Known for her bravery, valour, and aptitude, she led a ferocious battle against the British rulers and is known as a symbol of British resistance. The queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai, has been an integral part of the glorious Indian history. Known for her bravery, valour, and aptitude, she led a ferocious battle against the British rulers and is known as a symbol of British resistance.
Here’s a glimpse of the life of the brave queen.
Rani Lakshmibai was born as Manikarnika Tambe on November 19, 1828, into a Marathi Karhade Brahmin family, in Varanasi.
A multi-talented being, she was trained in various fields, such as shooting, horse-riding, writing and fencing. In May, 1842, she got married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar (Maharaja of Jhansi), following which her name was changed to, as we know it today, the iconic Lakshmibai.
In 1851, she gave birth to a son, who couldn’t live past 4 months and passed away. Disheartened, Lakshmibai and Gangadhar decided to adopt Gangadhar’s cousin Anand, who was renamed to Damodar Rao.
After the King’s untimely death due to ill-health, Lakshmibai became the queen of Jhansi, at just 18 years of age.
Devising a scheme and taking advantage of the situation, the British implemented the Doctrine of Lapse in the kingdom because they refused to recognise Damodar as the lawful heir, and thus incapable of claiming the throne of Jhansi.
Unhappy with the major announcement, Lakshmibai filed an appeal in London, which was later dismissed. Despite repeated attempts, she was adamant about not abandoning the Kingdom of Jhansi and thus commenced an array of revolts.
Nanasahib and Tantia Tope, her close companions, were already opposed to the British for attempting to revoke Nanasahib of his pension. Lakshmibai had a troop of women in addition to the numerous renowned soldiers who rushed to her aid. The troops, along with tenacity of these three friends’ defiance, fuelled the war against the British in 1857.
The insurrection started by soldiers in Barrackpore triggered India’s First War of Independence against the British authorities.
Even though she was outnumbered, Rani of Jhansi and her troops refused to surrender. The queen is said to have tied her son to her back and fought heroically against the British. She battled hard till she exhaled her last breath. In 1858, the Rani of Jhansi was killed in a clash with East India Company infantry near Gwalior. Thus, following her martyrdom, she became a symbol of resistance, bravery and courage, and inspired generations to come.