An epitome of valor and sacrifice, the Rani Laxmi Bai also called the Rani of Jhansi played a very pivotal role in the freedom struggle of India’s Independence against the Britishers in 1857 Revolt. Rani Laxmi Bai was the queen of the Maratha princely state & regarded as one of the greatest freedom fighters.
Biography of Rani Laxmi Bai
Birth of Rani Laxmi Bai
Rani Laxmi Bai was born in November 1828. She had taken birth in a Marathi Brahmin family in Varanasi. She was named as Manikarnika Tambe. her nickname was “Manu”. Her father’s and mother’s name was Moropant Tambe and Bhagirathi Sapre respectively. Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II of the Bithor district. Peshwa used to call her “Chhabili” which means beautiful. When she was just four years old, her mother deceased.
Education of Rani Laxmi Bai
She was educated and was taught to read and write at home. She was much more independent than the other girls of her age. Her studies included horse riding, shooting, fencing, etc. Her horses were Badal , Pawan & Sarangi. Nana Sahib & Tantia Tope were her family friends & she used to practice Mallakhamb with them.
Marriage of Rani Laxmi Bai
Manikarnika tied knot with Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaj of Jhansi in May 1842. After marriage Manikarnika was called Laxmi Bai to honor the goddess “Laxmi”. In September 1851, she gave birth to a baby boy named Damodar Rao but unfortunately, he died after four months of his birth. The Maharaja officially adopted Anand Rao, a child of his cousin. Later the name of Anand Rao was changed to Damodar Rao.
Rani Laxmi Bai and Doctrine of Lapse
Lord Dalhousie inducted the policy of Doctrine of Lapse. According to this policy the adopted son has no right to rule the state & in that case, the entire state was associated with the East India Company. After the death of Maharaj Gangadhar Rao, Dalhousie applied the ‘Doctrine of lapse ‘ policy to the Jhansi state & denied Damodar Rao the right to inherit the Throne.
The Rani of Jhansi was given an annual Pension of Rs 60,000 & asked to leave the Jhansi state. But Rani Laxmi Bai refused to leave the kingdom & which leads to the resistance between Jhansi & Britishers.
Rani Laxmi Bai’s struggle with Britishers
In 1857, a huge British force was sent to Jhansi under the guidance of Sir Hugh Rose. Sir Hugh Rose asked Rani Laxmi Bai to leave the fort but Rani Laxmi Bai refused to leave and fought battle against the British Army. the Rani of Jhansi fought the battle with her son tied to her back and the battle lasted for two weeks. Rani Laxmi Bai lost the battle and she fled with her son to the fortress of kalpi.
according to some historians, she rode a horse named Badal while escaping from the fort. again in 1858, the British army attacked the fort of kalpi & defeated Laxmi Bai. Along with Rao Saheb & Tantiya Tope, Rani Laxmi Bai left Gwalior & joined the army to defend the city. On June 16, 1858, the British Army started a war against Gwalior & Rani Laxmi bai died on June 18, 1858 while fighting the war. At last, the chapter of Valor and sacrifice came to an end.
Revolt of 1857
The revolt of 1857 has a significant role in the history of India which occurred during the time of Lord canning.
Causes of the revolt of 1857
The revolt of 1857 was a combination of political, economic, socio-religious & military causes. the immediate cause was the introduction of Enfield cartridges that were greased with beef & pork sparked off the revolt.
The Beginning of the Revolt of 1857 and its Spread
On March 29, 1859, an Indian sepoy of 34 Native Infantry Mangal Pandey, assassinated two British officers Hugeson & Baugh on parade at Barrackpore near Calcutta. the Indian soldiers present at that time refused to arrest, trailed & hanged.
Some Important Leaders of 1857 revolt
- Bahadur Shah II
- Rani Laxmi Bai
- Nana sahib
- Tantiya Tope
- Begum Hazrat Mahal
- Liyaqat Ali
- Kunwar Singh
- Arnav Singh
- Khan Bahadur Khan
- Maulavi Abdullah
- Devi singh
- Azimullah khan
- Kadam Singh
Causes of Failure of 1857 Revolt
The Revolt of 1857 was an unsuccessful heroic attempt to root out the foreign rule. the main cause of failure was:
- Lack of complete nationalism – Sindhiya, nizam & Holkars helped the British.
- Disunity among Indians.
- lack of coordination between Sepoy, Peasants, zamindars & other classes.
Impact of Revolt of 1857
- In 1858, the British parliament passed an act that ended the rule of the company. The British government control in India was transferred to the British crown.
- The secretary of state for India i.e the British governor of India was made responsible for the governance of India.
- british imperialism came to an end and princely states were against annexation Doctrine of Lapse was withdrawn.
- After the revolt, the British pursued the policy of ‘Divide & Rule’.
- Changes were made in the administration.
- increase of White Soldiers in the army.
Biopic of Rani Laxmi Bai
- Rani Laxmi Bai’s first biopic ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ was released on 24 January 1953 and is considered a classic film of Hindi cinema. Sohrab Modi had produced and directed it. In the film, the character of Rani Laxmibai was played by Mahtab, wife of Sohrab Modi, while she herself was in a very important role of Rajguru (political advisor).
- Story of a brave woman, Rani of Jhansi not only Bollywood movies but serials were also made on Rani Laxmi Bai. In the serial Ek Veer Stree Ki Kahani Jhansi Ki Rani, which started in the year 2009, Ulka Gupta, a resident of Saharsa Bihar, played the character of ‘Jhansi ki Rani’. In this, the character of Laxmi Bai’s youth was played by Kritika Sengar. Kritika’s performance was highly appreciated by the audience.
- ‘Manikarnika the Queen of Jhansi’ First of all, let’s talk about Kangana Ranaut’s film ‘Manikarnika the Queen of Jhansi’ released this year. KV Vijayendra Prasad, the writer of the series ‘Bahubali’, wrote the story of the film. Kangana played the character of Rani Laxmi Bai in the film. However, many controversies were also associated with this film during its production.
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