Daily Mains Answer Writing - PrayaasHow to use directivesMains SpecialPrayaas – February 2019Prayaas – February 2019 – Week 4

Daily Answer Writing for IAS Mains Examination – USING THE DIRECTIVE – “EXAMINE” – Day 69

Q.Comment on the role of women in freedom struggle of India. [Answer in 150 Words]


  • Answering a question with the directive “Comment” means that we have to give our value judgement.
  • Expression of value judgement can be expressed by using phrases such as:
  • Women have played an extremely crucial role… [use adjectives and adverbs (“ly”) words to express value judgement]
  • Quotations / Philosophical lines can also be used
  • In such questions we have the liberty of expressing our views. Since our views are reflective of our personality therefore, it is important that we express them in a balanced way.
  • …. The actual choice of words will depend upon the type of question being asked and the approach that the aspirant choses to follow.


 Appreciate The Role Of Women

  • The history of Indian Freedom Struggle would surely be incomplete without mentioning the contributions of women.
  • The courageous sacrifices made by the women of India occupies an extremely important place in India’s journey towards independence.

 Appreciate The Role Of Women

  • The importance of their role can be appreciated in the light of their participation during different phases of the Indian National Movement.
Pre Congress Phase
  • In spite of the severe conservative ideologies placing restrictions on the women, some women like “Rani Laxmibai”; “Beghum Hazrat Mahal” etc. showed commendable leadership during the Revolt of 1857.
  • Although their role in this particular phase was to some extent limited, yet it was by virtue of their participation that made the revolt of 1857 a watershed event in the history of freedom struggle of India.
Pre Gandhian Phase [1885-1919]
  • Later after the formation of Congress (1885) and various socio-religious reforms, roads for a better participation by the women began to be paved.
  • During this phase [especially extremist phase (post 1907)], many men were jailed [during Swadeshi Movement, Rowlatt Act etc.].
  • At harsh times like these, a moral and emotional support provided by the mothers, daughters and sisters significantly helped in bringing hope and ensuring the wellbeing of the family.
  • Secondly, women like Annie Besant acted as a bridge to unite the moderates and extremists. Not only this, philanthropic activities undertaken by her and an important leadership provided during the Home Rule League Movement also added immense strength to the nationalist movement during this phase.

Gandhian Phase [Post 1919]

  • The Gandhian style of ‘peaceful resistance’; ‘picketing of shops’ and ‘Stayagraha’ provided a conducive opportunity for women to play a much more active role in the freedom struggle.
  • It was at this time that many women leaders emerged in the roadmap to the independence of India. Sarojini Naidu (presided the Kanpur session of 1925, led the raid on Dharasana Salts during Civil Disobedience Movement) is a fine example of this.

Revolutionary Phase

  • In addition to this there are instances that depict that women were a very important part of the revolutionary phase of freedom struggle as well.
  • The examples of several women in this phase depicts that they were no less than men. They stood shoulder to shoulder with them leading the armory raids (Kalpana Dutt), leading the army battalions (Capt Lakshmi Sehgal) and shooting pistols at reactionary District Magistrates (Shanti Ghosh).

Other pointers and approach that can be used

  • Women in Underground Activities
  • The question can also discussed “Movement Wise” ex their role in 1857 Revolt, Swadeshi Movement, Non Cooperation, Civil Disobedience, Quit India Movement.


  • Although certain conservative norms of the society in 19th and 20th century placed restrictions in realizing the ful potential of the participation of women. Yet, these stories of courage, conviction and sacrifices made by women clearly depict the crucial importance they had during the freedom struggle of India.
  • Independence of India is a culmination of the sacrifices made by the masses. This mass struggle would have been a fallacy in the absence of the participation of women.
  • Our struggle for independence would have been incomplete without the participation of the women.

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