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Friday, March 5, 2021

Rani of Jhansi – The Indian Nationalists Symbol for Resistance to the British Raj

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The queen which shall be forever remembered in the vast Indian history is the queen of Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai or also known as Rani of Jhansi. She was born in a Marathi family located in the holy lands of Varanasi. While she was around 4 years of age she lost her mother and her father who worked under Peshwa of Bithoor. According to Hindu mythology, Bithoor is the birthplace of Ram’s sons Luv and Kush.

Unlike the other girls of her time she learned to shoot and ride horses while she was studying. Her name was Manu but she was called Lakshmibai, which is connected to the Hindu Godess Laksmi that is translated into wealth. She got this name by her husband who was the current king of Jhansi at the time being. She had lost her son Damodar who was only 4 months of age and this resulted for the king to adopt a son. He was soon declared heir to the throne and he changed his name from Anand Rao to Damodar Rao.

When her husband died all of the power went to the queen but the newly adopted son was the heir to the throne. What she did first was pressing charges on the Doctrine of Lapse. This gave her a chance to decline the throne to Damondar Rao. The people were outraged by her actions alongside with some of the nobles. But India was ruled under the British at this time being. She made her stand and was allowed to rule over Jhansi, she was also given a pension by the British. She fought rebels and peacefully ruled Jhansi for a few years. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 was a major, but ultimately unsuccessful, uprising in India in 1857 – 58 against the rule of the British East India Company. This rebellion is also known as India’s first war of independence.

Later when Jhansi was attacked by the British troops sent by the Queen with an ultimatum to surrender, she refused. She fought bravely for her independence. She fought bravely but was pushed out of her fortifications. Even though she fled she still joined the rest of rebels and a new alliance was formed against the British government during this revolt of 1857. Even after the revolt was unsuccessful she continued to fight and at the end. Once she realized that all was lost she joined the battle and lost her life fighting.

She didn’t accomplish much on a political scale, but she still lives in the hearts of many Indian women, she is an example of bravery and is a symbol of a revolution.

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