Who Was Rani Lakshmi Bai?
Views: 0 | Updated On: | By Gajju Jangir
Rani Lakshmi Bai was born on November 19, 1828, in Varanasi, India, as Manikarnika. Her father, Moropant Tambe, was a court advisor to the Maharaja of Bithur, and her mother, Bhagirathi Bai, was a descendant of the royal family of the Maratha-ruled state of Varanasi. Manikarnika was well-educated and trained in sword fighting, horseback riding, and other martial arts from a young age.
In 1842, at the age of 14, Manikarnika married Raja Rajeshwar Rao Bhao Sahib of Jhansi, who was then the ruler of the state. After her husband's death in 1853, the British East India Company, which controlled much of India at the time, appointed a British administrator to govern Jhansi. Rani Lakshmi Bai, as she came to be known, refused to accept British authority and instead claimed the right to rule Jhansi as the adopted son of her late husband.
The British rejected her claim and instead annexed Jhansi in 1854, citing the Doctrine of Lapse, which stated that any Indian state without a natural heir would be annexed by the British East India Company. Rani Lakshmi Bai was determined to reclaim her kingdom and, in 1857, she joined the Indian Rebellion against the British.
Rani Lakshmi Bai quickly became a symbol of resistance to British rule in India, and her military tactics and leadership skills were widely admired. She led her army in several battles against the British, including the Siege of Jhansi, in which she defended the city against a British assault. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, Rani Lakshmi Bai and her army put up fierce resistance, and the siege lasted for several weeks.
Rani Lakshmi Bai's most famous battle occurred on June 17, 1858, at the Battle of Gwalior. In this battle, Rani Lakshmi Bai led her army on horseback, dressed in male clothing, and wielding a sword. She fought bravely, but her army was ultimately defeated by the British. Rani Lakshmi Bai died in battle on June 18, 1858, at the age of 29.
Rani Lakshmi Bai's legacy lives on in India, and she is remembered as a symbol of resistance and courage. Her story has been retold in many books, plays, and films, and she is celebrated as a national hero. Today, schools, roads, and parks in India are named after her, and her statue can be found in many Indian cities.
In conclusion, Rani Lakshmi Bai was a warrior queen who played a significant role in the Indian rebellion of 1857, also known as the Indian Mutiny, against the British East India Company. Her determination to reclaim her kingdom, her military tactics and leadership skills and her death in the battle of Gwalior made her a legend and a symbol of resistance to British rule in India.