« Stuff You Missed in History Class

Lakshmi Bai: Who is India's Joan of Arc?

2011-03-21 | 🔗

Lakshmi Bai was born into wealthy family in 1830, but she was far from the typical aristocrat. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the life and work of Lakshmi Bai, from her youth to her instrumental role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Before the vote of stuff, you mustn't Esther glasses, brought to you by Katy, keen I love Riverdale. So I'm really excited that the creator of Riverdale has a sparkling adventure in the big apple coming out, full of fashion drama in dreams colliding with real life, Thursday February six at eight seven central, it's the new Sea, W serious Katy, keen the big apple, better watch out, no matter fewer. What gets in the way the four friends we were part of the shower about to take a big old bite they take on the runway, the recording studio, Broadway and the social seen there's so much high style has a new name: Katy keen the fashionable new series, premiers February six on the seat of EU or streams free. The next day, only on the seat of you up, I am Bobby Brown, welcome type hard task beyond the beauty so from my heart, radio, I'm here to be sitting down different people heatwave that I think we can all learn from. I hurt radio is number one for pod cast, but don't take our word for person to be on the beauty. I hurt radio Apple Todd cast or ever you get your package because we all have something to learn about real me. Welcome to stuff you missed in history class has to work Stockholm
hello and well considered podcast, I'm doing a truck reporting and I'm carried out an answer, and I have been talking a lot this month. This woman's history learnt about real life, Amazon's and its interesting, but when you're talking about female warriors Joan of ARC as one who always comes up, some kind of the big name among female warrior, absolutely and in case you familiar Joan of arc. Of course, is a national heroin in France for leading an army to several victories during the hundred years war and is also a catholic Saint said movie made about her book, threaten about her heaver famous away up there, but it's interesting. She though, famous that a lot of female warrior since then have been compared to her and they ve even earned the Joan of ARC nickname. You know attached to whatever country there from their there. Quite a few of
actually yeah, for example, Augustine at the arrogant, as called spanish Joan of ARC, and there is also a vietnamese Joan of arc. I think you guys have touched on her before I end. If I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure she predates Joan of arc which make that kind of stuff title that your ear gang had that nickname after the fact that whatever what're you gonna do. But this is all just a kind of setup. Today's episode, which is about India's Joan of ARC a woman named, looked me by now Three by who is also known as the Ronnie of Chauncey, she became famous for her role in the indian mutiny of eighteen, fifty seven, which is sometimes thought of as India's first war of independence, from the British of course, and her is uniquely wrapped up in all the factors that led to this rebellion. So this kind of why we wanted to focus on her out of all these other Joan of ARC stay behind. I mean another interesting fact about: hurries she's still quite
important in modern India. She is considered a national heroin and there are statues of her story is told in things like novel than movies and ballads, just like like Joan of ARC coming how about that illustrated comics I mean she she's a well figure yeah, I think Prime Minister, in their Gandhi, even appeared as loves me by in a political, commercial and nineteen eighty, so she's kind of all over the place, all sorts of different facets of of pot our culture and her story has become the stuff of legend and, as we know, legends a lot of times when, History becomes legend we sort of a little murky on what's fact and what's fiction? So that's what we're gonna work today we're just really going to consider who is looks me by what are the real facts about her and why
alternatively known as India's Joan of ARC and India's Jesse Bell, depending on who you have that children see. Thou uncommon, though we're gonna start at the beginning, talk a little bit about her childhood, because that really lay the pretty strong groundwork for, though woman she she was born November nineteenth eighteen, twenty seven to Abram Unfair in Belarus, which is a northern India, and it was a good family. It was even maybe a prominent family, but they didn't really have that much money. It seems, according to Rayner Jurists, biography the Ronnie of John Paul II rebel against will they did, of that much money, because her parents have left their home in my raw straw in Central India in exile, because the ruler there was banished by the British so well, they had been high ranking and while her father had been high ranking, he might have had a little trouble reassigned. pushing himself in a new part of the country and really attained that hive and income yet so that just kind of sets up
family, for you bet, looks revise original name was money Carnegie and her parents called her Manu manage childhood was kind of unique for a little girl growing up in India around that time and that mainly because her mom vograat thee away when she was about four years old and her dad more upon thumb, they remained a widower for more than a decade. So really know big conservative corrective influence female influence in her life. Who would have put her on the path to? I guess, a more an opinion when there are telling you to stand up straight and behave in volumes and she was naturally feisty. She was kind of a little tomboy and because she didn't have this female influence in her life. She got to stay that way. She was allowed to stay that way and some source to say that it, her dad, who is actively encouraging that tomboyish behaviour and are you know he was teaching or how to do things like right horse
