(1909 – 1982) – (Kerala)
Accamma Cherian (Aged 73), known as the Jhansi Rani of Travancore born on 1909, was an Indian independence activist from the former state of Travancore (Kerala), India. She worked as a teacher at St. Mary’s English Medium School in Edakkara after completing her education in 1931. She eventually became the headmistress and worked there for about six years while also obtaining her L.T. degree from Tri Training College.
In February 1938, the Travancore State Congress was established, and Accamma gave up her teaching career to join the fight for freedom. The people of Travancore began to agitate for a responsible government under the State Congress, but the Dewan of Travancore, C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, sought to suppress the movement. On August 26, 1938, he outlawed the State Congress, which then initiated a civil disobedience campaign
The police arrested eleven “dictators” (presidents) of the State Congress one by one. The eleventh dictator, Kuttanad Ramakrishna Pillai, nominated Accamma Cherian as the twelfth dictator before his own arrest. During a rally of over 20,000 people, the British police chief ordered his men to fire on the crowd. Accamma Cherian boldly cried out, “I am the leader, shoot me first before you kill others.” Her bravery compelled the police to rescind their orders. Upon hearing this news, M. K. Gandhi praised her as “The Jhansi Rani of Travancore.”
She was convicted for violating prohibitory orders in 1939 and was imprisoned twice during her fight for independence. After her release from prison, she toured various locations and encouraged women to join the Desasevika Sangh as members. Accamma then became a full-time worker for the State Congress. She passed away by 1982.