Subhadra Joshi (nee Dutt) was a tenacious freedom fighter, who went to prison during British rule and worked with Mahatma Gandhi during Partition. Later, she served as a distinguished Parliamentarian, having defeated Atal Behari Vajpayee, in a Lok Sabha election.Subhadra was born in Baroor, Maharashtra, in 1913, but went to school in Lahore. She was expelled for participating in a Congress demonstration and retaliating to a reprimand by the English principal with, ‘‘I don’t want to salute the Union Jack.’’
During her college days she started publishing and distributing underground literature about the freedom struggle, on a manual printing press that a friend and she installed in an abandoned house. An acquaintance tipped off her father that her arrest was imminent, so she fled to Bharatpur in the stealth of the night.
Onwards to Delhi she brought out a newspaper Hamaara Sangram (Our Struggle), along with other underground workers. One of them was B.D Joshi, her future husband.When the riots started, she was ill and hospitalised at Kingsway Hospital, Delhi. Violating doctors orders she went to a troubled area in a tonga ‘‘because I had worked in the area and should stop them’’. Where there was a riot, there was Subhadra Joshi, fighting for peace and harmony. She founded the Quami Ekta Manch and relentlessly worked for the cause till the end.