I see his name everyday but did not know about him till yesterday (Part-I)(I live in South Delhi. There is a road just beside my accommodation which carries his name. I know there is a university and a polytechnic bearing his name, but didn't know anything about this great man. So, I started searching. This two-part article is on the basis of the information which I collected.)
His ancestors were the Rajas of Rewari district and adjacent areas of Haryana. They helped the Marathas during second Anglo-Maratha war in 1803. As a result, British rulers punished them by confiscating their kingdom. They were provided a grant of 58 villages in lieu of their kingdom. They were insulted by the British. So, they were preparing to strike at the first available opportunity.
He was born on 9th December,1825 in Rampura village. His father was Rao Puran and his mother was Gyan. He learnt Persian, Urdu, Hindi and little bit English. He became the landlord in November 1839 after the death of his father.
1857 arrived. The Indian soldiers of British East India company rebelled against the Company officials who were ruling India. Common people joined them. The old Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Jaffar was reinstated. He was made the guiding symbol of the rebellion. The patriotic people of Rewari joined this fight for independence under their landlord.
Our hero assembled 400-500 soldiers and went to Rewari. He forcibly took all British Government office buildings. He made Rampura his war headquarter. Rampura was fortified. Arms and ammunitions were manufactured and stored in the new fort. Our hero assumed the title of Raja and he made his cousin Gopal Dev as his commander-in-chief. His army swelled to more than 5000 men. He then proceeded with his army to help Bahadur Shah Jaffar in Delhi.
Delhi fell on 20th September, 1857. He retreated to his headquarter. Soon the British army sent a very strong column with most modern arms (of that period) under Brigadier-General Showers towards Rampura.
The King of Rampura assessed the situation very astutely and left Rampura. The British force arrived and occupied Rampura without any opposition.
(To be concluded......)