then had a fence and shoot, and that was all part of her education. Other sources such as Gerasa suggests that her are there really This might have not been in the picture enough to be that closely watching education, yes, so she got to kind of run free, let around while we wanted. So what is about her, though, regardless of what really happened is that she became very skilled, rider and learn how to use weapons, and most likely did this before she got married, because it would have been very and approach. For a woman who is a traditional maharajah wife to to do these things, especially because she quote road, a horse like a man, in addition he's a manly skill. She also learn to read and write, which was still kind of unusual for girls. Grandma time. Yes, though inner she comes out of this, The young girl with unusual talent thin it things like, maybe some of this stuff, what even dissuade potentials
that she does get married in eighteen, forty, two she's about fifteen years old and she becomes the second wife of Google, Thar Ral, no Walker! Who is a lot older and her his childless, but is the maharajah of John Paul II, which is the polity about two hundred fifty miles South EAST of Dolly and just to give you a little background. Terms were going to be. You think they think from here an hour or pretty much gonna be calling her. The Ronnie erasure, India is a prince or a king of a particular area and his wife is known as a Ronnie soap she's a queen or a princess it's interesting that you mention out about how her behaviour might dissuade potential suitors, because it's not really clear The match got the match between these two occurred an odd couple. They really are and her family really that, wealthy. But here's one
harry. That's out thereabout why the Rajah picked her. Apparently he had a tendency to cross dress, sometimes for theatre roles when you play the Amal roles, but sometimes knots He would just where women's jewellery around and stuff like that was rather widely known at the time. It suggested that this may have limited his choices and second bride someone, so you may have had to settle for this, global ban, not particular well off bride. Her marriage Manu starts going by the name luxury by, and this suggests arrive for the goddess of prosperity and happiness, so loved me was the page deity of her husband family, and this would have made sense for her of her to change. Your name like us now is a good move in and she really did seem to embrace her role as Ronnie. She, she sort of put aside she was Edith to doing pretty easily. It seemed and try really hard and for a very long time to have a child and an error and it
It happened. I think years and years went by, but finally Lakshmi by and the Rajah took a journey in eighteen, fifty one kind of a pilgrimage to sacred hindu sites and not long for that she got pregnant and gave birth to a fun, and you can imagine this couple with incredibly excited now to finally have an air and a thought at that, but, unfortunately for them that I meant in the last very long because the baby die that only three months old and they didn't know why. It happened. He just died suddenly in, and they were unfortunately not just in trouble for personal reasons after that yeah. their personally personally their grieving. But there are other consequence. As well and that, because of something called the doctrine of lapse, they now have to worry about this too. So here's little back onto the doctrine of lapse, it's a form
that was devised by Lord our house. He who was governor General of India from around eighteen, forty eight to fifty eighteen. Fifty six and the doctrine afflicted this general desire on the part of the British to expand the territory that in India in To give you a little bit of background on, I guess indian custom we're that time. How? Finally politics exactly accords to indian tradition, a ruler who didn't have any natural areas could adopt a person who would then have all the personal and political rights of a son so, for example, the running of Jonesy him had been adopted air service precedent for it. There, however, How's with this new doctrine, he basically asserted great Britain's right as the paramount power to approve adoptions so it did is in practice. It gave the british the outbreak to reject a lot of last minute adoptions and therefore take over this territory yet to step in and collect land piece by piece, which was obviously what their greater
if they were exactly, but this didn't stop there the other option from trying to do the same thing in eighteen. Fifty three of our road become seriously ill and adopts a distant five cousin named none of as the sun and heat. Of adoption papers and a will, which name the boys, the air and the Ronnie as his regions, and he presents than to major Alice who was serving as an assistant political agent Chauncey at the time- and this was all done November twentieth. Eighteen, fifty three. Unfortunately, about- the Rajah dies, the very next day yeah. So suddenly you have this kind of last minute paper. Let's just gone down this british policy Doesnt, really look that kindly on these adoptions, especially a last minute one like this, and it seems, things might work out for a minute, because Alice is sympathetic to the Ronnie and he forwards the information to his support
your major John, Malcolm but Malcolm, even though he is not that keen on the idea of the Ronnie Being Regent, he still describes her to Dorothy. Ass quote: woman, highly respected and esteemed and, I believe, fully capable of doing justice to such a charge. So it still seems like maybe the british earning get behind this particular at optionally yeah enforced, lay though thou how's. He refuses to acknowledge them at our role as air and the new British. For Internet Captain Alexander Scheme comes to John C and takes country under the doctrine of lapse without any opposition, so british, or no control and it seems that the Ronnie is out of luck here. The estates tied up and and she's allowed to keep the town palace as a personal residents, but she loses all of the country.
