social discrimination towards the Dalits who were regarded as untouchables.
During British administration, he served as Minister of Labour in the Viceroy's Executive Council and Chairman of India's Constituent Drafting Committee.
He was the first Minister of Law and Justice after India’s independence and was also regarded as the chief architect of the Constitution of India.
12. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, born on October 15, 1931, grew up in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu. He was an Indian aerospace scientist and later became the 11th President of India.
Kalam studied physics and worked as an aerospace scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
A scientist, politician, and author who inspired many students through his lectures are also known as the People’s President for his respectful attitude towards people. He is popularly known as the ‘Missile Man’ of India as he helped in the development of India's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
He died on 27 July 2015 from a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
13. Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atal Bihari Vajpayee born in 1924 was a writer, politician, and author.
He served as the prime minister of India in three terms, one for 13 days in 1996, second for a period of 13 months from 1998 to 1999, and lastly for a full term of 5 years from 1999 to 2004 not by being in an Indian National Congress but through being a part of BJP.
He was the senior leader as well as the co-founder of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He was also a member of a Hindu nationalist volunteer organization named Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He died on 16 August 2018.
14. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa was born on 26 August 1910 in Skopje where she lived for eighteen years then moved to India, where she lived most of her life.
Mother Teresa was the founder of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation to help poor people. The Catholic Church had over 4,500 nuns and was operating in 133 countries in 2012. The members must adhere to the oath of chastity, poverty, obedience, and lastly provide free services to the poor people wholeheartedly.
She also opened Nirmala Shishu Bhavan, the first children’s home to take care of homeless children providing them food, shelter, and medical care.
She received several awards including Padma Shri, Bharat Ratna, and also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was regarded as the greatest humanitarian of the 20th century and was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.
15. Rajendra Prasad
Born in 1884, Rajendra Prasad was an Indian political leader, a trained lawyer, a scholar, and an activist in India’s Independence.
He became the first President of India from 1950 to 1962. He joined the Indian National Congress who became the major leader from Bihar.
He supported Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian Independence Movement and was sent to jail during the Salt Satyagraha of 1931 and the Quit India movement of 1942. He was elected as the president of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the Constitution of India.
He showed humanity towards people by helping poor people in need and was strongly against the caste system as he believed that all human beings are equal. He was likewise granted ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1962
16. Shivaram Rajguru
Shivaram Rajguru was an Indian revolutionary, born on 24 August 1908, Maharashtra. One of the greatest freedom fighters of India who also led the Indian Independence Movement.
He was totally against British rule and an active member of a revolutionary organization, the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA) who was also hanged along with other revolutionaries Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev on 23 March 1931 by the British authorities.
17. Sarojini Naidu
Born in 1879, Sarojini Naidu was an Indian political activist, a great patriot, orator, writer, and administrator. She supported women’s emancipation, civil rights and also joined the Indian Nationalist movement and Gandhi's Satyagraha Movement to gain freedom from British rule.
She became the first Indian woman to be president of the Indian National Congress and is popularly known as the Nightingale of India because of her contribution to poetry.
13 February is praised as National Women's Day in India to respect the commitments of Sarojini Naidu.
She died on 2 March 1949 by cardiac arrest.
18. Vallabhbhai Patel
Vallabhbhai Patel was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India. An Indian statesman, a successful lawyer, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress who also contributed to India's independence from British rule.
Vallabhbhai Patel was titled by Sardar after the success of the Satyagraha movement which was led by him.
Also known as the 'Iron Man of India' and ‘Unifier of India’ for his continuous efforts to unite over 500 princely states.
The Statue of Unity, the world's tallest statue, was dedicated to him which is about 182 meters in height on 31 October 2018. He died due to a heart attack on 15 December 1950 in Bombay. He was posthumously awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1991.
19. Munshi Premchand
Born on 31 July 1880, Munshi Premchand was a novelist, short story writer, and a dramatist who was popular for his modern Hindustani literature who was often called by his pen name Premchand.
He wrote hundreds of stories, various essays, and novels. Some of his famous novels include Godaan, Karmabhoomi, Gaban, Mansarovar, Idgah.
A teacher by profession who began his literary career as a freelancer in Urdu. He is regarded as one of the greatest icons in the field of modern Hindi and Urdu literature.
20. Indira Gandhi
An Indian politician, born on 19 November 1917 was a central figure of the Indian National Congress who became the third prime minister of India after Its independence but to date the only female prime minister of India.
She was the daughter of the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the second longest-serving Indian prime minister after her father.
