Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lakshmi Bai......................खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी.........................114913


Lakshmi Bai

(c.1835-1858)

 




Lakshmi Bai, the Rani of a principality called Jhansi in northern India, led an uprising against a takeover of her homeland by the British. She became a heroine and a symbol of resistance to the British rule.



Lakshmi Bai was born on 19 december 1835 into a wealthy, high-caste family at Poona. She was named Manukarnika, which is one of the names of the holy river Ganges. As a young woman, she learned to read, write and debate. She also learned to ride horses and use weapons while playing with her adopted brothers.Her father Moropant Tabme was a court advisor, and mother Bhagirathi was a scholarly woman. At a very early age she lost her mother. Her father raised her in an unconventional way and supported her to learn to ride elephants and horses and also to use weapons effectively. She grew up with Nana Sahib and Tatya Tope, who were active participants in the first revolt of independence. She accepted the name Lakshmi Bai when she married Gangadhar Rao, the maharajah of Jhansi and became the Rani (short for maharani, the wife of maharajah) of Jhansi.



Gangadhar Rao was between forty and fifty years of age at the time of their wedding. This was his second marriage. His first wife died without producing an heir. The new Rani of Jhansi gave birth to a son, but he died when he was three months old. Subsequently, Damodar Rao, Gangadhar's relative, became their adopted son. In 1853, Gangadhar Rao died.



The Governor-General of India, the Marquess of Dalhousie, announced that since Gangadhar Rao left no heir, the state of Jhansi would be annexed by the British Government. The British rejected the claim that Damodar Rao was the legal heir. According to Hindu law, little Damodar Rao was Gangadhar's heir and successor. In the Hindu religion, a surviving son, either biological or adopted, had an obligation to perform certain sacrifices after his father's death to prevent his father from being condemned to punishment or hell. The refusal of the British to acknowledge the legitimacy of Rajah's adopted son caused a serious consternation in the local population. Rani appealed her case to London, but that appeal was turned down.


  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.

For strengthening the defense of Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai assembled an army of rebellions, which also included women. For this great cause she was supported by brave warriors like Gulam Gaus Khan, Dost Khan, Khuda Baksh, Sunder-Mundar, Kashi Bai, Lala Bhau Bakshi, Moti Bai, Deewan Raghunath Singh and Deewan Jawahar Singh. She assembled 14,000 rebels and organized an army for the defense of the city. 

Not wishing to give up her kingdom, Lakshmi Bai assembled a volunteer army of 14,000 rebels and ordered that defenses of the city itself be strengthened. Jhansi was attacked by the British in March 1858. Shelling of Jhansi was fierce and the British were determined not to allow any rebels to escape while Rani was determined not to surrender. The British noted that the Indian soldiers fighting them showed more vigor than they ever had while following British orders. Women were also seen working the batteries and carrying ammunition, food and water to the soldiers. Rani, herself, was seen constantly active in the defense of the city. Jhansi, however, fell to the British forces after a two week siege. A priest from Bombay who witnessed the British victory, said that what followed were four days of fire, pillage, murder and looting without distinction. He said it was difficult to breathe due to strong smell of burning flesh. British historians, on the other hand, suggested that while four to five thousand people died in battle, the civilians were spared.



The Rani managed to escape on horseback under the cover of darkness and within twenty-four hours rode over one hundred miles to the fortress of Kalpi. Several other Indian rulers joined the rebel forces there. It is believed that the Rani was influential in convincing the others to go on the offensive and seize the fortress of Gwalior. This maneuver was successful and helped rally the rebel forces together.



It wasn't long, however, before the British forces determined to win Gwalior back. A fierce battle ensued. Rani was in charge of the eastern side of defense, however she lost her life on the second day of fighting. The British won back Gwalior. Rani's body was given a ceremonial cremation and burial by the faithful servants. Sir Hugh Rose, the commander of the British force, wrote later, "The Ranee was remarkable for her bravery, cleverness and perseverance; her generocity to her Subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders." A popular Indian ballad said,



How valiantly like a man fought she,

The Rani of Jhansi

On every parapet a gun she set

Raining fire of hell,

How well like a man fought the Rani of Jhansi

How valiantly and well!
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Unknown qualities of ‘Ranaragini Rani Lakshmibai’ !


Article by Late Vishnupant Godse

Fearless fight with the British is what one remembers when one hears the name of Rani Lakshmibai. This ‘Kshastra vrutti’ was created in her due to her following certain things in a much disciplined manner. Besides, she was also a strong administrator. There are a number of her qualities about which many of us have no knowledge. Late Vishnupant Godse from Varsai (Taluka Penn, Dist. Raigad) had written down travelogues of his journey to North India and since he had met Rani Lakshmibai, we are able to know these details. He has thus obliged his future generations by writing down these things. A section of the Society is trying to destroy history out of their hatred towards Brahmin community and they are trying to devalue contribution of Brahmins in history. This article by Godse Guruji, will help us to know how it is necessary to foil attempts of such devaluing of Brahmins and in fact, how this community has obliged society.

