The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Rani Lakshmibai on her Jayanti.
A brief history of Rani Lakshmibai
- Rani Lakshmibai also called Rani of Jhansi was born on 19 November 1828 in the town of Varanasi into a Marathi Karhade Brahmin family
- She was named Manikarnika Tambe and was nicknamed Manu.
- Her father was Moropant Tambe and her mother Bhagirathi Sapre (Bhagirathi Bai)
- Her father worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II of Bithoor district.
- The Peshwa called her “Chhabili”, which means “playful”.
- She was educated at home, able to read and write, and was more independent in her childhood than others of her age
- She was married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, in May 1842 and was afterwards called Lakshmibai (or Laxmibai)
- In September 1851, she gave birth to a boy, later named Damodar Rao, who died four months after birth.
- The Maharaja adopted a child called Anand Rao, the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin, who was renamed Damodar Rao, on the day before the Maharaja died.
- The adoption was in the presence of the British political officer who was given a letter from the Maharaja instructing that the child be treated with respect and that the government of Jhansi should be given to his widow for her lifetime.
Fight against the British
- After the death of the Maharaja in November 1853, because Damodar Rao (born Anand Rao) was an adopted son, the British East India Company, under Governor-General Lord Dalhousie, applied the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Damodar Rao’s claim to the throne and annexing the state to its territories.
- In March 1854, Rani Lakshmibai was given an annual pension of Rs. 60,000 and ordered to leave the palace and the fort.
- Rani Lakshmibai was determined to not give up on the Dominion of Jhansi and hence started assembling an army of rebellions
- Rani Lakshmibai was one of the leading figures of the Rebellion of 1857 which began on May 10, 1857
- It is said that, after a fierce war, when the British army entered Jhansi, Rani Lakshmibai, tied her son Damodar Rao to her back and fought bravely using two swords in both her hands.
- She died on June 17, 1958, martyring her life for India’s freedom.