Rani Lakshmi Bai
Lakshmi Bai, the fiery Queen of Jhansi, also known as the Rani of Jhansi,
which is located on the northern side of India. one of the great nationalist heroine of the first war of India freedom, a
symbol of resistance to the British rule in India.
In this article, we will present you with the biography of Rani
Lakshmibai, who was an epitome of bravery and courage.
She was born on 19th
November 1835 at Kashi (Presently known as Varanasi). Her father Moropanth
was a Brahmin and her mother Bhagirathibai was a cultured, intelligent and
God fearing lady. Mannikarnika (Manu) was the name of Rani Lakshmi Bai in
her childhood. Manu lost her mother at the age of four. The Complete
responsibility of the young girl fell on the father. She completed her
education and also learned horse riding, Sword fighting and shooting on a
target with a gun.
She was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao Niwalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842, and
became the Rani of Jhansi. After the marriage She was given the name
Lakshmi Bai. The Marriage ceremony was perform in Ganesh Mandir, the
temple of Lord Ganesha situated in the city of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai
gave birth to a son in 1851, but unfortunately the child did not survive
more than four months. After this tragedy, the couple decided to adopt a
child. To ensure that the British do not raise an issue over the
adoption, Lakshmibai got this adoption witnessed by the local British
representatives. Damodar Rao was adopted as son.
Later on Maharaja Gangadhar Rao fell sick and became very weak and died on 21st November 1853. After the
death of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, Rani Lakshmi Bai was left alone. At this
time she was only Eighteen years old. But Rani Lakshmi Bai did not lost her
courage, She always remembered her responsibility.
During that period, Lord Dalhousie was the Governor General of British
India. The adopted child was named Damodar Rao. As per the Hindu
tradition, he was their legal heir. However, the British rulers refused
to accept him as the legal heir. As per the Doctrine of Lapse, Lord
Dalhousie decided to seize the state of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmibai went to
a British lawyer and consulted him. Thereafter, she filed an appeal for
the hearing of her case in London. But, her appeal was rejected. Loard Dalhousie decided to annexe the state of Jhansi as
Maharaja Gangadhar Rao had left no legal heir. This misfortune of Jhansi
was used by the Britishers to expand there Empire. So, an order was
passed asking the Rani to leave Jhansi fort and move to the Rani Mahal
in Jhansi. Laxmibai was firm about protecting the state of Jhansi.
Jhansi became the focal point of uprising. Rani of Jhansi began to
strengthen her position. By seeking the support of others, she formed a
volunteer army. The army not just consisted of the men folk, but the
women were also actively involved. Women were also given military
training to fight a battle. In the revolt, Rani Lakshmibai was
accompanied by her generals. From the period between Sep-Oct 1857, Rani defended Jhansi from being
invaded by the armies of the neighboring rajas of Orchha and Datia. In
January 1858, the British army headed it's away towards Jhansi. The
conflict went on for two weeks. Finally, the Britishers succeeded in the
annexation of the city. However, Rani Laksmi Bai managed to escape along
with her son, in the guise of a man.
She took refuge in Kalpi, where she met Tatya Tope, a great warrior. She
died on 17thJune, during the battle for Gwalior. It is believed that,
when she was lying unconscious in the battle field, a Brahmin found her
and brought her to an ashram, where she died. For her immense effort,
she is referred to as the 'Icon of the Indian Nationalist Movement'.
Throughout the uprising, the aim of Rani was to secure the throne for
her adopted son Damodar. Her story became a beacon for the upcoming
generations of freedom fighters. Lot of literature has been written on the life history of Rani
Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Heroic poems have been composed in her honor.
In March 1854 the British ruler announced 60,000 ( Sixty Thousand) annual
pension for Rani and also ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. Jhansi was in
humiliating condition but it was like a silent volcano before eruption.
Rani Jhansi was determined not to give up Jhansi. She was a symbol of
patriotism and self respect. Britishers were making every effort to
destroy the freedom of country whereas Rani was determined to get rid of
Rani Lakshmi Bai strengthened the defense of Jhansi and she assembled a
volunteer army of rebellions. Women were also given Military training.
Rani was accompanied by her brave warriors, some of them were Gulam Gaus
Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Sunder-Mundar,
Kashi Bai, Deewan Raghunath singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. Along with all
these warriors the local population of Jhansi irrespective of their
religion or caste were always determined to fight and give their lives
with pleasure for the cause of Independent and their beloved Rani.
The Britishers attacked Jhansi in March 1858. Rani Jhansi with her
faithful warriors decided not to surrender. The fighting continued for
about two weeks. Shelling on Jhansi was very fierce. In the Jhansi army
women were also carrying ammunition and were supplying food to the
soldiers. Rani Lakshmi Bai was very active. She herself was inspecting the
defense of the city. However, after this great war, Jhansi fell to the
On that black day, the British army entered the Jhansi City. Rani Lakshmi
Bai, still full of courage and deathless patriotism dressed as a man, took
up arms, her son Damodar Rao was strapped tightly to her back. She was
holding the reins of her horse in her mouth. In the fierce fighting she
was using the sword with both her hands. When the situation was not in
control, Rani of Jhansi with some of her warriors departed from Jhansi.
Rani Lakshmi Bai reached Kalpi. Many other rebellions force joined her.
Tatia Tope from Kalpi was also one of them, from Kalpi Rani departed to
the Gwalior. Again a fierce battle took place. Rani Jhansi fought with
deathless patriotism and martyrdom. However on the second day of fighting,
the great heroine of the first struggle for India freedom, at the age of
22 years, lost her life. That unfortunate day was 18th June of 1858.