18th June 1858  the Death of the Rani of Jhansi

Lakshmi Bai – the Queen of Jhansi

Today we pay tribute to Lakshmi Bai – the Rani (queen) of Jhansi – killed in battle on this day in 1858 by British Imperialists during India’s First War of Independence. She was twenty-two years old. The story of this freedom-fighting warrior heroine is the stuff of legend. Like Boudicca, she trained and personally led an army against occupying forces. Like Joan of Arc, she rode into battle dressed as a man. And, like the fictitious Scarlet Pimpernel, so mysterious and mythologised is the Rani that it’s difficult to identify the truth. Was she beautiful, as most accounts claim? Or was her face disfigured by smallpox? Was she a diplomatic head of state, or a ruthless and cunning rebel? Even the details of her death are uncertain. Many Western sources cite the date as 17th June 1858, while orthodox Indian references state the 18th. According to some versions, she died riding into battle against the British. Others say that she was shot while holding the ramparts of Gwalior Fort. Whatever the truth, the story of a female leader battling for her kingdom against the might of the British fired the Indian nationalistic imagination. During the long struggle for freedom, it was the Rani of Jhansi who served as the emblematic symbol of resistance.

So how did this real-life Xena manage to lead an army in the modern era, in direct opposition to the perceived notions of nineteenth-century Indian (and worldwide) feminine decorum?

In 1848, the power-hungry British East India Company under the leadership of Lord Dalhousie adopted the “doctrine of lapse” – allowing the British to annex an Indian state if the ruler did not have a male heir. Resistance to the policy, and the subsequent Great Rebellion of 1857, brought the Rani of Jhansi – the young widow of the last ruler of the state of Jhansi – into the political spotlight. After Jhansi “lapsed” to the British in 1854, the Rani repeatedly petitioned the British for her adopted son’s rightful inheritance. To Dalhousie she wrote: “It is notorious, my Lord, that the more powerful a state … the less disposed it is to acknowledge an error or an act of arbitrary character.” She later appealed to the Court of Directors of London, writing that the lapse represented a “gross violation and negation of the Treaties of the Government of India.” Her diplomatic pleas were rejected.

When British army Sepoys (Indian-born soldiers) rebelled in Jhansi, the Rani was held accountable despite her lack of involvement in the mutiny. In retaliation, the British army led by Major-General Sir Hugh Rose attacked Jhansi in March 1858, and laid siege upon the fort. Lakshmi Bai escaped and was tracked to Banda, where Rose’s forces reported that “… though the fellows did their utmost, she got away … She is a wonderful woman, very brave and determined. It is fortunate for us that the [Jhansi] men are not all like her.” In June 1858, 20,000 Indian rebels led by the Rani – donned in full warrior’s regalia – mounted an attack on Rose’s forces outside Gwalior. And it was here that the queen met her death. Rose wrote of his foe: “The Rani was remarkable for her bravery, cleverness and perseverance; her generosity to her Subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders.” The British captured Gwalior three days later, and burnt the royal library containing thousands of ancient Sanskrit scriptures.

In 1942, an all-women regiment of the Indian National Army formed to fight British colonial rule, was named in honour of the Rani of Jhansi. She was a most potent symbol of women’s empowerment, courage, tenacity and capacity for India – and for us all!

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76 Responses to 18th June 1858 – the Death of the Rani of Jhansi

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  2. balu says:

    i like verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy much jansi rani

  3. atchu says:

    Every one should know about the great Lakshmi bai

  4. Dnyaneshwar Mulik says:

    jhansi ki rani AMAR rahe…!!
    jai hind…

    • Sudee from j&k kishtwar says:

      No words to describe the bravery of Rani jhansi!

      • Harbans Sahni says:

        My salute to late Maharani Laxmibai.
        Considering what mean britishers did to our beloved motherland, it is a shame we still behave like slaves to
        white woman.

