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 70

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


  • …. The xyz issue can be examined in terms of
  • further examination reveals …..
  • … factors behind some xyz issue can be examined in the light of the recommendations of abc report / xyz committee..
  • Based on the examination, it can be said that…….

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 be incomplete without mentioning the contributions of women.
  • The sacrifice made by the women occupies an important place in India’s journey towards independence.
  • The role of women in freedom struggle of India can be examined in the light of the developments that took place during different phases of the nationalist movement; which are as follows:


Pre Congress Phase

  • Amidst the orthodox the social conditions of the 19th century India it might appear that women would not have been able to make significant contributions during this phase.
  • However a deeper examination reveals that in spite of the restrictions the role played by some women (Rani Laxmibai; Beghum Hazrat Mahal) was exemplary.
  • Their role as a leader during the Revolt of 1857 aided in making it a watershed event in the history of freedom struggle of India.

Pre Gandhian Phase [1885-1919]

  • A further examination also reveals that formation of Congress (1885) and various socio-religious reforms allowed for more participation for women in political sphere.
  • women like Annie Besant played a commendable role to unite the moderates and extremists and also played an important leadership role during the Home Rule League Movement.
  • Also, during this phase [extremist phase post 1907], many men were jailed [during Swadeshi Movement, Rowlatt Act etc.].
  • At such times women played an important role by providing a moral and emotional support and ensured the wellbeing of the family.

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.
  • Many women leaders emerged as political leaders during this phase. Sarojini Naidu (presided the Kanpur session of 1925, led the raid on Dharasana Salts during Civil Disobedience Movement) is a fine example of this.
  • However, examination at a deeper level also reveals that while women did made their contributions, the freedom struggle was largely led by men. The fact that only two congress sessions were presided by the women substantiates this argument.

Revolutionary Phase

  • Further examination of the role played by the women also reveals that they were no less than men in the revolutionary phase of freedom struggle as well.
  • Shanti Ghosh (shot dead a reactionary British District Magistrate); Kalpana Dutt (important role in Chittagon Armoury Raid); Captain Laxmi Sehgal and the women battalion of INA etc. made commendable contributions by playing an active role in the revolutionary phase of the freedom struggle of India.

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.


  • In the light of the examination, it can be concluded that even though the freedom struggle was largely led by men who played a more active role, yet, to undermine the role of women would not be correct.
  • Amidst the examples discussed it is evident that role of women was multidimensional (political, revolutionary, social and moral as well).
  • Our struggle for independence would have been incomplete without the participation (even if limited) of the women.

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