Rani Lakshmi Bai was an unforgettable warrior in the history of India. She is famous as the Rani Of Jhansi or as the renowned Queen of Jhansi. Varanasi is the place she belongs to, popularly called Kashi. It was 1857 when the queen showed her heroism and valour rising with a rebellion against Britishers. This battle was known as the very first war for Independence. Rani Lakshmi bai died like a hero at the young age of 29 and was amongst the most contributing characters.
Childhood Days of Rani Lakshmi Bai
Formally known as Manikarnika Tambe, Rani Lakhsmi Bai was the brave daughter of Bhagirathi Tambe and Moropant Tambe. She took birth in 1828, Nov 19th at Kashi. Rani Lakshmi Bai was a Brahmin girl and got her nickname "Manu" when her father moved to Bithoor, a district in Uttar Pradesh. After her mother's death, they moved as Moropant Tambe (Rani Lakshmi Bai's father) worked as an advisor in the court of Peshwa Baji Rao, general and statesman of the Maratha Empire.
From her childhood days, Manikarnika got all the teaching on martial arts, fencing, horse riding, and shooting. She used to have a good time playing with Rao Sahib, Nana Sahib, Tantia Tope, and other boys who come to Peshwa's court. Rani Lakshmi Bai had a couple of mares as she was good on horse riding. The two mares were named as Sarangi and Pavan.
Marriage with Maharaja of Jhansi
At the age of fourteen, Manu married Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. It was 1842, and he was the emperor of Jhansi. Just after marriage, Queen Jhansi got the name of Lakshmi Bai, as she was as Laxmi, the Goddess of money in the Hindu religion. As per Marathas’ customs and tradition, Bai is known as one honourable title to represent the Maharani or Queen. She gave birth to a son child in the year of 1851, whose name is Damodar Rao. Unfortunately, the child died within four months of his birth because of chronic illness.
Rani and the Policy of Doctrine of Lapse
British Government took an opportunity over the Maharaja's death, which caused the loss of bloodline heir, and considered occupying Jhansi. Following the incidents, the British East India Company then introduced the rule of Doctrine of Lapse. They pointed out that if any princely state comes under any indirect or direct rule of the Company, and the ruler of the state dies without a male legal heir, that is when the state has the right to annex the East India Company. Manikarnika was displeased by this unfairness, and she pleaded in London Court. Quite naturally, since it was the rule already imposed, all her attempts proved futile.
Mutiny of 1857
After the petitions went unaccepted by the British Government or the East India Company, war broke out in 1857. It is popularly known as the Mutiny of 1857. The revolt started at Meerut on 10th May. The revolt's original date was set on 31st May 1857, but people were already emotionally charged, restive, and impatient against the Britishers' exploitations. Hence they started the revolution way before.
The Queen of Jhansi fought with impeccable valour and courage. She single-handedly fought with the British army till one of the English horsemen struck her on the rear head, and another severely wounded her breast. Despite being heavily injured, she continued the fight bravely and killed the horsemen. She fell from the horse and collapsed on the ground. Rani Laksmi Bai will always be remembered amongst the bravest fighters in the Indian history.
Q.1. On a Short Note, Describe Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Ans: There are very few parallels that can be found matching with Maharani Laksmi Bai. From her perspective, none of the sacrifices can be defined in clear language when it comes to the defence of the motherland. If there had been more warriors with the same courage, fighting along with her, India would have gained Independence long before 1947. She was one of the bravest, and thus, Rani Lakshmi Bai became a national symbol of pride and patriotism. She was truly an inspiration for others who joined the war in the later years.
Q.2. Express the Mutiny of 1857 in Your Words.
Ans: Apart from Jhansi, Dalhousie from the East India Company annexed other states on the pretext of the Doctrine of lapse. The countrywide revolt began on May 31, 1857, and it spread like wildfire. In Jhansi, the revolt began on June 4, 1857, when Rani Lakhsmi Bai seized the Company's magazines and treasury. The command of the revolutionary forces was taken by Manikarnika on 7th June 1857 and took the fort. A huge force led by Sir Hugh Rose was sent to Jhansi for recapturing. The terrible battle struck almost for a week, and the Queen of Jhansi stood well against the Britishers.
Q.3. Explain the Early Life of Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Ans: Rani Lakshmi Bai, also known as Manikarnika Tambe, was born in a Brahmin family on 19th November 1828. Her father and mother were Moropant Tambe and Bhagirathi Tambe. The Queen of Jhansi grew up with proper military exposure under Tantia Tope and Nana Sahib. She is also popularly known as Manu among the Marathas. Varanasi is the place where she was born. However, she had to move to Bithoor district in Uttar Pradesh when her mother died, and the father was employed as a military advisor in the court of Peshwa Baji Rao.