  5. Lakshmi says:

    Every lady should know that she has enough bravery to fought against disorder law like lakshmi bai

  6. srilatha says:

    my only wish is to spread the bravery and sacrifice of maharani for india and i have to stay in jhansi atleast for a week…………..

    JHANSI RANI KO JAI!!!!!!!!!!

  7. srilatha says:

    and i am thinking her as my god and a devotee …..
    so i wish you also to be a devotee of her

  8. pragya says:

    She is verrrrryyyy braveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  9. atan lapok says:

    It is a pity that modern Indians are so British oriented that look upon everything British as their goals in life. They have forgotten how they were humiliated in the past. How could a foreign power introduce something as absurd as “The Doctroine of Lapse” and using it as an excuse to rob land belonging to others. They did it in the past and they are still doing it today in the Middle East. There ought to be more Lakshimi Bais in India today. The last great Lashmi was the late Dr. Lashmi Sahgal of the INA. She formed the all-women”Rani of Jhansi Regiment” in an attempt to liberate India from British colonial rule during the 2WW

  10. snehitha says:

    i am very proud of rani lakshmi bai

  11. jhansi ki rani sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo grate and brave i like it i am thankful to her.

  12. Palanisami says:

    Every Indian must read the history of Jhansi Maharani the Maharani of Mankind

    not one time but 100 times. then only you can be a true Indian.

    It is my prayer that the aathma of Maharani take birth once again in India.

    and save India.

  13. Ronit says:

    I only wish that I would see Rani Lakshmibai In Real

    • deepika says:

      my god , my friend,my heart , i love uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu jansirani ni illa na nan ella jansirani vallka…………

  14. Jhansi ki rani is my role model.

  15. deepika says:

    her realname was manekarnika

  16. Jitendra Suthar says:

    When the righteousness means rebelling alone against one of the greatest power of world, still she felt the responsibility of showing others the path towards freedom with bravery and graceful martyrdom. A women in her twenties only, widow, with child, had infact started the freedom train of india.
    She proved that there has to be fire in someone to fight for the cause. Being a lady challenging the mightiest empire ever on earth, fighting courageously without any slightest fear, thereby igniting the valoursness of indian manhood.
    There are very few examples of such brave ladies in history. Though death is ultimate destination of every body, but yet act of 23 old lady is going to be admired for ever. She took a stand when everybody was frightened and confused. She shown the true meaning of bravery, setting herself as example.

  17. Ranil Luxmi Bai was brave woman if we want to stop the crime againest the women,then we should inspire them to fallow the path shown by her ,this is the only way through which women will feel safer. all the protections and securety provided by the police and goverment are in vain unless women are preare themselves for their procetion and securety

  18. revathy says:

    i really lyk her a lot . i hope women learn to b brave lyk her n try to get sum justice fr thmselves .. wish she would have been thr in our tym !!

  19. pihu says:

    shes jst the best no one can like
    hers story is bravest i hav evr heard of

  20. kirtanya says:

    no no no 1 can be like RANI LAXMIBAI shes just the best
    i llllllllllllluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    rani bai
    u will always remain in our heart
    v really really really luvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu ummmmmma

  21. Ghanshyam says:

    I proud to be an Indian and I proud to be a part of Jhansi..
    My Dream is to See Rani Laxmi Bhai,I she would born again then the Crime of in India will Definetly Lost.

  22. my heart is jhansi rani…….
    she was the real heroine of world.

  23. india ki har ladkiyan jhansi rani jesi ho ne chahie
    I love u laxmi bai

  24. Durga rani says:

    I wish I was born in the era of jhansi Rani and chopped the heads of British.

  25. suresh says:

    jansi ki rani laxmibai is a brave women of india which want free india from angrej

  26. Anonymous says:

    Iam really proud of jhansi.

