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Begum Hazrat Mahal

Begum Hazrat Mahal

Begum Hazrat Mahal used to be one of the few ladies who challenged the British in the course of the riot of 1857. Her maiden identify was once Muhammadi Khanum. She was once born at Faizabad, Awadh. She married Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

Awadh used to be annexed by way of the British East India Company in 1856 and Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, the closing Nawab of Awadh was once despatched into exile to Calcutta. Hazrat Mahal determined to remain lower back in Lucknow alongside with her son Birjis Qadir.

After the absorption of Awadh, an insurrection broke out at Meerut and the banner of rising up used to be raised in Lucknow which unfolds unexpectedly to different cities of Awadh. Lucknow was once the sole area the place the English did now not go away the Residency constructing and confronted the rebels till they had been capable to regain their misplaced power.

Nawab Wajid Ali Shah
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah (1822–1887)

Nana Saheb
Nana Saheb
Source: The Indian War Of Independence 1857 (1947 Ed.by Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar)

Hazrat Mahal used to be one of the predominant figures in bringing about this uprising. ‘‘She has excited all Oudh,” says Russell. Her closest allies had been Nana Saheb and Maulvi Ahmad Ullah Shah. Outram and Havelock arrived from Kanpur to relieve the British Garrison in the Residency of Lucknow. After a few encounters with the rebels, Outram used to be in a position to occupy Alum Bagh (a backyard in the suburb of Lucknow) on September 23, 1857.

The victory of the English in Kanpur used to be some other setback to her plans. In the month of November Sir Colin Campbell, Commander in Chief of the British Forces alongside with a small reinforcement arrived at Lucknow.

Begum confronted the enemy in fierce combat however her role grew weaker. In spite of the resistance put up by means of the Begum, the English Commander was once capable to escort the besieged garrison out of the residency to Alum Bagh all through which a few British officers have been killed and wounded.

The British Residency
The British Residency
Source: Vyom.Y

Begum Hazrat Mahal main the Army-Battle
Begum Hazrat Mahal main the Army-Battle of Alam Bagh, Lucknow.
Credits: Backcover of The Oudh Nights: Tales of Nawab Wazirs, Kings and Begums of Lucknow. by using AP Bhatnagar. Shubhi Publications, India, 2005.

Begum Hazrat Mahal frequently referred to as conferences to motivate soldiers, asking them to be courageous and combat for the cause. She wrote letters of education for the motion and is pronounced to have regarded on the battlefield on February 25, 1858, installed on an elephant. Alum Bagh used to be attacked via a pressure every now and then led by way of Maulvi Ahmad Ullah Shah and at different instances through the Begum in man or woman, however, the British succeeded in defeating the rebellion force.

In March, the British began operation towards Lucknow underneath the command of Sir Colin Campbell. The pressure-protected 3000 Gorkhas despatched by using Jung Bahadur, Maharaja of Nepal for the seize of Lucknow.

By March 19, 1858, Moosabagh, Char Bagh, and Kesar Bagh had been captured by way of the British.

Under unfavourable circumstances, Begum with her followers, her son Birjis Qadir and Nana Saheb escaped to Nepal. The Nepalese authorities had been hesitant to provide asylum to the rebels and in a strongly worded letter on January 15, 1859, General Budri wrote: “if you must stay or are seeking asylum inside my territory and frontier, the Gorkha troops will most certainly, in pursuance of the treaty agreed upon by way of each the excessive States, attack, and make warfare on you…”

Nepalese authorities later modified the choice and asylum was once given to her on the prerequisites that she did now not preserve any conversation with the insurrection leaders or with the human beings of India. She confronted difficulties in Nepal the place her son fell sick. The Lieutenant in cost of her at Noakote (Nepal) discovered that Begum had plans to flee from Nepal as well. According to a letter by means of Col. Ramsay, there have been 5 routes through which rebels should pass by over the vary of the hills.

Moosabagh in April 1858
Moosabagh in April 1858
Source: Felice Beato, British, born Italy – (The Musabagh) – Google Art Project

After the break out of Begum, the British declared that the rebels and their leaders ought to publish themselves for conspiring towards the Government. It used to be delivered that the lives of these who did now not homicide British officers would be spared and this was once relevant to all, from Begum down to these of the lowest rank amongst them. Begum did now not agree to this and rather of surrendering, she requested for help from Nepalese authorities for the cause of armed retaliation.

Despite the phrases provided by means of the British authorities that “the Begum Hazrat Mahal will acquire all the concerns which are due to her as a female and a member of a Royal house, Begum Hazrat Mahal did no longer lay down to them.

After the outbreak was once quelled, the Queen of England issued a proclamation to appease the humans of British India. As a response to this, Begum Hazrat Mahal issued a counter-proclamation and warned the humans no longer to have trust in these guarantees “for it is the unvarying customized of the English by no means to forgive a fault be it superb or small.’’

The Begum tried to come lower back to India in 1877 however orders had been issued, whereby any request made through both Birjis Qadir or his mom to enter British India would no longer be entertained. The Government of India put up a situation that if they did enter the territory of the British Government they would no longer get hold of any help or allowance from the Government and would be below the surveillance of the Justice of the Peace of the district in which they may take up a residence.

Begum Hazrat Mahal ought to no longer come to India and had to stay in Nepal permanently. She died for the first-rate purpose in 1879, inland overseas to her. The grave of Begum Hazrat Mahal is in Kathmandu. On 10 May 1984, a Postage Stamp used to be issued in her honour.

The indomitable Begum grew to be one of the few females to battle towards the British in the first hostilities of Independence.

Tomb of Begum Hazrat Mahal in Kathmandu

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