Matangini Hajra was born in 1870 in Midnapore (West Bengal) in a typical peasant family. She endured the hardships of life, particularly those imposed by rich zamindars and the British. However, when the sufferings became unbearable, Matangini plunged into the mainstream of political struggle in order to challenge the might of the British. In 1930, she participated in the Dandi March organised to defy salt laws.
In the same year, she was also involved in agitations against the imposition of chowkidari tax. (The Congress Working Committee had called for non-payment of chowkidari tax in zamindari provinces.) Matangini was arrested for her role in the protest movement and was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
However, Matangini’s biggest and final contribution to the national cause came in 1942 during the Quit India Movement. It was in this year that a parallel national government was established in Tamluk sub-division and hereafter began clashes between patriots and government forces. Matangini was also involved in attacks planned on police stations etc. It was while she was hoisting the national flag that she was hit by a bullet and she lost her life.