Childhood

Lakshmibai was the only daughter of Shri. Moropant Tambe, employed with Shrimant Bajirao Peshave. She lost her mother when she was quite young; therefore, Moropant tried to train her in everything. Later, she was married to Raje Gangadharbaba of Jhansi ‘sansthan (small State)’ and her name was changed to Lakshmibai.

Her in-laws were very religious and abiding by Dharma

Sri Mahalakshmi was the family Deity of Jhansi’s rulers’ family. In front of South gate of Jhansi, there is a temple of Sri Mahalakshmi in a big lake. The king of  Jhansi had made all arrangements of performing ‘puja’ at this temple and lighting of lamp all the time. There are many temples in the town and all of them were managed by the ‘Sansthan’. After the death of King Gangadharbaba, Rani Lakshmibai efficiently managed them.

Rani abiding by Dharma

After the death of Raje Gangadharbaba, management of his ‘sansthan’ was taken over by the British. After her husband’s death, Rani wanted to go to Sri Kshetra Prayag for shaving her head; but permission of the British was required for the same which was being delayed. Lakhsmibai, therefore, observed a rule that till she could shave off her head, she would smear ‘Bhasma’ after bath and make offering of Rs.3/- to 3 Brahmins every day. Accordingly, Rani used to get up early and finish her bath etc. and wearing a white sari, she used to perform ‘puja’ of ‘Parthiv Linga (linga made of soil)’ every day after ‘Tulsi-puja’.

Regular physical exercises

Lakshmibai liked to exercise right from her childhood and to go for horse-ride regularly. Even after becoming a queen of Jhansi, she used to get up early and did exercises. Then she used to go for horse-ride followed with a ride on elephant. This was her routine.

Good judge of horses

Rani Lakshmibai was a good judge of horses. She was known for her knowledge of horses. Once a horse-seller went to King Babasaheb Apate of Sri Kshetra Ujjain with two good horses; but he could not judge them. Then the seller went to Shrimant Jayajiraje Shinde of Gwalior; but he too was unable to make out the quality of horses. Finally, he came to Jhansi. Rani Lakshmibai had a ride on one horse and told the seller that the horse was of good-bred and offered Rs. 1200/- to him. Then she rode the other horse and offered him only Rs. 50/- for the same; telling that the horse had hurt its chest. The seller accepted the facts. Those, who had examined the horses earlier, had said that both the horses were of equal strength.

Rani cared for her subjects

Once, Jhansi was badly hit with severe winter. About 1000-1200 beggars gathered near the South Gate of the city. When Rani went for ‘darshan’ of Sri Mahalakshmi, she saw the crowd and asked her minister about them. He informed Rani that poor people were asking for some coverlets for protection from cold. Rani issued an order that by fourth day, all poor people from the town should be distributed a cap, coat and blanket and the order was executed.  

Prompt punishment to offenders

In Jhansi State, there was a small town named Balavsagar. The local citizens were harassed due to thieves. Rani went to this place and stayed for 15 days taking care of the problem. Many offenders were hanged and some were imprisoned.

Ranaragini Lakshmibai

The British army laid siege to Jhansi town with 60,000 soldiers. Rani had resolved to fight with the British. She personally looked into every detail of preparing for the battle. The first missile was fired at the British army by Rani. For 11 days, she gave an apt reply to the British; but betrayals by own people, made it easy for the British to enter Jhansi. Rani charged on the British with 3000 soldiers and there was a tough fight between them. 

Going to Kalpi

Few ‘Sardars’ advised Rani to go back to the fort with few soldiers. Rani realised that it was difficult to fight as the number of British soldiers was high. With selected 1500 soldiers, Rani decided to go to Kalpi leaving her fort in the midnight and she cut the siege and went to Kalpi. Tying her adopted son on her back, riding on a horse, she cut the siege with sword; but most of her soldiers got killed. She swiftly went to Kalpi only with one of her maids. 

Battle with British was a ‘Dharma-yuddha’ !

At Kalpi, Rani met Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshave and Tatya Tope. Later, along with them only, she fought with the British. At one place, Rani went to battle field with her chief ‘Sardar’; there was a huge fight but she had to face defeat. At a place near Kalpi, she met Godse Guruji, who was in her service earlier. During that meeting, she told him about the participation in 1857 revolt. Rani told Godse Guruji that she had very few things left with her (She could have lived peacefully with whatever the British offered her); ‘I am a widow and had no needs; but thinking about all Hindus and Dharma, I thought of taking such action.’   

