Madame R. K. Cama

Born: 1875, Bombay, India.

Born in 1875 to a well-to-do Parsi family in Bombay, Madame Cama's brief but meteoric political career started after she was 27, when she left her husband to spend her time in various cities of Europe, meeting her expenses out of the income from a Rs. 100,000 inheritance.

According to the History Sheet of the Criminal Intelligence Office of the Home Department (Political) in 1913, "She was at that time one of the recognised leaders of the revolutionary movement in Paris, and was said to be regarded by the Hindus as a reincarnation of some deity, presumably Kali". The truth of this assertion aside, she was sympathetic to the most radical expressions of the Indian national movement.

In 1907 she unfurled for the first time, the Indian tricolour, now the national flag, at the International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart. Her passionate speech against the British tyranny in India was published at the end of August in the German Socialist paper Vorwärts.

In spite of her English education and her 35 year stay in Europe, she advocated the introduction of Hindi in the Devanagari script as an uniform language in India. After 1909 she published two revolutionary periodicals, Talwar and Bande Mataram from Geneva. These were smuggled into India through Pondicherry.

In 1910 the British Government requested France for her extradition. When this was refused, her property in India was confiscated. Several Parsi women came under her influence and were kept under political surveillance. With the outbreak of World War I, she was interred in a camp in France, and her political activities came to an end.

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