Rani Laxmi Bai, popularly known as ‘Jhansi ki Rani,’ is a symbol of women’s empowerment in India and one of the nation’s greatest liberation warriors. She is remembered as a famous character in Indian history, and her tenacity and resolve were unrivalled. She was widely regarded as India’s “Joan of Arc,” and was one of the pivotal figures in India’s first fight for liberation. Laxmi Bai battled bravely against the British and made an indelible mark on Indian history.
On her death anniversary, let us look at a list of facts about India’s well known female martyr that every nationalist should be aware of:
- While it is widespread knowledge that Laxmi Bai was born on November 19, 1828, in Varansi in a Brahmin, Marathi Karhade family, the exact birthdate is still a topic of debate.
- She was named Manikarnika by her family. And she was affectionately referred to as ‘Manu’.
- Laxmi Bai lost her mother when she was as young as 4 years old.
- Her parents were the cousins of Nana Sahib.
- She was brought up in the palace of Peshwa, and Peswa Baji Rao II treated her like she was his own daughter. He also called her ‘Chabbili’, which translates to ‘the playful one’.
- As she grew up with Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope, she was trained in Martial Arts, fighting with swords, and horse riding. Due to such unusual upbringing, she was more independent than other girls of her age.
- While moving between palaces and temples, Laxmi Bai preferred riding a horse rather than a ‘Palki’, which is a covered couch carried by bearers on their shoulders.
- She acquired the name Laxmi Bai after she was married at the age of 14, to the Raja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Newalkar.
- She lost her first child when he was just 4 months old.
- Two years later, she adopted Anand Rao, who was the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin.
Inspiring Quotes by Rani Laxmi Bai:
- “I shall not surrender my Jhansi”
- “If defeated and killed on the field of battle, we shall surely earn eternal glory and salvation”
- “We fight for independence. In the words of Lord Krishna we will, if we are victorious, enjoy the fruits of victory”