Dead, and she only gets this annual pension of about five thousand rubies and from that she's expected to pare husbands. Dat, though not a good deal at all which should open, except that no, she doesn't such it right away. She keeps submitting letters to contest the doctrine of lapse. She submits letters, December February April of that year, and she keeps submitting until I think early eighteen, fifty six, So so she doesn't give up most of the Letters, however, aren't even forwarded to Lord Halsey, so she's, really being taken seriously. At this point, her attempts to get the ear of british officials just its funding Deaf ears is not a lock, it seemed so she consults where the british Council John Lange, who is trying in trying to get her to agree to this pension sheet that she wouldn't accept, and she said to him- and this has become a kind of a famous quote- she says marriage
see now he don't gay, and this means I will not give up my Chauncey so negative stance, but down, but meanwhile we're gonna catch you up with good, what's going on in the rest of India, their work pensions mounting among the three points which were indian troops in the British EAST, India, company Army and actually Kennison Jane a very long time ago, did an episode on the EAST India Company Chauncey poison that they could go where in a little bit extra about them, but on the surface it seem like d tensions that were or mounting among these troops were caused by rumours that the time that the cartridges for newly issued Enfield rifles were greased with either cow or pig fat and ending on whether you were a hindu or Muslim, see boy, though it be sacrilegious when you had to tear open the cartridges with your teeth. So the fear was that the bridge,
sure we're doing this on purpose. They knew that this was likely to cause religious related, a fan, and they were doing it to undermine the seaports faith and eventually make it easier for them to convert them all to Christianity. Yet the rumour at the time, as you said, but historians tend to think that the tensions that were building up a before this they were more due to the so called reforms that were being made to indian customs and culture around that time or in the years leading up to it. For example, widow, being allowed to marry. That was something that was very local change alone reform had displace many landowner, so these things at the Ronnie was experiencing. Others works
he's in them till they were happy. You can imagine how that would cause them pretty widespread discontent, though in Murat on May nine. Eighty fifty seven eighty five of these people who refuse to use the unfilled cartridges were tried and put into irons and that started off major rebellion. The next day, three regiment stormed the jail and killed the officers and their families, and they marched from there to Delhi, which was fifty miles away and from there, the sea, rebellion, really just kind of spreading. Started as this localised incident, but it started to spring up elsewhere like little brush fires and a few leaders took charge and transformed what had been a mutiny into and organise resistance. They were really gonna. Give the british some trouble yeah venture. The mutiny made its way to John two on June sixth eighteen
seven. The troops at Chauncey Mute Need and shot their commanding officers. Captain scheme at this point here others all the Europeans in a city which there were sixty six of them and that included about half of them. I think where women and children they took refuge in the fort, which were is pretty well designed as a defence. It could withstand the siege and had an internal water supply, but they really didn't have that much food it also. It wasn't gonna be a long term solution to this stand on, therefore, to stay there alone, so on June s skin leads the British out of the fort and they were massacred by June twelve the mutineers, had left Chauncey for Dalai. So bad situation, a very bad situation and considering how unhappy the Ronnie had been with the government. Many british I believe that she was behind the mutiny. There was never any real proof from death and we're going to fit. It certainly did not. Better
at her in any way, but still people were suspicious. This is where the just about part of the title comes from though she sent a letter afterwards in she knows that people are suspicious ever since she then allow to the british authorities and she recounted everything that had happened to her and she said well among a lot of other things quote that they, The mutineers afterwards behave with much violence against herself in her servants and extorted a great deal of money from her. So you know. Basically, just trying to make the play. They must with to you know I was not very leader. I didn't help, get the thing going again. She expresses its a long letter and you can find exerts on it in various essays and and biota fees, but she basically is like hey. I'm sorry. This happened to you. This is really sad, but my hands I can't do anything about it. She sends another letter later saying that there was anarchy and Chauncey and she asked for orders from the British and they issued a proxy
Sean authorizing the Ronnie to manage the district and tell they could send soldiers there to restore order- and I was really surprised by this part, because, Until now you know the British have been trying to strip her of any power she had, and here they are authorizing her too, to raise an army pretty. May there yeah. I think it shows you know that they did think that she had some brains. They had some respect for her. They just didn't want her to actually have any land. Yet, in absence of any other british option, we will let you run the placing her a little while until we get there. But you know in general, but she does start building up this army. Wild managing the district in prison play at this point. It is to defend John Fee from neighbouring disk x and rebels, maybe a distant claimant, to the throne. You know just anybody who make common cause trouble. Yeah wording to military history. Some of her troops included mutineers from the former John Garrison, which is kind of suspense
