November 19 is the birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai.
Rani Lakshmibai, one of the warriors of India’s struggle for Independence, was born as Manikarnika Tambe in 1828 in Varanasi.
In 1842, Lakshmibai got married to Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi and got the name of Rani Lakshmibai. Few years after marriage, in 1851, Manikarnika gave birth to a boy but he couldn’t survive and died after four months.
Then Lakshmibai and Gangadhar Rao adopted Rao’s cousin’s son, Anand Rao, who was later renamed as Damodar.
Soon after they adopted Anand, Maharaja died due to an illness in 1853. Rani Lakshmibai was just 18 at that time.
The East India Company took advantage of the Maharaja’s death and applied the Doctrine of Lapse. The British rulers did not accept little Damodar Rao, as the legal heir of late Maharaja Gangadhar Rao and Rani Lakshmi Bai. Their plan was to annex Jhansi on the ground that it did not have any legal heir.
In March 1854, Rani of Jhansi was granted an annual pension of 60,000 and was ordered to leave the Jhansi fort. She was firm on the decision not to give up the dominion of Jhansi to the British. She died on June 17, 1958, martyring her life for India’s freedom.