Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi
Introduction: Rani Laxmi Bai (or Lakshmi Bai, Lakshmibai) was the Rani of Jhansi (Queen of Jhansi). She is among the glorious heroines of India. After the death of her husband, Rani Laxmibai battled against the British Empire as a national patriot and sacrificed her. She is remembered as one of the early figures of the Great Rebellion of 1857 in India.
Birth and early life: Laxmibai was born on November 19, 1835 at Varanasi in India. Her father was Moropant Tambe. Her mother’s name was Bhagirathi Bai. She knew horse-riding and shooting. She was married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar (Maharaja of Jhansi) in 1842. Her son, Damodar Rao, died, when he was just 4 months old.
Application of Doctrine of Lapse by Lord Dalhousie: In the absence of a heir and successor, Moropant Tambe and Lakshmibai adopted a son and renamed him Damodar Rao. Lord Dalhousie was the Governor General of India at that time. He applied the provisions of the Doctrine of Lapse and rejected Damodar’s claim as a legal heir. The British Government ordered the annexation of State of Jhansi.
Revolt against British and War of Independence: Rani Laxmibai boldly revolted against the British policy of annexation. In 1857, the Indian patriots waged something of a War of Independence, though practically it was a national and popular revolt against British Imperialists.
Although this revolt was not properly organized, yet there sprang up a number of leaders from various parts of the country who led the revolution heroically. Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi was one of them. She was only twenty three years of age and a widow.
Rani Laxmibai did not lead the rebellion simply for the reason that her husband’s state was taken over by the British authorities. She was mainly inspired by fervor of nationalism. She was drunk deep in the wine of patriotism. She thought it to be her ethical duty to fight for the independence of her enslaved Motherland.
Rani Laxmibai took up the lead of 700 patriot-rebels of Jhansi and marched towards the Fort, which had been captured by the British soldiers. In the Fort there were 250 prisoner-patriots, who were eager to join her liberation army.
After re-conquering the Fort, Rani Laxmibai had the plan to march towards Delhi via Gwalior, Bharatpur and Mathura. The Fort was heavily garrisoned and guarded by British soldiers. It was pone of the biggest strong-hold of the British army. If the Fort was lost to the rebel-patriots, the road was clear for Rani’s gallant soldiers to link them up with the liberation army of Delhi, which was marching towards Gwalior. Thus, the British forces were determined, at all costs, to defend the Fort.
Among the 700 followers of young Rani Laxmibai, there were more than fifty girls between the ages of 24 and 25. Some of them were maidens, some young widows, whose husbands had been killed in the fight, and some were married. The patriot soldiers were dead tired because they had been fighting for days and days together. They were hungry and thirsty. Some of them even refused to march ahead. Rani Laxmibai, before mounting on her horse, delivered an inspiringly fervent speech which pierced deeply and effectively into the hearts of her followers.
After finishing her epoch-making speech she mounted on the horse carrying the yellow flag, and her followers shouted thunderingly ‘Rani Laxmibai Ki Jai! We will kill every for of our Motherland or be killed; there is no disgrace, worse than that of being heeled under foreign rule’.
There were one hundred horsemen and the remaining solders were on foot. The beautiful, brave Rani led the battalion of the fighters of India’s freedom. It was a touching and an inspiring sight. A young girl leading men to one of the grimmest fights in the history of our country’s struggle for freedom. The Rani and her battalion stopped in front of the temple of Shiva and Parvati. Dismounting the horse, she went into the temple and offered her prayer. The white-haired and grey-bearded priest of the temple, who could hardly restrain his tears, put the chandan mark on her forehead. She drank holy-water (charnamrit) and mounted on the horse. The army of patriots then marked towards the Fort.
The British soldiers, armed with guns and artillery met the bold challenges. Then followed a grim fight. The fight waged for more than two hours. The British solders wee re-enforced and their number began to increase. The solders of Rani’s battalion were killed. The British General asked her to surrender, but she rejected the idea. She died fighting heroically, and fell down in a pool of blood.
Conclusion: The inspiring story of Rani Laxmibai’s heroic death is a lesson for our country’s modern women. They should derive a good deal of inspiration out of her life and death, especially at this time when they are to play a dynamic role in nation building.
Category: History of India
Maharani Lakshmi Bai
Essay No. 01
Maharani Lakshmi Bai was an ideal woman. She is a source of inspiration to India can never forget her name. she was the leader of first independence battle of India.
She was born at Bitur on June 15, 1834. She was named Manu Bai. In her childhood she learnt the use of weapons. She had warlike qualities. She was a clever horse rider and clever archer.
She was married to Raja Ganga Dhar Rao of Jhansi. After marriage she was named Rani Lakshmi Bai. She wwould not enjoy the pleasures of married life. she became widow after two years of her marriage.
She had no issue. She wished to adopt a son. Lord Dalhausi the Governor General of India , did not allow her to do so. He wanted to make Jhansi a part of British India. Lakshmi Bai stood against him. She opposed foreign rule. She refused to obey the orders of Governor- General. She adopted a son and declared herself independent. Nana Sahib, Tantia Tope and Kanwar Singh were waiting for a chance. They joined hands with Rani.