say, as you probably didn't, help her cause and trying to convince people that she wasn't once this at any other enough from them right than Derosa says her army included some women too, and that this was an indicator of how devoted and loyal her subjects were it to her, because they were willing to cast aside tradition to fight with her yeah, but in speaking of tradition. leave me to mention the appearance of this woman to in her mannerisms, because she she cut quite a figure- I mean to to say the least- she's been described as being Erin Handsome, even though, according to MR, the british men who described her face with a little on the round fine, but she quote had a noble presence and figure and a stern expression, and instead of following
the traditional customs of widows at the time in drafting all and why not wearing any jewelry. She came out wing men's clothes on time. This code of Dark blue, a beautiful turban on her head, and this embroidered cloth round her waist and jewelled a jeweled sword. I mean she she must have been amazing. Looking internationally, Leading an army yeah, definitely, and she I guess I had some moves to. People have said that these new, no, they saw her path, seeing her skills on horseback and with their weapons out Nina while she was getting this army together and one signature meals, which I love. I think I was trying to remember this for you earlier, but can remember it was that she would be the horse, and whirling Sabre in each hand with the reins of the horse and her teeth so very,
Indeed, I would be really scary if, if he saw someone coming with the to savour, yeah, Don't worry about my teeth. I'm going to write like over a little bomb proves one thing yeah, but she had been problems there than her teeth. I mean that was not her top concern. That was not her talk concern and I mean if you wanted to show people, you are tough, hey, that's the way to do it, suffice to say she's got the opportunity to show off her skills and January eighteen. Fifty eight major John Sir Hugh rose, who ends up being named as her major opponent in this whole affair, I think March, towards the city with so to this end. As late as February, the Ronnie told her british advisers that she would in fact returned the district to the british when they got there so their army. Exactly she didn't seem. This is the relief been waiting for right, so not confrontation on this point, but
really happen, it wasn't a nice hand off was a it's not. How rose treats the situation at all. On March, twenty fifth eighteen, fifty eight rose in his forces. Chauncey and again according to military history luxury by resisted, because she wasn't sure if she was going to be executed if she was captured. I think she really believe that the british after I still want really happy with her after the mutiny and really blamed her. if she was gonna, be executed. If she was captured. I think she really believe that the British, after all, they still want really happy with her after the mutiny and really blamed her for it still Rosalie, stolen and clearly the relations between her and the British were muddled to say the least mean she didn't know what eggs April. Third, the British broke into the city and they took the palace and stormed the fort, but she got out she escaped back in the night before that final assault- and this is amazing partner, if you, if you look up a picture of her you'll, see John Motivation,
not entirely accurate, but she escaped into the night on horseback with her ten year old, adopted then strapped to her back mention that she knew he's gonna have to to ride to fast. You just have him sitting in front of her yet after her Yeah I mean this is where you see a lot of the legend command. You hear many different accounts of how this escape might have occurred about in general. We think that he was dropped, her back tied to her with a sash and. she and a bunch, maybe up to three hundred of her troops escaped in them of the night, and it's all little that sketchy. Is how did they get past the british troops, but maybe just confused in the dark yeah, but I mean once
Ronnie without she road like the wind cause? She was afraid that the British were after her, and it said she wrote anywhere from eighty six to ninety three miles in twenty four hours to get all the way to the fortress of copy where she joined up with some of the other resistance leaders. Yeah non us ahead, rouse ahead, The Adobe these were well known, resistance leaders. They had been involved in other mutinies elsewhere in India going on at the time, and so they grouped together joined forces and they face the British in two consecutive battles, starting from copy one on May six, but which they were forced to retreat and another one where they were defeated again on May twenty second or twenty third somewhere around there. The british it was the end at that point, but that wasn't actually the case on May thirtieth. The rebels reached squalor which controlled both the grand trunk road and the telegraph lines between Ankara in Bombay there. They met Joy G, Roush, India, the,
Roger squalor- and he was a boy loyalists and actually trying to stop them. At this point, he tried to kind of pushed the rebels back, not let the men but his troops ended up switching sides and he had to flee to opera. So at this point, Rebels, have control Collyer, yeah, pretty big bunch of them to buy now beaten, and on June sixteenth roses forces closer now. So it's important to know up until this, Locksley by had not then out at the head of these rebel battles, but she It was the one who led what remained of heard John Contingent out too, to stop roses forces on Galileo she went out to battle dressed in male clothing. She had on the red uniform of a cavalry officer. She was wearing a white turban ever her short hair. She really cut quite an inspiring figure.
