“Khoob Ladi Mardani Woh Toh Jhansi Wali Rani Thi”– This epic line in the poem “Jhansi Ki Rani” by poetess Shubhadra Kumari Chauhan, aptly venerates the bravery of Rani Lakshmi Bai.
Rani Lakshmibai was one of the leading freedom fighter of the country and gave conclusion to the first struggle of independence in order to protect Jhansi from the Britsh’s annexations.
She is a symbol of bravery, patriotism and honor. She bravely opposed the doctrine of lapse set by the Britshers in order to protect Jhansi and became a legendary figure.
She set example in front of Indians and inspired future generations including women to fight against the British Raj.
Colonel George Bruce Malleson, a British officer and author praised her patriotism and bravery. In his book ‘History Of The Indian Mutiny’ volume 3, 1878, he wrote “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.”
Fact about Rani Lakshmibai
She was fondly called ‘Manu’ by everyone and she was a braveheart from birth and her parents called her ‘Manikarnika’.
She refused to accept the ‘Doctrine of Lapse’ imposed by the British Government. She took reins of Jhansi in her own hands and protected the city.and Hugh Rose was the commander of the British force against her
She preferred riding a horse to using a Palki (a covered couch, carried by bearers on their shoulders). Her horses included Sarangi, Pavan and Baadal.
In May 1842, at the age of fourteen, she got married to the Raja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Newalkar. Her name was changed in honor of Goddess Lakshmi.
In 1851, Lakshmi Bai gave birth to a boy who was named Damodar Rao. The child unfortunately passed away when he was just four months old. Two years later she adopted Anand Rao, son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin, as her own son.
On June 17, 1858, while bravely fighting the British squadron in Gwalior, Rani Lakshmi Bai attained martyrdom in the battlefield. Dressed as a cavalry leader, she was badly wounded during the battle. A few locals cremated her body in Phool Bagh.