New Delhi: The last link with India's revolutionary freedom struggle led by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose is no more. Lakshmi Swaminathan Sehgal who rose to the rank of a Colonel in the Indian National Army (INA) died at the age of 97. Born into a Tamil Brahmin family in 1914, she obtained a medical degree and set up a clinic for the poor in Singapore in 1940.
An ardent follower of Netaji, she joined the INA and headed its Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai Regiment. It was the first regiment headed by a woman in entire Asia.
After independence, she joined the CPM and was a member of Parliament.
A woman of great courage, commitment and discipline Lakshmi Sehgal fought for the underprivileged and women's rights all through her life.
She contested as a Left sponsored candidate in the 2002 Presidential elections against APJ Abdul Kalam.
After the defeat she withdrew herself from the public life and spent her last years at daughter and Communist leader Subhashini Ali's house in Kanpur. She was truly a remarkable personality of the 20th century India.