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Rani Lakshmibai

Topics Covered:

Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

 

Rani Lakshmibai

 

What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Rani Lakshmibai- legacy and related facts, What is Doctrine of Lapse?

 

Context: 19th November 2019 marks the 191st birth anniversary of Rani Lakshmibai.

 

About Rani Lakshmibai:

  • Born on November 19, 1828, as Manikarnika Tambe in
  • Rani was married to the King of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Newalkar in 1842.

 

The war between the British and Rani Lakshmibai:

  • She had a son Damodar Rao, who died within four months of his birth. Following the death of the infant, her husband adopted a cousin’s child Anand Rao, who was renamed Damodar Rao a day prior to the death of the Maharaja.
  • Lord Dalhousie refused to acknowledge the child and applied the Doctrine of Lapse, and annexed the state. However, the Rani refused to accept the Lord Dalhousie’s decision.
  • This led to a fight between the two. The Rani of Jhansi gave a tough fight to the British during the two weeks siege of the city.
  • The queen died while fighting a squadron of the 8th Hussars under Captain Heneage, on June 18, 1858, in Kotah-ki-Serai near the Phool Bagh of Gwalior.

 

What was the Doctrine of Lapse?

The Doctrine of Lapse was an annexation policy followed widely by Lord Dalhousie when he was India’s Governor-General from 1848 to 1856.

  • According to this, any princely state under the direct or indirect (as a vassal) control of the East India Company where the ruler did not have a legal male heir would be annexed by the company
  • As per this, any adopted son of the Indian ruler could not be proclaimed as heir to the kingdom. This challenged the Indian ruler’s long-held authority to appoint an heir of their choice.

 

Sources: pib.

 

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