BY SHWETA PORWAL
As soon as one hears the name of Rani Laxmi Bai, an image of Rani Laxmi Bai weaving a sword in her hand on horseback comes to mind.
One of the greatest Indian Freedom Fighter Rani Laxmi Bai was born on 19th November 1828. She was born in Varanasi into a Marathi Karhade Brahmin Family as Manikarnika Tambe also known as Manu by her closed ones. Laxmi Bai had a very different childhood than others, her mother died when she was four years old, so she started to spend time with her father.
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Rani Laxmi Bai was educated at home, was able to read and write under the influence of her father, Moropant Tambe who worked for Peshwa Baji Rao II of Bithoor district was also the commander of the war of Kalyanpranth. Under her father’s guidance, Laxmi Bai was more independent than others of her age.
Living life under her father’s guidance she used to live in court where her father used to work. She used to play with Nanashaeb, the adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao. She studied self-defense, horsemanship, archery, fencing, and many other valuable skills and formed her own army out of her female friends at court.
Rani Laxmi Bai was married to Maharaja of Jhansi ‘Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar’ when she was seven years old and became the queen of Jhansi since then. The Raja was very aectionate towards her and gave her the name Laxmi Bai. After the marriage Laxmi Bai gave birth to a boy child who survived only four months. Later on, they adopted Anand Rao the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin.
It’s been said that Raja Gangadhar Rao never recovered form his childs death and died on 21st November. When Raja Gangadhar died Laxmi Bai was only 18 years old where she did not lost the courage and took up the responsibility to Govern and protect the interest of Jhansi.
After the death of King of Jhansi, Lord Dalhousie sought to annex the kingdom on the pretext of the Doctrine of lapse which forbids the British to acknowledge the adopted hiers. Rani Laxmi Bai was provided a sum amount of Rs. 6o,ooo and was asked to leave Jhansi were in she said that ‘Main Jhansi Nhi Dungi’ leading to a battle.
Rani Laxmi Bai fought against Sir Hugh Rose and his army for two weeks but was defeated and tried to escape to Kalpi with her son. Later on, with the help of his childhood friend, Tatya Tope, Rani successfully captured the fort of Gwalior.
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She died on 18th June 1858, while battling in full warrior against the 8th Kings Royal Irish near Phool Bagh area of Gwalior.
Rani Lakshmi Bai was much ahead of the times she was living in. She had the heart and courage to go for what was right and left us a very important message of courage and fearlessness. The courageous stories of Rani Lakshmibai inspired many generations of freedom fighters in India.
Every women is Rani Laxmi Bai:
Rani: When she is living in her father’s house.
Laxmi: When she goes to her husband’s house.
Bai: When she gives birth to her child and raises them.