Queen of Jhansi is remembered as one of the greatest warriors of the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Even the Britishers admired her bravery during the Great Indian Mutiny. “She was a man among mutineers” – these were the words spoken by Sir Hugh Rose who was leading British forces against her.
Her formal name was Manikarnika. Her parents lovingly called her Manu. After her marriage, she was named Lakshmi Bai in honour of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi. She was not only brave but also very beautiful. Several Bollywood films were made glorifying her gallantry and valour.
The latest film made on her life is ‘Manikarnika-The Queen of Jhansi’. Kangna Ranaut has brilliantly played her role as Rani Lakshmi Bai. To give a dramatic effect, there has been made some alterations in the movie.
Only one foreigner could see her face to face
It is interesting to know that in the movie, Rani Lakshmi Bai has been shown as getting face to face with Britishers. But in fact, no Britishers could have ever seen her. The reason is that she remained behind Pardah on the arrival of British persons as per the present custom.
However, one foreigner had a chance to look her for a moment. That was Australian Lawyer John Lang who petitioned in London Court for Rani Lakshmi Bai.
The British Company had ordered Lakshmi Bai to leave her palace according to The doctrine of Lapse. But, Rani was not ready for that and she hired an Australian Lawyer John Lang to file a petition against British Company.
When John Lang arrived at Rani’s palace to discuss the matter, Rani with her adopted son was behind a pardah. During the conversation, Rani had quoted her historical line-
“Mai apni Jhansi nahi dungi.”
Suddenly, the child removed the curtain and John Lang could have a glimpse on Rani Lakshmi Bai. John Lang could not stop looking at her and said- “If the Governor-General had been fortunate to have a look on her, he certainly would have returned Jhansi to this most beautiful queen”. Lakshmi Bai accepted this compliment with great simplicity.
John Lang later mentioned her beauty in his book ‘Wondering of India’.
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