One of the purest relationships is between Brother and Sister. Raksha Bandhan is a festival of Hindu which is celebrated by brothers and sisters. Sisters tie Rakhi on the wrist of brothers and wish them long life, success, and happiness. Brother promises his sister to take care of her and protect her whole life.
Manikarnika Tambe, also known as Rani Laxmi Bai was born on 19th November 1828 in Kashi (Varanasi) to a Maharashtrian Bharamin family. Her parent’s names were Moropant Tambe and Bhagirathi Tambe. She died on 17th June 1858. Her father was an adviser in the Peshwa court. Rani Laxmi Bai was trained in martial arts and became proficient in sword fighting and horse riding. She got married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao.
Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar was the 5th King of Jhansi. He was born to a Maratha Family in 1797. He was the son of Shiv Rao Bhau and Padma Bai. He died on 21st November 1853. They had a son known as Damodar Rao who died when he was 4 months old. They adopted his cousin’s son named Anand Rao later his name was changed to Damodar Rao. After the death of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao Newalkar, Rani Laxmi Bai became the queen of Jhansi as her son was too young.
Rani Laxmi Bai didn’t have a brother, so she used to tie rakhi to Nana Saheb Peshwa’s son. One day Tatya Tope introduced Rani Laxmi Bai to Nawab Ali Bahadur (II) of Banda’s kingdom. He was a descendant of Peshwa and Mastani. It was a Raksha Bandhan day so she tied rakhi on his hand as her younger brother. Ali Bahadur promised her he would protect her from all the enemies.
Peshwa had declared war against the British from Bithoor. Tatya Tope and Nawab Ali were good friends. During the battle with Britishers, Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior was against Jhansi ki Rani however Tatya Tope and Nawab Ali were with her. Rani Laxmi Bai had gone to her Maternal home. There was the Raksha Bandhan festival. The Britishers were behind Queen, Tatya Tope, and Ali as they wanted to arrest them.
Nawab Ali Bahadur left Banda and reached Fatehpur, changed his looks and took a boat and reached Bhairav Ghat in Kanpur after 3 days. Then again he took a Boat and reached Ghat in Bithoor. Early in the morning he reached a secret hideout of Nana Saheb and tied rakhi from his sister Rani Laxmi Bai. Kallu Mallah the revolutionary said to Ali Bahadur that this Rakhi is very precious as Rani Laxmi Bai didn’t eat food from yesterday as she was waiting for you.
During the last Battle, Ali Bahadur was with Rani Laxmi Bai. When the Britisher killed Rani Laxmi Bai, Then Nawab Ali Bahadur performed the last rites. After the Battle, the Britishers imprisoned him and sent him to Mahu. Later he was kept on house arrest in Indore. After which due to the pressure of the King of Banaras he was sent to Banaras where he died.
Many Hindu-Muslim Families in Bithoor, Banda and Jhansi still follow the tradition. Many Hindu sisters still tie rakhi to Muslim Brothers.
Moral of the story: Rakhi is not just a thread but a brother who promises his sister that no matter what, he will always protect, support and love her.