Context: On November 16, events to commemorate the martyrdom of Uda Devi, a freedom fighter from the Pasi community, were held at various places in Uttar Pradesh, including Sikandar Bagh in Lucknow.
- Uda Devi The Dalit Women Warrior from Lucknow Who Single-Handedly Killed Over 30 British Soldiers In 1857 Rebellion.
About Uda Devi:
- Uda Devi was born in a small village in Awadh, Uttar Pradesh. Seeing the rising anger of the Indian people against the British administration, she reached out to Begum Hazrat Mahal to enlist for war.
- In order to prepare for the battle that was headed their way, the Begum helped her form a women’s battalion under her command.
- Uda Devi and her Dalit sisters were the warriors or Veeranginis (amazons/heroines) of the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British East India Company.
Role in the Revolt of 1857:
- In the centre of an intersection outside Sikandar Bagh in Lucknow, stands a statue of a patina-covered, sexually ambiguous figure carrying a rifle and walking forward with a determined glare.
- The inscription on the base of the statue named the figure as Uda Devi Pasi, a heroine of the Mutiny of 1857.
- In the fall of 1857, northern India was in a state of virtual anarchy. A general revolt against the growing hegemony of the British East India Company consumed the cities of Delhi, Jhansi and Kanpur.
- During this ‘Second relief of Lucknow,’ Campbell’s 93rd Highland Regiment advanced along the Southern bank of the Gomti until they reached the Palace of Sikandarbag.
- The British forces met desperate resistance from rebels who had fortified the position. In the battle that followed, over 2,000 rebels and many soldiers lost their lives in hand-to-hand combat.
- After the British overran Sikandarbag, an officer noted that many of the British casualties had bullet wounds indicating a steep, downward trajectory. Suspecting that a sniper remained hidden in a nearby pipal tree, British officers fired at the tree and dislodged a rebel who fell to the ground with a thud, dead.
- Further investigation revealed that the rebel was in fact, a non-dominant caste woman named Uda Devi Pasi, who had donned men’s clothing to participate in the uprising.
- Today Uda Devi is an inspiration to women from non-dominant castes. Each year, on November 16, members of the Pasi caste gather at the sight of her final plunge and celebrate her as an anti-imperialist rebel who defied convention and struck a blow for the embryonic cause of Indian Independence.
- For Pasis, traditionally a caste of pig-herders and toddy-tappers, Uda Devi Martyrdom Day is the day to revel in the bravery and martial spirit of their ancestors and to chant the rousing slogans, Uda Devi amar rahe! (Uda Devi is immortal!) and Uda Devi Zindabad! (Long live Uda Devi!).
Source: Indian Express
Previous Year Question
Q.1) In the context of Indian history, the Rakhmabai case of 1884 revolved around
- Women’s right to gain education
- Age of consent
- Restitution of conjugal rights
Select the correct answer using the code given below : (2020)
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3