Friday, July 16, 2010

A Crushing Blow

In 1851 Maharani Lakhsmi Bai gave birth to a son. But the fate was cruel; within three months the chi8ld died. Gangadhar Rao was troubled about the future of the state. This led to mentalillness.

The reason for that distress was the cruel rule followed by Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor General. Some native rulers had accepted the help of the British; the British, in return, had imposed a condition: if the ruler died without children the British would take over the state. Even if the ruler adopted a son, the adopted son would not have ruling powers. Lord Dalhousie’s rule was this: a yearly pension would be fixed for the descendants and the full responsibility for protecting the state would be that of the British Government.

Applying this rule the British had swallowed many native states. Now it was the turn of Jhansi.To Mamaraja Gangadhar Rao, who was already old, this was a serious blow. He was bedridden. In 1853 the Maharaja and Lakshmi Bai decided to adopt Anand Rao, a boy of their community.

Anand Rao was adopted according to religious rites and he as named Damodar Rao.


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