Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmibai
Rani Lakshmibai was the Queen of the Princely state of Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, India. She was one of the first leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and She was the symbol of resistance to the British Raj for Indian Nationalists.
She knows that the responsibilities were going to hit her soon because her childhood studies involved shooting, horsemanship, fencing, and Mallakhamba.
Her Struggle started when her husband died. Lakshmibai gave birth to a boy, named Damodar Rao, in 1851, who died after four months. The Maharaja, then adopted a child named Anand Rao, the son of Maharaja’s cousin and named him Damodar Rao.
The adoption was in the presence of British political officer and a letter was given instructing them to treat the child with respect and that the government of Jhansi should be given to her widow Laxmibai.
But after the death of Maharaja, British East India Company denied the Damodar Rao’s claim to the throne.
The Rani exercise at weightlifting, wrestling, and steeplechasing before breakfast. An intelligent woman, she ruled in a business-like manner.
In 1857, when she heard the news of the Indian Rebellion, she asked the British political officer, to permission to raise a body of armed men for her own protection and the same year in June, she rebels against the British by seizing the Star Fort of Jhansi.
In 1858, when the British forces arrived at Jhansi to maintain control but found it well defended with heavy guns. British forces demanded the surrender of the city.
The defenders refused to surrender and rather die to earn eternal glory and salvation.
As the army was fighting outside the fort, soon there was a breach in the walls and the Street fighting continued. Rani withdrew from the palace to the fort and join the rebellion.
According to tradition with Damodar Rao on her back jumped on her horse from the fort. They both survived but the horse died. The Rani escaped in the night with her son. She then joined additional rebel forces but were again defeated.
She led several fights and one day died fighting, dressed as a cavalry leader. She told a hermit to burn her body, not wishing the Britishers to capture her.
Rani Laxmibai is a “Personable, Clever, and Beautiful” and she is “the most dangerous of all Indian Leaders” in the words of Hugh Rose, in his British report after the capture of the city of Gwalior.