Rani Jhansi Essay

1328 words - 5 pages

Beginning the 19th century, the British started casting their net over India. Imperialism spread throughout the world in the late 19th century making India one of its victims. Many European countries used colonialism and trade as baits to get control over other countries of world. However, through the endless efforts and intelligent strategies carried out by the freedom fighters, India, eventually achieved freedom on August 15th, 1947. Many brave men and women rose, envisioning their country as independent and free. One of them was the Rani of Jhansi. She played an important role in freeing Awadh from the clutches of the British. Rani of Jhansi was born on November 19th, 1835, and was also known as Rani Lakshmi Bai. She fought against the injustice of British Rule over India. In recent times, she is also referred to as the "Indian Joan of Arc". (1)The East India Company led to the establishment of imperialism in 1600 in India. They were trading with India with monopolistic rights they got. In 1612, the British fought against the Portuguese and they extended their rights for trading spices, cotton, silk, sugar and opium. (2) In the 17th century, the French rulers, also, tried to establish trading companies in India and gradually expanded their commercial activities. Other countries like France, Netherlands and Portugal were also wanted to start trade with India. (3) In late 18th and early 19th centuries, English East India Company slowly started taking control of different parts of India. (4) As a result, the British were given revenue collecting rights and an indirect control over these states. Later, the British on one pretext or the other annexed a number of these states. One of the states annexed was that of Awadh. The Rani of Jhansi was the ruler of the state. Gradually and eventually, the British rule strengthened and in the early 19th century the Christian influence began to grow and Christian missionaries were brought in. English was enforced as the language of government by 1835. (5) The growing discontent with British rule led to the mutiny of 1857, when the sepoys took over Delhi and Kanpur. Subsequently, the British crushed this mutiny very successfully. The Rani of Jhansi, including thousands of peasants, led the first war of independence for her state in 1857, which was also termed by the British as a revolt and a mutiny. This helped to sow the seeds of national harmony, anti-imperialism and self-governing modernity. In addition, resentment and anger boiling over land revenues and Dalhousie's annexation of Awadh catalyzed the mutiny of 1857. (6) Rani of Jhansi fought single handedly and freed Awadh from the paws of the British. The sepoys, who were mainly drawn from the peasantry, retaliated against the abusive colonial rule. Karl Marx wrote about the attitude of the British in 1857 - 'And then it should not be forgotten that while the cruelties of the English are related as acts of martial vigor, told simply, rapidly, without...

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