About Aruna Asaf Ali

Image Depicting: Aruna Asaf Ali

Aruna Asaf Ali

  • BORN: 16th July, 1909 at KALKA (erstwhile Punjab).
  • Parents: SHRI UPENDER NATH GANGULI & SMT. AMBALIKA, A Brahmo Samaji migrant family from Bengal. Father ran a restaurant at the Kalka Railway Station.
  • Studied at the convent of Sacred Heart, Lahore and Later at The All Saint Church Secondary School at Nainital.
  • Passed B.A. and joined as a teacher at Gokhale National School, Calcutta.
  • Planned to save up sufficient money to go to England for higher studies but destiny took a hand.
  • During vacations she went to her sister at Allahabad where she met Barrister Asaf Ali a nationalist leader and a lawyer at Delhi. She was attracted to him because of their common interest in English literature.
  • Married him in 1928 against parental resistance. Marriage was not only Inter communal but also the age difference was wide. He was 41 and she was 19.

Aruna Asaf Ali – Heroine of Quit India Movement

The Quit India movement was the high point of her political career. On August 1942 when all senior leaders including her husband were arrested and sent to Ahmednagar Fort, she hoisted the congress tri-colour at the Gowalia tank and went underground for three years to direct the movement from underground.

After independence she did not seek office but plunged into Social movements for the advancement of women, children’s development, giving leadership to the Youth, championing the cause of minorities wherever they were affected in Meerut, Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur etc. In Punajb during the days of terrorism, she visited the seriously affected areas of Taran Taran and other Places in Amritsar District, led peace marches and put morale into the hearts of a demoralized people.

She was President of the National Federation of Indian women for many years. Also founded and ran the weekly magazine LINK and a daily called Patriot.