This is an old article- updated with two new notes: Rudrama Devi’s Chandupatla inscription and John Lang’s India connection.

  1. Rudrama Devi & Chandupatla Inscription
  2. John Lang, the Lawyer of Laxmibai (1816-1864)
  3. Hazrat Mahal: 135th Anniversary
  4. Stree Shakti Puraskar
  5. Women in Freedom Struggle of India
  6. Mock Questions

Rudrama Devi & Chandupatla Inscription

Why in News? 2014, November was her 725th Anniversary.

1236-1240 Razia Sultan, the daughter of Iltumish, became the first and only woman rule Delhi’s throne.
1259-1289 Rudrama Devi, the first Hindu female ruler of Andhra-Telangana region.
  • Rudrama devi belonged to Kakatiya dynasty, Capital- Warangal, ran several irrigation and welfare programs and defended her empire from attacks of Chola and Yadav kings.
  • Telangana’s Chadupatla village inscription says she died on 27th November 1289 in a battle. So 2014 marks her 725th Death Anniversary.

John Lang, the Lawyer of Laxmibai (1816-1864)

Why in news? Because Modi gifted something to Australian PM in 2014, November.

John Lang Laxmibai Lawyer

John Lang was the first native novelist of Australia. Notable novels: Will he marry her?, My friend’s wife, Forger’s Wife, Secret Police, Too clever by half.

Lang in India
1842 Came to India, learned Hindi language and ran “The Moffusilite” newspaper. Lang published articles against East India company, was jailed for libel.
1854 Governor General Lord Dalhousie annexed Jhansi, under doctrine of Lapse- after the King of Jhasi died, leaving Manikarnika Tambe (Laxmibai) and his adopted son Damodar Rao behind.
  • After Anglo-Sikh wars, East India company did not pay money to one contractor Joti Ram, who had supplied them war-provisions.  John Lang fought his case, and won a hefty compensation from East India company.
  • Impressed with his legal acumen, Rani Laxmibai asked John Lang to get Jhansi’s annexation removed.
  • John Lang prepared a petition against the East India company. But British government discarded it in a week. [perhaps to settle the score of earlier defeat in that contractor case and his Anti-British newspaper articles.]
1857 Rani fought and died during Sepoy mutiny
1864 John Lang died and buried in Mussoorie.
2014 Modi gifted Lang’s petition against East India Company, to Australian PM Tony Abbott, to help examiners frame MCQs on this topic.

Hazrat Mahal: 135th Anniversary

Hazrat Mahal = 135th Anniversary, hence she automatically becomes important for UPSC Mains 2014. Just like Maulana Azad in Mains-2013
Q.Write a note about the contribution of Begam Hazrat Mahal in India’s struggle for Independence. (200 words)
1856 under Doctrine of Lapse, Lord Dalhousie exiled the Nawab wajid Ali shah of Awadh to Calcutta. His wife, Begum Hazrat Mahal took the charge of the state, and played a prominent role in the mutiny of 1857

  1. Provided Leadership to rebels of Lucknow, and fought in the name of her minor son Birjis Qadr.
  2. In the war of Alambaug, herself fought against British troops.
  3. Assisted Nana Saheb in Kanpur.
  4. Lord Dalhousie asked the help of Nepal’s Rana Jang Bahadur and offered areas of Gorakhpur and Awadh in return. Begum countered Dalhousie’s move by offering the Rana three more province of Awadh apart from Gorakhpur.
  5. Assisted Maulvi Ahmedullah (Danka Shah) against attack on Shahjahanpur (Firozabad) and defeated Henry Lawrence.
  6. British again attacked great force, she was defeated but escaped to Nepal.
  7. British offered pension to her if she gave up her claim on throne for his son. But Begam denied and chose to live in Nepal, where she died in 1879.

Begum Hazrat Mahal fought with great fervor, showed exceptional courage and organisational skills. She had ability to unite people from different class and provided an instrumental leadership during India’s first struggle for independence.
~200 words.

Stree Shakti Puraskar

Every year, Women and child Development Ministry gives Stree-Shakti Purarskars. Winners not *that* important but the historic women associated with them= important for MCQ. Where they belong to, what time era they lived in?

Exact years not important. But chronology is
100-300 TN Kannagi
  • character in Tamil epic “Silapathikaram”
  • Madurai’s Pandyan king murdered her husband, she took revenge by putting a curse on the city.
1259-1289 Andhra Rani Rudramma
  • ruler of Kaktiya dynasty, in Andhra Pardesh (capital Warangal) in 13th century.
  • defended her kigdom against Cholas and Yadavas.
1598-1674 MH Mata Jijabai
  • mother of Shivaji – the founder of Maratha empire.
  • also known as rajmata Jijabai Bhosle,
1725-1795 MP Rani Ahlyabai Holkar
  • queen of Malwa kingdom, after death of her husband
  • patron of Hindu temples.
1828-1858 UP Rani Laxmibai we already know why she is famous
1915-1993 Manipur Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang.
  • Naga spiritual leader and freedom fighter.
  • 1932: Imprisoned for life at age 16
  • 1947: released
  • Nehru gave her title “Rani”
  • Got Padma Bhushan

Women in Freedom Struggle

Abbreviations used in following table:

