Saturday, 8 October 2011

Verses to remember..........

I wonder how many of us,in this generation have heard the verses of the  poetry mentioned below? i remember having performed this poem on my school stage when i was probably three years old, and often rhyme the words which i remember till date, in my mind and think of those old days.At times wish to go back in pre -independence era and see ,the life style of the people,their behaviour and how they conducted themselves , .Its an overwhelming feeling remembering the past that i often heard from my grand parents and now i look for in books of history. This blog is about Rani (queen) of Jhansi who fought a fearless battle with British. and has been an inspiration for me as well.............
सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,     The thrones shook and royalities scrowled
      बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी    Old India was re-invigorated with new youth
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी      People realised the value of lost freedom
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।  Everybody was determined to throw the foreigners out
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,The old sword glistened again in 1857
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,         This story we heard from the mouth of Bundel bards
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।      Like a man she fought,she was the Queen of Jhansi
     Rani Lakshmi Bhai was the name of an extraordinary woman .who was independent,educated, studied self defence,archery even formed an army of her own,out of her female friends .She was born in varanasi and married Maharaja of Jhansi in 1842,and became the queen of Jhansi She was given the name Lakshmi Bhai after her marriage,her original name was Manikarnika. She gave birth to a son who died four months after he was born,  and,King and Queen of Jhansi adopted a son named Anand Rao,who was the son of Gangadhars cousin.He was later renamed as Damodar Rao.However Raja never recovered from his son's death ,and died in 1953.
Because Anand Rao,was adopted,the East India Company ,underGoverner -General Lord Dalhousie,had an excuse to apply the Doctrine of Lapse, rejecting Rao's claim to the throne. Dalhousie then annexed Jhansi, saying that the throne had "lapsed" and claimed the right to put Jhansi under his protection. In March 1854, she was given a pension of 60,000 rupees and ordered to leave the palace and the Jhansi fort.
In May 1857  the Indian Rebellion started in Meerut which began after rumours that the new bullet casings for the Lee Enfield rifles were coated with pork and beef fat; British commanders insisted on their use and started to discipline anyone who disobeyed. During this rebellion sepoys killed many British soldiers and officers of the East India Company. The agitation spread throughout India. During this chaotic time, the British were forced to focus their attentions elsewhere, and Lakshmi Bai was essentially left to rule Jhansi alone. During this time, she was able to lead her troops swiftly and efficiently to quell skirmishes breaking out in Jhansi. Through this leadership Lakshmi Bai was able to keep Jhansi relatively calm and peaceful in the midst of the Empire’s unrest. Up to this point a little hesitant to rebel against the British but she her hasitation ended when British Troops arrived under Sir Hugh Rose  and laid siege to Jhansi on 23 March 1858. She rallied her troops around her and fought fiercely. An army of 20,000, headed by the rebel leader Tatya Tope,  was sent to relieve Jhansi and to take Lakshmi Bai to freedom. However, the British, though numbering only 1,540 in the field so as not to break the siege, were better trained and disciplined than the raw recruits, and these inexperienced soldiers turned and fled shortly after the British began to attack on 31st March. Lakshmi Bai’s forces could not hold out and three days later the British were able to breach the city walls and capture the city. Lakshmi Bai escaped by jumping from the wall at night with her son and fled from her city, surrounded by her guards, many of them women.

Along with the young Anand Rao, the Rani decamped to Kalpi  along with her forces where she joined other rebel forces, including those of Tatya Tope . The Rani and Tatya Tope moved on to Gwalior, where the combined rebel forces defeated the army of the Maharaja of Gwalior after his armies deserted the rebel forces. They then occupied a strategic fort at Gwalior. However, on the 17th of June 1858. while battling in full warrior regalia against the8th (Kings Royal Irish) in Kotah-ki Serai near the Phool Bagh area of Gwalior, she died. The British captured Gawalior ,three days later. In the British report of the battle, General Hugh Rose commented that the Rani, "remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance", had been "the most dangerous of all tthe rebells" It is believed her funeral was arranged on the same day near the spot where she was wounded.