Word of the Day – Wednesday, July 18th



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RANI (RAH-nee)

A Hindu princess or wife of a rajah
Related crosswordese: RANEE
Common clues: Asian princess;
Indian title; Raja’s wife; Calcutta queen; Hindu queen; Indian royalty; Punjabi princess; Royal in a sari
Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year

Equestrian statue of Rani Laxmi Bai at Agra.

Lakshmibai, The Rani of Jhansi (c. 1828/1835 – June 17, 1858) was the queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi in North India. She was one of the leading figures of the Indian rebellion of 1857, and a symbol of resistance to British rule in India.

Originally named Manikarnika at birth, she was born to a Maharashtrian Karhade Brahmin family sometime around 1828 in the Hindu city of Varanasi.

Moropant Tambey traveled to the court of Raja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, the Maharaja of Jhansi, when Manu was thirteen years old.

At that time, Lord Dalhousie was the Governor-General of India Lord Dalhousie decided to annex the state of Jhansi under the Doctrine of Lapse.

But Rani Lakshmibai was determined to defend Jhansi. She proclaimed her decision with the famous words :Mi maajhi Jhansi naahi denaar (I will not give up my Jhansi)[citation needed].

In September and October 1857, the Rani led the successful defense of Jhansi from the invading armies of the neighboring rajas of Datia and Orchha.

In January of 1858, the British Army started its advance on Jhansi, and in March laid siege to the city. After two weeks of fighting, the British captured the city, but the rani escaped in the guise of a man, strapping her adopted son Damodar Rao closely on her back. She fled to Kalpi where she joined Tantya Tope, another maratha general and another leading figure of the 1857 mutiny (later hanged by the British).

There is nothing on record to say that she had any hand in planning, instigating or organizing the mutiny of sepoys at Jhansi. In fact, she informed the British that she had been ill-treated by the mutineers and forced to pay money, and she asked for their help to maintain order. Believing in her innocence, the Commissioner of Saugor division nominated her to rule in Jhansi till the British could re-establish their administration. When the British changed their attitude and suspected her of complicity in the mutiny, she sent appeals to the authorities pleading her innocence and professing her loyalty to the British. If she had succeeded in dispelling the suspicions of the British, she would have gone to their side.[citation needed] But when at last she found that the British held her responsible for the mutiny and massacre at Jhansi, she preferred to fight. And it may be said to her credit and glory that she died heroically in the battlefield.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Rani Lakshmibai".