but during the battle she was shot from her horse and killed and its belief that she was cremated really soon after that, because she was terrified that her body would fall into his hands in and not be treated respectfully and after her death. your fell pretty soon after that, and organise rebellion, really fizzled out and and no Lakshmi by herself did not really men any of these battles. It seems like her personality in her bravery, really lead a big impression on people. Yet it's really that I as you mentioned her personality, that's really made her a symbol of the fight for indian independence and at the time I think it was True as well, I mean british newspapers proclaimed, looks me by the Jazzy Bell of India that even he rose her big rival in this whole battle compared has fallen,
I'm sorry to Joan of ARC. So that's you know, maybe one of the first places that we see that and he reported her death to William Augustus Duke of Cumberland In this way he said the Ronnie is remarkable for her bravery, cleverness and perseverance, her generosity to us. ordinance, was unbounded these qualities. With her rank rendered her the most dangerous of all rebel leaders, and I mean I think that interesting and I mention this. Go when we were talking about how strange it is that they gave her the They gave her permission to raise an army in the first place that that they would be so disrespectful of her claim. so admiring of her person quality and her her capability. I just think it thumb at an it saddens me out. contradiction, but I mean see that a throughout women's history and add more praise for her and maybe somewhat dubious
I guess, depending on how you like to study or women's history. He said, although she was a lady, she was the bravest and then military leader of the rebels, a man among the mutineers, so his highest compliment was, in her to a man and so does the popular folk song, but I think that it might put it a little Better and better yeah definitely work right. So the folks and Ngos Valiantly like a man, thought she, the Rania Chauncey on every parapet, a gun. She sat right fire of Hell. How command thought the of John see how valiantly and well so think, that's a good way to finish up, story of watch me thy raining fire power ok, maybe not paying their good point, thirty but if this ray of a female warrior, a real life do, for. You were thinking of doing another episode soon, as you may have guessed from. As we mentioned our Facebook posts, maybe a less, maybe a list, although
we're gonna narrowed down, because there are so many good options, but yeah look for a list of real life warriors coming up real female warriors, we should say- and you know, if you have any thoughts, your favorite ones. We are always happy to hear them and we'd love to hear them. In fact, you can email ass at issue. Podcast tat have suffered such com or you can look ass if on Twitter in history or on Facebook If you want to learn a little bit more about any in history, we have an article cold, blooded Gandhi March, two hundred and forty miles thought and you can find it by searching our home hedge, W, W w dot, how stuff works,
or moral moves and thousands of other topics for the house to works. I come to learn more about the pond cast on the pod cast icon in the upper right corner of the House of lords arise, dome of it today and I do how low bunnies this is Ard Marine. You may know me from Chelsea lately or as Regina Sinclair on insatiable. I want to tell you, but my comedy podcast: will you accept this rose, which is new to the eye heart radio podcast network? We re cap every season at the bachelor franchise, including the bachelor, the bachelor at an bachelor in Paradise. We bring in bachelor super fans, including last bass, Nicky Glaser, Debbie, Ryan and more catch. Our first episode on January eighth and listen to will you accept this rose on the icon, radio, app apple pie CAS or wherever you get your part cast. This is Danny Shapiro Post of the contest family secrets. I hope you'll join us for some incredible conversations.
family identity and what happens to both when the secrets that have been kept from us and the secrets we keep finally come to light, listen and subscribe on the aren't, radio up apple pie cast or every and your favorite pasts.