  • R=rich, M=middle class, P=poor, “?”=not mentioned in book, and I did not bother googling (Because in real life preparation, a candidate wouldn’t have that much time to do Ph.D on everything.)
  • NV=non-violent. R=Revolutionary / violent methods.
Aruna Asaf Ali M NV
  • Breaking the social conventions, married to a Muslim Congressman Asaf Ali. Went to prison during CDM and Individual Satyagraha. Hoisted tricolor @Gowalia tank after Maulana Azad’s arrest.
  • Editor of ‘Inquilab’ a monthly journal of Congress
Begum Safia Abdul Wajid R NV
  • Rich Muslim Family, Post graduate from Allahabad Univ. Lost government lecturer job because of her participation in Quit India movement.
Durgabai Deshmukh M NV
  • Middle class family, initially couldn’t afford education but graduated from Andhra.
  • Studied law, practiced in Madras High court.
  • Jailed for salt satyagraha
  • Andhra Mahila sabha for welfare of women.
Jyotirmoyee Ganguli ? NV
  • left Government job during civil disobedience movement.
  • took part in the British demonstrations
  • Demanded the release of jailed INA soldiers. Killed by the British during a procession.
Kasturba ? NV
  • Took part in all the programs of Gandhi, jailed during Quit India movement and died in Poona jail two years later.
Madam Bhikaiji Cama NV
  • herself influenced by Dadabhai Naoroji, she Inspired Indian youth in UK, ran newsletter “Bande Mataram” and organization “free India society”.
  • Unfurled first national flag of India in Germany.
Matangini Hajra P NV
  • born in a poor peasant family of Bengal- exploited by both Zamindars and the British.
  • Dandi March,
  • campaigned for non-payment of Chowkidari tax- arrested.
  • During Quit India movement, planned an Attack on police station but killed while hoisting the national flag.
Nehru R NV
  • Jawaharlal’s mom: Swarup Rani Nehru, provided moral support and fought for freedom struggle.
  • His sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit: jailed thrice during CDM
  • Wife Kamala Nehru: participated in CDM and No-tax campaign.
Rajkumari Amrita Kaur R NV
  • Royal family from Punjab
  • Grad. from England, influenced by Gandhi
  • Jailed for quit India movement
Rehana Tyabjee R NV
  • Affluent family, her father was a Judge.
  • influenced by Gandhi, joined Sabarmati Ashram, NCM, opposed Untouchability + child marriage
  • President of Youth congress
  • Jailed for QIM
  • First muslim lady to sing Vandemataram in Congress session
Sarojini Naidu ? NV
  • Graduated from London
  • one of the first women to participate in Freedom struggle
  • under mentorship of G.K.Gokhale
  • later participated in all programs of Gandhi, including Dandi March
  • served as President of Indian national congress.
  • Even her daughter Padmaja Naidu, 21, was arrested for Quit India movement.
Cpt. Laxmi Sahgal ? R
  • young medical student
  • Became Captain of all-woman Rani of Jhansi regiment of the Indian National Army (INA) under Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • Led the troops in Burma during WW2, but caught by the British army.
Kalpana Dutt Joshi ? R
  • Revolutionary from Bengal.
  • part of Surya Sen’s Chittagong republication army. Caught and transported for life, later released.
Nanibala devi ? R
  • Brahmin family. Widowed @the tender age of 16
  • Joined Jugandhar party, associated with revolutionary movements.
  • Arrested for transporting weapons and ammunition
  • was the first and only woman to be tortured by the police under Regulation III of 1818
  • Calcutta jail’s first woman prisoner.
Preetilata Waddedar ? R
  • Part of Chittagaong revolutionaries of Surya Sen.
  • Organized attacks on British establishments in Bengal.
  • Consumed Postassium cyanide to evade detention and interrogation.
Rani Gaidinliu ? R
  • Naga Tribal, who organized rebellion to overthrow British from Manipur.
  • Jailed for 14 years, freed after independence. Given title “Rani of Nagas”

Mock Questions

Q1. Which of the following statements are correct?

  1. Rudramma Devi was a contemporary of Rani Laxmibai.
  2. Rudramma Devi had signed a treaty with the French, for protection against the British.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q2. Chadupatla inscription is located at ____ and mentions the ____.

  1. Andhra Pradesh, Thervada Buddhism
  2. Telangana, Conquests of Chera Kings.
  3. Andhra Pradesh, Conquests of Chola Kings
  4. Telangana, Heroic death of Rudramma Devi.

Q3. Rudramma Devi belonged to ___ dynasty and her capital was located at ___.

  1. Chera, Thiruvanthapuram
  2. Chola, Hampi
  3. Pandya, Madurai
  4. Kakatiya, Warangal

Q4.Which of the following were actual queens?

  1. Kannagi
  2. Rani Rudrama
  3. Rani Gaidinliu

Answer choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Q5.Which of the following did not participate in India’s struggle for independence?

  1. Rani Ahalyabai Holkar
  2. Rani Rudrama
  3. Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang

Answer choices

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. All of them participated

Q6.Consider following statements about John Lang

  1. He was the founder of Theosophical society’s Missouri chapter.
  2. He was the editor of Annie Besant’s newspaper “Commonweal“ while she was in jail.
  3. He was the legal counsel of Begum Hazrat Mahal and Rani Laxmibai.

Correct statements are:

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

Q7. John Lang was born in ____ and died in ____.

  1. Australia, Mussoorie
  2. Mussoorie, Australia
  3. America, Australia
  4. Australia, Britain

Q8. Correct Pair

  1. Rani Rudramma: Kerala
  2. Rani Ahlyabai Holkar: Maharashtra
  3. Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang: Assam
  4. None of Above

Q9. Correct Chronology: (1) Rani Gaidinliu Zeliang; (2) Rani Ahlyabai Holkar; (3) Mata Jijabai; (4) Rani Rudramma

  1. 1234
  2. 2143
  3. 2134
  4. 4321

Mains General Studies Paper-1: Answer following in 200 words each

  1. Q. Defying the barriers of age, gender and religion, the Indian women became the torch bearer during the struggle for freedom in India. Discuss. (Mains-2013)
  2. Critically evaluate the contribution of Begum Hazrat Mahal and Rani Laxmibai in India’s struggle for Independence.

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