Begum Hazrat Mahal, Queen of Awadh - her exploits in 1857 revolt against the British should be taught in schools

 In our long struggle for freedom from the oppressive and exploitative British rule brave  Indian women had played no less role than  patriotic men. In the case of women from the royal Indian families, under demanding conditions, they rose up to the occasion unmindful of the odds and obstacles and displayed their courage, wisdom and fighting spirits. They donned the role of men and fought the enemies with firm determination and tactics, thus proving their leadership in the battlefields. Mention may be made of Velu nachiyar, queen of Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, Lakshmibai of Jhansi,MP, Avanti Bhai,warrior-queen of Ramgarh,MP. The English company was never sympathetic toward the Indian women from the royal families. Nor did they show an iota of compassion to those widowed royal women 

One of the most prominent women fighters during the tumultuous period of rampaging rebellion of 1857 called first war of independence  was the Queen of Awadh (oadh) begum Hazrat Mahal, whose daring role is well etched in the pages of Indian history of freedom struggle.  

Abdul Naseer, chairman, Begum Hazrat Mahal committee, in April 2023 organized her 144th  death  anniversary in the Begum Hazrat Mahal Park, Lucknow city. Recalling her singular role against the EIC during the Lucknow siege, he urged the government to name the educational institution in her honor and urged the younger generation to take inspiration from Begum Hazrat who firmly stood for religious harmony.  Her gallant story of freedom struggle and how the political situation made her  go after the English army  to recover the kingdom should be taught in schools so that her contribution will inspire the younger generation.

In order to win back the seized land from EIC, with a band of loyal supporters she rebelled against them in a difficult situation. Burdened with a 12 year old son with him, she  had put behind the annexation of her husbands kingdom and his unjust exile to Kolkata. It is indeed a daring endeavor to  wage war against a powerful and cunning  EIC' army backed by the British Crown. 

Postal stamp 1984

Above image: Stamp of India - 1984 honoring  Begum Hazrat Mahal 1820-1879 Queen of Awadh and freedom fighter 1857. 

Tomb of Queen Begum Hazrat

Above image: Tomb of Queen Begum Hazrat Mahal of Avadh in Kathmandu, Nepal.  Hazrat mahal never returned to India and refused the offers of comforts and royal privilege's by the British......

Queen Begum Hazrat Mahal park, Lucknow, UP.

Queen hazrat Mahal, Awadh.

In the absence of her husband Sultan of Awadh Wajid Ali Shah, she served as a regent between 1857 and 1858 and led the rebels during the 1857 War. The lucknow siege is a good example of her valor and her knowledge of war strategies in a changing scenario on the battlefield. With a powerful army, she  organised a successful siege of the Residency (in Lucknow) in June 1857 with around 3,000 British hostages, both officials and civilians though  she was short on arms and ammunition. Being a woman of affable nature,  Hazrat Mahal had the full support of the merchants, zamindars and the local people to rebel against the corrupt and racist British rule.

After the fall of Delhi siege in Sept 1857 and suppressed rebellion,  in 1859 Hazrat Mahal along with her son and a  group of  followers under adverse circumstances in 1859 fled to Nepal where she lived in in exile for 20 years  till her death  on 7 April, 1879, thus  becoming  yet another  courageous women martyr of India who sacrificed her comfortable life  to free India from the tyrannical and obnoxious British rule that had been squandering India and its riches.