In the upcoming biopic Ae Watan Mere Watan, actor Sarah Ali Khan will essay the role of freedom fighter Usha Mehta, who ran a secret radio station at a crucial point in India’s freedom struggle.
In the upcoming film Ae Watan Mere Watan directed by Kannan Iyer, actor Sarah Ali Khan will essay the role of freedom fighter Usha Mehta, who ran a secret radio station at a crucial point in India’s freedom struggle.
Popularly known as Ushaben, Usha Mehta was born in a village named Saras, near Surat in Gujarat. A true Gandhian at heart, she would take part in protest marches against the British even as a child.
Ushaben’s radio station went on air on 27 August 1942, when the Quit India Movement was gaining momentum. The radio broadcasted recorded messages by Gandhi, as well as nationalistic songs and patriotic speeches by leaders from across the country.
Usha also reported on the atrocities committed by the British, and other banned information. She was at great risk of being caught but managed to keep the radio running for three months, changing locations nearly seven times to remain underground.
On 12 November 1942, Ushaben was arrested and sentenced to four years of rigorous imprisonment. It has to be noted that Usha refused to disclose information about fellow freedom fighters, despite threats and even promises of a chance to study abroad.
Post her release in 1946, she taught political science at Wilson College and also secured a PhD in Gandhian thought from the University of Bombay.
In 1998, the Govt of India awarded her the Padma Vibhushan in recognition of her contributions to the country.
Here’s more about Ushaben’s illustrious life:
Usha Mehta: Freedom Fighter & Organiser Of Secret Radio Service To Disseminate News: Written by Vanshika Sawhney for Feminism In India, Published on 16 September 2021
DR USHA MEHTA: Organizer of the Secret Congress Radio for The Indian Culture Portal
Edited by Divya Sethu