Independent India very much remembers the August Kranti- the day that Gandhiji moved the Quit India resolution on the 8th August, 1942, in Gowalia Tank , now known as August Kranti Udyan. Both the politicians of the time and the tribe of subservient scribes have made the occasion unforgettable. It really deserves their action. But what is unpardonable is the action of same persons to completely wipe out even a reference to the Mother of Revolution, an epithet deservedly earned. She was Madame Rustomji Bhikaiji Cama, a Parsi girl, born in Bombay. She carried on her revolutionary Krantidari activities far away from her motherland. The climax came on 18th August, 1907.
Before an international gathering of world socialists she thundered in a passionate and patriotic voice, with the National flag in her hands: "This is the flag of India's independence. Behold, it is born. It is already sanctified by the blood of martyred Indian youths. I call upon you, gentlemen, to rise and salute the flag of Indian independence."
She gradually became more active in her revolutionary crusade and brought out her own magazine. She had borrowed the name, Vande Mataram, from Bengal, where a magazine by the same name was suppressed by the government. Look at the irony. What was permissible in England was suppressed by the British rulers in their own colony. Freedom of expression was a reality in England. To prove it further, she was allowed to publish another magazine with impunity. It was called Madan's Talwar to commemorate the name of the first Indian martyr on British soil. Her magazines found their way even to India through Sriniwas Chari, Editor of India in Pondicherry, a French possession and, therefore, safer. A less known but more bold action of the brave Mother of the Indian Revoltion was her sending through Chaturbhuj Amin, a cook at India House, 20 Browning Pistols for some overt actions in India. These were used for killing Jackson, the collector of Nasik by Kenhere, as also, later, by Wanchi Iyer, for doing away with the Collector of Tinnevelle. On arrest Amin turned an approver.
It was feared that his evidence might implicate Savarkar and Sardar Singh Rana. She refuted the allegations and took an unexpected step. She walked into the office of the Consul General and took the responsibility entirely on herself. The officer was stunned and did not know how to deal with the lady and her baffling action of boldness. She once crossed the Atlantic to convey her message to the people of America. In a speech at Hotel Astoria, she asserted, "Our best men are deported and sent to prison like criminals and they are flogged. But we are peaceful. We don't talk of revolution. But we want to teach the people their rights and throw off despotism." Her speech was assertive though not openly provocative, inciting the audience to violence. One of her most outstanding and outspoken speeches was in London when she spoke of her own conversion to violence from a girl of a conservative family of Bombay. She said in a voice quivering with passion of patriotism,
"Three years ago it was repugnant for me to talk of violence even as a subject of discussion. But due to the heartlessness, the hypocrisy, the rascality of the Liberals, that feeling is gone.
Why should we deplore the use of violence when our enemies drive us to it? If we use force it is because we are forced to use force. How is it that Russian Sophy Pervoski and her comrades are heroines and heroes in the eyes of an Englishman while in our country men are considered criminals for doing exactly the same thing for the same cause? If violence in Russia is applauded, why not in India? Tyranny is tyranny and torture is torture, wherever applied. Successful rebellion against foreign rule is patriotism."
She, however, started showing signs of advanced age worsened by the enormous stain undergone over years. She became invalid and was keen on returning to her place of birth, Bombay. With the help of Sir Cowasji Jahangir, se managed to get the permission and ultimately breathed her last on the 16th August, 1936, unhonoured, unmourned and unsung.