Tantia Tope: The bravery and valour of 160th death anniversary

Apr 18 2019 09:35 AM
Tantia Tope: The bravery and valour of 160th death anniversary

Tantia Tope was born as Ramachandra Panduranga to a Marathi Deshastha Brahmin family in 1814, Tantia Tope was a warrior and was the top lieutenant in 1857 rebellion in freedom fighter Rani Laxmi Bai's army in Jhansi. Being crowned as Tope - commanding officer - Tatya (means General) specialised in guerrilla warfare techniques and was instrumental in defeating General Havelock of British Army twice.

It was due to the bravery and valour of Tatiya, that British forces - led by Sir Henry Havelock - were defeated on June 27, 1857, under his guidance. He continued to guide Rani Laxmi Bai's military and defeated General Charles Ash Windham at Cawnpore II, which occurred from November 27, 1857, to November 28, 1857. However, when the British Army - led by Sir Colin Campbell, - invaded at the battle of Cawnpore thrice, Rani Laxmi Bai couldn't save her crown, but Tope continued becoming an instrumental aide to Rani of Jhansi.

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Following the defeat, Tope and Rani Laxmi Bai took control of Gwalior Fort declaring Hindvi Swaraj (Free Kingdom) under the name of Nana Sahib Peshwa from Gwalior. The British managed to win back Gwalior after some time, but Tatiya continued resistance as a guerrilla fighter in the jungles. Tatiya Tope was one warrior whose never leave spirit and persistence to fight against the British forces helped reunite the Indians again.

Though facing defeat by the British several times, he was able to replace the artillery he had lost at the Banas River. He continued to teach guerrilla war techniques to the new warriors until he was forced to surrender in return of King of Narwar's - Man Singh - life and protection of his family from any reprisals by the Maharaja of Gwalior. The great Tatiya Tope was executed at the gallows on 18 April 1859 in Shivpuri by the British forces and attained martyrdom. Here it is worth mention that the bravery and valour of 160th death anniversary of the great master of guerrilla warfare techniques Tantia Tope who stood against all odds and fought for India's first Independence struggle.

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