Manikarnika: The beloved Queen of Jhansi
The first look of Kangana’s Manikarnika is out and yes we all loved it. The queen of Jhansi, Raani Laxmibai had made a pioneering change in Indian history. Her fierce and passionate warrior avatar scared enemies and got her respect from her followers and upcoming generations. Born in a holy place like Banaras, Laxmibai had a spark of being unique since her childhood. She was born in Marathi Karhade family in Nov. 1828.
Despite being a woman, she was trained as a fighter from the very young age. Her family also shared blood relations with Nana Sahib Peshwa. She was named as Manikarnika with the nickname of Manu.
Peshwa saw the playfulness in this young child, and he decided to give Manu the finest education that included warrior tactics, shooting, swordsmanship, horsemanship, etc. In 1842, Manikarnika was married to the young king of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. She was then called as Raani Laxmibai. She had an independent and courageous soul, therefore in no time, she won the hearts of Jhansi citizens.
After a few years, Laxmibai gave birth to a boy, who was named as Damodar Rao, who died in a few months. After this painful incidence in 1852, she adopted the son of Gangadhar Rao’s cousin and renamed him as Damodar Rao. This was the time when Britishers had a strong hold on major parts of India. In the same year, Maharaja died and Laxmibai became the widow
She decided to put a crown on young Damodar’s head. But, her request was denied by Governor-General Lord Dalhousie. In 1857, when India witnessed the first revolution of freedom, the news of the fight reached Jhansi. And this was the time for the rebel to be born. Laxmibai asked for a permission to have an army of her own for her protection, but the hidden intention was to be a part of revolution by making a damage to British Raj.
Thomas Lowe called her as a ‘Jezebel of India’. From 1857 to 1858, Laxmibai ruled Jhansi and inspired men to join this freedom fight. Upon the arrival of Britishers to take control of Jhansi, Laxmibai decided to rebel and fought with her men for freedom. British Raj threatened her to destroy Jhansi, but this fierce rebel decided to fight for the independence.
Her famous words were, “ main apni Jhansi nahi dungi”. Her motto was to fight till victory or earn salvation. Tatya Tope helped her to defend her beloved land of Jhansi. With heavy attacks and surrounded by the British army, she decided to leave and planned an escape with her strong men. She camped at Kapi. Damodar was on her back when she rode. But, eventually, hundreds of British soldiers trapped them. With no mood for surrender, Laxmibai fought that battle and escaped
On March 17th near Phool Baug, Gwalior, her army was slaughtered by British forces. She fought till her last breath. Heavily wounded Rani Laxmibai was shot with a pistol. She had informed a hermit to burn her body as she dint want Britishers to capture her even after the death
Hugo Rose commented Raani Laxmibai as the most dangerous of all Indian leaders. She will always be remembered as a fierce warrior and a rebel for her contribution to India’s independence fight.
Raani Laxmibai remains one of the most important names in Indian history. She was the goddess with the warrior skills. Her death inspired many to continue the fight for independence.