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Tatya Tope was a rebel Indian leader during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the First War of Independence. He was a warrior credited with initiating the First war of Independence. Tatya Tope was a supporter of another rebel Indian leader Nana Sahib.
Life of Tatya Tope:
Ramachandra Pandurang Tope or Tatya Tope was born in Maharashtra in 1814. He was born to Pandurang Rao Tope and Rukhmabai. Tatya Tope was a follower of Nana Sahib. When the British government stopped giving Nana Sahib his father’s pension Nana turned hostile towards the British. Tatya being a supporter of Nana also turned hostile towards the British. Tatya Tope died in 1859.
Role of Tatya Tope in Freedom Movement
Tatya Tope was a rebel credited with initiating the First war of Independence. Tope was a supporter of Nana Sahib, rebel Indian leader during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. When the political storm was gaining momentum, he won over the Indian troops of the East India Company, stationed at Kanpur, established Nana Sahib’s authority and became the commander in chief of his revolutionary forces.
Progressing with the Gwalior contingentment after the British reoccupation of Kanpur he forced General Windham to retreat from Kanpur. After losing Gwalior he launched campaign in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh and Narmada River regions and Rajasthan. After the reoccupation of Kanpur he shifted his headquarter to Kalpi and joined he joined hands with Rani Lakshmibai. He then led a revolt in Bundelkhand. Later he declared Nana Sahib a peshwa.
But before he could consolidate his position General Rose defeated him in a memorable battle in which Rani Lakshmi Bai became a martyr. The fall of Gwalior was a turning point in the career of Tatya Tope. Thereafter he commenced his remarkable feats of guerrilla warfare over very vast regions of Malwa, Central India, Bundel-khand, Rajputana and Khandesh, from the recesses of the Vindhyas to the gorges of the Aravali, which harassed and perplexed the British and their allies.
Death of Tatya Tope:
Tatya Tope could not be captured by the British in the marathon chase of about 2,800 miles horizontally and vertically through forests, hills, dales and across the swollen rivers.Tope was betrayed by his trusted friend Man Singh and was defeated by general Napier’s British Indian troops. He was defeated and captured in 1859 and was tried by a military court. On April 18, 1859 the British government executed him at Shivpuri.
Honour of Tatya Tope:
The Nana Rao Park in Kanpur was made in honour of Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope. There is a statue of Tatya Tope at the park. His statue also stands at his hometown at Yeola.