She was also awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for steering India to victory in the 14-day-long war of 1971 with Pakistan over East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi are her children who are also a part of the Indian National Congress. Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31 October 1984 at her residence in New Delhi as she was killed by her Sikh bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh.
21. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
Bal Gangadhar Tilak was an author, politician, and a freedom fighter who was the first member of the Indian Independence Movement.
He was part of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate. In 1890, he became a part of the Indian National Congress.
Mahatma Gandhi called him "The Maker of Modern India" as Tilak strongly supported the Swadeshi (Indigenous) movement and Boycott of British goods.
Also titled ‘Lokmanya’ which means accepted by the people as their leader. He was the founder of the Indian Home Rule League and served as its president.
22. Ram Prasad Bismil
Ram Prasad Bismil born in 1897 was not only a freedom fighter but also a patriotic poet who wrote in Hindi and Urdu using the pen names Ram, Agyat, and Bismil. He has translated many works from English to Hindi.
An Indian revolutionary who fought against British imperialism and was hanged in 1927 for his revolutionary activities by the British authorities.
He joined the Arya Samaj that was founded by Dayananda Saraswati. An Indian freedom fighter who was actively involved in the Mainpuri conspiracy in 1918.
Bismil was one of the co-founders of the Hindustan Republican Association. He equally took part in the freedom struggle of India from British rule.
23. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Also known as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay was an Indian novelist, poet, and journalist who composed Vande Mataram, originally in Sanskrit, symbolizing India as a mother goddess.
He was an inspiring activist during the Indian Independence Movement.
He was more than a novelist as he was considered as the path maker who pulls everyone to the path of freedom with his wonderful deep words.
24. Bipin Chandra Pal
An Indian nationalist, writer, orator, and social reformer, and a part of the “Lal Bal Pal” triumvirate, he was born in1858. A freedom fighter who actively took part in the Indian Independence movement was the main architect of the Swadeshi movement.
As he joined the Indian National Congress, he participated in many sessions of the Congress party and gave a great contribution to the nation's concise growth in India.
He wanted to attain freedom for his country through the ideas of Purna Swaraj, Videshi Boycott, and National Education.
25. Nana Saheb
An aristocrat and fighter, who led the rebellion in Kanpur during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
Nana Saheb Peshwa also called Dhondu Pant was an Indian Peshwa of the Maratha empire. He killed the survivors of the British camp and also led thousands of soldiers of India.
The tremendous involvement and contribution of the freedom fighters have led to the independence of India for which we will be forever grateful. In 1859, he went to the Nepal Hills where he is thought to have died.
26. Tantia Tope
Tantia Tope was one of the notable leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. A great freedom fighter who played a crucial role in India’s independence from British rule.
Despite being trained, he was still considered the best and most effective rebel general. He was defeated by British Indian troops. In April 1859, he was arrested by the British army and was hanged by that month.
27. Kunwar Singh
Also known as Babu Kunwar Singh was born in November 1777 in Bihar. He is one of the noticeable pioneers during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
He was the chief organizer of the fight against the British in his state Bihar. He was almost eighty and in failing health when he was called upon to take up arms.
He then cut off his hand near his elbow with his sword that shows how brave and determined he was.
28. Rabindranath Tagore
A poet, writer, playwright, composer, philosopher, social reformer, and painter. He introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language in Bengali literature. He also reshaped music at that time.
In 1931 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his collection of poems, Gitanjali which is known as 'Song Offerings'. His other works include Gora, Ghare-Baire, Jana Gana Mana, and Rabindra Sangeet. He was called Gurudev and his songs were popularly known as Rabindrasangeet. He is also referred to as ‘the Bard of Bengal’.
29. J. R. D. Tata
Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata was an Indian pilot, industrialist, business person, and administrator of Tata Group. A businessman born in a Tata family. His mother was the first woman to drive a car in India. He became the first licensed pilot in India.
Founder of various industries including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Titan Industries, Tata Salt, Voltas, and Air India. He was honored with the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna award.
30. Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was the captain of the Indian national team. One of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket who is wholeheartedly loved by the Indians. He is regarded as an Indian professional cricket player.
The only player to date to have scored one hundred international centuries and be the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International (ODI).
His nicknames include Little Master and Master Blaster because of his performance in the Indian cricket team. He was the first-ever sportsman to be awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, and Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in 1999. He retired from all forms of cricket on 16 November 2013 after playing his 200th Test match.
Therefore, these include several great leaders who played a significant role in the Indian National Movement and also its development because of their contribution.
I hope you are inspired by this list of great leaders of India. Do like, and share with others to inspire them as well.
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