|"Thus the Maratha Queen tall in statue, handsome in person, young, energetic, proud and unyielding from that moment indulged in the stern |
|passion of anger and revenge." |
People generally like to refer to the warrior-queen Rani Lakshmibai as India's version of Joan of Arc. And yes, sure there are plenty of obvious similarities between this young warrior-maiden who came out of nowhere to lead her people in their efforts to skewer Englishmen through the torso with a bunch of keenly-sharpened metallic objects, and the fact that she's considered a martyr for the cause and revered by her countrymen even to this day bears quite a resemblance to the nut-squashing antics of the Limey-cleaving Maid of Pucelle. Personally, however, I think I would argue that she's more akin to being the William Wallace of India rather than anything else – not only because this insane never-say-die blood factory was tall, charismatic, and more then capable of personally sawing your brain in half with a giant two-handed sword, but because she was also incredibly successful in leading her overly-oppressed comrades in a valiant, brutal rebellion against British occupation of their homeland.
Born in 1835 in the Princely state of Jhansi in Northern India, Rani Lakshmibai's mother died when she was just a young child, leaving most of the child-rearing duties to her incredibly-busy father, the King of Jhansi. As a member of India's elite warrior caste, Dad knew the value of being able to lop peoples' helmets off with one swing of a blade, so he decided to forgo the bullshit curriculum usually foisted upon Indian women at this time and instead opted to teach her how to do badass shit like ride elephants, jump over fire-pits on horseback, swordfight, shoot a crossbow, load a musket, read, and write. Training in the arts of war every waking moment,...