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Elizabeth Fry
1780-1845
British Reformer




After witnessing the brutal conditions of female prisoners of Newgate Prison Elizabeth Fry launched a reform movement which had a profound moral impact on England, and later in much of Europe.

The Elizabeth Fry Society is still a vocal prisoner's advocate today. She also helped to improve the British hospital system and the treatment of the insane.

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Indira Gandhi
1917-84
Prime Minister of India




As daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, politics was always a part of Indira Gandhi's world. She joined her father's Congress Party in 1938 and was jailed for awhile by the British for her support of India's independence from Great Britain.

After her father's death, she was elected to Parliament in his place, becoming Prime Minister herself in 1966. She continued many of her father's policies, such as pressing for land reform, family planning, and the nationalization of banks. She won a war with Pakistan, resulting in the creation of Bangladesh.

But India endured great economic troubles during her watch. There were riots after which she declared Emergency Rule. Political opponents were jailed and the press censored.

In 1977 she lost an election and even faced charges of corruption. Expelled from Parliament, briefly jailed, she reorganized her party and won re-election as Prime Minister in 1980.

After a military operation against the 'Golden Temple' in Amritsar she was murdered by her Sikh bodyguards.

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Maude Gonne
1865-1953
Irish Politician




Maud was a founder of Sinn Fein, the political party advocating a united Ireland.

She was also editor of a nationalist newspaper. Her son served as Ireland's foreign minister and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974.

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Ahilya Holkar
c. 1730-95
Indian Ruler




Ahilya Bai Holkar was a member of the famed Holkar family which ruled part of central India in the 18th century.

Her rule became proverbial for justice and wisdom. She was the rare Indian royalty to be deified in her life time. She contributed a lot to the heritage of India by establishing several religious edifices remarkable in architecture.

She established charitable institutions at Gaya, Varanasi, Ayodhya, Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar and Pandharpur. She was at heart a queen of whole India rather than that of the Holkar kingdom.

She died at Maheshwar where a large mausoleum stands in her memory.

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Rosa Luxemburg<
1871-1919
Polish Activist




Born in Poland Rosa Luxemburg was a revolutionary theoretician who played a key role in the founding of the Polish Social Democratic and the German Communist parties.

Before the first World War, Luxemburg wrote 'The Accumulation of Capital'; a work explaining the capitalist movement towards imperialism.

During World War I she agitated that German soldiers turn their weapons against their own government and overthrow it. For this revolutionary agitation, Luxemburg was arrested and imprisoned.

While in prison, Luxemburg wrote on the Russian Revolution, most famously in her book: 'The Russian Revolution', where she warns of the dictatorial powers of the Bolshevik party. In that context, she wrote "Freiheit ist immer die Freiheit des Andersdenkenden" ("Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently").

After released from prison, she and Karl Liebknecht, formed the Spartacus League in Berlin. They both were murdered in the civil strife that followed the end of the war.

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Biography