Saturday, February 9, 2019


Manu-Manilarnika became Laxmibai after her marriage with the King of Jhansi Gangadhar Rao. She fought for her right over the throne of Jhansi. Her husband signed the doctrine of lapse, the policy introduced by the East India Company and widely executed by Lord Dalhousie. It was a major cause to ignite the fire of rebellion. Laxmibai’s real son died in infancy and the adopted son was not accepted by the EIC. There was a dispute of interpretation of the agreement that was obviously decided by the London Court in favour of the EIC. She was granted privy purse of ₹60000/annum but had to leave the palace and fort of Jhansi. [GoI Act of 1935 had provision of deed of accession to make Union of India, that was implemented by Sardar Patel (with VP Menon and Lord Mountbatten) after the GOI Act of 1947, by giving good amount of privy purse and right over their palace-land-Jwelleries-properties, and a place of “Rajpramukh” like Governor of the Province to the bigger players for building united India. Later, they all merge with the union with the merger deed]

What is important to note that she was a Brahmin Girl, married at the age of 14 to a 46 years old King of Jhansi Gangadhar Rao, who was very weak and died in 1853 at the age of 56Y. Laxmibai became widow at 24 but the brave lady fought for her right. Her appeal in London Court, after losing it, quitting the fort and palace, organising and preparing the villagers including the women and building the strength of weapons to fight for home rule and when EIC Officers were busy in managing the Mutiny of 1857, taking over the possession of the palace and the fort was a great great courageous act.

When British forces entered Jhansi on 4/4/1858 and massacre the civilian population, she used presence of mind, jumped from a good height of the palace-fort using her horse Badal (eventually the horse died) and managed the great escape by traveling 151 kms on horse and reached to the camp of Tatya Tope at Kalpi. Jhalkari Bai (the Kori lady) gave her a great cover and fought the war as her duplicate keeping the British force busy in confusion of her as Rani. She sacrificed her life for her queen so that British couldn’t chase Laxmibai.

Laxmibai then took over Gwalior fort without much of an oppose but in that hostile palace of Sindhia, instead of waiting inside, she took a decision to move out of the fort to fight out with British, but was encountered by the forces of the Hugh Rose and was killed at the dead end of the street of Gwalior on 14/6/1858. She couldn’t manage the escape like Jhansi because there was no cover of Jhalkaribai !

She was only 29 when was killed. Her acts of bravery for those 4 years (1953-58) after the death of her husband and the last part of her life of 71 days fighting war of Jhansi, great escape, capturing Gwalior and sacrificing her life in a battle field for her right, gave her an immortal place in the history of India, made her an inspiration of bravery and love for the motherland. Rani Laxmibai is immortal.

Hugh Rose, the EIC Major General who fought wars of Jhansi and Gwalior against Rani, commented that Rani Lakshmibai is "personable, clever and beautiful" and she is "the most dangerous of all Indian leaders". Colonel Malleson wrote in the History of the Indian Mutiny; vol. 3; London, 1878 'Whatever her faults in British eyes may have been, her countrymen will ever remember that she was driven by ill-treatment into rebellion, and that she lived and died for her country, We cannot forget her contribution for India.'

खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।

Our salutes to the Rani🙏

8 February 2019


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