  27. rahul says:

    i worship her .i really salute to her

  28. Anonymous says:

    i feel proud when anybody talk about her.She is my ideal. nd i alwaya salute her

  29. A.N prajapati says:

    it is very brove rani lashkmi bai it is love for india

  30. unknown says:

    I am an asian british yet I wish that we never won the battle. Rani lakshmi bai is my role model I will always look up to her and I pray that her soul rests in peace

  31. simran gupta says:

    she is very brave women in the world

  32. araja khaparde says:

    I hade just read this article . I like it but I am eager to know that what happened to his son and her kingdom jansi after her death.

  33. I have to make a project on her in skul nd jst by getting alot information of her i wud jst sy dat she iz jst fab, hatts off to her!!!!

  34. To share with are children and youth every where, we just launched an ipad/iphone App named Tales of India – Rani Jhansi The Warrior Queen.

    Pleasse check out our website and help us reach more people.

    Thanks

  35. rani laxmi bai is the great lady ,i m proud of her , i salute her bravery

  36. poongodi says:

    am really happy and i follow for RANI LAKSHMI BAI!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Haley says:

    Rani of Jhansi Rules!

  38. Anonymous says:

    سوبهس شازنى جانسى

  39. Anonymous says:

    ئه‌گه‌ر کوردستان وریا نه‌بێت به‌م زوانه‌ بیانیه‌کان وه‌ک جانسی لێده‌که‌ن. Wake up Kurdish politicians!

  40. Ahmed arshad says:

    I also like jhansi ki rani (queen) lakshmi bai

    • dok says:

      she was abrave queen the time she was in the battle with captain nelson she was very sencerble and very active lady may the lord be with her

  41. Dilkhwaz says:

    I am admired this brave Indian Lady, all Hindstan should be proud on her(Queen Rani)

  42. jansirani says:

    my name is jansi rani
    she is my gift of nature
    i want 2 like her
    she is 1 of the brave women in the world

  43. rahul says:

    tribute to her.har har mahadev .i salute her .

  44. prati says:

    She was married at the age of 15 and she died at the age of 23.

  45. wintana says:

    I have heard so many stories before but it is not very excitement as jhansi ki rani laxmibai, she is very brave women in the world, and the proud of indian history but indian people have to be like her, protect their country from enemies and you have to make another history like laxmibai, i wish she is still alive because i want to see her. and i really like to visit indian historical places like jhansi, it is very amazing place so, i will visit someday. india has so many stories that doesn’t told, anyway i want to say laxmibai is a very brave, fearless, strong, prideful women as i have heard. but i have a question, IS THE STORY OF JHANSI KI RANI LAXMIBAI REAL STORY IN INDIA?… THANYOU.

  46. vijayluxmi says:

    Its amazing to that such a woman existed on the earth. Wooooow !

    When you imagine all the atrocities of the British and Muslims in India, you hate them.

  47. vikram singh says:

    i love barvery of rani laxmi bai and i am also thakful that i was born in jhansi and belong from jhansi

  48. Zsuzsa Horvath says:

    I was so glad I stumbled onto this site. Queen Rani’s bravery is inspiring! I want read more about her!

  49. masolo milton peter says:

    i like the QUEEN WARRIOR OF JAHNSI very muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and oneday i will vist indiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  50. EVELYN says:

    existing! what abrave queen l wish I was there.

  51. mukesh says:

    She is my favorite freedom fighter……
    And every girl should be like her brave
    & powerful………….

  52. Prince says:

    Is there any connection of Jhansi ki Rani’s Death and Sai (shiridi wale).
    I heard somewhere that sai has connection with the person who betrayed Jhansi ki rani
    I do not believe in Saiyyad Mohd Chand Miyan (Sai Baba) so i am just going into depth of all roumers and chamatkars of baba.

  53. MUHAMMAD ASLAM KHOKHAR says:

    the english must honor JHANSI KI RANI WHOLE HEARTEDLY EVEN TO DAY

  54. IDRA GHANDI says:

    Laxmi bai is my hero ad my role model

  55. rupesh pateriya says:

    Bharat ki mardangi hai laxmi bai

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