Friday, July 16, 2010

The End Of The War

Hugh Rose played a trick. He brought to Gwalior, Maharaja Jayaji Rao Sindhia who had run away from Gwalior and was living in Agra under the protection of the British. "The British are fighting to enable Maharaja Jayaji Rao to get back the throne. Therefore, all soldiers who return will be pardoned." Proclaimed Rose.

Now some wisdom dawned on the Peshwas. They were ashamed to face Rani Lakshmi Bai. Finally they sent Tatia Tope. When they begged for pardon, the Rani place before them her plan of war. Tatia Tope accepted it.

Although the Rani’s forces were small in numbers, the extraordinary courage of the Sirdars and the war strategy and courage of the Rani inflicted defeat on the British army. The day’s victory was due to the Rani.

Next day (18th) before sunrise the British war bugle sounded. The pardon proclaimed by Maharaja Jayaji Rao had tempted some soldiers and they had joined the British. Information was also received that two brigades which were under the Rao Saheb had again transferred their allegiance to the British.

Rani Lakhsmi Bai sent for Ramachandra Rao Deshmukh and said: "today appears to be the last day of the war. If I die, consider my son Damodar more precious than my life and take care of him. One word more: if I die, make sure that my body does not fall into the hands of those who do not belong to my religion."

As expected, that day Rose had the upper hand. A large part of the army of revolutionaries fell. Their guns fell into the hands of the British. The British army entered the fort swift as a flood.

There was no other course for the Rani than to escape from that place. Holding the horse’s reins in her teeth and flashing the sword with both the hands the Rani rode away. A few Pathan Sirdars, Raghunatha Simha and Ramachandra Rao Deshmukh were with here. The British army had encircled them.

Blood was flowing freely. The sun had the same hue in the western horizon. Darkness was approaching. A British soldier who came very near threw a dagger at the Rani’s chest. It struck her a little below the chest. The Rani killed the solider. Blood was flowing from her body. But there was no time to rest. The British army was pursuing her. When the Rani was about to cross the Swarnarekha Canal a shot from the gun or a British soldier who came there struck her right thing. Flashing the sword with her left hand, the Rani put an end to him.


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