Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lakshmibai: Rani of Jhansi

From BBC News:
A previously undiscovered letter written by one of India's best known female rebels against British colonial rule has been found by academics.

The letter was written by Lakshmibai, Rani of Jhansi, shortly before the Indian mutiny - or first war of independence - in 1857.

It has been found in London in the archives of the British Library.

The Rani of Jhansi has often been called the "Joan of Arc" of the Indian independence struggle.

Academics say the discovery of the letter is hugely significant, because so little historical evidence from the Rani of Jhansi's lifetime exists.

In 1857 the Rani joined the rebellion against the British and personally led her troops in battle. At one point she was captured by EIC troops but subsequently made a daring escape from a fort.

"Whatever the truth, the story of a female leader battling for her kingdom against the might of the EIC fired the nationalistic imagination when the contested history of 1857 came to be written.

4 comments:

Rose Belle said...

I love history, particulary ancient history from India, Rome, China, and Egypt. I vaguely remember Lakshmibai as th Joan of Arc in India. Your post refreshed my memory on this fascinating woman and her cause.

Melisende said...

Thank you Rose Belle - I had studied Indian History - such a long time ago but did not focus on this early period of independence.

Rana Sinha said...

Thanks for the interesting post. It seems that with new discoveries, we have to rewrite much of 'known' history.

Melisende said...

Thanks Rana! You are right - history is constantly being re-written. Let's hope more ladies get their much deserved dues.