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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    A forgotten page of history: Mother still remembered, son forgotten

    Almost everybody in our country remembers Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Everyone knows her heroic struggle to retain the kingdom of Jhansi in favour of her foster-son Damodar Rao. Her gallantry in 1857 has become folklore in Jhansi and adjacent areas. She fought against the infamous 'Doctrine of Lapse' propounded by Lord Dalhousie. She died fighting the British.

    But what about her foster-son, Damodar Rao? What happened to him after the gallant queen's death? Almost nobody knows. During his later part of life, he wrote an incomplete memoir. From the memoir we come to know that he was born on 15th November, 1849. When he was only three years old, he was adopted by Maharaja Gangadhar Rao. But very soon Maharaja left for heavenly abode. Rani Lakshmibai fought against the British and was martyred in 1857. At that time Damodar was only 8 years old. After the battle, only sixty of the Rani's soldiers survived. They fled Jhansi with young Damodar. They suffered unspeakable pain and misery to protect the young child. After fleeing from one place to another, ultimately they were forced to surrender before the British administration at Indore in 1860.

    Damodar Rao, the foster-son of Rani Lakshmibai, had to literally beg before the British. After many petitions, a measly annual amount of Rs. 10,000/- was sanctioned to him. Needless to say, the British impounded all money, gold and jewels of Damodar Rao. He was allowed to keep only eight of his followers.

    Damodar Rao ultimately settled at Indore. He married a local girl and fathered a son, Lakshman Rao in 1904. Damodar Rao died in abject penury on 28th May, 1906. His descendants are still at Indore and use the title 'Jhansiwale'.

    This was the fate of Damodar Rao, the last king of Jhansi. History has remembered his gallant foster-mother, but forgotten him.
  • #640320
    Rani Lakshmi Bai is very well remembered by many of the Indians as the History books of High Schools teach something about this great lady. But there is no mention of her son's achievements anywhere. In fact, I even don't know about the history of Damodar Rao. Now we don't know about his any whereabouts. Thanks to the author for giving some points about the son of the great lady.
    always confident

  • #640322
    Thank you for sharing this untold story and I doubt the episode of Damodar Rao did escape the earnest eye of our great historians. Rani Lakshmibhai and Indian freedom movement are inseparable and the fight for freedom only began after 1857. Unfortunately the last kings of various domains in India had a pathetic end and miserable life in many a case.

  • #640325
    As has been told many times that most of our syllabus books hasn't been revived completely & moved around the contributions of one family & that's why we know too much then required of one family but is not the case with other personalities. The same was the case with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966) , who was a great revolutionary in the history of India's struggle of independence, had a miserable life till his death in 1966.

  • #640327
    We read and learned about Jhansi Lakshibai and never gone into detail of her foster son Domadar Rao and this information provided by author has enhanced my knowledge to that effect. But in a lighter vein, by seeing the heading I thought the author was referring to Indira Gandhi as on June 25th the Emergency anniversary was remembered by those who have gone through the worst nightmare and her son Rajiv Gandhi was totally forgotten these days as even in Congress banners the mentions of him are not seen. So I was co-relating that with the heading given by author.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #640353
    History is favourable statistics. During British Rule only Britishers wrote our history. That is what we have now. So a lot has been destroyed, diluted and distorted. If any one tried to research and bring the real history he is booted out with some qualifications given to him. But anyone will interpret history as they like now.

    It has become very difficult to separate chaff and grain.

    The Damodar Rao history is totally a new information to me. We need a posse of unbiased and sincere researchers to unearth our true history.

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