Rani Lakshmibai

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    In News 

    • Recently, the Prime Minister of India has paid tributes to Rani Lakshmibai on her Jayanti.

    About Rani Lakshmi Bai

    • Lakshmi Bai was born on November 19, 1835, in Kashi, India. 

                     

    • Early Life: Brought up in the household of the Peshwa (ruler) Baji Rao II.                                                                                                       
      • She grew up with the boys in the Peshwa’s court and was trained in martial arts and became proficient in sword fighting and riding. 
    • Marriage: She married the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao, but was widowed without bearing a surviving heir to the throne. 
    • The Maharaja adopted a boy as his heir just before his death,
    • Lord Dalhousie, the British governor-general of India, refused to recognize the adopted heir and annexed Jhansi in accordance with the Doctrine of Lapse.

    Doctrine of Lapse

    • It was an annexation policy followed widely by Lord Dalhousie when he was India’s Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.
    • According to this, any princely state that was under the direct or indirect control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company.
    • It was enforced in the cases of Satara (1848), Jaitpur and Sambalpur (1849), Baghat (1850), Chota Udaipur (1852), Jhansi (1853), and Nagpur (1854). 
    • Uprising against the British: 
      • She refused to cede Jhansi to the British. Shortly after the beginning of the mutiny in 1857, which broke out in Meerut.
      • She was proclaimed the regent of Jhansi, and she ruled on behalf of the minor heir. 
      • Under Gen. Hugh Rose, the East India Company’s forces had begun their counteroffensive in Bundelkhand by January 1858. 
        • Advancing from Mhow, Rose captured Saugor (now Sagar) in February and then turned toward Jhansi in March. 
      • She offered stiff resistance to the invading forces and the rescuing army of Tantia Tope, another rebel leader, was defeated at the Battle of Betwa.
      • Tantia Tope and Lakshmi Bai then mounted a successful assault on the city-fortress of Gwalior. 
        • The treasury and the arsenal were seized, and Nana Sahib, a prominent leader, was proclaimed as the Peshwa (ruler).  
    • Death: After taking Gwalior, Lakshmi Bai marched east to Morar to confront a British counterattack led by Rose.
      •  She fought a fierce battle and was killed in combat on June 17, 1858, near Gwalior.

    Source: PIB