India’s First Super Girl – Rani Lakshmi Bai

Rani Lakshmibai, 19 November 1835 – 17 June 1858, popular as Jhansi Ki Rani, was one of the prominent figures of the Indian Revolt of 1857.

Her original name was Manikarnika Tambe but, in Indian history as a legendary figure, as the Indian ‘Joan of Arc’. She ruled on behalf of a minor heir and offered tough resistance to the invaders, even after her forces were outnumbered.

The Rani Mahal, the palace of Rani Lakshmibai is now converted into a museum. Manikarnika’s mother died when she was of four years and her father was left with a fierce child-like woman.

Lakshmi Bai was declared ruler of Jhansi after the outbreak of the Bundelkhand rebellion in 1857. She ruled on behalf of a minor heir, and refused to hand over her kingdom to the British.

The East India Company had begun its counter-offensive in January 1858 with Gen. Hugh Rose. After losing the Battle of Mhow, Rose shifted his attention to Jhanskhand and captured Saugor (now Sagar) in February and March.

Rani Laxmi Bai was inventively educated as a woman who can read the scriptures and handle a sword of equal strength as a man in contemporary social norms struggling with illiberal conceptions of gender inequality.

In opposing the British rule of Lapse, she did more than just fight for Jhansi at first tentatively, then unflinchingly. Her commitment to a national agenda that only came together and was planted beyond her control. She will live on in the annals of the National Movement.