Brave Rani of Jhansi, faces death while fighting !

Shrimant Nanasaheb Peshave, Tatya Tope and Rani Lakshmibai won over Gwalior; but Jayajiraje Shinde, who had run away, took help of the British and attacked again. At Gwalior, a battle was fought during which Rani was hit with a bullet; but in that condition also, she kept on fighting. Finally, she was hit with sword and fell from her horse; but Tatya Tope immediately took her body and broke the siege. He cremated her and did last rites. Thus, Rani Lakshmibai, who fought for her Dharma, is known even today as a brave queen as ‘Khub Ladi Mardani, woh to Jhanisiwali Rani Thi !’
Poem - Jhansi ki rani

Poet - Subhadrakumari Chauhan

सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,
बूढ़े भारत में भी आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी,
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी,
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।

चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कानपूर के नाना की, मुँहबोली बहन छबीली थी,
लक्ष्मीबाई नाम, पिता की वह संतान अकेली थी,
नाना के सँग पढ़ती थी वह, नाना के सँग खेली थी,
बरछी, ढाल, कृपाण, कटारी उसकी यही सहेली थी।

वीर शिवाजी की गाथायें उसको याद ज़बानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

लक्ष्मी थी या दुर्गा थी वह स्वयं वीरता की अवतार,
देख मराठे पुलकित होते उसकी तलवारों के वार,
नकली युद्ध-व्यूह की रचना और खेलना खूब शिकार,
सैन्य घेरना, दुर्ग तोड़ना ये थे उसके प्रिय खिलवाड़|

महाराष्ट्र-कुल-देवी उसकी भी आराध्य भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

हुई वीरता की वैभव के साथ सगाई झाँसी में,
ब्याह हुआ रानी बन आई लक्ष्मीबाई झाँसी में,
राजमहल में बजी बधाई खुशियाँ छाई झाँसी में,
सुघट बुंदेलों की विरुदावलि-सी वह आयी थी झांसी में,

चित्रा ने अर्जुन को पाया, शिव को मिली भवानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

उदित हुआ सौभाग्य, मुदित महलों में उजियाली छाई,
किंतु कालगति चुपके-चुपके काली घटा घेर लाई,
तीर चलाने वाले कर में उसे चूड़ियाँ कब भाई,
रानी विधवा हुई, हाय! विधि को भी नहीं दया आई।

निसंतान मरे राजाजी रानी शोक-समानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

बुझा दीप झाँसी का तब डलहौज़ी मन में हरषाया,
राज्य हड़प करने का उसने यह अच्छा अवसर पाया,
फ़ौरन फौजें भेज दुर्ग पर अपना झंडा फहराया,
लावारिस का वारिस बनकर ब्रिटिश राज्य झाँसी आया।

अश्रुपूर्ण रानी ने देखा झाँसी हुई बिरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

अनुनय विनय नहीं सुनती है, विकट शासकों की माया,
व्यापारी बन दया चाहता था जब यह भारत आया,
डलहौज़ी ने पैर पसारे, अब तो पलट गई काया,
राजाओं नव्वाबों को भी उसने पैरों ठुकराया।

रानी दासी बनी, बनी यह दासी अब महरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

छिनी राजधानी दिल्ली की, लखनऊ छीना बातों-बात,
कैद पेशवा था बिठूर में, हुआ नागपुर का भी घात,
उदैपुर, तंजौर, सतारा,कर्नाटक की कौन बिसात?
जब कि सिंध, पंजाब ब्रह्म पर अभी हुआ था वज्र-निपात।

बंगाले, मद्रास आदि की भी तो वही कहानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी रोयीं रनिवासों में, बेगम ग़म से थीं बेज़ार,
उनके गहने कपड़े बिकते थे कलकत्ते के बाज़ार,
सरे आम नीलाम छापते थे अंग्रेज़ों के अखबार,
'नागपुर के ज़ेवर ले लो लखनऊ के लो नौलख हार'

यों परदे की इज़्ज़त परदेशी के हाथ बिकानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

कुटियों में भी विषम वेदना, महलों में आहत अपमान,
वीर सैनिकों के मन में था अपने पुरखों का अभिमान,
नाना धुंधूपंत पेशवा जुटा रहा था सब सामान,
बहिन छबीली ने रण-चण्डी का कर दिया प्रकट आहवान।

हुआ यज्ञ प्रारम्भ उन्हें तो सोई ज्योति जगानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

महलों ने दी आग, झोंपड़ी ने ज्वाला सुलगाई थी,
यह स्वतंत्रता की चिनगारी अंतरतम से आई थी,
झाँसी चेती, दिल्ली चेती, लखनऊ लपटें छाई थी,
मेरठ, कानपुर,पटना ने भारी धूम मचाई थी,