Naya Khan demanded seven lakhs of rupees from the Rani. She sold her ornaments to dispose him off. This traitor joined the British. He again attacked Jhansi. The Rani rose against Naya Khan and the British. She filled the heart of her soldiers with the spirit of heroism. She fought bravely and defeated her enemy.
Jhansi was again invaded in 1857. Large armies arrived from England. Rani was asked to surrender, but she did not. The result was that the city was destroyed and captured by the British. But Rani still firm. At the news of Tanita Tope’s death she said, “ so long as there is a drop of blood in my veins and a sword in my hand, no foreigner dare to spoil the sacred land of Jhansi. “ Soon after this Lakshmi Bai and Nana Sahib captured Gwalior. But one of her chiefs Dinkar Rao proved traitor. So they had to leave Gwalior.
Now the Rani began to organize a new army. But she had not the time enough to do so. Col. Smith attacked her with large army. She fought bravely and heroically. She got a very bad wound. So long as she lived, she kept the flag of independence flying.
The Indians lost the First War of Independence. But Rani of Jhansi sowed the seeds of Independence and heroism. India will never forget her name. she is immortal. She was praised by and English General, Hugh Rose. He said that Laxmi Bai Maharani was the leader and general of the rebel armies. She was a very great woman who sacrificed her whole life for the service of her country, India. Her brave deeds have been written in letters of gold in Indian history. Many books, poems and novels are full of her heroic deeds. There was no other heroine like her in India History.
Essay No. 2
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi
Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi is known as a great patriot and one of the most important freedom fighters during the First war of the independence which is sometimes simply called “Mutiny” or the “Great Upheaval”. Though she fought primarily for her own kingdom, the fact is that she refused to bow her head before the mighty, cruel and crafty British empire.
She was born on 13th November, 1835, Her father’s name was Morapant and her mother’[s name was Bhagirathi.
In her childhood, Lakshmi Bai was called Many. As a child she grew up in the company of Nana Sahib who was the son of the Peshwa Bajirao and who too, like her, later became renowned for his bravery and his refusal to bow before cruelty and high handiness. It was in the company of Nana that Many got the training to become a brave and skilled soldier.
It was at an early age that she was married to Gangadhar Rai who was then the ruler of Jhansi.
As Gangadhar became seriously ill, the couple adopted a son Damodar as they had no son of their own.
Soon, Gangadhar died. After his death. Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor General who was following the Doctrine of Lapse, refused to accept Damodar as heir to Gangadhar’s throne.
Lakshmi Bai was however too brave a woman to be cajoled or brow beaten. She collected weapons and ammunition, and when the British invaded the fort of Jhansi they were surprised to find the brave daughter of India, with sword in her hand, answer forcefully the cruel stokes of a mighty enemy.
Lakshi Bai was certainly no match for the British power. After losing Jhansi, she fought from the fort of Gwalior. Certainly, she could not overpower the British forces. But she fought till her last breath and laid down her life for the sake of freedom.
Essay No. 03
Rani Laxmi Bai
India : Heroine of the First War of Independence
Birth : 1834 Death : 1858
No, other woman warrior in the history of India has made such a powerful impact on the mind of the Indian people as the Rani of Jhansi, Laxmi Bai. Her heroic battle against the British have became the subjects of many folk songs and ballads all over the country. Her indomitable spirit as a fighter for the independence of her country was appreciated even by her enemies. Rani Laxmi Bai died fighting bravely for the sake of her country. The Rani of Jhansi became the most popular leader of the First War of Independence (1857).
Laxmi Bai was born on 16th November 1834, in Varanasi (U.P.). Her childhood name was Manikamika or Manu. After the death of her mother she came to Bithur with her father. In Bithur, she learnt horse-riding and martial art. When she was eight, she was married to Raja Gangadhar Rao of Jhansi and so Laxmi Bai was called the ‘Rani of Jhansi’. In 1851, she gave birth to a son but by 1853, both her son and husband had died. The Rani Jhansi adopted a son but under the ‘policy of lapse’, the British Government did not recognize the adopted son and annexed Jhansi in 1853. On 4th June 1857, the Sepoy regiment stationed at Jhansi rebelled. The British control broke down in Jhansi also, and the British representative himself asked the people to obey the Rani.
The British forces under the leadership of Sir Hugh Rose besieged Jhansi. The Rani continued to command her forces from inside the fort but ultimately she was forced to leave Jhansi. She then managed to reach Kalpi where she joined her forces with that of the Nawab of Banda, Tatia Tope, but the British forces pursued her at Kalpi also and inflicted defeat on Kalpi. The Rani now captured Gwalior from Scindhia. But now luck turned against her. The Rani was surrounded from all sides, and so, she now tried to organise a retreat and while doing so was fatally wounded on 18th June 1885 and breathed her last on the battlefield.