Monday Minstrel: Warrior Queen Rani

Rani Lakshmibai was born in 1828. As a young woman she rode often and was an accomplished horsewoman. She married the Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842. She gave birth to a son but he died as an infant. Then the Maharaja and Rani adopted a son who they named Damodar Rao. The adoption was done in the presence of a British officer who accepted a letter from the Maharaja instructing that in the event of his death the boy be treated with respect and the government of the province of Jhansi be given to his widow, Rani, for her lifetime.

But when the Maharaja died the British East India Company, annexed the state to its territories. When Rani heard of this she cried out:” I shall not surrender my Jhansi”. But in 1854 she was ordered to leave the palace.She refused to do so.

I857 marks the beginning of the Indian Rebellion and in March of that year the British forces besieged Jhansi. Rani would not surrender. She issued a proclamation: “We fight for independence. In the words of Lord Krishna, we will if we are victorious, enjoy the fruits of victory, if defeated and killed on the field of battle, we shall surely earn eternal glory and salvation.”

Rani had to flee from the palace and sought refuge in the fort of Jhansi. When her counselors advised her that defeat was imminent she mounted her horse Baadal and with her son strapped to her back, leapt off the wall of the fort. Tradition has it that she and her son survived and escaped but the horse did not.

On the 17th of June 1858 Rani was commanding a large Indian force. She was wearing a sawar’s uniform and attacked one of the British hussars but she was unhorsed and wounded by his sabre. As she lay bleeding on the ground she fired at him with a pistol. He then turned and “dispatched the young lady with his carbine. ” Rani was only 30 years old.

To the British she was a bloodthirsty hellion but to India she was a warrior Queen who fought and died for her country’s independence.

Photo credit: Dharmadyaksha.
Statue in Solapur

My main source of information on Rani Lakshmibai is from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rani_of_Jhansi

My inspiration for this post came from Prashant Ramani , at Tack and Rider, in Wellington Florida. This just goes to show you can never know where you may have a conversation that will take you to the other side of the world! Thank you Prashant!

17 Comments Add yours

  1. Megala says:

    Great post! Jhansi Rani was my childhood heroine, I used to imagine her fighting on horse back, it still gives me goosebumps while reading this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my! I am so happy to read this comment. Rani is an I aspiration. A true woman warrior. Thank you so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Megala says:

        Pleasure is all mine, I’m so delighted to read about her here after a long time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Emma Cownie says:

    What a brave woman! The English imperialists are a terrible lot, going round killing with impunity, in the name of profit. Not much to be proud of there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think she was very brave. Considering when this happened the concept of a warrior woman commander must have been rare. As for the Brirish,well many stories of imperialism around the world are sad tales of abuse and the British were not the only ones. Thank you for commenting Emma.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. iScriblr says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post! Indeed, a story of bravery and valor!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting. It is a wonderful story and after I heard about this warrior woman I wanted to pass on her story.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Read about Jhansi Rani in school after that now only I am reading an article about her. Otherwise these great peoples has become an oneline news during Independence day or women’s day. Thank you so much for this post ma’am. Fantastic picture of her statue. I saw a trailer of movie that is about Jhansi ki Rani and this post coincidence with same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much for this comment Subbashini! I think her story is marvelous .What a brave young woman. So when the gentleman in the tack shop ( who is originally from India) told me about her I thought that I must write about her.

      Like

  5. dprastka says:

    What an interesting story and beautiful statue in her honor. Magnificent, I love women heroes! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m glad you found it interesting . It is an amazing story. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That is fascinating when we discover something from far off lands in the most unexpected place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Indeed it is. Thank you for taking the time to take a look and to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely story, Anne. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are most welcome Nurul. Thank you for reading and leaving this nice comment.

      Like

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