जबलपुर, कोल्हापुर में भी कुछ हलचल उकसानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इस स्वतंत्रता महायज्ञ में कई वीरवर आए काम,
नाना धुंधूपंत, ताँतिया, चतुर अज़ीमुल्ला सरनाम,
अहमदशाह मौलवी, ठाकुर कुँवरसिंह सैनिक अभिराम,
भारत के इतिहास गगन में अमर रहेंगे जिनके नाम।

लेकिन आज जुर्म कहलाती उनकी जो कुरबानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

इनकी गाथा छोड़, चले हम झाँसी के मैदानों में,
जहाँ खड़ी है लक्ष्मीबाई मर्द बनी मर्दानों में,
लेफ्टिनेंट वाकर पहुँचा, आगे बढ़ा जवानों में,
रानी ने तलवार खींच ली, हुया द्वंद असमानों में।

ज़ख्मी होकर वाकर भागा, उसे अजब हैरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी बढ़ी कालपी आई, कर सौ मील निरंतर पार,
घोड़ा थक कर गिरा भूमि पर गया स्वर्ग तत्काल सिधार,
यमुना तट पर अंग्रेज़ों ने फिर खाई रानी से हार,
विजयी रानी आगे चल दी, किया ग्वालियर पर अधिकार।

अंग्रेज़ों के मित्र सिंधिया ने छोड़ी राजधानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

विजय मिली, पर अंग्रेज़ों की फिर सेना घिर आई थी,
अबके जनरल स्मिथ सम्मुख था, उसने मुहँ की खाई थी,
काना और मंदरा सखियाँ रानी के संग आई थी,
युद्ध श्रेत्र में उन दोनों ने भारी मार मचाई थी।

पर पीछे ह्यूरोज़ गया, हाय! घिरी अब रानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

तो भी रानी मार काट कर चलती बनी सैन्य के पार,
किन्तु सामने नाला आया, था वह संकट विषम अपार,
घोड़ा अड़ा, नया घोड़ा था, इतने में गये सवार,
रानी एक, शत्रु बहुतेरे, होने लगे वार-पर-वार।

घायल होकर गिरी सिंहनी उसे वीर गति पानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

रानी गई सिधार चिता अब उसकी दिव्य सवारी थी,
मिला तेज से तेज, तेज की वह सच्ची अधिकारी थी,
अभी उम्र कुल तेइस की थी, मनुज नहीं अवतारी थी,
हमको जीवित करने आयी बन स्वतंत्रता-नारी थी,

दिखा गई पथ, सिखा गई हमको जो सीख सिखानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

जाओ रानी याद रखेंगे ये कृतज्ञ भारतवासी,
यह तेरा बलिदान जगावेगा स्वतंत्रता अविनासी,
होवे चुप इतिहास, लगे सच्चाई को चाहे फाँसी,
हो मदमाती विजय, मिटा दे गोलों से चाहे झाँसी।

तेरा स्मारक तू ही होगी, तू खुद अमिट निशानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।
Poem on Samadhi of queen of Jhansi

Poet - Subhadrakumari Chauhan

इस समाधि में छिपी हुई है, एक राख की ढेरी |
जल कर जिसने स्वतंत्रता की, दिव्य आरती फेरी ||
यह समाधि यह लघु समाधि है, झाँसी की रानी की |
अंतिम लीलास्थली यही है, लक्ष्मी मरदानी की ||

यहीं कहीं पर बिखर गई वह, भग्न-विजय-माला-सी |
उसके फूल यहाँ संचित हैं, है यह स्मृति शाला-सी |
सहे वार पर वार अंत तक, लड़ी वीर बाला-सी |
आहुति-सी गिर चढ़ी चिता पर, चमक उठी ज्वाला-सी |

बढ़ जाता है मान वीर का, रण में बलि होने से |
मूल्यवती होती सोने की भस्म, यथा सोने से ||
रानी से भी अधिक हमे अब, यह समाधि है प्यारी |
यहाँ निहित है स्वतंत्रता की, आशा की चिनगारी ||

इससे भी सुन्दर समाधियाँ, हम जग में हैं पाते |
उनकी गाथा पर निशीथ में, क्षुद्र जंतु ही गाते ||
पर कवियों की अमर गिरा में, इसकी अमिट कहानी |
स्नेह और श्रद्धा से गाती, है वीरों की बानी ||

बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुख हमने सुनी कहानी |
खूब लड़ी मरदानी वह थी, झाँसी वाली रानी ||
यह समाधि यह चिर समाधि है , झाँसी की रानी की |
अंतिम लीला स्थली यही है, लक्ष्मी मरदानी की ||
 



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